Russ Roberts Portrait
Wild Problems
New Book | August 9, 2022 Release

Wild Problems

A Guide to the Decisions That Define Us

Algorithms and apps analyze data and tell you how to beat the traffic, what books to buy, what music to listen to, and even who to date—often with great results. But what do you do when you face the big decisions of life—the “wild problems” of who to marry, whether to have children, where to move, how to forge a life well-lived—that can’t be solved by measurement or calculation?

In Wild Problems, beloved host of EconTalk Russ Roberts offers puzzled rationalists a way to address these wild problems. He suggests spending less time and energy on the path that promises the most happiness, and more time on figuring out who you actually want to be. He draws on the experience of great artists, writers, and scientists of the past who found creative ways to navigate life’s biggest questions. And he lays out strategies for reducing the fear and the loss of control that inevitably come when a wild problem requires a leap in the dark.

Ultimately, Roberts asks us to see ourselves and our lives less as a problem to be solved than a mystery to be experienced. There’s no right decision waiting to be uncovered by an app or rational analysis. Reality is harder than that and, perhaps, a little more interesting.

The First Cell

Azra Raza on The First Cell

Author and oncologist Azra Raza talks about her book The First Cell with EconTalk host…
Listen
The Seen and the Unseen Podcast

Conversation and Society

We live in an age of competing monologues. We talk, but we do not listen.…
Listen

It’s a Wonderful Loaf

A whimsical animated short film based on Russ Roberts’s poem about emergent order and the…
Chris Arnade On Dignity

Chris Arnade on Dignity

Photographer, author, and former Wall St. trader Chris Arnade talks about his book, Dignity, with…
Listen

The Numbers Game: Let’s Party Like It’s 1973!

Measuring economic progress requires an accurate measure of inflation. But measuring inflation is harder than…