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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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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.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Latest Popular


Agriculture Automation & Robotics Biotechnology Computing & Artificial Intelligence Data & Information Energy, Resources, & Sustainability Engineering Future of Technology Geoengineering History of Technology Internet & Communication Making Space Exploration Surveillance Technology & the Self Transport Virtual Reality
Essay/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

Essay/Digital Culture
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

Essay/Internet & Communication
And their eyes glazed over

My college students are never entirely present in class, addicted to texts and tech. Is there any hope left for learning?

Joelle Renstrom

Essay/Data & Information
The hacker hacked

The hacker ethos is wild and anarchic, indifferent to the trappings of success. Or it was, until the gentrifiers moved in

Brett Scott

Essay/Data & Information
Datagasm

Ever-faster feedback loops and micro-targeted digital porn are pushing human sexuality into some seriously weird places

Mark Hay

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
The attention economy

It costs nothing to click, respond and retweet. But what price do we pay in our relationships and our peace of mind?

Tom Chatfield

Essay/Data & Information
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

Essay/Digital Culture
The ages of distraction

Busy, distracted, inattentive? Everybody has been since at least 1710 and here are the philosophers to prove it

Frank Furedi

Essay/Data & Information
Perfect genetic knowledge

Human genomics is just the start: the Earth has 50 billion tons of DNA. What happens when we have the entire biocode?

Dawn Field

Essay/Data & Information
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame?

Judy Wajcman

Essay/Automation & Robotics
RoboCorp

Get ready for companies that run themselves. But will the autonomous economy set us all free, or just make the rich richer?

David Z Morris

Essay/Data & Information
Digital star chamber

Algorithms are producing profiles of you. What do they say? You probably don’t have the right to know

Frank Pasquale

Essay/Data & Information
Bonfire of the humanities

Public debate is afflicted by short-term thinking – how did history abdicate its role of inspiring the longer view?

David Armitage & Jo Guldi

Essay/Data & Information
Cover of darkness

The cypherpunks are winning the crypto-war against government spies. What will happen when everyone is anonymous?

Jamie Bartlett

Essay/Data & Information
The other half

To end inequality, we must realise that it isn’t about the rich, it’s about the poor. And we know almost nothing about them

Claire Melamed

Essay/Data & Information
‘Big data is people!’

The sum of our clickstreams is not an objective measure of who we are, but a personal portrait of our hopes and desires

Rebecca Lemov

Essay/Data & Information
Precognitive police

Predictive policing could help prevent crime. But do we want a future where computer oracles and spies track us from birth?

Henrick Karoliszyn

Essay/Computing & Artificial Intelligence
The info moralist

Persecuted little guy, or powerful revolutionary – what sort of wunderkind was Aaron Swartz?

Ed Lake

Essay/Art
By brute force

In their blind variations of senseless combinations, artists and Bitcoin miners both reach for a kind of grace

Ned Beauman

Essay/Data & Information
Broken links

When no ancient chat or post is beyond the grasp of Google, what matters more: the right to forget, or to be remembered?

Alana Massey

Essay/Data & Information
All-seeing, all-knowing

Since imperial times Chinese governments have yearned for a perfect surveillance state. Will big data now deliver it?

James Palmer

Essay/Progress & Modernity
Money talks

Has money really changed from shells to digital apps? Underneath, money is always a token of our social relations

Bill Maurer