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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
The great regression | Aeon
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Subcultures

The great regression

To understand why so many adults are acting just like children, don’t blame Millennials – look to Japan in the 1990s

Matt Alt

Semiotics of dogs | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Semiotics of dogs

In all its baroque and sometimes cruelly overbred forms, the dog is a paramount symbol of both human hopes and foibles

Katrina Gulliver

What lies beneath government | Aeon
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Politics and government

What lies beneath government

Buka Town in Bougainville shows how bureaucratic states could be reimagined, not as concrete buildings but as living gardens

Gordon Peake & Miranda Forsyth

The meaning of Purgatory | Aeon
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Religion

The meaning of Purgatory

Think less of a holding pen for Heaven and more as a flow of love from the living, and the weirdness starts making sense

Magnus Course

The people of the cloud | Aeon
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Computing and artificial intelligence

The people of the cloud

Hot, strenuous and unsung. There is nothing soft and fluffy about the caretaking work that enables our digital lives

Steven Gonzalez Monserrate

Dancing with water | Aeon
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Environmental history

Dancing with water

As storms, droughts and floods become more intense, what can the world learn from Japan’s profoundly wet history?

Giulio Boccaletti

Reasons to be cheerful | Aeon
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History of ideas

Reasons to be cheerful

A cheery mood, you might think, is a terribly self-absorbed response to serious times. But history tells us otherwise

Timothy Hampton

You’re astonishing! | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

You’re astonishing!

Life can be better appreciated when you remember how wonderfully and frighteningly unlikely it is that you exist at all

Timm Triplett

The right person | Aeon
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Love and friendship

The right person

Contemporary wisdom says that happiness is the measure of a marriage. But is that a harmful way of judging relationships?

Joshua Coleman

The ungreat replacement | Aeon
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Demography and migration

The ungreat replacement

Workers in the West have indeed been repressed – but not by immigrants. The policies of their own governments are to blame

John Rapley

Why read Fichte today? | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Why read Fichte today?

Inspired by Kant, Fichte launched a radical philosophical system based on subjectivity and aspiring to freedom for all

Gabriel Gottlieb

Imaginary numbers are real | Aeon
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Mathematics

Imaginary numbers are real

These odd values were long dismissed as bookkeeping. Now physicists are proving that they describe the hidden shape of nature

Karmela Padavic-Callaghan