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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: Decision Making

The Big Idea for Thursday, October 04, 2012

The great contribution of Daniel Kahneman and his colleagues to the psychology of decision making has been the undeniable evidence of how irrational we really are. Not only are the factors we tend to weigh most heavily in our most important life decisions ill-suited to good decision-making – we're rarely even conscious of what those factors are. 

This should lead us to approach our own thinking and frameworks for viewing the world with real skepticism, and inspire us to apply rigorous, unflinching logic to our own attitudes and opinions. The take-home message here is that understanding ourselves and taking rational action in the world are a matter of meticulous and lifelong self-scrutiny. 


  1. 1 The Dangers of Being Normal
    Tauriq Moosa Against the New Taboo
  2. 2 Decisions Are Emotional, not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making
    Jim Camp Experts' Corner
  3. 3 The Psychology of Why the Right and the Left Believe in Media Bias
    Matthew C. Nisbet Age of Engagement
  4. 4 Thinking, Fast and Slow...About Staying Alive. What Kahneman's Classic DOESN'T Include.
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality

Today's Big Idea: Decision ...

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