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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: Humanizing Technology

The Big Idea for Sunday, October 14, 2012

We used to think differently about people with autism because of communication barriers. As technology is lowering those barriers our perception of this disorder is being transformed.

This was on display at The Nantucket Project, a festival of ideas on Nantucket, MA. Carly Fleischmann, an autistic young woman, addressed the audience by typing on a laptop. Her words were then given a Siri-like expression. 

This simple innovation has transformed Carly's quality of life, and enabled her to dream big about her future and what she can accomplish. 


  1. 1 Disrupting Autism with Courage and Technology
    Daniel Honan Collective Intelligence
  2. 2 How Can Autism Be Treated?
    Breakthroughs: Autism
  3. 3 How Do We Prove What Causes Autism?
    Michael Wigler
  4. 4 A Radical Theory of Autism
    V. S. Ramachandran

Today's Big Idea: Humanizin...

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