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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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The Human Comedy

The Big Idea for Friday, March 22, 2013

Just as 19th century biologists studied zoological species, the great French novelist Honore de Balzac sought to study humans as a "social species" in a series of novels that depicted an enormous cast of characters in French society, la comedie humaine.

There is a social good that is produced in our ability to understand ourselves in relation to one another, and that social good is celebrated in today's lesson by the affable Penn Jillette. Jillette sees the humanity, and indeed finds friendship, in strange bedfellows such as Glenn Beck and Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr., and indeed, in Donald Trump as well. 


  1. 1 Penn Jillette: Why I Like Donald Trump, aka Scrooge McDuck
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Less Than Artful Choices: Narcissistic Personality Disorder According to Donald Trump
    Maria Konnikova Artful Choice
  3. 3 Penn Jillette: How Reality TV is Making Us All Bugnutty Crazy
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 Daniel Kahneman: Adversarial Collaboration
    Daniel Kahneman

The Human Comedy

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