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EconTalk

Podcast EconTalk
Podcast EconTalk

EconTalk

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  • Russ Roberts and Mike Munger on Wild Problems
    Waze and Google Maps tell us the best way to get to where we're going. But no app or algorithm can tell us whether we should head there in the first place. To economist Russ Roberts, the reason is simple: Humans are dynamic and aspirational beings. When it comes to making life's big decisions, from what to study to whom to marry or whether to have a child, it's not always us doing the deciding, he argues, but rather the people we want to be. Join the host of EconTalk, the president of Shalem College, and the author of the new book Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions that Define Us, as he speaks with friend and EconTalk favorite Michael Munger about why the traditional economic models for decision making can lead us astray--and why life should be less about solving problems than embracing possibilities.
    8/8/2022
    1:17:19
  • Gerd Gigerenzer on How to Stay Smart in a Smart World
    IBM's super-computer Watson was a runaway success on Jeopardy! But it wasn't nearly as good at diagnosing cancer. This came as no surprise to Max Planck Institute psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer, who argues that when it comes to life-and-death decisions, we'll always need real, not artificial, brains. Listen as the author of How to Stay Smart in a Smart World tells EconTalk host Russ Roberts why computers aren't nearly as smart as we think. But, Gigerenzer says, human beings need to get smarter in order to avoid being manipulated by people who use AI for their own ends.
    8/1/2022
    1:08:32
  • John List on Scale, Uber, and the Voltage Effect
    Economist John List of the University of Chicago talks about his book, The Voltage Effect, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. He discusses what determines scalability and argues that the only good ideas that count are those that scale. Along the way, he draws on his experiences as chief economist of Uber and Lyft to peer inside the black box of ride sharing.
    7/25/2022
    1:00:52
  • Vinay Prasad on the Pandemic
    When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination, is the risk of myocarditis greater than the benefit to a healthy male teen? Is natural immunity really better than vaccination--and were we right to mask the kids? Dr. Vinay Prasad of the University of California San Francisco talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what we learned and didn't learn from COVID so far and how we should handle a pandemic going forward.
    7/18/2022
    1:27:17
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Nations, States, and Scale
    A language, a flag, a national anthem and shared history—like a heart that has to pump harder to support a heavier body, the bigger a nation gets, the harder to curate an identity. Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about scale and governance with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Taleb sings the virtues of smaller relative to larger and decentralized as much as possible relative to centralized. Along the way, he provides a framework for Russia's war against Ukraine and explains why the United States has thrived despite its size and scope.
    7/11/2022
    1:05:15

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