28 episodes

Why do people keep resisting new things? That’s the question Pessimists Archive tries to answer. In each episode, we travel back in time to the moment that a new technology or innovation was introduced—something that today we think of as totally commonplace!—and we explore why everyone was freaking out about it. Our hope is this: By seeing how repetitive and often silly yesterday's fears were, we can begin to defang today’s fears as well.

Pessimists Archive is hosted by Jason Feifer. Follow us on Twitter at @pessimistsarc, which is run by Louis Anslow. Our email is pessimistsarchive@gmail.com, and website is pessimists.co.

Pessimists Archive PessimistsArc

    • Technology
    • 4.8, 313 Ratings

Why do people keep resisting new things? That’s the question Pessimists Archive tries to answer. In each episode, we travel back in time to the moment that a new technology or innovation was introduced—something that today we think of as totally commonplace!—and we explore why everyone was freaking out about it. Our hope is this: By seeing how repetitive and often silly yesterday's fears were, we can begin to defang today’s fears as well.

Pessimists Archive is hosted by Jason Feifer. Follow us on Twitter at @pessimistsarc, which is run by Louis Anslow. Our email is pessimistsarchive@gmail.com, and website is pessimists.co.

    Why We Hate Being Told What To Do

    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

    • 42 min
    The Good That Comes From A Pandemic

    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: pessimistsarchive@gmail.com
    Website: pessimists.co
    Twitter: twitter.com/pessimistsarc
    Instagram: Instagram.com/pessimistsarc

    • 47 min
    Refrigerators vs. Ice: A Cold, Cold War

    Refrigerators vs. Ice: A Cold, Cold War

    Refrigerators are unnatural, unhealthy, and probably just a fad -- at least, that's according to the people who once sold ice. But the history of refrigeration actually raises some very real, very relevant questions: What's natural? How should innovation work? And why do some businesses guarantee their own failure?

    • 46 min
    Birthday Parties

    Birthday Parties

    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: pessimistsarchive@gmail.com

    • 43 min
    Faces, Faces, Faces!

    Faces, Faces, Faces!

    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. 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: pessimistsarchive@gmail.com

    • 50 min
    Teddy Bears

    Teddy Bears

    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: pessimistsarchive@gmail.com

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
313 Ratings

313 Ratings

Jessica Silverman ,

Best Find Ever!

Jason is Brilliant! Thank you for this incredible podcast. So grateful I found it.

Daniel R new show ,

Love the content

I love this podcast and show. Always entertaining and Jason is very insightful.

AlcibiadesNC ,

Monthly Podcast about It being silly to Fear the New

Solid monthly podcast, Each topic entertaining and well researched with fun asides. Wha more could you ask?

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