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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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.

Find out more
Close

The Overview Effect

The Big Idea for Friday, February 08, 2013

Traveling to space, it turns out, is good for the soul. Individuals who see Earth from space, as "an oasis against the backdrop of Infinity," feel a "breaking down of boundaries and a sense of the interconnectedness and preciousness of the Earth and all those who live on it."

This phenomenon has been studied in a laboratory setting, and subjects who have experienced true awe have been observed to be "more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer to help others."

After all, as NASA astronaut Ron Garan once argued, "if you came across a vibrant oasis in an inhospitable desert, you wouldn't trash it. You'd take care of it!" So how can we gain this type of experience in our lives? Very few of us get to go to space. Until we do, we will have to live vicariously through our robot emissaries. 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Exploring the Solar System Vicariously, In Search of Awe
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 Seeing Earth from Space: How True Awe Changes You
    Ross Pomeroy Experts' Corner
  3. 3 Our Moral Imperative to Explore
    Peter Diamandis
  4. 4 The Importance of Orbital Vacations
    Burt Rutan
 

The Overview Effect

Newsletter: Share: