📰 🔍 Pessimists Archive ROUNDUP
😷 Masked Smile (Article Reading)
In the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic San Francisco quickly instituted a mask mandate, when it was repealed there was a countdown in the streets and jubilation as reported on the front page of The San Francisco Examiner.
Another piece on that front page was by Annie Laurie who lamented how smiles had been hidden away, she declared the pandemic over and a return to smiling again - not long after this, mask rules were put back in place as a spike in flu cases occurred.
Hear the whole article read aloud by a voice actress below:
✈️ A Modern Icarus
“IS THIS SICKENING HUMAN SACRIFICE TO SCIENCE WORTH WHILE?” asked a 1911 article which noted 27 plane related deaths since the start of the year and 64 since Orville Wrights famous 1908 crash in which his fellow passenger perished.
The piece was accompanied by a garish collage showing the faces of victims, photographs of plane wreckage and illustrations of aeroplanes and bodies falling from the sky like a modern Icarus fable come to life. “Fools? Victims? Martyrs? Which are they?” it asked.
📢 Ad-dicted (1860s)
Advertising is seen as a modern scourge, a late capitalist cancer that the citizens of socialist countries like Cuba are liberated from. As with most cynical framings of modernity it ignores history and reality, below is an example of an amusing form of advertisement from over a century and a half ago (Hat tip to @VictorianLondon for digging this up)
💉 Polio Proof
After stumbling upon a anti-polio vaccine poster, we thought it’d be a fun juxtaposition to place it next to a chart showing the drop in cases over time. The poster included many clippings of irresponsible media reporting on suspected, but unproven reactions to polio vaccinations. Similar reporting is used by anti-vaxxers today.
🎅🏻 Too Many Toys (1906)
Christmas is approaching, a sacred day that you often hear has been desecrated by modern consumerism and doting parents spoiling their children with modern amusements. A century ago they said the same thing!
💾 Unhappy New Year!
A new year is approaching and with it we see a future where a destructive biological bug is reined in by modern technology. 21 years ago many were bracing for a digital bug to bring the global economy to a halt. In retrospect it was an overblown panic, since we knew the bug was coming for decades and had a digital ‘vaccine’ (patching software)
Interestingly Bill Gates - who tried to warn the world about the inevitability of a global pandemic - waived off concerns about Y2K, a position considered irresponsible by many at the time. If only we’d taken the threat of destructive biological bugs as seriously then.
📺 We found a great video of a news broadcast counting down to the year 2000 on New Years Eve, one women had filled her bathtub with water just in case.
📰 The Washington Roast
We were mentioned in The Washington Post as an example of how not to assess emerging technologies. Watch out for our retort in the new year:)
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