Freakonomics Radio: The Truth Is Out There … Isn’t It?
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Dates and times for this program: Wednesdays: 8pm on 93.9FM; Saturdays: 6am on 93.9FM and NJPR, 2pm on AM820 and 4pm on 93.9FM; Sundays: 8pm on AM820 and NJPR
Until not so long ago, chicken feet were nothing but waste material. Now they provide enough money to keep chicken producers in the black -- the U.S. exports 300,000 metric tons of these “paws” to China and Hong Kong each year. In the first part of this hour-long episode of Freakonomics Radio, Stephen Dubner looks at this and other examples of weird recycling. We hear the story of MedWish, a Cleveland non-profit that sends unused or outdated hospital equipment -- from gauze and tongue depressors to beds and x-ray machines – to hospitals in poor countries. We also hear Intellectual Ventures founder Nathan Myhrvold describe a new nuclear-power reactor that runs on radioactive waste.
Also in this hour: we look at the strange moments when knowledge is not power. Issues like gun control, nuclear power, vaccinations, and climate change consistently divide the public along ideological lines. Maybe someone just needs to sit down and explain the science better? Or maybe not. Stephen Dubner looks into the puzzle of why learning more only makes people more stubborn. Also, we look into conspiracy theories to see how people form their own version of the truth, even when the data contradict it.