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Season 8, Episode 44

Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this . . .

7/4/19

How to Win Games and Beat People (Replay)

Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game.

12/26/18
56:30

Evolution, Accelerated (Replay)

Season 7, Episode 20 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner explores a breakthrough in genetic technology that has given humans more power than ever to change nature. So what happens next? Plus: some of the hoops we jump through to get ahead are poorly designed for girls and women. Behavioral economics could help change that. To find out more, . . .

1/18/18

Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis (Replay)

By some estimates, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. How can that be? And what’s to be done? Our third and final episode in this series offers some encouraging answers.

8/30/17
47:20

Evolution, Accelerated

Season 6, Episode 45 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner explores a breakthrough in genetic technology that has given humans more power than ever to change nature. So what happens next? Plus: some of the hoops we jump through to get ahead are poorly designed for girls and women. Behavioral economics could help change that. To find out more, check . . .

7/13/17

Food + Science = Victory!

Season 6, Episode 43 This week on Freakonomics Radio: a full menu of goodies. First up: a nutrition detective. And then, Stephen J. Dubner explores the war on sugar. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Food + Science = Victory!” and “There’s A War On Sugar. Is It Justified?” You can subscribe to the . . .

6/29/17

The Harvard President Will See You Now (Replay)

How a pain-in-the-neck girl from rural Virginia came to run the most powerful university in the world.

6/28/17
39:18

Why Cities Rock

Season 6, Episode 39 This week on Freakonomics Radio: could it be that cities are humanity’s greatest invention? Is it possible that, despite their reputation as soot-spewing engines of doom, they make us richer, smarter, happier and (gulp) greener? Plus: Stephen Dubner speaks with Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which . . .

6/1/17

The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think

Season 6, Episode 36 This week on Freakonomics Radio: what is truly inevitable? Stephen J. Dubner speaks with Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly about why we shouldn’t be afraid of the future and the folly of prediction. Plus: why can’t we predict earthquakes? To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary . . .

5/11/17

Food + Science = Victory! (Replay)

A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about everything.

5/3/17
36:43

How to be More Productive

Season 6, Episode 34 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner returns to his alma mater to ask his three favorite professors if colleges make people more productive and happier. Among the discoveries in this episode, here’s a big one: there’s a significant difference between being busy and being productive. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour . . .

4/27/17

Why Does Everyone Hate Flying? And Other Questions Only a Pilot Can Answer

Season 6, Episode 32 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner talks to an airline pilot about what really happens up in the air. Just don’t get him started on pilot-less planes — or whether the autopilot is actually doing the flying. Plus: why parking is hell. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: . . .

4/13/17

How to Be More Productive (Replay)

In this busy time of year, we could all use some tips on how to get more done in less time. First, however, a warning: there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

12/21/16
42:44

Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis

By some estimates, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. How can that be? And what’s to be done? Our third and final episode in this series offers some encouraging answers.

12/14/16
51:25

The No-Tipping Point (Replay)

The restaurant business model is warped: kitchen wages are too low to hire cooks, while diners are put in charge of paying the waitstaff. So what happens if you eliminate tipping, raise menu prices, and redistribute the wealth? New York restaurant maverick Danny Meyer is about to find out.

11/23/16
49:45

In Praise of Maintenance

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

10/19/16
41:41

Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset? (Replay)

The gist: we spend billions on end-of-life healthcare that doesn’t do much good. So what if a patient could forego the standard treatment and get a cash rebate instead?

8/24/16
40:55

Is It Okay for Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees? (Replay)

We seem to have decided that ethnic food tastes better when it’s served by people of that ethnicity (or at least something close). Does this make sense — and is it legal?

8/3/16
57:20

Ten Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten

We Americans may love our democracy — at least in theory — but at the moment our feelings toward the Federal government lie somewhere between disdain and hatred. Which electoral and political ideas should be killed off to make way for a saner system?

7/27/16
44:48

What Are Gender Barriers Made Of?

Overt discrimination in the labor markets may be on the wane, but women are still subtly penalized by all sorts of societal conventions. How can those penalties be removed without burning down the house?

7/20/16
36:29

Is the Internet Being Ruined?

It’s a remarkable ecosystem that allows each of us to exercise control over our lives. But how much control do we truly have? How many of our decisions are really being made by Google and Facebook and Apple? And, perhaps most importantly: is the Internet’s true potential being squandered?

7/13/16
47:54

Confessions of a Pothole Politician

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, has big ambitions but knows he must first master the small stuff. He’s also a polymath who relies heavily on data and new technologies. Could this be what modern politics is supposed to look like?

7/6/16
43:44

Why Do We Really Follow the News? (Replay)

There are all kinds of civics-class answers to that question. But how true are they? Could it be that we like to read about war, politics, and miscellaneous heartbreak simply because it’s (gasp) entertaining?

6/15/16
39:58

Are We in a Mattress-Store Bubble?

You’ve seen them — everywhere! — and often clustered together, as if central planners across America decided that what every city really needs is a Mattress District. There are now dozens of online rivals too. Why are there so many stores selling something we buy so rarely?

6/8/16
34:37

Why Does Everyone Hate Flying? And Other Questions Only a Pilot Can Answer

Patrick Smith, the author of Cockpit Confidential, answers every question we can throw at him about what really happens up in the air. Just don’t get him started on pilotless planes — or whether the autopilot is actually doing the flying.

6/1/16
43:42

The Longest Long Shot

When the uncelebrated Leicester City Football Club won the English Premier League, it wasn’t just the biggest underdog story in recent history. It was a sign of changing economics — and that other impossible, wonderful events might be lurking just around the corner.

5/25/16
42:59

How to Be Tim Ferriss

Our Self-Improvement Month concludes with a man whose entire life and career are one big pile of self-improvement. Nutrition? Check. Bizarre physical activities? Check. Working less and earning more? Check. Tim Ferriss, creator of the Four-Hour universe, may at first glance look like a charlatan, but it seems more likely that he’s a wizard — and the kind of self-improvement ally we all want on our side.

5/18/16
41:28

How to Become Great at Just About Anything

What if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. He tells us everything he’s learned.

4/27/16
51:51

How to Be More Productive

It’s Self-Improvement Month at Freakonomics Radio. We begin with a topic that seems to be on everyone’s mind: how to get more done in less time. First, however, a warning: there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

4/20/16
38:34

Are Payday Loans Really as Evil as People Say?

Critics — including President Obama — say short-term, high-interest loans are predatory, trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt. But some economists see them as a useful financial instrument for people who need them. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau promotes new regulation, we ask: who’s right?

4/6/16
49:36

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