Ideas Whose Time Has Come

ONCE-REPUDIATED IDEAS STAGING COMEBACKS

■ Medicinal leeches

■ John McCain

■ The gold standard

■ Stagflation

■ Multilateralism

■ Van Halen

■ Hillarycare

INNOVATIONS WE MIGHT SERIOUSLY REGRET

■ Mortgage-backed securities

■ High-definition pornography

■ The Hadron supercollider

■ Dubai

■ Non-Communist Russia

■ The Wendy’s Baconator sandwich

SEEMINGLY HORRIFYING IDEAS THAT COULD HAVE POTENTIAL

■ Wii yoga

■ Chief Justice Hillary Rodham Clinton

■ Wastewater recycling

■ Rank-ordered magazine lists

■ Talking to our enemies

NEWLY CONVENTIONAL IDEAS WE USED TO THINK UNIMAGINABLE

■ Viable nonwhite or nonmale presidential candidates

■ Your dad on Facebook

■ Tommy Lasorda, blogger

■ $100/barrel oil— what a bargain!

American Gladiators is ripe for a comeback

LEAST HARMLESS INNOCUOUS-SOUNDING IDEAS

■ Gas-tax holiday

■ Business casual

■ Greenwashing

■ Electability

IDEAS THAT HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS

■ Presidential front-running

■ In-car cigarette-lighting technology

■ Corn syrup

■ Fat-cat political contributors

■ iCaptivity for digital music files

IDEAS WE THINK WE LIKE— BUT THE JURY’S STILL OUT

■ Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want model for pricing music

■ More middle-class financial aid at elite colleges

■ Congestion pricing

■ Mandatory HPV vaccination for girls

MOST-WORRYING FADS

■ Increasingly approximate airline arrival times

■ Petraeus worship

■ Vintage-sex-tape releases

■ Vaccine avoidance in the name of health

■ Monoglot intelligence services

MODEST PROPOSALS FOR THE YEAR TO COME

■ Super-duper delegates for the Democratic Party

■ Nationality-specific ethnic restaurants in all foreign embassies

■ A Fulbright scholarship for Dick Cheney

■ A weekly Sabbath from the Web

■ An end to global warming


Back to The 11 1/2 Biggest Ideas of the Year

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