7 episodes

Steve Levitt, the iconoclastic University of Chicago economist and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, tracks down other high achievers and asks questions that only he would think to ask. Guests include all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, and top literary agent Suzanne Gluck. People I (Mostly) Admire is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.

People I (Mostly) Admire Stitcher

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 419 Ratings

Steve Levitt, the iconoclastic University of Chicago economist and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, tracks down other high achievers and asks questions that only he would think to ask. Guests include all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, and top literary agent Suzanne Gluck. People I (Mostly) Admire is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.

    Susan Wojcicki: “Hey, Let’s Go Buy YouTube!”

    Susan Wojcicki: “Hey, Let’s Go Buy YouTube!”

    She was the sixteenth employee at Google — a company once based in her garage — and now she's the C.E.O. of its best-known subsidiary, YouTube. But despite being one of the most powerful people in the tech industry, few outside of Silicon Valley know the name Susan Wojcicki. Levitt talks with her about the early days of Google, how her background in economics shapes the company's products, and why YouTube's success has created a range of unforeseen and serious issues.

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    • 30 min
    Steve Levitt: “I'm Not as Childlike as I'd Like to Be” (Bonus Episode)

    Steve Levitt: “I'm Not as Childlike as I'd Like to Be” (Bonus Episode)

    Steve Levitt has so far occupied the interviewer chair on this show, but in a special live event — recorded over Zoom and presented by WNYC and the Greene Space — the microphone is turned toward him. His Freakonomics friend and co-author Stephen Dubner checks in on the wisdom Levitt has extracted from his interviews, finds out why Levitt is happiest when angering everyone across the political spectrum, and asks Levitt why he ends every interview with the same question.

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    • 38 min
    Ken Jennings: “Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird”

    Ken Jennings: “Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird”

    It was only in his late twenties that America’s favorite brainiac began to seriously embrace his love of trivia. Now he holds the “Greatest of All Time” title on Jeopardy! Steve Levitt digs into how he trained for the show, what it means to have a "geographic memory," and why we lie to our children.

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    • 42 min
    Kerwin Charles: “One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From”

    Kerwin Charles: “One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From”

    The dean of Yale’s School of Management grew up in a small village in Guyana. During his unlikely journey, he has researched video-gaming habits, communicable disease, and why so many African-Americans haven’t had the kind of success he’s had. Steve Levitt talks to Charles about his parents’ encouragement, his love of Sports Illustrated, and how he talks to his American-born kids about the complicated history of Blackness in America. 

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    • 39 min
    Mayim Bialik: “I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is”

    Mayim Bialik: “I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is”

    She’s best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but the award-winning actress has a rich life outside of her acting career, as a teacher, mother — and a real-life neuroscientist.  Steve Levitt tries to learn more about this one-time academic and Hollywood non-conformist, who is both very similar to him and also quite his opposite.

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    • 45 min
    Steven Pinker: "I Manage My Controversy Portfolio Carefully”

    Steven Pinker: "I Manage My Controversy Portfolio Carefully”

    By cataloging the steady march of human progress, the Harvard psychologist and linguist has become a very public intellectual. But the self-declared “polite Canadian” has managed to enrage people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Steve Levitt tries to understand why.

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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
419 Ratings

419 Ratings

Jeffhunt206 ,

Great Podcast

I actually find myself excited when a new episode is available, y'all do a stellar job! Keep it up!

Bholamom ,

I’m hooked :)

Levitt is one of my favorite authors and this podcast is so cool . Love the guests and looking forward to knowing more people to admire ♥️

etherdog ,

Defender of patent troll

It is inexcusable that Levitt gives any time to a notorious patent troll like myrvold. Yuck!

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