Can an Industrial Giant Become a Tech Darling?

Season 8, Episode 11 We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it? To find […]

America’s Hidden Duopoly

Season 8, Episode 10 We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it? To find […]

How to Optimize Your Apology

Season 8, Episode 9 You said, “I’m sorry,” but somehow you haven’t been forgiven. Why? Because you’re doing it wrong! A report from the front lines of apology science. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Is the Government More Entrepreneurial Than You Think?” and “How to Optimize […]

Can This Man Stop a Trade War?

Season 8, Episode 8 The World Trade Organization is the referee for 164 trading partners, each with their own political and economic agendas. Lately, those agendas have gotten more complicated — especially with President Trump’s tariff blitz. Roberto Azevêdo, head of the W.T.O., tells Stephen J. Dubner why it’s so hard to balance protectionism and […]

Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To)

Season 8, Episode 7 It happens to just about everyone, whether you’re going for Olympic gold or giving a wedding toast. Stephen J. Dubner talks to psychologists, economists, and the golfer who some say committed the greatest choke of all time. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “Why […]

How to Build a Smart City

Season 8, Episode 6 We are in the midst of a historic (and wholly unpredicted) rise in urbanization. But it’s hard to retrofit old cities for the 21st century. Enter Dan Doctoroff. The man who helped modernize New York City — and tried to bring the Olympics there — is now C.E.O. of a Google-funded […]

Here’s Why You’re Not an Elite Athlete

Season 8, Episode 5 There are a lot of factors that go into greatness, many of which are not obvious. A variety of Olympic and professional athletes tell us how they made it and what they sacrificed to get there. And if you can identify the sport most likely to get a kid into a […]

How to Stop Being a Loser

Season 8, Episode 4 The San Francisco 49ers, one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world, also used to be one of the best. But they’ve been losing lately — a lot — and one of their players launched a controversy by taking a knee during the national anthem. So why is everyone […]

How Sports Became Us

Season 8, Episode 3 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. Introducing a new series, “The Hidden Side of Sports.” […]

An Astronaut, a Catalan, and Two Linguists Walk Into a Bar…

Season 8, Episode 2 In this live episode of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” we learn why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is the linguist John McWhorter; Bari Weiss (The New York Times) is the real-time fact-checker. […]