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


Michael Ellsberg: There's two scenarios with romance.  One is the very first impression; then there's the date once you’ve connected and you’re going on a date.  And these two scenarios are very different.  

The first impression, it is really possible to overdo the eye contact.  If you’re just staring someone down, they’re going to feel really uncomfortable.  They’re just going to feel oppressed by your eye contact and it’s not the impression you want to make for a first date.  For the flirting kind of initial stages of connecting, it’s important to have a flirtatious eye contact.  You’re flirting, so you want to make eye contact, but you don’t want to make it too intense.  There's a lot of power in sort of making some eye contact and looking away a little bit, making eye contact, coming back, lingering a little bit, then maybe looking away.  That flirtation of the on again off again really has a lot of power--just like you hear about people who are like hot, cold and that really creates obsession, it’s the same thing with eye contact.  It’s very effective for both men and women.

However, once you are past the initial first impressions, once you have some rapport, say you’re on your first date, on your second date, so long as there is rapport--and tha's my assumption here--if the date's not going well, then no amount of eye contact is going to save it.  But, if there's generally a good rapport on the date, it’s really hard to overdo eye contact.  Very few things create and sustain that electric, magnetic sense of attraction more rapidly, more powerfully than eye contact.   

It is very powerful stuff.  That's why people are afraid of it.  People are very scared of eye contact precisely because it’s so powerful.  It brings up so many emotions.  It creates such an electric charge.  Well, that's the electric charge you want on a date.  So, learning how to be very comfortable with prolonged eye contact is a great way to make your date sizzle.  That's the most powerful way I've ever known.


Directed / Produced by

Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd


More from the Big Idea for Sunday, June 29 2014

Stay Connected

We are constantly told (on Big Think and other media outlets) that we’re living in an increasingly networked world, and that social networking in its various forms is the wave of the future. Armed... Read More…


Gaze Your Way to Love at an...

Newsletter: Share: