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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.

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12 minutes

Never judge a book by its cover. But what about people and their faces?

Who is the man on the left? Depends whom you ask. Either: ‘He looks not quite honest or something, I don’t know … There’s some sort of cunningness in him.’ Or: ‘East European, quite genuine person, probably quite likes to go out for a few pints.’

These are just a couple of the comments made when 29 strangers from London’s diverse East End gathered to watch videos of each other and make judgments based on appearance alone. What can be gleaned from a face? As everyone takes a turn as judge, what do their analyses say about their own preconceptions and worldview? An absorbing and frequently surprising social experiment, Conversation was originally presented as a two-screen art installation before screening at film festivals, including the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2007 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes


Western logic has held contradictions as false for centuries. Is that wrong?

6 minutes


Going from A to B isn’t always a straight line – but it can be very good fun

2 minutes


Where pain lives

Fixing chronic back pain is possible only when patients understand how much it is produced by the brain, not the spine

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Idea/Psychiatry & Psychotherapy

The history of brainwashing is a red flag for techno-therapy

David Saunders

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

What to make of a Riot Grrrl? A snapshot of feminism and high school in the 1990s

18 minutes

Essay/Human Evolution

Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

Idea/Love & Friendship

Keeping it in the family: why we pick the partners we do

Tamsin Saxton

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Why can concave surfaces look convex when viewed from overhead (and vice versa)?

4 minutes