In this special 200th episode of Economics Explored, host Gene Tunny is joined by Tim Hughes to discuss some of the highlights from the last 100 episodes. The episode features clips of Brad DeLong (UC Berkeley) describing how we’ve been slouching towards utopia since 1870, Sir David Hendry (Oxford) on the merits of small modular nuclear reactors, Leonora Risse (RMIT) on the benefits of diversity, and Super Forecaster Warren Hatch on what makes a good forecaster, among others.
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What’s covered in EP200
- [2:24] Brad DeLong on Slouching towards Utopia
- [10:01] Jon Erickson’s vision of an economy “built on maintenance, resilience and cooperation instead of growth, efficiency and competition” – check out his book The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics
- [25:29] Wayne Visser shares his optimism regarding how we’re dealing with environmental challenges – check out his book Thriving: The Breakthrough Movement to Regenerate Nature, Society, and the Economy
- [32:08] Sir David Hendry on the merits of small nuclear reactors
- [38:05] Warren Hatch on what makes a good forecaster
- [43:36] Leonora Risse on the benefits of diversity for decision making
- [52:20] Deb Brown on critical thinking
- [58:05] Andrew May on how he went from Australian cricket performance coach to executive coach to CEOs of ASX 50 companies
Links relevant to the conversation
Episodes from which clips were taken from:
Link to info about Windscale fire mentioned in conversation between Gene and Tim:
Highlights of last 100 incl. Brad DeLong, Sir David Hendry, Leonora Risse, Andrew May – EP200
N.B. This is a lightly edited version of a transcript originally created using the AI application otter.ai. It was then checked over by a human, Tim Hughes from Adept Economics, to see if the otter missed anything in it’s rush to catch fish or star in YouTube videos. It may not be 100 percent accurate, but should be pretty close. If you’d like to quote from it, please check the quoted segment in the recording.
Gene Tunny 00:06
Welcome to the Economics Explored podcast, a frank and fearless exploration of important economic issues. I’m your host Gene Tunny. I’m a professional economist and former Australian Treasury official. The aim of this show is to help you better understand the big economic issues affecting all our lives. We do this by considering the theory evidence and by hearing a wide range of views. I’m delighted that you can join me for this episode, please check out the show notes for relevant information. Now on to the show.
Hello, thanks for tuning in to the show. It’s episode 200. And joining me this episode to chat about some of the highlights of the last 100 episodes is Tim Hughes, Tim, good to have you with me again.
Tim Hughes 00:56
Hey Gene, good to be here. Thanks for inviting me on, and congratulations on your bicentenary.
Gene Tunny 01:01
Yes, yes. Thanks, Tim. Well, you’ve been part of, you know, quite a few episodes over the years, and I thought it’d be good to get you on to get your perspective as the man on the street so…
Tim Hughes 01:16
Isn’t it the guy on the Clapham omnibus, is that right?
Gene Tunny 01:19
Yes. The man on the Clapham omnibus, I think it is. Yes. Exactly.
Tim Hughes 01:23
Looking forward to it.
Gene Tunny 01:25
Right. Well, that’s the reasonable man test. So yes, what’s the reasonable man on the street think?
Tim Hughes 01:33
Well, I’ll try and be as reasonable as I can.
Gene Tunny 01:35
Okay, so what I’m going to do, Tim, is I’ll play some of the clips that I think are the best of Economics Explored over the last 100 episodes. Now. I mean, there’s so much good content. And I mean, they’re great. There’s great material that I haven’t been able to include. But these are ones that I really think are great. But look, I’m grateful for all the people who come on the show. So yeah, let’s get into it, we’ll go over these ones that I think are, you know, really standouts. So okay, so to start with, I’m going to play a clip from the episode we did, so this was episode 163, last year with Brad DeLong.
Brad DeLong 02:24
And that’s the state of the world before 1870. And that means that unless you’re in an extremely lucky place, or like Australia, or an extremely lucky class, that life is going to be kind of brutal, short and without very many options, which means that in most times, in most places, governance is going to be how does an elite figure out how to grab enough for itself and maintain its rule over society. And after 1870, everything changes, technological progress becomes rapid, the technological competence of the human race globally doubles every generation, you quickly get a world in which people are kind of rich enough that infant mortality falls substantially. And with that falling infant mortality, and with the erosion of patriarchy, all of a sudden, you don’t have to concentrate a lot of effort on having children, to be confident that if you reach the age of 50, you’ll still be able to run your own life. And so you’ll we get the demographic transition, now headed toward a stable world population of 9 billion. So for the first time after 1870, technology wins the race with human fertility, you know, and we begin to look forward to a time when humanity will be able to bake a sufficiently large economic pie so that everyone can have enough. And you know, people back in 1870, and before, you know, they thought most of the problems of society came because incomes were low, and technology was underdeveloped. And you had this elite running a kind of domination and exploitation game on everyone. And once you can bake a sufficiently large economic pie for everyone to have enough, those things should fall away. And the problems of properly slicing and tasting the economic pie, right? Of equitably distributing it and then utilising it so that people can feel safe and secure and live lives in which they’re healthy and happy. Yep, those should be relatively straightforward to solve. And so we today, at least we today in the rich countries should be living in a Utopia, which we are manifestly not. And so the story of history after 1870 is how we’re well on the way to solving the problem of baking a sufficiently large economic pie. While the problems of slicing and tasting of utilise, of distributing and utilising it continue to flummox us.
Gene Tunny 04:59
Okay, so I thought that was a really great clip, Tim and I was talking to Brad about his new book, or new last year, Slouching Towards Utopia. And it’s a the economic history of the world, basically. And, yeah, I thought that was a really nice way that he talked about just all the, the economic gains we’ve had since 1870. He sees 1870 as the hinge of history, before that we’re in this sort of subsistence way of living. And then after that, when the industrial revolution really took off, and we got electrification, then we just had these massive increases in living standards. So we’ve solved well with I wouldn’t say solved, but we’re so much wealthier, and the, you know, our production possibilities are so much greater. But we’ve still got, we haven’t got everything, you know, perfectly right, obviously. And there are issues, arguably issues of distribution. And there are also environmental issues, too, that I wanted to talk about. So I thought that was a good one to kick off with, because it reminds us that when we think about the economy, when, as economists we should be thinking not just about the GDP, not just about production, but we should also think about distribution. And we should also think about other impacts, so impacts on environment, etc.
