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Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. New conversations every other Wednesday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Conversations with Tyler Mercatus Center at George Mason University

    • Selbstverwirklichung

Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. New conversations every other Wednesday. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

    Tim Harford on Persuasion and Popular Economics

    Tim Harford on Persuasion and Popular Economics

    To Tim Harford, mistakes are fascinating. “We often only understand how something works when it breaks,” he says, explaining why there’s such an emphasis on errors throughout his work. They also tend to make great stories, which can stoke the curiosity necessary to change minds. A former persuasive speaking champion, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire “for services to improving economic understanding,” which he’s achieved through appearances on the BBC, columns for the Financial Times, several TED Talks and books, and now his latest podcast series Cautionary Tales. 
    Tim joined Tyler to discuss the role of popular economics in a politicized world, the puzzling polarization behind Brexit, why good feedback is necessary (and rare), the limits of fact-checking, the “tremendously British” encouragement he received from Prince Charles, playing poker with Steve Levitt, messiness in music, the underrated aspect of formal debate, whether introverts are better at public speaking, the three things he can’t live without, and more.

    Note: This conversation was recorded in November 2019 and thus took place before the UK’s general election in December, which secured Boris Johnson a Conservative majority and ensured the passage of his Brexit deal in January 2020.

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    • 59 Min.
    Ezra Klein on Why We’re Polarized

    Ezra Klein on Why We’re Polarized

    In his new book, Ezra Klein argues that polarization in America has become centered on partisan political identities, which has subsumed virtually every form of identity, be it where we live, what team we root for, the church we attend, or any other. This stacked form of polarization thus carries much more weight and is activated by a wider range of conflicts than before.


    But is polarization really such a pressing concern? If it’s all merged into one form of identity politics then aren’t we just polarizing more efficiently? Over what percentage of GDP are we more polarized today versus in the past?   


    Tyler posed these questions to Ezra and more, including thoughts on Silicon Valley’s intellectual culture, his disagreement with Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory, the limits of telecommuting, how becoming a father made him less conservative, his post-kid production function, why Manhattan is overrated, the “cosmic embarrassment” of California’s governance, why he loved Marriage Story, the future of the BBC and PBS, what he learned in Pakistan, and more.


    In DC on Feb 17? Register for our next live show with John McWhorter here.

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    • 1 Std. 10 Min.
    Reid Hoffman on Systems, Levers, and Quixotic Quests

    Reid Hoffman on Systems, Levers, and Quixotic Quests

    When Reid Hoffman creates a handle for some new network or system, his usual choice is “Quixotic.” At an early age, his love of tabletop games inspired him to think of life as a heroic journey, where people come together in order to accomplish lofty things. This framing also prompted him to consider the rules and systems that guide society—and how you might improve them by identifying key points of leverage. 


    At first, he thought he’d become an academic and work with ideas as one of those Archimedean levers. But he ended up focusing on technology instead, helping to build PayPal, LinkedIn, and now many other ventures as an investor at Greylock Partners. But he still thinks ideas are important and tries to employ a “full toolset” when trying to shift systems.


    Reid joined Tyler to talk about all these leverage points and more, including the Silicon Valley cultural meme he most disagrees with, how Wittgenstein influenced the design of LinkedIn, mystical atheism, what it was like being on Firing Line, why he’s never said anything outrageous, how he and Peter Thiel interpret The Tempest differently, the most misunderstood thing about friendship, how to improve talent certification, what’s needed from science fiction, and his three new ideas for board games.


    In DC on Feb 17? Register for our next live show with John McWhorter here.

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    • 1 Std.
    Slavoj Žižek on His Stubborn Attachment to Communism

    Slavoj Žižek on His Stubborn Attachment to Communism

    This bonus episode features audio from the Holberg Debate in Bergen, Norway between Tyler and Slavoj Žižek held on December 7, 2019. They discuss the reasons Slavoj (still) considers himself a Communist, why he calls The Handmaid’s Tale “nostalgia for the present,” what he likes about Greta Thunberg, what Marx got right about the commodification of beliefs, his concerns about ecology and surveillance in communist states like China today, the reasons academia should maintain its ‘useless character,’ his beginnings as a Heideggerian, why he is distrustful of liberal optimism, the “Fukuyama dilemma” we face, the importance of “empty manners,” and more.

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    • 1 Std. 26 Min.
    Abhijit Banerjee on Theory, Practice, and India

    Abhijit Banerjee on Theory, Practice, and India

    Want to support future conversations? Visit conversationswithtyler.com/donate.
    Long before Abhijit Banerjee won the 2019 economics Nobel with Michael Kremer and Esther Duflo, he was a fellow graduate student at Harvard with Tyler. For Tyler, Abhijit is one of the brightest economic minds he’s ever met, and “a brilliant theorist who decided the future was with empirical work.” But according to Abhijit, theory and practice go hand in hand: the real benefit of a randomized control trial isn’t getting unbiased estimates, he says, but in testing hypotheses borne out of theory.


    Abhijit joined Tyler to discuss his unique approach to economics, including thoughts on premature deindustrialization, the intrinsic weakness of any charter city, where the best classical Indian music is being made today, why he prefers making Indian sweets to French sweets, the influence of English intellectual life in India, the history behind Bengali leftism, the best Indian regional cuisine, why experimental economics is underrated, the reforms he’d make to traditional graduate economics training, how his mother’s passion inspires his research, how many consumer loyalty programs he’s joined, and more.


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    • 1 Std. 2 Min.
    Tyler Looks Back on 2019 (BONUS)

    Tyler Looks Back on 2019 (BONUS)

    Want to support future conversations? Visit conversationswithtyler.com/donate.
    For this special retrospective episode, producer Jeff Holmes sat down with Tyler to discuss the past year in conversations and more, including who was most challenging guest to prep for, the most popular—and the most underrated—conversation, a test of Tyler’s knowledge called “Name That Production Function,” listener questions from Twitter, how Tyler has boosted his productivity in the past year, and whether his book and movie picks from 2009 still hold up.  

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    • 52 Min.

Kundenrezensionen

michae bird ,

Marginal Revolution

Always super interesting conversations and Tyler Cowen seems to be incredibly knowledgeable in all kinds of areas. Favourite Podcast!

dbstar2 ,

great interviews

Tyler always asks intelligent questions. I appreciate his own outlook too.

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