Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet (Ep. 346 Rebroadcast)

The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right? 

How Can You Escape a Drama Triangle? (NSQ Ep. 62)

Also: how do awards affect motivation?

Sendhil Mullainathan Explains How to Generate an Idea a Minute (Part 2) (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 38)

Steve continues his conversation with his good friend, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, and fellow University of Chicago economist. Sendhil breaks down the hypothesis of his book Scarcity, explains why machines aren’t competition for human intelligence, and tells Steve why it’s important to appreciate other people’s good ideas before developing your own.

See a random post from our archives:
11 09 2007

Trying to Keep Warm

The boiler went out in my house last week. We have an archaic steam-driven radiator system, and we knew we were living on borrowed time.

It is a good time of year to lose heat. It hasn't been terribly cold in Chicago, so we've managed to keep the temperature in the house around 60 degrees through space...

Should We Just Ignore Our Weaknesses? (NSQ Ep. 61)

Also: why do we like what we like?

Sendhil Mullainathan Thinks Messing Around is the Best Use of Your Time (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 37)

He’s a professor of computation and behavioral science at the University of Chicago, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, and author. Steve and Sendhil laugh their way through a conversation about the importance of play, the benefits of change, and why we remember so little about the books we’ve read — and how Sendhil’s new app solves this problem.

Introducing “This Won’t Hurt a Bit”

How can a marathon be dangerous even if you don’t run the race? Does your doctor follow medical advice any better than you do? Just how dangerous was it to go to a birthday party at the height of the pandemic? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue Dr. Bapu Jena, a rare double threat — he’s both an M.D. and a Ph.D. economist at Harvard. Each week on This Won’t Hurt a Bit, Jena digs into fascinating research to discover the hidden side of healthcare.

The Pros and Cons of America’s (Extreme) Individualism (Ep. 470)

According to a decades-long research project, the U.S. is not only the most individualistic country on earth; we’re also high on indulgence, short-term thinking, and masculinity (but low on “uncertainty avoidance,” if that makes you feel better). We look at how these traits affect our daily lives and why we couldn’t change them even if we wanted to.

Why Do We Complain? (NSQ Ep. 60)

Also: what do you really mean when you say you “don’t have time”?

How Rahm Emanuel Would Run the World (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 36)

In this interview, first heard on Freakonomics Radio last year, Steve talks with the former top adviser to presidents Clinton and Obama, about his record — and his reputation. And Rahm explains that while he believes in the power of the federal government, as former mayor of Chicago, he says that cities are where problems really get solved.

The U.S. Is Just Different — So Let’s Stop Pretending We’re Not (Ep. 469)

We often look to other countries for smart policies on education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. But can a smart policy be simply transplanted into a country as culturally unusual (and as supremely WEIRD) as America?

Do Dreams Actually Mean Anything? (NSQ Ep. 59)

Also: why is music so memorable?