Tim Hughes 06:29
Yeah, it’s actually a really good one to start with, because it sort of sets the scene. I know you’ve grouped together a few clips, that are of the same kind of genre. So this is a good one to lead off. It gives a good sort of snapshot of the, of where we’re at and where we’ve come from in the last 150 years. So it’s the equitable distribution question, I guess, is, is really a big one. And of course, a very, as simple as it should be, or could be, clearly it’s, it’s not simple to execute it, it ends up with a lot of the equity being in the hands of a few and people are struggling in great numbers around the world. So that slicing up at the pie seems to be a big challenge that we haven’t really cracked,
Gene Tunny 07:14
Well, fewer people struggling around the world than previously. So I think one of the great things about the last 30 or 40 years, particularly since the economic reforms in China, as we have seen hundreds of millions of people get out of dire poverty. So that’s great. And that’s a that’s a real win for market economics. So it’s a, you know, a win for free markets. Now, I think what Brad is, he’s really concerned about what’s happening in the States, because in the States, particularly since the 80s, you you’ve seen a lot of the gains, the economic gains, go to the top, go to the top 10%, top 1%, top 0.1%. So that’s one of the things he’s concerned about. Now. You know, there’s a there’s a trade off there, because there’s this trade off between equity and efficiency. The big trade-off as Arthur Okun called it. Whereby, I mean, you don’t, you need some inequality. I mean inequality is unavoidable to an extent and you need some you need rewards for people taking risks and working hard. Otherwise, people will, they won’t, they won’t be working hard or taking risks, and you can end up with the Soviet Union. Right? So we want to have a system of rewards. But then there is a question of, you know, what are the right tax policy settings to make sure that those who can pay more, those who can afford it pay more? There’s some redistribution, there’s a, there’s a big debate to be had about that what those appropriate settings are?
Tim Hughes 08:55
Yeah, yeah, I know, we get into a little bit more detail in certain areas in the next few clips. But it’s a massive conversation, and knowing our ability to go at great depth with these, I’m going to cut myself off there, because I’ve got more to say on that on the next few clips.
Gene Tunny 09:12
Very good. Well, I should play some more clips. I thought that, that one from Brad DeLong is Professor of Economics at University of California Berkeley, so very distinguished American economist, a former senior official in the US Treasury, and in the Clinton administration, so very prominent economist, so I was really glad to have him on the show. Okay, so that’s, that was from Brad DeLong. The next clip I want to play is from Jon Erickson, and he’s an ecological economist. He’s from Vermont, and he’s been an adviser to Bernie Sanders. And he’s got some interesting things to say about, well he’s got his, you know, an interesting perspective on the constraints on economic growth. So I’ll play this now. This is from episode 166.
Jon Erickson 10:01
Well, what would an economy look like that was built on maintenance, resilience and cooperation instead of growth, efficiency and competition, right? A late stage maturing economy like yours in the Australia ours in the US. So that’s what I’m asking, you know, an economy, a mature economy should have different goals than an economy at pioneering stages. So it really is about a reprioritization of our goals, especially on consumption, right? Because there’s ample evidence to show that we in the West are over consumers, and our kind of addiction to consumption is creating psychological problems, social problems, that consumption has been kind of become a cure for social ills, right, like a distraction. I mean, the whole advertising industry is designed around the idea of kind of making you and I feel bad about ourselves, right? To sort of fill the void, with more consumption. And I actually think this is one of the lessons coming out of COVID, right? It’s this sort of people were, especially, you know, high income people who, who could weather the storm, better than most, were forced to slow down, were forced to be at home, were forced to kind of reevaluate life’s priorities, and found out that, you know, this kind of ever burning hamster wheel of economic growth isn’t all that it’s cut out to be. So it’s a reprioritization of goals, which is going to have to reprioritize policy instruments. Daly, Herman Daly, used the analogy of a Plimsoll line, I’m not sure I’m pronouncing that right, of a cargo ship, right. So this is the line that’s painted on a ship, very easy technology. And as the as the cargo ship is loaded, it sinks into the water. And when they get to the line, you’re supposed to stop, right, because you’re in danger in danger of overloading the ship. So if we sort of reprioritize and think about the Plimsoll line of an economy, we can’t just more equally or equitably distribute the cargo of an overloaded ship and expect it to be resilient. We can’t just more efficiently load an overloaded ship, and expect it to weather the storm, as the Plimsoll line goes underwater, right. And there’s ample evidence to say that we are a kind of in an overshoot on a lot of environmental parameters, you’re in danger of sinking the ship, especially in stormy waters. So this analogy implies that as we run up against planetary boundaries, planetary limits to growth, the scale of the economic system is way more important to stress than distribution or efficiency. And if we can’t count on a growing system to solve distribution problems, then we’re going to have to quickly think about the fairness of the distribution of benefits and costs of that system. And then and only then can we get to efficiency, which is the priority of economics. So this means that you know, new policy instruments that that focus on scale, distribution, then efficiency is the way to go. And I talk a lot about this in the last chapter of the book, as I kind of wrestle with the idea of, how did I put it, radical pragmatism, right? Lots of pragmatic things that we can do now, for example, to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, you know, home weatherization, and carbon taxation, and, you know, maintenance of our systems, electrification of transportation, transition to renewable energy. But all of these are really hard to do in an economy that continues to bloat, an economy that continues to grow. So we have to be thinking about the scale of the system and that’s probably the radical part of radical pragmatism, right? What’s it going to take to rein power away from the status quo, that part of the system that’s benefiting from this growth model, and create an economy that works for all?
Gene Tunny 14:25
Okay, so that was Jon Erickson, from University of Vermont. Jon Erickson is the David Blittersdorf, Professor of Sustainability, Science and Policy at the University of Vermont. And we were talking about his new book, The Progress Illusion, and I thought that was a great clip, Tim, to play because it’s a completely different perspective from my perspective. And so I’m all for having, well being open to different perspectives and having that conversation. I think he makes you know, some of the points I agree with in terms of what we’ve got to do, I mean, I think long term, there’s no doubt we’ve got to get off fossil fuels. I agree with that. We’ve got to electrify, I’m not disagreeing with that. I’m probably sceptical of what, to what extent we’re, we’re hitting these planetary boundaries already. To what extent we, we should be trying to, I don’t know, he didn’t use the term degrow. But there is this, you’re aware of this term degrowth, aren’t you? And this is something I’m looking at, at the moment for a paper for Centre of Independent Studies. So I think the whole Ecological Economics field, I think, coming out of that there is this, this concern that we are hitting up against these planetary boundaries, we need a, if not degrowing, if we don’t degrow, we at least have to have a steady state economy. They’re worried that we’re just, you know, this, this ever growing economy, ever growing demands for resources that’s causing us a lot of problems. So it’s an interesting perspective. I mean, I’m, I’m a bit sceptical of it. But I did enjoy that conversation with Jon, he’s, he’s a great guy, and I thought that would be a good clip to play.
Tim Hughes 16:09
Yeah, I really enjoyed this one. I think the whole aspect of sustainable contraction, for instance, which we’ve talked about before, as opposed to sustainable growth, like at some point, there’s only so much that can be done, there are parameters. I mean, I see the planetary parameters being quite clearly defined as we get, as the population gets bigger, 9 billion, 10 billion, up to 11 billion by the end of the century, forecasted population. You know, the oceans aren’t infinite, the atmosphere isn’t infinite, the soils, everything that we pollute, you know, we, there’s a point at which, with so many of us on the planet, that, yeah they’re the parameters, and I think they’re quite well defined, Whether people believe in climate change or not, I think the question should be that, given the, the fact that these aren’t infinite resources, at some point, it’s going to be an issue, even if people don’t think it’s an issue yet. And I think we do have the technology and the know-how, and the the will now to, to make ourselves more efficient. So we have less waste, cleaner energy, you know, look after the planet more. So it sort of fits in with, you know, environmentalists that have been talking about this for years. And I think, I think it’s great that it’s come to the fore in conversations around economic policy, because yes, I mean, for instance, I, I firmly believe that it’s really important, it’s possibly the most important thing that we could do, is to be really good in these areas. So talking about, you know, like, so from going from more and more, which we’ve had this incredible growth, you know, going back to Brad DeLong, from 1870 through to now, it’s all been more, more, more. And, and at some point, the question becomes, well can we do it better, better, better, not just more, more more like, it’s, we’ve got enough, like, we’ve got enough to feed the planet, for instance, we’ve got enough to feed everybody on the on the planet. But we don’t distribute it. You know, it’s the whole way of working out who gets what or how we manage our resources isn’t done well enough to do on a good social scale, or a scale that would work financially, economically. And I think that’s the right way to go about it. You know, he talks about the ever burning hamster wheel of economic growth, you know, and that’s a great, great term, radical pragmatism needed to sort of have a fresh look at how we do things. And I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s really good and clearly contentious and not easy to do. But I think that’s the right direction to point in. And there is momentum going towards us, you know, net zero for 2050 fits in with this kind of thinking. And it has a, you know, a lot of support behind it. And I think it’s good.
Gene Tunny 18:50
Yeah, I think the more, well we might have to have a, an episode on degrowth, specifically, because some of the more radical people who are concerned about these planetary boundaries would be saying that we need to do even more than net zero, right? Because conceivably, we could get to net zero, and still keep growing the economy. And there are people who are optimistic. And then there are others who say, well, though, those techno-optimists, they’re naive. Now, I mean, I’m a great believer in technology. And I think technology is one of the reasons that we have had that strong growth since 1870. Or we’ve had all of these amazing gains in productivity, gains and living standards, because we’ve managed to solve our problems, have managed to, we haven’t run out of resources, we’ve managed to, well we’ve explored with our new resources, we’ve switched to new sources. I mean, we switched from whale oil to, to oil to from originally from Pennsylvania and then from the Middle East and all other places. So we’ve managed to, to, you know, to actually to innovate to avoid those constraints. And we’ve historically we’ve been able to do that. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that we, you know, we’re always going to be able to do that. But so far, we’ve had an incredible run at it. Really? So we haven’t really hit those constraints we’ve managed to grow so far.
Tim Hughes 20:22
Well, as far as planetary constraints, I mean, I see that as a resources thing and space, air, water, you know, soil, those kinds of things. That’s what I was, was, yeah, I was reading into that.
Gene Tunny 20:34
And we’re trying to manage those, certainly, in Australia, I guess the problem is in, in other countries and in emerging economies, and you had that great chat with Guillaume Pitron didn’t you…
Tim Hughes 20:44
Yeah, I was thinking of that, too. And it is that thing about, and that’s part of managing our expectations, because the more, more, more in economic growth can be directly transferred over to us as humans materialistically wanting more, more and more, and so our driving, desire for these things, you know, for possessions, is part of that whole story. And so part of managing the planet’s resources better, I think, would also be a question of maybe managing our expectations better as well, you know, like, if we can, I don’t know, become more content with less, you know, which is is often referenced around the world where people seem to be extremely happy with very little because they they engage in, they have strong communities, they don’t necessarily necessarily have a lot of wealth or material goods. But they engage with the things that as humans, we, we need the most, which is social connection. And, you know, that contact, which is lacking more and more, there’s more loneliness in the Western world. And, you know, people unhappy, they have more, but they’re, they’re less happy. So it’s this thing of like, okay, well, maybe we need to look at that, as well as part of this whole conversation about our expectations and who we are as people and what we need as people.
Gene Tunny 22:02
Yeah, well, there’s that concept of the hedonic treadmill. Yeah, so I might put a link in the show notes to that, because you’re right, I mean, you can, at our standard of living, additional increases in standard of living aren’t necessarily going to make us happier, right? I mean, we can, we could be happier on much lower incomes than we do have in Australia. Well, this is what the…
Tim Hughes 22:25
Haha I know I’m kidding, we all we’re all sort of influenced by this, and I…
Gene Tunny 22:28
Or an average or a lower average, lower average income, I suppose. Because part of the problem, I guess, is the yeah, there’s the Keeping Up with the Joneses. And there are a lot of expectations on us.
Tim Hughes 22:40
Well, again, I know, this comes up in one of the other clips, you know, with, in the realms of free market, and you know, the ability for entrepreneurs to do their thing, to be supported or not, etc. And so, with those freedoms come risk, you know, and that’s part of the game if you like, but with most of the western countries, there were social systems that are good enough to help people who are struggling, and you know, that’s, that’s so important to have that, of course, and it gets into the realms of UBI, universal basic income, where that may form part of a fairer society. But you know, it’s, I think, again, it’s, it’s good to point in that direction to see where we might be able to manage, I, you’re the policy guy, I don’t know much about it, until I see it and see what it does as a man on the street, the guy on the street. But clearly, there seems to be a lot of wealth in a few hands and not so much in others. So if it can all be managed better, to be better, equitable distribution, then I’d like to see what that looks like.
Gene Tunny 23:45
Well this is what a lot of the political debates are about. I mean, yeah, again, it’s that trade off, right. I mean, equity and efficiency. I mean, if you have too high tax rates, and you know, you’re not encouraging entrepreneurship. You’re not encouraging people to work hard. But then again, I mean, if if you don’t have some form of progressive taxation, then you can end up with high inequality. And, you know, arguably, what you’re seeing in the US at the moment. You’ve got the, yeah this huge gap between the wealthy and the US and, you know, the middle class, the former middle class. I mean, it’s there’s still a middle class, but it’s not as large as it was back in the, in that post war era. The first 30 years after the war, so yeah, there’s there’s big issues there. Tim, I’d better move on to the next clip, I guess, because I want to play a clip from someone who’s super optimistic. So a South African Professor, I think he was South African, Wayne Visser and he’s, he’s got some role at Cambridge. I’ll put a link in the show notes. And he’s also he’s a Cambridge pracadamic. That’s right. Remember, we were chatting about that? Yes. Actually, he’s not South African. He was born in Zimbabwe. Okay, very good. Well, Wayne, he wrote a book, Thriving, and I interviewed him last year. And that was episode 130. So we’ll hear from Wayne. And he’s got a really optimistic perspective on just how technology is going to help us get out, or get us out of a lot of these environmental challenges.
