Dead Ideas

Dead Ideas
Hosted by B. T. Newberg
We explore ideas once believed to be true but no longer. Each dead idea is explored in all its glorious eccentricity.
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Dead Ideas

Father’s Day Special: Personal Stories of My Father’s Side of the Family

Happy Father’s Day, everybody. Today I’m telling stories of my father’s side of the family. It’s a tale of adventure, tragedy, murder, loss, and triumph. Join me as we explore what it means to try to live up to the expectations of those that have gone before you.

Featuring music by Ed Newberg.

Intro music by Rachel Westhoff.




Berserkers III: Law and Vengeance – RPG – Viking History

Berserkers III: Law and Vengeance - RPG - Viking History thumbnail Dead Ideas

June 10, 2018 • Today we experience life as a berserker in medieval Iceland on the cusp of Christianization. In this roleplaying epsidoe, Andre faces some tough choices on his road to...

| June 10, 2018

Berserkers II: Tales of Sex, War, and So Much More – Viking History

Berserkers II: Tales of Sex, War, and So Much More - Viking History thumbnail Dead Ideas

May 27, 2018 • Today we explore the Viking world of the berserkers, from the Rus to Scandinavia and Iceland, covering everything from longship warfare to romance with dubious queens.Be sure to...

| May 27, 2018

Berserkers I: Shield-biting Badasses of the Viking Age – Viking History

Berserkers I: Shield-biting Badasses of the Viking Age - Viking History thumbnail Dead Ideas

May 13, 2018 • They were the howling, shield-biting badasses of the Viking Age! Who were these frightening fighters? What were they really like? We’re exploring all that and more in our new...

| May 13, 2018

The Topless Renaissance

The Topless Renaissance thumbnail Dead Ideas

May 6, 2018 • It's our first-ever dead fashion: the Reniassance trend of showing one boob! Believe it or not, that was an actual fashion among court ladies in France and beyond. That's right,...

| May 6, 2018

Technocracy IV: Technocracy Today – Interview with Justin Lazzara – North American History

Technocracy IV: Technocracy Today - Interview with Justin Lazzara - North American History thumbnail Dead Ideas

April 29, 2018 • Technocracy isn't dead! Today we talk to a card-carrying modern technocrat, Justin Lazzara. How has the movement grown and changed? Find out with us today.Be sure to support the...

| April 29, 2018

Technocracy III: Welcome to the Technate! – Alternate History – North American History

Technocracy III: Welcome to the Technate! - Alternate History - North American History thumbnail Dead Ideas

April 15, 2018 • What if the Technate succeeded? Today, we indulge in a bit of alternate history, constructing a timeline where North America joins into one nation ruled by experts. Then we...

| April 15, 2018

Technocracy II: Techno-snark and the Techno-future – North American History

Technocracy II: Techno-snark and the Techno-future - North American History thumbnail Dead Ideas

April 1, 2018 • It gets snarky today with snippets of articles from a 1937 Technocratic magazine, and it gets visionary with excerpts from Harold Loeb's visionary book Life In a Technate: What It...

| April 1, 2018

Technocracy I: Functional Control Is Imperative

Technocracy I: Functional Control Is Imperative thumbnail Dead Ideas

March 18, 2018 • Our new series is a 1930s vision of techno-topia! It's not only form 30s, though - while long past its heyday, a small Technocracy movement still exists today, which only makes...

| March 18, 2018

Mohism VI Finale: Big Trouble in Little Moh-town – RPG – Chinese History

Mohism VI Finale: Big Trouble in Little Moh-town - RPG - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

March 4, 2018 • Today we put Mohist principles to the test. Andre's character returns to his home province and is forced to face complicated challenges of family, politics, and intrigue as a...

| March 4, 2018

Mohism V: Your Mohist Training – RPG – Chinese History

Mohism V: Your Mohist Training - RPG - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

February 18, 2018 • Train with the Mohists! This week is a roleplaying episode in which Andre's character experiences what life is like as a Mohist-in-training in the Warring States Era. We read...

| February 18, 2018

Space Exploration in 1920: In Honor of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch – PDT3K – Science History

Space Exploration in 1920: In Honor of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch - PDT3K - Science History thumbnail Dead Ideas

February 14, 2018 • It's Valentine's Day, and this is a valentine to humanity, sort of. In honor of last week's Falcon Heavy Launch by SpaceX, we're reading a space exploration article from 1920....

| February 14, 2018

Mohism IV: The Castle of Horrors, Part 2 – Chinese History

Mohism IV: The Castle of Horrors, Part 2 - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

February 4, 2018 • I still haven't taken that damn city! We're continuing our Mohist military defense tactics mini-series in which I am attempting to take a city and Andre is using Mohist tactics...

| February 4, 2018

Mohism III: Dungeon Master Moh and the Castle of Horrors, Part 1 – Chinese History

Mohism III: Dungeon Master Moh and the Castle of Horrors, Part 1 - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

January 21, 2018 • The enemy is attacking - call the Mohists! Andre Sólo gives us the skinny on the military defense tactics for which the Mohists were so famous. And he gives me the fool's errand...

| January 21, 2018

Dead Contraceptives – Feat. Kelly Nussbaum – Women’s History

Dead Contraceptives - Feat. Kelly Nussbaum - Women's History thumbnail Dead Ideas

January 14, 2018 • We have a very special episode today: the first ever not hosted by me! Join guest host Kelly Nussbaum and me (as co-host) as we talk about all the ways women have tried to keep...

| January 14, 2018

Mohism II: Working Class Philosophers – Chinese History

Mohism II: Working Class Philosophers - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

January 6, 2018 • They were the chief rivals of the Confucians in their early days, but today no one has heard of them. Meet the Mohists: a faction of hard-headed, big-hearted philosophers whose...

| January 6, 2018

Mohism I: Ancient Chinese Leftists – Chinese History

Mohism I: Ancient Chinese Leftists - Chinese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

December 23, 2017 • They were the chief rivals of the Confucians in their early days, but today no one has heard of them. Meet the Mohists: a faction of hard-headed, big-hearted philosophers whose...

| December 23, 2017

Christmas Ghost Stories: Glámr the Icelandic Draugr and 13 Candles – Viking History

Christmas Ghost Stories: Glámr the Icelandic Draugr and 13 Candles - Viking History thumbnail Dead Ideas

December 20, 2017 • More ghost stories! This year we hear a spooky tale from 13th-cen. Iceland: the story of Glámr the draugr! And as a bonus, Andre Sólo appears to read an original story of his...

| December 20, 2017

Self-mummification III: A Japanese Abelard and Heloise – Japanese History

Self-mummification III: A Japanese Abelard and Heloise - Japanese History thumbnail Dead Ideas

December 10, 2017 • To finish out our series, here's a a self-mummified monk whose bawdy tale could be called a Japanese Abelard and Heloise (i.e. the story Romeo and Juliet was based on, but with...

| December 10, 2017

Self-mummification II: The Perfect Samurai and the Farmer Fuck-up

Self-mummification II: The Perfect Samurai and the Farmer Fuck-up thumbnail Dead Ideas

November 26, 2017 • It's story time! Today we hear two stories of monks who self-mummified, one starting out as the perfect samurai, the other as a not-so-perfect farmer in samurai-era Japan. Be sure...

| November 26, 2017

The Merry Thanksgiving of the Burglar and Plumber, 1895 – PDT3K – American History

Dead Ideas

November 19, 2017 • Our craziest Thanksgiving special yet! This unexpectedly weird story tells of a lone woman who hates union plumbers, who gets an unexpected visitor in the night. Featuring guest...

| November 19, 2017

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