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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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Measuring the Fun, and Cost, of the '60s

December 29, 2009, 6:31 PM

Of all the writers to emerge from the psychedelic '60s, few have endured as long at the top of their craft as Robert Stone. In a candid interview with Big Think, the former Beat fellow-traveler, Merry Prankster, and Vietnam War correspondent discusses whether he misses the decade he memorialized in his National Book Award-winning novel "Dog Soldiers."

While Stone confesses to some nostalgia for the mind-expanding fun of his youth, he also reflects on the stark truth that what drugs give up front must be paid off later. It's a truth that informs much of his finest work, in which the trials of addiction and recovery have emerged as a recurring theme. Stone also shares some equally hard lessons about the discipline of writing, calling it the "service" of "furthering consciousness" and explaining why his latest story collection ("Fun With Problems") was no easier to write than anything he's done previously.


Measuring the Fun, and Cost...

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