Aeon
today at 02:00. Facebook
If you ask people to name the greatest scientist of all time, many will most probably answer: Galileo. The descriptions sound too good to be true – and they are: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Galileo’s reputation is more hyperbole than truth – Thony Christie | Aeon Ideas

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Aeon
yesterday at 20:00. Facebook
Before the Spanish Civil War, La Estrella was a tiny but lively village in Spain with a population of roughly 200, but following the war’s end in 1939, many residents left to pursue work in cities. The Last Two profiles La Estrella’s last remaining inhabitants. From the Aeon Video archive: ow.ly/rotU302hCju

La Estrella, Spain – population: two. Will the last couple in the village leave? | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
yesterday at 17:00. Facebook
While the boundary between science and pseudo-science seems clear enough in theory, it’s not always so straightforward in practice. The reason, in many cases, is that both draw on the same recurring set of ideas. How magical thinking haunts our everyday language, and fossilised ideas live on in even the most sophisticated science: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Magical thinking still haunts all our thoughts – Andrew Crumey | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/18/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
Set to traditional throat singing, The Nomad’s Ger uses time-lapse video to convey the dazzling, deeply rooted skill and efficiency with which a Mongolian family assembles its home on the open plains in just over an hour. An Aeon Video editor's pick: ow.ly/x5nZ3094xos
Aeon
02/18/2017 at 15:00. Facebook
Thought experiment: Many theologians and philosophers have answered the ‘problem of evil’, but what if we considered the inverse scenario? If the world was created by an evil, omnipotent god, then why would good exist? - Last week's most viewed on Aeon Video: [ Ow.ly Link ]

What, if anything, makes an all-good god less absurd than an all-evil one? | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
02/18/2017 at 13:01. Facebook
Self-help books are the subject of much ridicule – pop psychology claims to have the answers to all our woes which, based on the bestsellers list, constellate around becoming more efficient, falling in love, and making lots of money. But if self-help books are just magical thinking, why do millions of people claim that they really do work? Can all those people be wrong? Last week’s most read:
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Self-help is a kind of magical thinking: that’s why it works – Rami Gabriel | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/18/2017 at 02:00. Facebook
While habitat loss, civil war, hunting and disease rages in great apes’ natural environments, rehabilitation into the wild is near impossible. One day, the prospect of returning captive apes to their natural habitats or housing them in well-funded, spacious sanctuaries might be realistic. Currently, it is not. There is a strong moral case for why zoos ought to exist: [ Ow.ly Link ]

There is a moral argument for keeping great apes in zoos – Richard Moore | Aeon Ideas

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Aeon
02/17/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
San Siro stadium is one of the most legendary athletic venues in the world, home to the revered (and reviled) AC Milan Football Club. This video captures the style and energy of the arena in the hours leading up to a match, as pre-game rituals and the slow trickle of fans build to a fervent crescendo. Aeon Video: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Even before kick-off, AC Milan’s San Siro stadium is an awe-inducing spectacle | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
02/17/2017 at 17:00. Facebook
Plagues have killed a lot of people, and deadly diseases litter history like black confetti. Where will the next pandemic come from, and is there anything we can learn from the ones of the past? If the great plagues tell us anything, it is to avoid social conditions that allow pathogens to evolve great virulence and transmissibility: [ Ow.ly Link ]

The next pandemic will be nothing like Ebola – Wendy Orent | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/17/2017 at 02:00. Facebook
As the Nazis set about creating a new race regime with the Nuremberg Laws – but before the proposal of extermination camps – policymakers turned to American race laws for inspiration on second-class citizenship and exclusion: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Why the Nazis studied American race laws for inspiration – James Q Whitman | Aeon Ideas

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Aeon
02/16/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
On the Micronesian island of Pingelap, where 10% of the population are colourblind, colour is not given its usual pedestal – as neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks discovered when he visited the place in 1993. This interview reveals Sacks’ typical enthusiasm and fascination with the way that brains, and societies, adapt to neurodiversity. Aeon Video: [ Ow.ly Link ]

