Conversations with Tyler

Conversations with Tyler

medium.com/conversations-with-tyler
Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in w…
BONUS - Rob Wiblin interviews Tyler on *Stubborn Attachments*
Oct 16 • 150 min
In this special episode, Rob Wiblin of 80,000 Hours has the super-sized conversation he wants to have with Tyler about Stubborn Attachments. In addition to a deep examination of the ideas in the book, the conversation ranges far and wide across Tyler’s…
51 - Paul Krugman on Politics, Inequality, and Following Your Curiosity
Oct 10 • 52 min
After winning the Nobel, Paul Krugman found himself at the “end of ambition,” with no more achievements left to unlock. That could be a depressing place, but Krugman avoids complacency by doing what he’s always done: following his curiosity and working…
50 - Bruno Maçães on the Spirit of Adventure
Sep 26 • 57 min
Political scientist Bruno Maçães has built a career out of crossing the globe teaching, advising, writing, and talking to people. His recent book, born out of a six-month journey across Eurasia, is one of Tyler’s favorites. So how does it feel to face…
49 - Michele Gelfand on Tight and Loose Cultures
Sep 12 • 56 min
Michele Gelfand is professor of psychology at the University of Maryland and author of the just-released Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. In her conversation with Tyler, Michele unpacks the concept of tight and…
48 - Claire Lehmann on Speaking Freely
Aug 29 • 47 min
Claire Lehmann is the founding editor of Quillette, an online magazine dedicated to free thought and open inquiry. Founded in 2015, the magazine has already developed a large and growing readership that values Quillette’s promise to treat all ideas with…
47 - Michael Pollan on the Science and Sublimity of Psychedelics
Aug 15 • 59 min
Michael Pollan has long been fascinated by nature and the ways we connect and clash with it, with decades of writing covering food, farming, cooking, and architecture. Pollan’s latest fascination? Our widespread and ancient desire to use nature to change…
46 - Michelle Dawson on Autism and Atypicality
Aug 1 • 53 min
Perhaps no one else in the world more appreciates the challenges facing a better understanding of autism than Michelle Dawson. An autistic herself, she began researching her condition after experiencing discrimination at her job. “Because I had to address…
45 - Vitalik Buterin on Cryptoeconomics and Markets in Everything
Jul 18 • 52 min
At the intersection of programming, economics, cryptography, distributed systems, information theory, and math, you will find Vitalik Buterin, who has managed to synthesize insights across those fields into successful, real-world applications like…
44 - Juan Pablo Villarino on Travel and Trust
Jul 3 • 61 min
Travel writer Juan Pablo Villarino had visited 90 countries before making the trek to exotic Arlington, Virginia for this chat with Tyler. Amazingly enough, this recording marked his first trip to the mainland United States, which is now the 91st country…
43 - Elisa New on Poetry in America and Beyond
Jun 20 • 54 min
Elisa New believes anyone can have fun reading a poem. And that if you really want to have a blast, you shouldn’t limit poetry to silent, solitary reading  - why not sing, recite, or perform it as has been the case for most of its history? The Harvard…
42 - David Brooks on Youth, Morality, and Loneliness (Live at Mason)
Jun 6 • 82 min
For two hours every morning, David Brooks crawls around his living room floor, organizing piles of research. Then, the piles become paragraphs, the paragraphs become columns or chapters, and the process - which he calls “writing” - is complete. After that…
41 - Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Self-Education and Doing the Math (Plus special guest Bryan Caplan)
May 23 • 97 min
Though what Taleb was really after was a discussion with Bryan Caplan (which starts at 51:50), the philosopher, mathematician, and author most recently of *Skin in the Game* also generously agreed to a conversation with Tyler. They discuss the ancient…
40 - Bryan Caplan on Learning across Disciplines (Live at Mason Econ)
May 9 • 71 min
“No single paper is that good”, says Bryan Caplan. To really understand a topic, you need to read the entire literature in the field. And to do the kind of scholarship Bryan’s work requires, you need to cover multiple fields. Only that way can you…
39 - Balaji Srinivasan on the Power and Promise of the Blockchain
Apr 25 • 54 min
When Balaji Srinivasan sat down for his conversation with Tyler he was the CEO of Earn.com. Today he is the CTO at Coinbase, which acquired his company in the intervening weeks (congrats Balaji!). But while his job title has changed, his passion remains…
38 - Agnes Callard on the Theory of Everything
Apr 11 • 59 min
Is a written dialogue the best way to learn from philosopher Agnes Callard? If so, what does that say about philosophy? Is Plato’s Symposium about love or mere intoxication? If good people lived forever, would they be less bored than the bad people?…
