In this podcast, we are joined by the Financial Times’ undercover economist and presenter of Radio Four’s More or Less, Tim Harford. Tim tells us about his new book, Adapt, in which he argues that in order to succeed we have to learn how to fail. He sees applications for this approach in fields as diverse as business, warfare and climate change mitigation.
Tim Harford weaves together economic ideas with remarkable personal histories in some unusual locations. The presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less speaks to an audience from a shop window on London’s Regent Street, and turns his attention to heated pants and the business of innovation. He tells the moving story of Mario Capecchi, whose struggle to get funding for his experiments tells us much about where new ideas come from, and how to foster them.
Episode 3. Tim Harford tells the story of Thomas Schelling, an economist who helped America and the Soviet Union to avoid nuclear war.
Tim Harford, author and journalist, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Adapt, Harford’s book on the virtues of failure and the trial and error process. Harford argues that success is more likely when there is experimentation and trial and error followed by adapting, rather than following a top-down, ex ante plan driven by expertise. The conversation looks at the what war can teach us about information, knowledge, and planning, the challenge of admitting mistakes, and the implications of trial and error for our daily lives.