Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly


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Make Me Smart is a weekly conversation about the themes of today, centered around the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood use their expertise to connect the dots on topics they know best, and hear from other experts – CE...Show More

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70: Can VR make us more empathetic?

39:10 | Jun 26th, 2018

A startup called Vantage Point thinks virtual reality can make training much better.

107: Why your tax refund might be lower this year

37:27 | Apr 2nd

... And why that's not so bad, even if it feels that way

106: How do drug epidemics end?

25:51 | Mar 26th

In its new season, The Uncertain Hour is trying to find out.

105: The Great British Break-Off

39:01 | Mar 19th

The BBC's Ros Atkins tells us why we should care about Brexit.

104: A year after Cambridge Analytica, what have we learned?

29:14 | Mar 12th

The scandal made us think differently about Facebook. Here's what to do about it.

100: The Oscars are a mess

43:54 | Feb 12th

New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris helps us make sense of it.

98: Can we shut down the shutdowns?

38:17 | Jan 29th

How did closing the government became a political weapon in the first place?

97: Think before you major

36:00 | Jan 22nd

The years of your life, the mountains of debt... more people wonder if higher ed pays off.

96: Do it for the 'gram

33:33 | Jan 16th

And by "it" we mean "deleting Facebook." Wait, what?

95.3: Back to design school

25:14 | Jan 8th

Can design thinking help us solve this country's problems at scale? What about existential-crisis scale?

95.1: Adam ruins our Christmas

17:54 | Dec 24th, 2018

We're rerunning our interview with fact-checking comedian Adam Conover.

95: Dusting off our crystal ball for 2019

33:59 | Dec 18th, 2018

We've got a whole bunch of our favorite guests back to help us reflect on the year that was and look at what's ahead.

93: Rep. Joe Kennedy is all about moral capitalism, and that sounds familiar

37:29 | Dec 4th, 2018

An idea we've been obsessed with is gaining momentum as a national political platform.

92: The affordability crisis of house and home

33:42 | Nov 27th, 2018

Real estate is the biggest driver of wealth — and debt — for most families in America.

88: Should you trust polling?

39:57 | Oct 30th, 2018

A week before midterms, 21 percent of people we polled said not really.

85: Expl4inathon

30:19 | Oct 9th, 2018

Two hosts. Thirty minutes. We're answering as many of your questions as we can.

84: Potcast

24:06 | Oct 2nd, 2018

No one's made that joke before, right?

83: The Sanctuary of Smart

28:39 | Sep 25th, 2018

We're talking with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, about running one of the largest libraries in the world.

81: If you didn't see this coming, you weren't paying attention

31:51 | Sep 11th, 2018

The Trump administration said tax breaks would help American companies expand their operations. Instead, they bought back a lot of their own stock.

78: Keepin' it Civil with blockchain

24:01 | Aug 20th, 2018

We talked with Civil COO Lillian Ruiz about the new, blockchain-powered news service.

76: The host of "Slow Burn" makes us smart about Clinton's impeachment

19:59 | Aug 7th, 2018

It's been 20 years since the scandal, and the second season of Slate's "Slow Burn" is taking another look.

75: A little Wisconsin root in a big trade war

32:57 | Jul 31st, 2018

Every tariff tells a story, and we're looking at a kinda weird one.

74: What do we do about Elon Musk?

26:11 | Jul 24th, 2018

Why do the media, Tesla fans and Musk himself always cast him as the lead in an epic tale?

73: Bitcoin IRL

26:18 | Jul 17th, 2018

From Inner Mongolia to a Georgia gas station, the cryptocurrency really gets around.

72: Are we an eponymous lifestyle brand yet?

39:05 | Jul 10th, 2018

A look at design thinking, and how it might help solve some of the big problems we talk about around here.

69: Why does "zero tolerance" look like this?

31:06 | Jun 19th, 2018

This week, we get smart about the immigration crisis and the Trump administration's controversial policy of separating parents and children.

66: "Roseanne" and ethics in business

33:52 | May 29th, 2018

We asked an ethics expert to make us smart about the news as it unfolded.

65: It's a GDPaRty!

24:38 | May 24th, 2018

"We've updated our terms of service"

64: The case of the Butter Bot

46:53 | May 22nd, 2018

We started following a spam email, and it took us somewhere weirder and scarier than we ever expected.

