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: How is it possible to wade through so much news these days?

Jay Rosen: Well, this is a profound question because news today exists in a climate of abundant, whereas before it was sort of a scarcity model. And what I do is follow certain people and blogs and sites that are actually monitoring a much wider range of sources than I am. And so I delegate the work of finding the important news to expert filters, intelligent people who are doing just that, because this is a basic way of creating value on the net. So people who ask me all the time about information overload and isn’t it all too much and, oh, you know, this new age of information is turning to a disaster, and I meet with this kind of hysteria all the time, but actually, if you know who to follow and you know where to look, you can easily profit and benefit from this abundance because the tools for organizing information follow right behind the explosion of information that the net represents.

Question: Should online news aggregators take credit for breaking news?

Jay Rosen: Well, the example you gave was actually someone giving credit to an aggregator for something that appeared at that site, maybe they shouldn’t do that. But, let’s go back to what an aggregator is? What is [Matt Drudge]? What is the drudge report? It’s simply a guy in his apartment finding first new reports to have been posted on the web and collecting those that would be interesting to his audience in one place, that’s all his doing, scanning the web for what’s new and different and interesting. Now, this is something that if the major news media has decided to specialist in it, they could have been very good at from the beginning. They choose not to do that. Why? Because in order to be [Matt Drudge] or the [Huffington Post] or real clear politics or any number of bloggers who link constantly this stuff, you have to do exactly that, send people away from your site, transport them to another domain and the news industry which moans about aggregation didn’t want to develop that art and chose not to. And in fact to this day, most of the major news site don’t link out very often or very [willingly]. So don’t complaint about the drudge if you decided to turn down the art of aggregation and don’t bitch and moan about Google News if you don’t understand how it works and why it’s really a boon for you to be send all that traffic.

Recorded on: 08/19/2008


Jay Rosen on How To Digest ...

Newsletter: Share: