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People I (Mostly) Admire

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Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt tracks down other high achievers for surprising, revealing conversations about their lives and obsessions. Join Levitt as he goes through the most interesting midlife crisis you’ve ever heard — and learn how a renegade sheriff is transforming Chicago's jail, how a biologist is finding the secrets of evolution in the Arctic tundra, and how a trivia champion memorized 160,000 flashcards.

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147 Episodes
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Ellen Langer is a psychologist at Harvard who studies the mind-body connection. She’s published some of the most remarkable scientific findings Steve has ever encountered. Can we really improve our physical health by changing our mind? SOURCE:Ellen Langer, professor of psychology at Harvard University. RESOURCES:Brave New Words: How AI Will Revolutionize Education (and Why That's a Good Thing), by Sal Khan (2024)."F.D.A.’s Review of MDMA Cites Health Risks and Study Flaws," by Andrew Jacobs and Christina Jewett (The New York Times, 2024).The Mindful Body: Thinking Our Way to Chronic Health, by Ellen Langer (2023)."Physical Healing as a Function of Perceived Time," by Peter Aungle and Ellen Langer (Nature: Scientific Reports, 2023)."Aging as a Mindset: A Study Protocol to Rejuvenate Older Adults With a Counterclockwise Psychological Intervention," by Francesco Pagnini, Cesare Cavalera, Ellen Langer, et al. (BMJ Open, 2019).Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, by Ellen Langer (2009)."Mind-Set Matters: Exercise and the Placebo Effect," by Alia Crum and Ellen Langer (2007)."The Effects of Choice and Enhanced Personal Responsibility for the Aged: A Field Experiment in an Institutional Setting," by Ellen Langer and Judith Rodin (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976). EXTRAS:"The Future of Therapy Is Psychedelic," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Extra: An Update on the Khan World School," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Is This the Future of High School?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."What It Takes to Know Everything," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."Sal Khan: 'If It Works for 15 Cousins, It Could Work for a Billion People,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Greg Norman & Mark Broadie: Why Golf Beats an Orgasm and Why Data Beats Everything," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Caverly Morgan: 'I Am Not This Voice. I Am Not This Narrative,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2020)."Does 'As If' Thinking Really Work?" by No Stupid Questions (2020)."Havana Wild Weekend," S28.E7 of The Simpsons (2016). 
Author and YouTuber John Green thought his breakout bestseller wouldn’t be a commercial success, wrote 40,000 words for one sentence, and brought Steve to tears. SOURCE:John Green, best-selling author and YouTube creator. RESOURCES:"The Deadliest Infectious Disease Isn’t a Science Problem. It’s a Money Problem," by John Green (The Washington Post, 2024).“Tuition Inflation Isn’t as Bad as You Think,” by Felix Salmon (Axios, 2022).“Fast Facts: Expenditures,” by the National Center for Education Statistics (2022).“Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021,” by the College Board (2021).“#37 John,” by Heavyweight (2021).The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet, by John Green (2021).“Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Stickers and the Indianapolis 500,” by The Anthropocene Reviewed Podcast (2019).“How Joan of Arc Conquered Mark Twain,” by Ted Gioia (America: The Jesuit Review, 2018).Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green (2017).The Fault in Our Stars, film (2014).The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (2012).Looking for Alaska, by John Green (2005).All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren and Noel Polk (1946).Harvey, film (1950).vlogbrothers, YouTube channel by John and Hank Green.Crash Course, YouTube channel by John and Hank Green. EXTRAS:“Peter Singer Isn’t a Saint, But He’s Better Than Steve Levitt,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).“Freakonomics Radio Goes Back To School,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).
Suleika Jaouad was diagnosed with cancer at 22. She made her illness the subject of a New York Times column and a memoir, Between Two Kingdoms. She and Steve talk about what it means to live with a potentially fatal illness, how to talk to people who've gone through a tragedy, and ways to encourage medical donations. SOURCE:Suleika Jaouad, author. RESOURCES:"The Art of Survival," by Jennifer Senior (The Atlantic, 2024).American Symphony, film by Matthew Heineman (2023).Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted, by Suleika Jaouad (2021)."Max Ritvo, Poet Who Chronicled His Cancer Fight, Dies at 25," by John Schwartz (The New York Times, 2016).“Life, Interrupted,” column by Suleika Jaouad (The New York Times, 2012-2015).The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (2012).Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (2009).The Isolation Journals, newsletter by Suleika Jaouad. EXTRAS:"John Green’s Reluctant Rocket Ship Ride," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."Does Death Have to Be a Death Sentence?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).
