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.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in National

Just In