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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.

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Well I think my original inspiration came from just natural curiosity about science, and math, and biology. In particular, I would say that as I matured it became more a feeling of trying to avoid the waste that occurs in the world where we have 6.5 billion minds. If you’re a computer scientist, you can think of them as supercomputers. They’re awesome. But not all of them are really . . . have the luxury of being able to think deep thoughts all the time because they are dealing with malaria, starvation, or war, or things that are avoidable. And I think that that’s the passion that drives me. It’s to figure out ways that technology and outreach through education can bring health benefits to many people. And then they will perform . . . their performance, their ability to think clearly and contribute back will be enhanced, and then we can get this virtual cycle where they will be doing the sort of things that all my scientific colleagues and nonscientific colleagues do more effectively. Recorded on: 7/6/07

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