๐Ÿ—ž ๐™ฟ๐šŽ๐šœ๐šœ๐š’๐š–๐š’๐šœ๐š๐šœ ๐™ฐ๐š›๐šŒ๐š‘๐š’๐šŸ๐šŽ Roundup

๐Ÿ’‰ Anti-Vaccine Fever (1915)

This week in 1896 Almroth Wright created the typhoid fever vaccination, by the year 1914, it was being given to the general public. In 1915 a newspaper noted that anti-vaxxers of the time were trying to discredit it - the piece cited various data points from its use in the military to prove them wrong.

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๐Ÿ“ป Radio Face (1925)

The โ€œRadio Faceโ€ was a condition that supposedly gave women wrinkles, some reported โ€œa faint network of linesโ€ appearing on their faces after extensive radio listening.

โ€œThe strain of trying to catch every word of wireless broadcast constantly puckers the lines around the sides of her mouthโ€.


๐Ÿ›น Skating to the Olympics

Skateboarding was considered a strange and childish phenomenon for much of its existence. Congregating youths and noise created many a local legislative wars waged by annoyed residents, skating bans were common and urban designers started to make outside spaces less skate-able. In Norway, from 1978-1989, skating was banned altogether.


In 2021 skateboarding has finally been christened a โ€˜realโ€™ sport thanks to its inclusion in the Olympic Games, but even still anti-Skateboarding posters appeared around Tokyo.


๐Ÿ˜ท SF Has Gone Back to the Masks (Again)

With the rise of the delta variant, San Francisco has gone back to the masks. In the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic a similar dynamic played out, mask rules were repealed and then re-instated after a spike in cases.

Checkout a run down of mask resistance from the 1918 pandemic:

Pessimists Archive Newsletter
7 Stupid Reactions to Flu Mask Laws in 1918 Pandemic
Nov 22, 1918: SF residents gathered around a clock tower to count down the seconds to flu mask laws ending like it was New Years Eve. Kids heckled those who didnโ€™t remove masks. https://t.co/WuNuCWkxkq?amp=1 It wouldnโ€™t be long before SF would return to the Masksโ€ฆ
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๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฆ  What a Fluzy (1919)

In 1919, a doctor claimed that women and their fashion choices affected the spread of the Spanish Flu. Dr. Baker claimed that the more skin women displayed, the broader the spread of the flu would be.

โ€œWomen who appear on fourth street exposing one-third of their legs and two-thirds of their chests are courting influenza instead of trying to prevent it.โ€


๐Ÿ–ฅ Donโ€™t Think Different

On August 15th, 1998, the first iMac was released. It epitomised โ€˜thinking differentโ€™: it was colourful and translucent, instead of beige and opaque. The computer was IN the monitor and there was no floppy drive, for some an unthinkable omission.

Turns out thinking different isnโ€™t popular, at first. Apple has always got flak for doing it, we did a run down:

Pessimists Archive Newsletter
๏ฃฟ Thinking Different is Never Popular (At First)
No two words better describe Apple than โ€œThink Differentโ€, its famous 1980s tagline. What people forget is the amount of flak Apple has gotten for practicing what it preaches. When the iMac was announced in 1998 - the first product release after Steve Jobs returned to the company - Apple rethought the PC. To start, the monitor now contained the computerโ€ฆ
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๐ŸŽบ Not Being Racist Butโ€ฆ Jazz is the Devil (1922)

The objection to Jazz in the 1920s had lots of racist undercurrents. The origin of Jazz is traced back to the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana, with roots in blues and ragtime.

Like rap in more recent times, many claimed their objection to Jazz had nothing to do with its link to the African American community. A good example is this double page spread titled โ€œThe Outcry Against Jazz Not Based on Mere Prejudice, But Due to Very Alarming Factsโ€ that insisted โ€œA startling Array of Information Upon the Dangerous Effects of the Widespread Jazz Spirit Has been Gathered by a Well-Known Social Suvey Specialist.โ€

FULL ARTICLE


๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Crypto No No

Cryptocurrency regulations slipped into the infrastructure bill caused a heated debate on Twitter and a rush to advocate for amendments. The initial proposals were as short sighted as past proposals to regulate emerging technologies, including a core technology of crypto-currencies: cryptography. We gathered some examples of misguided regulations of emerging technologies from the past:

Pessimists Archive Newsletter
Telephone Industry Moves to Ban Internet Phone Software (1996)
The San Francisco Examiner, 1996 (Source) "But Marc Andreessen, Netscape Corp.'s technology guru, said his Mountain View-based company will make computer-to-computer voice capability a standard feature in the next version of its browser programโ€ฆ
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๐ŸŽ™ Pessimists Aloud Podcast

Hear article readings from the archive, performed by a professional voice actor with old digitized records as backing music. Look out for 1918 anti-mask article readings going up soon!

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