Wayne Visser 25:29
Eu Green Deal, it’s effectively the Europe strategy on climate change, very, very comprehensive and very ambitious. And it touches everything. It’s got a Farm to Fork area, which touches agriculture, it’s got a mobility area, all around electrification of mobility, it’s got a circular economy element, it’s got a finance element. So yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a very, very strong policy and it’s being, in some ways, you know, America is, is trying to copy that with the new Green Deal. So, so yes, policy helps with the coherence piece. And then you’ve got creativity, which we’ve talked about a little already. So for things to change for all living systems to change, they need innovation, and that happens through diversity. Again, something we’re working very hard on, but we, we are living in an age of innovation, no doubt about it. And many of our most difficult problems, we are seeing some amazing solutions coming. If we just pick on one, for example, we know electric cars, I’ll leave that alone, but just remember that that is changing much faster than people think. I mean, Norway is banning fossil fuel cars by 2025. That’s just around the corner. And most other countries, you know, UK, it’s 2030. So within 10 years, it’ll really be something to watch. But take food, for example. There’s a whole movement of course around going more plant based, that makes sense from a health perspective, because 20% of mortality can be reduced, just by going more plant based, but also from a climate perspective, and a biodiversity perspective, and of course, animal welfare perspective. But here we see innovation, you know, you’ve seen the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger, you know, these are really engineered to look and taste, you know, like the real thing I know that may be a hard sell in in Australia but uh, on blind tests, actually, they they’ve done extremely well. Not only that, but we’ve got cultured meat coming. You know, this is grown in labs, meat essentially grown fermented, grown in vats, like you do for insulin. And this is this is going to completely change everything because again, you don’t have the the input of land and water. You have much lower energy input and you’re not killing anything. So you’re literally just taking cells, live cells from a cow, for example. And you’re creating that is already in Singapore, you can already go to a restaurant that sells cultured chicken. So this is innovation happening very fast, massive amount of investment going into this.
Gene Tunny 28:27
Okay, so that was Dr. Wayne Visser, Professor of Integrated Value and holder of the Chair and Sustainable Transformation at Antwerp Management School. So he wrote a book, Thriving, I was really grateful to have him on the show last year. Tim I thought that was a really good, well, there was some great observations about technological change. And I mean, he had lots of other good examples in his book, I’d highly recommend it. He’s someone who is incredibly optimistic. So I was really glad to talk to him last year. Do you have any reflections on what Wayne said in that clip?
Tim Hughes 28:59
Yeah, I thought it was really good. I’m going to quote from him, he said, “for all living things or systems to change, they need innovation and that happens through diversity.” And it’s great seeing that highlighted as something that is perfectly natural in our world. Like it’s funny diversity is often seen as something that we have to accommodate or get used to and, and bring in, and it’s like, it’s been there all the time. It’s, it’s a perfectly normal part of how we’ve evolved, of how everything’s evolved. And, and the importance of diversity, the role that diversity plays in so many different things. And again, I know this is going to come up with a couple of other clips. But it just shows I mean, and to have, to have it mentioned in this regard, it’s like yeah, great, that that makes so much sense. And also you can see how those things are coming together with technology that fits in with the economic efficiency, if you like or the way of making sure that we can do something better instead of just more and more well, how can we do it differently? You know, what would be a different way of doing this and, and those plant-based meats or meat alternatives are good examples of how we can do something where it’s better for animal welfare, it’s better for human health, it’s better for the environment, there’s a lot of wins with that direction in that area.
Gene Tunny 30:15
Well, I think the cultured meat or the meat grown in a lab that’s effective, it’s effectively the same thing. It’s like the real thing. But you don’t have the you don’t have to raise the livestock and you don’t have the all of the ethical and animal welfare issues associated with with livestock. So I think that’d be terrific. If we could do that on scale.
Tim Hughes 30:36
Yeah, I think there are still a couple of ethical issues around that. But then ethically, you know, as long as it’s safe, and all these different things, as long as it can, you know, tick that ethical box. It’s ethically better than, you know, the the amount of meat that’s going through the current system with the abbatoirs and everything. I eat meat, you know, so like, you know, I wouldn’t, I’m not wanting to be a hypocrite about this and I think meat is important as a choice. But I would like to see, raised ethically, killed ethically, you know, as much as possible. And to have less, you know, I’d be I’d happily eat less meat, with these kinds of alternatives available to, you know, sustain us with our protein intake, for instance.
Gene Tunny 31:18
Yeah, yeah. Very good. Well, I thought that was great from Wayne now, just on this whole theme of economy and equity and environment. Then this theme, I thought I’d play a clip from our recent conversation with Sir David Hendry. So professor at Oxford, he’s an absolute legend in econometrics. And we will, I was really glad to have him on the show. And he made some really interesting observations on the potential role of nuclear energy. So that that surprised me in that conversation. And it’s good that we’re glad that we got onto that subject. So I’ll just play this clip from Sir David Hendry.
We don’t have nuclear energy here, and the opposition party is trying to push it. But then I think there’s going to be a lot of community resistance to that here in Australia.
David Hendry 32:08
Yeah, I can believe that. But do people understand small nuclear reactors? That’s the only ones we’re arguing for, not the big ones, the small ones. In Britain, lots of big ones. And they’ve produced a lot of transuranic waste, that’s going to be a huge problem for humanity. Now, there are two advantages to small nuclear reactors. One, they can use that transuranic waste as their fuel, and greatly reduce the amount of radioactivity that needs to be dealt with from it. And secondly, they’ve been used in nuclear submarines for 50 years, and there’s never been an accident. So they’re very safe, and they don’t have any fissionable material that terrorists might want for bombs. I mean, the stuff they’re using is useless. Other than burning up the waste that’s a problem anyway. If the public knew that these are harmless, that they’re getting rid of a problem, you don’t have nuclear reactors so it’s less of an argument there. But in Britain, people would jump at the chance to cut the amount of nuclear waste that needs to be disposed of burying it, or putting it in deep caves, etc. And these guys can do it.
Gene Tunny 33:23
Right yeah. These are the small modular reactors are they?
David Hendry 33:26
Yes. they are indeed,
Gene Tunny 33:23
Yeah, I think that’s what Peter Dutton, who’s the Opposition Leader here, what he’s talking about.
David Hendry 33:33
Good for him. I think they are actually an important component, but only one possible component, of an electricity provision that would give more energy security and, and be something that can work in almost all circumstances.
Gene Tunny 33:50
Okay, that was Sir David Hendry on nuclear energy. Tim, I mean, we’ve chatted about this conversation with Sir David before, haven’t we? And we both thought, yeah, good stuff.
