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Build For Tomorrow (Formerly Pessimists Archive)

Build For Tomorrow (Formerly Pessimists Archive)

This is a show about the unexpected things that shape us, and how we can shape the future. We tell funny, surprising stories about why people once feared the things we love (like the teddy bears and coffee!), and the myths we keep telling ourselves (like how new tech is harming us!), and walk away with lessons that can help turn fear and uncertainty into a path of opportunity. Welcome to Build for Tomorrow, hosted by Jason Feifer. ?(This show was previously called Pessimists Archive.)

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Episodes

The Surprising Importance of To-Go Cocktails

You can learn a lot from a simple margarita? because when you take one home from a restaurant in America, you?re participating in a change that was hundreds of years in the making. In this episode, we dig deep into how cocktails-to-go became suddenly legal (and why they were once illegal in the first place). It?s a surprisingly complex story that reveals our weird history with alcohol, and how the smallest shifts can lead to unexpectedly massive changes. Get in touch! Instagram: @heyfeifer Twitter: @heyfeifer Web: jasonfeifer.com (Click ?Free Training? at the top for my course on how to become more adaptable!) Sponsor: Betterhelp.com/build Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2021-02-25
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When Exactly Were "The Good Old Days"?

We like to say that things were better before. But... what year was that, exactly? Join me on a trip through history, as we return to every supposed "golden age" to find out just how golden it was. Then we answer the big question: Is nostalgia useful or harmful, and how do we make people more excited for tomorrow? This is a full remake of our classic 2016 episode, now with lots more insights and history! Get in touch! Web: jasonfeifer.com Newsletter signup Instagram: @heyfeifer Twitter: @heyfeifer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2021-01-28
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Did Pessimists Archive Change Its Name? Yes!

This podcast was called Pessimists Archive. Now it's called Build For Tomorrow. Why? Because this show is optimistic ? and it needed a name that reflected that. It's the same show you love, now with a name that loves you back. Ready to help spread optimism? Here are some things you can do: 1. Sign up for my newsletter about how to find opportunity in change! 2. Tell friends about the show! Need my help? DM me on Instagram or Twitter. I'm happy to send a note to your friend. 3. Stay tuned. Because there's lots more fun stuff to come. By the way, the Pessimists Archive social media feeds are NOT changing their name. Thank you! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2021-01-27
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Do We Lose Skills Because of Technology?

We once knew how to do important things... until new technology made us weaker, lazier, and dumber. That?s a story we?ve told ourselves for centuries. But is it true? Get in touch! Newsletter: jasonfeifer.com Instagram: @heyfeifer Twitter: @heyfeifer Our sponsors: BitTrustIRA.com/archive to wave the sign-up fee Betterhelp.com/archive to get 10% off your first month Special Holiday deal! Go to NordVPN.com/pessimists and use code PESSIMISTS to get 68% off a 2 year plan plus 4 additional months free. It?s risk free with Nord?s 30 day money-back guarantee! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-12-28
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How to Communicate With the Future

These feel like historic times? so how can we share our wisdom and experiences with future generations? Turns out, it?s really hard! This episode explores why time capsules fail, why almost nothing lasts for thousands of years, why the future may not care about us after all?and why all of that is just fine. Get in touch! Instagram: @heyfeifer Twitter: @heyfeifer Newsletter: jasonfeifer.com To get deals from our sponsors: NordVPN: NordVPN.com/pessimists BetterHelp: BetterHelp.com/archive Teamistry podcast: link.chtbl.com/teamistry?sid=podcast.pessimists Believe In People book: warwicks.com, enter code KOCH20 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-11-26
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The Most Important Podcast of Our Lifetime!

If you?ve ever voted in an election, watched the Bachelor, or worried about the end of days, then you?ve probably fallen for a specific rhetorical trick. In this episode, we explore the history of the phrase ?the most important election of our lifetime,? and why the human brain is so UNIQUELY, INSANELY, OUTRAGEOUSLY(!!!) susceptible to hyperbole. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Web: jasonfeifer.com Instagram: @heyfeifer Thanks to our sponsors: Betterhelp: BetterHelp.com/archive Teamistry podcast: https://link.chtbl.com/teamistry?sid=podcast.pessimists Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-10-29
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224 Years of Election Hacking

We have a clear narrative about the 2016 and 2020 election hacking: It?s social media?s fault. But Russia has used the same strategy against America for 100 years (and that?s just the start). If we treat this like it?s only a Facebook problem, then we?ll never truly protect our elections. This is the history of election hacking in America, and the repercussions of calling something ?unprecedented? when it?s not. Get in touch: Email: [email protected] Web: pessimists.co Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Thanks to our sponsors: betterhelp.com/archive The podcast Physical Attraction Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-09-24
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Your Fork Is A Sign That You Think For Yourself

The fork isn?t just a tool for eating. It?s also one of the greatest symbols of individualism ? a utensil that people opposed for thousands of years, and that only gained acceptance once we started thinking differently about ourselves. This is the story of how the fork shaped us. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Instagram: instagram.com/pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-08-28
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What New Tech Will We Fear Next?

Covid changed many people?s relationship with technology? so what comes next? We explore why technophobia always happens in cycles, how we misuse science in a way that amplifies fear, and what everyone will be concerned about in five to 10 years.  Get in touch: Email: [email protected] Web: www.pessimists.co twitter.com/pessimistsarc  Instagram.com/pessimistsarc  Thanks to our sponsors:  BetterHelp.com/archive  plume.com/pessimists Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-07-30
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The Mystery of the Shared Earbuds

What does it take for two different people to find common ground? To answer that, we dig into a nine-year-old mystery. In 2011, two very different guys shared a pair of earbuds on the New York City subway. A photo of them went viral multiple times ? but who were they, and what were they really doing? All is revealed. See the photo: https://pessimists.co/the-mystery-of-the-shared-earbuds/ Get in touch! Twitter/Instagram: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Thanks to our sponsors: Betterhelp.com/archive Plume.com/pessimists Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-06-25
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Why We Hate Being Told What To Do

People are refusing to wear masks during a pandemic. Why? To understand, we rewind to the ?Anti-Mask League? of 1919 and to the opposition to seatbelt laws in the 1990s. Then we answer the big question: If people won?t listen to mandates, what *will* they listen to? Contact us! Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: pessimistsarchive.com Thanks to our sponsors: Plume.com/pessimists Betterhelp.com/archive Hullopillow.com/pessimistsarchive Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-28
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The Good That Comes From A Pandemic

Covid-19 has interrupted our world, but it's also likely to improve it. After all, history shows that massive disruption is followed by massive opportunity. So what?s in store for us now? In this episode, we learn the surprising consequences of past crises, explore the innovations that may come from Covid-19, and try to understand why disasters are so productive. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Website: pessimists.co Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Instagram: Instagram.com/pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-05-01
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How Natural Is "Natural"?

People love natural foods and natural products... but what is "natural," really? In this episode, we explore that question by going back to one of the very first times anyone claimed a natural product was better than a man-made one: It's the great war between the "natural" ice industry and the brand-new refrigerator industry. And it can teach us a lot about the decisions we make today. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Web: jasonfeifer.com Instagram: @heyfeifer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-26
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Why We Really Celebrate Our Birthdays

Today, people complain about self-obsessed millennials. Yesterday, they complained about children celebrating their birthdays. When the birthday party became popular in the 19th century, people worried that it would corrupt community, spoil children, and contradict the bible. But the truth -- about why we celebrate our birthdays and ourselves -- is far more complicated. Get in touch! Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-27
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Can Tech Physically Change Your Face?

Do you suffer from automobile face? What about airplane face? Or moving-picture face? These are just some examples from a strange historical pattern: For more than a century, people have claimed that new technologies are physically deforming our faces -- and we still say it today. (No, you don't have "tech neck"!) On this episode, we explore where this fear comes from, what it means, and what happens when the fear really does come true. Time to put on your podcast face! Get in touch: Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-23
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History's Most Subversive Toy

The teddy bear: Is it cute and cuddly, or a ?horrible monstrosity? that?ll destroy humanity? In 1907, many people feared the worst ? that this new toy would ruin young girls? developing maternal instincts, and lead us to a terrible fate. This is the story of how the teddy bear changed us all? and how we then changed the bear. Get in touch! Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: www.pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-05
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You're Vain and That's OK!

Vanity was born when the mirror was discovered. That?s what the Chicago Record wrote in 1895, around the time when mirrors became a household item. People (and especially women) were condemned for looking in the mirror, and accused of being sinful. But then the mirror altered the way we think about vanity altogether ? and forever changed the way we look at ourselves. In this episode, we explore the history of the mirror, the history of vanity, and what it can teach us about today?s obsession over selfies. Get in touch! Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-24
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Should Roads Be For Cars?

