The quantified heart

Artificial intelligence promises ever more control over the highs and lows of our emotions. Uneasy? Perhaps you should be | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

English is not normal

No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Beauty is truth, truth is beauty, and other lies of physics

After spending billions trying (and failing) to support beautiful ideas in physics, is it time to let evidence lead the way? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Speaking on behalf of ...

In the tapestry of diverse social groups, the loudest and most extreme get heard. To whom should we actually listen? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Can meditation really make the world a better place?

It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

A belief in meaningful coincidence is surprisingly rational

Lightning can strike twice and people do call just when you’re thinking of them – but are such coincidences meaningful? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Measuring the average foot

The foot is a most easily accessible tool and it had a lengthy history as a means of measuring before the introduction of national and international standards. So how were earlier standards created? In this short video from 1981, the British physicist Reginald Victor Jones demons … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Private schools are anti-democratic. Can they be redeemed?

Private schools do not serve the public good – they are fortresses of status. Here’s how they could redeem themselves | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

On coincidence

Lightning can strike twice and people do call just when you’re thinking of them – but are such coincidences meaningful? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The restrained brain

Temperance was one of the four virtues identified by Plato's Republic as essential to an ideal state – a framework that was later adapted by Catholicism and Thomas Aquinas. Meanwhile, one of the five articles of faith of the Sikh religion is the kacchera – a drawstring undergarme … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Think again

You might have seen the cartoon: two cavemen sitting outside their cave knapping stone tools. One says to the other: ‘Something’s just not right – our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic ... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Meditation under the microscope

It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The Fallacy of Obviousness

A new interpretation of a classic psychology experiment will change your view of perception, judgment – even human nature | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The evolution of parenting

From tools to language to brainpower, there’s no shortage of theories positing why humans went from the savannah to megacities, while, despite very similar DNA, other hominins have more or less stayed put. This video from NPR details an emerging theory of how human societies evol … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Children deserve leniency in law, and the reason is political

Milagro Cunningham was 17 when he abducted, beat and raped an eight-year-old girl in Florida in 2005. He then placed her in a recycling bin, piled it with rocks, and left. Miraculously, she survived. If Cunningham had been 30, or even 19, we wo... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Sand men

‘When will we have it better? Just like everyone else?’Sand Men is a distinctly different take on the artisan short-documentary genre. It follows Raj, Neculai and Aurel as they practise an unusual craft that has been passed around the Romanian immigrant community in London. With … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The Earth’s carrying capacity for human life is not fixed

In a recent Nature Sustainability paper, a team of scientists concluded that the Earth can sustain, at most, only 7 billion people at subsistence levels of consumption (and this Ju... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The fallacy of obviousness

A new interpretation of a classic psychology experiment will change your view of perception, judgment – even human nature | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Life on the slippery Earth: Aztec moral philosophy didn't expect saints

Aztec moral philosophy has profound differences from the Greek tradition, not least its acceptance that nobody is perfect | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it

The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only aro... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

In search of forgotten colours

This striking and almost entirely wordless video from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London beautifully conveys the work of Sachio Yoshioka, the fifth-generation owner of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Fushimi, southern Kyoto. Since taking over the business in 1988 … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it

The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only aro... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Life on the slippery Earth

Aztec moral philosophy has profound differences from the Greek tradition, not least its acceptance that nobody is perfect | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

A spark of consciousness

Neuroscience is in the midst of a revolution: aided by increasingly sophisticated brain-scanning technologies, it offers more insights into the inner working of our brains than we’ve ever had before. But as this animated short featuring the musings of the comparative neuroscienti … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Should you shield yourself from others’ abhorrent beliefs?

Many of our choices have the potential to change how we think about the world. Often the choices taken are for some kind of betterment: to teach us something, to increase understanding or to improve ways of thinking. What happens, though, when ... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Black. Queer. Born again

Black life is world-making, born of gaps and dislocations, imaginative leavings and returns, generative escapes and arrivals | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

What if ET is an AI?

