Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

EconTalk | 22 February 2016 | 1h 09m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley about his book, “The Evolution of Everything”. Ridley applies the lens of emergent order to a wide variety of phenomena including culture, morality, religion, commerce, innovation, and consciousness.

John Gray on the Seven Kinds of Atheism

EconTalk | 15 October 2018 | 1h 36m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Philosopher and author John Gray talks about his book, “Seven Types of Atheism”. Rather than being about atheism, this is really a rejoinder to the rational optimism of Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker. While conceding that technological know-how and scientific knowledge improve over time, Gray argues that morality and political systems are cyclical and that there is no reason to be optimistic about the future.

Neil Monnery on Hong Kong and the Architect of Prosperity

EconTalk | 8 October 2018 | 1h 13m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discussion with Neil Monnery, about his book “Architect of Prosperity”, a biography of John Cowperthwaite, the man often credited with the economic success of Hong Kong. Describes the policies that Cowperthwaite championed and the role they played in the evolution of Hong Kong’s economy.

What You See is a Function of the Question You’re Answering

EconTalk | 23 July 2018 | 1h 04m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Teppo Felin about perception, cognition, and rationality. Argues against the omniscient thinking that interprets cognitive errors as biases and irrationality. Discusses the implications of different understandings of rationality for economics, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Robert Aronowitz on Risky Medicine

EconTalk | 9 November 2015 | 1h 10m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Should women get routine mammograms? Should men get regular PSA exams? Interview with Robert Aronowitz, author of “Risky Medicine”, about the increasing focus on risk reduction rather than health itself as a goal. Discusses the social and political forces that push us toward more preventive testing even when those tests have not been shown to be effective. A provocative look at the opportunity cost of risk-reduction.

Matt Ridley on Climate Change

EconTalk | 29 June 2015 | 1h 08m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview on climate change with science writer and author Matt Ridley, who describes himself as a “lukewarmer.” While Ridley agrees that humans have made the climate warmer, he argues that the impact is small or positive over some temperature ranges and regions. He rejects the catastrophic scenarios that some say are sufficiently likely to justify dramatic policy responses, and he reflects on the challenges of staking out an unpopular position on a contentious policy issue.

Jonathan Haidt on the Righteous Mind

EconTalk | 20 January 2014 | 1h 03m | Listen Later 
Interview with Jonathan Haidt, author of The “Righteous Mind”, discussing the nature of human nature, and how our brain affects our morality and politics. Haidt argues that reason often serves our emotions rather than the mind being in charge. We can be less interested in the truth and more interested in finding facts and stories that fit preconceived narratives and ideology. Haidt tries to understand why people come to different visions of morality and politics and how we might understand each other despite those differences.