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The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

Author: Vox

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Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Mark Zuckerberg intends to govern Facebook? What Barack Obama regrets in Obamacare? The dangers Yuval Harari sees in our future? What Michael Pollan learned on psychedelics? The lessons Bryan Stevenson learned freeing the wrongly convicted on death row? The way N.K. Jemisin imagines new worlds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
229 Episodes
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Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. She’s published more than 100 journal articles and half a dozen books. She runs a cognitive development and learning lab where she studies how young children come to understand the world around them, and she’s built on that research to do work in AI, to understand how adults form bonds with both children and each other, and to examine what creativity is and how we can nurture it in ourselves and — more importantly — each other.I worry when I post these podcasts with experts in child development that people without children will pass them by. So let me be direct: Listen to this one. I didn’t have Gopnik on the show to talk about children; I had her on the show to talk about human beings. What makes us feel love for each other. How we can best care for each other. How our minds really work in the formative, earliest days, and what we lose as we get older. The role community is meant to play in our lives.There is more great stuff in this conversation than I can write in an intro. She’s changed my thinking on not just parenting but friendships, marriage, and schooling. Some of these are ideas you could build a life around. This is worth your time.Book recommendations:A Treatise of Human Natureby David HumeAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollThe works of Jean Piaget
Oligarchic capitalism? Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. Opioid deaths? She’s got a plan for that too. Same is true for high housing costs, offshoring, child care, breaking up Big Tech, curbing congressional corruption, indicting presidents, strengthening reproductive rights, forgiving student loans, providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, and fixing the love lives of some of her Twitter followers. Seriously.But how is Warren going to pass any of these plans? Which policy would she prioritize? What presidential powers would she leverage? What argument would she make to her fellow Senate Democrats to convince them to abolish the filibuster? What will she do if Mitch McConnell still leads the Senate? What about climate change?I caught her on a campaign swing through California to ask her about that meta-plan. The plan behind her plans. Warren’s easy fluency with policy is on full display here, but it’s her systematic thinking about the nature of power, and what it takes to redistribute it, that really sets her apart from the field. I don’t want to shock you, but: She’s got a plan for that too.Vox’s guide to where 2020 Democrats stand on policyBook recommendations:Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas PikettyEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer
Michael Lewis reads my mind

