Become a
Friend of 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

Packard: the last shift

7 minutes

A poetic tour through Detroit’s abandoned, ghostly Packard Automotive Plant

Detroit’s Packard Automotive Plant was once considered to be the finest in the world, and an emblem of the city’s economic and industrial might. But more than 60 years after manufacturing its last luxury car, the long-abandoned facility has transformed into a symbol for Detroit’s decades-long economic slide. The US filmmaker Brian Kaufman brings us into the plant at a unique moment in time: long after its life as an automotive powerhouse, but before its demolition and rehabilitation, which began in late 2014. With the building’s fate uncertain, it becomes something of a Rorschach test for locals, who view it by turns as a danger, a venue for public art, an eyesore, and the damaged spirit of a city desperately in need of revitalisation. Packard: The Last Shift – which is split between a poem from the Detroit-based Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Philip Levine and interviews with residents of the city – is excerpted from an eponymous 2014 feature-length documentary on the plant.

Director: Brian Kaufman

Producer: Kathy Kieliszewski

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/
War & Conflict
The deterrence myth

Nuclear deterrence continues to dominate international relations. Yet there is no proof it ever worked, nor that it ever will

David P Barash

Essay/
Economics
Economics is quantum

Money and brains are both quantum phenomena – so it's not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution

David Orrell