Departments

Nondefinition #14

Think tanks. The distinctive institutions that make modern life modern; the jewels in the watch case—all-important, but self-contained. Most of your rhetorical questions, the ones you let slide with a sigh, staring out the window—"How did we get here?" or "What were we thinking?" or "Whose bright idea was that?"—do, in fact, have an answer: think tanks. Thinks tanks are to secret societies as airplanes are to railroads—smaller, with less tonnage; faster and entirely out of reach.