Support Aeon

‘Becoming an Aeon supporter means joining the conversation of humanity – and ensuring it stays alive.’

Andrés P, Guatemala, Friend of Aeon

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

Give now

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.

Give now

Lost and found

9 minutes

Rustic automata – a world built out of spare parts powered by solar energy

In the unassuming town of Papatowai, New Zealand, Blair Somerville has amassed one of the world’s most idiosyncratic collections and, with it, a life that’s entirely his own. A prolific tinkerer, Somerville has transformed a modest property into The Lost Gypsy Gallery, a panoply of objects, once junk, metamorphosed into whimsical, mechanically operated exhibitions. Like Somerville’s own bare-bones, solar-powered lifestyle, the collection is endearingly unusual, constructed from simple parts and built entirely from the ground up.

Director: Joey Bania

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Automation & Robotics
Robot says: Whatever

What stands in the way of all-powerful AI isn’t a lack of smarts: it’s that computers can’t have needs, cravings or desires

Margaret Boden

Essay/
Future of Technology
The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner