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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

American Public Media

Because none of us is as smart as all of us. Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly is a podcast about the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood will use their expertise to connect the dots on the topics they know best, and get help from listeners and experts about the ones they want to know better. The conversation begins January 2017.

Because none of us is as smart as all of us. Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly is a podcast about the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood will use their expertise to connect the dots on the topics they know best, and get help from listeners and experts about the ones they want to know better. The conversation begins January 2017.
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United States

Description:

Because none of us is as smart as all of us. Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly is a podcast about the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood will use their expertise to connect the dots on the topics they know best, and get help from listeners and experts about the ones they want to know better. The conversation begins January 2017.

Language:

English


Episodes

64: The case of the Butter Bot

5/22/2018
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It started with an email about butter. We got it in our listener submission inbox, and it was mostly nonsense with a sketchy link. You probably get spammy emails like this every day. Do you ever wonder who sent them, or what they're trying to accomplish? Well, reader, we clicked the link. Then we called Jonathon Morgan, CEO of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, to help us make sense of what we found. It gets weird, kind of scary and yes, buttery. Special thanks to listener Steffen Spear...

Duration:00:47:22

63: Take your data and go home

5/15/2018
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What would a Hippocratic oath look like for the people we trust with our data? That's one of the questions NYU professor Laura Noren asks in her course "Ethics for Data Science." Consumers should be pushing for more empowered, informed consent, she says, because right now they have two choices: blindly agree to give up your data to [insert social media or digital platform here] or quit altogether. We'll start there, and somehow end up at trans-humanism — it's sci-fi stuff, but it's where...

Duration:00:42:07

62: We could never get free

5/8/2018
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Molly Wood dives even deeper into radical economics this week with Glen Weyl of Microsoft Research, who's also a visiting scholar at Yale and co-author of the new book "Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society." He says inequality is at the root of most problems facing our world, and those problems are worse because our "free" markets are not free enough. So-called "free market champions" used capitalism as a veil to further entrench privilege and power, Weyl...

Duration:00:27:02

61: Is capitalism obsolete?

5/1/2018
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Make Me Smart often asks if capitalism is working for enough people. But writer and capital-t Thinker Umair Haque is taking it a step further, asking if capitalism might be altogether obsolete. He notes it's ill equipped to address huge, pressing issues like climate change and financial inequality. And if the economy is technically growing — if we're wealthier on paper — but people's lives aren't actually better, then where are we? We'll go deep on this stuff with him. But first, some news...

Duration:00:39:36

60: "The great lie at the heart of the criminal justice system"

4/24/2018
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When Robin Steinberg and David Feige were public defenders in New York, they saw thousands of clients — often poor people of color — stuck in jail because they couldn't make bail for minor offenses. They started the Bronx Freedom Fund to pay that bail and help people stay in their jobs and with their families while awaiting their day in court. Now they're going national with The Bail Project. We talked with the husband-and-wife team about the economics of criminal justice reform. First...

Duration:00:40:06

59: Adam ruins our show

4/17/2018
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What does the sketch comedy TV show "Adam Ruins Everything" have in common with our podcast? Well, we kinda share the same mission. In his TruTV show, live tours and podcast, comedian Adam Conover takes on topics we think we know about — like dieting, going green, taxes and, uh, circumcision — then punctures our assumptions with facts and comedy. We learn about his process, whether he actually changes minds and truth-squadding in the age of alternative facts. But first we chat about our...

Duration:00:39:11

58: So... you wanna talk about Facebook?

4/12/2018
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's loooong testimony on Capitol Hill is over, and we have so many thoughts we added an episode to hash them. So we're back, asking big questions: What problem do lawmakers think they need to solve? Is that even the most pressing problem? And do they know enough about Facebook to tell the difference? Plus, now that he's back in Menlo Park, does Zuckerberg get what a big deal this is? And, should he have walked up to address lawmakers to "Enter Sandman" or "Here...

Duration:00:25:43

57: Can big data really bring the world closer together?

4/10/2018
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As we taped this week's episode, Mark Zuckerberg was about to begin his testimony in front of Congress. Lawmakers are expecting an explanation for how Facebook's self-professed mission to "bring the world closer together" gave way to its current privacy fiasco. But is data collection and use always the bad guy? Nancy Lublin, founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line, says no. Her nonprofit offers emergency, anonymous counseling to millions via text messaging. And now she's launching a for-profit...

