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: Is the Wall Street Journal’s coverage different from the New York Times?

Fassihi:    I don’t really think there’s any difference.  If anything, I think there was a great advantage to being the reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Baghdad.  We had a very small staff.  For about a year there was another reporter who was based in Iraq, but for most of the time I was alone.  You know, the Journal didn’t really cover news or breaking news as much as The New York Times or The Washington Post, so, it kind of freed me up to be able to focus on enterprise reporting.  I would sometimes work on a story for an entire month and really, you know, go in depth and try to, like, cover all the angles because I didn’t have to worry about the press conference today or over the breaking news about the military.  So, it was really liberating and, I think, you know, it made you feel good about that reporting you were doing too because you could do more in depth enterprise reporting for The Wall Street Journal.

Question: How do you view the overall reporting from Iraq?Fassihi:    Well, you know, I think that reporting Iraq is very challenging.  It presents a lot of risks.  It’s very difficult and changes depending on what’s happening on the ground in Iraq and the security situation.  So I think the media have had a hard time, you know, reporting Iraq and they’ve done a remarkable job, staying the course and, sort of, you know, figuring out creative ways to tell the story.  I think one of the challenges was that the violence was just so spectacular, that the headlines were often stolen by the number of people who were killed, the number of suicide bombs, the violence here, you know, how many people killed and, you know, after a while it feels like the readers back here have Iraq fatigue, that to them Iraq is just a bunch of numbers and figures where, you know, there was a human story behind the war and, I think, the biggest challenge and the lesser told story of the war is really what happened to the Iraqi people and the human side of the war.  A lot of the coverage that the war gets from American media is centered around the troops, you know, how the American militaries doing on the ground and foreign policy.  And it’s hard to, you know, get enough and enough coverage for just ordinary, normal Iraqi people who are coping.


Farnaz Fassihi Describes th...

Newsletter: Share: