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Economist Podcasts

Every weekday our global network of correspondents makes sense of the stories beneath the headlines. We bring you surprising trends and tales from around the world, current affairs, business and finance — as well as science and technology.  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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Babbage: The hunt for dark matter
Dark matter is thought to make up around a quarter of the universe, but so far it has eluded detection by all scientific instruments. Scientists know it must exist because of the ways galaxies move and it also explains the large-scale structure of the modern universe. But no-one knows what dark matter actually is.Scientists have been hunting for dark matter particles for decades, but have so far had no luck. At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held recently in Denver, a new generation of researchers presented their latest tools, techniques and ideas to step up the search for this mysterious substance. Will they finally detect the undetectable? Host: Alok Jha, The Economist’s science and technology editor. Contributors: Don Lincoln, senior scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Christopher Karwin, a fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Josef Aschbacher, boss of the European Space Agency; Michael Murra of Columbia University; Jodi Cooley, executive director of SNOLAB; Deborah Pinna of University of Wisconsin and CERN.Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
43:47 21/2/24
The Intelligence: I’m your private lander, a lander for money
If it succeeds—and that is no sure thing—this week’s soft landing of Odysseus will be the first by a private firm. We examine the prospects and the business models of the Moon rush. Our producer visits Ukraine to mark the anniversary of a revolution that helped to shape today’s conflict (11:22). And the rise and coming fall in entertaining British obituaries (21:25).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
27:25 21/2/24
The Intelligence: Faith-based reeling
China’s firms are shedding value at pace and foreign investors are starting to look elsewhere. We ask why faith is fading in a market that once looked unstoppable. Slam poetry, an American invention of the 1980s, is now conquering Francophone Africa (08:54). And why there are ever fewer athletes who excel at more than one sport (17:32).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:29 20/2/24
The Intelligence: Russia after Navalny
At last President Vladimir Putin’s regime has succeeded in silencing the country’s most prominent opposition figure. What happens next? Demand for electric cars is weakening, particularly in Britain; we ask how to recharge the market (11:47). And what is remarkable about a stage production of “The Shawshank Redemption” in China (19:44).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:50 19/2/24
The Weekend Intelligence: One day in the life of Alexei Navalny
When Alexei Navalny flew back to Russia in 2021 he never made it through passport control. In an excerpt from Next Year in Moscow, The Economist’s series on Russian opposition to the war, today’s episode chronicles this period of his life. It’s an account of what turned out to be the last three years of Navalny’s life - peppered with his own words, and told by people who knew him well. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
30:26 17/2/24
The Intelligence: Out-of-this-world war
This is not science fiction. Space is already a part of modern warfare and as technology advances, it will be an even more crucial sphere. What will extraterrestrial conflict look like? A look at the latest Democracy Index as conflict continues to dent freedoms across the globe (11:47). And, a tribute to Jack Jennings (23:35)   Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
27:19 16/2/24
The Intelligence: A former general, elected in Indonesia
Prabowo Subianto stormed to victory in the world’s largest single-day election. But critics say his presidency could jeopardise two decades of democratic progress. Nvidia has dominated the global market for AI accelerator chips for years. Could a company about a third of its size come for its crown (10:51)? And, more people are tuning in to watch people get slapped (19:20).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account.Podcast transcripts are available upon request at podcasts@economist.com. We are committed to improving accessibility even further and are exploring new ways to expand our podcast-transcript offering. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26:45 15/2/24
The Intelligence: Split bill
After an all-nighter, a $95bn foreign aid bill for Ukraine and other allies passed the US Senate. But amid much division, it may not even make it to a House vote. Stray cows are a growing problem for India’s city dwellers. Could a new census help (09:25)? And, how people are spending less on Valentine’s Day (16:12)Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21:44 14/2/24
Drum Tower: The sounds of old Beijing
In some ways, Beijing now sounds like a lot of other mega cities. Yet, back in imperial times, sound was used in creative ways to display wealth, to conduct everyday business and, most importantly, to keep order. David Rennie, our Beijing bureau chief, takes us on a sonic journey through the places where Beijing’s ancient soundscape is being kept alive. He meets Colin Chinnery, a sound artist and archivist, to find out why sound has long been a vital part of Beijing’s spirit, and the ways in which it still is today.Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
26:44 13/2/24
The Intelligence: Undoing PiS poor laws
Donald Tusk’s predecessors in the hard-right PiS party captured the state and compromised its checks and balances. The newly-elected centrist party is having a hard time correcting course. A new NASA satellite which can map the tiniest of the earth’s particles is set to transform climate science (09:54). And a look at how motherhood hurts careers (17:41). Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
25:05 13/2/24
The Intelligence: Troubled waters
Squabbles over the seas and their tributary waterways are becoming more tense as rivalries deepen and the climate changes. How should the West prepare? An opinion poll with a twist suggests that Xi Jinping is not as popular as he thinks he is (11:29). And, a tribute to the queen of world rallying (17:42).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:52 12/2/24
Checks and Balance: Strike accord
America has launched strikes against Iranian-backed militias in the Middle East, in response to an attack on a base in Jordan where three US troops died. How close are America and Iran to war?John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Idrees Kahloon. They’re joined by General Frank McKenzie, former commander of US Central Command, and The Economist’s Anton La Guardia. Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
51:46 10/2/24
The Intelligence: General dynamics
As had long been telegraphed, Ukraine’s top general Valery Zaluzhny is now out; Oleksandr Syrsky is in. That marks a new phase in the war, and an opportunity for President Volodymyr Zelensky to reframe its terms. American car-insurance costs are skyrocketing—but, perversely, they are probably still too low (9:43). And the bonkers conspiracy theories involving the Super Bowl and Taylor Swift (15:03).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:46 9/2/24
The Intelligence: Going for broker
Our correspondent is travelling with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is on yet another gruelling tour of the Middle East trying to broker peace. What are the chances of a lasting deal? We examine the problems arising from Latin America’s falling fertility rate (11:06). And TikTok has become a destination for news; we meet some of its self-appointed news anchors (17:16). Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:53 8/2/24
The Intelligence: At a crossroads (really)
In one of this year’s largest votes, Indonesia will elect a new president in one week’s time; this time the sanctity and future of its democracy are at stake. In Germany prominent people—even Jews—who question Israel’s war in Gaza are being cancelled (10:45). And how many books are you likely to read in what is left of your life (17:25)? Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
22:51 7/2/24
The Intelligence: They thought it was Sall over
Macky Sall, Senegal’s president, has said he would not stand again. So what to make of the move to delay the election until December? Our correspondent says that many artificial-intelligence researchers think fakes will soon become entirely undetectable (10:11). And as football manager Jürgen Klopp steps down at Liverpool, we ask why being a leader is so very tiring (18:03). Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:31 6/2/24
The Intelligence: Strikes, a careful balance
Dozens of air strikes in Iraq, Syria and Yemen were designed to show American resolve without themselves provoking a deeper conflict. We ask what happens next. Philanthropists are increasingly doing things differently: handing over the cash and getting out of the way (11:01). And cuteness has wriggled into every facet of culture—and along the way became a serious subject of study (18:47).Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+.If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
25:58 5/2/24
The Intelligence: Will Apple’s customers share its Vision?
Last month, Microsoft briefly overtook the iPhone maker as the world’s most valuable company. As Apple’s core business slows, could the launch of its new augmented reality headset provide much-needed uplift? The Chinese Communist Party loves a slogan, but what does its new one actually mean? Why we may never know (09:17). And a tribute to the double act of Peter Schickele and P.D.Q. Bach (16:05)Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:02 2/2/24
The Intelligence: Vietnam’s golden opportunity
The populous South-East Asian country is uniquely well-positioned to benefit from the deepening rift between America and China, so what’s stopping it? How a breakaway party on Germany’s far left is appealing to voters in the east (08:13). And, why VAR is frustrating football fans (16:11). Get a world of insights for 50% off—subscribe to Economist Podcasts+ If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
23:05 1/2/24
The Intelligence: Indonesia’s election, more TikTok than tick-box
Campaigning for a coming election in the world’s fourth-most-populous country has been almost entirely policy-free: a good social-media presence is nearly all candidates need. As the Panama Canal dries out, neighbouring countries spy an opportunity—but how much of that trade can they expect to siphon off (09:11)? And, the wild boar hybrids causing havoc on Canada’s prairies (15:56). Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
20:59 31/1/24
Drum Tower: Competing for kids
China’s decades-long economic boom was powered by workers who migrated from the countryside to cities to find jobs. But to do so, many of them had to leave their children behind. Now some cities are vying to attract migrant workers' children. Zhejiang province is piloting an experimental policy which should make it easier for migrants to bring their children with them to cities and send them to school. David Rennie, our Beijing bureau chief, and Alice Su, our senior China correspondent, examine Yiwu, a city in Zhejiang that has enacted this policy.Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
32:06 30/1/24
The Intelligence: China’s ever grander property crisis
