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Build For Tomorrow

52 EpisodesProduced by Jason FeiferWebsite

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 tomor… read more

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The Four-Day Workweek Is Here

April 28th, 2022


The four-day workweek was once just an experiment. Now it’s regular life for many people. So what’s that like? In this episode, we look at the good, …

Real Ways to Predict the Future

March 31st, 2022


Do you wish you could predict the future? Not in a street-corner psychic kind of way, but in a more personal, meaningful way. How can you know what’s …

The Climate Problem We Can Solve Now

February 24th, 2022


Climate change is described as a “generational battle,” in which young people care and older people don’t. But this is a perfect example of how we …

Why People Can’t Write, and How To Fix That

January 27th, 2022


Who is to blame for people’s poor writing skills? It isn’t texting or tweeting. It’s a fateful decision made in 1875, from which we’ve never …

We Can Make Politics Smarter

December 27th, 2021


We like to laugh at lawmakers for their technology ignorance, like when Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked a Facebook executive if she’ll “commit to …

The Case for Sex Robots

November 25th, 2021


Sex robots?! For decades, people have debated their dangers or called them ridiculous. But what if these bots can actually be a good thing? Here is …

This Episode Will Change Your Brain

October 28th, 2021


People worry that technology changes our brains. It’s the reason why tech critics talk about dopamine, a chemical that they say turns us into social …

Simple Pleasures Aren’t Simple (See: Knitting)

September 30th, 2021


Is everything really political these days? Or has it always been that way?

To answer that, let’s look at the story of knitting. Can anything get …

The Not-Boring Truth About Boredom

August 26th, 2021


The most dangerous thing about smartphones, according to critics, is that we're never bored. Boredom is healthy, they say! But history and science may say otherwise. People have spent thousands of years desperately …

Yes, Talk to Strangers!

July 30th, 2021


You might think you’re bad at talking with strangers. But in fact, you were built to talk to them — and you’re more natural at it than you know. In …

How to Create Better Memories

June 24th, 2021


Many people are reminiscing about the things they enjoyed during Covid, which is a surprisingly common thing to happen after bad or challenging times. Why do we do this? Because our memories work in strange, unexpected, …

You Are Not “Addicted” To Technology

May 27th, 2021


Are smartphones and social media addictive? Tech critics say yes. But actual addiction researchers say something else — and they point to ways in which our broad use of the word “addiction” can cause real harm. In this …

How To Live Like Ancient Royalty

April 29th, 2021


What was once only available to kings and queens, but that you can do today? The answer: Shocking stuff you've never even thought of. If you ever worry that our world is in decline, this episode can help put that in …

Everyone Is Wrong About Participation Trophies

March 25th, 2021


You’ve heard the story: Young people got “participation trophies” as kids, and it taught them to be entitled, lazy workers. But here’s what you …

The Surprising Importance of To-Go Cocktails

February 25th, 2021


You can learn a lot from a simple margarita… because when you take one home from a restaurant in America, you’re participating in a change that was hundreds of years in the making. In this episode, we dig deep into how …

When Exactly Were "The Good Old Days"?

January 28th, 2021


We like to say that things were better before. But... what year was that, exactly? Join me on a trip through history, as we return to every supposed …

Did Pessimists Archive Change Its Name? Yes!

January 27th, 2021


This podcast was called Pessimists Archive. Now it's called Build For Tomorrow.

Why? Because this show is optimistic — and it needed a name that reflected that. It's the same show you love, now with a name that loves you …

Do We Lose Skills Because of Technology?

December 28th, 2020


We once knew how to do important things... until new technology made us weaker, lazier, and dumber. That’s a story we’ve told ourselves for …

How to Communicate With the Future

November 26th, 2020


These feel like historic times… so how can we share our wisdom and experiences with future generations? Turns out, it’s really hard! This episode …

The Most Important Podcast of Our Lifetime!

October 29th, 2020


If you’ve ever voted in an election, watched the Bachelor, or worried about the end of days, then you’ve probably fallen for a specific rhetorical trick. In this episode, we explore the history of the phrase “the most …

224 Years of Election Hacking

September 24th, 2020


We have a clear narrative about the 2016 and 2020 election hacking: It’s social media’s fault. But Russia has used the same strategy against America …

Your Fork Is A Sign That You Think For Yourself

August 27th, 2020


The fork isn’t just a tool for eating. It’s also one of the greatest symbols of individualism — a utensil that people opposed for thousands of years, …

Why New Technology Always Seems Scary

July 30th, 2020


People said radio was too addictive... then TV was too addictive... and now smartphones are too addictive! Why does every generation say the same …

The Mystery of the Shared Earbuds

June 25th, 2020


What does it take for two different people to find common ground? To answer that, we dig into a nine-year-old mystery. In 2011, two very different …

Why We Hate Being Told What To Do

May 28th, 2020


People are refusing to wear masks during a pandemic. Why? To understand, we rewind to the “Anti-Mask League” of 1919 and to the opposition to seatbelt laws in the 1990s. Then we answer the big question: If people won’t …

The Good That Comes From A Pandemic

April 30th, 2020


Covid-19 has interrupted our world, but it's also likely to improve it. After all, history shows that massive disruption is followed by massive …

How Natural Is "Natural"?