Michael Lewis reads my mind

2019-06-0601:44:109

Michael Lewis needs little introduction. He’s the author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Big Short, The Blind Side, The Fifth Risk. He’s the host of the new podcast “Against the Rules.” He’s a master at making seemingly boring topics — baseball statistics, government bureaucrats, collateralized debt obligations — riveting. So how does he do it?What I wanted to do in this conversation was understand Lewis’s process. How does he choose his topics? How does he find his characters? How does he get them to trust him? What is he looking for when he’s with them? What allows him to see the gleam in subjects that would strike others, on their face, as dull?Lewis more than delivered. There’s a master class in reporting — or just in getting to know people — tucked inside this conversation. As in the NK Jemisin episode, Lewis shows how he does his work in real time, using me and something I revealed as the example. Sometimes the conversations on this show are a delight. Sometimes they’re actually useful. This one is both.Book recommendations:Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainA Collection of Essays by George OrwellThe Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe
I’m not sure what I expected Sen. Michael Bennet’s answer to be when I asked him why he was running for president. I didn’t expect it to be “Mitch McConnell.”Since arriving in the Senate in 2009, Bennet has built a reputation as a senator’s senator. He’s smart and measured, thoughtful on policy, and good at working across the aisle. I’ve had colleagues of his tell me they wish he’d run for president, that he’s the kind of guy the country needs. But Bennet’s been radicalized. He believes America’s government is broken. So what happens when you radicalize a moderate? How far will an institutionalist go to save the institutions he loves? And at what point do you decide the problem is inside the institutions themselves?That’s the conversation, and at times argument, Bennet and I have in this podcast, and it’s an important one. His critique is angry and sweeping. But are his solutions as big as the problem he identifies? We also talk about his plan to end extreme childhood poverty, which I think is one of the most important proposals in the race, his view that rural America is the key to passing climate legislation, why he opposes Medicare-for-all, what to do about the filibuster, and much more.Book recommendations:There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir by Casey GeraldFrederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. BlightThese Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
Richie Davidson has spent a lifetime studying meditation. He’s studied it as a practitioner, sitting daily, going on retreats, and learning under masters. And he’s pioneered the study of it as a scientist, working with the Dalai Lama to bring master meditators into his lab at the University of Wisconsin and quantifying the way thousands of hours of meditation changed their brains.The word “meditation,” Davidson is quick to note, is akin to the word “sports”: It describes a huge range of pursuits. And what he’s found is that different types of meditation do very different things to your brain, just as different sports trigger different changes in your body.This is a conversation about what those brain changes are, and what they mean for the rest of us. We discuss the forms of meditation Westerners rarely hear about, the differences between meditative and psychedelic states, the Dalai Lama’s personality, why elite meditators end up warmhearted and joyous rather than cold and detached, whether there’s more value to meditating daily or going on occasional retreats, what happens when you sever meditation from the ethical frameworks it evolved in, and much more.Book recommendations:Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama by Dalai LamaThe Principles of Psychology by William JamesIn Love With the World: A Monk's Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying by Yongey Mingyur RinpocheThe Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happinessby Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche10% Happierby Dan HarrisThe Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guideby John Yates
I’ve been learning from, and arguing with, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig for a decade now. We have a long-running debate over whether money or polarization is the root cause of our political ills. But our debate works because we share a crucial belief: Bad institutions overwhelm good individuals.In his latest book, America, Compromised, Lessig is doing something ambitious: He’s offering a new definition of institutional corruption, then showing how it plays out in politics, academia, the media, Wall Street, and the legal system. This is a definition of corruption that doesn’t require any individual to be corrupt. But it’s a definition that, if you accept it, suggests much of our society has been corrupted.Here, Lessig and I discuss what corruption is, how to understand an institution’s purpose, whether capitalism is itself corrupting, our upcoming books about the media, how small donors polarize politics, Lessig’s critique of democracy, why good people are particularly susceptible to institutional corruption, whether we should ban private money in politics, and ways to reinvent representative democracy. So, you know, nothing too big or heady.Book recommendations:The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. BaptistPolitical Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis FukuyamaThe Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
“For some, there may be a kind of engineer’s satisfaction in the streamlining and networking of our entire lived experience,” writes Jenny Odell. “And yet a certain nervous feeling, of being overstimulated and unable to sustain a train of thought, lingers.”Odell is the author of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. And she’s a visual artist who has taught digital and physical design at Stanford since 2013, as well as done residencies at Facebook, the San Francisco Planning Department, the Dump, and the Internet Archive.All of which is to say she’s the perfect person to talk with about creativity and attention in a world designed to flatten both. In this conversation, we discuss the difference between productivity and creativity, how artists orchestrate attention, the ideologies we use to value our time, what it means to do nothing, restoring context to our lives and words, why “groundedness requires actual ground,” lucid dreaming, the joys of bird-watching, my difficulty appreciating conceptual art, her difficulty with meditation, and much more.Book recommendations:Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich The Nature and Functions of Dreaming by Ernest HartmannCults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion by Mark GalanterThe Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram
In this special crossover episode, Brookings Institution’s Jenny Schuetz joins The Weeds’ Matt Yglesias to discuss subsidies, zoning reform, and much more.
Brian Stelter is the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, as well as the network’s chief media correspondent. But before he was the host of Reliable Sources, he was just a kid with a blog — a blog that obsessed over the coverage decisions, business models, and consequences of cable news.So he was the perfect person to have this conversation with. I’ve done — and continue to do — a lot of cable news. So I think a lot about the effect cable news has on the political system. How does it change the stories it covers? How does it decide what is and isn’t news? What are its biases? Who actually watches it? How has it been changed by Trump and Twitter? And, with apologies to Jon Stewart, is cable news hurting or helping America?Brian and I see the answers to some of these questions differently. But he’s one of the most thoughtful media analysts going today. Love it or hate it, cable news matters. So it’s worth trying to understand how it works, and why it works the way it does.Book recommendations:American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race  by Douglas BrinkleyThe Culture of Fear by Barry GlassnerEcho Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella
YouTube is where tomorrow’s politics are happening today.If you’re over 30, and you don’t spend much time on the platform, it’s almost impossible to explain how central it is to young people’s media consumption. YouTube far outranks television in terms of where teens spend their time. It’s foundational to how young people — and plenty of not-so-young people — form their politics. And it features a political divide that’s different than what we see in Washington, but that I think predicts what we’re going to see in Washington.Natalie Wynn, of the channel Contrapoints, is one of YouTube’s political stars. The former philosophy PhD student dropped out and found her calling producing idea-dense and aesthetically rich explanations of everything from capitalism to Jordan Peterson to incels to “the West.” In this conversation, we talk about the political divides on YouTube, how the YouTube right differs from the YouTube left, why obscure ideological movements are making comebacks online, her experience transitioning gender while in the public eye, why you need to take trollish questions seriously, and the anxieties of modern masculinity.
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Comments (25)

Facts Don't Care About Your Feelings

Ezra is the worst kind of bad faith political pundit. He is a full blown feminized SJW, and his articles are full of inaccuracies (most likely in the form of intentional lies, but perhaps he is just sloppy when it comes to fact checking). I try to give all viewpoints a chance but I would rather listen to someone who is open-minded. Ezra seems to be the same old tired extremist calling everyone that disagrees with him a racist, sexist, homeophobic Nazi. I am open to suggestions for other podcasters on the left to give a chance however, feel free to share, all I ask is that they be open minded and willing to listen, and have discussions in good faith.

