Noema’s Top 10 Of 2021

The most-read, innovative and thought-provoking content we published this year.

Marcos Guinoza for Noema Magazine

The Tyranny Of Time

The clock is a useful social tool, but it is also deeply political. It benefits some, marginalizes others and blinds us from a true understanding of our own bodies and the world around us.

by Joe Zadeh

Jonathan Conda for Noema Magazine

I Would Rather Be Born A Woman In China Than India

The vanity projects and military gadgets that are meant to signal India’s arrival on the global stage are doomed to sputter and die unless the country can improve the abysmal reality of the systematic denial of agency to women.

by Pallavi Aiyar

Daniel Martin Diaz for Noema Magazine

The Intelligent Forest

Recognizing that forest ecosystems, like societies, have elements of intelligence would help us leave behind the old notion that they are inert and predictable.

by Suzanne Simard

Noah Campeau for Noema Magazine

The Thoughts The Civilized Keep

The hype around a new AI language generator reveals the sterility of mainstream thinking on AI today — and indeed on how we think about thinking itself.

by Shannon Vallor

Pete Reynolds for Noema Magazine

How China Avoided Soviet-Style Collapse

Understanding the shifting balance of social forces, interest groups and political factions is essential to see how China escaped the shock therapy that brought down the Soviet Union.

by Adam Tooze

Riccardo Bettazzoni for Noema Magazine

A Man Of His Time And Ours

Winston Churchill’s views were typical of his place as a member of Britain’s ruling upper class, which, then and now, views dominance as a birthright.

by Priya Satia

Julien Gachadoat for Noema Magazine

A View Of The Future Of Our Data

Welcome to the era of data coalitions.

by Matt Prewitt  
Emily Garthwaite for Noema Magazine

The Last Of The Marsh Arabs

What happens to a community and ecosystem at the nexus of geopolitical tensions and climate change? And can 6,000 years of history save them?

by Leon McCarron, with photography by Emily Garthwaite

Matthew Craven

The Conscious Universe

The radical idea that everything has elements of consciousness is reemerging and breathing new life into a cold and mechanical cosmos.

by Joe Zadeh

Phoebe Johnson for Noema Magazine

The Long Shadow Of Colonial Science

Museums and gardens must become spaces that help us learn not only about biological life and human history, but also the colonialist and capitalist logic that still governs our everyday lives.

by Sria Chatterjee