There is no middle ground for deep disagreements about facts

Disagreeing about simple facts is one thing. But deep disagreements have social identity at stake: there’s no middle ground | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 1 day ago

Mars habitat

NASA has tentative plans for a manned mission to Mars sometime in the 2030s. Between now and then, there’s still much that needs to be sorted. To start, massive dust storms, high levels of radiation, low temperatures and a lack of water make the Martian surface an unfriendly plac … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 1 day ago

Happiness doesn't follow success: it's the other way round

Success won’t make you happy – but happiness will improve your career: why happier people are more successful at work | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 1 day ago

Radical Dimensions

Relativity says we live in four dimensions. String theory says it’s 10. What are ‘dimensions’ and how do they affect reality? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 2 days ago

Muslims of Early America

Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 2 days ago

Hoplites! Greeks at war

The artifacts that underlie so much of our understanding of the ancient world can often feel like brittle remnants of a dim and dusty past that's hard to access without context and extensive knowledge. But sometimes just a little kineticism can transform a bit of pottery into a l … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 2 days ago

Curving the Universe

A century ago, a team of scientists chased the arc of starlight across a total eclipse to prove Einstein right on relativity | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 2 days ago

When Civilizations Collapse

Civilisation collapse in the past often resulted in creative reorganisation. Do we have what it takes to survive a fall? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 3 days ago

To avoid moral failure, don’t see people as Sherlock does

Elementary, my dear Sherlock: it’s moral failure to see people as objects to be studied or as evidence to be interpreted | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 3 days ago

Green-eyed pets

Commonsense tells us that both dogs and cats experience jealousy. Are we being anthropomorphic or can we know for sure? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 3 days ago

What wrapping rope around the Earth reveals about the limits of human intuition

If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground? Yes, actually. The answer comes as a surprise to most people, but the additional bit of rope raise … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 4 days ago

Street photography, 1838-2019: a photo for every year

Just a decade after the first surviving photograph was taken, photography became widespread enough that, today, the Canadian film archivist and YouTuber Guy Jones could assemble this parade of streets worldwide – one photograph for each year from 1838 to 2019. The resulting monta … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 4 days ago

Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future

Civilisation collapse in the past often resulted in creative reorganisation. Do we have what it takes to survive a fall? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 4 days ago

The red thread of obsession

Evolved human capacities for vigilance and worry are both exacerbated and rewarded by the intense pressure of modern life | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 4 days ago

Are you sure? Truth, certainty and politics

If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground? Yes, actually. The answer comes as a surprise to most people, but the additional bit of rope raise … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 5 days ago

How ballerinas defy the corporeal in a quest for the ethereal

Pushing the boundaries of the corporeal in a quest for the ethereal: the history and science of dancing in pointe shoes | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 5 days ago

Muslims of early America

Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 5 days ago

The Five-Paragraph Fetish

Writing essays by a formula was meant to be a step on the way. Now it’s the stifling goal for student and scholar alike | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 6 days ago

Do spoilers actually ruin stories?

‘It’s not the journey, it’s the destination’ might seem like trite advice, but when it comes to storytelling, the worn adage actually seems to hold up to scrutiny. Just ask Nicholas Christenfeld, professor of psychology at the University of California, San Diego: in a 2013 study, … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 8 days ago

If anyone can see the morally unthinkable online, what then?

The internet makes knowledge a dare-devil pursuit. Can virtue survive when exposed to the morally unthinkable? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 8 days ago

Dan Tepfer’s player piano is his composing partner

‘How can I be free in this particular cage?’From synthesizers replacing real instruments in the studio to the rise of musical compositions written entirely by AI, it’s not surprising that many professional musicians have been resistant to the ascendent role of technology in the m … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 9 days ago

Susan Sontag was a monster

She took things too seriously. She was difficult and unyielding. That’s why Susan Sontag’s work matters so much even now | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 9 days ago

If reason exists without deliberation, it cannot be uniquely human

To reason is not only to decide: what if reason is simply the power to do the right thing in the right circumstances? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 10 days ago

Flash!