After centuries searching for extraterrestrial life, we might find that first contact is not with organic creatures at all | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The hacker hacked

The hacker ethos is wild and anarchic, indifferent to the trappings of success. Or it was, until the gentrifiers moved in | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

What are natural foods?

The glass of orange juice at the breakfast table tells a tale about what’s natural, what’s whole and what’s healthy for us | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Mythos

Despite dating from millennia ago, Sisyphus and his eternal plight, Narcissus and his lethal vanity, and Midas and his deadly golden touch are still familiar stories today. The Greek myths came out of a pagan belief system vastly different to today's dominant religions and though … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Is a hole a real thing, or just a place where something isn’t?

It seems indisputable that there are holes. For example, there are keyholes, black holes and sinkholes; and there are holes in things such as sieves, golf courses and doughnuts. We come into the world through holes, and when we die man... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Little potato

The filmmaker Wes Hurley was born Vasili Naumenko in Vladivostok in the USSR, and affectionately called Little Potato by his mother Elena. His was a childhood of trauma and uncertainty: his father was violent; his emerging sexuality was forbidden; and his country was cracking apa … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The many deaths of liberalism

More than a century of death notices have not diminished the achievements and the necessity of liberalism | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

How cotton production in medieval China unravelled patriarchy

Many societies suffer from the notion that women are less intelligent and capable than men. Even in more economically developed countries, where women have in the past two centuries won a variety of political and economic rights, prejudice agai... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

What are natural foods?

The glass of orange juice at the breakfast table tells a tale about what’s natural, what’s whole and what’s healthy for us | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

One week, no food

Intrigued by the buzz around medical fasting, I tried it. A rollercoaster of boredom and energy ensued | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Ogoh-Ogoh

Nyepi is an annual ‘Day of Silence’ on the Indonesian island of Bali. A time for quiet self-reflection, the widely observed Hindu tradition brings the region to a standstill as residents fast and meditate inside their homes for 24 hours. On the eve of the Nyepi, however, streets … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Plasma, the mysterious (and powerful) fourth phase of matter

When I was at elementary school, my teacher told me that matter exists in three possible states: solid, liquid and gas. She neglected to mention plasma, a special kind of electrified gas that’s a state unto itself. We rarely encounter natural p... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Prostitution is slavery

The free-market arguments won’t wash: prostitution trades on the lives of the poor and marginalised – just like slavery | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

While Darwin sleeps...

The Linsenmaier Chrysididae collection at the Natur-Museum Luzern in Switzerland features some 250,000 insect species – a small slice of the roughly 10 million species that scientists believe currently exist across the planet. In While Darwin Sleeps... what begins as a droning to … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

How validating their distorted memories helps people with dementia

What is the best way to help people who have dementia? Many interventions are aimed at enabling them to retain self-defining memories and beliefs. In reminiscence therapy, they... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

The philosophy of Mexicanness

What is meant by the philosophy of Mexicanness? An introduction to the ideas of Emilio Uranga | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

New tech only benefits the elite until the people demand more

The United States faces an infrastructure crisis. Report after report warns that the nation’s networks are old, brittle and vulnerable. Systems that were once the envy of the world now suff... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Philosophy shrugged: ignoring Ayn Rand won’t make her go away

Philosophers love to hate Ayn Rand. It’s trendy to scoff at any mention of her. One philosopher told me that: ‘No one needs to be exposed to that monster.’ Many propose that she’s not a philosopher at all and should not be taken seriously. The ... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Soft plots

The Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou’s series The Humors sets out to explore ‘urban behaviours and relationships, those of people and of the built environment itself’. In this instalment, Zhou presents a collage of overhead scenes of recreation and relaxation from Oak … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago

Philosophy shrugged: ignoring Ayn Rand won’t make her go away

Philosophers love to hate Ayn Rand. It’s trendy to scoff at any mention of her. One philosopher told me that: ‘No one needs to be exposed to that monster.’ Many propose that she’s not a philosopher at all and should not be taken seriously. The ... | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 years ago