• Beethovan and Picasso are the perfect examples for mastering the creative process.
  • Behind each of their works are countless studies and sketches.
  • The lesson? Never erase anything, keep iterating, and find new paths to familiar destinations.


Videos
  • Consciousness has long been difficult to define, whether you're a biologist, neuroscientist, or philosopher.
  • So Frans de Waal looks at what actions humans take that require conscious thought.
  • Comparing them to actions in certain animals suggests consciousness is not a human trait alone.


Videos

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At Big Think, we capture the thoughts of the world's most brilliant thinkers.

  • At Big Think, significance, relevance, and actionability are our editorial guide stars. They are the principles that we consider in every case when we say, "Is this worth our time? Is this worth our attention or is it not?"
  • Big Think Edge is the next step. We've created the single most valuable library of mentorship-rich, insight-driven applied learning that has ever been created.
  • Big Think Edge is an online learning platform that lets you stream short, actionable videos lessons taught by the world's top thinkers. Want to become smarter, faster? Join now, or learn more.
Videos

The internet made us weird – just not in the right way

Have swipes and scrolls replaced deep thinking?

  • Technological advancements were supposed to free up our time and free up our minds, leading to a cognitive surplus. That hasn't happened, says Douglas Rushkoff.
  • The digital media environment deals in absolutes: yes or no; thumbs up or thumbs down. Chasing weird uncertainties and lines of thought is not a trademark of today's culture.
  • More time should equal more thought. But humanity seems to be swiping left on true cognitive engagement. So, asks Douglas Rushkoff, has the internet made us smarter, or just busier?
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Videos

A new study has investigated who watched the ISIS beheading videos, why, and what effect it had on them

This is the first study to explore not only what percentage of people in the general population choose to watch videos of graphic real-life violence, but also why.

In the summer of 2014, two videos were released that shocked the world. They showed the beheadings, by ISIS, of two American journalists – first, James Foley and then Steven Sotloff. Though the videos were widely discussed on TV, print and online news, most outlets did not show the full footage. However, it was not difficult to find links to the videos online.

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Mind & Brain