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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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Humanizing Technology

The Big Idea for Thursday, May 24, 2012

The advent of the internet has been called "the Information Revolution." But throughout history, there have been many revolutions in information technology: the invention of the printing press, the telegraph, and broadcast radio, for instance. The Internet is just one case study among many in the complexity of the human relationship to technology. James Gleick describes how the telegraph forever changed the way human beings understand time, giving rise to our modern synchronicity and scheduling. 

Every new invention brings a new way of seeing things, and a new set of questions. How do we cope with the flood? How much is too much? Can we keep from destroying information that might be relevant later? Do we create it, or does it create us? How do we make sense of it all?


  1. 1 Human Beings are Information-Seeking Creatures
    Megan Erickson Humanizing Technology
  2. 2 Should Information Have an Expiration Date?
    Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
  3. 3 Information Overload? There Has Always Been Too Much to Know
    Dominic Basulto Endless Innovation
  4. 4 It's Time to Go on an Information Diet
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology

Humanizing Technology

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