Caroline Paul is a thrill-seeker and writer who is on a quest to encourage women to get outside and embrace adventure as they age. She and Steve talk about fighting fires, walking on airplane wings, and finding awe in birdwatching. SOURCE:Caroline Paul, author and former firefighter. RESOURCES:Tough Broad: From Boogie Boarding to Wing Walking ― How Outdoor Adventure Improves Our Lives as We Age, by Caroline Paul (2024)."FAA Halts Sequim Wing-Walking Flights, Revokes Owner’s Pilot License," by Dominic Gates (The Seattle Times, 2024)."How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health," by Hope Reese (The New York Times, 2023).The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure, by Caroline Paul (2016)."Why Do We Teach Girls That It’s Cute to Be Scared?" by Caroline Paul (The New York Times, 2016)."What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?" by Bruce Grierson (The New York Times Magazine, 2014).Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology, by Caroline Paul (2013)."The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature," by Marc G. Berman, John Jonides, and Stephen Kaplan (Psychological Science, 2008)."Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging," by Becca R. Levy, Martin D. Slade, Suzanne R. Kunkel, and Stanislav V. Kasl (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2002).Fighting Fire, by Caroline Paul (1998). EXTRAS:"Is Fear Running Your Life?" by No Stupid Questions (2024)."Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Some Advice for You," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2024)."Should You Spend More Time in Nature?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Steven Pinker: 'I Manage My Controversy Portfolio Carefully,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2020).
Steve shows a different side of himself in very personal interviews with his two oldest daughters. Amanda talks about growing up with social anxiety and her decision not to go to college, while Lily speaks candidly about her battle with anorexia and the conversation she had with Steve that led her to seek treatment.  SOURCES:Lily Levitt, daughter of Steve Levitt.Amanda Levitt, daughter of Steve Levitt. RESOURCES:Can I Ask You a Question? by Amanda Levitt (2020)."Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late?" Freakonomics Radio (2018).  EXTRAS:NEDA Crisis Support.
The economist Joseph Stiglitz has devoted his life to exposing the limits of markets. He tells Steve about winning an argument with fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, why small governments don’t lead to more freedom, and why he’s not afraid to be an advocate. SOURCE:Joseph Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University and chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute. RESOURCES:The Road to Freedom: Economics and the Good Society, by Joseph Stiglitz (2024)."Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," by Michael Rothschild and Joseph Stiglitz (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010)."Hirsh: The Missing Link on Obama's Economic Team," by Michael Hirsh (Newsweek, 2008).Globalization and Its Discontents, by Joseph Stiglitz (2002).Two Lucky People: Memoirs, by Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman (1998)."On Value Maximization and Alternative Objectives of the Firm," by Sanford Grossman and Joseph Stiglitz (The Journal of Finance, 1977). EXTRAS:"Remembering Daniel Kahneman," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2024)."Ninety-Eight Years of Economic Wisdom," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).
Monica Bertagnolli went from a childhood on a cattle ranch to a career as a surgeon to a top post in the Biden administration. As director of the National Institutes of Health, she’s working to improve the way we find new treatments — despite regulatory constraints and tight budgets. SOURCE:Monica Bertagnolli, director of the National Institutes of Health. RESOURCES:"Steven Levitt and John Donohue Defend a Finding Made Famous by 'Freakonomics'," by Steven Levitt and John Donohue (The Economist, 2024)."Why 'Freakonomics' Failed to Transform Economics," (The Economist, 2024)."Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics Co-Author and U Chicago Econ Prof) on His Career and Decision to Retire From Academic Economics," by Jon Hartley (The Capitalism and Freedom in the Twenty-First Century Podcast, 2024)."Why Autoimmune Disease Is More Common in Women: X Chromosome Holds Clues," by Elie Dolgin (Nature, 2024)."Casgevy and Lyfgenia: Two Gene Therapies Approved for Sickle Cell Disease," by Carrie MacMillan (Yale Medicine News, 2023)."Fact Sheet: President Biden Reignites Cancer Moonshot to End Cancer as We Know It," (2022)."Mini-Antibodies Discovered in Sharks and Camels Could Lead to Drugs for Cancer and Other Diseases," by Mitch Leslie (Science, 2018). EXTRAS:"Who Pays for Multimillion-Dollar Miracle Cures?" by Freakonomics, M.D. (2023)."What’s Stopping Us From Curing Rare Diseases?" by Freakonomics, M.D. (2023)."Abortion and Crime, Revisited (Update)," by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."John Donohue: 'I’m Frequently Called a Treasonous Enemy of the Constitution,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).
