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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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Question: What will a world in which the U.S. is not the sole superpower look like?

John McCain:I think the U.S. may not be the only superpower, but I believe we will still be in every measure the strongest nation in the world – whether it be economically, politically, militarily, including morally. I believe that we will still remain a shining city on a hill; but I think that there is no doubt that India and China are emerging powers. India, it’s pretty clear that their emergence will be economically. In the case of China, I do worry. I worry about their treatment of Taiwan. I worry about their treatment of human rights. And I’m worried about their environmental damage that they continue to inflict. I’m worried about their military buildup. If I had to bet, I would say it’s more likely that China will enter the world stage peacefully. But I think it’s important we maintain our military presence in Asia. I think we maintain pressure for human rights. And I think we have to do more to respect their violations of intellectual property rights and a number of other aspects. But . . . and make alliances with their neighbors in the region. We’re also concerned about their emergence, and one of those countries is Japan.



John McCain: What will a wo...

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