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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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History of technology


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Animals and humans Anthropology Archaeology Automation and robotics Cities Demography and migration Economic history Economics Education Environmental history Fairness and equality Future of technology Gender Global history History History of technology Human rights and justice Information and communication Making Nations and empires Politics and government Poverty and development Progress and modernity Public health Race and ethnicity Religion The ancient world The environment The future War and peace Work
Essay/
Design and fashion
The universal design ideal

At every turn, the design of our environments either creates barriers or opens doors. Let’s design a more humane world

Anna Leahy

Essay/
Technology and the self
Who pushes the button?

From elevators to iPhones, the rise of pushbuttons has provoked a century of worries about losing the human touch

Rachel Plotnick

Essay/
Stories and literature
What War of the Worlds did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today

Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

Essay/
Future of technology
AlphaGolem

When we pit ourselves against machines, the game can only end in tears. It is in our gift to imagine another way

John Cornwell

Essay/
History of science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

Essay/
Future of technology
The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner

Essay/
The ancient world
The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams?

Michael Erard

Essay/
History
Guns and the British empire

Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards

Priya Satia

Essay/
Information and communication
The bit bomb

It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of ‘information’. His answer was both a revelation and a return

Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni