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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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Today's Big Idea: Cyber Neotribalism

The Big Idea for Sunday, May 27, 2012

Barack Obama rode into Washington in 2008 on a wave of national disgust with partisan politics. Four years later, American public discourse is as fragmented and volatile as ever, and gridlock in Washington is even worse. 

At a moment in history when technology has put the world at our fingertips, we remain pulled in opposite directions – toward self-Balkanization along political and religious lines on the one hand, and toward realizing the rich promise of an interconnected world on the other. The World Economic Forum labeled the danger of "cyber neotribalism" – or worldwide self-segregation into isolated internet subcultures – as one of the 50 Global Risks of 2012.

Novelist and Essayist Marilynne Robinson is optimistic about America's resilience in this regard. The nation's founding documents, she says, serve as a powerful reminder of its pluralist ideals, even in times of brutal divisiveness.  




  1. 1 America 2.0: The Threat of Neotribalism
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 The Ancestor Allure: Exploring Why We Look Back
    Rasika Welankiwar Experts' Corner
  3. 3 Why We're at War With Ourselves: Understanding Racism as an Introduction to Psychology
    Daniel Honan Floating University
  4. 4 It’s a Big World, After All.
    Jason Gots Think Tank

Today's Big Idea: Cyber Neo...

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