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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 900+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

Location:

Indianapolis, IN

Description:

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 900+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

Twitter:

@EconTalker

Language:

English

Contact:

8335 Allison Pointe Trail Indianapolis, IN 46250 (317) 842-0880


Episodes
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Purpose, Pleasure, and Meaning in a World Without Work (with Nicholas Bostrom)

5/20/2024
If you didn't have to work to enjoy material abundance, would you do it anyway? If an algorithm or a pill could achieve better results, would you bother shopping or going to the gym? These are the kinds of questions we'll need to ask ourselves if AI makes all human labor and other traditional ways of spending time obsolete. Oxford philosopher Nicholas Bostrom, author of Deep Utopia, is downright bullish about our ability, not only to adjust to a life stripped of labor, but to thrive. Listen as Bostrom explains to EconTalk's Russ Roberts what pleasure and leisure might look like in a world without struggle or pain, and why art and religion may come out still standing, or even become more necessary. Finally, they speak about how AI might free us up to be the best people we can be.

Duration:01:16:32

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Glenn Loury Tells All

5/13/2024
Economist and social critic Glenn Loury talks about his memoir, Late Admissions, with EconTalk's Russ Roberts. In a wide-ranging and blunt conversation, Loury discusses his childhood, his at-times brilliant academic work, his roller-coaster ideological journey, and his personal flaws as a drug addict and imperfect husband. This is a rich conversation about academic life, race in America, and the challenges of self-control.

Duration:01:30:26

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Living with the Constitution (with A.J. Jacobs)

5/6/2024
What does it mean to live Constitutionally in the year 2024? For a start, it means getting off social media. It also means swapping a quill pen for your keyboard, and candlelight for electricity. And don't forget the tricorn hat and musket--though maybe skip the boiled mutton. Join author A.J. Jacobs as he deep-dives with EconTalk's Russ Roberts into the centuries-old principles of the U.S. Constitution and tries to apply them to the current day. Topics include the original conceptions of our most cherished amendments, the office of the President, and the Supreme Court, and an explanation of how one can be an originalist and still believe in gender equity. Jacobs also shares his family's experience writing its own constitution, and explains why his research made him more optimistic about the future of American democracy.

Duration:01:08:51

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The Top EconTalk Conversations of 2023 (with Russ Roberts)

4/29/2024
The favorite EconTalk episodes for host Russ Roberts are when he and his guest have an unusually powerful connection such as his recent episode with Charles Duhigg, and the ones where he learns something mind-blowing, like Adam Mastroianni’s insight that you can’t reach the brain through the ears. Listen as Russ explains how he chooses guests, and why EconTalk has evolved to focus on things other than economics. He also shares listeners' favorite conversations from 2023, and tells a story that shows the challenges—and opportunities—of applying EconTalk’s lessons to our personal lives.

Duration:00:42:08

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Seeking Immortality (with Paul Bloom)

4/22/2024
Would an AI simulation of your dead loved one be a blessing or an abomination? And if you knew that after your own death, your loved ones would create a simulation of you, how would that knowledge change the way you choose to live today? These are some of the questions psychologist Paul Bloom discusses with EconTalk's Russ Roberts as we stand on the threshold of digital immortality.

Duration:01:13:35

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When Prediction Is Not Enough (with Teppo Felin)

4/15/2024
If the Wright Brothers could have used AI to guide their decision making, it's almost certain they would never have gotten off the ground. That's because, points out Teppo Felin of Utah State University and Oxford, all the evidence said human flight was impossible. So how and why did the Wrights persevere? Felin explains that the human ability to ignore existing data and evidence is not only our Achilles heel, but also one of our superpowers. Topics include the problems inherent in modeling our brains after computers, and the value of not only data-driven prediction, but also belief-driven experimentation.

Duration:01:07:10

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Rituals Without Religion (with Michael Norton)

4/8/2024
While religion may play less of a role in many people's lives, rituals--the lifeblood of religion--remain central to the human experience. Listen as Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School explains how and why rituals remain at the center of our lives--they give meaning to life-cycle events and secular holidays, calm our fears, and give us a sense of control when the pressure to perform can otherwise overwhelm us.

Duration:01:00:59

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A User's Guide to Our Emotional Thermostat (with Adam Mastroianni)

4/1/2024
Can you be too happy? Psychologist Adam Mastroianni talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about our emotional control systems, which seem to work at bringing both sadness and happiness back to a steady baseline. Too much happiness is--perhaps surprisingly--not necessarily a good thing. They also explore whether our general level of happiness is really related to events in our lives or connected to something much larger than ourselves.

Duration:01:03:03

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What Does "Unbiased" Mean in the Digital World? (with Megan McArdle)

3/25/2024
Listen as Megan McArdle and EconTalk's Russ Roberts use Google's new AI entrant Gemini as the starting point for a discussion about the future of our culture in the shadow of AI bias. They also discuss the tension between rules and discretion in Western society and why the ultimate answer to AI bias can't be found in technology.

