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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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
With rendition switcher


Question: Will the ICC ruling bring al-Bashir down?

Rieff:    No, I expect this to destroy the… I think this is given… You know, be careful what you wish for is perhaps the best reaction I could have or the most synch reaction I could have.  I think that the fantasy of international justice has been exposed for the cruel joke it is by the indictment of General Bashir.  The fantasy was that even though this international court had no state behind it… It was a court based on an international treaty.  That is a treaty between sovereign states.  And even though this court had no army or police force, that somehow the authority of this court was such that it would bring a new world of international justice.  Well, didn’t turn out that way.  The one concrete result of the indictment of President Bashir has been the expulsion of the humanitarian agencies, from the ground and… or for… or many of the 13 of the main agencies.  Interestingly enough, given the fact that everyone associates General Bashir with Islamic fundamentalism and a lot of the [saved movement], in my view, has been inspired by a certain Islamaphobia.  The fact of the matter is that one of the main groups still on the ground is the evangelical relief group, World Vision, just not been expelled interestingly.  The… We see that Bashir has defied the court successfully, he’s gone to Somalia, he’s gone to Egypt, and he’s gone to Doha in the last 3 weeks.  This fantasy of international justice was wishful thinking.  I mean, as the great 18th century German aphorist Lichtenberg, said, “A handful of soldiers is always worth more than a mouthful of arguments.”  And I don’t… I don’t think it [bear] very well.  Mind you, I was always very skeptical about the court so I’m hardly changing my position.  I think it’s a court of dreams.  I don’t… I think, the fact that… I think, indicting only people from the global south, you know, creates in the minds of many people in the developing world and the poor world.  The idea that this is just a flag of convenience for more Western hegemony, I think that was always the problem with the court. That no one ever figured out a way to get around that.  And… Even if that… I’m perfectly willing to accept that that wasn’t the motivation of the people interested in the court but that’s the way it looks.  I mean, you’ll never see an American general or a Chinese general or a British general or French general or Russian general in the court.  You will see people from the Sierra Leone and the democratic republic of Congo and General Bashir. In other words, weak monsters get to be indicted by the International Criminal Court.  That’s really not justice in anyway that’s likely compel a lot of allegiance from people globally.


David Rieff Considers Justi...

Newsletter: Share: