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Cautionary Tales

Pushkin Industries

525
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2.9K
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Cautionary Tales

Cautionary Tales

Pushkin Industries

525
Followers
2.9K
Plays
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About Us

We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionary Tales are for the education of the grown ups – and they are all true. Tim Harford (Financial Times, BBC, author of “Messy” and “The Undercover Economist”) brings you stories of awful human error, tragic catastrophes, daring heists and hilarious fiascos. They'll delight you, scare you, but also make you wiser. Featuring original music and an award-winning cast including Alan Cumming and Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Toby Stephens (Die Another Day), Russell Tovey (Quantico) – and Malcolm Gladwell.

Latest Episodes

Cautionary Tales Presents: The Last Archive

This week we're featuring the second episode of The Last Archive, a new podcast hosted by Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore. When a young black man is charged with murder under unusual circumstances in 1922, he trusts his fate to a strange new machine: A lie detector. It was invented by the man who went on to create Wonder Woman, and whose whole life was a strange blur of fact and fiction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

51 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Cautionary Tales Presents: The Last Archive

Cautionary Tales presents: Against the Rules Season 2

Tim Harford presents the first episode of the new season of Michael Lewis's Against the Rules. It wasn’t that long ago that coaches were confined to sports. Now they’re everywhere. Who’s getting all this coaching, and who isn’t? Credit card companies are making billions of dollars off of people who don't understand the rules of the money game. Can a good coach help level the playing field? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

45 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Cautionary Tales presents: Against the Rules Season 2

Cautionary Tales Presents: TED Talk Daily

In this special episode of Cautionary Tales, we feature Cautionary Tales host Tim Harford's TED Talk Daily from 2018. What can we learn from the world's most enduringly creative people? They "slow-motion multitask," actively juggling multiple projects and moving between topics as the mood strikes -- without feeling hurried. Tim Harford shares how innovators like Einstein, Darwin, Twyla Tharp and Michael Crichton found their inspiration and productivity through cross-training their minds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

18 MINJAN 31
Comments
Cautionary Tales Presents: TED Talk Daily

You Have Reached Your Destination

We may mock our ancestors for seeking the advice of oracles, soothsayers and psychics, but today we rely heavily on computer programs and math formulas to help us navigate our world. If we continue to follow them unthinkingly, should we be surprised when we end up in unexpected and dangerous places? Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

37 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
You Have Reached Your Destination

Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano

It was the biggest concert of Keith Jarrett's career - but the pianist was in for a shock when he entered Koln's opera house. The only piano at the venue was a broken-down wreck. Should he risk humiliation and play anyway or simply walk out? The collaboration between pop superstar David Bowie and arch disruptor Brian Eno offers a lesson that staying in your comfort zone isn't always the best option. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

35 MIN2019 DEC 20
Comments
Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano

How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg

In 1917, a brilliant British officer developed a way to use an emerging military technology: the tank. The British army promptly squandered the idea – but the Germans did not. Blitzkrieg, the devastating advance of German tanks across Europe in 1940, was invented by the British. This is a common story: Sony invented the forerunner of the iPod, Xerox the personal computer, and Kodak the digital camera. In each case they failed to capitalize on the idea. Why? Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg

Buried by the Wall Street Crash

Both of the world’s greatest economists, Irving Fisher and John Maynard Keynes, thought they could see into the future and make a killing on the stock market - and then both were wiped out by the Wall Street Crash. One died a pauper, the other millionaire. What does it take to bounce back from ruin? Oh... and UFOs. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

41 MIN2019 DEC 6
Comments
Buried by the Wall Street Crash

The Deadly Airship Race

A British Lord wanted to build the best airship in the world - and so he had two rival design teams battle it out to win the juicy government contract. Competition is supposed to bring the best out of people, but run in the wrong way it can cause people (and the things they produce) to fall apart in the most horrifying ways. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
The Deadly Airship Race

La La Land: Galileo's Warning

Galileo tried to teach us that adding more and more layers to a system intended to avert disaster often makes catastrophe all the more likely to happen. His basic lesson has been ignored in nuclear power plants, financial markets and at the Oscars... all resulting in chaos. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MIN2019 NOV 22
Comments
La La Land: Galileo's Warning