37 - Martina Navratilova on Shaping Herself (Live at Mason)
Mar 28 • 65 min
Martina Navratilova is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. No one has won more matches than her thanks to an astonishing 87 percent win rate in a long and dominant career. In their conversation, she and Tyler cover her illustrious tennis…
36 - Chris Blattman on Development, Conflict, and Doing What’s Interesting
Mar 14 • 60 min
Chris Blattman’s made his career as a development economist by finding a place he likes and finding a reason to live there. Not a bad strategy considering the impact of the work he’s done in Liberia, Uganda, and most recently, Colombia. He joins Tyler to…
35 - Robin Hanson on Signaling and Self-Deception (Live at Mason Econ)
Feb 28 • 65 min
If intros aren’t about introductions, then what’s this here for? Is not including one a countersignal? Either way, you’ll enjoy this conversation — and that says a lot about you. This episode was recorded live at Mason for econ grad students. If you’re…
34 - Matt Levine Live at Bloomberg HQ
Feb 14 • 66 min
Is Matt Levine a modern-day Horace? Like Matt, Horace has a preoccupation with wealth and the law. There’s a playful humor as he segues from topic to topic. An ability to read Latin. And many of Horace’s letters are about the length of a Bloomberg View…
33 - Charles C. Mann on Shaping Tomorrow’s World and the Limits to Growth
Jan 31 • 55 min
At the beginning of their conversation, Tyler dubs Charles C. Mann a tlamatini, or ‘he who knows things.’ And oh, the things he knows, effortlessly weaving together, history, anthropology, economics, and a half-dozen other disciplines into enthralling…
32 - Ross Douthat on Narrative and Religion (Live at Mason)
Jan 17 • 85 min
Last year, Tyler asked his readers “What Is the Strongest Argument for the Existence of God?” and followed up a few days later with a post outlining why he doesn’t believe in God. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat accepted the implicit challenge,…
31 - Andy Weir on the Economics of Sci-Fi and Space
Dec 20, 2017 • 52 min
Before writing a single word of his new book Artemis, Andy Weir worked out the economics of a lunar colony. Without the economics, how could the story hew to the hard sci-fi style Weir cornered the market on with The Martian? And, more importantly, how…
BONUS - Doug Irwin on US Trade Policy
Nov 29, 2017 • 57 min
Tyler thinks Douglas Irwin has just released the best history of American trade policy ever written. So for this conversation Tyler went easy on Doug, asking softball questions like: Have tariffs ever driven growth? What trade exceptions should there be…
30 - Sujatha Gidla on being an Ant amongst the Elephants (Live)
Nov 15, 2017 • 62 min
Sujatha Gidla was an untouchable in India, but moved to the United States at the age of 26 and is now the first Indian woman to be employed as a conductor on the New York City Subway. In her memoir Ants Among Elephants, she explores the antiquities of her…
BONUS - Steve Teles and Brink Lindsey on *The Captured Economy*
Nov 1, 2017 • 52 min
What happens when a liberal and a libertarian get together? In the case of Steve Teles and Brink Lindsey, they write a book. And then Tyler separates them for a podcast interview about that book, prisoner’s dilemma style. How much inequality is due to bad…
29 - Mary Roach on Disgust, Death, and Danger (Live at Mason)
Oct 18, 2017 • 75 min
Legal writing was never Mary Roach’s thing. She describes that short-lived stint as an inscrutable “bringing forth of multisyllabic words.” Instead, she’s forged a career by letting curiosity lead the way. The result has been a series of successful…
28 - Larry Summers on Macroeconomics, Mentorship, and Avoiding Complacency (Live)
Sep 20, 2017 • 73 min
The economist, President Emeritus at Harvard University, and former Treasury Secretary joins Tyler to discuss innovation in higher education, Herman Melville, the Fed, Mexico, Russia, China, the Larry Summers production function, philanthropy and Larry’s…
27 - Dave Barry on Humor, Writing, and Life as a Florida Man
Aug 16, 2017 • 57 min
Though most know him first as a humor columnist, Dave Barry’s career has spanned many forms of media, including books, movies, TV, and music. Driving this relentless output, says Barry, is the constant worry he’ll find himself stuck in a rut — or…
BONUS - Dave Rubin on Digital Media, Crowdfunding, and Comedy (Live)
Aug 2, 2017 • 32 min
Today many YouTube channels have more influence than traditional TV shows. This fact is not lost on Dave Rubin, who started his talk show career in traditional media, but soon decided to strike out on his own. He now hosts The Rubin Report, which has half…
26 - Atul Gawande on Priorities, Big and Small
Jul 19, 2017 • 57 min
The surgeon, researcher, and celebrated writer joined Tyler for a conversation on why Watson will never diagnose your illness, what George Church’s narcolepsy teaches us about CRISPR, what’s missing in medical education, Michael Crichton’s cultural…
