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

Virginia Postrel: Well there is a philosophy, but it’s not a simple creed. Which is hard for people to understand sometimes because I’ve edited this libertarian magazine for 10 years. And a lot of people think that can be summed up as something like government is bad, which I don’t believe. Or even freedom is good, which I do believe; but then what do you mean by freedom and exactly how do you express it? I think that there is a belief in potential of the individual, and individuals who join together to do things . . . voluntarily joining together to do things, creating institutions. I have a great belief in the value of learning as both an individual endeavor and a social endeavor. And a lot of what “The Future and Its Enemies” is really about at its core is how societies learn. And in some sense whether there’s some places you shouldn’t go, and whether it’s okay to have open-ended learning. How you find improvement. I have a sort of belief that we only get one life, and that while some people would take that to mean, you know, “Oh you should just be cool to other people,” I take it to mean that you really need to value other people’s lives and your own, and to maximize what you do with your life, and to recognize the value of other people’s lives as well. And looks to ways to improve the quality of the lives of others as well as yourself. And by the way, I don’t think there is anything wrong . . . This is not some sort of self abnegation. I believe that people should look to do well by themselves as well. But I like the Scottish philosophers that I very much admire from the 18th century. Hume and Smith and those people. I put a very high value on sympathy and empathy, and this sort of morale imagination to put yourself in another person’s place.

 

 

Re: What do you believe?

Newsletter: Share: