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🎃 𝙿𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚜 𝙰𝚛𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚟𝚎 Roundup
👻 Ghost in the Machine
In 1931 The San Francisco Chronicle ran a piece titled ‘Weird, Ghostly and “Supernatural” Antics of the Radio’ exploring reports of supernatural phenomena prompted by the rise of radio. To celebrate halloween we had a voice actor perform the 30 minute article, take a listen.
We also did an extensive deep-dive/analysis in the article below, which you’ll also find in your inbox:
👨👦👦 Thinking of the Children
The debate around Facebook and Instagram, after leaked internal research lead to senate hearings, sounded very familiar. Popular entertainment youth trends often cause unease among the adult population. When something emerges to rationalize that unease, adding some scientific and academic clout - a moral panic often ensues. Adding fuel to the fire, doctors are now being quoted as playing Tourette’s like symptoms on TikTok.
Whatever you think of instagram and TikTok - one can’t ignore the historical parallels and red flags signaling moral panic. A similar pattern happened with novels, comic books, rock music and video games.
✍️ We did a run down of past hearings and government actions prompted by parental concern and moral panic.
🚲 Bicycle for the Mind
In current discussions about social media a common historical analogy is to compare Facebook to ‘big tobacco’, few seem to be noting the similarities between the treatment of the comic book industry in the 1950s. The below clip from a 1950s show called ‘Confidential File’ bares a striking resemblance to todays debates.
The problem with insisting that “it is different this time” is it serves to render important historical lessons about unfounded moral panics, mute. A good example of this is when Tristan Harris insisted there was no moral panic when the bicycle started to become popular (there absolutely was.)
🚛 What The Truck
Supply chains across the world are suffering from labor shortages, truck drivers are being offered large bonuses to get driving and only automated shipping ports are operating consistently. This is ironic - considering only last year Andrew Yang was promising truck drivers basic income to counter the threat of self-driving trucks.
Perhaps Andrew Yangs next campaign can promise to pay them $2000 a month if they return to truck driving.
🐐 Mechanical Scape Goat
In a sign that the Facebook debate might be getting a bit out of hand, a prominent Twitter user called for Mark Zuckerberg to be *literally* executed, which reminded us of when The New York Times alluded to similar sentiments the year he perfected the incandescent lightbulb. You can hear that article read aloud here.
😎🤳 How Do You Do Fellow Kids
Emmy nominated producer and rising TikTok star Cleo Abrams turned some of our archival finds into an awesome TikTok video. Check that out in the below tweet and make sure to follow her if you use TikTok.
Cleo also did a great series on unfounded fears about nuclear power you should check out.