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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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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The Big Idea for Friday, May 16, 2014

Doctors are perplexed by the case of Jason Padgett--A Tacoma, Washington resident who suffered an assault that left him with the extraordinary ability to constantly see complex geometrical equations. He hadn't taken a math class since dropping out of algebra. And now he's back in college, studying mathematics, and being studied by doctors.

The case of Padgett is a classic one. Scientists still do not know what causes certain brain injuries to produce geniuses. His case signifies that we may all carry the ability to become math savants.

Today's big idea explores genius -- why some have it, and why others don't.


  1. 1 Super Brains
    Big Think Editors Think Tank
  2. 2 The Common Character Trait of Geniuses
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  3. 3 Genius or Crazy?
    Jason Gots Genius or Crazy?
  4. 4 The Illusion of Conscious Will
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius


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