Jun 5th
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Steve Sinkula

What's up Will. Really great to hear your perspective.

Jun 1st
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snsɐuɐ ƃuǝɥɔ

Hi Ezra!!! I am GREAT AT DOING RESEARCHING ON WEIRD/OBSCURE AND AMAZINGLY INTERESTING THINGS Please please contact me :) I worked for www.violetteeditions.com in London where I was an editorial assistant and did this sort of work. I am half Colombian and half Taiwanese: I speak french engoish and spanish and I am THE MOST curious person people who have met me, have ever met! Please contact me chengssna@gmail.com Kind regards, Susana Cheng

May 29th
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Mariana Cml

Great! Love her

May 27th
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Dodo Moon

bad

May 20th
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RICARDO ANDRADE

Dodo Moon hi!

May 20th
Reply

Jesse Hoffner ☭

Brian Stetler? Really?

May 16th
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RDubs

Honestly? I played this podcast just to have something in the background while cleaning house. Instead, I found myself putting down the dust mop so I could rewind or grabbing a pen to write down an interesting reference or some idea worth exploring. I was really blown away by how fascinating this interview became. The range of topics explored, the ideas exchanged and the eloquence with which David Brooks talks about his personal journey left me feeling not only enriched but also inspired. Another great episode; thank you Ezra!

May 7th
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Granny InSanDiego

So basically Ezra you think the Dems are fucked no matter what. Why am I listening to you?

Apr 30th
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Granny InSanDiego

Nervino Karas They understand the real people not the plutocrats who pay you to troll.

May 16th
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Nervino Karas

Granny InSanDiego They're "fucked" because they refuse to understand the people.

May 16th
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Granny InSanDiego

Krugman cannot explain his ideas. He depresses me.

Apr 29th
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Tenman X

Hmm... Justice and fairness will follow when the Left learn to soothe the socio-cultural anxieties of the white overclass. Such sophistry, Professor Kaufmann! Bye, Felicia!

Apr 18th
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chaitanya kumar

This was such a painful listen. Not sure how ezra managed to continue the interview - Eric doesn't see the massive cultural and political imbalances between races, doesn't agree that structural racism exist and is fully behind a white history month! His diagnosis is elementary and his solutions more so. Sigh.

Apr 17th
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Tara O'Donnell

This was excellent! It is this kind of strategy for the Republican party that even a liberal Democrat could get behind. If I were a lawmaker, I would reach out a hand to and work with this kind of Republican. We would have a vastly better world with more of this forward and deeply thoughtful thinking on the right. Thank you!

Apr 14th
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Jesse Chan

sounds like audio issues around 5:40?

Apr 2nd
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Jesse Chan

Jesse Chan also around 13:20

Apr 2nd
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Otto Bruun IV

Excellent podcast! Buttigieg is a very impressive guy. Congratulations on the kiddo.

Apr 1st
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Thaís Bara Di Vita

Deeyah shows how courage and intelligence is made better by sensibility. I was very impressed and touched by this interview, i cant thank ezra enough for bringing it to me.

Mar 15th
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J. Kupperman

So insightful. Thank you for this interview

Mar 12th
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Donna McLocklin Cermak

Congratulations Ezra!!

Feb 26th
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Natalie Schreiber

All discussions on M4A that don't include specifically that: while taxes may be raised, 1)there will be no more out of pocket deductibles, 2)there are no more co-pays, 3)no more in-network vs out of network bs red tape, & 4)there's a general peace of mind that comes with not having your medical coverage tied to a specific job, is an incomplete discussion and often down right misleading.

Feb 7th
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fajar ahmad setiawan

Wow. Your book recommendations are exceptionally old and perhaps, outdated. It doesn't mean these books are useless, it's just becoming niche literature now when there are many more innovative and revolutionary thinkers like Zizek and Dawkins.

Feb 7th
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Jim Lane

these conversation keep going back to Will Store's ideas on the self and individualism

Feb 4th
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