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

Catching up

May 12, 2009, 6:24 PM
Waq al-waq's spring cleaning goes on, as we continue to ignore stories in nearly every sector. But I think it is time for a quick round-up.

First is this story about the new courts for media cases. This is a horrible idea, but it does illustrate how sensitive the government is about issues of secession as opposed to al-Qaeda and the al-Huthi revolt.

Second is this NPR story, about al-Qaeda. For the record I disagree with Sha'a about al-Qaeda in Yemen (ahem, the Arabian Peninsula) becoming a global threat in the same way al-Qaeda in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 was, also it seems that the meeting didn't take place in a "mountain hideout" but rather in a neighborhood in San'a.

There is also this inane and uninformed post by Thomas Jocelyn at The Weekly Standard. He is discussing the case of Adnan Latif, whom I have written about in other places, most recently in Jane's Intelligence Review along with Andrew Nash.

Jocelyn writes that: "Latif also denied any connection to al Qaeda, implausibly arguing that he traveled from Yemen to Jordan and then to Pakistan and Afghanistan simply for medical treatment. Latif says that he made this trip with the help of a man he didn’t know and that he wasn’t even sure what organization employed the man."

This is one of the problems that arises when people without local knowledge start commenting on the plausibility or implausibility of events in a country they know only superficially. For the record, I have no connection with Latif's family or his defense, but I think a reasoned reading of his transcript combined with knowledge of Yemen would strongly suggest that he was someone who was caught up in the bounty dragnet in the aftermath of 9/11. It is also, in my opinion, entirely plausible that Latif did travel to these countries to seek medical help.

This is also one of the problems of the confusion and inability to decide what to do with the Yemeni detainees, while the Obama administration attempts to come to a decision on what to do with the men it can't release and it can't try the rest of the detainees like Latif continue to remain in detention.

Latif's transcript (available at the above link) makes for disturbing reading. He is also featured in Poems from Guantanamo with an excellent introduction by W. Flagg Miller.

My apologies to the comments we have failed to answer or at least respond to, I'll be back at full operating strength next week.
 

Catching up

Newsletter: Share: