πŸ—ž π™ΏπšŽπšœπšœπš’πš–πš’πšœπšπšœ π™°πš›πšŒπš‘πš’πšŸπšŽ Roundup

✈️ Plane Stupid (1928)

In 1928 a writer for The New York Times compared airplane skepticism to similar reactions regarding horseless carriages and the bicycle - the piece is very relevant today and can be heard read aloud in our new episode of Pessimists Aloud.

LISTEN

The most interesting quote from the article is a concern regarding horseless carriages and what would happen when the intelligence of a horse was no longer helping guided the vehicle, relevant today in the context of self-driving car technology:

β€œWe should not overlook the fact that the driving of a horseless carriage calls for a larger amount of attention for he has not the advantage of the intelligence of the horse in shaping his path…”

We did an analysis of the piece and how it applies to modern day for self-driving car company Argo.AI, check it out below:


πŸ¦Ήβ€β™‚οΈ Comical Concern (1954)

The fear of comics and their influence on children was of high concern in the 1950s, and it was argued that there was a high correlation between comics and β€œjuvenile delinquency.” The front page below covered laws against the sale of β€˜crime-comics’:

β€œHere are the laws uncovered by State’s Attorney John Gutknecht and which he believes are strong enough to stop the distributions, sale and display of the crime-horror books accused by him, judges and psychiatrists of being largely responsible for the increase in juvenile delinquency:”


πŸŽ₯ PERILS OF THE LAZY AGE (1928)

When the news that motion pictures had been successfully transmitted over the air, this piece mocked and ridiculed how lazy the modern man was becoming, saying β€œIt is one more indication that the machine age will coddle man in the lap of luxury until he is unable to stand on his own feet”

The piece goes on to compare the modern man to an onion, saying:

β€œIt is one more symptom of the lazy spirit which is turning man from an animal into a vegetable, which is squeezing him of red blood until he takes on the complexion of an onion.”

All this would supposedly mean the US would never be able to produce great men like Lincoln again:

β€œEven their amusements are to be had by the turn of a switch. How in this environment, are we to produce any more Washingtons and Lincolns? How, Indeed?”

As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, it is slightly paradoxical to use Washington as an example of a prime man when he - in actuality - had slaves to do labor for him.


πŸ’‰ De Ja Flu (1906)

As more and more reports of anti-vaxxer talking heads passing away due to COVID-19 surface, we were reminded of many reports from the past of the same thing happening - many around the 1918 pandemic. We don’t share this to mock, but to highlight the dangers of eschewing the miracles of modern medicine.


🚲 Fuck Boicycle (1897)

Early critiques of bicycles had a strong basis in the individual freedom it gave people, especially women, it is well known this made some men uncomfortable and lead to accusation of increased infidelity by women - but it went the other way too:

β€œIt is claimed the young men go off on their wheels and leave the young ladies to themselves.”

Source: πŸ“° The Kenney Gazette - Fri, Jul 09, 1897 Β· Page 1


πŸ–ΌοΈ πŸͺŸ Picture Time (1910)

American humorist and novelist Mark Twain had no pictures hanging on his walls, he saw them as artificial and instead preferred the view out the window: β€œThe trouble with most houses is that there are too many pictures, and this is especially often the case where the natural beauty of the landscape ought not to be disregarded”


πŸ§Ÿβ€β™‚οΈ Jurassic Water Park (1938)

Incumbents hate technological disruption, this 1938 report on an anti-hydroelectric speech by a gas company rep. is a good example. A. M Beebee, the general superintendent of the Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, had told the American Gas Association that:

 β€œthe developing of hydro-electric power in a country with adequate coal reserves is β€œsuicidal folly”

He went on to posit countries like Sweden and Canada, that use of hydro-electric power, should continue to do so, to β€œprevent a constant drain on their wealth” But that America should not:

β€œBut in our country, where unemployment is our greatest problem and the spreading of purchasing power our greatest need, such a development is a modern Frankenstein. β€œHydro” is our worst employer”

He finishes off by saying:

β€œThe quicker we develop the uses of coal the better. The more we develop water power the more we will delay those factors which are going to bring about the more abundant life”


Did a friend send you this? Subscribe to the newsletter: