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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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Dan Barber: My favorite gadget from the beginning of when I was cooking is a spoon – like the right size spoon. You know all the cooks think I’m crazy in both the kitchens at Blue Hill because I only have one size spoon that we use the entire time. Like you know there’s . . . In cooking kitchens you generally see like different stations have different sized spoons. Like big shuffles . . . shovel spoons depending on what your job is. I use one spoon, and I think it’s the right sized spoon for plating and the right sized spoon for tasting. It’s not too big; it’s not too small. And I want everyone to have the same consistency, because the spoon – whether you’re flipping a piece of fish, or a piece of meat; or you’re mixing vegetables; or you’re stirring rice or whatever it is, the spoon becomes an extension of your hand. You know the closest thing you can get to your hand where you’re in control of the food – really in control of the food. Like these tongs or these forks, like uck! They’re nowhere near the kitchen because they tend to have this relationship with food that’s very dispassionate and literally detached. Where as the spoon if you hold it close, you’re . . . you’re in control of . . . you’re mastering what you’re preparing. And I think that spreads itself out across the kitchens in ways that end up adding taste to your food.

Recorded on: 2/11/08


Dan Barber: What is your fa...

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