this week's episode
Rituals Without Religion (with Michael Norton)

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...

last week's episode
A User's Guide to Our Emotional Thermostat (with Adam Mastroianni)
Can you be too happy? Psychologist Adam Mastroianni talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about our emotional control systems, which seem...
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related episode
Michael Brendan Dougherty on My Father Left Me Ireland
Author and journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty talks about his book My Father Left Me Ireland with EconTalk host Russ Roberts....
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Econtalk Extra
By Amy Willis

Listening, Looping, Learning

If you were having a bad day, is there someone you could call who you just know would make you feel better? If you answered yes, chances are high that person is a supercommunicator. What is a supercommunicator? In this...

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Ryan Holiday on Stillness Is the Key

Ryan Holiday talks about his latest book, Stillness Is the Key, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Holiday explores how stillness--the cultivation of serenity and focus--can affect how we live and how we perceive life. Topics discussed include the performance artist...

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, ...

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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 genera...

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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 t...

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If you were having a bad day, is there someone you could call who you just know would make you feel better? If you answered yes, chances are high that person is a supercommunicator. What is a supercommunicator? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes author Charles Duhigg to talk about his eponymous boo...

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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 H...

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Did nations get rich on the backs of other nations? Did the West get rich from imperialism? Noah Smith says no. But why not? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes Smith back to discuss these questions, based in part on a piece Smith published on his Substack. Smith tells Roberts that when most people th...

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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 pr...

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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 R...

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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.

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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 discussi...

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As war in Gaza rages on, in this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur for an historical look at antisemitism, the Holocaust, and "the long twentieth century." Gur offers a deep dive into anti-Semitism, particularly in the European context, before turning to the present day ...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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Milton Friedman may be of the most recognizable economists across our Econlib family, and especially so here at EconTalk. Friedman was a teacher of our beloved host Russ Roberts (as well as one of his first podcast interviewees), a Nobel laureate, a popular political lightning rod, and a best-selling author. When histo...

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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 t...

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