Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?

A series of academic studies suggest that the wealthy are, to put it bluntly, selfish jerks. It’s an easy narrative to swallow — but is it true? A trio of economists set out to test the theory. All it took was a Dutch postal worker’s uniform, some envelopes stuffed with cash, and a slight sense of the absurd.

Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers!

As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Now he’s brought that same passion to the N.B.A. — and to a pet project called USAFacts, which performs a sort of fiscal colonoscopy on the American government.

How Big is My Penis? (And Other Things We Ask Google)

On the Internet, people say all kinds of things they’d never say aloud — about sex and race, about their true wants and fears. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has spent years parsing the data. His conclusion: our online searches are the reflection of our true selves. In the real world, everybody lies.

Food + Science = Victory! (Rebroadcast)

A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about everything.

There’s A War On Sugar. Is It Justified?

Some people argue that sugar should be regulated, like alcohol and tobacco, on the grounds that it’s addictive and toxic. How much sense does that make? We hear from a regulatory advocate, an evidence-based skeptic, a former FDA commissioner — and the organizers of Milktoberfest.

Music: TMSIDK Episode 16

Danny Goldberg, Faith Salie and David Hajdu are panelists. The record executive, the comedian/journalist and the music critic face the music, including industrial instruments, female composers and the all-important bridge. Our real-time fact-checker is Dan Zanes, accompanied by his live band.

Earth 2.0: Is Income Inequality Inevitable?

In pursuit of a more perfect economy, we discuss the future of work; the toxic remnants of colonization; and whether giving everyone a basic income would be genius — or maybe the worst idea ever.

Wannabes: TMSIDK Episode 15

Tim Harford, Carla Hayden and Rahmein Mostafavi are panelists. The "Undercover Economist," the Librarian of Congress and the comedian join TMSIDK in Washington, D.C. — the city that wants to be a state — to learn about wannabes, from international spies to new human organs. Femi Oke is fact-checker.

Earth 2.0: What Would Our Economy Look Like?

If we could reboot the planet and create new systems and institutions from scratch, would they be any better than what we’ve blundered our way into through trial and error? This is the first of a series of episodes that we’ll release over several months. Today we start with — what else? — economics. You’ll hear from Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, the poverty-fighting superhero Jeff Sachs; and many others.

Oh, My God: TMSIDK Episode 14

John Fugelsang, Tami Sagher and Aman Ali are panelists. Who better to help us talk through religion than these three comedians? We look into unholy fruit, religion in banking and the politics of reincarnation. A.J. Jacobs is fact-checker.