EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Megan McArdle on Internet Shaming and Online Mobs

EconTalk Episode with Megan McArdle
Hosted by Russ Roberts

shaming.jpg Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good. McArdle discusses the implications this new reality has on how we behave at work and how people protect and maintain their reputations in a world where nothing is forgotten and seemingly little is forgiven.

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Thinking the Unthinkable

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

future start.jpg Given the scale of the digital revolution thus far, we can be reasonably sure that technological advances will continue to enhance our lives into the future. But how widely will such advances be shared, and why is it up to us? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed author and Silicon Valley guru Tim O'Reilly to talk about his new book, WTF: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us.

O'Reilly argues that we shouldn't look at technology as being labor-saving. Instead, we should focus on how it lets us do more. Today's companies are "infused with the digital," creating new platforms and redesigning themselves all the time. (Amazon is O'Reilly's prime example.) Now we hope you'll share your reactions to this week's episode with us. We love to hear from you.

1. Is new technology more likely to replace workers, or make existing workers better? To what extent will workers' lives be equally augmented by such advances?

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Podcast episode Tim O'Reilly on What's the Future

EconTalk Episode with Tim O'Reilly
Hosted by Russ Roberts

WTF.jpg Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us. O'Reilly surveys the evolution of the internet, the key companies that have prospered from it, and how the products of those companies have changed our lives. He then turns to the future and explains why he is an optimist and what can be done to make that optimism accurate.

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What a Wonderful World

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

meditate.jpg EconTalk host Russ Roberts took a deep, different, and quite personal turn in this week's episode, in which he welcomed Robert Wright to discuss his newest book, Why Buddhism is True. Roberts admits to being a regular practitioner of mediation, though having begun the practice with his usual skeptical bent.

Since this week's episode was so different, we thought we'd try a slightly different tack here as well. Rather than reflect on specific topics from the conversation, this week we're more interested in your own experiences with mindfulness and meditation. What does mindfulness mean to you, and how do you strive for it? Is it just a catch-phrase for the self-help section of your local bookshop, or are there real and lasting benefits for individuals? For communities?

1. Do you meditate on a regular basis? If so, how long have you been practicing? Why did you start? What challenges have you faced, and what benefits have you reaped from the practice?

2. For those of you who don't meditate, has this week's conversation prompted you to consider it? Why or why not? Are you skeptical about the benefits both Wright and Roberts attribute to the practice, and again, why?

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Podcast episode Robert Wright on Meditation, Mindfulness, and Why Buddhism is True

EconTalk Episode with Robert Wright
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Why%20Buddhism%20True.jpg Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism Is True, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the psychotherapeutic insights of Buddhism and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Wright argues our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that can be ill-suited to the stress of the present. He argues that meditation and the non-religious aspects of Buddhism can reduce suffering and are consistent with recent psychological research.

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The Revenge of the Country

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

wall.jpg
When EconTalk host Russ Roberts looks at the series of images in Philip Auerswald's Medium piece on the rise of populism, he sees "a Milky Way of darkness instead of brightness." Auerswald describes the populist phenomenon as a global trend, not at all unique to the United States, and calls it, only slightly in jest, the "revenge of the country," or the emerging tension, caused by voting systems, between urban and rural.

This week's episode takes a deep dive into this phenomenon, which Auerswald argues is explained by three trends worldwide: urbanization, depopulation of rural areas, and advances in digital technology. How will these trends affect politics and the economy, and your life in particular? We hope you'll take a few moments to share your thoughts with us; we love to hear from you.

1. Auerswald argues that it's inherently destructive to the community when people move away from small towns and rural areas. Why does he thinks this is the case, and to what extent do you agree?

2. Have you ever lived in a community like the ones (above) Auerswald is referring to? Anyone from Roberts's dark "Milky Way?" What's been your experience, and how closely does it match Auerswald's description?

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Podcast episode Philip Auerswald on the Rise of Populism

EconTalk Episode with Philip Auerswald
Hosted by Russ Roberts

cities%20and%20ruins.jpg Author and professor Philip Auerswald of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the rise of populism in the United States and throughout the world. Auerswald argues that the rise of cities and the productivity of urban life has created a divergence in experience and rewards between urban and rural areas around the world. Auerswald ties these changes to changes in voting patterns and speculates about the sources of the increasing productivity of metropolitan areas.

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The Rich Get Richer...

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

income inequality.jpg But is that a bad thing? That may be the central question explored in this week's EconTalk episode with UC Berkeley's Gabriel Zucman. Working with Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, Zucman explored national income accounts to look for trends in income inequality in the United States since 1980.Their results suggest that the bottom 50% of Americans have seen no growth in income, while a disproportionate share of growth has accrued to the top 1%. How robust are these results, and what policy implications might be suggested? And how does income inequality in America compare to that in other nations? Do you feel richer than you did in the 80s? Share your thoughts with us today... We always love to hear from you.

1. In terms of income inequality, how are average growth rates misleading about the real state of the economy, according to Zucman?

2. How does Zucman's analysis differ from previous attempts to measure income inequality? What are the weaknesses of using tax data for such purpose? How might a cross-sectional approach yield different results regarding income inequality?

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Podcast episode Gabriel Zucman on Inequality, Growth, and Distributional National Accounts

EconTalk Episode with Gabriel Zucman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

rich%20and%20poor.jpg Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no change in income for the bottom half of the income distribution over this time period with large gains going to the top 1%. The conversation explores the robustness of this result to various assumptions and possible explanations for the findings.

Size:33.3 MB
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This is a Job for Super Regulator!

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

legal infrastructure.jpg What if librarians were charged with coming up with the next search engine? Would the legal infrastructure in place today support, complicate, or even hinder their efforts? Would the American Library Association be of help? Would they be able to do it fairly, allowing open access to others?

This compelling thought experiment closed this week's EconTalk episode with University of Southern California professor of law and economics Gillian Hadfield. Hadfield argues that the US legal structure, while well-suited to the 2oth century, is in need of an update. She has suggestions for this process, which host Russ Roberts says suffer a marketing problem. Can you help?

1. Why do we need to "reinvent the law," according to Hadfield, and what does she suggest such a reinvention might entail?

2. What is "super-regulation" and how might this allow regulatory regimes to be more innovative? Why does Roberts suggest that this idea has a marketing problem? Do you think this problem is surmountable? Why or why not?

3. How do "certification regimes" (such as for Kosher food and organic products) differ from Hadfield's "super-regulatory" structure? Which would be better equipped to manage the future of autonomous vehicles, and why? (You may wish to revisit the recent episode with Benedict Evans for inspiration.)

4. Why does Hadfield assert that the US legal infrastructure would be better served if the legal profession were structured more like the medical profession? To what extent do you agree, and why? (Another hint: You may wish to revisit Roberts's conversation with Christy Ford Chapin on the role of the American Medical Association in the evolution of the American health care system...)





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