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


Clearly the more you think about each separate art form, movies, films, buildings, music, painting, sculpture, performance art you develop sensibilities, criteria.  There was a great example for example in the case of the composer Mozart.  He had a pupil, Thomas Atwood who became a court composer in England during the reign of Victoria.  He was a fine musician, but not a great talent, perfectly fine craftsman and wrote a fair amount of music, none of which has survived, but very competent.  Now his music is art music.  It’s fine.  It’s good.  It’s interesting.  It is historically interesting because every age has its own artistic currents and it is very interesting to understand the past.  Art is a terrific instrument for getting under the skin so to speak of a past era.  

Now Thomas Atwood studied with Mozart.  Now Mozart was not much of a teacher.  He did it only for the money and the strange thing about Thomas Atwood is that it’s the one complete record because he was English and very meticulous he kept his lessons with Mozart.  It’s the only record we have of Mozart teaching.  We don’t have any real records of Beethoven teaching.  We have people telling us sort of what he did, but he was not a systematic teacher.  In Mozart he gave Atwood lessons and exercises and there is a great example of a minuet dance in which he gave Atwood a baseline and asked him to fill it out.  You have one line.  You had to fill it out and give it melody, so he gave him a baseline, a kind of foundation in which to write the minuet, which is a dance in three meter and the fascinating thing is when Mozart was correcting it he made slight changes and if you play Atwood’s exercise that he gave back to Mozart and Mozart’s just to fill the time, just think about it, editing and changing of it you see the difference between the ordinary and the great and blindfold and audience who has listened to a lot of 18th century minuets will identify the Mozart one right away.


Why Mozart Rocks So Hard. A...

Newsletter: Share: