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But to truly prove the value of a new idea, you have to unleash it to the masses. How do so many ineffective and even dangerous drugs make it to market?That’s what a dream team of social scientists is doing — and we sat in as they drew up their game plan. One reason is that clinical trials are often run on “dream patients” who aren’t representative of a larger population.It’s an easy narrative to swallow — but is it true? All it took was a Dutch postal worker’s uniform, some envelopes stuffed with cash, and a slight sense of the absurd. On the Internet, people say all kinds of things they’d never say aloud — about sex and race, about their true wants and fears.As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has spent years parsing the data.His conclusion: our online searches are the reflection of our true selves. Some people argue that sugar should be regulated, like alcohol and tobacco, on the grounds that it’s addictive and toxic. We hear from a regulatory advocate, an evidence-based skeptic, a former FDA commissioner — and the organizers of Milktoberfest.If we could reboot the planet and create new systems and institutions from scratch, would they be any better than what we’ve blundered our way into through trial and error? You’ll hear from Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, the poverty-fighting superhero Jeff Sachs; and many others.

Is it possible that we secretly enjoy waiting in line? The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in “marriageable” men.Most people don’t enjoy the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. So what if you combine the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?They are the most-trusted profession in America (and with good reason).The bad news: many celiac patients haven’t been diagnosed. He’s one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). In the first episode of a three-part series, we look at the grotesque mistakes produced by centuries of trial-and-error, and ask whether the new era of evidence-based medicine is the solution.And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just about everything. Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet.

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