Season 8, Episode 29

If you think talent and hard work give top athletes all the leverage to succeed, think again. As employees in the Sports-Industrial Complex, they’ve got a tight earnings window, a high injury rate, little choice in where they work — and a very early forced retirement. (Part of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.) To […]

Season 8, Episode 28

For most of us, the athletes are what make sports interesting. But if you own the team or run the league, your players are essentially very expensive migrant workers who eat into your profits. We talk to N.F.L., N.B.A., and U.F.C. executives about labor costs, viewership numbers, legalized gambling, and the rise of e-sports. (Part […]

Season 8, Episode 27

Great athletes aren’t just great at the physical stuff. They’ve also learned how to handle pressure, overcome fear, and stay focused. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an athlete to use what they know. (Part of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.) To find out more, check out the podcast from which […]

Season 8, Episode 26

Sure, medical progress has been astounding. But today the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, with so-so outcomes. Atul Gawande — cancer surgeon, public-health researcher, and best-selling author — has some simple ideas for treating a painfully complex system. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was […]

Season 8, Episode 25

In the early 20th century, Max Weber argued that Protestantism created wealth. Finally, there are data to prove if he was right. All it took were some missionary experiments in the Philippines and a clever map-matching trick that goes back to 16th-century Germany. Also: It began as a post-war dream for a more collaborative and […]

Season 8, Episode 24

A quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?” and “Is the Protestant Work […]

Why Is This Man Running for President?

Season 8, Episode 23 In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it. To find out more, check out the […]

How Sports Became Us (Rebroadcast)

Season 8, Episode 22 Dollar-wise, the sports industry is surprisingly small, about the same size as the cardboard-box industry. So why does it make so much noise? Because it reflects — and often amplifies — just about every political, economic, and social issue of the day. To find out more, check out the podcast from […]

How Does Creativity Happen?

Season 8, Episode 21 How does creativity happen? What if we don’t “get” ideas? What if we have to “make” them? Also: more of our conversation with Elvis Costello, who’s had one of the most extraordinary careers in modern music and has recently put out a new record, called Look Now. To learn more, check […]

Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)?

Season 8, Episode 20 Family environments and “diversifying experiences” (including the early death of a parent); intrinsic versus extrinsic motivations; schools that value assessments, but don’t assess the things we value. All these elements factor into the long, mysterious march towards a creative life. To learn more, we examine the early years of Ai Weiwei, […]