How the ‘Island of the Colourblind’ made Oliver Sacks rethink ’normal’ | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
02/16/2017 at 17:00. Facebook
There are two erotic mysteries in the Odyssey: Why does Odysseus leave Calypso and Ogygia, when life there seems comparable with heaven? And why are 117 young suitors the age of Odysseus's son so hot for Penelope? Sex and death in Homer's Odyssey: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Unveiling the erotic mysteries at the heart of Homer’s Odyssey – C D C Reeve | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/16/2017 at 02:00. Facebook
What if you had a memory that felt as real as all of your other memories, which other people also remembered – but it turned out to be false? Although some view the Mandela effect as evidence of parallel universes, there may be neuroscientific explanations for shared false memory: [ Ow.ly Link ]

On shared false memories: what lies behind the Mandela effect – Caitlin Aamodt | Aeon Ideas

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Aeon
02/16/2017 . Facebook
We’re thrilled to announce that Harvard University Press have partnered with Aeon as part of our Partnership Programme. Founded in 1913, HUP is the publisher of such classic works as John Rawls’s ‘A Theory of Justice’, E O Wilson’s ‘On Human Nature’, and Helen Vendler’s ‘Dickinson’, and continues to be a leading publisher of convergent works in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences....
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Harvard University Press | Aeon

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Aeon
02/15/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
Satellite imagery reveals the dizzying scale, and vast challenge, of building a complete US-Mexico border wall. This is what 2,000 miles of wall would look like. From the Aeon Video archive:
[ Ow.ly Link ]

What would 2,000 miles of a US-Mexico border fence actually look like? | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
02/15/2017 at 17:00. Facebook
In the 18th century, Western Europe exploded into a period of unprecedented prosperity known as the The Great Enrichment. Europe’s success was not the result of any inherent superiority of European or Christian culture. Rather, Europe’s political fragmentation spurred competition between states for scientific, technological, intellectual and cultural innovation: [ Ow.ly Link ]

How did Europe become the richest part of the world? – Joel Mokyr | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/15/2017 at 02:00. Facebook
Over the past five decades, the incidence of all allergies and autoimmune diseases has skyrocketed. What could explain our sudden hypersensitivity to our surroundings and ourselves? One thing that has changed in public health in that time is the life-saving vigilance of germ prevention, a practice that might have altered the development of our immune systems. The hygiene hypothesis: [ Ow.ly...
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The very microbes that helped us evolve now make us sick – Asu Erden | Aeon Ideas

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Aeon
02/14/2017 at 20:00. Facebook
In the US, the task of caring for the elderly is often shifted to professional caregivers – often female immigrants from cultures where caring for elders is seen as a moral imperative. This moving relationship between a Japanese detainee and her Fijian caregiver is underscored by the difficult process of preparation for the loss of the patient, and a fear of deportation. Aeon Video: [ Ow.ly Link ]

The interned and the undocumented: the immigration spectrum in the US today | Aeon Videos

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Aeon
02/14/2017 at 17:00. Facebook
In 2016 a great cryptocurrency heist took place, revealing a flaw in the algorithm-driven, supposedly foolproof 'Ethereum', and in the idea of a trust-free system. The event exposed the fact that blockchains don’t offer us a trustless system but rather a reassignment of trust, and raised the question of whether trust should be removed from transactions altogether or, inversely, be...
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Trust: the inside story of the rise and fall of Ethereum – E J Spode | Aeon Essays

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Aeon
02/14/2017 at 02:00. Facebook
One crucial way that people can best learn to live with one another is by increasing their knowledge of other religions. Without religious literacy, great multicultural experiments could descend into tribal warfare, debates concerning faith liable to create more heat than light: [ Ow.ly Link ]

Understanding other religions is fundamental to citizenship – Kenneth Primrose | Aeon Ideas

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