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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.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

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Strange Maps

101 - If Planets Were Countries…

Missing
over 7 years ago

  … then “Jupiter would be revoking democracy in Russia, Saturn would be curling in Canada, Uranus would be trying to figure out how to speak Kalaallisut, Neptune would be desperately looking for water in Saudi Arabia, and Earth would be searching in vain for Borat.” Puzzled? This is a size ...

Strange Maps

100 - A Vulture's View of Ethiopia

Missing
over 7 years ago

Richard Edes Harrison trained as an architect, but became known as an illustrator for Time (from 1932 onwards) and other national news magazines. His specialty was cartography, applying unusual perspectives and orientations to maps to present information about the global flow of oil, the network ...

Strange Maps

96 - A Cartogram of the World's Population

Map
over 7 years ago

This map is part of a series of cartograms in which the actual geography is distorted in order to demonstrate information about the countries shown. In this case, the point made is that of population, with each country’s size ‘weighted’ to reflect the size of its population. The discrepancies ...

Strange Maps

93 - Lewis Carroll's Ocean Chart

Missing
over 7 years ago

This map is an illustration in ‘The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits)’, a nonsensical and somewhat grim poem by Lewis Carroll, who is better known for ‘Alice in Wonderland’. All the illustrations in ‘Snark’, first published in 1876, are by Henry Holiday, whom I therefore suppose to ...

Strange Maps

91 - Early 20th Century Balkan Aspirations

Missing
over 7 years ago

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Ottoman Empire was called the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ because it didn’t seem able to hold on to its possessions in the Balkans. However, as the Balkan nations managed to cast of the Ottoman yoke, their own overlapping territorial claims led to ...

Strange Maps

500.000 Hits

Missing
over 7 years ago

This blog has been up since September 2006. In that half year, I’ve posted 90 maps, gotten about 1.000 comments – most of them interesting and/or favourable – and just now the traffic on this site tallied up to 500.000 hits… That’s way more than I imagined for a blog merely intended to be a storage ...

Strange Maps

90 - The Limburg Split of 1839

Missing
over 7 years ago

The map-on-a-stamp in this post is again taken from the wonderful site called Dan’s Topical Stamps. To American ears, the word ‘Limburg’ conjures up the mighty stink emitted by so-called Limburger cheese. In one of Mark Twain’s stories, its smell is even mistaken for that of a corpse. And the ...

Strange Maps

89 - Bushlandia vs. Reality

Missing
over 7 years ago

An updated version of the famous United States of Canada vs. Jesusland map (see posting #3 on this blog). That map represented the outcome of the US presidential election in 2004, with the ‘red’ states (those that voted for incumbent president Bush, the Republican party candidate) far ...