Nobel laureate, bestselling author, and groundbreaking psychologist Daniel Kahneman died in March. In 2021 he talked with Steve Levitt — his friend and former business partner — about his book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (cowritten with Olivier Sibony and Cass Sunstein) and much more. SOURCES:Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University. RESOURCES:Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, by Olivier Sibony, Daniel Kahneman, and Cass R. Sunstein (2021).Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (2011). EXTRAS:"What’s the Secret to Making a Great Prediction?" by No Stupid Questions (2021)."The Men Who Started a Thinking Revolution," by Freakonomics Radio (2017)."How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future," by Freakonomics Radio (2016).
Google researcher Blaise Agüera y Arcas spends his work days developing artificial intelligence models and his free time conducting surveys for fun. He tells Steve how he designed an algorithm for the U.S. Navy at 14, how he discovered the truth about printing-press pioneer Johannes Gutenberg, and when A.I. first blew his mind. SOURCE:Blaise Agüera y Arcas, fellow at Google Research. RESOURCES:Who Are We Now?, by Blaise Agüera y Arcas (2023)."Artificial General Intelligence Is Already Here," by Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Peter Norvig (Noema Magazine, 2023)."Transformer: A Novel Neural Network Architecture for Language Understanding," by Jakob Uszkoreit (Google Research Blog, 2017)."Communication-Efficient Learning of Deep Networks from Decentralized Data," by H. Brendan McMahan, Eider Moore, Daniel Ramage, Seth Hampson, and Blaise Agüera y Arcas (arXiv, 2016)."How PhotoSynth Can Connect the World's Images," by Blaise Agüera y Arcas (TED Talk, 2007)."Has History Been Too Generous to Gutenberg?" by Dinitia Smith (The New York Times, 2001). EXTRAS:"'My God, This Is a Transformative Power,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."How to Think About A.I.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Satya Nadella’s Intelligence Is Not Artificial," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Yul Kwon (Part 2): 'Hey, Do You Have Any Bright Ideas?'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Yul Kwon: 'Don’t Try to Change Yourself All at Once,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).
After Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Rajiv Shah headed the largest humanitarian effort in U.S. history. As chief economist of the Gates Foundation he tried to immunize almost a billion children. He tells Steve why it’s important to take big gambles, follow the data, and own up to your mistakes.SOURCE:Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. RESOURCES:Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens, by Rajiv Shah (2023)."The Root of Haiti’s Misery: Reparations to Enslavers," by Catherine Porter, Constant Méheut, Matt Apuzzo, and Selam Gebrekidan (The New York Times, 2022)."Testing Is Our Way Out," by Paul Romer and Rajiv Shah (The Wall Street Journal, 2020)."How to Get Millions of People to Take Coronavirus Tests and Stay Home if They're Positive," by Steven Levitt, Paul Romer, and Jeff Severts (USA Today, 2020)."Haiti In Ruins: A Look Back At The 2010 Earthquake," by The Picture Show (2020)."Vaccine for a Global Childhood Illness Passes Last Big Hurdle," (The New York Times, 1997). EXTRAS:"Dambisa Moyo Says Foreign Aid Can’t Solve Problems, but Maybe Corporations Can," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Moncef Slaoui: 'It’s Unfortunate That It Takes a Crisis for This to Happen,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2020).
The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg wrote his new book in an attempt to learn how to communicate better. Steve shares how the book helped him understand his own conversational weaknesses. SOURCES:Charles Duhigg, journalist and author. RESOURCES:Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, by Charles Duhigg (2024)."2023 Word of the Year Is 'Enshittification,'" by the American Dialect Association (2024)."When Someone You Love Is Upset, Ask This One Question," by Jancee Dunn (The New York Times, 2023).Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg (2016)."The 36 Questions That Lead to Love," by Daniel Jones (The New York Times, 2015).The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg (2012)."The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings," by Arthur Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone, and Renee J. Bator (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1997). EXTRAS:"How Can You Get Closer to the People You Care About?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."How Do You Connect With Someone You Just Met?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Can I Ask You a Ridiculously Personal Question?" by Freakonomics Radio (2021)."Amanda & Lily Levitt Share What It’s Like to be Steve’s Daughters," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Marina Nitze: 'If You Googled ‘Business Efficiency Consultant,’ I Was the Only Result,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."How to Be More Productive," by Freakonomics Radio (2016).Frozen, film (2013).
