We always resist and demonize disruptive technology. People feared the telegraph would make our lives too busy and rife with frivolous communication. The automobile was for reckless ne'er do wells who shunned the trusty horse. And every time, innovation made human life better, once we ironed out the kinks.
Jason Feifer's podcast Pessimists Archive is all about this irrational fear of change, and the often ridiculous history of resisting innovation. The refreshing show is a life raft in a sea of fears about the information revolution we're living through today.
On our show, we propose that we're living in a unique time of technological acceleration, but Feifer suggests maybe we're not. And he has plenty of stories and research to make the case. He joins us to parse modern future shock with a lens on the cycles of fear and disruption that came before. In many ways, our visions of the future are the same: Change is inevitable and adaptation is the key to success. But the stakes for humanity in the face of global automation and mass corporate surveillance are still up for a lively debate.