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#355 What Superheroes Know About Economics – Dr. J. Brian O’Roark

Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates Inside Science Series, I’m Paul Vogelzang and this is episode #355.

As part of our Smithsonian Associates Inside Science & Technology series, we are joined today by author, professor, and superhero educator, Dr. J. Brian O’ Roark.  Dr. O’Roark is a superhero educator, professor of economics, a tough subject to teach, known as the dismal science. Like many of you, I took my fair share of economics classes, and had I been offered a class like this…well, let’s just say it would not have been “The Dismal Science” any longer.  You will love our conversation, and presentation, by Dr. J. Brian O’Roark, who will change the entire subject of economics when he appears at the Smithsonian Associates, June 6, 2019, and his presentation is entitled, What Superheroes Know About EconomicsDr. O’Roark’s presentation at the Smithsonian Associates will draw from his excellent new book, Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over The World What Superheroes Can Tell Us About Economics.

Ever since Superman flew onto the scene in 1938, superheroes have exhibited feats of incredible strength, fighting prowess, and cunning. So why don’t they just take over the world?

Our hero, economist Brian O’Roark examines a powerful alliance between economics and comics, although the subjects may seem to be a world apart. He explains why, despite their supernatural powers, superheroes are still beholden to the laws of economics.

O’Roark demonstrates how the travails of superheroes can explain the building blocks of economics, and how economics explains the mysteries of superhero behavior. Learn how game theory sheds light on the battle between Captain America and Iron Man; why Spider-Man’s existential doubts revolve around opportunity costs; and how Wonder Woman’s lack of a sidekick is linked to her absolute advantage as a superhero. And find out how to harness the power of utility curves to help decide who is the greatest superhero of all, and how potential harm to civilians in the future could be avoided by eliminating a vicious response to retain order from Joker, Dr Doom, PurpleMen, Kingpins, Mantas, or even Kal-El!

That, of course, is our guest today, best-selling author, Dr. J. Brian O’Roark who will change the notion of economics when he appears at the Smithsonian Associates, June 6, 2019…his presentation is entitled, What Superheroes Know About Economics.

Please join me in welcoming to The Not Old Better Show, via internet phone, author, Dr. J. Brian O’Roark.

Thanks to Dr. J. Brian O’Roark who will change the notion of economics when he appears at the Smithsonian Associates, June 6, 2019…his presentation is entitled, What Superheroes Know About Economics, at the Ripley Center in Washington, DC. Dr. O’Roark’s presentation at the Smithsonian Associates will draw from his excellent new book, Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over The World What Superheroes Can Tell Us About Economics, which will be available for sale and signing. More details available on our web site.

Thanks to the Smithsonian team for all they do to support the show, and thanks to you our wonderful Not Old Better Show audience.

Remember, Talk About Better.  The Not Old Better Show.  Thanks, everybody.

Written by Paul Vogelzang

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