63: Take your data and go home

40:59 | May 15th, 2018

Are data science tools outpacing the social and ethical issues around them?

62: We could never get free

26:06 | May 8th, 2018

Maybe the problem is that our "free" markets are *not free enough.*

61: Is capitalism obsolete?

38:26 | May 1st, 2018

Writer Umair Haque says the system isn't equipped to address big issues like financial inequality.

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

38:02 | Apr 24th, 2018

Many people arrested for low-level offenses get bail set at amounts they can't afford. Lives fall apart because of it.

59: Adam ruins our show

38:13 | Apr 17th, 2018

"Adam Ruins Everything" host Adam Conover is making us all smarter with comedy.

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

25:43 | Apr 12th, 2018

'Cause we do. There's so much to unpack, we paid the baggage fee for an extra episode this week.

56: "The best cure for hatred and ignorance"

27:52 | Apr 3rd, 2018

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 ...Show More

55: The surveillance economy

34:22 | Mar 27th, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before Congress about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but does he get it? Like, really get it? And, crucially, do we? Harvard's Yochai Benkler is on the show today to make us smart about what the data economy ha...Show More

53: The hidden workplaces all around us

44:58 | Mar 13th, 2018

Where were you when the economy collapsed? We're coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the fall of Bear Stearns, a time when Kai and Molly both happened to be hosting daily news shows. We'll take a listen back, and talk about what was or wasn't kno...Show More

We're back! New episodes start next week

04:06 | Mar 6th, 2018

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 1...Show More

52: Rahm Remixed

39:18 | Feb 20th, 2018

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 sanc...Show More

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

30:16 | Feb 6th, 2018

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 r...Show More

50: The internet of thoughts

31:21 | Jan 23rd, 2018

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...Show More

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

30:55 | Jan 9th, 2018

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 ...Show More

48: Explainathon the third

24:23 | Jan 2nd, 2018

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 takin...Show More

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

1:05:19 | Dec 28th, 2017

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 document...Show More

47: Make Me Smart predictions

32:35 | Dec 26th, 2017

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 th...Show More

46: With Gates' power comes Gates' responsibility

27:25 | Dec 19th, 2017

In 2006, Microsoft founder Bill Gates told USA Today that "with great wealth comes great responsibility, a responsibility to give back to society and a responsibility to see that those resources are put to work in the best possible way to help those ...Show More

45:"A Wrinkle in Time" and the battle against rhythmic cyclical hopelessness

35:22 | Dec 14th, 2017

Madeleine L'Engle, the author of the classic novel "A Wrinkle in Time," believed "there comes a point where you can go as far as thinking will take you, and then you will move into the world that might become fantasy, which is that world beyond where...Show More

44: Where are all the "lost Einsteins?"

32:49 | Dec 5th, 2017

Who are the "lost Einsteins?"  That's the question Raj Chetty is trying to answer. He's a professor of economics who works on the Equality of Opportunity Project at Stanford University. The project uses big data sets, like anonymous tax and U.S. Pate...Show More

43: Andy Weir loves to geek out about space economics

30:50 | Nov 28th, 2017

Andy Weir really likes to do research. He's a software engineer who wrote "The Martian," which was adapted into a movie a couple years ago starring Matt Damon. Now he has a new book out, "Artemis," about a colony on the moon. We had him on to talk ab...Show More

42: Breaking bread without conflict

21:52 | Nov 21st, 2017

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 yo...Show More

41: Do you hear the people sing?

26:33 | Nov 14th, 2017

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 emerg...Show More

40: Explainathon 2! The search for more answers

33:00 | Nov 7th, 2017

It's time for another Make Me Smart Explainathon, where we answer as many of your questions as we can about the things you want to know more about. We also have an answer to our Make Me Smart question from a listener, and we picked the final book for...Show More

39: Distressed human assets

34:46 | Oct 31st, 2017

One way to improve capitalism? Focus on dignity.  That's what Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, believes.  He says that the only way to more economic growth is bringing a sense of dignity back to the political conv...Show More

38: Confronting Capitalism

38:50 | Oct 25th, 2017

Ethical capitalism. Moral capitalism. Enlightened capitalism. What are we talking about when we talk about how to change capitalism?  Molly talked with Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School o...Show More

37.5: Hold on for one more day...

