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The Ezra Klein Show

New York Times

Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike?

Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike?

Location:

United States

Description:

Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike?

Language:

English


Episodes

41 Questions For The Technologies We Use, and That Use Us

8/3/2021
We all know by now that Zoom causes fatigue, social media spreads misinformation and Google Maps is wiping out our sense of direction. We also know, of course, that Zoom allows us to cooperate across continents, that social media connects us to our families and Google Maps keeps us from being lost. A lot of technological criticism today is about weighing whether a technology is good or bad, or judging its various uses. But there’s an older tradition of criticism that asks a more fundamental...

Duration:00:59:48

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Fight Over U.S. History

7/30/2021
You’ve heard plenty by now about the fights over teaching critical race theory and the 1619 Project. But behind those skirmishes is something deeper: A fight over the story we tell about America. Why that fight has so gripped our national discourse is the question of this podcast: What changes when a country’s sense of its own history changes? What changes when who gets to tell that story changes? What are the stakes here, and why now? My guests for this conversation need little...

Duration:01:20:07

Ross Douthat Has Been ‘Radicalized a Little Bit, Too’

7/27/2021
Am I too panicked about the future of American democracy? My colleague Ross Douthat thinks so. He points to research suggesting that voter ID laws and absentee voting have modest effects on elections and the reality that Republican state officials already have tremendous power to alter election outcomes — powers they did not use in the aftermath of 2020 and show few signs of preparing to use now. So I invited Ross on the show to hash it out: Am I too alarmed, or is he too chill? We also...

Duration:01:09:37

How Blue Cities Became So Outrageously Unaffordable

7/23/2021
Joe Biden’s economic agenda is centered on a basic premise: The United States needs to build. To build roads and bridges. To build child care facilities and car-charging stations. To build public transit and affordable housing. And in doing so, to build a better future for everyone. But there’s a twist of irony in that vision. Because right now, even in places where Democrats hold control over government, they are consistently failing to build cheaply, quickly and equitably. In recent...

Duration:01:11:02

Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not.

7/20/2021
For decades, our society’s dominant metaphor for the mind has been a computer. A machine that operates the exact same way whether it’s in a dark room or next to a sunny window, whether it’s been working for 30 seconds or three hours, whether it’s near other computers or completely alone. But that’s wrong. Annie Murphy Paul’s “The Extended Mind” argues, convincingly, that the human mind is contextual. It works differently in different environments, with different tools, amid different bodily...

Duration:01:09:28

Ibram X. Kendi on What Conservatives—and Liberals—Get Wrong About Antiracism

7/16/2021
“What if instead of a feelings advocacy we had an outcome advocacy that put equitable outcomes before our guilt and anguish?” wrote Ibram X. Kendi in his 2019 book “How to Be an Antiracist.” “What if we focused our human and fiscal resources on changing power and policy to actually make society, not just our feelings, better?” When I first read “How to Be an Antiracist” in the fall of 2019, I was struck by Kendi’s relentless focus on outcomes. For him, racism wasn’t about what you intended,...

Duration:01:07:46

How Octopuses Upend What We Know About Ourselves

7/13/2021
I’ve spent the past few months on an octopus kick. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There are award-winning books, documentaries and even science fiction about them. I suspect it’s the same hunger that leaves many of us yearning to know aliens: How do radically different minds work? What is it like to be a truly different being living in a similar world? The flying objects above remain unidentified. But the...

Duration:00:58:31

Critical Race Theory, Comic Books and the Power of Public Schools

7/9/2021
Eve Ewing’s work as a sociologist, poet, visual artist, podcaster and comic book writer manages to do two things that are often in tension: it gives us a clear picture of how race, power and education work in America right now, and envisions a world that could work radically differently. “Dreaming and imagination and possibility are very much key words for the kind of work I want to do,” Ewing says. She’s a sociologist at the University of Chicago who focuses on race and public education,...

Duration:01:28:15

Best of: What ‘Drained-Pool’ Politics Costs America

7/6/2021
In February, I spoke with Heather McGhee. I’ve been thinking about the conversation ever since. “The American landscape was once graced with resplendent public swimming pools, some big enough to hold thousands of swimmers at a time,” writes McGhee in her recent book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together.” These pools were the pride of their communities, monuments to what public investment could do. But they were, in many places, whites-only. Then came...

Duration:01:10:24

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy Wants You to Be Bad at Something. It’s for Your Own Good.

7/2/2021
Recently, I picked up Jeff Tweedy’s “How to Write One Song.” It was a bit of a lark. Tweedy is the frontman for Wilco, one of my favorite bands, but I’m not a songwriter, and I don’t plan to become one. But, unexpectedly, I loved the book. It’s the most generous and approachable guide to the creative process I’ve read. It’s also relentlessly practical: To Tweedy, this really is a process, replete with practices that you can enjoy doing daily. As a writer of a very different sort, I’ve had a...

