Conversations with Tyler

Conversations with Tyler

The Netherlands

Host Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

Episodes

27 - Dave Barry on Humor, Writing, and Life as a Florida Man  

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 worse — no longer funny. And do we even need professional comedians in an age where so many funny amateurs are readily available online? Tyler and Dave discuss all these topics and more, including the weirdness of Peter Pan, what makes Florida special, how it felt to teach Roger McQuinn a lick on the guitar, and why business writing is so terrible. Follow Dave Barry: Twitter: @rayadverb Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

BONUS - Dave Rubin on Digital Media, Crowdfunding, and Comedy  

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 a million subscribers on YouTube and is financially backed by its fans on Patreon. But the most important indicator of influence? All but one of Tyler’s law and literature class had heard of Dave before this taping. Recorded live at an event a few months ago, Dave and Tyler’s conversation covers all this and more, including what Dave learned from his year abroad in Israel and his pick for the most underrated Star Wars movie. Follow Dave Rubin: https://twitter.com/RubinReport http://www.rubinreport.com/about Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

26 - Atul Gawande on Priorities, Big and Small  

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 influence, Knausgård versus Ferrante, indie music, and the thing that makes Gawande “bawl like a baby.” Transcript and links: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/atul-gawande-checklist-books-tyler-cowen-d8268b8dfe53 Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

25 - Ben Sasse on the Space between Nebraska and Neverland  

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 age-segregation, and why his latest book contains so little sex. Transcript and links: https://medium.com/conversations-with... Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

Bonus – Edward Luce on The Retreat of Western Liberalism  

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 Edward discuss the ideas in his book and more, including future paths of liberalism, whether the current populism is an Anglo-American phenomenon or not, Modi's India, whether Kubrick, Hitchcock, and John Lennon are overrated or underrated, and what it’s like to write speeches for Larry Summers. Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: www.twitter.com/cowenconvos

24 - Jill Lepore on Traveling through Time  

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 always using your imagination.” The historian and New Yorker writer joins Tyler for a conversation on the Tea Party, Mary Pickford, Dickens in America, growing up watching TV (the horror), Steve Bannon’s 19th century visage, the importance of friendship, the subversiveness of Stuart Little, and much more. Transcript and links: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/tyler-cowen-jill-lepore-wonder-woman-harvard-new-yorker-aafbd123f165 Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

BONUS - Tyler Cowen and Steve Davies talk Theresa May, Brexit, and Europe  

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 Brexit, how much further the EU and even the UK will splinter, the prospects for the European left-wing, and the populism underneath it all. Note: this was recorded at event in late April shortly after May called for the snap election in June. Got it? Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

23- Raj Chetty on teachers, social mobility, and how to find answers to big questions  

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 become a biomedical scientist. About a decade later, however, and Chetty would become one of the youngest tenured economics professors at Harvard and would soon win both a John Bates Clark medal and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Now at Stanford, he’s one of the most-cited economists in the world. Raj’s conversation with Tyler spans that well-cited body of work and more, including social mobility, the value-add of kindergarten teachers, why corporations pay dividends, his love of Piano Guys, the most underrated US state, and why okra may have been the secret of his success. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/raj-chetty-tyler-cowen-inequality-mobility-american-dream-d5ea7f4742b1 Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

22 - Garry Kasparov on AI, Chess, and the Future of Creativity  

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 benefits of pressure for performance, and why we should speed up our search for new frontiers and challenges. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/garry-kasparov-tyler-cowen-chess-iq-ai-putin-3bf28baf4dba Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

21 - Patrick Collison has a Few Questions for Tyler  

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 one you wanted to have. Happily Patrick stayed true to the spirit of Conversations with Tyler, and their dialogue covers a wide range of topics including the the benefits of diverse monocultures, the state of macroeconomics, Donald Trump, the amazing economics faculty at GMU, Peter Thiel, Brian Eno, Thomas Schelling, why Twitter is underrated, and — most pressing of all — why Marginal Revolution is so strange looking. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/patrick-collison-stripe-podcast-tyler-cowen-books-3e43cfe42d10 Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

20 - Malcolm Gladwell Wants to Make the World Safe for Mediocrity  

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 overrated, long-distance running, and Malcolm’s happy risk-averse career going from one “fur-lined rat hole to the next.” Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/malcolm-gladwell-podcast-outliers-tyler-cowen-3abdf99068ee Follow us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

BONUS - *The Complacent Class* with Katherine Mangu-Ward  

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 us on social: FB: www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: twitter.com/cowenconvos

