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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Today's Big Idea: Dangerous Ideas

The Big Idea for Tuesday, August 14, 2012

As the United States economy limps along and the federal government continues to pile up debt, it is just a matter of time before the whole deck of cards collapses. That is, unless the country does something to change course. In democracies, we hold elections. It is our hope that elections will be about ideas, and the current Presidential contest was in short supply of ideas. Or at least new ones.

Paul Ryan's ideas, particularly about how to control government spending on Medicare have made some members of his own party nervous. That is because Ryan's plan would disrupt the status quo and potentially turn off seniors. That is why Ryan's plan is a "dangerous idea." It is not "dangerous" in the sense that it is a bad plan -- that's up for debate. We mean dangerous in the most positive sense, in that Ryan boldly goes against the grain of what we normally expect in American politics -- politicians pandering to voters rather than leveling with them.

Ryan's plan is also "dangerous" in its boldness. Romney/Ryan are promoting an idea that might very well play into their opponent's hand and cost them the election. That is a bold move, and that is why we are excited to tackle this major issue on Big Think. 


  1. 1 Howard Dean: Let's Go Over the Fiscal Cliff
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  2. 2 Rebuilding America for the 21st Century
    Global Roundtable
  3. 3 The Future of Debt, Interest Rates, and Taxes
    Glenn Hubbard
  4. 4 Daniel Altman: Don't Fear the Debt
    Daniel Altman

Today's Big Idea: Dangerous...

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