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Freakonomics Radio

Author: ​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.” 

13 Episodes
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They — along with a great many other high-achieving women — were all once Girl Scouts. So was Sylvia Acevedo. Raised in a poor, immigrant family, she was told that “girls like her” didn’t go to college. But she did, and then became a rocket scientist and tech executive. Now she’s C.E.O. of the very organization she credits with shaping her life. Acevedo tells us how the Girl Scouts are trying to stay relevant, why they’re suing the Boy Scouts, and how they sell so many cookies.
The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their original research, the challenges to its legitimacy, and their updated analysis. Also: what this means for abortion policy, crime policy, and having intelligent conversations about contentious topics.
Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?
383. The Zero-Minute Workout

383. The Zero-Minute Workout

2019-06-2700:38:1640

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?
An all-star team of behavioral scientists discovers that humans are stubborn (and lazy, and sometimes dumber than dogs). We also hear about binge drinking, humblebragging, and regrets. Recorded live in Philadelphia with guests including Richard Thaler, Angela Duckworth, Katy Milkman, and Tom Gilovich.
Recorded live in San Francisco. Guests include the keeper of a 10,000-year clock, the co-founder of Lyft, a pioneer in male birth control, a specialist in water security, and a psychology professor who is also a puppy. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the Freakonomics Radio Orchestra.
Recorded live in Los Angeles. Guests include Mayor Eric Garcetti, the “Earthquake Lady,” the head of the Port of L.A., and a scientist with NASA’s Planetary Protection team. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the worldwide debut of Luis Guerra and the Freakonomics Radio Orchestra.
379. How to Change Your Mind

379. How to Change Your Mind

2019-05-3000:51:0796

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves?
Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.” (You also have an “optimism bias” and a bad case of overconfidence.) But don’t worry: we’ve got the solution.
The revolution in home DNA testing is giving consumers important, possibly life-changing information. It’s also building a gigantic database that could lead to medical breakthroughs. But how will you deal with upsetting news? What if your privacy is compromised? And are you prepared to have your DNA monetized? We speak with Anne Wojcicki, founder and C.E.O. of 23andMe.
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Comments (121)

Chris Horton

Wow! Mind blowing but completely logical when you think about it. Would be interesting to see if data from Europe and other countries corroborates the findings.

Jul 20th
Reply

Joseph Hawkins

There are huge swaths of the economy that are stagnating due to a currency deficit. When there are residential solarpanels to install, industrial hemp to commoditize, thorium reactors to build, waste materials to recycle, electric vehicles to subsidize and much much more, our government seems compelled only to spend tens of trillions of dollars on bank failures and endless war. Religiously bankrolling these illicit and corrosive schemes breed an economy where the military industrial sector consumes ever more resources and the financial sector extracts ever more liquidity, placing the overall economy at ever greater risk. Rather than providing bombs to drop on others and austerity for us, our government needs to provide meaningful wages for those willing to work on what has to get done, translating into a more productive and sustainable economy for everyone.

Jul 20th
Reply

Joseph Hawkins

For all those who still insist on microeconomics masquerading as Macroeconomics, here is a quick primer of Macro 101 below. Money is a social unit of account having a fiscal/tax relation between the issuer of the currency and it's users, where spending precedes taxation. Government expenditures and not taxes pay for entitlement/discretionary spending and interest on the debt. Demanding that taxes be paid, and in dollars, insures the validity of the dollar as the means of exchange. Deficit Spending is the government spending more money into the economy then it taxes back out. Government deficits provide the liquidity necessary for the economy to function. Taxes are vital for restraining concentrations of wealth and include capital gains, dividend, corporate, inheritance, estate and a progressive income tax. The National Debt is the amount in dollars spent into the economy that the government buys back in exchange for Treasury securities, essentially transferring money from checking to savings. Inflation is a rise in prices across the economy due to a shortage of resources and/or productive capacity. Hyperinflation is a collapsing value of the currency across the economy due to a collapse in resources and/or no productive capacity. Stagflation is a rise in prices, compounded with a decline in economic activity across the economy due to the scarcity of a vital resource. Recessions are cyclical contractions of liquidity across the economy that cause a corresponding decline in economic activity. Depressions occur when the government runs a surplus, starving the economy of liquidity that cause deep and systemic unemployment, and an unsustainable escalation in private debt. Depressions are avoidable, so long as the government spends the necessary money to actualize full employment, which can include a job guarantee, student debt forgiveness and a Green New Deal.

