Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 2: Digital) (Ep. 441)

Google and Facebook are worth a combined $2 trillion, with the vast majority of their revenue coming from advertising. In our previous episode, we learned that TV advertising is much less effective than the industry says. Is digital any better? Some say yes, some say no — and some say we’re in a full-blown digital-ad bubble.

Why Do We Hoard? (NSQ Ep. 28)

Also: do you spend more time thinking about the past, the present, or the future?

Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV) (Ep. 440)

Companies around the world spend more than half-a-trillion dollars each year on ads. The ad industry swears by its efficacy — but a massive new study tells a different story.

See a random post from our archives:
07 21 2009

Where Have All the Criminals Gone?

When the crime statistics for 2006 were released, the news media had no trouble declaring that the next big crime wave had hit (even though violent crime had just ticked up 2 percent, property crime fell by the same amount). So what's happened since? Crime dropped across the country, especially in big...

How Should You Ask for Forgiveness? (NSQ Ep. 27)

Also: why is behavior change so darn hard? 

“I Am Not This Voice. I Am Not This Narrative.” | People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 7: Caverly Morgan

She showed up late and confused to her first silent retreat, but Caverly Morgan eventually trained for eight years in silence at a Zen monastery. Now her mindfulness-education program Peace in Schools is part of the high-school curriculum in Portland, Ore. Steve Levitt finds out what daily life is like in a silent monastery, why teens find it easier than adults to learn meditation, and what happy children can teach their parents.

Please Get Your Noise Out of My Ears (Ep. 439)

The modern world overwhelms us with sounds we didn’t ask for, like car alarms and cell-phone “halfalogues.” What does all this noise cost us in terms of productivity, health, and basic sanity?

Do Checklists Make People Stupid? (NSQ Ep. 26)

Also: what’s so great about New York City anyway?

How to Succeed by Being Authentic (Hint: Carefully) (Ep. 438)

John Mackey, the C.E.O. of Whole Foods, has learned the perils of speaking his mind. But he still says what he thinks about everything from “conscious leadership” to the behavioral roots of the obesity epidemic. He also argues for a style of capitalism and politics that at this moment seems like a fantasy. What does he know that we don’t?

Is Hedonism Better Than Self-Control? (NSQ Ep. 25)

Also: is it wrong to feel inured to the pandemic?

Why the Left Had to Steal the Right’s Dark-Money Playbook (Bonus Episode)

The sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh spent years studying crack dealers, sex workers, and the offspring of billionaires. Then he wandered into an even stranger world: social media. He spent the past five years at Facebook and Twitter. Now that he’s back in the real world, he’s here to tell us how the digital universe really works. In this pilot episode of a new podcast, Venkatesh interviews the progressive political operative Tara McGowan about her digital successes with the Obama campaign, her noisy failure with the Iowa caucus app, and why the best way for Democrats to win more elections was to copy the Republicans.

“I Am Interested in Lots of Things, and That’s Actually a Bad Strategy” | People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 6: Nathan Myhrvold

He graduated high school at 14, and by 23 had several graduate degrees and was a research assistant with Stephen Hawking. He became the first chief technology officer at Microsoft (without having ever studied computer science) and then started a company focused on big questions — like how to provide the world with clean energy and how to optimize pizza-baking. Find out what makes Nathan Myhrvold’s fertile mind tick, and which of his many ideas Steve Levitt likes the most.