Cat Bohannon’s new book puts female anatomy at the center of human evolution. She tells Steve why it takes us so long to give birth, what breast milk is really for, and why the human reproductive system is a flaming pile of garbage. SOURCE:Cat Bohannon, researcher and author. RESOURCES:Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, by Cat Bohannon (2023).“Genomic Inference of a Severe Human Bottleneck During the Early to Middle Pleistocene Transition,” by Wangjie Hu, Ziqian Hao, Pengyuan Du, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi, Jialong Cui, Yun-Xin Fu, Yi-Hsuan, and Haipeng Li (Science, 2023).“The Greatest Invention in the History of Humanity,” by Cat Bohannon (The Atlantic, 2023).“A Newborn Infant Chimpanzee Snatched and Cannibalized Immediately After Birth: Implications for ‘Maternity Leave’ in Wild Chimpanzee,” by Hitonaru Nishie and Michio Nakamura (American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 2018).“War in the Womb,” by Suzanne Sadedin (Aeon, 2014).“Timing of Childbirth Evolved to Match Women’s Energy Limits,” by Erin Wayman (Smithsonian Magazine, 2012).“Bonobo Sex and Society,” by Frans B. M. de Waal (Scientific American, 2006). EXTRAS:“Ninety-Eight Years of Economic Wisdom,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).“We Can Play God Now,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).“Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life Is Meaningless and Amazing,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).“Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations — and His Optimism for Ours,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).
Economist Daron Acemoglu likes to tackle big questions. He tells Steve how colonialism still affects us today, who benefits from new technology, and why democracy wasn’t always a sure thing. SOURCE:Daron Acemoglu, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. RESOURCES:Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity, by Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson (2023)."Economists Pin More Blame on Tech for Rising Inequality," by Steve Lohr (The New York Times, 2022)."America’s Slow-Motion Wage Crisis: Four Decades of Slow and Unequal Growth," by John Schmitt, Elise Gould, and Josh Bivens (Economic Policy Institute, 2018)."Why Mental Health Advocates Use the Words 'Died by Suicide,'" by Nicole Spector (NBC News, 2018)."A Machine That Made Stockings Helped Kick Off the Industrial Revolution," by Sarah Laskow (Atlas Obscura, 2017)."The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation," by Claire Cain Miller (The New York Times, 2016).Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson (2012)."The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," by Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James A. Robinson (American Economic Review, 2001)."Learning about Others' Actions and the Investment Accelerator," by Daron Acemoglu (The Economic Journal, 1993)."A Friedman Doctrine — The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits," by Milton Friedman (The New York Times, 1970). EXTRAS:"'My God, This Is a Transformative Power,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."New Technologies Always Scare Us. Is A.I. Any Different?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Max Tegmark on Why Superhuman Artificial Intelligence Won’t be Our Slave," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."How to Prevent Another Great Depression," by Freakonomics Radio (2020)."Is Income Inequality Inevitable?" by Freakonomics Radio (2017).
Journalist Walt Hickey uses data to understand how culture works. He and Steve talk about why China hasn’t produced any hit movies yet and how he got his own avatar in the Madden NFL video game.  SOURCE:Walter Hickey, author, journalist, and data expert. RESOURCES:You Are What You Watch: How Movies and TV Affect Everything, by Walter Hickey (2023)."France Gave Teenagers $350 for Culture. They’re Buying Comic Books," by Aurelien Breeden (The New York Times, 2021)."How I Escaped a Chinese Internment Camp," by Fahmida Azim, Anthony Del Col, and Josh Adams (Business Insider, 2021)."Why You Should Stop Binge-Watching," by Alan Jern (Psychology Today, 2021)."China Wants Soft Power. But Censorship Is Stifling Its Film Industry," by Eduardo Baptista (CNN, 2019)."The Economic Impact of On-Screen Tourism: The Case of The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit," by ShiNa Li, Hengyun Li, Haiyan Song, Christine Lundberg, and Shujie Shen (Tourism Management, 2017)."A Lazy, Out-Of-Shape Amateur Won Two More Super Bowls Than Tony Romo," by Walter Hickey and Jody Avirgan (FiveThirtyEight, 2015)."How Madden Helped a Schlub Like Me Make It Into the NFL," by Walter Hickey (FiveThirtyEight, 2015)."'Kung Fu Panda' Prompts Soul-Searching in China," by Simon Rabinovitch (Reuters, 2008).Numlock News, by Walter Hickey. EXTRAS:"Nate Silver Says We’re Bad at Making Predictions," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Adding Ten Healthy Years to Your Life," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."David Epstein Knows Something About Almost Everything," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Professor Carl Hart Argues All Drugs Should Be Legal — Can He Convince Steve?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Sendhil Mullainathan Thinks Messing Around Is the Best Use of Your Time," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Sue Bird: 'You Have to Pay the Superstars,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a bodybuilder, an actor, a governor, and, now, an author. He tells Steve how he’s managed to succeed in so many fields — and what to do when people throw eggs at you. SOURCE:Arnold Schwarzenegger, professional bodybuilder, actor, and former governor of California. RESOURCES:Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life, by Arnold Schwarzenegger (2023)."Arnold Schwarzenegger: Environmentalists Are Behind the Times. And Need to Catch Up Fast," by Arnold Schwarzenegger (USA Today, 2023).Arnold, Netflix documentary (2023)."Gubernatorial Recall Election Debate," (C-SPAN, 2003)."Cinema: Best of '84: Cinema," (TIME, 1985). EXTRAS:"This Is Your Brain on Pollution (Update)," by Freakonomics Radio (2022).Twins, film by Ivan Reitman (1988).The Terminator, film by James Cameron (1984).
