Exercise your ears: the 21 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 421 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group here, or double (ctrl-click) individual titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of 30,000 podcasts, listed alphabetically and grouped by topic, can be downloaded piecemeal, with files A-E at this link, and the remainder here. You’ll be limited to a 4GB maximum per download at the last place, so multiple group downloads will be needed to get all files, totaling over 170GB and may take a few hours. The first entry in the collection is a text file with just titles for quicker reference. A collection of abstracts for all the podcasts is available at this link and updated quarterly. Get the discarded material, too, using a podcast aggregator loaded with this opml file of the 503 sources. And try PodcastRE from the University of Wisconsin with over 150,000 titles. Exercise your ears and relax the rest.
Apprenticeships – “Economist Robert Lerman of the Urban Institute talks about apprenticeships with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Lerman argues that apprenticeships–a combination of work experience and classroom learning–have the potential to expand opportunities for young people who don’t want to attend college.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Cancer Drugs – “Oncologist, author, and podcaster Vinay Prasad talks about his book Malignant with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Prasad lays out the conflicts of interest and scientific challenges that make drugs that fight cancer so disappointing at times. The conversation looks at how policy changes might improve the incentives facing doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and patients.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Cancer Research – “Author and oncologist Azra Raza talks about her book The First Cell with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Raza argues that we have made little progress in fighting cancer over the last 50 years. The tools available to oncologists haven’t changed much–the bulk of the progress that has been made has been through earlier and earlier detection rather than more effective or compassionate treatment options. Raza wants to see a different approach from the current strategy of marginal improvements on narrowly defined problems at the cellular level. Instead, she suggests an alternative approach that might better take account of the complexity of human beings and the way that cancer morphs and spreads differently across people and even within individuals. The conversation includes the challenges of dealing with dying patients, the importance of listening, and the bittersweet nature of our mortality.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Capitalism – “Economist and author Branko Milanovic of the Graduate Center, CUNY, talks about his book, Capitalism, Alone, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They discuss inequality, the challenge of corruption in the Chinese system, and Milanovic’s claim that in American capitalism, the texture of daily life is increasingly affected by the sharing economy and other opportunities.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Capitalism Reimagined – “Author and economist Rebecca Henderson of the Harvard Business School talks about her book Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Henderson argues that the focus on shareholder value threatens to destroy capitalism from within. Henderson argues that business leaders need to manage their companies differently in order to create a more humane and stable capitalism.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Coronavirus Pandemic – “In this Bonus Episode of EconTalk, economist and Nobel Laureate Paul Romer discusses the coronavirus pandemic with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Romer argues that the status quo of shutdown and fear of infection is unsustainable. Returning to normal requires an inexpensive, quick, and relatively painless test. Such tests are now available. The challenge is in relaxing certain regulations and then creating a supply chain of production and availability. Romer then explains how such a test could ease a return to something like normalcy for many sectors of the economy. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the dynamics of the labor market in the current situation.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Digital Tsunami – “Author Martin Gurri, Visiting Fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, talks about his book The Revolt of the Public with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Gurri argues that a digital tsunami–the increase in information that the web provides–has destabilized authority and many institutions. He talks about the amorphous nature of recent populist protest movements around the world and where we might be headed politically and culturally.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Extreme Economies – “Economist and author Richard Davies talks about his book Extreme Economies with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The conversation explores economic life in extreme situations. Examples discussed are the Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana, two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, the rain forest in the Darien Gap in Panama, and Kinshasa, the largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is an economic and journalistic tour de force as Davies shares insights from his encounters with people around the world struggling to trade and prosper in extreme environments.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Health Care Reform – “Physician and author Vivian Lee talks about her book The Long Fix with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Lee argues that we can transform health care in the United States, though it may take a while. She argues that the current fee-for-service system incentivizes doctors to provide services rather than keep patients healthy and that these are not the same thing. Topics explored include innovations in Medicare and in technology that might change treatment incentives as well as the weird world of health care pricing.