The Rogue Dressed as a Captain

One crisp morning in Berlin, in 1906, a small group of soldiers were led on an extraordinary heist by a man they believed to be a Captain. So how did an ageing nobody in a fake uniform trick them into aiding him in the crime of the century? Some say we humans will obey orders from anyone who dresses the part... but the real reason why we fall for tricksters time and again is far more interesting. Fraudsters and charlatans reel us in slowly by using psychology against us. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

35 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
The Rogue Dressed as a Captain

Latest Episodes

Cautionary Tales Presents: The Last Archive

This week we're featuring the second episode of The Last Archive, a new podcast hosted by Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore. When a young black man is charged with murder under unusual circumstances in 1922, he trusts his fate to a strange new machine: A lie detector. It was invented by the man who went on to create Wonder Woman, and whose whole life was a strange blur of fact and fiction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

51 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Cautionary Tales Presents: The Last Archive

Cautionary Tales presents: Against the Rules Season 2

Tim Harford presents the first episode of the new season of Michael Lewis's Against the Rules. It wasn’t that long ago that coaches were confined to sports. Now they’re everywhere. Who’s getting all this coaching, and who isn’t? Credit card companies are making billions of dollars off of people who don't understand the rules of the money game. Can a good coach help level the playing field? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

45 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Cautionary Tales presents: Against the Rules Season 2

Cautionary Tales Presents: TED Talk Daily

In this special episode of Cautionary Tales, we feature Cautionary Tales host Tim Harford's TED Talk Daily from 2018. What can we learn from the world's most enduringly creative people? They "slow-motion multitask," actively juggling multiple projects and moving between topics as the mood strikes -- without feeling hurried. Tim Harford shares how innovators like Einstein, Darwin, Twyla Tharp and Michael Crichton found their inspiration and productivity through cross-training their minds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

18 MINJAN 31
Comments
Cautionary Tales Presents: TED Talk Daily

You Have Reached Your Destination

We may mock our ancestors for seeking the advice of oracles, soothsayers and psychics, but today we rely heavily on computer programs and math formulas to help us navigate our world. If we continue to follow them unthinkingly, should we be surprised when we end up in unexpected and dangerous places? Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

37 MIN2019 DEC 27
Comments
You Have Reached Your Destination

Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano

It was the biggest concert of Keith Jarrett's career - but the pianist was in for a shock when he entered Koln's opera house. The only piano at the venue was a broken-down wreck. Should he risk humiliation and play anyway or simply walk out? The collaboration between pop superstar David Bowie and arch disruptor Brian Eno offers a lesson that staying in your comfort zone isn't always the best option. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

35 MIN2019 DEC 20
Comments
Bowie, Jazz and the Unplayable Piano

How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg

In 1917, a brilliant British officer developed a way to use an emerging military technology: the tank. The British army promptly squandered the idea – but the Germans did not. Blitzkrieg, the devastating advance of German tanks across Europe in 1940, was invented by the British. This is a common story: Sony invented the forerunner of the iPod, Xerox the personal computer, and Kodak the digital camera. In each case they failed to capitalize on the idea. Why? Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg

Buried by the Wall Street Crash

Both of the world’s greatest economists, Irving Fisher and John Maynard Keynes, thought they could see into the future and make a killing on the stock market - and then both were wiped out by the Wall Street Crash. One died a pauper, the other millionaire. What does it take to bounce back from ruin? Oh... and UFOs. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

41 MIN2019 DEC 6
Comments
Buried by the Wall Street Crash

The Deadly Airship Race

A British Lord wanted to build the best airship in the world - and so he had two rival design teams battle it out to win the juicy government contract. Competition is supposed to bring the best out of people, but run in the wrong way it can cause people (and the things they produce) to fall apart in the most horrifying ways. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

40 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
The Deadly Airship Race

La La Land: Galileo's Warning

Galileo tried to teach us that adding more and more layers to a system intended to avert disaster often makes catastrophe all the more likely to happen. His basic lesson has been ignored in nuclear power plants, financial markets and at the Oscars... all resulting in chaos. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

33 MIN2019 NOV 22
Comments
La La Land: Galileo's Warning

The Rogue Dressed as a Captain

One crisp morning in Berlin, in 1906, a small group of soldiers were led on an extraordinary heist by a man they believed to be a Captain. So how did an ageing nobody in a fake uniform trick them into aiding him in the crime of the century? Some say we humans will obey orders from anyone who dresses the part... but the real reason why we fall for tricksters time and again is far more interesting. Fraudsters and charlatans reel us in slowly by using psychology against us. Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

35 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
The Rogue Dressed as a Captain
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