Season 9, Episode 30

There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: past experiments with a universal basic income. And: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The Side Effects of […]

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)? (Ep. 410)

There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. And: how to help your neighbor.

Season 9, Episode 26

When he became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announced that he was going to take a “weed whacker” to Obama-era regulations. So far, he’s kept his promise, and earned the internet’s ire for reversing the agency’s position on net neutrality. Pai defends his actions and explains how the U.S. can “win” everything […]

Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”? (Ep. 407)

That’s what some health officials are saying, but the data aren’t so clear. We look into what’s known (and not known) about the prevalence and effects of loneliness — including the possible upsides.

Can You Hear Me Now? (Ep. 406)

When he became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announced that he was going to take a “weed whacker” to Obama-era regulations. So far, he’s kept his promise, and earned the internet’s ire for reversing the agency’s position on net neutrality. Pai defends his actions and explains how the U.S. can “win” everything from the 5G race to the war on robocalls.

The Zero-Minute Workout (Ep. 383 Rebroadcast)

There is strong evidence that exercise is wildly beneficial. There is even stronger evidence that most people hate to exercise. So if a pill could mimic the effects of working out, why wouldn’t we want to take it?

Season 9, Episode 17

Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted Ph.D., is well-qualified to answer this question. Her verdict: the data don’t tell the whole story. To find out more, check out the podcasts from […]

Season 9, Episode 14

For decades, there’s been a huge gender disparity both on-screen and behind the scenes. But it seems like cold, hard data — with an assist from the actor Geena Davis — may finally be moving the needle. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Does Hollywood Still Have […]

Season 9, Episode 10

Continuing our conversation with Girl Scouts C.E.O. Sylvia Acevedo. Then: There is strong evidence that exercise is wildly beneficial. There is even stronger evidence that most people hate to exercise. So if a pill could mimic the effects of working out, why wouldn’t we want to take it? To find out more, check out the […]

Season 9, Episode 9

Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still […]