What is Big Think?  

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Dan Barber: Our variety choice at, you know . . . of the things that we’re growing are basically dependent on what will grow well in our ecosystem again. So you know we’re basically getting seeds that either are from the same latitude around the world; or from seeds that we know have grown here in the past. I mean right now we’re growing a type of corn called ...corn. Now ...corn we did an experiment . . . Actually some guy . . . some crazy guy from North Carolina who’s obsessed with saving seeds paid us . . . paid our farmer Jack $2,000 to plant 75 of these . . . these corn . . . corn plants of ...corn. He said now it was . . . It was the most popular corn among the Native American Indians, and they used to prize it for its ability to dry and feed . . . feed the tribes during the . . . during the winter. And so Jack . . . And I was very skeptical if this would germinate at all. And in fact we got 99 percent germination and we got incredible corn. Now we harvested . . . And just like this is out of, you know . . . Like if you were to write this into a novel you would think, like, this was just not to be believed. But we harvested . . . The next day . . . The next day I’m reading this brochure from a very famous marketplace in actually Michigan that sells wholesale and retail around the country. And I open up to like the middle of the pamphlet and they say the most famous Italian ..., we now have it on sale ... from Italy. And “...” translates as ... corn. So it’s the Italians that recognized from the Indians this incredible corn that could make this unbelievable ...; took it from us; preserved it while we in the United States have completely lost it except really for the seeds that we had growing that ended up germinating. And there’s a little . . . He paid some other farmers to grow it and they didn’t really germinate well. But we are preserving what is our natural heritage in our natural ecology. I mean this is where I . . . Northeast was corn country for the Native Indians. And so the Italians recognized this, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years ago and have preserved it over these small family farms. So it’s one of those things. So now we grind our own .... It’s like back into the turn of the century. We’re like a little miller and we grind our own ..., and we make this unbelievably flavorful .... People cannot . . . People taste it and they like . . . They never tasted ... in their life, you know, when they’ve had this stuff. Now it’s really great ..., there’s no question. If I gave you a bowl right now you’d flip out it’s so good, because you’re really tasting things that have been hybridized out of it – flavors, and oils, and the germ and all that stuff that are incredible. But also, by the way, it’s more healthful. That’s another thing that I researched, is that in that germ, in those oils are a lot of micronutrients that are totally bred out over the course of generations. But I tell that story about this wacky dude who paid us $2,000, and the Native Americans, and _..., and the response in the dining room is as if you’ve just given them, you know, the secret to life, right? Because they’re tasting now all of a sudden . . . You know I mean they’re tasting Italy, and tradition, you know and all this stuff. And the tradition of Italy is based actually on America. It’s like all these things that just like . . . They totally drink the Kool-Aid right away, you know? So it’s great _..., there’s no question. But it’s much better because I have that story that we can relate to everybody, and that makes me look like a better chef, you know? Even my best days . . . I don’t lack an ego. I have an ego like the rest of the chefs. But I cannot cook as well as those stories can make people taste things they otherwise wouldn’t taste. It’s a kind of seasoning that’s just priceless. So I like to get more of those stories in self-interest because it makes my food taste better. Recorded on: 2/11/08

 

Dan Barber:How do you find ...

Newsletter: Share: