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this week's episode
Sonat Birnecker Hart on Whiskey

Scholar and distiller Sonat Birnecker Hart of the Koval Distillery talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her career move from academia to whiskey-making. She explains...

last week's episode
Erik Hoel on Effective Altruism, Utilitarianism, and the Repugnant Conclusion
Neuroscientist Erik Hoel talks about why he is not an "effective altruist" with EconTalk host, Russ Roberts. Hoel argues that...
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related episode
Michael Munger on Profits, Entrepreneurship, and Storytelling
Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about profit. What is profit's role in allocating resources?...
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Econtalk Extra
By Amy Willis

It's a beautiful day in which neighborhood?

Is economic mobility a dream of the past? In this episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Harvard's Raj Chetty, an economist deeply interested in the science of economic opportunity (among other things!). The subject of the conversation is a new study...

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Rachel Laudan on the History of Food and Cuisine

Rachel Laudan, visiting scholar at the University of Texas and author of Cuisine and Empire, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of food. Topics covered include the importance of grain, the spread of various styles of cooking,...

Scholar and distiller Sonat Birnecker Hart of the Koval Distillery talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her career move from academia to whiskey-making. She explains that the heart is the key to great flavor--when making whiskey, and when making the right choices in life.

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Neuroscientist Erik Hoel talks about why he is not an "effective altruist" with EconTalk host, Russ Roberts. Hoel argues that the utilitarianism that underlies effective altruism--a movement co-founded by Will MacAskill and Peter Singer--is a poison that inevitably leads to repugnant conclusions and thereby weakens the...

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Is economic mobility a dream of the past? In this episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Harvard's Raj Chetty, an economist deeply interested in the science of economic opportunity (among other things!). The subject of the conversation is a new study Chetty worked on (and recently published in Nature) which suggests that...

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John Stuart Mill's midlife crisis came at 20 when he realized that if he got what he desired he still wouldn't be happy. Art and poetry (and maybe love) saved the day for him. In this week's episode, philosopher Kieran Setiya of MIT talks about his book Midlife with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Setiya argues we can lear...

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To the Founding Fathers it was free libraries. To the 19th century rationalist philosophers it was a system of public schools. Today it's access to the internet. Since its beginnings, Americans have believed that if facts and information were available to all, a democratic utopia would prevail. But missing from these w...

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Philosopher William MacAskill of the University of Oxford and a founder of the effective altruism movement talks about his book What We Owe the Future with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. MacAskill advocates "longtermism," giving great attention to the billions of people who will live on into the future long after we are ...

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Author Amor Towles talks about his book, A Gentleman in Moscow, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Along the way they discuss the craft of writing, the wellsprings of persistence, and Towles's reading habits.

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Economist Raj Chetty of Harvard University talks about his work on economic mobility with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The focus is on Chetty's recent co-authored study in Nature where he finds that poor people in America who are only connected to other poor people do dramatically worse financially than poor people who ...

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What is it that you do to practice on an almost everyday basis, that is akin to how a classical concert pianist would practice scales? How can you get others to notice this talent you hone- especially one who might fund your talent? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back Tyler Cowen to talk about h...

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How do you hone your craft on an everyday basis? It could be writing, meeting with experts, even listening to podcasts, just so long, argues economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, as it makes you better at what you already do. Perhaps more than anything else, he believes, it's practice that divides middle managers from fou...

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We've all been super excited waiting for the release of EconTalk host Russ Roberts' new book, Wild Problems. It's now out, and both I and Russ hope you all choose to read it! (How else will you catch the chapter on Bill Bellichick?!?!?) This episode is icing on the cake, as Russ brings back Mike Munger- this time to in...

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“What was once destiny is now a decision.” — Russ Roberts   Russ Roberts on Lessons from F.A. Hayek and Nassim Taleb, Decision-Making Insights from Charles Darwin, The Dangers of Scientism, Wild Problems in Life and the Decisions That Define Us, Learnings from the Talmud, The Role of Prayer, and The J...

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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 who...

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In this episode, former EconTalk guest and author of Gut Feelings, Gerd Gigerenzer joins host Russ Roberts to talk about his latest book, How to Stay Smart in a Smart World: Why Human Intelligence Still Beats Algorithms. Whether fearful or excited about the impact and potential of AI, we think you will find this discus...

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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 au...

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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...

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