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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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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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Today's Big Idea: Skepticism

The Big Idea for Sunday, October 28, 2012

News sources abound across the internet and social media, and the subtleties of what constitutes journalistic integrity are vanishing. At the same time people are becoming increasingly skeptical of the claims of experts and institutions. The result? People hear what they want to hear – we gravitate toward those information sources that confirm our preexisting biases. This tendency to gravitate toward the like-minded, cognitive scientists tell us, is deeply human, even biologically hardwired. 

At the same time, intelligent people everywhere recognize that there is a problem, and that the current situation is exacerbating divisions between people at a historical moment when our collective problems are more complex than ever before. In an anchorless, politically polarized intellectual landscape, what constitutes wise skepticism? Which sources should we doubt and which should we trust? 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Who Needs Facts Anyway?
    Neurobonkers Neurobonkers
  2. 2 Are Scientists to Blame for Climate Change Skepticism?
    Max Miller Think Tank
  3. 3 Jeff Jarvis on a Journalistic Code of Ethics
    Jeff Jarvis
  4. 4 What Can Journalists Learn From Jonah Lehrer's Mistakes? Nothing They Didn't Already Know
    David Berreby Mind Matters
 

Today's Big Idea: Skepticism

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