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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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Bayes' Rule

The Big Idea for Sunday, October 06, 2013

Humans don't tend to be great at calculating probability on the fly. We therefore need tools to guide us as we entertain new evidence.

In today's lesson, Julia Galef walks us through one of those tools - Bayes' Rule, which will give you some general reasoning principles that will help you "change your mind when you learn new information about the world or have new experiences."

Since you cannot really be 100 percent certain of a theory, a better way to put it to yourself is to say "I think this is very likely to be true."




  1. 1 Knowing How to Change Your Mind: A Three Minute Guide to Bayesian Reasoning
    Big Think Editors Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 How to Think Critically VI: Bayes' Rule
    Adam Lee Daylight Atheism
  3. 3 Testing Causation With Infants and Danish Girls
    Zachary Shtogren Experts' Corner
  4. 4 Thinking Your Way to a Better Brain
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice

Bayes' Rule

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