History Repeating Itself

History Repeating Itself attempts to shed light on current events by exploring similar episodes that have already run their course

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Pulling back the surface of popular fallacies. Exposing human nature as the mechanism for repetition in history. Learning from the past so we can better plan for the future.
ūüá¨ūüáß English
last modified
2019-07-30 21:50
last episode published
2017-11-16 13:14
publication frequency
41.7 days
Ben Orlando author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Society & Culture History Philosophy Sports & Recreation



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

What Football Was and Is To Me

In this episode, I talk about what football meant to me, and how I feel about it today. 

The Work Week Evolution: Are We Working Too Many Hours?

This week Ben and Michelle discuss the changing shape of the work week over the past ten thousand years, and they find some interesting statistics about ancient rest periods that put our current models to shame. 

The Father of American Policing

In this episode, I interview Dr. Will Oliver, who recently wrote a book on lawman August Vollmer. Vollmer held contrary views on most issues of his time, but his ability to apply logic to every situation made him a legendary figure in the world of law ...


Internet trolls did not invent the act of anonymous harassment. So who did? In this episode we track the progress of troublemakers hiding in the shadows. 

Kakistocracy and Why Children Should Have the Right to Vote

In this episode we explore some strange words and explain why maybe all children should have the right to vote. 

The Benefits of Scavenging

In this episode we explore the roots of our scavenging past, and we talk about our current role in the food chain. 

Are we hunters at heart? Really?


Happy Birthday! What does it mean anymore?

Certain gestures, like saying "Happy Birthday," used to relate much more to our ability to remember. But now as we rely more on technology to remember for us, how are the effects of these gestures changing? 

The Future of Writing

How can images replace text in our writing? We look to the past, and to China, for the answer to this question. Also, many schools in the U.S. and around the world are no longer teaching cursive, or even print writing. What does this mean for our brain...

The Evolution of Writing

Learning how to read and write rewired our brains in fascinating ways. But where did writing come from, and for that matter, where did language originate? 

An Airplane for Everyone

Airplanes in department stores? There was a time in U.S. History when people experienced this reality. But are we any closer today to realizing the dream of the personal airplane? 

Football. Soon to be History?

In this episode we break down the factors that will influence the fate of football in the United States. Is it doomed or is it immune to the newly-exposed horrors of the game?

Weddings. Then, Now, and Beyond

Weddings today do not mean what they used to, and for this very reason, people do their best to ressurect that lost meaning. In this episode we trace the evolution of the modern wedding and discuss how and why the focus has shifted from quality to quan...

Pleasures and Pitfalls of Synthetic Love

Sex with machines is here, and it's only going to become more common. In this episode we discuss the benefits and consequences of relationships with synthetic beings. 

Sex Machines in Our History

Steam-powered vibrators the size of kitchen tables, the importance of dildos in Ancient Greece, and the future of sex machines in this second installment of our series on synthetic relationships. 

Robots In Our Beds

A man discusses the pros and cons of being married to a doll. And what does this mean for human relationships?

Living Ourselves To Death

Concepts like extreme choice and mobility are two modern realities leading us toward depression and suicide. In this episode, we look at four ways our hunter gatherer ancestors may have been better off. 

Learning From The Uncivilized

What if hunter-gatherers employ most or all of the strategies for leading a depression-free life? In this episode we compare modern life to pre-civilized life and examine four hunter-gatherer behaviors we might want to copy. 


From bridges to guns to coal gas ovens, we explore the link between accessibility and suicide.

Suicide: It's In Our Blood

With a simple blood test, scientists can now determine our likelihood of suicidal behavior. But what are the implications of this discovery? 

What's Wrong With Suicide

Will suicide be more or less acceptable in the future? We try to answer this question by speaking with expert thinkers about the logic or lack of logic behind our perceptions of suicide.

Football: Reforming the Brain

A new study connects football in younger players to possible behavioral changes. And one high school cancels the rest of the football season becuase of the threat of injury. 

Football vs Gladiatorial Combat Reboot

More little-known parellels between football and gladiatorial combat. 

Babies. Why?

Most people don't question the act of having a child, but what seems like the natural thing to do might be more of a trend than a law of nature. In this episode, we speak to various scholars and scientists to get to the bottom of our true motivations f...

Designing a Crime-Free World

Solitary Confinement used to be a good thing. And what does the size of a community have to do with crime prevention? How was Charles Dickens one hundred years ahead of his time in understanding the power of solitary confinement?

Creating a Criminal

We have proven programs to decrease crime rates, yet we don't follow them. We spend so much on the criminal justice system, yet we're only making things worse. And a man named August Vollmer, who lived a hundred years ago, knew how to fix most of our c...

Natural Burial: Robbing the Funeral Industry

The U.S. is one of only 6 countries that embraces embalming. Why? And why do we spend thousands on funerals when we can achieve the same goals for almost zero dollars? What does the Civil War have to do with buying a casket at Costco, and how can talki...

Pornography and High Heels

Since the advent of photography, high heels have been integrally linked with pornography. In this episode we'll trace the ebb and flow of heels over the last 150 years. We'll look at why people wear heels and why high heels might be on the way out in A...

High Heels Came From Persian Horsemen

High Heels came to the west via the Persian Army in the 17th century. Also, women originally adopted high heels from men becuase women wanted to appear more masculine. This and more in Part 3 of our series on the past, present, and future culture of hi...

High Heels and Sexual Stimulation

Does foot binding lead to increased sexual stimulation? And how did the thousand-year tradition of foot binding disappear in a generation, a country with expansive borders and a population of over 400,000 people? We'll talk to experts and tackle these ...

High Heels, Cinderella& Footbinding

In this four-part series, we'll explain why high heel trends are important to everyone, and we'll look at the connections between high heels, foot binding, Cinderella, and possible increased sexual stimulation.   

Rob Ford's Predecessors

Why isn't Rob Ford unique in the world of politics? In our first installment of "In The News," we look at other leaders in history that share some of Mr. Ford's qualities, good and bad, and we'll try to figure out what makes a politician worth voting f...

Football Compared to 1000 Car Crashes

How does football relate to being in 1000 car crashes in six months, and what are the ethical and moral arguments against watching football considering the newly documented health risks? This and more in part 3 of our series on the decline of football ...

Decline of Boxing and Now, Football

Why did boxing, which once rivaled baseball for the number one spot in American sports, disappear from high schools and colleges, and what can the fall of boxing tell us about the future of football in America?

Decline of Football and Roman Gladiators

Roman gladiators can tell us a lot about what might happen with football in America. For example, the gladiatorial industry had salary caps and minor leagues.