In his new book “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure,” economist Tim Harford argues that the process of trial-and-error is critical to tackling the challenges of the 21st century. He joins guest host Dave Iverson in the studio.

Tim Harford, senior columnist for The Financial Times and author of four books, including "Adapt" and "The Undercover Economist"

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  • Gabe Aponte

    In today’s risk-averse political climate where failure is absolutely not an option, can Mr. Harford speak to the importance of pilot programs in the 21st century? What role do you see these playing?

  • Has Mr. Harford thought about how schools adapt or don’t adapt?

  • Ranhath

    Another excellent example of KQED’s excellent and smart programming.  Bravo.   I continue to listen from the Sacramento area (actually a bit east, but thankfully I can tune into KQEI…in the part of the house where the frequency-sharing local relig. station doesn’t intrude).   

    Tell us–did the author find best methods of dealing with the carpers, short-sighters, not-smart critics who often kill the experiment?  

    I always almost, find that authors’/interviewees’ organized and studied thoughts on whatever subjects are valuable but callers’ interjections are far less so.  Don’t submerge authors under callers, plz.

    Bravo again, KQED/KQEI.

  • Judy

    What do you think about bad graduate programs? If a student stays in a program just to finish and get a degree, is that loss-chasing?

  • Joya Cory

    As a person in my sixties I am asked, and often think about, the losses and blessings of old age. From where I stand, the major (and possibly only)
    blessing of aging, is mastery of one’s work. And of course, the mastery comes from having had the time to fail- and succeed- often. I perform and teach Improvisational Theatre, acting and Solo Performance. In my youth when teaching, I often made the mistake of sticking stubbornly to methods I had learned in my training, even when some of my students clearly disliked these techniques. Over the years I discovered that the creative and productive way to teach and develop theatre (or any art form) is to rely on one’s intuition to develop a “method”  specific to the individuals involved, drawing from many sources, and feeling free to fail again and again. Improvisation has a high failure rate, so is fertile ground for growing a habit of experimentation and intimacy with “failure”.

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