Economic Rockstar: 122: Robin Hanson on The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life


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Published on 01 Jan 2018. Firstly, I’d like to apologise to all listeners to the Economic Rockstar podcast for what seemingly appears to be me turning my back on the podcast and on you. I honestly never had planned for this and I had always intended to work hard and deliver great quality episodes to the best of my abilities with the most amazing, thought-provoking and inspiring economists to you every week. However, personal circumstances changed in my life and this impacted on the podcast. I felt that I couldn’t commit 100% to the time I had allocated to the podcast. In the meantime I’d like to thank all of you who have contacted me on Facebook, Twitter and by email enquiring about the podcast and wishing me well. I truly appreciate it and it was really nice to have my listeners get in touch and show a desire and hunger for more interviews. The realisation kicked in when I struggled to feel the natural enthusiasm that I previously had in the lead up to and during each interview process. I honestly felt that it wasn’t fair to my guests and to you by not being fully present. The last interview that I recorded (prior to this most recent one) was early in 2017 with the distinguished economist and Nobel laureate Professor Vernon Smith and ironically I felt that it was my best interview to date. I decided that I just wanted to know about the person rather than the discipline and I felt that this approach uncovered great insights into Professor Smith’s thinking and role as an economist. And perhaps it’s a coincidence that i’m releasing the first episode in almost a year on the day of Professor Smith’s birthday, January 1st. Happy 91st birthday Vernon. I’ll release my interview with Vernon soon. If you’re a fan of the podcast and would like to show your support in anyway, please check out my Patreon page at where you can sign up for any of the awards for as little as $1 a month or you can simply follow me on the Economic Rockstar Facebook page or on Twitter or simply recommend the show to a friend, especially if they have never had the opportunity to study economics. So to begin again… In this weeks episode of the economic rockstar podcast I speak to Professor Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics at George Mason University. Professor Hanson has been on the podcast on two previous occasions, episodes 73 and 91 and has kindly joined me again for a hat-trick of episodes. We talk about his new book The Elephant In the Brain: Hidden Motives in everyday life, co-authored with Kevin Simler and available to buy in all good bookstores and, of course, online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and more. Check Robin and Kevin’s website to explore the book in finer detail as well as some great content such as interviews, reviews and a Ted talk on the subject. You can download or stream this 122nd episode as well as find all the links mentioned above at

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