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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: Freedom of Information

The Big Idea for Monday, April 23, 2012

Whistleblower. Snitch. Informer. Whatever you call them, employees and outsiders who expose the misconduct of an organization frequently brings up questions of ethics, accountability and organizational values.

The role of the whistleblower is a tricky one, as they risk safety, status and job security in order to maintain integrity and avoid complicity in unethical behavior. Once the whistle is blown, organizations must take into consideration the role of confidentiality, obedience and loyalty, to both employees and clients. 

But are all whistleblowers heros? The answer isn't easily reconciled by the whistleblower's intentions (public good vs. fame or avoiding guilt by association). Sometimes, matters of national security are compromised. And as David Berreby says, infringing on personal or state secrets robs people of that "control over self-presentation that's essential to human dignity and autonomy."


  1. 1 Why Companies Need to Embrace Whistleblowers
    An Phung Think Tank
  2. 2 Whistleblower: Hero or Rat?
    An Phung Think Tank
  3. 3 Culture of Greed and Client Manipulation Drives Prominent Goldman Sachs Exec to Resign, Write a NY Times Op-Ed
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  4. 4 What Psychology Could Add to the Wikileaks Debate
    David Berreby Mind Matters

Today's Big Idea: Freedom o...

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