Tim Hughes 34:00
Yeah it was great and this was something for instance, that I hadn’t heard of before, the SMRs, small modular reactors. And it’s funny that I like it made me very much aware of my own prejudice towards something nuclear, towards being a viable power source because it gets such a bad rap, understandably, from you know, Chernobyl and Windscale and different things around the world where the consequences are catastrophic. And the amount of waste, nuclear waste that has to be buried, like is dangerous for 1000s of years, whatever it like, it’s not great. So the clean, the push for clean energy, seems to be something that would be without anything nuclear. However, it was, it was good because that my first response was like, that doesn’t sound great. But listening to these SMRs, or small modular reactors, and what their capabilities are and what the consequences are. You know, here we are in 2023. There’s a net zero target for 2050. There’s a transition period there of 27 years and in that transitional period, you know, something like SMRs could well be part of that picture to be able to get us through that time or may be part of the future for longer. But I think it helps in opening up the conversation about what these, this range of possibilities might look like. It does not, it seems to be clear, there’s not one thing that’s going to be our main power source. It may be but there’s certainly going to be several. And so if this forms part of that transition, or part of the solution, to be able to get us to net zero, then I think it’s really important to have the right conversations around it.
Gene Tunny 35:36
Absolutely. You mentioned Windscale, so I was I wasn’t aware of that. So there was a fire on 10, October 1957. The worst nuclear accident in the UK’s history. So yeah, I’ll put a link in the show notes to that, I wasn’t aware of that.
Tim Hughes 35:50
Up around the Lake District if I remember correctly around Cumbria? If it’s still called Cumbria, I’m not sure. It is that thing of like, you know, the consequences and concerns or, you know, naturally like, you know, people don’t want to be living near a nuclear reactor. And if they’re big ones, well, the, the spread or the the possible influence of, you know, geographically, the disaster zone is quite big. Right. So, these SMRs, it was interesting. That was something new. And, and hearing the rest of the talk with Sir David, it was like, well, this is coming from a guy who is looking towards net zero, you know, incredibly smart guy and this is the kind of thing that you know my ears really prick up when I see or hear people talking about these things. It’s like, ok, well, this, this is worth, you know, really considering or learning more about.
Gene Tunny 36:46
Okay, we’ll take a short break here for a word from our sponsor.
Female speaker 36:52
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Gene Tunny 37:21
Now back to the show.
We might leave that theme now and move on to the next theme of of great clips from the last 100 episodes, which has to do with decision-making, forecasting and critical thinking. So the first clip I’ll play is from our conversation early this year, Tim with Warren Hatch, CEO of Good Judgement in New York City. So Warren’s been involved in the whole superforecasting project with Philip Tetlock. So I’m going to play a clip from Warren on what makes good forecasters.
How do you get on this superforecasting panel? Who’s a super forecaster? What are their characteristics?
Warren Hatch 38:05
That’s a great question. And that’s something, and something to keep in mind, too, is that in the research project, that wasn’t part of the research plan at all. They just observed that in the first year, there were some people who were consistently better than everybody else. And being researchers that caused a new research question, what would happen, they asked themselves, if we put them on small teams? Would they get better or would they revert to the mean? And they did not know at all, a lot of people thought there’d be a mean reversion, turns out, no, they continue to get even better. And so we still do the same process now with our public site, where we’ll just take within the top 1% of the forecasting population there, and other platforms too invite them to come and join the professionals. And they have certain things in common. For sure, they gave us a lot of psychometric tests, hours of them before we got to do the fun stuff, you know, when forecast on elections in Nigeria and the like, and then to see what kinds of characteristics correlated with subsequent accuracy. And there’s certain things that really pop out. One has been really good at pattern recognition, right? So you can think of, you know, you’ve got a mosaic about the future that you’re trying to fill in and see what’s coming faster than anybody else and fill in those tiles. And being good at that is a fundamental characteristic of a good forecaster. Another is being what they call cognitively reflective. And basically that means that if you’re confronted with a new situation, you don’t automatically go to what first pops into your head because what first pops into your head might not be right, you might be overfilling the mosaic too quickly and getting the wrong picture. So you want to slow down and in Kahneman terms, let system two be your friend. You know, it’s hard work, but that’s the way you get a better a better result. So those are two very fundamental characteristics that good forecasters have.
Gene Tunny 40:03
Okay, so that was Warren Hatch from Good Judgement. Tim, that was another great interview subject that you lined up along with Sir David Hendry. So well done on getting Warren onto the show. Yeah, I thought that was terrific. Everything he was saying there about the importance of pattern recognition and being cognitively, cognitively reflective. So any thoughts, any reactions?
Tim Hughes 40:28
Yeah, I loved this episode, I got so much from it. We’ll have a round two I’m sure, at some point soon. It was really interesting. And like, it fits in with a lot of the, well, conversations that we’ve had. I mean, for instance, you know, I try and bear those things in mind, you know, if, for my own decision-making, etc. So, so for instance, cognitive being cognitive, cognitive. I’ll start that one again. Gene.
Gene Tunny 40:56
Is that because I struggled with it?
Tim Hughes 40:59
No I’m just trying to make you look good! Being cognitively reflective, is what I, for instance, did with the SMRs that David Henry mentioned. So my first response was nuclear, nuclear, whatever, that doesn’t sound good. But keep listening, keep, keep the mind open as to what that might look like, you know, so there’s good lessons, there’s so much good stuff in that episode, with Warren Hatch, and everything he was doing and talking about. They’re all things that we can all do as humans in our everyday life. So you don’t have to be a super forecaster to benefit from those same practices. You can make better decisions for yourself, for your family, for your colleagues. It’s a good way to approach you know, the way our thought processes are. And yeah, I got a lot from it. I thought it was great. He didn’t actually mention in that clip. But in the episode, he did explain how important the diversity was in getting a group of super forecasters together. Yeah, that’s like six to 12 people and the importance of them not just coming from the same area. The reason that why they outperformed the CIA in a test was because the CIA are all white 50 year old males from the West Coast of America or from a very similar sort of background.
Gene Tunny 42:15
Yeah, East Coast. The old they used to talk about the wasps in the States, you know, from the East Coast, often from the ivy Ivy League schools, so they all went to prep schools, like you know, Phillips Exeter, or whatever.
Tim Hughes 42:31
So the lack of diversity in that regard, held them back as far as like having a better overview or being able to make a better forecast or decision on something. So again, it just showed it was another reason that diversity is such an important part of our build up as humans and you know, to be better as humans make better decisions. And in this case, better forecasts.
Gene Tunny 42:54
Excellent. So just on diversity you because that’s come up twice now, hasn’t it? I’ve got a clip on diversity from Leonora Risse is at RMIT. Leonora is as a former Queenslander. But she’s been doing great work down in Melbourne, she’s involved with the women’s, Women in Economics network, she’s really grown that. And yeah we had a conversation on women in economics in Australia. And we got into this issue of diversity. So Leonora is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. So I’ll play this clip from Leonora now.
