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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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Being and Nothingness

The Big Idea for Wednesday, February 06, 2013

At the heart of all mythologies is the attempt to answer the question "Where do we come from?" and its corollary, "Why are we here?" If the answer to the first question is "nothing," than many of us will be uncomfortable with the answer to the second question.

"Nothing" is the answer that is offered to us through the laws of quantum mechanics. But once we have understood the implications of this notoriously difficult concept, what are the implications for how we find a moral purpose in our lives? 

In today's lesson, physicist Lawrence Krauss says the idea that we are not the instruments of some creator is not pessimistic, but "spiritually uplifting." 


  1. 1 A Guide to Understanding Nothing
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 What You Don't Know About the Big Bang
    Heidi Hammel
  3. 3 What Came Before the "Big Bang?"
    Katie Freese
  4. 4 Dark Energy: The Energy of Nothing
    Michio Kaku Dr. Kaku's Universe

Being and Nothingness

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