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‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ was the first modern drug memoir and set the tone for opium use for decades. Here: Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy), a group of deep red flowers, buds and seed pods. Opium is extracted from the latex of the unripe seed pods. Ripe seeds are innocuous and widely used in baking. (Rowan McOnegal/Wellcome Collection)

The 19th century book that spawned the opioid crisis

'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' is considered the first modern drug memoir. Many believe it is responsible for our romantic ideas of opium-based drug use today.
Aboriginal elder Max Eulo holds a baby in front of a sea of 70,000 multi-coloured paper hands at the Sydney Opera House in December 2000. David Gray/Reuters

Friday essay: reflections on the idea of a common humanity

Racism is again on the rise in many parts of the world. So is the dehumanisation of our enemies. What hope is there, then, for notions of a common humanity?
Dangerous thinking. dreamerve

Can kids do Kant?

Philosophy was always dangerous, as the life and death of Socrates taught us. He was, need I remind you, executed not by an authoritarian regime but by a caring democracy. Times have changed however, and…

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