In this episode of Freakonomics Radio, we look at the tension between “slow food” – a return to the past – and the food future. You’ll hear from slow-food champion Alice Waters and uber-modernist Nathan Myhrvold, who advocates bringing more science into the kitchen – including, perhaps, a centrifuge, a pharmaceutical freeze drier and a … food printer?
Also in this episode: we delve into the social mores of Twitter. Is it a two-way street? Do you have to follow someone on Twitter to garner a large following yourself? Or are the mores of digital friendship different from those in real life? We’ll hear about the Twitter give-and-take from sociologist Duncan Watts. Also, Justin Halpern parleyed his hit Twitter feed “Sh*t My Dad Says” into a best-selling book and a TV show; we learn about the one guy he follows. And Steve Levitt weighs in on just how important (or not) Twitter is in his life.
Americans have a famously low savings rate: a Harvard survey found that half of us, if faced with an emergency, couldn’t come up with $2,000 in 30 days. Most people would rather spend than save — and one of our favorite expenditures is playing the lottery. Last year, we spent more than $58 billion on lottery tickets, or roughly $200 per person. As entertainment goes, the lottery is pretty cheap – a dollar and a dream, and all that. But as an investment, it offers a dreadful return, which is why the lottery is sometimes called “a tax on stupid people.”