Leonora Risse 43:36
The issue of diversity, at first glance, it’s about broadening topics, broadening ideas, and broadening the range of issues that are being considered. And then that is really a guard against the risks and the downfalls of what we might call groupthink. If people think the same, you are, by virtue, narrowing your spectrum of potential ideas and potential topics, and then by an extension of that is also the process. So think economics, really an analysis, you know, from identification of the problem, to analysis of the problem to a solution to the problem is a process of interrogation and asking the right questions and deciding on methodologies. It’s all a set of decisions. And what you find in this research is that, that process, you can shortcut it if you all think the same, and you probably just have a standard way of doing things and are less likely to interrogate, you know, are we taking the right decision here? Is there an alternative? Is there a perspective, we just haven’t thought about? Where can we road test this? And if you had that diversity within your pool of minds and brains working on this, you are more likely to engage in those process of interrogation. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s easy this, there’s a quote in the paper to where I found this amazing quote by Justice, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And she talks about dissent, you know, having a different differing opinion. And when they’re, when dissent occurs amongst judges or lawyers, you know, weighing up the evidence, it necessitates a deeper and more robust and more thorough interrogation of the evidence, it forces you to come up with a more convincing argument or to question any assumptions that you may have jumped to. And I love that quote from from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, because I think it has such applicability to economics, where we are, we are weighing up the evidence where we’re making decisions as to what you know, how do we act on this evidence? What gets more weight? What, what do we choose to? You know, what do we judge is good quality or inferior quality? All those all those points of decision making along the way, I think are all ultimately a value based or a subjective choice that we’re making as objectively as possible. But there’s always scope to think, Oh, there’s another way of doing this. So I think the advantage of having diversity of thinking is that it presses for a more robust process. If anyone’s doubtful, then I would, I would say, well, think about the topics that you study, or the the areas of interest that you have, it’s probably been influenced by something throughout your life. So it’s about being shaped by your life experience, which isn’t specifically about gender. It’s just about, you know, those gender, we have gender patterns in our life experiences. And so ultimately, you know, how we operate is a subjective dynamic, because it’s, it’s a function of our view of the world and the bundle of experiences that we carry around with us.
Gene Tunny 47:00
Okay, that was Leonora Risse from RMIT. Tim, what did you think of what Leonora had to say?
Tim Hughes 47:06
I thought it was terrific. It’s right up my street. First of all, Gene, I want to pull you up. You said that Leonora was a former Queenslander and I don’t think there’s such a thing as a former Queenslander…
Gene Tunny 47:18
Aah very good point! That’s a good point yeah exactly. I mean, she’s not living in Queensland anymore, but she went to University of Queensland,
Tim Hughes 47:22
you know what I’m saying?
Gene Tunny 47:24
You’re right. That was poor form on my part.
Tim Hughes 47:28
Ok sorry I just had to point that one out. This was great. And, again, yeah, so diversity of thinking leads to developing robust processes. And it’s so good. There’s so much in there, and it fits in, it dovetails in with so many of the other clips that we’ve just talked about. And it makes sense, you know, the thing that I love about this stuff for me anyway is, like it completely makes sense that accepting of diversity, that necessity for diversity, it’s better. It shows how important it is to stand up for what you think’s right, and to explain why. So that thing of dissent, to push back against groupthink, and all the banal commentary that might come through accepted norms that aren’t good enough, all these kinds of things. And I had to say she didn’t actually mention the quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I checked it out. And I’m going to read it out here because I thought it was so good. So Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “dissents speak to a future age, it’s not simply to say, my colleagues are wrong, and I would do it this way. But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually, over time, their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenters hope that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” And that’s the thing you know, it needs people to stand up, it needs people to speak their mind, it’s important to listen to hear and you know, not everything is going to be good, not everything is going to make it but you know, by, again, not going with our first what was it? Count? What was that one?
Gene Tunny 49:08
we want to be cognitively reflective…
Tim Hughes 49:11
That’s the one Gene! That’s the one, we want to be cognitively reflective, so not just go with our first opinion, our knee jerk reaction, but to let it settle, give it more thought. And to be okay, listening from places that you wouldn’t normally listen to, I think is a big part of that is so if you find you vote for the red team, listen to what the blue team has to say, in the best possible way and vice versa. And from different news channels, different areas, different people, let it sink in, because it’s quite possible that you can hear something that will land from anywhere. And it doesn’t mean you will agree with everything from that place or person but there’ll be parts of it that maybe should be heard.
Gene Tunny 49:50
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. Tim, try to genuinely see where the other person’s coming from what their their point of view is. That’s the advice Dale Carnegie, I think it’s it’s been well tested through history that that’s, that’s a good thing to do. So absolutely.
Tim Hughes 50:08
And another thing is to consider, you know, what part you might be playing in groupthink? You know, like, because we’re all influenced by this stuff, whether we’re conscious of it or not. And you could find yourself following or repeating stuff that is just within the group of people you’re with, or political preference, or whatever it is. So be mindful of what you repeat, you know, just blindly I guess that’s, that’s one of the things I get from that.
Gene Tunny 50:32
Yeah. So I mean, I would say that there was a lot of that during the pandemic. So, yeah…
Tim Hughes 50:38
Which is good. So on reflection, this is where, with those, especially when things are heightened in the moment, you know, I guess is how this works. On reflection, we can look back and maybe do a better dissection, you know, with the benefit of hindsight and all of that. But so for instance, with the pandemic as an example, well, the chances are that something like that could well happen again, there’s no reason why it couldn’t happen tomorrow, you know, so, what would we do then? You know, with that benefit of having gone through that, and what would be a better decisions or better decision to make?
Gene Tunny 51:08
Yeah. Okay, Tim, well, I think we’ve got time for one more clip, in this session, I’ve still got the four or five other clips to play, but I might save them for a bonus episode, or for another episode, if we ever catch up. We’ll just play one more clip that’s on this whole theme of critical thinking and, and being cognitively reflective. And it’s from Professor Deb Brown from University of Queensland, who’s in the she’s a philosopher, isn’t she in the philosophy department? And that was someone who, John Atkins, so your friend John Atkins put us on to because she’s been running a project on critical thinking, and was it in the media, evaluating media? Critically, she talks about her Critical Thinking project, yes…
Tim Hughes 51:57
That’s right, with schools, I believe. And yeah, yeah, it was, it looked really good.
Gene Tunny 52:01
So she’s a Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, and we spoke to her early last year. So I’ll play this clip from Professor Deb Brown, Episode 123.