Duration:01:13:28

Why Do We Work So Damn Much?

6/29/2021
Historically speaking, we live in an age of extraordinary abundance. We have long since passed the income thresholds when past economists believed our needs would be more than met and we’d be working 15-hour weeks, puzzling over how to spend our free time. And yet, few of us feel able to exult in leisure, and even many of today’s rich toil as if the truest reward for work is more work. Our culture of work would be profoundly puzzling to those who came before us. James Suzman is an...

Duration:01:25:15

Republicans Are Setting Off a ‘Doom Loop’ for Democracy

6/25/2021
The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 failed. Donald Trump is not the president. But at the state level, the Republican war on elections is posting startling wins. They are trying to do what Trump failed to do: neuter elections as a check on Republican power. A new report by three voting rights groups found that 24 laws have been passed in 14 states this year that will allow state legislatures to “politicize, criminalize and interfere in election administration.” And a May analysis from...

Duration:01:20:52

Sarah Schulman’s Radical Approach to Conflict, Communication and Change

6/22/2021
Sarah Schulman’s work — as a nonfiction writer, novelist, activist, playwright and filmmaker — confronts the very thing most people try to avoid: conflict. Schulman, far from running from it, believes we need more of it. This was true in Schulman’s 2016 book, “Conflict Is Not Abuse,” which argues that people often mislabel conflict as abuse without recognizing the power that they have to potentially abuse others. Viewing oneself as a victim can be one way to earn compassion. But powerful...

Duration:01:03:51

Welcome to the ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Economy

6/18/2021
This is a strange moment in the economy. Wages are up, but so is inflation. Jobs are growing, but maybe not fast enough. Quit rates are at a 21st-century high. It isn’t clear what’s a trend, what’s a blip, what’s a transition and what’s now normal. And all this as the virus continues to stalk us and we process the trauma of the last 18 months. “We all will have various times in our life where we’ll stop and say, ‘Whoa — am I going in the right direction? Is this the right occupation for me?...

Duration:00:56:32

The Freeing of the American Mind

6/15/2021
Free minds. Freedom fries. Free speech. The Freedom Caucus. Freedom from. Freedom to. What do Americans really mean when they talk about freedom? Louis Menand’s “The Free World” is a 700-plus-page intellectual history of the Cold War period that traces the opening of the American mind to new ideas in art, literature, politics, music, foreign policy, criticism, higher education and campus activism. John Cage was making silent music, Jackson Pollock was throwing paint on canvases, Pauline...

Duration:01:06:05

Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power

6/11/2021
“The technological progress we make in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we’ve made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel,” writes Sam Altman in his essay “Moore’s Law for Everything.” “This revolution will generate enough wealth for everyone to have what they need, if we as a society manage it responsibly.” Altman is the C.E.O. of OpenAI, one of the biggest, most important players in the artificial intelligence space. His argument is this: Since the 1970s,...

Duration:01:13:24

Employers Are Begging for Workers. Maybe That’s a Good Thing.

6/8/2021
There has been a bit of panic lately over employers who say not enough people want to apply for open jobs. Are we facing a labor shortage? Have stimulus checks and expanded unemployment insurance payments created an economy full of people who don’t want to work — and who are holding back the economic recovery? That’s one theory, anyway. But it’s leading to real policy change: 25 Republican governors have cut off expanded unemployment benefits early. You can also tell a different story: The...

Duration:01:06:13

Is A.I. the Problem? Or Are We?

6/4/2021
If you talk to many of the people working on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence research, you’ll hear that we are on the cusp of a technology that will be far more transformative than simply computers and the internet, one that could bring about a new industrial revolution and usher in a utopia — or perhaps pose the greatest threat in our species’s history. Others, of course, will tell you those folks are nuts. One of my projects this year is to get a better handle on this debate....

Duration:01:18:49

Obama Explains How America Went From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘MAGA’

6/1/2021
“My entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space,” Barack Obama told me, sitting in his office in Washington, D.C. To be fair, I was the one who had introduced the cosmic scale, asking how proof of alien life would change his politics. But Obama, in a philosophical mood, used the question to trace his view of humanity. “The differences we have on this planet are real,” he said. “They’re profound. And they cause...

Duration:01:00:54

Sway: How Online Sleuths Pantsed Putin

5/28/2021
Today, while I'm on vacation, we're sharing an episode from Sway, a fellow New York Times Opinion podcast. Host Kara Swisher talks to Eliot Higgins, CEO of the open source investigative operation Bellingcat. Kara presses Higgins about the perils of taking on Vladimir Putin and how Bellingcat’s work, which Kara calls “gumshoe journalism,” differs from online vigilantism. We'll be back to our regular programming on Tuesday. Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at...

Duration:00:42:30