Build For Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be better than you think! In each episode of this podcast, Entrepreneur magazine editor in chief Jason Feifer takes something that seems concerning or confusing today, and then learns its surprising history, what important things we’re missing, and how to be more optimistic about tomorrow. (The show was previously called Pessimists Archive.)

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 45m. Bisher sind 50 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint alle 5 Wochen.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 1 day 11 hours 30 minutes


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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...


 2019-07-26  51m

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...


 2019-06-20  44m

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! Web: Email. Twitter / Instagram: @heyfeifer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


 2019-05-15  47m

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...


 2019-04-22  41m

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. Get in touch! Email. Web: jasonfeifer...


 2019-03-07  48m

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: Twitter: @heyfeifer Web: jasonfeifer...


 2019-02-08  42m

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...


 2018-10-15  41m

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...


 2018-08-06  27m

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)...


 2018-06-18  42m

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...


 2018-04-09  44m