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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Updated about 15 hours ago

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

iTunes Ratings

2606 Ratings
Average Ratings
2309
151
50
42
54

Absolute love for this show

By podenthusiast84 - Jan 16 2020
Read more
It’ll make you a better person. Just subscribe already.

Brilliant

By Liberal Austin Hawk - Jan 16 2020
Read more
“Thanks a lot, Society. Bite me!” -Molly Wood

iTunes Ratings

2606 Ratings
Average Ratings
2309
151
50
42
54

Absolute love for this show

By podenthusiast84 - Jan 16 2020
Read more
It’ll make you a better person. Just subscribe already.

Brilliant

By Liberal Austin Hawk - Jan 16 2020
Read more
“Thanks a lot, Society. Bite me!” -Molly Wood
Cover image of Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Latest release on Feb 26, 2020

All 50 episodes from oldest to newest

When CDC says “this might be bad”

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… it’s bad. There are now 80,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including new diagnoses in Italy, Iran and South Korea. This news has sent American markets plummeting, and prompted the CDC to warn of an outbreak Tuesday morning, but the World Health Organization isn’t declaring a pandemic yet. Here to talk with us about pandemics past and their economic effects is is Olga Jonas, a senior fellow with the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Subscribe to the “Make Me Smart” newsletter at Marketplace.org/newsletters and tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for daily explainers.

Feb 26 2020

33mins

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Every problem is a housing problem

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At least, according to New York Times reporter Conor Dougherty. We talk with him about the affordable housing crisis, local government and his new book “Golden Gates.” Plus, listeners weigh in on BlackRock and the “Internet der Dinge,” and we celebrate our 150th episode.

Feb 19 2020

35mins

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No more business as usual?

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The big buzzwords among the executives and world leaders at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this year were “stakeholder capitalism,” the idea that a corporation should serve a social and environmental good, not just enrich shareholders. What a concept, right? It comes after those Business Roundtable guidelines on corporate responsibility, and sustainability pledges from big players like Microsoft and BlackRock. But is this really a challenge to Milton Friedman’s 50-year-old treatise on corporations’ purpose? Or just a savvy but cynical PR move? We put that question to Jerry Davis, the associate dean for business and impact at the University of Michigan’s business school. He says it’s harder for a company to be a “successful hypocrite” now.

Feb 12 2020

34mins

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Do we have to call it the “internet of things”?

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There’s a whole galaxy of connected items you can buy to ostensibly make your life easier: speakers, locks, coffee mugs, even dog collars. The so-called “internet of things” is already big and growing fast. By 2021, the market for all things connected is on track to pass $500 billion. There is no upfront connection or service fee to make these things work; we pay for them with our data. The Economist’s technology editor, Tim Cross, walks us through privacy concerns, security concerns and 5G.

Feb 04 2020

36mins

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We have enough (vegan) food for everyone on the planet

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But only if we start eating differently, says activist and food expert Frances Moore Lappé. Veganism wasn’t really a thing in 1971 when she wrote “Diet for a Small Planet.” But a plant-based diet is inching its way toward the mainstream, even as the average American consumes a record 220 pounds of meat a year. Lappé talks with us about what’s changed since the 1970s, “regenerative agriculture” and the difference a plant-based diet can make for the planet. Plus, we read your emails about the Equal Rights Amendment and the coronavirus, and Benjamin Walker of the podcast “Theory of Everything” answers the “Make Me Smart” question. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

Jan 28 2020

32mins

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A vote for the ERA was long overdue, but it might be too late

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Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the equal rights amendment to the constitution last week, giving the ERA the support it needs … about three decades after it expired. Many people, some 80% according to one poll, think the U.S. Constitution already includes equal protections for women’s rights, but it doesn’t. On today’s show, we’re going to look more at how we got to this point and what “equal rights” really means for the women’s movement and the economy overall. Here to guide us through is CUNY professor Julie Suk. Her book about the ERA, “We the Women: The Forgotten Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment,” is out this summer.

Jan 22 2020

34mins

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It’s 2020. And the Cambridge Analytica story? It’s growing …

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Remember Cambridge Analytica? You probably wish you could forget. But 10 and a half months from the next presidential election, Brittany Kaiser says there’s still more we all need to know about Big Data and how companies like her former employer are using it to steer democracy. She used to work at CA, and after writing a book and appearing in a documentary about it, she’s publishing a bunch of internal documents showing how the company worked and its reach beyond the United States. For our first episode of the new year, we talk with Kaiser about election interference and her new Own Your Data Foundation. Plus, we’ll catch up on some of your emails and voice memos from the holiday break.

Jan 15 2020

37mins

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What’s the big deal about Section 230? (And your 2020 predictions)

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The potential for real war in 2020 might make the trade disputes of 2019 seem quaint and distant. But cast your mind back, if you can, to three weeks ago, when the fate of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement seemed to rest in part on a semi-obscure passage of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. It says online platforms are not legally liable for what people say or do in the spaces they run. Trillions of dollars in company valuation and the sharing of content as we know it rests on the rule, which would expand to Mexico and Canada under the trade deal. So is it time to revisit Section 230? If you got rid of it, what kind of rules would replace it? And what platforms would even be left? Last summer, we asked Jeff Kosseff, a professor of cybersecurity law at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of “The 26 Words That Created the Internet.”

Jan 08 2020

30mins

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Something to think about over winter break (plus Kai’s 2020 predictions)

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Americans face more than $1.3 trillion in student debt, with less and less assurance the job market’s going to provide salaries to cover it. For all the students home for the holiday break (and their parents) we’re revisiting and interview we did last January with Maura Reynolds, a senior editor at Politico. She’s reported extensively on the school-skills-jobs pipeline. Plus, part two of our annual predictions episode: Last year Kai said “Nothing will change”. Was he right? We talk about it and look ahead to 2020.

Finally, our end-of-year fundraiser ends today. Don’t wait: Become a Marketplace investor right now at Marketplace.org/donate.

Dec 31 2019

31mins

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A very quantum Christmas (and Molly’s 2020 predictions)

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It’s Christmas Eve and we’re all out of town. But we’re also in your feed today? It’s almost as if we exist in some kind of quantum state … the perfect time to bring you one of our favorite interviews from the past year: UC Berkeley’s Steven Weber on quantum computing. Plus, we’re breaking our annual predictions episode into three parts. Today, we assess Molly’s 2019 predictions and get her take on what’s coming in 2020.

Dec 24 2019

35mins

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