It ignited life on Earth, propelled evolution, and now signals climate change. Yet what sparks lightning remains a mystery | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 10 days ago

Neurofeedback can zap your fears – without you even knowing

Neurofeedback can put thoughts in your head and help you conquer phobias – even when you’re unaware of what it’s doing | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

The great split between science and philosophy must be repaired

The great split between science and philosophy must be repaired. Only then can we answer the urgent, fundamental problems | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

Too much theory leads economists to bad predictions

Too much theory and not enough history leads contemporary economists to make poor predictions | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

Someone else’s war

As of 2019, some 20 British nationals have left home to join the fight against ISIS in Syria. Eight have died in the process. What’s leading Britons – mostly young civilians – to abandon the relative comforts of home and fight on the frontlines alongside people with whom they had … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

Brain, heal thyself

Neurofeedback can put thoughts in your head and help you conquer phobias – even when you’re unaware of what it’s doing | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

Too much theory leads economists to bad predictions

Too much theory and not enough history leads contemporary economists to make poor predictions | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 11 days ago

How to Choose? (2014)

When your reasons are worse than useless, sometimes the most rational choice is a random stab in the dark | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 12 days ago

The lottocracy: It’s time to start choosing representatives by lottery (2014)

Elections are flawed and can’t be redeemed – it’s time to start choosing our representatives by lottery | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 12 days ago

Pas de deux

In classical ballet, a pas de deux (‘step of two’ in French) is a duet that showcases the skills of masterful dancers. This BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated short from 1968 marries two distinct kinds of virtuosity – the innovative cinematography of the late Scottish-Cana … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 12 days ago

Like the emperor's new clothes, DNA kits are tailored for the vain

Like the emperor’s new clothes, genetic ancestry kits provide a story tailored to flatter the vain and the status-hungry | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 12 days ago

Natural philosophy redux

The great split between science and philosophy must be repaired. Only then can we answer the urgent, fundamental problems | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 12 days ago

How much money should the Tooth Fairy leave?

One of the earliest references to the modern Tooth Fairy – that enigmatic trader of cold, hard cash for defunct deciduous teeth – is found in a 1908 ‘Household Hints’ item in the Chicago Daily Tribune:If he takes his little tooth and puts it under the pillow when he goes to bed, … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 15 days ago

How the dualism of Descartes ruined our mental health

When Descartes untangled mind from matter, he ushered in an age of disenchantment that did nothing for our mental health | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 15 days ago

Critical living

The influential Scottish-born psychiatrist R D Laing established an innovative approach to alleviating psychological anguish when, in 1965, he co-founded the Philadelphia Association. The organisation, which still operates in London, is centred on a communal approach to wellbeing … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 16 days ago

When breast isn’t best

New parents face intense moral pressure from every quarter to breastfeed their babies. But sometimes bottle is best | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 16 days ago

Jung’s collective unconscious inspired Alcoholics Anonymous

Neither wholly a theologian nor a pure scientist – how Carl Jung’s collective unconscious inspired Alcoholics Anonymous | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 16 days ago

How Jung’s collective unconscious inspired Alcoholics Anonymous

Neither wholly a theologian nor a pure scientist – how Carl Jung’s collective unconscious inspired Alcoholics Anonymous | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 17 days ago

Eating someone

Farmed animals have personalities, smarts, even a sense of agency. Why then do we saddle them with lives of utter despair? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 17 days ago

Henri Bergson, Celebrity

Women loved Bergson’s philosophy of creativity, change and freedom, but their enthusiasm fuelled a backlash against him | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago

A glass of bubbly drink contributes to human happiness

Why is it so enjoyable to drink something that sets off little explosions in your mouth? On the physics of carbonation | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago

What do the terms ‘life’, ‘love’, ‘art’ and ‘god’ look like to an algorithm?

An unusually inventive instance of digital art, A Brief History of Almost Everything in Five Minutes is a sped-up excerpt from the hour-long multichannel video installation Deep Meditations. The London-based, Turkish-born visual artist Memo Akten created the piece by entering bro … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago

When time became regular and universal, it changed history

Once local and irregular, time-keeping became universal and linear in 311 BCE. History would never be the same again | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago

A brief history of almost everything in five minutes

An unusually inventive instance of digital art, A Brief History of Almost Everything in Five Minutes is a sped-up excerpt from the hour-long multichannel video installation Deep Meditations. The London-based, Turkish-born visual artist Memo Akten created the piece by entering bro … | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago

Is emotional labour next to be outsourced and professionalised?

Emotional labour today is like brain work last century. Safe from automation, will it be outsourced and professionalised? | Continue reading


@aeon.co | 18 days ago