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People I (Mostly) Admire

Steve Levitt, the iconoclastic University of Chicago economist and co-author of the Freakonomics book series, tracks down other high achievers and asks questions that only he would think to ask. Guests include all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker, and top literary agent Suzanne Gluck. People I (Mostly) Admire is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.

4. Ken Jennings: “Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird”

People I (Mostly) Admire

  • 300 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 42:19

It was only in his late twenties that America’s favorite brainiac began to seriously embrace his love of trivia. Now he holds the “Greatest of All Time” title on Jeopardy! Steve Levitt digs into how he trained for the show, what it means to have a "geographic memory," and why we lie to our children. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Kerwin Charles: “One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From”

People I (Mostly) Admire

  • 350 views
  • 12 months ago
  • 41:18

The dean of Yale’s School of Management grew up in a small village in Guyana. During his unlikely journey, he has researched video-gaming habits, communicable disease, and why so many African-Americans haven’t had the kind of success he’s had. Steve Levitt talks to Charles about his parents’ encouragement, his love of Sports Illustrated, and how he talks to his American-born kids about the complicated history of Blackness in America.  See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.

Mayim Bialik: “I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is”

People I (Mostly) Admire

  • 350 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 47:19

She’s best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but the award-winning actress has a rich life outside of her acting career, as a teacher, mother — and a real-life neuroscientist.  Steve Levitt tries to learn more about this one-time academic and Hollywood non-conformist, who is both very similar to him and also quite his opposite. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.

Steven Pinker: "I Manage My Controversy Portfolio Carefully”

People I (Mostly) Admire

  • 520 views
  • about 1 year ago
  • 42:24

By cataloging the steady march of human progress, the Harvard psychologist and linguist has become a very public intellectual. But the self-declared “polite Canadian” has managed to enrage people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Steve Levitt tries to understand why.