Duration:00:43:51

56: "The best cure for hatred and ignorance"

4/3/2018
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Instead of making ourselves smart about news stories this week, we're taking a broader look at The News. It's truly not just navel gazing to say our highly polarized marketplace of ideas and current political strife may have something to do with the media we consume. We'll talk about the economics of reporting, online echo chambers and whether there's a model for news that brings us together rather than driving us further apart. Hear Molly's conversation with HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia...

Duration:00:29:11

54: Protecting speech, protecting students

3/20/2018
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Kai and Molly are getting smart about last week's nationwide walkout organized by high school students pushing for stricter gun control. First Amendment expert and lawyer Ken White (also a Twitter personality) lays out the law and history of free speech in schools. We hear from high school students, look back at the landmark case Tinker v. Des Moines and examine how social media platforms have changed the equation. But first, we have to talk about that other social media story: Facebook...

Duration:00:46:16

We're back! New episodes start next week

3/6/2018
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We've missed you guys. You've sent us a lot of great insights over the break, and Kai and Molly return with all-new full episodes next week, wading back into the big topics we want to get smart about. Tell a friend to subscribe. We'll see you March 13.

Duration:00:04:06

51: Rahm Remixed

2/20/2018
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Rahm Emanuel likes to talk. The two-term mayor of Chicago and former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama spoke with us at length about everything from populism to immigration. He told us that Chicago is a "welcoming" city, not a sanctuary city. He's got a special chair. And he's got some sharp words for "Mr. Moody's Doom and Gloom," otherwise known as Kai Ryssdal. Plus, Emanuel takes the longest pause ever to answer our Make Me Smart Question. On March 6th, we'll release...

Duration:00:39:41

51: Remember when a Columbia River boat pilot made us smart about shoes?

2/6/2018
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The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Capt. Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization, and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink," and what happened the one time she...

Duration:00:30:42

50: The internet of thoughts

1/23/2018
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This week, we're looking back at our previous episodes that focused on the internet. First up, our conversation with Zeynep Tufekci, author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest," then we revisit our conversation with New York Magazine's Max Read about Facebook. Plus: We're reading your thoughts on what we should do in season 2, and Molly explains why she didn't go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year. Don't forget to vote for what we...

Duration:00:33:19

49: Gerrymandering, hard-wired brains and the baby under the desk

1/9/2018
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Could big data make elections more fair? One of our listeners is looking for answers about gerrymandering, and we got some help this week from Justin Levitt, professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He has something to say about elected officials listening to their constituents. Then, we're looking back at previous episodes of Make Me Smart that focused on why it's so hard for people to really listen to each other. We go all the way back to episode one, where we posed this...

Duration:00:32:21

48: Explainathon the third

1/2/2018
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To kick off the new year, we're answering another bunch of questions from you, the listeners. Kai and Molly give their takes on what companies value most, where we're headed with bitcoin technology, and when we started being so scared of robots taking our jobs. We also had a question we couldn't answer, so we called up the Southern Poverty Law Center. To top it all off, we have an answer to the Make Me Smart question from one of you. This is the final episode of season one, but stay tuned...

Duration:00:25:55

Special report: How one sentence helped set off the opioid crisis

12/28/2017
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When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused. But recently unsealed documents in this investigative episode shed light on how the maker of OxyContin seems to have relied more on focus groups than on scientific studies to create an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that helped fuel the national opioid crisis....

Duration:01:07:23

47: Make Me Smart predictions

12/26/2017
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It's the final Make Me Smart of 2017 and we got a few of our previous guests to give us predictions about what they think might happen in 2018. Who made predictions: Andy Weir, author of "The Martian" and "Artemis." Annabelle Gurwitch, actress and the author of "Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To." Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of...

Duration:00:33:04

42: Breaking bread without conflict

11/21/2017
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Retired cognitive science and linguistics professor George Lakoff appeared in a previous episode, explaining how your brain reacts to political rhetoric. He's back this week with tips on how to break through to family members this holiday, even if you don't share the same worldview. Also, we talk a lot about avocado toast on this show. Like, a lot. So we wanted to know: What was the avocado toast — the trendy, divisive foodstuff — of the Victorian era? Culinary historian Heather Arndt...

Duration:00:22:20

41: Do you hear the people sing?

11/14/2017
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As we continue to ask the question of whether free-market capitalism is working for enough people, we found ourselves with another question — what happens when it doesn't? Political and economic disruption follows. New leaders emerge. Movements emerge again, like populism. Sheri Berman, a professor of political science at Barnard College, says, "populism arises at times when existing democratic institutions, governments, political parties, political elites, are seen as not responding to...

Duration:00:26:33

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