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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

Grid corrections

1 minute

Thomas Jefferson imagined a US divided into a perfect grid. One problem: the Earth is round

Following the Treaty of Paris in 1783, as the newly established United States was expanding westward, Thomas Jefferson proposed a simple solution for the mounting problem of how to organise new lands: democratically divide them into simple one-square-mile blocks. Today, vast swaths of land across the US have been divvied up in this fashion, but with one interesting wrinkle: because the Earth is round, the grid cannot rely on parallel lines or it would go wildly askew. A meditation on how our desire for order meets the realities of nature, this short video from the Dutch-born artist and filmmaker Gerco de Ruijter uses Google Earth images to track the intersections that, every 24 miles, correct the grid.

Director: Gerco de Ruijter

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/
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Essay/
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Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni