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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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Armchair Analysis

The Big Idea for Thursday, December 26, 2013

Who is better at making predictions - the hedgehog or the fox? These two archetypes were famously examined in Isaiah Berlin's essay "The Hedgehog and the Fox," based on Archilochus's aphorism "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

In today's lesson, Ruchir Sharma gives us a different spin on the fox and hedgehog dichotomy in looking at the shifting global economic landscape. Hedgehog forecasters tend to assume that certain trends - like rapid growth in emerging markets - will continue ad infinitum. And yet, Sharma explains the importance of being on the ground and paying attention to what the locals are doing. If they are voting with their money and taking it out of the local economy, that is an ominous sign that a hedgehog global investor is likely to miss. 


  1. 1 How Can We Spot the Next Economic Miracle?
    Big Think Editors Big Think Edge
  2. 2 Beware The One Trick Hedgehog
    Jag Bhalla Errors We Live By
  3. 3 Taking Stock of My Predictions
    Daniel Altman
  4. 4 Philosophy Via Experimentation
    Tim Maudlin

Armchair Analysis

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