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Smart People Podcast

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Arlington, VA




Episode 292 - Bryan Caplan - Education is a Waste of Time and Money

It's not often I truly feel that a guest changes my paradigm on the spot - but this is an exception. This week we speak with Bryan Caplan about his newest book, The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. As Bryan explains, despite being immensely popular--and immensely lucrative—education is grossly overrated. Bryan argues that the primary function of education is not to enhance students' skill but to certify their intelligence, work ethic, and...


Episode 291 - Mary Beth Ferrante - We Are Failing Working Mothers

Did you know that working mothers are 50% LESS likely to be promoted than women without children? Or that only 1 in 5 senior executives is a woman? Have you ever realized that working moms are judged when they leave work early to tend to their children AND when they stay at work late (and "neglect" their families)? The truth is, we have a work environment that is not conducive to being a parent and women are the ones who tend to suffer the most. This week on the show we have a chance to...


Episode 290 - Listener Questions Special Part 2

We made it. You made it! Here's part 2 of our listener questions and 'year in review.' Quick recap. Before we closed out 2017, we sent an email to our newsletter subscribers asking what questions they would like answered. This is part 1 of Chris and I attempting to answer those questions. It was the first time in years that we recorded under the same roof. How crazy is that?!?! WARNING: there was "light" drinking while recording so expect complete openness and a dash of silly. We want...


Episode 289 - Listener Questions Special

We made it to 2018! Welcome :) Before we closed out 2017, we sent an email to our newsletter subscribers asking what questions they would like answered. This is part 1 of Chris and I attempting to answer those questions. It was the first time in years that we recorded under the same roof. How crazy is that?!?! WARNING: there was "light" drinking while recording so expect complete openness and a dash of silly. We want to hear from you, the listener! If you're a fan of Smart People...


Episode 288 - Nancy Koehn - Survive and Thrive During Turbulent Times

For leaders in the 21st century, there is one pressing question: What set of skills is required to lead in crisis, and can history give us answers? Our guest this week, Harvard Business School historian and professor Nancy Koehn, has surveyed some of history’s greatest leaders and made an incredible discovery: courageous leaders are not born but made, and the power to lead resides in each of us. Nancy examined the lives of five of the greatest leaders of all time to better understand how...


Episode 287 - Scott Carney - Does the Wim Hof Method Really Work?

Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forebears? Or even more importantly, can we tap into our evolution and increase our mental and physical resilience? This week on the show we interview...


Episode 286 - Mike Lewis - How to Jump to Your Dream Life

Our guest this week is Mike Lewis, Founder and CEO of When To Jump. When Mike was twenty-four and working in a prestigious corporate job, he eagerly wanted to leave and pursue his dream of becoming a professional squash player. But he had questions: When is the right time to move from work that is comfortable to a career you have only dared to dream of? How have other people made such a jump? What did they feel when making that jump—and afterward? Mike sought guidance from others who had...


Episode 285 - Steve McKee - Are You Stalled, Stuck, or Stale?

We are all creators. Every day we go out into the world and use our unique human abilities to shape our environment. We create a life for ourselves, we create a product or service for others, we create relationships through it all. And what we all come to learn is that creativity is a messy business. We will run into road blocks, we will lose our motivation, we will fail. It is the destiny of every creator and their creation to get stuck from time to time. And it is in those times, that...


Episode 284 - Morgan Simon - Where Did Your Money Spend The Night?

"Money is a tool to create the things that we want. It is a proxy for security, health, and welfare for our families and loved ones. When we lose that holistic thinking about what wealth is, then our money winds up working at a very singular purpose to create more pieces of paper as opposed to create greater human and environmental welfare." - Morgan Simon When we put our money in a bank (or a mutual fund, pension plan, endowment, etc.) it doesn't just sit there, it is put to use. It is...


Episode 283 - Philip Shepherd - Get Out Of Your Head and Into Your Body

Mindfulness is all the rage these days. And yet, even as the New York Times churns out articles like How to Be Mindful While Grocery Shopping and How to Be Mindful When You have Seasonal Allergies a quick look at NIMH or NIH data shows that Americans are sicker than ever, poorer than ever, more psychologically disturbed than ever. Though the literature has certainly been convincing, we have to ask ourselves whether the West's new cultural obsession with mindfulness is actually helping...


