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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, May 03, 2012

Why do we love our mobile phones so much? Technology is science brought to life. The word comes from the Ancient Greek techne, which means to produce an object or accomplish a goal. But in practice, technology is about more than providing us with shiny new devices. It's also a way of shaping the world, challenging, altering, and expanding our understanding of what it means to be human. 

With this in mind, Big Think is excited to announce Humanizing Technology, a virtual expo in partnership with Bing. The goal of this virtual expo – which will culminate next month 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.

Today, we're looking at how technology is born. Where do brilliant ideas in both fields come from? How do we generate new ones? Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson argues that science is a universally human undertaking, and technology is to be embraced rather than feared. Anthony Fauci of the NIH explains how inquiry and imagination have transformed history.


  1. 1 Neil Degrasse Tyson: Science is in Our DNA
    Megan Erickson Humanizing Technology
  2. 2 Imagination: The Rocket Fuel of Science
    Michio Kaku
  3. 3 How to Generate a Good Idea
    Sam McNerney Moments of Genius
  4. 4 How Science Has Shaped Humanity
    Anthony Fauci

Today's Big Idea: Humanizin...

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