03:43 | Oct 24th, 2017

No podcast today, but there will be one Wednesday. Until then, we've got a little preview of our continuing discussion of moral capitalism to whet your appetite ... or make you run for the hills. You decide. Talk with you soon.

37: Is it time to take capitalism into the shop for a look under the hood?

30:42 | Oct 18th, 2017

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, says financial markets are almost like rogue artificial intelligence, but it doesn't have to be that way. Then: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai finally says no, you actually can't take away a broadcast license (...Show More

36: "The Man in the High Castle" has a lot on his mind

50:05 | Oct 10th, 2017

"Blade Runner." "Total Recall." "Minority Report." These are big-budget movies from big-name directors, but they all sprung from the mind of author Philip K. Dick. He also wrote "The Man in the High Castle," our second Make Me Smart book club selecti...Show More

35: Facebook is the field democracy plays out on (and that's not good)

20:17 | Oct 5th, 2017

Is Facebook too big for anyone to understand how big it really is? Even Mark Zuckerberg? New York Magazine senior editor Max Read is on the show today, explaining how Zuckerberg might have to be like Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (seriously). You can...Show More

34.5: No new show today

01:02 | Oct 3rd, 2017

There's no new Make Me Smart podcast today.  But we did answer that one remaining question about the sequester, from last week's Explainathon. It's called "What You Need To Know About The Sequester And Trump" and it's right there on our site.  You al...Show More

34: Explainathon!

38:25 | Sep 26th, 2017

Why is voice recognition not out of this world?  Why do companies whisper their earnings estimates?  And should the government run the credit agencies?  These are just a few of the things you asked us to explain in our first ever Explainathon. Thanks...Show More

32: April Reign, #OscarsSoWhite and the art of influence

30:38 | Sep 12th, 2017

The power of social influence is the power to capture your attention. This week, we look at the role of an individual and an institution in shaping what you think you know and why it matters. Facebook wants you to pay attention to its ads, but what a...Show More

31: What's a CEO's statement worth to this White House?

40:49 | Sep 5th, 2017

The Trump administration announced it's ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era rule protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation if they arrived as children. Now Congress has to decide whether to pass legislat...Show More

30: The price of too much pavement

22:41 | Aug 29th, 2017

Houston's natural topography combined with the infrastructure for six million people creates a flood risk,  according to Sam Brody. He's a professor of Marine Sciences and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University at Galveston. And, he says, the city of...Show More

29: Too many two-Molly interviews

37:28 | Aug 22nd, 2017

President Trump announces a change to U.S. military policy in Afghanistan; Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince describes why we shouldn't let companies censor their users — right after he censored one of his users; and we take an audio tour of the solar ...Show More

28: CEOs quit the CEO in Chief

41:54 | Aug 16th, 2017

Globalization is in the headlines, but what does it mean for our economy? Marketplace's Scott Tong explains it to us. We answer your questions about globalism, nationalism and the companies that have to navigate between these rocky shoals. Plus, we p...Show More

27.5: Where's my podcast?

00:45 | Aug 15th, 2017

We won't have a Make Me Smart podcast in the feed today, but we will have one tomorrow. We'll be talking with Marketplace correspondent Scott Tong about globalization; we'll hear your thoughts about our bitcoin episode; and we're going to announce ou...Show More

27: Where are all the bitcoins?

31:13 | Aug 8th, 2017

What do you need to know to understand the new language of money? Bitcoin? Blockchain? And Ethereum? Laura Shin, senior editor at Forbes magazine and host of the "Unchained" podcast, makes us smart about cryptocurrency and how it might transform your...Show More

24: Always tie your shoes

29:12 | Jul 18th, 2017

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 r...Show More

23: The Righteous Mind

42:48 | Jul 11th, 2017

Ever wonder what makes up your moral compass? That's the premise behind the first selection of the Make Me Smart Book Club. We read "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Jonathan Haidt. Listeners share their th...Show More

What's the difference between the national debt and the deficit?

