By Dubner Productions and Stitcher
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Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”
||Clean363. Think Like a Winner||Great athletes aren’t just great at the physical stuff. They’ve also learned how to handle pressure, overcome fear, and stay focused. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an athlete to use what they know. (Ep. 4 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.)||1/16/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHacking the World Bank (Ep. 197 Update)||Jim Yong Kim has an unorthodox background for a World Bank president — and his reign has been just as unorthodox. He has just announced he’s stepping down, well before his term is over; we recorded this interview with him in 2015.||1/12/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean362. Why Is This Man Running for President?||In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it.||1/9/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to Be Happy (Ep. 345 Rebroadcast)||The U.N.’s World Happiness Report — created to curtail our unhealthy obsession with G.D.P. — is dominated every year by the Nordic countries. We head to Denmark to learn the secrets of this happiness epidemic (and to see if we should steal them).||1/2/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanHow to Win Games and Beat People (Ep. 247 Rebroadcast)||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.||12/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPeople Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard. (Ep. 340 Rebroadcast)||You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.||12/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFreakonomics Radio Live: “The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.”||Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli joins us to co-host an evening of delicious fact-finding: where a trillion oysters went, whether a soda tax can work, and how beer helped build an empire. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact-checker.||12/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFreakonomics Radio Live: “Where Does Fear Live in the Brain?”||Our co-host is comedian Christian Finnegan, and we learn: the difference between danger and fear; the role of clouds in climate change; and why (and when) politicians are bad at math. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact-checker.||12/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFreakonomics Radio Live: “We Thought of a Way to Manipulate Your Perception of Time.”||We learn how to be less impatient, how to tell fake news from real, and the simple trick that nurses used to make better predictions than doctors. Journalist Manoush Zomorodi co-hosts; our real-time fact-checker is the author and humorist A.J. Jacobs.||12/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean361. Freakonomics Radio Live: “Jesus Could Have Been a Pigeon.”||Our co-host is Grit author Angela Duckworth, and we learn fascinating, Freakonomical facts from a parade of guests. For instance: what we all get wrong about Darwin; what an iPod has in common with the “hell ant”; and how a “memory athlete” memorizes a deck of cards. Mike Maughan is our real-time fact-checker.||12/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean360. Is the Protestant Work Ethic Real?||In the early 20th century, Max Weber argued that Protestantism created wealth. Finally, there are data to prove if he was right. All it took were some missionary experiments in the Philippines and a clever map-matching trick that goes back to 16th-century Germany.||12/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean359. Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?||The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.||11/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThere’s a War on Sugar. Is It Justified? (Ep. 285 Rebroadcast)||Some people argue that sugar should be regulated, like alcohol and tobacco, on the grounds that it’s addictive and toxic. How much sense does that make? We hear from a regulatory advocate, an evidence-based skeptic, a former F.D.A. commissioner — and the organizers of Milktoberfest.||11/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean358. Yes, the Open Office Is Terrible — But It Doesn’t Have to Be||It began as a post-war dream for a more collaborative and egalitarian workplace. It has evolved into a nightmare of noise and discomfort. Can the open office be saved, or should we all just be working from home?||11/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean357. Can an Industrial Giant Become a Tech Darling?||The Ford Motor Company is ditching its legacy sedans, doubling down on trucks, and trying to steer its stock price out of a long skid. But C.E.O. Jim Hackett has even bigger plans: to turn a century-old automaker into the nucleus of a “transportation operating system.” Is Hackett just whistling past the graveyard, or does he see what others can’t?||11/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean356. America’s Hidden Duopoly||We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it?||10/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Elvis Costello Full Interview||A conversation with the iconic singer-songwriter, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “How to Be Creative.”||10/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean355. Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)?||Family environments and “diversifying experiences” (including the early death of a parent); intrinsic versus extrinsic motivations; schools that value assessments, but don't assess the things we value. All these elements factor into the long, mysterious march towards a creative life. To learn more, we examine the early years of Ai Weiwei, Rosanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Maira Kalman, Wynton Marsalis, Jennifer Egan, and others. (Ep. 2 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)||10/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhere to Find Every Episode of Freakonomics Radio||You can find all 300+ episodes of Freakonomics Radio — going all the way back to 2010 — on the Stitcher app and on our website, freakonomics.com. Want to skip the ads? Sign up for Stitcher Premium. Find out more (and get a discount code) in this short announcement.||10/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanExtra: Jeremy Lin Full Interview||A conversation with veteran NBA point guard Jeremy Lin, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”||10/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Great Production Values
Dubner and Levitt have created an unlikely media empire with the Freaknomics brand. Along with the fascinating book series, there is also the compelling NY Times blog, and now this podcast, which, as of episode one, looks like it will make my regular rotation (one of the few podcasts that can make me look forward to my bus commute). Further, Molly Webster is one of the best radio and podcast producers in the business. Her work on Science Friday and Science Line are the stuff of legend and the fact that she is involved with the Freakonomics podcast almost guarantees its greatness. Highly recommended.
Cherry picked "Science"
I just listened to episode two about the obesity epidemic. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that obesity is unhealthy but this podcast chose to "teach the controversy" as if there is one. The "science" falls in the same category as the anthropogenic global warming deniers and the 9-11 truthers. The conclusion is that obesity is not as bad as they say, so go on and have another cheeseburger. That attitude about such a serious subject makes every subsequent podcast suspect. What's next, the amazing efficacy of homeopathy?
I am a physician who thoroughly enjoyed the podcast on obesity.
I wish that patients, lay people and especially health policy makers and breakers better understood the subtle yet critical difference between cause and correlation.
Podcasts like these are good examples of showing us how science can eliminate the usually incorrect act of following a "gut feeling".