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EconTalk podcast

EconTalk

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

 

#841

Marc Andreessen on Software, Immortality, and Bitcoin

What's the single best thing happening in technology right now? According to entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, it's the ability to live in rural Wisconsin but still earn a Silicon Valley salary. Andreessen also explains to EconTalk host Russ Roberts why software is still eating the world, why he's an optimist, and why he's still bullish on Bitcoin and the blockchain. ... Read more

14 hrs Ago

1 HR 13 MINS

1:13:48

14 hrs Ago


#840

Chris Blattman on Why We Fight

It's tempting to explain Russia's invasion of Ukraine with Putin's megalomania. Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks about his book Why We Fight with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Blattman explains why only a fraction of rivalries ever erupt into violence, the five main reasons adversaries can't arrive at compromise, and the problem with trying to get into Putin's head (and why it's not all about Putin. Really). ... Read more

09 May 2022

1 HR 08 MINS

1:08:35

09 May 2022


#839

Dwayne Betts on Ellison, Levi, and Human Suffering

In his memoir of his time in Auschwitz, Primo Levi describes Jewish prisoners bathing in freezing water without soap--not because they thought it would make them cleaner, but because it helped them hold on to their dignity. For poet and author Dwayne Betts, Levi's description of his fellow inmates' suffering, much like the novelist Ralph Ellison's portrayal of early twentieth-century black life in America, is much more than bearing witness to the darkest impulses of mankind. Rather, Betts tells EconTalk host Russ Roberts, both authors' writing turns experiences of inhumanity into lessons on what it means to be a human being. ... Read more

02 May 2022

1 HR 23 MINS

1:23:39

02 May 2022


#838

Michael Munger on Antitrust

Are tech giants such as Google, Amazon, or Facebook dangerous? Do they have too much power? Dive into the murky waters of antitrust as Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about monopoly, antitrust policy, and competition in the 21st century. ... Read more

25 Apr 2022

1 HR 22 MINS

1:22:25

25 Apr 2022


#837

Tyler Cowen on Reading

Intellectual omnivore Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts talk about their reading habits, their favorite books, and the pile of books on their nightstands right now. ... Read more

18 Apr 2022

1 HR 08 MINS

1:08:46

18 Apr 2022


#836

Russ Roberts on Education

What do crossing rivers and investing in stocks have in common? Real education is seeing the connection between things that seem very different. EconTalk's host Russ Roberts talks about education with Alex Aragona of the podcast, [The Curious Task] (https://thecurioustask.podbean.com/) . Roberts argues that the ability to apply insights from one area to another with which we're unfamiliar is one of the ways that real education differs from the mere accumulation of knowledge. And when we combine insights from two areas into something completely new, we can not only navigate rivers and stock markets, but also scale the heights of the human experience. ... Read more

11 Apr 2022

1 HR 01 MINS

1:01:03

11 Apr 2022


#835

Richard Gunderman on Greed, Adam Smith, and Leo Tolstoy

Physician and careful reader Richard Gunderman of Indiana University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how Adam Smith and Leo Tolstoy looked at greed. Drawing on Tolstoy's short story, "Master and Man," and adding some Thomas Hobbes along the way, Gunderman argues that a life well-lived requires us to rise above our lower desires. Join Gunderman and Roberts for a sleigh ride into a snowy blizzard, where you won't find your way by following rules, but rather by recognizing what needs to be seen. ... Read more

04 Apr 2022

1 HR 05 MINS

1:05:14

04 Apr 2022


#834

Pano Kanelos on Education and UATX

What is real education? What can colleges provide their students? Pano Kanelos, president of the new college-to-be in Austin, UATX, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the nature of education, what the Great Books can teach us, and how we should rethink college education in today's world. ... Read more

28 Mar 2022

1 HR 14 MINS

1:14:50

28 Mar 2022


#833

Robert Pindyck on Averting and Adapting to Climate Change

Economist Robert Pindyck of MIT talks about his book, Climate Future, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Pindyck lays out what we know and do not know about climate change. He argues that because of the nature of greenhouse gases, adaptation must be part of the policy response to climate change. ... Read more

21 Mar 2022

1 HR 10 MINS

1:10:37

21 Mar 2022


#832

Maxine Clark on Building the Build-a-Bear Workshop

Stuff it, fluff it, stitch it, dress it: Build-a-Bear Founder and former CEO Maxine Clark built a retail-entertainment empire by letting people make their own furry friends. Two hundred million of them. What's the secret to her success? Listen as she tells EconTalk's Russ Roberts how she developed a customer-focused culture, why she sought to join (and not beat) her competition, and about some of the (seriously) strange things people have stuffed into their bears. ... Read more

14 Mar 2022

1 HR 03 MINS

1:03:51

14 Mar 2022


#831

Angela Duckworth on Character

Many people think schools are no place for teaching character. Psychologist Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania and founder of Character Lab, disagrees. She talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about the implicit curriculum for character, the critical role early education plays in shaping our adult values, and why the Marshmallow Test doesn't determine our destiny. ... Read more

07 Mar 2022

1 HR 05 MINS

1:05:37

07 Mar 2022


#830

Tamar Haspel on First-Hand Food

What did author and Washington Post columnist Tamar Haspel learn from her quest to eat at least one thing she'd grown, caught, or killed every day? For starters, that just-caught fish always tastes better (unless you've caught a false albacore). That all it takes to build a coop is the will and the right power tools, and that when it comes to homegrown produce, you've got none until you've got way too much. But most of all, she tells EconTalk's Russ Roberts in talking about her book To Boldly Grow, she learned that figuring stuff out to solve problems is more delicious than the most decadent of desserts. ... Read more

28 Feb 2022

1 HR 04 MINS

1:04:58

28 Feb 2022


#829

Luca Dellanna on Compulsion, Self-deception, and the Brain

Why do people eat too much even when they don't want to? Why are there so many bad managers? And why might anti-vaxxers be useful? Luca Dellanna, author of The Control Heuristic, thinks the answers to all of these questions are in our heads, or rather in our basal ganglia. Dellanna talks to EconTalk's Russ Roberts about why both brains and employees need immediate feedback, why we're wired to believe our best guesses, and why addiction is just our brain's way of making sure we survive. ... Read more

21 Feb 2022

1 HR 17 MINS

1:17:52

21 Feb 2022


#828

Michael Eisenberg on the Start-Up Nation, Storytelling, and the Power of Technology

Michael Eisenberg, venture capitalist and the author of The Tree of Life and Prosperity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the secret of the Start-Up Nation, the role of principles in investing, and why he's optimistic about technology's contribution to humanity. ... Read more

14 Feb 2022

1 HR 11 MINS

1:11:32

14 Feb 2022


#827

John Taylor on Inflation, the Fed, and the Taylor Rule

What's so bad about rising inflation? Why should we aim for a rate of 2 percent? Why is it a problem if interest rates are too low--and what do we mean by inflation, anyway? Stanford University's John Taylor talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions, the Taylor Rule, why inflation is rising, and what the Fed should do about it. At the end of the conversation, Taylor discusses whether stimulus stimulates and the dangers of the national debt. ... Read more

07 Feb 2022

1 HR 05 MINS

1:05:15

07 Feb 2022


#826

Moshe Koppel on Norms, Tradition, and Resilient Societies

Traditions and norms can seem at best out-of-touch and at worst offensive to many a modern mind. But Israeli computer scientist and Talmud scholar Moshe Koppel argues that traditions and norms--if they evolve slowly--create trust, develop our capacity for deferred gratification, and even, in the case of how we prepare cassava, protect us from poisoning. Listen as the author of Judaism Straight Up: Why Real Religion Endures talks with EconTalk Russ Roberts about tradition, religion, tribalism, resilience, and emergent order. ... Read more

31 Jan 2022

1 HR 09 MINS

1:09:23

31 Jan 2022


#825

Penny Lane on Loving and Loathing Kenny G

Love it or hate it, but you've definitely heard it: the so-called "smooth jazz" of saxophonist Kenny G. Filmmaker Penny Lane talks about her documentary, Listening to Kenny G with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They discuss the pursuit of perfection, the power of vulnerability in art, and why Kenny G is loved by the people and reviled by the critics. ... Read more

24 Jan 2022

1 HR 25 MINS

1:25:17

24 Jan 2022


#824

Tyler Cowen and Russ Roberts on Nation, Immigration, and Israel

Can Israeli society survive the loss of universal military service? Will the deregulation of Israel's kosher supervision spell the end of its Jewish character? And, speaking of Israel, what is it that makes its television dramas so good? Tyler Cowen discusses these and other subjects with EconTalk host Russ Roberts, new immigrant to Israel and unabashed fan of the Prisoners of War miniseries and Homer's Odyssey. ... Read more

17 Jan 2022

1 HR 16 MINS

1:16:35

17 Jan 2022


#823

Gregory Zuckerman on the Crazy Race to Create the COVID Vaccine

In the race for a COVID vaccine, how did a couple of companies who had never produced a successful vaccine make it to the finish line so quickly? Gregory Zuckerman talks about his book, A Shot to Save the World, with EconTalk's  Russ Roberts about the daring, deranged, and damaged visionaries behind one of science and medicine's great success stories. ... Read more

10 Jan 2022

1 HR 22 MINS

1:22:56

10 Jan 2022


#822

Lorne Buchman on Creativity, Leadership, and Art

When we see Michaelangelo's David or the design of the Apple Store, we assume a genius with a predetermined vision was the key to the outcome. Yet as Lorne Buchman, author of Make to Know, tells EconTalk's Russ Roberts, great art is more about embracing the process of exploration and the results that emerge in the process of creating. Buchman makes the case for embracing uncertainty in both leadership and life. ... Read more

03 Jan 2022

1 HR 09 MINS

1:09:15

03 Jan 2022


#821

Megan McArdle on Belonging, Home, and National Identity

After being stranded with a bunch of Brits for eight hours at a German airport in 2016, journalist Megan McArdle felt that Brexit was going to happen. The giveaway? Not the concerns over economics or politics. Rather, it was about something far more elemental: in whom they could place their trust. Join the journalist and Washington Post columnist for a discussion with EconTalk host Russ Roberts of the late British philosopher Roger Scruton's poetic exploration of home and nation, Where We Are: The State of Britain Now, and a discussion of why, when it comes to loyalties, it's our mates that matter. ... Read more

27 Dec 2021

1 HR 20 MINS

1:20:37

27 Dec 2021