0:00 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Politicians love to talk about the national debt and especially the deficit. But as different factions jockey for their plans and policies, things can start to get confusing. Whose plan is going to cost more? How important is it to be "deficit-neutra...Show More

Here's how Uber's many scandals came to a head

0:00 | Jun 21st, 2017

Time magazine's latest cover shows a familiar view, at least for the 40 million or so people who use Uber regularly: It's a bunch of tiny animated cars roving around a map on your phone, but they're all careening toward Uber's headquarters and ending...Show More

21: Tax cuts and partisan brain candy

29:06 | Jun 20th, 2017

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a series of big tax cuts back in 2012, pledging to put money back in the hands of individuals and grow the economy. It became known as an experiment in "trickle-down," or supply-side economics. So: What do we talk abo...Show More

20: The Enforcer

35:42 | Jun 13th, 2017

Enforcers abound on this week's podcast. With help from Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Uber took on a series of recommendations to save itself from its own workplace culture, plus CEO Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence. But are there ...Show More

19: Delete your account?

34:56 | Jun 6th, 2017

We look at the events of the last two weeks through the lens of "normal" versus "not normal" and how to ask that question from a different perspective.  Todd Lieberman, producer of the live-action film "Beauty and the Beast" answers our Make Me Smart...Show More

Why do we care if millennials are buying homes?

0:00 | Jun 2nd, 2017

We talk a lot about home ownership on our shows, along with housing starts and average home costs. All those real estate stats double as as economic indicators and a kind of goal post for prosperity in America.The rate is measured as the percentage o...Show More

18.5: We're not here

04:37 | May 30th, 2017

Make Me Smart is taking the week off, but don't worry, there's plenty to keep you busy ahead of next week's episode.You can join our weekly Make Me Smart editorial meetings at noon Pacific/3 p.m. Eastern. You can find us on either Kai Ryssdal's page ...Show More

18: A source familiar with the matter

40:14 | May 23rd, 2017

The Trump administration has released its proposed budget, and supply side economics is back on the menu. Plus, Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist recently wrote an article about why readers should be careful with anonymous sources, so we got her on ...Show More

Video: Facebook wants to read your brain and Ford has a new CEO

0:00 | May 22nd, 2017

First let's start with the breaking news. You can now get your very own Make Me Smart pop socket and help Marketplace continue to report on the economic stories that matter to you. Check out that green donate button on our site, or contribute here. I...Show More

Heard on Make Me Smart

0:00 | May 18th, 2017

Ryan Morgello wrote us an excellent email the other day:"I love hearing about books on the air because often times the author is being interviewed and there are always valuable insights to be gained from listening in! My issue is, because of the natu...Show More

17: Filter Failure

43:39 | May 16th, 2017

What's the news that's getting buried by the news? A lot, actually. We're taking a look at one major story: media consolidation. This week, Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood chat with Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor at the University of North Carolina a...Show More

Annabelle Gurwitch is afraid of the gig economy

0:00 | May 15th, 2017

Kai and Molly sat down this week with actress and author Annabelle Gurwitch to talk about her new essay collection "Wherever You Go, There They Are."She talked about "work families"; her father, the grifter; her tribe of theater people; and the siste...Show More

What we talk about when we talk about 'jagoffs'

0:00 | May 12th, 2017

Sometimes "jagoff" can be a compliment.Kai and Molly's conversation with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was combative — sometimes playfully so, sometimes not. He objected to our questions and then softened the blow with some light name-calling before set...Show More

What's that song I heard on the podcast?

0:00 | May 11th, 2017

We get a lot of great emails, tweets and Facebook comments from you about Make Me Smart. Questions about the national debt, great answers to our Make Me Smart Question and lots of pictures of avocado toast. But there's one type of question we get tha...Show More

16: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to challenge your premise

43:11 | May 9th, 2017

Rahm Emanuel likes to talk. The two-term mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama spoke to us at length about everything from populism to immigration. He told us that Chicago is a "welcoming" city, not a sanctuary cit...Show More

Video: At the center of everything

0:00 | May 8th, 2017

Media consolidation, the FCC and how to get a visa for $500,000 or less.

What did Oregon Trail teach us?