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Higher Education – “In this 750th (!) episode, Duke University’s Michael Munger talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether the pandemic might create an opportunity for colleges and universities to experiment and innovate. Munger is Professor of Political Science, Economics and Public Policy at Duke. He believes “top” schools can emerge from the current period of uncertainty to thrive in the long run. The path for “second-tier” institutions could be more difficult. They will still face the challenges that existed before the pandemic: competition from online classes and a shrinking pool of new applicants ready to pay high tuition bills. This episode also discusses the listeners’ votes for their Top 10 EconTalk podcast episodes for 2019.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Honest Income – “Economist and author Daniel Klein of George Mason University talks about the ethics of working and the potential for our working lives to make the world a better place. This is a wide-ranging conversation that includes discussion of Adam Smith, what jobs we should work on, what charities we should donate to, how we can make ourselves more virtuous, the movies Se7en and Sabrina, and ultimately what Adam Smith calls “the becoming use of our own.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Manufacturing – “Economist Ed Leamer of UCLA talks about manufacturing, effort, and inequality with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The conversation draws on recent empirical work of Leamer’s on how measured inequality is affected by the work effort of Americans at different levels of education. The conversation ends with a discussion of how education can be transformed when it is more personal and allows the student to explore and discover under the guidance of a teacher.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Narrative Economics – “Economist, author, and Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller of Yale University discusses his book Narrative Economics with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Shiller proposes a novel idea–that the narratives that people believe and use to understand the world affect their economic behavior and in turn affect the macroeconomy. Shiller argues that taking these psychological effects into account is a new frontier of economic research and he gives a number of examples of how we might think about these phenomena.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Racism in America – “Economist and author Glenn Loury of Brown University talks about race in America with EconTalk host Russ Roberts.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Universe Origins – “Physicist and author Alan Lightman talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins of the universe, meaning, transcendence, and the relationship between science and religion.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Warp Speed Update – “The continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. What physicians need to know about transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of Covid-19 is the subject of ongoing updates from infectious disease experts at the Journal. In this audio interview conducted on November 9, 2020, the editors are joined by Dr. Janet Woodcock of Operation Warp Speed to discuss the pace of discovery in the U.S. response to Covid-19.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Wilding – “Author and conservationist Isabella Tree talks about her book Wilding with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Tree and her husband decided to turn their 3500 acre farm, the Knepp Castle Estate, into something wilder, a place for wild ponies, wild pigs, wild oxen, and an ever-wider variety of birds and bugs. The conversation covers the re-wilding phenomenon, the complexity of natural systems, and the nature of emergent order.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Willful Books – “Economist, author, and investor Richard Robb talks about his book Willful with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Robb is interested in what motivates and explains the choices we make. He explores alternatives to the optimizing model of economics including what he calls “for-itself” behavior–behavior that isn’t purposive. Topics discussed in this wide-ranging conversation include the nature of work, decision-making under uncertainty, the Joseph story in the Book of Genesis, Nietzsche, the Financial Crisis of 2008, altruism, and how green beans are sold.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Surgeon General – “Dr. Vivek H. Murthy (@vivek_murthy, vivekmurthy.com) served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States between 2014 and 2017. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers globally. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy launched the Turn the Tide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for addiction to be recognized as a chronic illness, not a character flaw. In 2017, Dr. Murthy focused his attention on chronic stress and loneliness as prevalent problems that have profound implications for health, productivity, and happiness. He has co-founded a number of organizations: VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India; Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India training women as health providers and educators; software company TrialNetworks; and the grassroots physicians organization Doctors for America. Since leaving government service, Dr. Murthy has continued to focus on loneliness and social connection. His bookTogether: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World will be published this spring by Harper Collins.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.
Jack Kornfield – “Jack Kornfield (@JackKornfield) trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, shortly thereafter becoming one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974… Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts (with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein), and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is a father, husband, and activist. Jack’s books have been translated into 20 languages and have sold more than a million copies, including The Wise Heart; A Lamp in the Darkness; A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry (one of my favorite book titles of all time); and his most recent, No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are. He offers a brilliant online training program for those who want to learn to teach meditation at JackKornfield.com.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.