What is Big Think?  

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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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Collective Intelligence

The Big Idea for Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Studies suggest that humans are hardwired to share, and we are also well-equipped to absorb knowledge from others. In fact, we pick up knowledge from others automatically. 

Due to this, while we might like to think that we have completely original minds, we are easily influenced by others and also have an "unknowingness" of how our "human mind meld" really works. 

In today's lesson, Laurie Santos explores how our brains automatically process the knowledge of other people and the implications of this. For one thing, it helped us create culture. On the other hand, it leaves us incredibly vulnerable to the influence of others. 


  1. 1 The Human Mind Meld: The Perils of Unfiltered Knowledge Transfer
    Daniel Honan Collective Intelligence
  2. 2 How a Chimp Can Outsmart Your Child
    Laurie Santos
  3. 3 We Haven’t Evolved in Over 10,000 Years
    Satoshi Kanazawa
  4. 4 Mind-Reading Monkeys
    Laurie Santos

Collective Intelligence

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