How Can We Break Our Addiction to Contempt? (Ep. 478)

Arthur Brooks is an economist who for 10 years ran the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential conservative think tanks in the world. He has come to believe there is only one weapon that can defeat our extreme political polarization: love. Is Brooks a fool for thinking this — and are you perhaps his kind of fool?

In a Job Interview, How Much Does Timing Matter? (NSQ Ep. 70)

Also: why is it smart to ignore what your podcast hosts look like?

Mayim Bialik on the Surprising Risks of Academia and Stability of Show Biz (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 2 Replay)

This new Jeopardy! host is best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but she has a rich life outside of her acting career too, as a teacher, mother — and a real-life neuroscientist. Steve learns more about this one-time academic and Hollywood non-conformist, who is both very similar to him and also quite his opposite.

See a random post from our archives:
03 18 2010

Quotes Uncovered: The Full Monty

Each week, I've been inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent research. Here is the latest round.

jep asked:
I was told that Thomas Jefferson said this. But the wording doesn't sound like it is from that...

Why Is U.S. Media So Negative? (Ep. 477)

Breaking news! Sources say American journalism exploits our negativity bias to maximize profits, and social media algorithms add fuel to the fire. Stephen Dubner investigates.

How Can You Convince Someone They’re Wrong? (NSQ Ep. 69)

Also: what’s the best way to handle rejection?

Robert Axelrod on Why Being Nice, Forgiving, and Provokable are the Best Strategies for Life (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 47)

The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic game-theory problem. Robert, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has spent his career studying it — and the ways humans can cooperate, or betray each other, for their own benefit. He and Steve talk about the best way to play it and how it shows up in real world situations, from war zones to Steve’s own life.

Why Fridays May Be Dangerous for Your Health (Freakonomics, M.D. Ep. 9)

When researchers analyzed which day of the week most drug-safety alerts are released — and what it means for public health — they were stunned. So was Bapu Jena. He talks with them and a physician this week about the “Friday Effect,” a common problem with big repercussions for the safety of the medications.

That’s a Great Question! (Ep. 192 Rebroadcast)

Verbal tic or strategic rejoinder? Whatever the case: it’s rare to come across an interview these days where at least one question isn’t a “great” one.

“This Didn’t End the Way It’s Supposed to End.” (Bonus)

The N.B.A. superstar Chris Bosh was still competing at the highest level when a blood clot abruptly ended his career. In his new book, Letters to a Young Athlete, Bosh covers the highlights and the struggles. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, he talks with guest host Angela Duckworth.

Why Do We Want What We Can’t Have? (NSQ Ep. 68)

Also: why are humans still so tribal?

The Mom Who Stole the Blueprints for the Atomic Bomb (The Freakonomics Radio Book Club Ep. 11)

To her neighbors in the English countryside, the woman known as Mrs. Burton was a cake-baking mother of three. To the Soviet Union, she was an invaluable Cold War operative. Ben Macintyre, author of Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy, explains how the woman who fed America’s atomic secrets to the Russians also struggled to balance her family and her cause. Hosted by Sarah Lyall.