Roads weren't always for cars. In fact, highways were originally built for bikes! And now, as modern cities freak out over e-scooters, it?s worth looking back at when the roads were full of all kinds of things on wheels. How did early scooters, roller skates, and other new devices shape what we think of as the road today? And is it time to rethink how we design our cities now? Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter and Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-09-12
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The Man Who Nearly Destroyed Comic Books

In the 1950s, America declared war on the comic book. People feared that they?d turn children into hardened criminals, and so opponents burned them in large piles, states banned them, and the U.S. Senate investigated their dangers. The man leading the charge was a psychologist named Fredric Wertham, whose research fueled people?s fears. In this episode, we take a close look at Wertham to ask: How does someone come to yield so much cultural influence? And how should the rest of us react? Get in touch: Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-07-26
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How the Elevator Shaped Our World

The elevator has had a lot of ups and downs. (Sorry, sorry.) As the innovation gained popularity in the late 1800s, it had a profound effect on the way we organize our cities and ourselves. It was also blamed for a rise in crime, for causing something called brain fever, for destroying civil society, and more. On this episode of Pessimists Archive, we look at how the elevator shaped our world, why not everyone loved that, and what it has to teach us about the next big change. Because while the elevator may seem like old technology today, it has a big lesson for us about the future of transportation. Contact us: Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-06-20
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There's Nothing Wrong With Kids These Days

Kids! They?re lazy, narcissistic, and disrespectful -- or so says the older generation. But when you look back through history, you?ll discover that older generations have been saying a version of the same thing for thousands of years. Our question is: Why? And we found an answer. Get in touch: Twitter and Instagram: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-05-15
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Every New Dance Used To Be Scandalous

Why are new dances always so scandalous? Grinding, freak dancing, swing dancing, rock-n-roll -- each had their opponents. But at the beginning of it all was the waltz. We may think of the waltz as classy and performative today, but as it gained popularity in the early 1800s, the dance was called disgusting, dangerous, an ?obscene display ? confined to prostitutes and adulteresses?, and worse. Why? In this episode, we explore how the waltz got people so riled up, how everyone finally got over it, and what the whole sweaty tale can teach us about the future of scandalous dances. Reach out! Twitter and Instagram: @pessimistsarc Email: [email protected] Web: pessimists.co Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-04-22
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The Scandalous Internet of the 1800s

Today's internet can be a noisy and complicated place, but humanity has seen it all before. In the 1800s, the telegraph triggered many of the same questions and concerns that social media does today ? about privacy, information overload, moral corruption, and more. In this episode, travel back to see the origin of our internet-based fears... and whether those fears ever came true. Contact us: Web: pessimists.co Twitter and Instagram: @pessimistsarc Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-03-07
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Shop Local? Be Thankful for Chain Stores

When chain stores were new, the reaction against them was fierce. Chain stores were accused of destroying democracy, of limiting freedom, of corrupting young people, and of being evil, evil, evil. But in reality, chain stores were innovating the way we shop -- and replacing a very bad kind of local business. Even if you love shopping local, this episode might just change the way you think about business. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-02-08
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When Novels Were A "Bad Influence"

Today, novels are a wholesome alternative to modern vices. But long before television and video games, novels were the new and scary form of entertainment. They were accused of corrupting the youth, of planting dangerous ideas into the heads of housewives, and of distracting everyone from more serious, important books. In this episode, we explore the roots of anti-novel hysteria, and explore what impact it really did have on us. (And if you're looking for a good novel, check out my novel, Mr. Nice Guy!) Get in touch: Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2018-10-15
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Overcoming Our Fear of the Underground

?A big humbug? -- that?s how one critic described America?s first subway system. Other opponents were more extreme. It would release dangerous underground air, some said. It would disturb the dead, others said. A religious leader in Boston declared it a project of Lucifer himself. Why were people so opposed to this new form of transportation? To understand it, we have to rewind centuries -- to a time when people thought that Earth was hollow, and that hell was directly under their feet. Contact us! Twitter: @pessimistsarc Email: [email protected] Web: pessimists.co Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2018-08-06
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Margarine: A Cautionary Tale of Stupid Laws

This is a story about when a big industry stops competing, and starts trying to pass laws to protect itself instead. Whatever you think you know of margarine, put that aside. When the spread was first invented in the mid-1800s, it was made very differently ? and solved very real problems for the nutrient-starved people of the time. That sent the dairy industry into a full-blown panic, leading to margarine?s demonization (and then taxation and strange discoloration). In this episode, we explore how the dairy industry got politicians all riled up, what it says about industries? ability to halt innovation, and why it took more than a century for butter and margarine to finally square off in the most fair fight of them all: a true food fight. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Web: pessimists.co Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2018-06-18
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Even Thomas Edison Got Things Wrong

