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

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Today's Big Idea: Supersanity

The Big Idea for Sunday, November 25, 2012

What can we learn from psychopaths? That's the provocative question at the heart of Dr. Kevin Dutton's provocative new book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.

Big Think has chosen this book as our Book of the Month for October, and we look forward to having Dr. Dutton into our studio later this month to discuss his book in detail. In the meantime, we are previewing his book and in particular the relationship between success and psychopathy. 

In order to create the greatest happiness for the greatest number, Dutton argues, someone needs to bite the bullet. That is the definition of utilitarianism. Dutton's insight is that we need a psychopath who isn't afraid to pull the trigger to make it all happen. In other words, we need psychopathic qualities in our leaders as well as in other professions that involve "dirty work." 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Are You a Psychopath? Take the Test.
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  2. 2 The Neurobiology of Evil
    Michael Stone
  3. 3 Michael Gazzaniga: The Criminal Brain
    Michael S. Gazzaniga
  4. 4 Inside the Mind of a Psychopath
    Daniel Honan Book of the Month
 

Today's Big Idea: Supersanity

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