One of the country’s biggest property companies, Evergrande, has been crippled by its debt. What does a new court order mean for prospective homebuyers, and the firm’s creditors? Is there a way for Joe Biden to be replaced by the Democrats’ presidential candidate (09:45)? And the story of the life of a Mossad chief (15:57).Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
22:55 30/1/24
The Intelligence: Iran increases the stakes in the Middle East
Iran-backed proxies have killed three American soldiers and injured dozens of others in their weekend strike. A response from the Pentagon seems inevitable, but what might it look like? If Britain wants to decarbonise, it is going to need to revamp the grid. The effort will be both pricey and political (10:54). And, making musicals into movies (18:12).  Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:11 29/1/24
The Weekend Intelligence: Digital Ghosts
As life moves progressively online, it is becoming increasingly possible to keep people alive in the digital sense. Tech companies are starting to use AI to simulate the personalities of the dead from the data they’ve left behind. The Economist’s science correspondent, Abby Bertics, wanted to figure out how close this possible future is and just what it would look like to conjure a digital ghost of her own.Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription.For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
46:42 27/1/24
The Intelligence: Milei’s laborious reforms
For decades, Argentina’s labour unions have seemed like they can’t be touched. But the country’s new radical, libertarian president is daring to try. Ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, two new films explore the tragedy (09:19). And, how Beyoncé made chrome cool again (16:44).Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:20 26/1/24
The Intelligence: what AI could mean for the world’s poorest
Generative artificial intelligence dominated conversations at Davos this year. How might education and healthcare be transformed as the technology reaches the developing world? The Notre Dame Cathedral is set to reopen this year. Come with us to visit the site in Paris (10:11). And, how lovely is your language (18:05)?Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account.Podcast transcripts are available upon request at podcasts@economist.com. We are committed to improving accessibility even further and are exploring new ways to expand our podcast-transcript offering. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:47 25/1/24
Babbage: Sam Altman and Satya Nadella on their vision for AI
OpenAI and Microsoft are leaders in generative artificial intelligence (AI). OpenAI has built GPT-4, one of the world’s most sophisticated large language models (LLMs) and Microsoft is injecting those algorithms into its products, from Word to Windows. At the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Zanny Minton Beddoes, The Economist’s editor-in-chief, interviewed Sam Altman and Satya Nadella, who run OpenAI and Microsoft respectively. They explained their vision for humanity’s future with AI and addressed some thorny questions looming over the field, such as how AI that is better than humans at doing tasks might affect productivity and how to ensure that the technology doesn’t pose existential risks to society.Host: Alok Jha, The Economist's science and technology editor. Contributors: Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist; Ludwig Siegele, The Economist’s senior editor, AI initiatives; Sam Altman, chief executive of OpenAI; Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft. If you subscribe to The Economist, you can watch the full interview on our website or app. Essential listening, from our archive:“Daniel Dennett on intelligence, both human and artificial”, December 27th 2023“Fei-Fei Li on how to really think about the future of AI”, November 22nd 2023“Mustafa Suleyman on how to prepare for the age of AI”, September 13th 2023“Vint Cerf on how to wisely regulate AI”, July 5th 2023“Is GPT-4 the dawn of true artificial intelligence?”, with Gary Marcus, March 22nd 2023Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
45:00 24/1/24
The Intelligence: Donald trumps Haley in New Hampshire
His decisive victory demonstrates just how much of a hold he still has on the Republican party, but his last remaining competitor is not bowing out just yet. How new sanctions on Russian diamonds could disrupt the supply chain (10:20). And is the Marvel franchise losing its superpower (17:16)?Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:18 24/1/24
The Intelligence: is Germany al[t]right?
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party represents a growing anti-immigrant rhetoric in the country, but people are taking to the streets in their thousands to fight back. Why has the debate become so polarised? Japan’s ruling party has been trying to get women back into the labour market, and it's working (09:24). And, why the Brits are dropping pennies (15:26).Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
21:46 23/1/24
The Intelligence: Ron down, two left
He went from being the most viable challenger to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, to endorsing him. Our US editor opines on why Ron DeSantis’ campaign fell short, and what it means for the New Hampshire primary. What the opening of a temple says about Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda (09:13). And, why is bad Instapoetry so popular (18:02)?Sign up for a free trial of Economist Podcasts+. If you’re already a subscriber to The Economist, you’ll have full access to all our shows as part of your subscription. For more information about how to access Economist Podcasts+, please visit our FAQs page or watch our video explaining how to link your account. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
24:24 22/1/24

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