As electricity began to light our world, resistance came from curious corners. ?God had decreed that darkness should follow light, and mortals had no right to turn night into day,? wrote one German newspaper. ?A lamp for a nightmare,? declared a Scottish poet. And Thomas Edison, the inventor who gave us the first commercial light bulb, tried his hardest to make people fear a competitor?s form of electricity. But here?s the strangest thing of all: Edison and his ilk failed quickly; their fearmongering just never stuck, and electricity, unlike every other innovation we?ve explored on this show, easily expanded into our world. Why? To understand that, we have go way back -- to the very first spark. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2018-04-09
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Corrupting the Youth With Pinball

Pinball was banned from the 1940s to 1970s in many cities across America. New York City?s mayor made a show of bashing pinball machines with a hammer. Church ladies in suburban Chicago went on vigilante raids, ripping games out of stores. In this episode, we go through history to understand how a simple game became demonized. The answer, like pinball itself, requires us to bounce from one object to another, but ultimately falls into one big question: Is pinball a game of skill, or a game of chance? Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2018-01-27
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Coffee: The Original Controversial Drug

For 500 years, a succession of kings, sultans, and businessmen have tried to ban or destroy the world?s favorite morning pick-me-up. Among their claims: Coffee makes you impotent! It destroys brain tissue! It attacks the nervous system! And most critically of all, it makes you want to take up arms against your government. In this episode, we explore exactly what coffee does to us,,, and how did it overcame the controversy to become the best part of waking up. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-11-20
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Where the Anti-Vax Movement Came From

?One might suppose that the popular prejudice against vaccination had died out by this time,? one writer complains. It sounds like a lament from today, but in fact, it?s from 1875. Anti-vaxxers may seem like a product of our fake-news, health-hysteria modern times, but the fear that propels these skeptics is as old as the vaccine itself. How has modern medicine not shaken generations? worth of suspicion and fear? We go back to look at two pivotal moments -- the birth of the vaccine and a 1905 Supreme Court case -- to understand what still motivates the anti-vaxxers of today. Contact us: Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Site: http://pessimists.co Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-09-09
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Why Games Like Chess Are Threatening

For as long as chess has been around ? and we?re talking 1,500-plus years ? someone has tried to ban it. But why? The answer is complicated, but it begins here: For ages, global and moralistic leaders have viewed games as a threat worth quashing. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-07-20
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Bicycles Were A Misogynist's Nightmare

When the bicycle debuted in the 1800s, it was blamed for all sorts of problems--from turning people insane to devastating local economies to destroying women's morals. We explore why the bicycle scared so many people, and what happens when the opposite of our fears turn out to be true. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-06-08
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The British Used to Hate Umbrellas

National pride can be good... but it can also make you foolish and wet. In the 1750s, a London man took to the streets holding an umbrella?and braved jeers, rock-throwing haters, and even a cab that tried to run him over. We explore why rainy England was once so anti-umbrella, and whether that fight was really ever settled. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-04-11
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The First Self-Driving Car Was A Horse

When the car began replacing the horse in the early 1900s, pessimists didn't celebrate. They called it "the devil wagon," and said its mission was to destroy the world. We explore why the horseless carriage was so scary, how it was eventually accepted, and what it can teach us about the future of self-driving cars. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-03-02
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The Day the Music Died (And Was Reborn)

In the early 1900s, recorded music was accused of muddling our minds, destroying art, and even harming babies. What was everyone so afraid of? In this episode, we dig into the early days of music and see what the hysterics properly predicted?and the benefits they never saw coming. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2017-01-09
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When Exactly Were "The Good Old Days"?

We like to say that things were better before. But... when was that, exactly? We go back in time to find out -- exploring every moment that people claimed was a golden age, and trying to understand why, as Trump?s "Make American Great Again" slogan has shown, nostalgia is such a powerful force. Get in touch! Web: pessimists.co Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-11-13
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Wearing A Walkman Was Illegal

Today's critics say that smartphones separate us. We no longer make the kind of in-person human connections that we once did, they say. Well... In this episode, take a trip back to the 1980s ? when the portable cassette player was accused of turning people into ?wind-up non-humans,? laws were passed to keep them on the streets, and one New Jersey man risked jail time for his right to walk with headphones. Get in touch! Email: [email protected] Web: pessimists.co Twitter: @pessimistsarc Instagram: @pessimistsarc Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2016-09-13
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