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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
Everything is going to be fine | Aeon
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The future

What’s the healthiest way to handle a creeping feeling that the world is ending?

15 minutes

Five Lems | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Solaris and beyond – Stanisław Lem’s antidotes to the bores of American sci-fi

7 minutes

Against human exceptionalism | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Against human exceptionalism

In a tight spot, you’d probably intuit that a human life outweighs an animal’s. There are good arguments why that’s wrong

Jeff Sebo

Against longtermism | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Against longtermism

It started as a fringe philosophical theory about humanity’s future. It’s now richly funded and increasingly dangerous

Émile P Torres

Am I my connectome? | Aeon
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Neuroscience

Am I my connectome?

Each human brain possesses a unique, intricate pattern of 86 billion neurons. If science can map it, immortality beckons

Phil Jaekl

Uncertain times | Aeon
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Complexity

Uncertain times

The pandemic is an unprecedented opportunity – seeing human society as a complex system opens a better future for us all

Jessica Flack & Melanie Mitchell

Where did the grandeur go? | Aeon
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The future

Where did the grandeur go?

Superlative things were done in the past century by marshalling thousands of people in the service of a vision of the future

Martin Parker

The good scientist | Aeon
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Philosophy of science

The good scientist

Science is the one culture that all humans share. What would it mean to create a scientifically literate future together?

Martin Rees

Are there laws of history? | Aeon
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History

Are there laws of history?

Historians believe that the past is irreducibly complex and the future wildly unpredictable. Scientists disagree. Who’s right?

Amanda Rees

At the limits of thought | Aeon
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The future

At the limits of thought

Science today stands at a crossroads: will its progress be driven by human minds or by the machines that we’ve created?

David C Krakauer

Supermensch | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Supermensch

Superman et al were invented amid feverish eugenic speculation: what does the superhero craze say about our own times?

Iwan Rhys Morus

Santiago | Aeon
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Film and visual culture

Our biological past and our technological future play out on a single human face

1 minute

1999 AD | Aeon
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Progress and modernity

Smart homes, bountiful oceans and casual sexism: the future as envisaged from 1967

26 minutes

The end of us | Aeon
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The future

The end of us

Only since the Enlightenment have we been able to imagine humans going extinct. Is it a sign of our maturity as a species?

Thomas Moynihan

Why the power of cute is colonising our world | Aeon
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Film and visual culture

Why the power of cute is colonising our world

Simon May

Predicting the end of civilisation | Aeon
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Computing and artificial intelligence

Civilisation peaked in 1940 and will collapse by 2040: the data-based predictions of 1973

11 minutes

Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future | Aeon
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Global history

Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future

Luke Kemp

Timelapse of the future | Aeon
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Cosmology

Deep time and beyond: the great nothingness at the end of the Universe

29 minutes

An electrical meltdown looms: how can we avert disaster? | Aeon
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Future of technology

An electrical meltdown looms: how can we avert disaster?

Keith Harary

Sim ethics | Aeon
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Future of technology

Sim ethics

Say you could make a thousand digital replicas of yourself – should you? What happens when you want to get rid of them?

Philip Ball

Utopia now | Aeon
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Work

Utopia now

In 1890 William Morris imagined a world free from wage slavery. Thanks to technology, his vision is finally within reach

Vasilis Kostakis & Wolfgang Drechsler

Aldous Huxley on technodictators | Aeon
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Politics and government

Aldous Huxley on the dangers of being ‘caught by surprise by our own advancing technology’

6 minutes

A fictive flight above real Mars | Aeon
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Space exploration

A tour of Mars assembled from NASA images reveals a wondrous but uninviting planet

5 minutes

Intelligence: a history | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

Intelligence: a history

Intelligence has always been used as fig-leaf to justify domination and destruction. No wonder we fear super-smart robots

Stephen Cave