Physicist Helen Czerski loves to explain how the world works. She talks with Steve about studying bubbles, setting off explosives, and how ocean waves have changed the course of history. SOURCE:Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College London. RESOURCES:The Blue Machine: How the Ocean Works, by Helen Czerski (2023)."Ocean Bubbles Under High Wind Conditions – Part 1: Bubble Distribution and Development," by Helen Czerski, Ian M. Brooks, Steve Gunn, Robin Pascal, Adrian Matei, and Byron Blomquist (Ocean Science, 2022)."When It Comes to Sucking Up Carbon Emissions, ‘The Ocean Has Been Forgiving.’ That Might Not Last," by Bella Isaacs-Thomas (PBS NewsHour, 2022)."Ocean's Hidden Heat Measured With Earthquake Sounds," by Paul Voosen (Science, 2020)."Why Is the Ocean so Important for Climate Change?" by Kathryn Tso (MIT Climate Portal, 2020)."Issues Brief: Ocean Deoxygenation," by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (2019)."Behold the Bubbly Ocean," by Helen Czerski (Physics World, 2017).Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life, by Helen Czerski (2016)."Research Highlight: Scripps and the Science Behind the D-Day Landings," by James Vazquez and Mario C. Aguilera (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2014)."A Mechanism Stimulating Sound Production From Air Bubbles Released From a Nozzle," by Grant B. Deane and Helen Czerski (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2008)."β-δ Phase Transition During Dropweight Impact on Cyclotetramethylene-Tetranitroamine," by Helen Czerski, M. W. Greenaway, William G. Proud, and John E. Field (Journal of Applied Physics, 2004).  EXTRAS:"Reading Dostoevsky Behind Bars," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Can Data Keep People Out of Prison?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Joshua Jay: 'Humans Are So, So Easy to Fool,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).
The filmmaker doesn’t want to be known only for his movies. He tells Steve why he considers himself a writer first, how it feels to be recognized for his role in The Mandalorian, and why he once worked as a rodeo clown. SOURCE:Werner Herzog, filmmaker, author, and actor. RESOURCES:Every Man for Himself and God Against All, by Werner Herzog (2023).The Mandalorian, TV show (2019-2023).The Twilight World, by Werner Herzog (2021).Family Romance, LLC, film by Werner Herzog (2019).Fitzcarraldo, film by Werner Herzog (1982).Of Walking in Ice, by Werner Herzog (1978).Aguirre, the Wrath of God, film by Werner Herzog (1972).Rogue Film School. EXTRAS:"David Simon Is On Strike. Here’s Why," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Will A.I. Make Us Smarter?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).Freakonomics: The Movie (2010).
