The Seen and the Unseen is a weekly podcast hosted by Amit Varma. It takes its title from Frédéric Bastiat’s famous essay, ‘That which is seen and that which is unseen’. In his essay, Bastiat uses the example of what later came to be known as the “Broken Window Fallacy”, and pointed out that to evaluate the consequences of any action, we need to look at both its seen effects, which are often the rationale behind the action, and its unseen effects, which include unintended consequences and ripple effects.
The Seen and the Seen started off looking at the unintended consequences of public policies, and then evolved into a deep-dive interview podcast. It has tackled subjects such as the life and thought of Mahatma Gandhi (1 and 2), the Emergency, Hindutva, cricket, Demonetization, the Bangladesh War, Plato, Venezuela, the Harappans and the Me-Too Movement (1 and 2). Its guests have included Ram Guha (1 and 2), Srinath Raghavan (1, 2 and 3), Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Tyler Cowen, Shashi Tharoor, Tony Joseph, Aakar Patel and Harsha Bhogle.
The Seen and the Unseen is supported by the Takshashila Institution, an independent centre for research and education in public policy.
The Seen and the Unseen is owned and produced by Amit Varma. It releases every Monday.