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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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Palliative Care

The Big Idea for Friday, October 04, 2013

The medical industrial complex is very good at saving lives. It is not so good, however, at improving the quality of life for people who are near death. The status quo is also bankrupting us.

Palliative care, on the other hand, focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness. 

Death panels notwithstanding, in today's lesson, Jeff Schechtman explores the ways that we can start a meaningful discussion about death. 


  1. 1 Die Another Way: A Rational Conversation About Death
    Big Think Editors Specific Gravity
  2. 2 How to Die Well
    Ira Byock
  3. 3 There’s Nothing Natural About Dying
    Aubrey de Grey
  4. 4 Rick Warren on How to Confront Death
    Rick Warren

Palliative Care

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