0:00 | May 8th, 2017

Microsoft is making a bid at educational video games this week with "Minecraft: Education Edition," using the best-selling sandbox game it acquired in a $2.5 billion deal to teach kids how to code. It's part of a suite of educational software the com...Show More

Read our full conversation with George Lakoff on "your brain on Trump"

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2017

In a recent episode of Make Me Smart, Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interviewed George Lakoff, emeritus professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, he wrote an influential book called "Moral Politic...Show More

13: 'Nobody's got to use the internet'

33:26 | Apr 18th, 2017

In a recent town hall with Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a constituent was upset about the congressman's vote to repeal internet privacy laws. He replied, "Well, you know, nobody's got to use the internet."But online privacy scholar Joel Reide...Show More

We're still unpacking Trump psychology

0:00 | Apr 13th, 2017

The latest "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly" got a little heady, let's admit. We started off with Kai Ryssdal in kind of a bad place about the news, wondering if the broken promises, brazen mistruths and brutal videos of old men being thrown off air...Show More

12: This is your brain on Trump

42:29 | Apr 11th, 2017

President Trump uses the language of a "strict father" to communicate. That's according to George Lakoff, a professor emeritus of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. It's a traditional conservative tactic that...Show More

Let's talk about avocado toast

0:00 | Apr 6th, 2017

We got a ton of feedback, or is it foodback, about our special NAFTA episode of Make Me Smart. Although technically, most of the foodback was actually about avocado toast. Careful listeners of the show will remember that our collective Make Me Smart ...Show More

Blog: Here’s what we know about ‘extreme vetting’

0:00 | Apr 5th, 2017

This story was inspired by several Make Me Smart listener questions. America first. That is the promise President Trump made to American voters when he took office this January. Once in the White House, Trump wasted no time trying to deliver on his p...Show More

11: Why do our taxes have to be so complicated?

37:20 | Apr 4th, 2017

Six billion hours. That's how much time the IRS estimates U.S. taxpayers spend each year preparing and filing their taxes. And with tax reform on the agenda for Congress and the Trump administration, it's the perfect time to ask: Why are our taxes so...Show More

Fix transportation or commute via VR?

0:00 | Mar 29th, 2017

There are lots of companies out there promising to revolutionize transportation and mobility.Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft suggest that car ownership itself is absurd, and their fleets of human-driven or self-driving cars will get you any...Show More

How'd NAFTA change the economy? Draw your own charts

0:00 | Mar 28th, 2017

On December 8, 1993, then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. It went into effect less than a month later. At the time, the bill was lauded for its ability to create jobs in the U.S. — Clinton had said NAFTA would c...Show More

10: Avocado toast is really a story about NAFTA

34:28 | Mar 28th, 2017

Donald Trump campaigned on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement or pulling the United States out of the deal altogether. But what is NAFTA, exactly? The short answer: a trade agreement that has more to do with your everyday life than...Show More

Trump's trips are expensive. Can Congress step in?

0:00 | Mar 23rd, 2017

We spent a lot of time this week talking about an existential question for people watching Donald Trump's young presidency: What's a crisis and what isn't? We also spend a lot of time trying to parse what's typical for a new administration and what, ...Show More

9: Everything or nothing is a crisis

31:25 | Mar 21st, 2017

The FBI director testified on Capitol Hill, confirmation hearings begin for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and more changes to the health care bill. And that was just Monday. We take a look at what happens when everything, or maybe nothing, is a ...Show More

A short history of Uber's many scandals

0:00 | Mar 20th, 2017

It's been a tough month for Uber.The super-rich Silicon Valley darling is no stranger to bad PR, but lately Uber's been batting back boycotts, lawsuits and embarrassing leaks all at once. We talked about it on "Make Me Smart," but we can only record ...Show More

When robots get creative

0:00 | Mar 16th, 2017

Around here, we talk a lot about automation. Which jobs are being taken by robots? Does adding more automation to the workplace actually create more jobs? Which jobs are safe?We got an email from Julian in Australia about that very issue. Here's part...Show More

8: The singer and the supercomputer

34:12 | Mar 13th, 2017

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The debt limit, South by Southwest and other recurring disruptions on this week's Make Me Smart. Also singer-songwriter Marian Call debuts a snippet of a new song about our changing relationship to...Show More

Video: Who gets credit for adding jobs to the US economy?

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2017

Can President Donald Trump take credit for the continued increase in jobs added to the U.S. economy? Can the CIA really hack your phone? Can Kai get through an entire book about poetry and psychology? All this and more in our weekly Facebook Live edi...Show More

Blog: The Make Me Smart Book Group

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2017

On a recent Facebook Live video, Molly Wood talked about a book that includes one of her favorite topics: path dependence — the idea that the decisions we make depend a lot on past knowledge and decisions we've made, even if those ideas are no longer...Show More

Blog: Some economic context for the immigration debate

0:00 | Mar 9th, 2017

In the run-up to Super Tuesday, when Sen. Bernie Sanders was still an insurgent candidate and President Donald Trump was just one of a dozen or so GOP hopefuls, we called up a bunch of experts to ask how the themes of the campaign were manifesting in...Show More

7: Lyft co-founder says the company could be profitable by 2018

35:42 | Mar 7th, 2017

Lyft's co-founder and president, John Zimmer, won't mention his company's main competitor by name. Spoiler alert: It's Uber. But he is willing to say, "We've talked about being profitable next year, we feel very confident in that. We even think there...Show More

Video: "Squirrel!"