Duration:01:12:25

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Voices from Gaza (with Ahmed Alkhatib)

3/18/2024
Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib spent much of his childhood in Gaza before becoming an American citizen. He has lost dozens of family members and both his childhood homes in Israel's war in Gaza. But he hasn't lost hope for peace and the future of the Palestinian people. Listen as he describes the reality of life in Gaza under Hamas rule, and what he believes most Gazans think of Hamas. He also shares his thoughts on how to save Israel's hostages, and how Palestinians can thrive once the war is over.

Duration:01:12:58

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Living with Exponential Change (with Azeem Azhar)

3/11/2024
The world of today would seem alien to someone living 30 years ago: people seduced by their screens in private and public and now AI blurring the lines between humans and the machine. Author and technologist Azeem Azhar chronicles the pace of change and asks whether the human experience can cope with that pace while preserving what is fundamentally human.

Duration:01:14:10

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How to Avoid Lying With Statistics (with Jeremy Weber)

3/4/2024
There's often a gap between the textbook treatment of statistics and the cookbook treatment--how to cook up the numbers when you're in the kitchen of the real world. Jeremy Weber of the University of Pittsburgh and the author of Statistics for Public Policy hopes his book can close that gap. He talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how to use numbers thoughtfully and honestly.

Duration:01:12:33

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The Secrets of Great Conversation (with Charles Duhigg)

2/26/2024
When EconTalk's Russ Roberts sat down with Charles Duhigg to talk about his new book on the art of conversation, Supercommunicators, Roberts tried to apply some of its lessons to his conversation with the author. The result is this special conversation between two people eager to connect and communicate. Enjoy.

Duration:01:23:05

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A Lively Debate on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (with Robert Wright)

2/19/2024
Journalist and author Robert Wright invited EconTalk's Russ Roberts to his podcast, NonZero, to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, knowing that there would be plenty to disagree about. The two then agreed to release their back-and-forth on their respective podcasts. The result is a lively but respectful discussion that is more debate than the usual EconTalk episode. We hope there will still be much to learn from this slightly more combative than usual episode.

Duration:01:46:37

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Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (with Hillel Cohen)

2/12/2024
How far back should you go to understand the current moment in the relationship between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors and the attack of October 7? Some would say 2005, or 1967, or maybe 1948 when the State of Israel was founded. But for historian and author Hillel Cohen of Hebrew University, year zero was 1929. Listen as he explains to EconTalk's Russ Roberts the significance of that year for the current moment, and the challenge of being an open-minded historian when tribal issues loom large.

Duration:01:08:06

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Should Israel Depend on the US? (with Michael Oren)

2/5/2024
For decades, American aid to Israel has sent a strategic message: the greatest superpower in the world stands behind the Jewish state. But does it really? Historian and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren tells EconTalk's Russ Roberts that it's time for Israel to stop accepting U.S. foreign aid. He also explains why he's optimistic about Israel's future even as the Gaza War drags on.

Duration:01:13:39

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What Palestinians Are Thinking (with Dahlia Scheindlin)

1/29/2024
Pollster and political scientist Dahlia Scheindlin has worked extensively with public opinion polls of both Palestinians and Israelis. Listen as she talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about the dreams, fears, anger, and frustration of both sides. Along the way she analyzes the mood of Arab-Israelis and what optimism, if any, she has for a peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians in the aftermath of October 7th.

Duration:01:05:37

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If Life Is Random, Is It Meaningless? (with Brian Klaas)

1/22/2024
How did a husband-and-wife vacation end up saving a city from the atomic bomb while destroying another? And how did a century-old murder of one family bring another into existence? Easily, explains political scientist Brian Klaas of University College London, who points out that history is replete with chance events that profoundly shaped both society and individual lives. Listen as Klaas discusses his book Fluke with EconTalk's Russ Roberts. Klaas argues that recognizing the randomness of everyday life and history can lead to a newfound appreciation for the meaning of every decision, and to a focus on joyful experimentation instead of relentless optimization.

Duration:01:00:24

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Can a Nation Plunder Its Way to Wealth (with Noah Smith)

1/15/2024
Did nations get rich on the backs of other nations? Did the West get rich from imperialism? Noah Smith says no. But why not? If you can steal stuff, isn't that better than having to make it yourself? Listen as Noah Smith and EconTalk's Russ Roberts discuss the impact of imperialism and industrialization on growth and wealth. Smith argues that understanding plunder and where wealth comes from is more than an exercise in economic history--it matters for today's world, too.

Duration:01:09:31

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The Challenge of Covering the Most Important Story on Earth (with Matti Friedman)

1/8/2024
Journalist Matti Friedman worked for the Jerusalem Bureau of the Associated Press from 2006 to 2011. Looking back at that experience, Friedman argues that little has changed in the journalism landscape. Listen as Friedman discusses with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the media's obsession with Israel and how and why the media often sidelines facts in service of ideology, and the challenge of objective reporting in wartime.

Duration:01:15:29