Jul 20th
Reply

Kurben Nnm

A lot of leading questions

Jul 20th
Reply

Rachelle Bedell

Kurben Nnm 77777

Jul 23rd
Reply

David Brault

nbkvonn n mjh,,hv

Jul 16th
Reply

David Brault

nbkvonn n mjh,,hv

Jul 16th
Reply

Tonje Finne

l

Jul 11th
Reply

Janet Graham-Russell

In marketing we look for removing barriers to do something. for example I signed up for water aerobics at the pool on my way home. I had no reason to not do it.

Jul 6th
Reply

Anna Kochetkova

What a great idea(first speakers)! However, I'm curious to look into people's motivations to go to the gym before trying to change their behaviour aka create a solid gym work out that sticks. I am wondering if knowing different motivations maybe why your experiment had the result it had. For example, for some people gym may not be the solution and they silently hate it (thus reminders may not work), others may be worsening their silent injuries by going to the gym (this is what happened to me) or maybe some were using the gym as a part of their social status not exercise regiment. I can name a few dozens more. I'm wondering if gym is something that has to many variables and doesn't allow for the true motivation to come out rather than say that they didn't have self control. What do you think?

Jul 1st
Reply

Jin ZhiYan

so the steroid guy was one of the founders of GSK?

Jun 28th
Reply

James Morgan

I can't believe that more people aren't horrified by the thought of giving their genetic information to a corporation. At best this is opening the doors for insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of what health problems you MIGHT develop. But far more malevolent outcomes are easily imaginable. Anybody heard of eugenics?

Jun 26th
Reply

Jldubz

condoms work just fine!!

Jun 13th
Reply

Jldubz

Goodchilde fair point!!

Jun 16th
Reply

Goodchilde

Jldubz Perverts obsessed with personal pleasure than their own safety. This is what Jesus predicted.

Jun 16th
Reply

Nima Hooshmand

wash your eyes, see differently

Jun 4th
Reply

Patrick Scanlan

You let her off the hook on the privacy question. Same with the monetization issue. Seemed like you wanted to push harder, but didn't for whatever reason. A voluntary policy to never share your data is obviously conditional. And the condition in question is whether this GSK deal will keep an unprofitable firm in business.

May 29th
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Aidan Gardiner

Why is monetizing illness perceived so negatively? Illness has costs, if drug companies can find a market by alleviating those costs through drugs, why is that bad? Drug development would be much slower without a profit motive. No one can afford to conduct massive research and development out of the goodness of their hearts. Just look at all the "good" cancer non-profits have done wasting money on administrative costs.

May 24th
Reply

Patrick Scanlan

Aidan Gardiner Because it incentivizes keeping patients sick. An AIDS treatment makes tens of thousands a year per patient, sustained over the life of the patient. A cure would only net a single payment per patient. Drug companies aren't in the business of curing disease, only treating symptoms.

May 29th
Reply

Marie Celeste

I found a half brother through 23andMe. All the negative sides of doing this were worth it to have him in our lives.

May 22nd
Reply

Caio Alves

Muito bom. Recomendo. Os entrevistados são bons, e os entrevistadores são completos, inteligentes e inquisitivos (positivamente). além disso, é uma boa maneira de se adquirir um bom vocabulário em inglês.

May 21st
Reply

viji thomas

Missing all the episodes... Can only view 14. Bring them back!

May 18th
Reply

Arturo de la cruz

Towards the end Ann was talking about finding meaning through genetic belonging and grouping, that does not sound very good. I understand that this podcast does not give guests a hard time, good and incisive question yes, but in this instance it really felt a bit like an add. More discussion of the edgy ethics board thing would have been much appreciated or maybe another interviewee with different (although not necessarily opposing) views.

May 16th
Reply

Alixe Leclercq

for real? getting a talk about how eating behavior is hard to change interrupted by an advertisement about how Coke and other soda provide sugar free options ... can you get more sarcastic?

May 16th
Reply

Ben Jackson

Alixe Leclercq inlp byegg andh in cheese PM on dry h lhthe d pim 👆 My phone automatically started writing this as a comment in my pocket so I thought I'd post it incase it means anything to anyone...

May 24th
Reply

Ojasvi Jain

Alixe Leclercq I thought the same

May 23rd
Reply
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