In Praise of Incrementalism

Season 6, Episode 20  On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: what do the Italian Renaissance, Olympic cycling, and civil rights movements have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, Stephen J. Dubner argues that we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism. […]

In Praise of Maintenance

Season 6, Episode 19 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Our society is obsessed with innovation, which has a pretty high cost. Stephen J. Dubner got obsessed with the notion of maintenance, and talks about why it isn’t the enemy of innovation, but rather the saving grace of American infrastructure. Speaking of things that need taking care of, […]

The Church of ‘Scionology’

Season 6, Episode 18 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: if you’ve built a successful business — be it a bakery, a carmaker or a newspaper — who continues the legacy when you retire? For many Fortune 500 companies, the answer is obvious: one (or more) of your children take the helm. But let’s get beyond the nepotism and silver spoons, […]

The Economics of Sleep, Part 2 (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 17 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: we continue last week’s conversation about the economics of sleep. We look at some research suggesting, for instance, that early birds really do get the worm. And then we look into the tactics — physical, mental, and strategic — of  six-time hot dog-eating champion Takeru […]

The Economics of Sleep, Part 1 (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 16 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: poor sleep can impair our cognitive function; sleep loss has been linked to adverse physical outcomes like weight gain and, increasingly, more serious maladies; and the Centers for Disease Control recently declared insufficient sleep a “public-health epidemic.” So are we treating the problem as […]

Trust Me

Season 6, Episode 15 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Societies where people trust one another are healthier and wealthier. In the U.S. (and the U.K. and elsewhere), social trust has been falling for decades — in part because our populations are more diverse. What can we do to fix it? Plus: Some of our most […]

Fool Me Once: TMSIDK Episode 6

Hannibal Buress, Annie Duke and Fr. James Martin, S.J. are panelists. A comedian, a poker player and a priest walk into a bar… and have to deal with missing hands, missing bodies and missing scientific evidence. Fact-checker: Sean Rameswaram, podcast producer for WNYC Studios.

Who Needs Handwriting?

Season 6, Episode 14 This week on Freakonomics Radio: The digital age is making pen and paper seem obsolete. But what are we giving up if we give up on handwriting? A famous economics essay features a pencil (yes, a pencil) arguing that “not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to […]

Passion Plays: TMSIDK Episode 5

This week’s panel: Grit­-y author and psychology professor Angela Duckworth, former White House economist Austan Goolsbee and comedian Keisha Zollar. Our theme: “Passion Plays.” All of the things we're passionate about, good and bad, from sports to sounds to experimenting on students.

How to Get More Grit in Your Life

Season 6, Episode 13 This week on Freakonomics Radio: the psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that a person’s level of stick-to-itiveness is directly related to their level of success. No big surprise there. But grit, she says, isn’t something you’re born with — it can be learned.  Plus, a man whose entire life and career are […]