Economist Michael D. Smith says universities are scrambling to protect a status quo that deserves to die. He tells Steve why the current system is unsustainable, and what’s at stake if nothing changes. RESOURCES:The Abundant University: Remaking Higher Education for a Digital World, by Michael D. Smith (2023)."Diversifying Society’s Leaders? The Determinants and Causal Effects of Admission to Highly Selective Private Colleges," by Raj Chetty, David J. Deming, and John N. Friedman (NBER Working Paper, 2023)."Are Universities Going the Way of CDs and Cable TV?" by Michael D. Smith (The Atlantic, 2020)."For Sale: SAT-Takers’ Names. Colleges Buy Student Data and Boost Exclusivity," by Douglas Belkin (The Wall Street Journal, 2019)."High School GPAs and ACT Scores as Predictors of College Completion: Examining Assumptions About Consistency Across High Schools," by Elaine M. Allensworth and Kallie Clark (Educational Researcher, 2020)."Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility," by Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan (NBER Working Paper, 2017)."How U.S. News College Rankings Promote Economic Inequality on Campus," by Benjamin Wermund (Politico, 2017).Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment, by Michael D. Smith (2016)."Higher Education's Work Preparation Paradox," by Brandon Busteed (Gallup, 2014)."Let’s Level the Playing Field for SAT Prep," by Sal Khan (Khan Academy, 2014)."Race, Poverty and SAT Scores: Modeling the Influences of Family Income on Black and White High School Students' SAT Performance," by Ezekiel J. Dixon-Roman, Howard Everson, and John J Mcardle (Teachers College Record, 2013).EXTRAS:"The Professor Who Said 'No' to Tenure," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School," series by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."Is This the Future of High School?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).“Sal Khan: ‘If It Works for 15 Cousins, It Could Work for a Billion People.’” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).SOURCES:Michael D. Smith, professor of information technology and marketing at Carnegie Mellon University.
Computer scientist Fei-Fei Li had a wild idea: download one billion images from the internet and teach a computer to recognize them. She ended up advancing the state of artificial intelligence — and she hopes that will turn out to be a good thing for humanity.  RESOURCES:The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of A.I., by Fei-Fei Li (2023)."Fei-Fei Li's Quest to Make AI Better for Humanity," by Jessi Hempel (Wired, 2018)."ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge," by Olga Russakovsky, Li Fei-Fei, et al. (International Journal of Computer Vision, 2015).EXTRAS:“How to Think About A.I." series by Freakonomics Radio (2023).“Will A.I. Make Us Smarter?” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).“Satya Nadella’s Intelligence Is Not Artificial,” by Freakonomics Radio (2023).“Max Tegmark on Why Superhuman Artificial Intelligence Won’t be Our Slave,” by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).SOURCES:Fei-Fei Li, professor of computer science and co-director of the Human-Centered A.I. Institute at Stanford University.
Data scientist Nate Silver gained attention for his election predictions. But even the best prognosticators get it wrong sometimes. He talks to Steve about making good decisions with data, why he’d rather write a newsletter than an academic paper, and how online poker led him to the world of politics.  RESOURCES"Not Everyone Who Disagrees With You Is a Closet Right-Winger," by Nate Silver (Silver Bulletin, 2023)."The 2 Key Facts About U.S. Covid Policy That Everyone Should Know," by Nate Silver (Silver Bulletin, 2023)."Excess Death Rates for Republican and Democratic Registered Voters in Florida and Ohio During the Covid-19 Pandemic," by Jacob Wallace, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, Jason L. Schwartz (JAMA Internal Medicine, 2023)."Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," by Hannah Fry (The New Yorker, 2019)."Why FiveThirtyEight Gave Trump A Better Chance Than Almost Anyone Else," by Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight, 2016).The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't, by Nate Silver (2012).EXTRAS"Steven Strogatz Thinks You Don’t Know What Math Is," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."A Rockstar Chemist and Her Cancer-Attacking 'Lawn Mower,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."What’s the Secret to Making a Great Prediction?" by No Stupid Questions (2021)."How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future," by Freakonomics Radio (2016)."Nate Silver Says: 'Everyone Is Kind of Weird,'" by Freakonomics Radio (2015)."The Folly of Prediction," by Freakonomics Radio (2011).SOURCES:Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight and author of the Silver Bulletin.
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well it doesn't look like Wired has fired Jason Kehe yet for insulting Brandon Sanderson, everyone in the LDS faith, Brandon's fans, and HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN. So I'm not going to listen to this episode or support Wired in even the smallest way until they fire that jagoff or at least force him to give an (almost certainly insincere) apology. Sorry, but this guy is not someone I admire.

May 27th
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Apr 13th
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Feb 17th
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Feb 3rd
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Purchased

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Jan 7th
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Dec 17th
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Nov 28th
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Aug 13th
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Venus Mohammadi

Great Conversation👌 I hope I heard from Yuval Harari again in this podcast❤

Aug 3rd
Reply

Ryan Schaub

I would like to see these guns with such expanded capabilities the guest describes. Shooting up to a thousand people? If anything, relative to the growth of other technologies - firearm developments are ridiculously slow and archaic.

Apr 25th
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