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Curio

Life ≠ alive | Aeon
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Biology

Life ≠ alive

A cat is alive, a sofa is not: that much we know. But a sofa is also part of life. Information theory tells us why

Michael Lachmann & Sara Walker

The parlance of pilots | Aeon
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Travel

The parlance of pilots

High above London, Tokyo and Cairo, the language of the cockpit is technical, obscure, geeky – and irresistibly romantic

Mark Vanhoenacker

English is not normal | Aeon
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Language and linguistics

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

A handy history | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

A handy history

Condemned, celebrated, shunned: masturbation has long been an uncomfortable fact of life. Why?

Barry Reay

The secret of my shameless love for money real and imagined | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

The secret of my shameless love for money real and imagined

Peter Jukes

The pleasure of their pain | Aeon
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Self-improvement

The pleasure of their pain

Why the punishment and humiliation of reality TV contestants provides such a satisfying and deep pleasure

Batya Ungar-Sargon

Life on Mars | Aeon
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Astronomy

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

Sheyna Gifford

How statistics are twisted to obscure public understanding | Aeon
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Bioethics

How statistics are twisted to obscure public understanding

Jonathan R Goodman

A conscientious objector | Aeon
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Biography and memoir

A conscientious objector

Jacob Bridge is a popular lieutenant in the US Marines who woke up one day with an urgent need to leave the military. Why?

Lyle Jeremy Rubin

Indifference is a power | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

Indifference is a power

As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity

Lary Wallace

The new mind control | Aeon
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Information and communication

The new mind control

The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do

Robert Epstein

An empty passion for war | Aeon
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Politics and government

An empty passion for war

Colombia’s FARC guerrillas still resist the coming peace. Is it drug money or the romance of revolution that’s to blame?

Tom Feiling

The mind isn’t locked in the brain but extends far beyond it | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

The mind isn’t locked in the brain but extends far beyond it

Keith Frankish

The cochlear switch | Aeon
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Illness and disease

The cochlear switch

And so I entered a new world where every tap, squeak, clang, whisper and consonant exploded and sizzled inside my head

Josephine Dickinson

What Mortimer did | Aeon
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History

What Mortimer did

A diplomat in British India blundered a border. The consequences continue to shape world politics

Rafia Zakaria

The ecology of Pooh | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

The ecology of Pooh

Adults may feel exiled from the intensity and sweetness of childhood places. But perhaps there are surprising ways home

Liam Heneghan

Against Muslim unity | Aeon
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Religion

Against Muslim unity

Even the pilgrimage to Mecca exposes the myth of a united Islam and the formative power of the wider world

Faisal Devji

Murder she wrought | Aeon
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Gender

Murder she wrought

Female thrill-killers are rare in crime fiction. Why is it hard to imagine a woman who murders for pleasure not revenge?

Melanie McGrath

Is there a war instinct? | Aeon
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Evolution

Is there a war instinct?

Many evolutionists believe that humans have a drive for waging war. But they are wrong and the idea is dangerous

David P Barash

Sport is not just about athleticism: beauty matters too | Aeon
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Sports and games

Sport is not just about athleticism: beauty matters too

Emily Ryall