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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
We’ve always been distracted | Aeon
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essay

History of technology

We’ve always been distracted

Worried that technology is ‘breaking your brain’? Fears about attention spans and focus are as old as writing itself

Joe Stadolnik

The great Moon hoax | Aeon
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video

History of science

Bat-people on the Moon – what a famed 1835 hoax reveals about misinformation today

8 minutes

The Rosetta Stone and what it actually says | Aeon
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video

The ancient world

What did the Rosetta Stone’s inscription actually communicate?

17 minutes

Emory Douglas: the art of the Black Panthers | Aeon
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video

Art

The revolutionary artist who propelled the Black Panther movement with imagery

8 minutes

What was the first transit map? | Aeon
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video

The ancient world

Why did the Romans create a massive, entirely impractical map of their empire?

7 minutes

Noam Chomsky: the five filters of the mass media machine | Aeon
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video

Politics and government

Is mass media still ‘manufacturing consent’ in the internet age?

5 minutes

Origin of the world map | Aeon
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video

History of technology

Master cartography and mythical creatures – the world according to the Catalan Atlas

8 minutes

Nine letters | Aeon
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video

Mood and emotion

A century of letters captures the emotions of life in a new city, far from home

21 minutes

Technology for talking | Aeon
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video

Technology and the self

Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice

5 minutes

Composite | Aeon
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video

Information and communication

From mental image to sketch – how memories and emotions conjure up a face

23 minutes

The Bombay highway code | Aeon
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video

Travel

A postcard from Mumbai, where there’s poetry in getting from A to B

5 minutes

Inka khipu | Aeon
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video

History of technology

Reading the strings and knots that keep the secrets of the Inka Empire

9 minutes

Sounding the Sumburgh foghorn | Aeon
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video

History of technology

Behold as a mechanical foghorn in Shetland awakes from its year-long slumber

2 minutes

Trolls be gone | Aeon
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essay

Information and communication

Trolls be gone

Anonymous users generate most toxic abuse and conspiracy theories online. The right to be anonymous should be curtailed

Stephen Kinsella

The power of diverse thinking | Aeon
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video

Neurodiversity

Workplace diversity isn’t just about equality – it’s a competitive advantage

4 minutes

The impossible map | Aeon
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video

Information and communication

There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion

10 minutes

When can you trust statistics? | Aeon
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video

Information and communication

The modern world is littered with statistical noise. Here’s how to find the signal

5 minutes

The shift | Aeon
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video

Work

Emergency first responders meet chaos with dissonant calm in this gripping short

9 minutes

A good scrap | Aeon
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essay

Social psychology

A good scrap

Disagreements can be unpleasant, even offensive, but they are vital to human reason. Without them we remain in the dark

Ian Leslie

Everything you wanted to know about sudden birth (but were afraid to ask) | Aeon
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video

Film and visual culture

Shoddy filmmaking meets the miracle of life in a police training film turned cult classic

11 minutes

Lies and honest mistakes | Aeon
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essay

Virtues and vices

Lies and honest mistakes

Our crisis of public knowledge is an ethical crisis. Rewarding ‘truthfulness’ above ‘truth’ is a step towards a solution

Richard V Reeves

Why do we, like, hesitate when we, um, speak? | Aeon
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video

Language and linguistics

Ums, likes and y’knows get no respect – but they’re vital to conversation

6 minutes

The misinformation virus | Aeon
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essay

Information and communication

The misinformation virus

Lies and distortions don’t just afflict the ignorant. The more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection

Elitsa Dermendzhiyska

The lost sound | Aeon
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video

Language and linguistics

A playful tribute to the words our grandparents used (but we can’t pronounce)

2 minutes