by Chad Onianwa, KPR Intern
“Yeah. I think you’ll like it.”
That is how my friend Erick responded when I asked him if he had ever listened to the podcast Freakonomics Radio. What does that even mean? “I think you’ll like it." Are you implying something about me? Or the podcast? Both?
Why do I over-analyze everything? I was not upset or offended, just curious really. Curious about Freakonomics Radio and its apparent relation to my being.
Freakonomics Radio, a podcast produced by WNYC studios, and available on KPR’s news and talk station, KPR2, is dedicated to “exploring the hidden side of everything.” It is not a show about economics as it's normally understood, but more of an economics-based approach to deconstructing everything while learning along the way. Host Stephen Dubnor (author of the 2005 book that inspired the podcast) and the Freakonomics team take this very seriously and leave few stones unturned in their path.
A large part of the Freakonomics experience is uncovering the grey areas that make questions difficult to answer. Episodes focus on a question like "Why do we still have children?" and drive the conversation into new territory, creating a story out of every detour. Stephen Dubner’s magnetic exploration of the episode topics reach out to people of varying opinions and backgrounds, and draws the line of inquiry deeper into the argument until we’re attached to the issue at its core.
The depth of the episodes introduces the listeners to a mental mirror, forcing the audience to question their own assumptions and confront topics in the more nuanced space where these discussions exist. Even when there is no clearly defined answer to the topic at hand, it’s the dedication of Stephen Dubner and the Freakonomics team to question everything that gives Freakonomics its identity.
If there is one word to be used to describe Freakonomics, it would be “curious.” Asking questions is the life force of the show. Maybe that's what Erick was trying to say about Freakonomics and the people who are into it. For some, there is a certain satisfaction that comes with asking questions and poking at all of the possibilities in between. It is tiring and probably impossible for one person to do alone, but the Freakonomics podcast serves as the audio field guide for your journey.
In short, Erick was right. I hope this story will inspire you to tune in to Freakonomics Radio on KPR2! It airs at Noon on Sundays. You can listen to KPR2 at 96.1 FM in Lawrence, 97.9 FM in Manhattan, online at kpr.ku.edu, via the KPR app or on HD.