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: Discipline and Practice

The Big Idea for Friday, August 17, 2012

Many scientists believe that everything is ultimately knowable – the workings of the brain, the nature of consciousness, the physical nature of the universe. It is the goal of science to understand the world as fully as possible, and we’ve come a long way, baby. 

But gaps in our knowledge remain, and in the absence of scientific explanations and the control they give us over our lives we seek alternative solutions to our problems. This is the realm of spirituality, herbalism, even the arts – those practices whose efficacy is only anecdotally reported, but in which thousands find solace and solutions to their greatest challenges. 

In some cases, science and these practices aren’t mutually exclusive. Increasingly, for example, psychologists and neuroscientists are identifying positive effects of meditation in the brain. Today we examine a less common or well-studied healing practice: that of Bibliotherapy.



  1. 1 Anxious? Depressed? Literate? Try Bibliotherapy
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 The Freud Apps: AI, Virtual Life Coaching, and the Future of Psychotherapy
    Parag and Ayesha Khanna Hybrid Reality
  3. 3 Buddhism as a “Science of the Mind”
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  4. 4 Are Science and Religion Compatible?
    Daniel Honan Think Tank

Today’s Big Idea: Disciplin...

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