25 - Ben Sasse on the Space between Nebraska and Neverland (Live at Mason)
Jun 28, 2017 • 81 min
The US senator and former college president joined Tyler for a conversation on adolescence, adulthood, driving for Uber, loving Luther, hate-reading Rousseau, the decline of small towns, backpacking across Europe, America’s peculiar fondness for…
Bonus – Edward Luce on The Retreat of Western Liberalism (Live)
Jun 21, 2017 • 54 min
Edward Luce has a new book out about the rising crisis in Western liberalism, so naturally Tyler’s first question to him dealt with James II and William of Orange. #gloriousrevolution In this bonus audio recorded at a Mercatus event last week, Tyler and…
24 - Jill Lepore on Traveling through Time
Jun 14, 2017 • 68 min
Is time like a line, a stretched out accordion, buried silos, or a flat circle? We concoct many ways to think about the relationship between the present and the past, but according to Jill Lepore one constant endures: “When you’re writing history, you’re…
BONUS - Tyler Cowen and Steve Davies talk Theresa May, Brexit, and Europe (Live)
Jun 7, 2017 • 24 min
The UK is holding a big election on June 8, so today we’re bringing you some bonus audio on that topic featuring Tyler and Steve Davies of the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs. They talk about how the general election could shape the terms of…
23 - Raj Chetty on Teachers, Social Mobility, and How to Find Answers to Big Questions
May 24, 2017 • 62 min
A high school teacher once told Raj Chetty he’d some day serve on the Federal Reserve Board. At the the time Raj thought the comment was silly, since he was busy working in the laboratory on staining techniques for electron microscopy and was set to…
22 - Garry Kasparov on AI, Chess, and the Future of Creativity
May 10, 2017 • 67 min
The chess grandmaster, political activist, and author joins Tyler for a conversation on artificial intelligence, Russia, Putin, how education must change, favorite cities for chess, the most likely challenger to Magnus Carlsen, Tolstoy v. Dostoevsky, the…
21 - Patrick Collison has a Few Questions for Tyler (Live at Stripe)
Apr 12, 2017 • 93 min
A few months ago, Tyler asked Patrick Collison, CEO of Stripe, to be on the show. Patrick agreed, but only under the condition that the be the one to do the interviewing. Thus, what follows is the conversation Patrick wanted to have with Tyler, not the…
20 - Malcolm Gladwell Wants to Make the World Safe for Mediocrity (Live at Mason)
Mar 15, 2017 • 92 min
Journalist, author, and podcaster Malcolm Gladwell joins Tyler for a conversation on Joyce Gladwell, Caribbean identity, satire as a weapon, Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, Harvard’s under-theorized endowment, why early childhood intervention is…
BONUS - *The Complacent Class* with Katherine Mangu-Ward (Live at Mason)
Mar 13, 2017 • 56 min
In this bonus episode, Editor-in-chief of Reason Katherine Mangu-Ward interviews Tyler about *The Complacent Class.* Make sure to listen all the way to the end for an answer Katherine describes as #PeakTyler. Follow Katherine Mangu-Ward:…
19 - Rabbi David Wolpe on Leadership, Religion, and Identity (Live at Sixth & I)
Feb 15, 2017 • 80 min
Named one of the most influential Jewish thinkers of our time, Rabbi David Wolpe joins Tyler in a conversation on flawed leaders, Jewish identity in the modern world, the many portrayals of David, what’s missing in rabbinical training, playing chess on…
18 - Chef Mark Miller on Food as the Ultimate Intellectual Exploration
Jan 25, 2017 • 76 min
Mark Miller is often called the founder of modern southwestern cuisine, but his unique anthropological approach to food has led him to explore cuisines in over 100 countries around the world. He joins Tyler for a conversation on all that he’s learned…
17 - Jhumpa Lahiri on Writing, Translation, and Crossing Between Cultures (Live at Mason)
Jan 11, 2017 • 86 min
Author, teacher, and translator Jhumpa Lahiri joins Tyler for a conversation on identity, Rhode Island, writing as problem solving, reading across languages, the badness of book covers, Elena Ferrante, Bengali culture, the magic of Calcutta, Italian…
16 - Joseph Henrich on WEIRD Societies and Life Among Two Strange Tribes (Live at Mason)
Dec 14, 2016 • 85 min
To anthropologist Joseph Henrich, intelligence is overrated. Social learning, and its ability to influence biological evolution over time, is what really sets our species apart. He joined Tyler for a conversation on his work on cultural evolution, as well…
15 - Fuchsia Dunlop on Chinese Food, Culture, and Travel
Nov 16, 2016 • 75 min
For centuries, China has treated its cuisine with a reverence and delight that is only just starting to emerge with Western “foodie” culture. No one understands this better than Fuchsia Dunlop, who has spent her career learning about the fantastic…
14 - Steven Pinker on Language, Reason, and the Future of Violence (Live at Mason)
Nov 2, 2016 • 86 min
