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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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Progress & Modernity


Latest Popular


Anthropology Cities Demography & Migration Economics Education Fairness & Equality Gender History Human Rights Law & Justice Nature & Environment Politics & Government Poverty & Development Progress & Modernity Race Religion The Future War & Conflict Work
Essay/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

Essay/Making
Chabuduo! Close enough …

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

James Palmer

Essay/Physics
Parallel worlds

If human history turns on the tilt of the multiverse, can we still trust our ideas of achievement, progress and morality?

Andrew Crumey

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Anthropocene fever

The Anthropocene idea has been embraced by Earth scientists and English professors alike. But how useful is it?

Jedediah Purdy

Essay/Agriculture
Farming the apocalypse

When my life came crashing down I took shelter on my farm, surviving with 11th-century tools like the sickle and scythe

Keith Ferrell

Essay/The Home
Nobody is home

From the footloose networker to the exiled migrant, home has been displaced by an idea that’s both elusive and contested

Charles Leadbeater

Essay/Economics
End of a golden age

Unprecedented growth marked the era from 1948 to 1973. Economists might study it forever, but it can never be repeated. Why?

Marc Levinson

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
Get under the hood

Our laptops are sleek and polished. Our operating systems are fluid and intuitive. Computing is easy and that’s a problem

Samuel Arbesman

Essay/Engineering
A fault in our design

We tend to think that technological progress is making us more resilient, but it might be making us more vulnerable

Colin Dickey

Essay/Social Psychology
The crisis of expertise

Experts are either derided or held up as all-seeing gurus. Time to reboot the relationship between expertise and democracy

Tom Nichols

Essay/History of Technology
Into the mystic

From Stonehenge to Silicon Valley: how technology nurtured New Age ideas in a world supposedly stripped of its magic

Benjamin Breen

Essay/Architecture & Landscape
Desert utopia

It might be pleasing to dream of arcologies, mega-cities, and space colonies – but no one can design the perfect human community

Jared Keller

Essay/Biotechnology
Beyond belief

Unreason, like the poor, will always be with us. But why does quackery survive when science is making life better?

Michael Hanlon

Essay/Ethics
Beyond the paleo

Our morality may be a product of natural selection, but that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone

Allen Buchanan & Russell Powell

Essay/Progress & Modernity
The makeover trap

From transgender celebrities to fitness fads, pop culture loves reinvention. But the drive to ‘find yourself’ has a dark side

Michael Lovelock

Essay/History of Technology
Buck to the future

He’s a forgotten hippie idol, a sage of 1960s counterculture. What can we learn from Bucky Fuller’s faith in technology?

Samanth Subramanian

Essay/Cosmopolitanism
All for one

World government is back, in geopolitics and in the academy, but what does the future hold for it?

Luis Cabrera

Essay/Economics
The small business myth

Small businesses enjoy an iconic status in modern capitalism, but what do they really contribute to the economy?

Benjamin C Waterhouse

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States
Stealth stoner

Prohibition lingers on, but with pocket-sized vaporizers, marijuana users can get high wherever they please

Jeff Winkler

Essay/Demography & Migration
I’m no terrorist

Young Pakistanis have more opportunity than ever to change the country. But what will they do with their freedom?

Samira Shackle

Essay/History
Cruel ships of prosperity

For more than two centuries the huge profits and profound suffering of the Manila Galleons helped create global capitalism

David Z Morris