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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
The empty brain | Aeon
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Neuroscience

The empty brain

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

Robert Epstein

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now | Aeon
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Economics

Conspicuous consumption is over. It’s all about intangibles now

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

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 belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you | Aeon
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Social psychology

A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you

Clifton Mark

Fuck work | Aeon
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Work

Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil? | Aeon
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War and peace

What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil?

Thomas White

The meanings of life | Aeon
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Meaning and the good life

The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Roy F Baumeister

Gender is not a spectrum | Aeon
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Gender and identity

Gender is not a spectrum

The idea that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is supposed to set us free. But it is both illogical and politically troubling

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

Exodus | Aeon
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Cosmology

Exodus

Elon Musk argues that we must put a million people on Mars if we are to ensure that humanity has a future

Ross Andersen

Why philosophy is so important in science education | Aeon
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Philosophy of science

Why philosophy is so important in science education

Subrena E Smith

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism | Aeon
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Sports and games

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism

Kate Raworth

EXCLUSIVEUnravel | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing

14 minutes

Are coders worth it? | Aeon
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Economics

Are coders worth it?

In today’s world, web developers have it all: money, perks, freedom, respect. But is there value in what we do?

James Somers

Poor teeth | Aeon
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Fairness and equality

Poor teeth

If you have a mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty, don’t go knocking on the door of American privilege

Sarah Smarsh

Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past | Aeon
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Computing and artificial intelligence

Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past

Catherine Stinson

The golden quarter | Aeon
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Future of technology

The golden quarter

Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled?

Michael Hanlon

Escape the echo chamber | Aeon
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Knowledge

Escape the echo chamber

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult

C Thi Nguyen

Chabuduo! Close enough … | Aeon
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Making

Chabuduo! Close enough …

Your balcony fell off? Chabuduo. Vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo. How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

James Palmer

What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’ | Aeon
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History of science

What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’

Jim Baggott

Why the trial by ordeal was actually an effective test of guilt | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

Why the trial by ordeal was actually an effective test of guilt

Peter T Leeson

You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to | Aeon
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Knowledge

You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to

Daniel DeNicola

Pornucopia | Aeon
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Sex and sexuality

Pornucopia

Critics say that porn degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?

Maria Konnikova

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

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small | Aeon
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Anthropology

It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

Peter Ungar