March 26th, 2020


People love natural foods and natural products... but what is "natural," really? In this episode, we explore that question by going back to one of the very first times anyone claimed a natural product was better than a …

Why We Really Celebrate Our Birthdays

February 27th, 2020


Today, people complain about self-obsessed millennials. Yesterday, they complained about children celebrating their birthdays. When the birthday …

Can Tech Physically Change Your Face?

January 23rd, 2020


Do you suffer from automobile face? What about airplane face? Or moving-picture face? These are just some examples from a strange historical pattern: …

Teddy Bears Are History's Most Subversive Toy

December 5th, 2019


The teddy bear: Is it cute and cuddly, or a “horrible monstrosity” that’ll destroy humanity? In 1907, many people feared the worst — that this new …

You're Vain and That's OK!

October 24th, 2019


Vanity was born when the mirror was discovered. That’s what the Chicago Record wrote in 1895, around the time when mirrors became a household item. …

Should Roads Be For Cars?

September 12th, 2019


Roads weren't always for cars. In fact, highways were originally built for bikes! And now, as modern cities freak out over e-scooters, it’s worth …

The Man Who Nearly Destroyed Comic Books

July 25th, 2019


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 …

How the Elevator Shaped Our World

June 20th, 2019


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 …

There's Nothing Wrong With Kids These Days

May 15th, 2019


Kids! They’re lazy, narcissistic, and disrespectful -- or so says the older generation. But when you look back through history, you’ll discover that …

Every New Dance Used To Be Scandalous

April 22nd, 2019


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 …

The Scandalous Internet of the 1800s

March 7th, 2019


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, …

Shop Local? Be Thankful for Chain Stores

February 8th, 2019


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 …

When Novels Were A "Bad Influence"

October 15th, 2018


Today, novels are a wholesome alternative to modern vices. But long before television and video games, novels were the new and scary form of …

Overcoming Our Fear of the Underground

August 6th, 2018


“A big humbug” -- that’s how one critic described America’s first subway system. Other opponents were more extreme. It would release dangerous …

Margarine: A Cautionary Tale of Stupid Laws

June 18th, 2018


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 …

Even Thomas Edison Got Things Wrong

April 9th, 2018


As electricity began to light our world, resistance came from curious corners. “God had decreed that darkness should follow light, and mortals had no …

Corrupting the Youth With Pinball

January 27th, 2018


Pinball was banned from the 1940s to 1970s in many cities across America. New York City’s mayor made a show of bashing pinball machines with a hammer. Church ladies in suburban Chicago went on vigilante raids, ripping …

Coffee: The Original Controversial Drug

November 20th, 2017


For 500 years, a succession of kings, sultans, and businessmen have tried to ban or destroy the world’s favorite morning pick-me-up. Among their …

Where the Anti-Vax Movement Came From

September 9th, 2017


“One might suppose that the popular prejudice against vaccination had died out by this time,” one writer complains. It sounds like a lament from …

Why Games Like Chess Are Threatening

July 20th, 2017


For as long as chess has been around — and we’re talking 1,500-plus years — someone has tried to ban it. But why? The answer is complicated, but it begins here: For ages, global and moralistic leaders have viewed games …

Bicycles Were A Misogynist's Nightmare

June 8th, 2017


When the bicycle debuted in the 1800s, it was blamed for all sorts of problems--from turning people insane to devastating local economies to destroying women's morals. We explore why the bicycle scared so many people, …

The British Used to Hate Umbrellas

April 11th, 2017


National pride can be good... but it can also make you foolish and wet. In the 1750s, a London man took to the streets holding an umbrella—and braved …

The First Self-Driving Car Was A Horse

March 2nd, 2017


When the car began replacing the horse in the early 1900s, pessimists didn't celebrate. They called it "the devil wagon," and said its mission was to destroy the world. We explore why the horseless carriage was so …

The Day the Music Died (And Was Reborn)

January 9th, 2017


In the early 1900s, recorded music was accused of muddling our minds, destroying art, and even harming babies. What was everyone so afraid of? In this episode, we dig into the early days of music and see what the …

When Exactly Were "The Good Old Days"?

November 13th, 2016


We like to say that things were better before. But... when was that, exactly? We go back in time to find out -- exploring every moment that people …

Wearing A Walkman Was Illegal

September 12th, 2016


Today's critics say that smartphones separate us. We no longer make the kind of in-person human connections that we once did, they say. Well...

In this episode, take a trip back to the 1980s — when the portable cassette …

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