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Babbage: Big data versus privacy

Data is becoming the world's most valuable resource. Governments use it to monitor and control their citizens. Corporations use it to persuade consumers to buy their products. But as machine learning and algorithms advance, will people still be able to harness the power of big data without losing too much individual privacy? Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK).


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Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 5th 2018 edition

Despite euphoria about the Korean summit, global arms control is unravelling. Historian John Lewis Gaddis assesses whether there might be order in Donald Trump's chaos. And a glimpse of the first neighbourhood built "from the internet up". Rob Gifford hosts


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Babbage: When an algorithm decides your fate

Computer algorithms are being used with increasing frequency to make decisions about humans - from whether a job applicant makes it through a selection process or if a prison inmate gets released on parole. But how are the algorithms making their decisions? And what if they make a mistake? In this special episode of Babbage, we explore the complex work of algorithmic decision-making. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the May 12th 2018 edition

Masayoshi Son is betting $100bn on the world's most exciting technology startups. Win or lose, his Vision Fund is shaking up the tech industry and those that invest in it. Plus, the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright David Mamet on his new comedy inspired by Harvey Weinstein. And are smartphones the key to escaping poverty?


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Babbage: Show me the way to Cordillera

Now that the war between the Colombian government and the FARC has ended, scientists are exploring parts of the country previously held by the rebels. The aim is to make Colombia a "bio-power" by 2030. Also, how lead pollution in Greenlandic ice shows evidence of ancient European societies. And the new insect-sized drones that are causing a buzz. Tim Cross hosts


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The week ahead: Gaza bloodshed

Why Israel is answerable for this week's deaths in Gaza, but the Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, are also to blame. The Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge discusses the issue of open borders with author Rutger Bregman. And can Meghan Markle modernise the monarchy? Simon Long hosts.


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Money talks: Is Trump jump-starting business?

Are US businesses happy with the Trump Era? Do we need to break the cosy relationship between auditors and their clients? And why large companies are choosing to invest in Central Europe. Philip Coggan hosts


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The week ahead: Peace in peril?

Will the upcoming elections in Colombia threaten the peace deal with FARC? And introducing the Economist's forecasting model for the American mid-terms. Also, the calling off of the upcoming US-North Korea summit by President Donald Trump. Christopher Lockwood hosts


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Money talks: The Italian problem

Our economic editor, Henry Curr, looks at the threat Italy’s political crisis poses to the euro zone. And Ludwig Siegele, our technology editor, asks Glen Weyl, author of "Radical Markets", why he wants to expand the role of markets and how a new wealth tax could work. Helen Joyce hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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The Economist asks: Can America’s moderates win the battle of ideas?

In a special programme to mark The Economist’s 175th anniversary #OpenFuture season, Zanny Minton-Beddoes, our Editor-in-Chief and David Rennie, our Washington bureau chief, join Anne McElvoy to debate remedies to popular discontents and a new world order where the US won’t be top dog forever with Jonathan Cowan, founder of Third Way, David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, and John Negroponte, former US Ambassador. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 2nd 2018 edition

Italy finally has a government – how will the maverick populist coalition reshape the country and the wider eurozone? Plus, why British politics is sobering up, and the discovery of the gene for genius. Anne McElvoy hosts. Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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Money talks: How to top Trump?

How should allies stand up to President Trump’s trade tariffs? We talk to Professor Kate Pickett about the link between inequality and anxiety in her sequel to The Spirit Level.  And Renting The Runway - is shopping for clothes going out of style? Andrew Palmer hosts



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The Economist asks: Has the West lost its touch?

Kishore Mahbubani, former president of the UN Security Council for Singapore and author of “Has the West lost it?” tells Robert Guest, our foreign editor, about the rise of a new world order – should the West be celebrating? Also, individual freedom in China, and why he thinks Donald Trump is the least of America’s worries.  Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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Money talks: G7 handshakes at dawn

How President Trump turned his back on the G7 summit joint agreement. Sir Paul Tucker, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, tells us when power should be delegated to technocrats.   And can the solar industry survive without subsidies?


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The Economist asks: How should the West respond to Russian meddling?

On the eve of the World Cup in Russia, former American ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, says the US needs to stand up to Putin — build up resilience in the electoral technology, set targeted sanctions — and he explains how it feels to be the target of Putin’s steely eyes. Anne McElvoy hosts.


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Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 16th 2018 edition

Around the world, from Turkey to Venezuela, democracy is in trouble – the least-bad system of government ever devised needs defenders. Also, why nearly half of businesses in Sicily still pay protection money to the Mafia. And a dispatch from the land of the midnight sun. Anne McElvoy hosts


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Money talks: Drums of trade war

As fears mount of a trade war between China and America, David Rennie looks at how China is preparing. And as part of our Open Future season, we explore how tax systems could be improved. Also, the electric bike business is riding high. Helen Joyce hosts


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The Economist asks: James Comey

The sacked director of the FBI on the message of Melania Trump's jacket, why Special Counsel Robert Mueller is the straightest person he’s ever known and how Trump might unintentionally be helping America unite.  Anne McElvoy hosts.



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Tasting menu: Audio highlights from the June 23rd 2018 edition

Women at the wheel in Saudi Arabia are the most visible symbol of a social revolution led by Muhammad bin Salman. The crown prince has a chance to transform the Arab world for the better, but failure could bring more chaos. Also, why America’s small-town newspapers are down but certainly not out. And the fight for free speech, from campuses to stand-up comedy. Anne McElvoy hosts



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The Economist asks: Madeleine Albright

America’s first female secretary of state on how populism can slide into fascism, what Kim Jong Il and Vladimir Putin were like in person, and what Donald Trump could learn from reading her lapel pins.


Anne McElvoy hosts


Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)


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