Deb Brown 52:20
And, you know, what we do fundamentally is distinguish between critical thinking, which entails being able to evaluate the quality of one’s own thinking. And so it’s essentially metacognitive. It’s, you know, it’s about, you know, What reasons do I have to believe that, you know, does this evidence stack up, you know, what’s the what’s the contradicting evidence, you know, sort of being disposed to look for not just evidence or reasons that support what you already believe, but actually looking for disconfirming evidence, right, you know, doing doing due diligence in the foundations for what one believes. And we distinguish that from other forms of thinking that that don’t concern that kind of the kind of quality of the foundations for one’s beliefs. So these might be things like, you know, free association, or associative thinking. And that’s very common. And often people mistake that for critical thinking. So, associative thinking is where you’re essentially looking, you know, you’re selecting for information that supports what you already believe. And what you find, then naturally coheres with what you believe, so we all sort of move around the world with these mental models, and the associative thinker, will be looking for things that fit with their mental model. And in you know, in science and in, you know, in other disciplines, this is, this often is connected with what’s called the confirmation bias, right? So that sort of, you know, preferencing, confirming evidence over disconfirming evidence and so on. And it also passes, it also, critical thing is also distinguished from what we call careful thinking, which is where somebody might be, you know, applying rules or procedures, think about, you know, a student in the class, you know, applying their procedural knowledge of mathematics, let’s say to, you know, to derive an answer or value on the basis of the arguments they have, you know, and that careful thinking, people often think they’re being critical thinking when they’re doing that as well. But what’s distinctive of critical thinking, is that critical attitude that one’s, one takes to one’s own reasons, and also to the principles or methods one’s relying on in drawing inferences on the basis of what one understands. So critical reasoning is very much connected up with what Descartes would have called the method of doubt right? Subjecting what one believes, you know, to doubt and, you know, in order to establish a better foundation for, for one’s belief and really being careful about the foundations for one’s belief.
Gene Tunny 55:08
Okay, that was Professor Deb Brown from the University of Queensland, Tim, I thought that was a great clip, I love the idea of thinking about how you’re thinking or metacognition, she really nailed what critical thinking is, and it’s not what you might think it is necessarily. I mean, you might think you’re doing critical thinking, but if you’re just applying a method that you’ve always applied or an algorithm, that’s not necessarily critical thinking, you’ve got to think about, okay, why am I doing that? Is that the right paradigm, the right framework? Is that does that really make sense? What are the implicit assumptions, I think that’s good for economists to do because when we analyse problems, we often go into analysing problems with a specific model in mind.
Tim Hughes 55:53
Again, this was such a good one with, with Deb, and everything she talked about, I found fascinating, because that whole area of like, for instance, to have critical thinking project, delivered in schools makes so much sense. Everybody could benefit from this, but the sooner the better, you know, like, you know, to get these things in as part of your DNA as part of your thought processes. And I think that’s a big part I get from a lot of the guys we’ve just listened to, it’s about the process, you know, what’s your process in, you know, discerning whether something is true or not, or what a good direction is to go in, and what’s a good process. And that’s what these guys talk about. Well, here’s a process that you can use, that’s tried and tested. It can be improved upon no doubt. But it’s, here’s something to go by, because there’s so much bad dialogue in the public forum, where it’s just people shouting at each other or opposing views where, quite realistically, they could probably agree on something that the other person is doing, but because of the party lines, they they have to be opposing and this is quite tedious, you know, to sort of watch, and it’s certainly not a way to come to a good decision. There are better ways out there. And we can employ these individually. And again, like within, you know, for yourself, within families within businesses, you know, with colleagues, here are good processes that are worthwhile going with because they’re better for us as humans, and the better, you come to better outcomes.
Gene Tunny 57:20
Yeah, exactly. Okay, Tim, we might have to wrap up. I’m gonna put links to all of the episodes that all of these clips are from in the show notes. I’ve still got a handful of clips left, but I think we’ll leave that for a bonus episode. There are some others on some other great conversations, but so many great conversations over the last couple of years. aah Tim okay. Yeah, Tim, you did want me to play one clip.
Tim Hughes 57:50
Now you chose this clip, you chose this clip…
Gene Tunny 57:53
I chose this clip that’s right, it’s a good one to finish up on, a good one for your ego so…
Tim Hughes 57:59
No, no, no you chose you chose the clip, it wasn’t about that. It’s about what is said not…
Gene Tunny 58:05
So this is our conversation with Andrew May the Australian Performance Coach, the coach to CEOs on the importance of fitness and business and when, it was funny when he because he hadn’t seen you in years had he Tim? No. And so I mentioned to Andrew about his book Match Fit. And then Andrew makes an observation about speaking of being match fit. So and we’ll just I’ll just play this clip.
How do you go from being a performance coach of the Australian cricket team? If I’m getting that right to coaching CEOs? Can you tell us a bit about that story, please, Andrew?
Andrew May 58:43
Yeah absolutely but before I do, if you want to know about being match fit, look at the guy sitting on your left. I first met Tim 20 years ago, he still looks the same, full head of hair, I’m very envious, so it’s great to reconnect with Tim.
Tim Hughes 58:55
Smoke and mirrors.
Andrew May 58:57
Ok so how did I end up coaching executives and doing mental skills for elite athletes around the world? There was no definitive plan Gene, and a lot of your listeners are going, “What do you mean you didn’t have a 20 year plan?” No. I was a good athlete, not great. I mean I won multiple state championships but never won at the national level, had a scholarship at the IIS in Tasmania. And we moved down to Hobart, which was wonderful in my early 20s. And I just finished studying exercise science. I had a physiology base and then went to the Institute of Sport. And it was a great learning in that high pressure environment. And when I look back, I got to the level I believed I could get to and I believe coaches should coach what they’re good at or what they’ve stuffed up and if you can combine the two you’ve got a really interesting mix. I left talent on the track literally, that any athlete any executive I work with, my real fuel is to help them fulfil their potential. So back to in Hobart, as a runner in Australia you don’t get paid a lot of money. Unless you’re a Craig Mottram or perhaps a Sally Pearson, so I had to supplement my income back then. It’s not politically correct, but I used to walk fat blokes. It’s now called personal training. So the clients I had, that’s Timmy when I met you, when I moved back to Sydney, after I finished down in Tasmania. And Gene a lot of the clients, I were training, they would lose 10 or 15 kilos. And then they’d say, Do you realise I’m not as cranky with my wife or my husband on the weekend, and the kids are not saying I’m an A hole, and I’m actually conscious at their school sport. And I’m not just thinking about what’s going on here. And I’m making better decisions, and I’m more creative. And we’ve opened up this other offshoot in Asia, what have you done to me? And I said I don’t know, just keep walking, don’t drink as much alcohol and keep swimming in the ocean. So I then really started to look into oooh, there’s a link between well-being, physical and psychological well-being and executive performance that was 20 plus years ago.
Gene Tunny 1:01:01
Okay, so wise words from Andrew May there, Tim.
