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People I (Mostly) Admire
People I (Mostly) Admire
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

Steve Levitt, the iconoclastic University of Chicago economist and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, tracks down other high achievers and asks... more

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Episodes

Why Aren’t All Drugs Legal? (Replay Ep. 28)

The Columbia neuroscientist and psychology professor Carl Hart believes that recreational drug use, even heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine, is an... more

22 Jan 2022 · 43 minutes
Are We Under Threat from a New Kind of Terror? (Replay Ep. 24)

Amaryllis Fox is a former C.I.A. operative and host of the Netflix show The Business of Drugs. She explains why... more

15 Jan 2022 · 49 minutes
59. Who Gives the Worst Advice?

Steve usually asks his guests for advice, whether they’re magicians or Nobel laureates. After nearly 60 episodes, is any of... more

08 Jan 2022 · 43 minutes
58. Why Is Richard Thaler Such a ****ing Optimist?

The Nobel laureate and pioneering behavioral economist spars with Steve over what makes a nudge a nudge, and admits that... more

01 Jan 2022 · 46 minutes
57. What Makes John Doerr Think He Can Save the Planet?

The legendary venture capitalist believes the same intuition that led him to bet early on Google can help us reach... more

25 Dec 2021 · 51 minutes
56. Claudia Goldin: What’s “Greedy Work” and Why Is It a Problem?

Harvard economist Claudia Goldin and Steve talk about how inflexible jobs and family responsibilities make it harder for women to... more

18 Dec 2021 · 48 minutes
55. Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations — and His Optimism for Ours

He’s the award-winning author of hugely popular books like Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; and Upheaval. But Jared actually started... more

11 Dec 2021 · 47 minutes
54. Andrew Yang Is Not Giving Up on Politics — or the U.S. — Yet

He’s tried to shake up the status quo — as a Democratic presidential candidate, a New York City mayoral candidate,... more

04 Dec 2021 · 53 minutes
53. The Simple Economics of Saving the Amazon Rainforest

Everyone agrees that massive deforestation is an environmental disaster. But most of the standard solutions — scolding the Brazilians, invoking... more

27 Nov 2021 · 32 minutes
52. Max Tegmark on Why Superhuman Artificial Intelligence Won’t be Our Slave (Part 2)

He’s an M.I.T. cosmologist, physicist, and machine-learning expert, and once upon a time, almost an economist. Max and Steve continue... more

20 Nov 2021 · 30 minutes
51. Max Tegmark on Why Treating Humanity Like a Child Will Save Us All

How likely is it that this conversation is happening in more than one universe? Should we worry more about Covid... more

13 Nov 2021 · 45 minutes
50. Edward Miguel on Collecting Economic Data by Canoe and Correlating Conflict with Rainfall

He’s a pioneer of using randomized control experiments in economics — studying the long-term benefits of a $1 health intervention... more

06 Nov 2021 · 52 minutes
49. Mathematician Sarah Hart on Why Numbers are Music to Our Ears

Playing notes on her piano, she demonstrates for Steve why whole numbers sound pleasing, why octaves are mathematically imperfect, and... more

30 Oct 2021 · 46 minutes
48. Marc Davis Can’t Stop Watching Basketball — But He Doesn’t Care Who Wins

His childhood dream of playing in the N.B.A. led him to a career as a referee. Marc is one of... more

23 Oct 2021 · 47 minutes
Ken Jennings on How a Midlife Crisis Led Him to Jeopardy! (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 4 Replay)

It was only in his late twenties that America’s favorite brainiac began to seriously embrace his love of trivia. Jeopardy!’s... more

16 Oct 2021 · 47 minutes
Mayim Bialik on the Surprising Risks of Academia and Stability of Show Biz (People I (Mostly) Admire, Ep. 2 Replay)

This new Jeopardy! host is best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but she... more

09 Oct 2021 · 49 minutes
47. Robert Axelrod on Why Being Nice, Forgiving, and Provokable are the Best Strategies for Life

The prisoner’s dilemma is a classic game-theory problem. Robert, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, has spent his... more

02 Oct 2021 · 44 minutes
46. Amanda & Lily Levitt Share What It’s Like to be Steve’s Daughters

Steve shows a different side of himself in very personal interviews with his two oldest daughters. Amanda talks about growing... more

25 Sep 2021 · 47 minutes
45. Leidy Klotz on Why the Best Solutions Involve Less — Not More

When we try to improve things, our first thought is often: What can we add to make this better? But... more

18 Sep 2021 · 40 minutes
44. Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away

An expert on urban economics and co-author of the new book Survival of the City, Ed says cities have faced... more

11 Sep 2021 · 46 minutes
People I (Mostly) Admire
45. Leidy Klotz on Why the Best Solutions Involve Less — Not More
People I (Mostly) Admire
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Description

When we try to improve things, our first thought is often: What can we add to make this better? But Leidy, a... more