The 10 Biggest Ideas of the Year

Atlantic writers survey the biggest stories on their beats See full coverage

Three years after the peak of the Great Recession, 2011 was a year of Great Confrontation. The "Arab Street" against the despots. Weak Europe against strong Europe. The House of Representatives against the White House. The global 99 percent against the global 1 percent.

When we studied the year's biggest stories to glean the year's biggest ideas, the theme of confrontation and juxtaposition was fresh in our brains. Maybe that's why our 10 final ideas emerged in tandem, spanning entertainment, political scandal (Women Are Funny vs. Men Are Pigs) culture, and technology (Institutional Failure vs. the Do-It-Yourself Revolution). Here are the ideas of the year:

>

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in National

Just In