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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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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

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Strange Maps

115 - A World Map of Manhattan

over 7 years ago

A history of successive waves of newcomers arriving in New York City, working their way up (or sideways) to make room for the next wave arguably makes NYC the most emblematic immigrant city in the world. This map celebrates that diversity by assembling Manhattan out of the contours of many of ...

Strange Maps

107 - Asia From Irkutsk

over 7 years ago

  How delicious is this: obviously a sister-map to the one in posting #103 (‘Europe From Moscow’), but this time applying an unusual perspective to the Cold War situation in Asia in the early nineteen fifties. The map, found here at the University of San Diego and originally published in Time ...

Strange Maps

105 - The Tory Atlas of the World

over 7 years ago

(click image to enlarge) For me, this might be the original strange map. When I was a kid, I had the Spitting Image book that contained this map. I spent hours (well… whole quarters of hours) poring over it, chuckling away every time I ‘got’ a reference. For those who don’t know it, ‘Spitting ...

Strange Maps

103 - Europe From Moscow (in 1952)

over 7 years ago

Perspective and the right choice of colours can help to infuse a map with meaning, this one being a very good example. The map is entitled Europe From Moscow, and was featured in the Time Magazine issue of March 10, 1952. At that time, the world was dominated by the Cold War between the Soviet ...