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

Question: What forces have shaped humanity most? 

Graham Hill: I tend to look at things from an evolutionary perspective.I think a lot of the focus for probably the answers to that question are largely focused on stuff that’s happened in the last one thousand years. I look at things from an evolutionary perspective.

I think that our brains have spent most of their time evolving on the African Savannah, and very little time evolving in what we think as our present day how we do things. So I think we’re a lot more base than we think we are.

Like the world has evolved much more quickly than our brains have. I think we don’t acknowledge that enough, so I think we should.

Question: Is American culture inherently wasteful?

Graham Hill:  I’d like to sort of turn that around because I really don’t think that we are a bad people, and I don’t think we’re different; Americans, Canadians, Europeans; I don’t think we’re that much different.

I think the way that we’ve gotten here is absolutely understandable. And there was a time when natural resources went on and on. There was an incredible amount. And we really didn’t have to think that much about being wasteful. And that’s sort of where we’ve come from in this last century.

I think we’ve, in a way, conceptually worked our way around the globe. We set out one way, and there’s like lots and lots of forests. And we’re just realizing we’re about to come to the end, and we have to re-look at how we do things.

I don’t think we’re bad people. We didn’t look; it was hard to see that far in advance. It was hard to think that we would actually go through those resources. And so now we’re learning quickly that we have to have a different approach.

 

Recorded on: July 28, 2008

 

Who Are We?

Newsletter: Share: