Freakonomics

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Remembrance of Economic Crises Past (Ep. 425)

Christina Romer was a top White House economist during the Great Recession. As a researcher, she specializes in the Great Depression. She tells us what those disasters can (and can’t) teach us about the Covid crash. Listen and subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability....

Wouldn’t It Be Better to Hear Your Eulogy Before You’re Dead? (Ep. 9)

Also: how does a comedian cope with tragedy? With Eugene Mirman. *      *      * Relevant References & Research Question #1: Should we have funerals before people die? Stephen refers to a living-funeral scene in the book Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. This was the living funeral of sociologist Morrie Schwartz who, after being diagnosed...

How to Make Your Own Luck (Ep. 424)

Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. But she did have a Ph.D. in psychology, a brilliant coach, and a burning desire to know whether life is driven more by skill or chance. She found some answers in poker — and in her new book The Biggest Bluff, she’s willing to tell us everything she learned....

How Do You Handle Criticism? (NSQ Ep. 7)

Also: is it better to send a congratulatory note to someone who deserves it or a condolence note to someone who needs it? *      *      * Relevant References & Research Question #1: We need critical feedback to improve, so why is it hard to hear? Stephen refers to a recent conversation with David Byrne, the lead singer of critically-acclaimed...

The Doctor Will Zoom You Now (Ep. 423)

Thanks to the pandemic, the telehealth revolution we’ve been promised for decades has finally arrived. Will it stick? Will it cut costs — and improve outcomes? We ring up two doctors and, of course, an economist to find out. Listen and subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for...

Is Incompetence a Form of Dishonesty? (NSQ Ep. 6)

Also: should we all have personal mission statements? *      *      * Relevant References & Research Question #1: Is it immoral to slack off at work when others are depending on you to do a good job? Stephen says that he values workers who “really, really, really hate to screw up.” Angela points out to Stephen that sustained rumination over...

Introducing “No Stupid Questions” (Ep. 422)

In this new addition to the Freakonomics Radio Network, co-hosts Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the relationship between age and happiness. Also: does all creativity come from pain? New episodes of No Stupid Questions are released every Sunday evening. Listen and subscribe to No Stupid Questions at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere....

What Do Tom Sawyer and the Founder of Duolingo Have in Common? (NSQ Ep. 5)

Also: is there such a thing as too much science? With special guest Luis von Ahn. *      *      * Relevant References & Research Question 1: What do Luis von Ahn and Tom Sawyer have in common? Our guest on this episode is Luis von Ahn, the C.E.O. and co-founder of Duolingo and a creator of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test...

How to Prevent Another Great Depression (Ep. 421)

Millions and millions are out of work, with some jobs never coming back. We speak with four economists — and one former presidential candidate — about the best policy options and the lessons (good and bad) from the past. Listen and subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability....

Does All Creativity Come From Pain? (NSQ Ep. 4)

Also: is life precious because it’s finite? *      *      * Relevant References & Research Question 1: Are you sublimating? Angela clarifies that this question is about the psychoanalytic concept of sublimation, not chemical sublimation — the process in which a solid transforms into a gas phase without first melting to form a liquid phase....

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