19 - Rabbi David Wolpe on leadership, religion, and identity  

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 the Sabbath, Srugim, Hasidic philosophy, living in Israel and of course, the durability of creation. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/rabbi-david-wolpe-leaders-religion-israel-identity-7c159c2ed2d Follow us on social: FB: https://www.facebook.com/cowenconvos Twitter: https://twitter.com/cowenconvos

18 - Chef Mark Miller on food as the ultimate intellectual exploration  

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 along the way, including his pick for the most underrated chili pepper, palate coaching, the best food cities in Asia, Mexico, and Europe, the problems with sous-vide, mezcal versus tequila, the decline of food brands, why Michelin guide is overrated, how to do fast food well, and why the next hipster food trend should be about corn. Want to win a signed copy of Tyler's upcoming book *The Complacent Class*? Just rate and review us on iTunes and visit www.mercatus.org/contest?utm_sour…utm_campaign=CWT Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/mark-miller-chef-chez-panisse-taco-chile-aba3c579e3c2

17 - Jhumpa Lahiri on writing, translation, and crossing between cultures  

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 authors, Indian classical music, architectural influences, and much more. Want to win a signed copy of Tyler's upcoming book *The Complacent Class*? Just rate and review us on iTunes and visit https://www.mercatus.org/contest?utm_source=Podcast&utm_medium=contest&utm_campaign=CWT Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/jhumpa-lahiri-books-novels-in-other-words-6271de0ac8d9

16 - Joseph Henrich on cultural evolution, WEIRD societies, and life among two strange tribes  

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 as his life among different tribes (academic and otherwise), Star Trek, big gods, small gods, China’s missing industrial revolution, the merits of coconut milk, the Flynn effect, American exceptionalism, and why he wants to travel in time to 6th-century Kent. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/joe-henrich-culture-evolution-weird-psychology-social-norms-9756a97850ce Please help others find the podcast: subscribe, share, star and review!

15 - Fuchsia Dunlop on Chinese food, culture, and travel  

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 diversity in Chinese food, and who is one of Tyler’s favorite writers on any subject. She joined Tyler over dinner at one of his favorite restaurants in DC to talk about all aspects of how to truly enjoy Chinese food, including where to visit, how to order, the few key ingredients to keep in your pantry, her favorite Chinese dishes, what Chinese chefs think about Western food, and why you should really learn to love sea cucumbers. For this conversation, Tyler was also joined by Ezra Klein, past CWT guest and editor-in-chief of Vox.com, chef and super-taster Mark Miller, journalist Megan McArdle, and Eva Summer, a graduate student from Shandong province. Their comments can be found in the Q&A near the end of the chat. Watch the peppercorn tasting here: https://youtu.be/qj41dFKLnuE Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/fuchsia-dunlop-sichuan-cuisine-every-grain-of-rice-e13922e8a784 Please help others find the podcast: subscribe, share, star and review!

14 - Steven Pinker on Language, Reason, and the Future of Violence  

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 better understand ourselves.  He recently joined Tyler for a conversation not only on the power of reason, but also the economics of irrational verbs, whether violence will continue to decline, behavioral economics, existential threats, the merits of aerobic exercise, photography, group selection, Fermi’s paradox, Noam Chomsky, universal grammar, free will, the Ed Sullivan show, and why people underrate the passive (or so it is thought). Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/steven-pinker-language-instinct-evolutionary-psychology-darwin-chomsky-linguistics-b792d7cd2a05 Please help others find the podcast: subscribe, share, star and review!

13 – Ezra Klein on Media, Politics, and Models of the World  

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 discourse, the most underrated member of the Obama administration, and why you should never follow his lead on what’s good culture. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/ezra-klein-tyler-cowen-vox-healthcare-journalism-bias-396196082c31 Note: This podcast is also being released to listeners of The Ezra Klein Show. We encourage CWT listeners to check out his show if you haven’t already. Special thanks also to Panoply for lending us production help for this podcast.

12- Margalit Fox on Life, Death, and the Best Job in Journalism  

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 penned over 1,200 obituaries, covering well-known and obscure subjects with equal aplomb. In her conversation with Tyler Cowen, Fox reveals not only the process for writing an obituary, but her thoughts on life, death, storytelling, puzzle-solving, her favorite cellist, and how it came to be that an economist sang opera 86 times at the Met. Transcript: https://medium.com/conversations-with-tyler/margalit-fox-obituary-writer-new-york-times-f4169ede40 Please help others find the podcast: subscribe, share, star and review!

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose