Russ Roberts

October 2015

A Monthly Archive (8 entries)
 

How Does Your Information Garden Grow?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Physicist Cesar Hidalgo's new book, Why Information Grows was the subject of this week's episode. While Hidalgo and Roberts's ideas about information and the networks that transmit it have much in common, we'd like to continue to explore some of these ideas with you.

What's your reaction to the questions for thought below? Share your own in the comments, or share the results of a conversation you've had with friends. However you do it, we love to hear from you.

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1. How is "information" distinct from "knowledge?" Essayist Michel de Montaigne once wrote, "We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we can't be wise with other men's wisdom." How does Montaigne's remark apply to the way Hidalgo thinks about knowledge and information?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Cesar Hidalgo on Why Information Grows

EconTalk Episode with Cesar Hidalgo
Hosted by Russ Roberts

How%20Information%20Grows.jpg Cesar Hidalgo of MIT and the author of Why Information Grows talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growth of knowledge and know-how in the modern economy. Hidalgo emphasizes the importance of networks among innovators and creators and the role of trust in sustaining those networks.

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What's Your Story?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Yuval Harari joined EconTalk host Russ Roberts this week to discuss his sweeping new book, Sapiens. The conversation was wide and varied, as varied as the "stories" Harari suggests distinguish our species. Are you governed by stories in the way Harari suggests? Is our ability to weave such tales really the key to homo sapiens' success?

Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments. We love to hear from you.
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1. Harari's thesis is that man (of the homo sapiens variety) has been able to become dominant as a result of his ability to "flexibly cooperate" on a large scale, and that this in turn is enabled by his affinity and ability in story-telling. He regards religion, ideology, and more as "stories." How convinced are you by this characterization, and why?

CONTINUE READING...

CATEGORIES: Books , Extras



Podcast episode Yuval Harari on Sapiens

EconTalk Episode with Yuval Harari
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Sapiens.jpg Yuval Harari of Hebrew University and author of Sapiens talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of humanity. Topics discussed include the move from hunting and gathering to agriculture, the role of fiction in sustaining imagination, the nature of money, the impact of empires and the synergies between empires and science.

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Hurricanes, Heuristics, and the Human Spirit

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

In a follow-up of sorts to this early 2006 episode, Roberts sat down with Peter Boettke this week to talk about the impact of Hurricane Katrina ten years later. The two discussed the utility of various research methodologies, the interaction of the public and private sectors with civil society, and the amazing resilience of the human spirit.

We hope to continue the conversation with you...Let us know your reaction to the prompts below in the Comments, or use them to strike up a conversation offline. (And if you do, we'd still love to at least hear about it!)

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1. What were the three areas of focus in the field research Boettke and his colleagues undertook in New Orleans post-Katrina? What does Boettke mean when he says, "it's the framework that's up for grabs?" Why does it seem economists are so loathe to grasp this? To what extent are economics' common heuristics inapplicable?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Pete Boettke on Katrina, Ten Years After

EconTalk Episode with Pete Boettke
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Katrina2.jpg Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political and economic lessons he has learned as program director of research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In this wide-ranging conversation, Boettke discusses the role of civil society, the barriers to recovery that have hampered New Orleans and what worked well as people and institutions responded to tragedy and devastation.

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This week EconTalk host Russ Roberts spoke with Tim O'Reilly, and the conversation ranged over the history of the Internet and the sharing economy, the significance of open-source software, climate change, income inequality, and poetry.

What did you take from this week's whirlwind episode? Use our prompts below (or pose some of your own!) in the Comments, and let's continue the conversation.

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1. Roberts defines the central human problem as one of meaning, noting that he finds meaning at least in part through his work. We want to know how YOU find meaning? And how do you define it? Is it close to Adam Smith's definition? Explain.

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Tim O'Reilly on Technology and Work

EconTalk Episode with Tim O'Reilly
Hosted by Russ Roberts

coding2.jpg Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his career in technology and media and the challenges facing low-wage workers as technology advances. Topics include the early days of the Internet, the efficacy of regulation to protect workers, and the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop.

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