Pessimists Archive Podcast
About This Show
The best antidote to fear of the new is looking back at fear of the old. That's what we do each episode: We travel back in time, exploring why people freaked out over a new technology. Then we try to understand why that unfounded fear continues to repeat itself today, only in slightly different forms.
Pessimists Archive was created by Louis Anslow, and the podcast is hosted by Jason Feifer. Follow us on Twitter at @pessimistsarc.
Most Recent Episode
“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.