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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: The Drive to Discovery

The Big Idea for Monday, October 08, 2012

Christopher Columbus' PR team has definitely dropped the ball in recent years. Once revered in history books as a courageous explorer, he's been reduced on closer analysis to a rapacious, murdering golddigger. 

Along with a heady dose of curiosity and adventurousness, the age of exploration was fueled by a powerful profit motive. No surprise there. The recent and impressive efforts of Space X and other private space tourism and exploration businesses are business-driven, too. So be it. But given the precarious state of the planet, the question is whether we've gotten any better at exploring wisely – at keeping in mind the needs of the many people whose lives depend on the discovery and use of new lands and resources. 


  1. 1 Goodbye, Columbus – Hello Exploration Day
    Exploration Day USA Think Tank
  2. 2 The Future of Space Exploration: A Hitchhiker's Guide
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 The First Trillionaires Will Make Their Fortunes in Space
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  4. 4 Beyond Columbus the Hero, the Slave Driver, or the Bumbling Idiot
    Jason Gots Think Tank

Today's Big Idea: The Drive...

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