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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

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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Sigmund Freud was the established genius; Carl Jung the youthful upstart. They began as friends, and ended as bitter enemies.

Help us create an animation about one of the great intellectual feuds of the 20th century.

Visit our Kickstarter campaign

To demonstrate how spiders fly

1 minute

A 1909 animation on how spiders take to the air is a charming dip into the history of science

In this early stop-motion animation from 1909, the pioneering British naturalist and filmmaker F Percy Smith uses a mechanical model to illustrate how some spiders are able to fly by throwing a thread of silk to the wind. At the time, serious research on spiders was very limited – the arachnology field resembled something closer to a group of enthusiasts than a field of experts. Smith was among those enthusiasts, and was inspired to create this short film in part because he believed that demystifying the widely detested creatures would help to destigmatise them. While its arachnophobia-alleviating qualities are debatable, the charming and illuminating short stands as testament, more than a century later, to Smith’s avidity for the natural world.

Director: F Percy Smith

Website: British Film Institute

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

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

But we can’t do it without you.

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.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/
Human Evolution
To automate is human

It’s not tools, culture or communication that make humans unique but our knack for offloading dirty work onto machines

Antone Martinho-Truswell

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
The African Anthropocene

The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are – too often, the ‘we’ of the world is white and Western

Gabrielle Hecht