0:00 | Mar 7th, 2017

You may have noticed President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend. But try not to get distracted. We're talking about that, a busy week for tech news and Kai's leftover preferences on this week's live video.Join us every Monday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific S...Show More

Video: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to change our privacy settings

0:00 | Mar 3rd, 2017

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai intends to roll back rules that require internet providers get customer consent before selling their data. The EPA announced it will not need information about methane from oil and gas well operators. What that means and a whole...Show More

6.5: Complexification

22:23 | Mar 1st, 2017

President Donald Trump addressed Congress last night and we're back to look at what wasn't in the speech and how to read between the lines.  Plus: founders remorse?  CEO Travis Kalanick apologized to his drivers and employees, this time for losing hi...Show More

6: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is not horsing around

28:57 | Feb 28th, 2017

Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interview Steve Huffman, the co-founder and CEO of Reddit, a social sharing platform where more than 200 million users share everything from wholesome memes to "ask me anything" sessions with newsmakers and celebrities to t...Show More

5: Reputation in the age of the protest economy

26:43 | Feb 21st, 2017

Reputation matters. Whether it's U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Iraq, or Vice President Mike Pence in Brussels, Belgium or Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber. And that's just the stuff that happened this weekend!Sallie Krawcheck answers our Make...Show More

4: It's the economy, Cupid

27:28 | Feb 14th, 2017

Time take a look at a big thing that's getting lost in the first four weeks of the Trump administration. Hint: It's the economy. David Frum, senior writer for The Atlantic, answers our Make Me Smart question: "What's something that you thought you on...Show More

3: Lord of the attention merchants

32:38 | Feb 7th, 2017

This week we're talking with Tim Wu, professor of law at Columbia University and author of the book "The Attention Merchants." Back in 2003, Wu coined the phrase "network neutrality," the principle that internet service providers should enable equal ...Show More

Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood take the Marketplace quiz

05:49 | Feb 3rd, 2017

No matter who you are, you've probably had a rough day at the office that changed your perspective, or maybe you made an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back. This week, Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, the hosts of "...Show More

2.5: The limits of moral capitalism

12:28 | Feb 2nd, 2017

On this mini episode, we wanted to follow up on a conversation in this week's show about the business community at large, and the tech industry in particular, acting as an unofficial part of the checks and balances in the U.S. government. We also hea...Show More

2: Checks and balances and business

37:14 | Jan 31st, 2017

Checks and balances: that's a phrase you usually hear when we talk about the branches of government.  But on this week's "Make Me Smart," we discuss the possible changing role for corporations as they react to President Donald Trump's executive order...Show More

1: The land of unintended consequences

27:35 | Jan 24th, 2017

On the first full episode of Make Me Smart, we explored how to tell the difference between party-line political changes and "non-standard" changes in the new Trump administration. We also answered your questions about whether government statistics ar...Show More

Mini Ep 3: Unlock the vault!

12:58 | Dec 21st, 2016

It's the last mini episode of Make Me Smart before the new year, and we're going to unlock the vault and share some moments from the never before heard Make Me Smart Pilot Sessions. We discuss whether government can be run as business, why Apple got ...Show More

Mini Ep 2: The golden lobby parade

13:12 | Dec 14th, 2016

On the latest episode of Make Me Smart, the President-Elect meets with technology leaders from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and more.  And, what's Kanye got to do with it?  Plus, we answer a listener question about housing starts. Make Me Smar...Show More

Mini Ep 1: Unanswered and Unintended

10:50 | Dec 9th, 2016

We discuss the unanswered questions and potential consequences of one well-meaning press release on a mini-episode of "Make Me Smart." Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube announced recently that they will team up to fight terrorist propaganda on...Show More

Introducing "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly"

02:48 | Nov 28th, 2016

"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 o...Show More