109 episodes

Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world.

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy BBC

    • Business
    • 4.9, 50 Ratings

Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world.

    Introducing 13 Minutes to the Moon Season 2

    Introducing 13 Minutes to the Moon Season 2

    Jump on-board a doomed mission to the Moon. Apollo 13: the extraordinary story, told by the people who flew it and saved it.
    Search for 13 Minutes to the Moon wherever you get your podcasts.
    #13MinutestotheMoon

    • 3 min
    Gutenberg press

    Gutenberg press

    Johannes Gutenberg's printing press changed the course of human history. It created a new way of doing business, drastically reduced the cost and speed of making books, and enabled texts, ideas and arguments to spread further and faster than ever before. So why did he struggle to make money from it?

    • 10 min
    Slot machines

    Slot machines

    First developed by a toy company in the 1890s, slot machines have become one of the most profitable tools of the gambling trade - but many who play them say winning isn't the point. So why can't people pull themselves away? Tim Harford looks under the spinning wheels and flashing lights to see what these devices reveal about the business of addiction.

    • 9 min
    Chess algorithms

    Chess algorithms

    In 1997, Garry Kasparov, widely regarded as the world's greatest chess player, was defeated by Deep Blue, a computer. But how much did that reveal about the 'brainpower' of machines? Tim Harford explains by delving into the history of algorithms. They've been used by mathematicians and scientists for millennia, but have acquired a new level of power and importance in the digital age.

    • 9 min
    Auctions

    Auctions

    Are things only worth what people are willing to pay for them? Tim Harford explains why a method of buying and selling that originated in ancient times has endured to the present day, and is now underpinning the success of some of the internet's most powerful brands.

    • 9 min
    Dams

    Dams

    From reliable water supplies to large-scale electricity generation, the benefits brought by dams can be huge. But so can the problems. Tim Harford explains how these massive structures have changed the world for many, but led to catastrophe for others.

    • 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Biblio Phil ,

Wonderfully addictive

Even given the very professional level of most BBC podcast series, this is outstanding. Great research into apparently humble products of everyday life makes each 9 minute segment very addictive. True to the style of an economist, the counterintuitive consequences - negative and positive - of each innovation are identified. A must-listen for people interested in economics, social history, and technology.

Mr. ZR ,

Very informative.

I really enjoyed this informative series. The podcast is very well written and presented. I’m hoping there were enough ideas from the listeners to make a second series???

Johnny Ireland ,

Very interesting

Tim always engages his audience and leaves us curious for more

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