106 episodes

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

    • Self Help
    • 4.7, 73 Ratings

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.

    Paul Romer on a Culture of Science and Working Hard

    Paul Romer on a Culture of Science and Working Hard

    Paul Romer makes his second appearance to discuss the failings of economics, how his mass testing plan for COVID-19 would work, what aspects of epidemiology concern him, how the FDA is slowing a better response, his ideas for reopening schools and Major League Baseball, where he agrees with Weyl’s test plan, why charter cities need a new name, what went wrong with Honduras, the development trajectory for sub-Saharan Africa, how he’d reform the World Bank, the underrated benefits of a culture of science, his heartening takeaway about human nature from his experience at Burning Man, and more.
     
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos
     
    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
     
    Follow Paul on Twitter
     
    Follow Tyler on Twitter
     
    Facebook
     
    Newsletter

    • 59 min
    Adam Tooze on our Financial Past and Future

    Adam Tooze on our Financial Past and Future

    Adam Tooze is best known for his highly-regarded books on the economic history of Nazi Germany, the remaking of the global economic and political order starting in World War I, and his account of how the economic effects of the 2008 financial crisis rippled across the globe for a decade to follow. Recently, he’s become an influential voice on Twitter documenting the pandemic-induced strain on the world’s financial systems.
    Adam joined Tyler to discuss the historically unusual decision to have a high-cost lockdown during a pandemic, why he believes in a swoosh-shaped recovery, portents of financial crises in China and the West, which emerging economies are currently most at risk, what Keynes got wrong about the Treaty of Versailles, why the Weimar Republic failed, whether Hitler was a Keynesian, the political and economic prospects of various EU members, his trick to writing a lot, how Twitter encourages him to read more, what he taught executives at BP, his advice for visiting Germany, and more.
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos
    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
    Follow Adam on Twitter
    Follow Tyler on Twitter
    Facebook
    Newsletter

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Glen Weyl on Fighting COVID-19 and the Role of the Academic Expert

    Glen Weyl on Fighting COVID-19 and the Role of the Academic Expert

    Glen Weyl is an economist, researcher, and founder of RadicalXChange. He recently co-authored a paper that sets forth an ambitious strategy to respond to the crisis and mitigate long-term damage to the economy through a regime of testing, tracing, and supported isolation. In his estimation the benefit-cost ratio is ten to one, with costs equal to about one month of continued freeze in place.
    Tyler invited Glen to discuss the plan, including how it’d overcome obstacles to scaling up testing and tracing, what other countries got right and wrong in their responses, the unusual reason why he’s bothered by price gouging on PPE supplies, where his plan differs with Paul Romer’s, and more. They also discuss academia’s responsibility to inform public discourse, how he’d apply his ideas on mechanism design to reform tenure and admissions, his unique intellectual journey from socialism to libertarianism and beyond, the common element that attracts him to both the movie Memento and Don McLean’s “American Pie,” what talent he looks for in young economists, the struggle to straddle the divide between academia and politics, the benefits and drawbacks of rollerblading to class, and more.
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos
    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
    Follow Glen on Twitter
    Follow Tyler on Twitter
    Facebook
    Newsletter

    • 55 min
    Philip E. Tetlock on Forecasting and Foraging as a Fox

    Philip E. Tetlock on Forecasting and Foraging as a Fox

    Accuracy is only one of the things we want from forecasters, says Philip Tetlock, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. People also look to forecasters for ideological assurance, entertainment, and to minimize regret–such as that caused by not taking a global pandemic seriously enough. The best forecasters aren’t just intelligent, but fox-like integrative thinkers capable of navigating values that are conflicting or in tension.
    He joined Tyler to discuss whether the world as a whole is becoming harder to predict, whether Goldman Sachs traders can beat forecasters, what inferences we can draw from analyzing the speech of politicians, the importance of interdisciplinary teams, the qualities he looks for in leaders, the reasons he’s skeptical machine learning will outcompete his research team, the year he thinks the ascent of the West became inevitable, how research on counterfactuals can be applied to modern debates, why people with second cultures tend to make better forecasters, how to become more fox-like, and more.
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos
    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
    Follow Philip on Twitter
    Follow Tyler on Twitter
    Facebook
    Newsletter

    • 54 min
    Emily St. John Mandel on Fact, Fiction, and the Familiar

    Emily St. John Mandel on Fact, Fiction, and the Familiar

    When Tyler requested an interview with novelist Emily St. John Mandel, he didn’t expect that reality would have in some ways become an eerie mirror of her latest books. And Emily didn’t expect that it’d be boosting sales: “Why would anybody in their right mind want to read Station Eleven during a pandemic?” she wondered to Tyler. Her reaction was pure bafflement until she found herself renting Contagion and thought about why. “There’s just such a longing in times of uncertainty to see how it ends.” Narratives, especially familiar ones, soothe us. It’s fitting then that her latest book has been suggested as “the perfect novel for your survival bunker.”
    She joined Tyler to discuss The Glass Hotel, including why more white-collar criminals don’t flee before arrest, the Post Secret postcard that haunts her most, the best places to hide from the Russian mob, the Canadian equivalent of the “Florida Man”, whether trophy wives are happy, how to slow down time, why she disagrees with Kafka on reading, the safest place to be during a global pandemic, how to get away with faking your own death, how A Canticle for Leibowitz influenced her writing, the permeability of moral borders, what surprised her about experiencing a real pandemic, how her background in contemporary dance makes her a better writer, adapting The Glass Hotel for a miniseries, her contrarian take on Frozen II, and more.
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos


    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
    Follow Emily on Twitter

    Follow Tyler on Twitter
    Facebook
    Newsletter

    • 55 min
    Ross Douthat on Decadence and Dynamism

    Ross Douthat on Decadence and Dynamism

    For Ross Douthat, decadence isn’t necessarily a moral judgement, but a technical label for a state that societies tend to enter—and one that is perhaps much more normal than the dynamism Americans have come to take for granted. In his new book, he outlines the cultural, economic, political, and demographic trends that threaten to leave us to wallow in a state of civilizational stagnation for years to come, and fuel further discontent and derangement with it.
    On his second appearance on Conversations with Tyler, Ross joined Tyler to discuss why he sees Kanye as a force for anti-decadence, the innovative antiquarianism of the late Sir Roger Scruton, the mediocrity of modern architecture, why it’s no coincidence that Michel Houellebecq comes from France, his predictions for the future trajectory of American decadence – and what could throw us off of it, the question of men’s role in modernity, why he feels Christianity must embrace a kind of futurist optimism, what he sees as the influence of the “Thielian ethos” on conservatism, the plausibility of ghosts and alien UFOs, and more.
    Note: This conversation was recorded on February 25, 2020.
    Follow us on Twitter and IG: @cowenconvos


    Email: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu
    Follow Ross on Twitter

    Follow Tyler on Twitter
    Facebook
    Newsletter

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
73 Ratings

73 Ratings

littlebirdurbangardens ,

Exceptional interviewer

Great podcast, very rich content

Heart of Balance ,

Intelligent and urgently needed education

An extraordinary intellectual feast! Highly recommended!

gpopgp ,

Rare

Tyler asks questions that make his interesting guests think so some have good cause to revise their ideas in real time and therefore their research. This is most uncommon.

Top Podcasts In Self Help

Listeners Also Subscribed To