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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Culture


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Architecture Art Biography and memoir Cultures and languages Dance and theatre Design and fashion Film and visual culture Food and drink Home Music Nature and landscape Rituals and celebrations Sports and games Stories and literature Subcultures Travel
Essay/
Cultures and languages
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

John McWhorter

Essay/
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

Essay/
Making
Chabuduo! Close enough …

Your balcony fell off? Chabuduo. Vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo. How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

James Palmer

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Cultures and languages
Master of many trades

Our age reveres the specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things

Robert Twigger

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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

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Cognition and intelligence
Real talk

For decades, the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong

Vyvyan Evans

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Stories and literature
The good guy/bad guy myth

Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?

Catherine Nichols

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Philosophy of religion
Undercover atheists

Seduced by science and rationalism, yet tied to their families and communities, Hasidic atheists opt for a double life

Batya Ungar-Sargon

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Information and communication
Creepypasta

With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear

Will Wiles

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Food and drink
Joy in the task

Even the finest restaurants are serving coffee made with capsules. Have we lost faith in the human touch?

Julian Baggini

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Cities
Me, myself and I

Loneliness can be a shameful hunger, a shell, a dangerous landscape of shadowy figures. But it is also a gift

Olivia Laing

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Cultures and languages
See through words

The metaphor designer isn’t trying to make something beautiful. She wants to change your view on things. Here’s how

Michael Erard

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The environment
The ghost commune

Unplugging from the electrical grid was relatively easy. What we didn’t realise was that we needed the human grid, too

Michelle Nijhuis

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Bioethics
The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

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Stories and literature
Thus spake Albert

You probably know a quote from him. He probably never said it. How did Einstein become a touchstone of all that is wise?

Andrew Robinson

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Design and fashion
Losing the thread

Older than bronze and as new as nanowires, textiles are technology — and they have remade our world time and again

Virginia Postrel

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Design and fashion
Hot girl #2

Because I’m getting older, my days as a model are numbered – and I’m not sure what to do next

Melissa Stetten

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Stories and literature
Bookish fools

The book has always been a sign of status and refinement; a declaration of self-worth – even for those who hate to read

Frank Furedi

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Love and friendship
If a cat could talk

Felines walk the line between familiar and strange. We stroke them and they purr, then in a trice they pounce

David Wood

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Stories and literature
The great disillusionist

In an age when so many people are at a loss to give life meaning and direction, Giacomo Leopardi is essential reading

Tim Parks

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Beauty and aesthetics
Rise of the ripped

With bodies sculpted to look like comic-book heroes, today’s muscle men create an impossible template for masculinity

Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore

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Stories and literature
Ghosts on the shore

In Japan, ghost stories are not to be scoffed at, but provide deep insights into the fuzzy boundary between life and death

Christopher Harding