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Culture

Essays and videos on the arts, literature, travel, rituals and celebrations
The play deficit | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

The play deficit

Children today are cossetted and pressured in equal measure. Without the freedom to play they will never grow up

Peter Gray

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism | Aeon
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Sports and games

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism

Kate Raworth

EXCLUSIVEUnravel | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing

14 minutes

Our Universe is too vast for even the most imaginative sci-fi | Aeon
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Cosmology

Our Universe is too vast for even the most imaginative sci-fi

Michael Strauss

Poor teeth | Aeon
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Fairness and equality

Poor teeth

If you have a mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty, don’t go knocking on the door of American privilege

Sarah Smarsh

The case against sugar | Aeon
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Illness and disease

The case against sugar

A potent toxin that alters hormones and metabolism, sugar sets the stage for epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes

Gary Taubes

A temporary marriage makes more sense than marriage for life | Aeon
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Love and friendship

A temporary marriage makes more sense than marriage for life

Vicki Larson

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small | Aeon
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Anthropology

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

Peter Ungar

I am not a story | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

I am not a story

Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?

Galen Strawson

In the gale | Aeon
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Ecology and environmental sciences

Yo-Yo Ma performs a work for cello in the woods, accompanied by a birdsong chorus

4 minutes

The reality show | Aeon
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Film and visual culture

The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Mike Jay

Broken sleep | Aeon
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Sleep and dreams

Broken sleep

People once woke up halfway through the night to think, write or make love. What have we lost by sleeping straight through?

Karen Emslie

One week, no food | Aeon
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Food and drink

One week, no food

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

S Abbas Raza

One more time | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

One more time

Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Change the world, not yourself, or how Arendt called out Thoreau | Aeon
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Politics and government

Change the world, not yourself, or how Arendt called out Thoreau

Katie Fitzpatrick

Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now | Aeon
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Knowledge

Say goodbye to the information age: it’s all about reputation now

Gloria Origgi

The great swindle | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

The great swindle

From pickled sharks to compositions in silence, fake ideas and fake emotions have elbowed out truth and beauty

Roger Scruton

The great forgetting | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

The great forgetting

Our first three years are usually a blur and we don’t remember much before age seven. What are we hiding from ourselves?

Kristin Ohlson

Want to feel unique? Believe in the reptile people | Aeon
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Social psychology

Want to feel unique? Believe in the reptile people

Roland Imhoff

How beards put a brave face on threatened masculinity | Aeon
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Design and fashion

How beards put a brave face on threatened masculinity

Christopher R Oldstone-Moore

Utopia Inc | Aeon
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Subcultures

Utopia Inc

Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?

Alexa Clay

Drunk on genocide: how the Nazis celebrated murdering Jews | Aeon
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History

Drunk on genocide: how the Nazis celebrated murdering Jews

Edward B Westermann

The hunger mood | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

The hunger mood

Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up

Michael Graziano

History and guilt | Aeon
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Ethics

History and guilt

Can America face up to the terrible reality of slavery in the way that Germany has faced up to the Holocaust?

Susan Neiman