180 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

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 2K 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 Salopek on Walking the World

    Paul Salopek on Walking the World

    Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic fellow who, at the age of 50, set out on foot to retrace the steps of the first human migrations out of Africa. The project, dubbed the “Out of Eden Walk,” began in Ethiopia in 2012 and will eventually take him to Tierra Del Fuego, a distance of some 24,000 miles.
    Calling in just as he was about to arrive in Xi’an, he and Tyler discussed his very localized supply chain, why women make for better walking partners, the key to crossing deserts, the most difficult terrain to traverse, what he does for exercise, his information prep for each new region, how he’s kept the project funded, which cuisines he’s found most and least palatable, what he learned working the crime beat in Roswell, New Mexico, how this project challenges conventional journalism, his thoughts on the changing understanding of early human migration, and more.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links.
    Recorded October 13th, 2022
    Other ways to connect
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    • 45 min
    Rick Rubin

    Rick Rubin

    Rick Rubin has been behind some of the most iconic and successful albums in music history, and his unique approach to production and artist development has made him one of the most respected figures in the industry.
    He joined Tyler to discuss how to listen (to music and people), which artistic movement has influenced him most, what Sherlock Holmes taught him about creativity, how streaming is affecting music, whether AI will write good songs, what he likes about satellite radio, why pro wrestling is the most accurate representation of life, why growing up in Long Island was a “miracle,” his ‘do no harm’ approach to working with artist, what makes for a great live album,  why Jimi Hendrix owed his success to embracing technology, what made Brian Eno and Brian Wilson great producers, what albums he's currently producing, and more.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links.
    Recorded January 13th, 2023
    Other ways to connect
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter Follow Rick on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 

    • 55 min
    Katherine Rundell on the Art of Words

    Katherine Rundell on the Art of Words

    Katherine Rundell is, in a word, enthusiastic. She’s enthusiastic about John Donne. She’s enthusiastic about walking along rooftops. She’s enthusiastic about words, and stories, and food. She has often started her morning with a cartwheel and is currently learning to fly a small plane. A prolific writer, her many children’s books aim to instill the sense of discovery she still remembers from her own unruly childhood adventures—and remind adults of the astonishment that still awaits them. 
    She joined Tyler to discuss how she became obsessed with John Donne, the power of memorizing poetry, the political implications of suicide in the 17th century, the new evidence of Donne’s faith, the contagious intensity of thought in 17th century British life, the effect of the plague on national consciousness, the brutality of boys’ schooling, the thrills and dangers of rooftop walking, why children should be more mischievous, why she’d like to lower the voting age to 16, her favorite UK bookshop, the wonderful weirdness of Diana Wynne Jones, why she has at least one joke about Belgium in every book, what T.S. Eliot missed about John Donne, what it’s like to eat tarantula, the Kafka book she gives to toddlers, why The Book of Common Prayer is underrated, and more.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.
    Recorded September 2nd, 2022
    Other ways to connect
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    • 53 min
    Conversations with Tyler 2022 Retrospective

    Conversations with Tyler 2022 Retrospective

    On this special year-in-review episode, Tyler and producer Jeff Holmes talk about the past year on the show, including which guests he’d like to have on in 2023, what stands out to him now about his conversation with Sam Bankman-Fried in light of the collapse of FTX, the most popular and most underrated episodes of the year, what makes a guest authentic, why he hasn’t asked the “production function” question much this year, his essay on Marginal Revolution on the New Right, and what he’s working on next. They also evaluate Tyler’s pop culture picks from 2012 and answer listener questions from Twitter.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.
    Support Conversations with Tyler by making a donation during this holiday season!
    Recorded December 14th, 2022
    Other ways to connect
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter Follow Jeff on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 

    • 52 min
    John Adams on Composing and Creative Freedom

    John Adams on Composing and Creative Freedom

    Is classical music dying? For John Adams the answer is an emphatic no. Considered by Tyler to be America’s greatest living composer, he may well be one of the people responsible for keeping it alive. John’s contemporary classical music is some of the most regularly performed and he is well-known for his historically themed operas such as Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic, and most recently Antony and Cleopatra. He is also a conductor and author of, in Tyler’s words, a “thoughtful and substantive” autobiography.
    He joined Tyler to discuss why architects have it easier than opera composers, what drew him to the story of Antony and Cleopatra, why he prefers great popular music to the classical tradition, the “memory spaces” he uses to compose, the role of Christianity in his work, the anxiety of influence, the unusual life of Charles Ives, the relationship between the availability and appreciation of music, how contemporary music got a bad rap, his favorite Bob Dylan album, why he doesn’t think San Francisco was crucial to his success, why he doesn’t believe classical music is dead or even dying, his fascination with Oppenheimer, the problem with film composing, his letter to Leonard Bernstein, what he’s doing next, and more.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links.
    Recorded September 14th, 2022
    Support the podcast by making a donation during this holiday season!
    Other ways to connect
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 

    • 45 min
    Jeremy Grantham on Investing in Green Tech

    Jeremy Grantham on Investing in Green Tech

    When it comes to fighting climate change Jeremy Grantham is optimistic about technology – but worried about timing. Known widely for his acuity in identifying bubbles, the British investor contends that the one created by our dependence on fossil fuels is about to pop. He’s on a mission to make green energy cheaper, faster and is well on his way. After a lifetime spent thinking about resources, he’s using his to power the development of green technology. The Grantham Foundation has invested into 45 early-stage green projects, such as improving the efficiency of lithium extraction.
    He joined Tyler to discuss the most binding constraint on the green transition, why we need an alternative to lithium, the important message sent by Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the marginal cost basis of green energy, the topsoil crisis in the Midwest, why estimates of the cost of global warming vastly underestimate its effects, why he distrusts economists, the overpricing concentrated in the US stock market, the consequences of Brexit, the revolutionary tactics of Margaret Thatcher, how his grandparents shaped his worldview, why he’s optimistic about American venture capital, the secret to Boston’s success in asset management, how COVID changed his media diet, the political difficulty of passing carbon taxes, and more.
    Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.
    Recorded September 1st, 2022
    Check out our new Conversations with Tyler merch here at mercatusmerch.com, and use the promo code UNDERRATED for 10% off!
    Other ways to connect
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram Follow Tyler on Twitter Email us: cowenconvos@mercatus.gmu.edu Subscribe at our newsletter page to have the latest Conversations with Tyler news sent straight to your inbox. 

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

aliceyogs ,

Unmatched

No one he interviews matches or exceeds Tyler’s breadth of knowledge and his knack for asking pertinent, interesting questions that get to the essence of the interviewee. He is a real polymath.

27brooks35 ,

Brilliant

Cowan asks penetrating, informed, often amusing, questions of his extraordinarily interesting guests. The range of topics is breathtaking.

Tip - Not O'Neill ,

Really Enjoy This Show

Great questions, interesting topics and top-shelf guests….Happy when I see a new podcast has dropped.

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