949 episodes

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 900+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

EconTalk Russ Roberts

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 4.1K Ratings

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 900+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

    How the Constitution Can Bring Us Together (with Yuval Levin)

    How the Constitution Can Bring Us Together (with Yuval Levin)

    Can a document unify a nation? Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute and author of American Covenant argues that the Constitution unified the United States at the founding of the country and that understanding the Constitution can help bring the country together today. Listen as Levin speaks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about how the Constitution not only took into account fractious politics, but also ensured that polarization would lead to a stronger democracy. Topics include the inherent limitations placed on the majority and how that affects policy formation, the vital if misunderstood advantages of the electoral college, and why, despite all the warnings to the contrary, this is far from a dangerous moment in American political history.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Injustice and the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (with Dwayne Betts)

    Injustice and the "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (with Dwayne Betts)

    When poet, lawyer, and MacArthur Fellow Dwayne Betts was imprisoned for nine years at the age of 16 for carjacking, he only wept twice. One of those times was when he read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." In this powerful conversation with EconTalk's Russ Roberts, Betts explains why he cried, what he learned from King, King's urgency in the face of injustice, and Betts's thoughts on writing the introduction to a new volume of King's letter.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Covid Vaccine (with Vinay Prasad)

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Covid Vaccine (with Vinay Prasad)

    The Covid vaccine saved many lives but so many mistakes were made in how public health officials discussed it, implemented it, and assessed its effectiveness. Epidemiologist Vinay Prasad of the University of California, San Francisco talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about what went wrong, the costs of the mistakes that were made, and what we can do better the next time.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Purpose, Pleasure, and Meaning in a World Without Work (with Nicholas Bostrom)

    Purpose, Pleasure, and Meaning in a World Without Work (with Nicholas Bostrom)

    If you didn't have to work to enjoy material abundance, would you do it anyway? If an algorithm or a pill could achieve better results, would you bother shopping or going to the gym? These are the kinds of questions we'll need to ask ourselves if AI makes all human labor and other traditional ways of spending time obsolete. Oxford philosopher Nicholas Bostrom, author of Deep Utopia, is downright bullish about our ability, not only to adjust to a life stripped of labor, but to thrive. Listen as Bostrom explains to EconTalk's Russ Roberts what pleasure and leisure might look like in a world without struggle or pain, and why art and religion may come out still standing, or even become more necessary. Finally, they speak about how AI might free us up to be the best people we can be.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Glenn Loury Tells All

    Glenn Loury Tells All

    Economist and social critic Glenn Loury talks about his memoir, Late Admissions, with EconTalk's Russ Roberts. In a wide-ranging and blunt conversation, Loury discusses his childhood, his at-times brilliant academic work, his roller-coaster ideological journey, and his personal flaws as a drug addict and imperfect husband. This is a rich conversation about academic life, race in America, and the challenges of self-control.

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Living with the Constitution (with A.J. Jacobs)

    Living with the Constitution (with A.J. Jacobs)

    What does it mean to live Constitutionally in the year 2024? For a start, it means getting off social media. It also means swapping a quill pen for your keyboard, and candlelight for electricity. And don't forget the tricorn hat and musket--though maybe skip the boiled mutton. Join author A.J. Jacobs as he deep-dives with EconTalk's Russ Roberts into the centuries-old principles of the U.S. Constitution and tries to apply them to the current day. Topics include the original conceptions of our most cherished amendments, the office of the President, and the Supreme Court, and an explanation of how one can be an originalist and still believe in gender equity. Jacobs also shares his family's experience writing its own constitution, and explains why his research made him more optimistic about the future of American democracy.

    • 1 hr 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
4.1K Ratings

4.1K Ratings

A Wyoming Friend ,

Glenn Loury Tells All

Thanks for this podcast, Russ. I could have listened for another hour. As a Christian, in my 70s, I especially wanted to hear about Glenn’s struggles as a Christian now, at age 75. I only really fully understood the gospel about 15 years ago (30 years into my walk, knowing Christ— been a Christian 45 years now). The gospel, the good news is, we are lousy at best. We look to Christ for our perfection and rest in His righteousness, by our faith in Him. So glad to hear about your life, Glenn. I looked: your book is available today!! From a Wyoming listener 😉

KGNicho ,

Interview with Nicholas Bostrom

I love Russ’s podcast generally but oh my word was this one a stinker. I forced myself to listen to the whole thing because, after all, Russ was recommending this man’s book as “thought provoking” and I respect Russ a lot. I found Dr. Bostrom’s vision of a future run completely by “mature technology”— AI of course— to be bizarre, arrogant, anti-human, naive, inconsistent and, ultimately, incoherent. Good grief. Russ kept saying, it gets more hopeful! but not for me.

jdubinMKE ,

Smarter with Age

Regarding April 1 episode. Yes you are! Young people as a group are dumb and wrong. Ask any insurer.

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