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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 Thursday, April 26, 2012

We have all experienced “dehumanizing” technology – software or hardware that seems to diminish our ability to communicate with others or to function effectively in the world. Technology that creates new boundaries between people rather than erasing old ones. 

With this in mind, Big Think is excited to announce Humanizing Technology, a virtual expo in partnership with Bing. The goal of Humanizing Technology – which will culminate in June, 2012 with a live event and prize ceremony in New York City –  is to identify new technologies that integrate themselves seamlessly into our lives, capitalize on our unique strengths, and amplify the best of human nature.  

Sometimes the most humanizing uses of technology are invented by technology's end-users rather than its creators. Thinkmodo, a highly sought-after viral marketing agency in New York, has achieved staggering success by sticking to a DIY aesthetic and ancient storytelling principles. While it maximizes its reach via YouTube and social media, its ad campaigns are filmed on iPhones with no CGI and no mention of the product. A powerful reminder that human creativity is at least as essential to success as is technological sophistication. 


  1. 1 Viral Marketing Meets Good Old-Fashioned Storytelling
    Jason Gots Humanizing Technology
  2. 2 The Future is Illuminating
    Jon Korvascus Humanizing Technology
  3. 3 NAO
    Big Think Editors
  4. 4 I Text! Therefore I Am! (The Real Educational Issues Concerning Texting)
    Peter Lawler Rightly Understood

Today's Big Idea: Humanizin...

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