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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Negative Capability

The Big Idea for Saturday, May 18, 2013

The award winning teacher and education consultant John Hunter has developed a game called The World Peace Game that is about "learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown."

In today's lesson, Hunter describes how this geopolitical simulation game helps students at a very young age develop skills that include the capacity to identify ambiguity and bias in the information they receive. This core skill we might call negative capability, or the capacity to be comfortable, and even thrive, in uncertainty. Moreover, this habit of mind is the antithesis of reactive thinking and behavior, which tends to promote, rather than discourage violence. 

Perspectives

  1. 1 The Game That Builds a Peaceful Habit of Mind
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The End of War
    Daniel Honan Re-Envision
  3. 3 How Video Games Will Save the World
    Jane McGonigal
  4. 4 The Start-Up of You: A Blueprint for Success in the Knowledge Economy
    Brian Hoffstein Book of the Month
 

Negative Capability

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