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We are Big Idea Hunters…

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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Mind Hacks

The Big Idea for Saturday, May 03, 2014


If many of the decisions we make are based on subconscious, irrational biases, that doesn't mean we can't employ mind hacks to trick ourselves into behaving better.

In today's lesson, Steven Mazie explores the ways that "sunk costs," investments we make in the past that influence our future behavior, can be beneficial. Economists tell us that making decisions based on sunk costs is a bad idea. We will stay committed to eating a mediocre bowl of ice cream because we paid for it and we have a tremendous aversion to loss.

On the other hand, as Mazie points out, we can use sunk costs to our advantage. If you buy season tickets to the opera or lay down money for multiple spin classes, you will be creating a strong incentive to participate in these activities instead of staying at home on your couch, getting fat and uncultured.



  1. 1 Use Irrationality
    Steven Mazie Praxis
  2. 2 Embrace the Chaos
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius
  3. 3 The Rationality Test
    Steven Mazie Praxis
  4. 4 Surprise Diet
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Mind Hacks

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