Steven Pinker has spent an entire academic career thinking deeply about language, cognition, and human nature. Driving it all, he says, is an Enlightenment belief that the world is intelligible, science can progress, and through rational inquiry we can…
13 – Ezra Klein on Media, Politics, and Models of the World
Oct 6, 2016 • 77 min
Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief of Vox.com, joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on biases in digital media, the morality of meat-eating, how working for large organizations has changed his worldview, the psychographics of CEOs, what’s missing in public…
12- Margalit Fox on Life, Death, and the Best Job in Journalism
Aug 24, 2016 • 47 min
The stereotypical obituary is a formulaic recitation of facts — dry, boring, and without craft. But Margalit Fox has shown the genre can produce some of the most memorable and moving stories in journalism. Exploiting its “pure narrative arc,” Fox has…
11 - Michael Orthofer on Why Fiction Matters
Jul 27, 2016 • 56 min
Michael Orthofer, one of the world’s most prolific book reviewers, joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on — what else? — books. Read to discover why Michael believes everyone should read more fiction, how we should choose books, why American popular…
10 - Cass Sunstein on Judicial Minimalism, the Supreme Court, and Star Wars (Live at Mason)
Jun 22, 2016 • 77 min
Cass Sunstein joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on judicial minimalism, Bob Dylan’s best album, the metaphysics of nudging, Byatt’s Possession, the ideal size of the Supreme Court, Hayek, why people should choose their own path, the benefits of a…
09 - Camille Paglia on her Lifestyle of Observation (Live at Mason)
Apr 25, 2016 • 86 min
Camille Paglia joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on the brilliance of Bowie, lamb vindaloo, her lifestyle of observation, why writers need real jobs, Star Wars, Harold Bloom, Amelia Earhart, Edmund Spenser, Brazil, why she is most definitely not a…
08 - Jonathan Haidt on Morality, Politics, Disgust, and Intellectual Diversity on Campus
Mar 23, 2016 • 62 min
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on morality, politics, disgust, how to maintain free speech on campus, the enriching effects of LSD, antiparsimonialism, and why economists set all the interesting variables to zero.…
07 - Nate Silver on the Supreme Court and the Underrated Stat for Finding Good Food (Live at Mason)
Feb 23, 2016 • 81 min
Nate Silver joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on data, forecasting, My Bloody Valentine, the social value of gambling, Donald Trump and the presidential field, vacation advice, Supreme Court picks, the wisdom of Björk, and the most underrated statistic…
06 - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Fighting Bruce Lee, Growing Up in Harlem, and Basketball (Live at Mason)
Feb 2, 2016 • 82 min
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins Tyler Cowen for a conversation on segregation, Islam, Harlem vs. LA, Earl Manigault, jazz, fighting Bruce Lee, Kareem’s conservatism, dancing with Thelonious Monk, and why no one today can shoot a skyhook. Transcript and links:…
05 - Cliff Asness on Comics and Why Never to Share a Gym with Cirque du Soleil (Live at Mason)
Nov 18, 2015 • 82 min
Tyler and investment strategist Cliff Asness discuss momentum and value investing strategies, disagreeing with Eugene Fama, Marvel vs. DC, the inscrutability of risk, high frequency trading, the economics of Ayn Rand, bubble logic, and why never to share…
04 - Dani Rodrik on Premature Deindustrialization and Why the World is Second Best at Best
Oct 1, 2015 • 84 min
Tyler and Dani Rodrik discuss premature deindustrialization, the world’s trilemmas, the political economy of John le Carré, what’s so special about manufacturing, Orhan Pamuk, RCTs, and why the world is second best at best. Transcript and links:…
03 - Luigi Zingales on Italy, Google and Conglomeration, and Donald Trump (Live at Mason)
Sep 16, 2015 • 76 min
In the third event of this series, Tyler and Luigi Zingales discuss Italy, Donald Trump, Antonio Gramsci, Google and conglomeration, Luchino Visconti, Starbucks, and the surprisingly high productivity of Italian cafés. Transcript and links:…
02 - Jeffrey Sachs on Charter Cities and How to Reform Graduate Economics Education (Live at Mason)
Mar 30, 2015 • 92 min
Tyler Cowen and Jeffrey Sachs discuss the resource curse, why Russia failed and Poland succeeded, charter cities, Sach’s China optimism, JFK, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, whether Africa will be able to overcome the middle income trap, Paul Krugman, Sach’s…
01 - Peter Thiel on Stagnation, Innovation, and What Not to Call your Company (Live at Mason)
Mar 24, 2015 • 80 min
Peter Thiel and Tyler Cowen, both New York Times bestselling authors, are among today’s top global thought leaders and influential innovators. Listen as these two engage in a serious dialogue on the ideas and policies that will shape the future of…