Posts Tagged: Aeon

This Week in Essays

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For the Passages North blog, Jennifer Maritza McCauley discovers a connection to Rosa Parks and goes to Alabama in search of answers.

Can you go home again to a place you’ve never been? Enuma Okoro writes for Aeon on moving to Nigeria to escape America’s problems.

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This Week in Essays

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For the office drones struggling to come back after the four-day weekend, take heart in James Livingston’s essay for Aeon considering whether work is necessary in our present age.

Here at The Rumpus, Helen Betya Rubinstein expresses a sense of dislocation that’s familial and personal in the face of our newly reinforced election-cycle gender binary.

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Dazed And Confused

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The network would indeed generate a lot of wealth, but it would be wealth of the Adam Smith sort—and it would be concentrated in a few hands, not widely spread. The culture that emerged on the network, and that now extends deep into our lives and psyches, is characterised by frenetic production and consumption—smartphones have made media machines of us all—but little real empowerment and even less reflectiveness.

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A Blind Eye to History

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At Aeon, Robert Neer discusses the particular absence of military history from American universities. While general history courses cover the overall societal impact of some military campaigns and political science covers the effect of military action on government, Neer notes a lack of scholarship (and scrutiny) from academics on military action since the Vietnam War.

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Origins of the “Fantasy North”

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E.R. Truitt writes for Aeon on the long history of the “Fantasy North,” the lands, people, and culture at the top of the world that have fascinated pop culture for centuries. Truitt also marks the points in history when the rugged, independent peoples of the Fantasy North became the chosen image of white supremacy movements in North America and Europe.

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Laboring for Masculinity

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Allison J. Pugh writes for Aeon on the role of labor in defining American masculinity. After interviewing nearly a hundred subjects, Pugh looks at how work defines the self-worth of men, and how un/underemployed men try to redefine masculinity in light of this:

What does it mean to prize something—to understand it as a primary measure of what it means to live a life of value—when it is becoming scarcer?

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The Paradox of Growth As Good

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Martin Kirk writes for Aeon on the paradoxical connection between economic growth and eliminating poverty. Kirk illustrates that increasing the size of the economic pie, by spending the world’s finite resources, with no change in distribution to impoverished populations, will not only not eradicate poverty in the near future, but will only accelerate the depletion of the natural world:

Every forest razed, every armament sold, every industrial pollutant created, even the profits from drugs and prostitution, all register as positive for GDP [the gross domestic product].

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Choice or Fate in Romance

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For Aeon, Polina Aronson writes on the different “romantic regimes” of the world, with “regime” defined as the cultural, economic, and sociological systems behind how we engage in relationships. Aronson compares the Western “Regime of Choice” with the regime in Russian culture that, until recently, bore little resemblance to one based on choice but rather on fate:

The most important requirement for choice is not the availability of multiple options.

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Crafting a Metaphor

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One thing you learn very quickly as a metaphor designer is that your language and your culture’s resources aren’t infinite. Nor are they as versatile as you might hope. The richness of the semantic resources that a designer can muster always encounter friction from the human brain’s built-in biases and preferences, as well as cultural defaults that block certain kinds of understandings.

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