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: When did you decide to become a writer?

Keith Gessen: I guess I’ve always wanted to be one. For a long time, I didn’t know how to go about it. I had no idea. I would sit around- and this is a, certainly- this is in the book. It’s exaggerated in the book, but I spent a lot of time sitting around wondering if I was a writer, wondering if I was an intellectual.

And, you know, it turns out that the way you become an intellectual or a writer is- well, partly by sitting around and wondering if you are, and then, you know, beginning to try to do those things that a writer and intellectual does- reading and writing. And then you- you know, if you stick to it- <laughs> eventually, you know, you’ll either- you’ll become one of those things. You might not be very good at it- the jury is still out on that- but, you know, and one of the things you have to be ready for is that you’re not gonna make any money. So-

Recorded: 3/18/08





When did you decide to beco...

Newsletter: Share: