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The five-paragraph fetish | Aeon
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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

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The polyglots of Dardistan | Aeon
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essay

Language and linguistics

The polyglots of Dardistan

At the crossroads of south and central Asia lies one of the world’s most multilingual places, with songs and poetry to match

Zubair Torwali

What does dying really feel like? | Aeon
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Ageing and death

Death is a trip – how new research links near-death and DMT experiences

9 minutes

Connected-up-brains | Aeon
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Evolution

Connected-up-brains

Bat friends, monkeys sharing, and humans holding hands: the brains of social animals synchronise and expand one another

Sofia Quaglia

Deforest | Aeon
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The environment

Photographs of rainforests dissolving in acid strike a beautiful note of warning

10 minutes

A God beyond logic | Aeon
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essay

Philosophy of religion

A God beyond logic

The history of natural theology shows that Intelligent Design and New Atheism both got it wrong, in strangely similar ways

Adam R Shapiro

Technology for talking | Aeon
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Technology and the self

Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice

5 minutes

Cracking the Cretan code | Aeon
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The ancient world

Cracking the Cretan code

Linear B has yielded its secrets, but Linear A remains elusive. Can linguistic analysis unlock the meaning of Minoan script?

Ester Salgarella

Minmini (Fireflies) | Aeon
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video

Ecology and environmental sciences

Experience the dazzling displays that fireflies create when humans are far away

5 minutes

Eadem cutis: the same skin | Aeon
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video

Gender and identity

‘When you’re done, you stay human!’ What gender transition means to John

6 minutes

Old not Other | Aeon
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Ageing and death

Old not Other

Here’s a puzzle: why do we neglect and disdain the one vulnerable group we all eventually will join? Beauvoir had an answer

Kate Kirkpatrick & Sonia Kruks

Five Lems | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi

7 minutes

Democracy entails conflict | Aeon
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Political philosophy

Democracy entails conflict

Democracy is a system of politics that has disagreement at its heart. But how do we stop conflicts becoming destructive?

Rochelle DuFord

The smile: a history | Aeon
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essay

History

The smile: a history

How our toothy modern smile was invented by a confluence of French dentistry and Parisian portrait-painting in the 1780s

Colin Jones

Good fire | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

To renew Yosemite, California should embrace a once-outlawed Indigenous practice

6 minutes

Her body is a problem | Aeon
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Art

Her body is a problem

When 1970s women artists put the female body under the female gaze, why did the critics see only obscene monsters?

Lauren Elkin

Delia Derbyshire and Doctor Who | Aeon
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Music

Before the Beatles dropped acid, a BBC workshop was creating far-out sounds

6 minutes

The dreams of animals | Aeon
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Sleep and dreams

The dreams of animals

The psychic lives of nonhuman dreamers reveal colours, harmonies and beauties of which we had little inkling until now

David M Peña-Guzmán

On Wittgenstein | Aeon
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video

Philosophy of language

For Ludwig Wittgenstein, language is a game, but not a frivolous one

43 minutes

Beyond dust and grime | Aeon
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History of ideas

Beyond dust and grime

Zhuangzi thought Confucians were like frogs trapped in a well, unable to perceive the limitlessness of the sea

Tao Jiang

The man who drew his own money | Aeon
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Art

Is paying with hand-drawn banknotes artistry or forgery? The knotty case of J S G Boggs

10 minutes

Freefall into darkness | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Freefall into darkness

Scientists study animals to illuminate human psychology. So why are we blind to the mental lives of our caged subjects?

Garet Lahvis

Golden jubilee | Aeon
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video

Human rights and justice

Portugal stole Goa’s lands and narratives. Can they ever truly be returned?

19 minutes

With respect and friendship | Aeon
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Global history

With respect and friendship

For a century before the rise of European empires, Britons and North Africans lived together in amicable peace

Nat Cutter

The incredible life of Maria Sibylla Merian | Aeon
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Biology

In the jungle of Suriname, Maria Sibylla Merian discovered insect metamorphosis

4 minutes

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