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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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

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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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Skepticism

The Big Idea for Thursday, January 17, 2013

It pays to be a skeptic. Not only can some simple habits help us snap out of unhealthy behaviors that are the product of our biases, we also have the ability to take a more rational look at risk reduction, which benefits society.

In today's lesson, the skeptic and author Penn Jillette makes a distinction between what people "feel as evidence instead of what they think as evidence or what they can prove as evidence." You should not feel about the speed of light or evolution, Jillette argues, just as you should not "think about love." In other words, you should feel “I love you,” and you should think about reality.

If you confuse the two, not only will you be cheapening the emotion of love, Jillette says, you will also be cheapening science. Instead you should think about the world and feel about your heart. 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Penn Jillette's Guide to Skepticism
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 Silence is Not an Option: The Moral Necessity of the Skeptic Movement
    Tauriq Moosa Against the New Taboo
  3. 3 How to Use Magical Thinking
    Matthew Hutson
  4. 4 Rationality in Action: Look at a Problem as an Outsider
    Julia Galef
 

Skepticism

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