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Episode 591

Signs of Progress, One Year at a Time

Every December, a British man named Tom Whitwell publishes a list of 52 things he’s learned that year. These fascinating facts reveal the spectrum of human behavior, from fraud and hypocrisy to Whitwell’s steadfast belief in progress. Should we also believe?

EXTRA

The Opioid Tragedy — How We Got Here

An update of our 2020 series, in which we spoke with physicians, researchers, and addicts about the root causes of the crisis — and the tension between abstinence and harm reduction.

Episode 50

Self-Checkout

Grocery stores have turned shoppers into cashiers. Zachary Crockett runs two bags of chips and a Gatorade over the scanner.

Episode 198

What Does It Mean to Be “Cool”?

What’s the difference between being popular and being cool? How has social media changed the trend cycle? And what do Taylor Swift and Walmart have in common?

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