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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

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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 impact did the war have on you?

Armitage:    Well first of all I think when a young man goes to war – and I went for almost six years in Vietnam, in country for almost six years – it has . . . it says a lot about how you will look at the future.  For me that experience has made me very loath to want to go to war again, and make sure . . .  As far as I’m able that it’s . . . that war is something of a last resort.  Beyond that I think it started me in a direction towards foreign policy, something I wouldn’t have even considered when I was a young teenager.  I think you made daily decisions, if not hourly decisions, about the people living and dying.  I remember one case where I was taking a wounded Vietnamese sailor to a hospital in Tainan.  He had been terribly wounded while we were in an operation, and he was so badly wounded that I actually gave him three __________ of morphine, which I thought it would kill him but kill him peacefully.  He not only survived, much to everyone’s surprise – although he lost his eyes, his ears, two arms – but he came back to thank me for saving his life.  So it’s funny.

 

How did the Vietnam War sha...

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