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Life on Mars
In a white dome on a bare mountain, six of us are road-testing life in a Martian colony. This is what I’ve learned so far
The migrant’s tale
Sure it’s progressive to sympathise with young undocumented migrants, but it also locks them into a victimhood narrative
Why, in the entire history of human life, did awesomeness become the great virtue of our age (and suckiness its vice)?
It’s not just your imagination. Horror films are much more scary than they were in the past. Here’s how they do it
A fake of art
Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?
Lessons of Demopolis
Wisdom from classical Greece: democracy and liberalism are both better off if we understand the difference between them
Dispatches from the ruins
The human world has become bafflingly complex and strangely fragile making apocalypse the easiest thing to imagine
The superfluid Universe
Quantum effects are not just subatomic: they can be expressed across galaxies, and solve the puzzle of dark matter
My father was hopelessly, joyously addicted to gambling and I his moral critic. Why did I end up playing pro blackjack?
A tyrannosaur of one’s own
Dinosaur collecting isn't just for museums any more – film stars and sheikhs do it too. What drives a man to covet big bones?
Laurie Gwen Shapiro
My secret life
Parents expect to know everything about their children’s lives. They need to remember that secrets are part of growing up
Return of the mercenaries
Two centuries ago, public armies replaced private ones as the dominant tool of warfare. Now, private armies are back
Work imitates life
The utopian workplace is here, complete with roof gardens, therapists and time to nap. Can the employee ever escape?
Riding the wind
Hot and bothersome or exhilarating and wild: winds blow through the mind as strongly as they blow through the landscape
Ask the aged
Who better to answer questions about the purpose of life than someone who has been living theirs for a long time?
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
To boldly sell
Space is for sale. And if we want to get serious about our interplanetary ambitions, that could be a good thing
Spoken in scent
A hidden sense of smell might account for the mysterious sixth sense and a universe of subtle knowledge about the world
Prayer occurs in many faiths. It stays recognisable despite its varied forms. It must be good for something – but what?
Our chemical Eden
To figure out the origin of life might take a conceptual shift towards seeing it as a pattern of molecular energy
Some paedophiles might be hard-wired to commit their abusive acts. Should that alter their crime in the eyes of the law?
What’s more wholesome than reading? Yet books wield a dangerous power: the best erode self, infecting readers with ideas
Tara Isabella Burton
Great theories can spend decades waiting for verification. Failed theories do too. Is there any way to tell them apart?
Roots and genes
‘Roots’ sparked an African-American quest for identity through family history. Does DNA finally provide firm grounds?
Is it OK to have kids?
Your decision about whether to procreate is serious. That makes it philosophy’s business, alarming as that might sound
For most of human history, the stars told us where we were in space and time. Have we forgotten how to look up?
Burke was no conservative
Edmund Burke’s support for the American Revolution, and opposition to the French, have been misunderstood
The cold fusion horizon
Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?
In praise of defiance
Labelling someone crazy and difficult is a way to resist justice and change – and psychiatrists are complicit
Rise of the humanities
Professors worry about the ‘crisis in the humanities’. But more people than ever, especially women, are studying them
© Aeon Media Pty Ltd. 2016
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