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A.J. Jacobs on Solving Life's Puzzles

How much of life can be solved by algorithms, and how much just can't be solved? Listen as A.J. Jacobs, author of The Puzzler, talks with...

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Roosevelt Montás on Rescuing Socrates
How do books change our lives? Educator and author Roosevelt Montás of Columbia University talks about his book Rescuing Socrates...
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Agnes Callard on Philosophy, Progress, and Wisdom
Philosopher and author Agnes Callard talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of philosophy, the power of philosophy,...
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Econtalk Extra
By Amy Willis

Maybe Economics Isn't Always the Answer

Are you merely a cog in the larger economy? What's wrong with being a cog? After all, cogs are individual decision-makers, and isn't that the appropriate focal point of economic analysis? Even if being a cog isn't so bad, what...

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Michael Munger on the Future of Higher Education

In this 750th (!) episode, Duke University's Michael Munger talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether the pandemic might create an opportunity for colleges and universities to experiment and innovate. Munger is Professor of Political Science, Economics and Public...

How much of life can be solved by algorithms, and how much just can't be solved? Listen as A.J. Jacobs, author of The Puzzler, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he learned from solving every kind of puzzle imaginable, including the biggest stumper of all: what it really means to be a human being.

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How do books change our lives? Educator and author Roosevelt Montás of Columbia University talks about his book Rescuing Socrates with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Drawing on his own educational and life journey, Montás shows how great books don't just teach us stuff--they get inside us and make us who we are.

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Are you merely a cog in the larger economy? What's wrong with being a cog? After all, cogs are individual decision-makers, and isn't that the appropriate focal point of economic analysis? Even if being a cog isn't so bad, what are the monsters you need to look out for in the digital economy? And what sort of economic p...

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Former Google ads boss Sridhar Ramaswamy says that we live in a world that seems to give out free content when we use a search engine. But that world comes with a hidden cost--search results that distort what we find and serve advertisers rather than searchers. Ramaswamy talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how...

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In October 1973, an unhappy Leonard Cohen was listening to the radio on his Greek island home when he heard that Israel was at war. He headed to Tel Aviv, exchanging a personal and creative crisis for a national one. Absent a plan and even a guitar, Cohen wound up serenading Israeli soldiers at the front. Journalist Ma...

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Why are some people incurious? Is curiosity a teachable thing? And why, if all knowledge can be googled, is curiosity now the domain of a small elite? Listen as Ian Leslie, author of Curious, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts why curiosity is a critical virtue, why it's now in dangerous decline, and why, when it...

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Mainstream economics, says author Diane Coyle, keeps treating people like cogs: self-interested, rational agents. But in the digital economy, we're less sophisticated consumer and more monster under the influence of social media. Listen as the economist and former UK Treasury advisor tells EconTalk host Russ Roberts ho...

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What's the single best thing happening in technology right now? According to entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, it's the ability to live in rural Wisconsin but still earn a Silicon Valley salary. Andreessen also explains to EconTalk host Russ Roberts why software is still eating the world, why he's an...

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It's tempting to explain Russia's invasion of Ukraine with Putin's megalomania. Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks about his book Why We Fight with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Blattman explains why only a fraction of rivalries ever erupt into violence, the five main reasons adversaries can't...

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Can you think of a book you've read that could describe your experience in the world to someone else? That question is what motivated this episode, in which host Russ Roberts welcomed back Dwayne Betts, poet, author, and founder of Freedom Reads. To prepare for this conversation, Betts and Roberts each asked the other ...

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In his memoir of his time in Auschwitz, Primo Levi describes Jewish prisoners bathing in freezing water without soap--not because they thought it would make them cleaner, but because it helped them hold on to their dignity. For poet and author Dwayne Betts, Levi's description of his fellow inmates' suffering, much like...

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Are tech giants such as Google, Amazon, or Facebook dangerous? Do they have too much power? Dive into the murky waters of antitrust as Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about monopoly, antitrust policy, and competition in the 21st century.

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When two great readers get together to talk abut books and the practice of reading, it's a roller-coaster ride of recommendations. And that's just the beginning of what you'll get from listening to this episode. EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes Tyler Cowen back to the show for this rollicking celebration of readers ...

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Intellectual omnivore Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts talk about their reading habits, their favorite books, and the pile of books on their nightstands right now.

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While engaged in our own education odysseys, many of us have also been following that of EconTalk host Russ Roberts as well, especially as he's moved to take on the presidency at Shalem College. In this episode, jointly released with our friends at The Curious Task podcast, Russ gets interviewed by Alex Aragona. Amo...

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What do crossing rivers and investing in stocks have in common? Real education is seeing the connection between things that seem very different. EconTalk's host Russ Roberts talks about education with Alex Aragona of the podcast, The Curious Task. Roberts argues that the ability to apply insights from one area to an...

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