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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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Mike Jay
Mike Jay is a UK author and cultural historian. His latest book is The Influencing Machine (2012), now out in the US under the title A Visionary Madness.

Written by Mike Jay

Essay/
Human rights and justice
What were drugs?

The war on drugs was always a war against an idea. But ideas have a shelf-life, too, and this one has lost its potency

Mike Jay

Essay/
Public health
The Geel question

For centuries, a little Belgian town has treated the mentally ill. Why are its medieval methods so successful?

Mike Jay

Essay/
Film and visual culture
The reality show

Schizophrenics used to see demons and spirits. Now they talk about actors and hidden cameras – and make a lot of sense

Mike Jay