Episode 282 - Todd Davis - The Secret Weapon for Success

In today's work environment, our success is heavily dependent on our ability to consistently deliver strong results. And although there are multiple inputs that lead to our results, there is one secret weapon that outweighs everything else. The key to success ultimately lies in the strength of our relationships. You may be thinking to yourself, "But wait, we are talking about business! With all of the demands on my time, I don't have the luxury to think about something soft and fuzzy...


Episode 281 - W. Keith Campbell - When You Love Yourself Too Much

Narcissism—an inflated view of the self—is everywhere. Public figures say it’s what makes them stray from their wives. Parents teach it by dressing children in T-shirts that say "Princess." Teenagers and young adults hone it on Facebook, and celebrity newsmakers have elevated it to an art form. In a world that measures success by page views and number of followers, those with narcissistic tendencies often do what is necessary to reach "the top", at the expense of everyone else. So how...


Episode 280 - Suzanne Bouffard - How To Raise A Smart Child

There is no debate that a good education is a critical component of raising smart, well rounded, successful children. But cutting-edge research has proven that early childhood education is crucial for all children as young as 3 years old to gain the academic and emotional skills they need to succeed later in life. In essence, pre-K may actually be the most important year. Children who attend quality pre-K programs have a host of positive outcomes including better language, literacy,...


Episode 279 - Dr. Allen Frances - Trump, Mental Illness, and the End of Reason

"Calling Trump crazy allows us to avoid confronting the craziness in our society—if we want to get sane, we must first gain insight about ourselves. Simply put: Trump isn’t crazy, but our society is." - Dr. Allen Frances This week on the show we interview one of the men who literally wrote the book on mental illness as we answer the question - Is Trump crazy? And what does it say about America that he was elected to the highest office in the land? Psychiatrist Dr. Allen Frances analyzes...


Episode 278 - Frank Ostaseski - What Death Can Teach Us About Living

"Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most." Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. But how can we sit with...


Episode 277 - Peter Brannen - How The World Ends

Did you know our world has ended five times? It has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. And in each of these catastrophic occurrences, climate change has been the culprit. You may be wondering, how do asteroids have anything to do with climate change? We will leave the details to our guest this week, but essentially there is a triggering event (asteroid, volcano, humans) that causes the oceans to become more acidic and very soon after the entire world...


Episode 276 - Paul Armstrong - Disruptive Technologies Will Change Your Business and Your Life

We all know that technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and it's changing the way we live. Do you call a cab, or do you use Uber? Do you stay in a hotel, or do you check Airbnb? Do you read a book or a Kindle? These products and services quickly enter our world and become the norm. But just knowing that technology is evolving is not enough, you need to understand how it is impacting you and how you can evaluate what industry will be disrupted next. This week on the show we interview an...


Episode 275 - Brett Velicovich - The World's Most Dangerous Drone Expert

For nearly a decade Brett Velicovich was at the center of America’s new warfare: using unmanned aerial vehicles—drones—to take down the world’s deadliest terrorists across the globe. One of an elite handful in the entire military with the authority to select targets and issue death orders, and his Delta force team successfully killed/captured 14 of America’s 20 most wanted terrorists across Iraq within only three months. In this episode, Brett tells us his never before told story of how...


Episode 274 - R.P. Eddy - How To Predict Disasters

Millions of lives are lost to catastrophes that could have been saved by the advance warnings of experts. But how do we know who can truly predict the future, and who is just screaming that the sky is falling? This week on the podcast our expert guest tells us how we can get better at predicting disasters, how to weed out the real warnings from the exaggerations, and what threats we need to be paying attention to right now. Our guest this week is R.P. Eddy, author of the brand new book,...


Episode 272 - Guy Winch - The Secret To A Happy Life Is An Emotional First Aid Kit

We all sustain emotional wounds. Failure, guilt, rejection, and loss are as much a part of life as the occasional scraped elbow. But while we typically bandage a cut or ice a sprained ankle, our first aid kit for emotional injuries is not just understocked—it’s nonexistent. Think about it... we learn about germs, scrapes, and sprains starting at 2 years old, but we often don't learn about emotional injuries and proper treatment until they have become debilitating. And even worse, many...


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