Tim Hughes 1:01:05
Oh, yeah. And, and so just want to reiterate, he was very kind with his comment about me at the beginning. And that’s not the reason that I wanted you to play it. It was very kind, but I just wanted to, because this is the space I’ve been working in myself for the last 17 years and so it’s close to my heart. I’ve known Maysie for many years, even though we’ve been out of touch for quite a few. So it was really good to reconnect. But I just wanted to point out like, I mean, this is one of the areas I think of improvement that we all have at our disposal, which is often overlooked, you know, and that goes back to the pandemic, and all these kinds of things, you know, what can we do next time? Well, next time, the first thing we can do is to get healthier. Now, the healthier the population is, the less devastating anything, any kind of pandemic will be. So that’s like, that’s the first thing I would say. But the link between physical and psychological well-being and executive performance that Andrew was talking about, it’s so true, like we perform better all of us, you don’t have to be an executive or CEO. We’re better when we eat better, and when we move better, and it just makes so much sense. And as far as resilience goes, like with Andrew’s story himself. So he, by his own admission, was a good athlete, but didn’t reach the heights that he he hoped to. But in doing that, like he was able to become a world class coach with what he’s done since then. So he’s, he used that, which some may see that as a failure, ah you didn’t get what you set out to do, you failed. Not at all, like he was able to, it’s a very stoic sort of approach or sort of road he’s taken to say, Okay, well, that didn’t work. Let’s see, why it didn’t work? Or how could it, how could I help that work for someone else, which is what he’s done. And so the research is done on physical and psychological well being helps him, or has put him where he is now as this world class coach. And so for all those reasons, I wanted that to be included. Because I just see that as such a good thing for us all to learn from like we could all the, things he talks about, obviously, there’s there’s detail in there that we don’t have time to go into. But it comes back to the simple things of like, if you can eat well move well sleep well and connect with others, you’re going to tick a lot of boxes that as humans, when we’re going back to one of the earlier conversations about the economy, and in our equitable distribution, all these kinds of things well, just being healthier is, is one of the easiest and at reach, things that we can do. And it’s often overlooked, because we’ve got shiny things, material things that are further away. And these things I think, help us become better humans. And so along with that, the thought processes as well. It’s all part of how we can be better. You know at being, being human.
Gene Tunny 1:03:49
Yeah, just responding to that Tim, the point you make about connection is really an important point. And this is one of the things I really love about podcasting right? And it’s the ability to connect, I mean, like just us having a conversation helps us connect, right? I mean, I’m learning your perspectives. The guests we have on, people I’d never would have connected with otherwise, someone like Andrew May for instance. And you know, being able to get you know, really eminent economists such as David Hendry or Brad DeLong on the show that’s just amazing and then I’ve got listeners who’ll reach out to me with you know what they think and then you know, some of them I’ll, I’ll have on the show even so it’s just amazing for that connection. So that’s one thing I’d say that’s one reason I’m really glad I started podcasting. So that’s connection. The other point I’d make is that yep, since yeah listening to Maysie and also other stuff I’ve been reading, I read his book Match Fit. I read that other great book by Kelly Starrer, Built To Move, Kelly Starrett. Yeah, that’s right, that’s great. And, and since then, I’ve been trying to not just get out of like going to the gym or going for a walk or, or doing some exercise. It’s so easy to go. I’ve just got so much on. I’ve got so many projects on, I can’t find the time. But the attitude you’ve got to have and I think I got this from Laura Vanderkam who in her book, Tranquillity by Tuesday, I think it was, I think it was from her. If it’s not, whatever mentioned is, her book’s worth reading, is a great book regarding how you manage your time. But the attitude you’ve got to have is that working out or exercising, it doesn’t take time it gives you time. I think that’s so true. Because you’re so much more productive, like maybe you lose an hour or an hour and a half even. But when you go back to work, when you go back to the office, you’re really focused, because you could just have an hour a couple hours at work. Like imagine if you don’t take that time, your last few hours at work, you could just be unproductive. You could be demotivated, you could just be checking out what’s happening on on the news? What’s, you know, what’s on YouTube? You know, it could be? It could be, you could just be distracted?
Tim Hughes 1:06:01
Absolutely. And there’s so much good information out there. The big one is prioritising you know, in your diary in your day, to make sure you have time to do this, because most people would say they don’t have time. Well you do, it’s just not a priority, and it needs to be a priority. Or if it is a priority, you’d be better off for it.
Gene Tunny 1:06:19
Yeah. And I mean, I guess maybe it’s easier for me, because I do work for myself. But I guess if you if you’re an employee, then I guess Yeah, go on your lunchtime, or, you know, maybe have a chat with your manager or your boss and say, This really helps me out get makes me more productive. And I’ll stay a bit longer than than I would otherwise. I mean, there are sort of, you know, I think there are ways you can find that time to, to train.
Tim Hughes 1:06:44
Well people like Andrew May are at the leading edge of how this might work in with, with companies. In fact, we’ve got a round two that we have to do with Andrew, we spoke about executive performance for CEOs. Andrew doesn’t know about it yet. But I’m going to email him this week to talk about the impact, of course, on the workforce, you know, which is like everybody else, but it’s a fascinating area, because, you know, quite often, especially with these podcasts, and first of all Gene, congratulations on 200. It’s a huge achievement.
Gene Tunny 1:07:00
Thanks, Tim. Yeah,
Tim Hughes 1:07:02
and you’ve introduced me to guests and areas that I wouldn’t even thought about. And even though you know, like, you said I represent the guy on the street, which is basically, that’s that was an example of we saw that, you saw the value in that diversity, for instance, because as an economist, sometimes you would see things purely through an economists eyes. And so you told me, you you found value in some of the things that I would come up with, I mean, I know, I’ve probably said some crazy stuff. But you saw value in some of the things I saw from a different perspective. So that diversity, just between the two of us was valuable. Yeah, so I appreciate everyone that has been a guest on the show, especially ones I’ve spoken on, because it’s been great, you know, I’ve been opened up to all these different things. And a lot of the subjects or what you would say are outside our control or in the realms of things that are outside our control, which then brings it back to the health perspective of like, well, that’s really very much in people’s control. So it’s something that you can have an impact on.
Gene Tunny 1:08:17
Yeah to a large extent. I mean, obviously, you can have bad luck in your life. For Yeah, for the majority. Absolutely. Okay, Tim Hughes. Thanks so much for joining me on episode 200. It’s been a blast. And I’ll put links to all of the episodes that these clips are from in the show notes. So if you’re listening in the audience and you want to, you’re interested in checking them out, then you can go, go listen, so yeah, thanks for joining us, Tim. Thanks for for being here. It’s been terrific.
Tim Hughes 1:08:43
Yeah no, thank you, Gene. And I want to extend the thanks again to all the guests that have been on the show and to the listeners and for your feedback. It’s been great, and looking forward to next 200
Gene Tunny 1:08:53
Terrific thanks Tim. Righto, thanks for listening to this episode of Economics Explored. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. You can send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org Or a voicemail via SpeakPipe. You can find the link in the show notes. If you’ve enjoyed the show, I’d be grateful if you could tell anyone you think would be interested about it. Word of mouth is one of the main ways that people learn about the show. Finally, if your podcasting app lets you then please write a review and leave a rating. Thanks for listening. I hope you can join me again next week.
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