Here’s a little experiment. Take a second to think about how you would fill in the blank in this sentence: “I am _____.”If you’re anything like me, the first descriptors that come to mind are personal attributes (like “curious” or “kind”) or identities (like “a journalist” or “a runner”). And if you answered that way, then I have some news for you: You are weird.I mean that in a very specific way. In social science, WEIRD is an acronym that stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic. Most societies in the world today — and throughout human history — don’t fit that description. And when people from non-WEIRD cultures answer the “I am” statement, they tend to give very different answers, defining themselves with relation-based descriptors like “Moe’s father” or “David’s brother.”That difference is only the tip of the iceberg. Much of what we take for granted as basic elements of human psychology and ethics are actually a peculiar WEIRD way of viewing the world.Joseph Henrich, an anthropologist at Harvard University, believes that this distinction between WEIRD and non-WEIRD psychologies is absolutely central to understanding our modern world. His 2020 book, “The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous,” explores the origins of these differences and argues that the emergence of a distinctly WEIRD psychology was central to the development of everything from the Industrial Revolution and market economies to representative government and human rights.We discuss Henrich’s theory of how “cultural evolution” leads to psychological — even genetic — changes in humans, the difference between societies that experience “shame” as a dominant emotion as opposed to “guilt,” the unique power of religion in driving cultural change, how cultural inventions like reading have literally reshaped human biology, why religious communes tend to outlast secular ones, why Henrich believes there is no static “human nature” aside from our cultural learning abilities, how differences in moral psychology across the United States can predict Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 vote share, why higher levels of immigration tend to lead to far more innovation and more.Book recommendations:Why Europe? by Michael MitterauerGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Chosen Few by Maristella Botticini and Zvi EcksteinListen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioappThoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at email@example.com.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at nytimes.com/ezra-klein-podcast, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at https://www.nytimes.com/article/ezra-klein-show-book-recs.This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Roge Karma. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris, Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Mixing by Sonia Herrero. Our production team is Emefa Agawu, Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski.
I hope the guest didn't wake the baby that was apparently sleeping next to her
maybe this is addressed later in the episode but I think many mothers will answer that question with 'mother'.
I appreciate all of the information here and am looking forward to episode two. What I felt was missing from this discussion is why kids are spending less time in person. Do they prefer social media over in-person activities? Are they playing less organized sports and are less involved in other organized after school activities? Are parents too busy to drop them at a friend's house or to invite kids over? Are we so worried about safety that our kids don't have informal after school hang outs like we did as kids? As a parent of elementary aged kids (one soon to be middle schooler), all of this is of great interest.
This discussion overlooks the real options which Biden and Yellen have to simply continue to borrow and steamroller the racist morons in Congress. They could use the 14th Amendments 4th clause or mint the trillion dollar coin. Constitutional scholar and Harvard professor Lawrence Tribe has come out in favor of the former and economics Nobel laureate has come out in favor of the latter. Why did they fail to mention this in the discussion? Also the R-Cons are totally owned by the fascist Billionaires who run the country. The low IQ pawns they have co-opted do not know any better. These uber rich creeps live on super yachts offshore and really want to destroy the government and turn the US into a banana republic of slaves and overlords. They have completely corrupted the SCOTUS. It is time to emigrate if you can.
Noticing more Cali centric content, which doesn’t really relate so much to me living in Prague, Czech Republic (that’s in Europe btw)
i've always kinda thought this should be extended to all living beings.
The first move Microsoft and Google have made is to relegate browser searches to non AI inputs.
Would love to hear you interview Bob Altemeyer and/or John W. Dean on the nature of authoritarians and, more importantly, their followers.
The guest did not really answer the question about whether or not the 2018 exemption from part of the Dodd Frank requirements caused SVB to fail. Ezra did not point out that the Fed's decision to pay the full face value of treasuries whose open market value is now much less only applied to bank held treasuries. What about pension funds or individual investors or bond funds that are not being made whole? And neither speaker asked why the Fed oversight of these banks missed this glaring potential problems at SVB, especially since it was the Fed's own policy of rapidly increasing rates which caused the problem. All in all, a pretty weak discussion.
China will out compete the US in time. It is remarkable that China saw the huge gap between the richest Americans and everyone else and preferred the German model where this gap does not exist and the majority of the people are middle class. Their accomplishments are stunning. And their government is more nimble than the frozen, dysfunctional government of the US. Corporate America built Chinese industry by investing in China to take advantage of cheap labor and gutting American manufacturing. Now belatedly they are concerned. And so the US falls back on its old playbook of starting a cold war with China. China is patient and will choose its time to pay back American hostility. After Pelosi's poorly thought out trip to Taiwan, Taiwan had a major election. The party that invited Pelosi, which favors closer ties to the West, lost many local elections to the parties which favor closer ties to China. Taiwan does not want to turn into Ukraine, Iraq, or Vietnam. That will never happen despite the desire of the DoD.
Taiwan has a parliamentary, multi-party system of government. But the two major parties are the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP) and the Democratic Progressive Party or (DPP). The CNP favors closer ties with mainland China and the DPP favors Taiwanese nationalism and closer ties to the West. When Rep. Pelosi went to China in August 2022, the DPP was in power. Part of her visit was as an arms salesman and indeed Taiwan agreed to buy $1.1Billion of US made armaments. This was in addition to the $18 Billion Trump sold them. It was also to show US support for the DPP. What the US media did not show were the Taiwanese protests against Pelosi's visit. Taiwan held national elections in Nov 2022 and the DPP lost badly. The CNP now controls the government. By this time the proxy war between the US and Russia was in full swing in Ukraine. Clearly, the Taiwanese do not want Taiwan to become another Ukraine, which they see being used callously by the US as a pawn to weaken Russia as Sec of Defense Austin admitted in April 2022. Could the parallel be more clearly drawn? If Ukrainians could have seen the effect that a potential NATO membership would have on their lives, I wonder how many of them would be eager to sign up. The distance from Taiwan to China is 100 miles, almost exactly the distance of Cuba to the US. When Russia put arms in Cuba, we nearly had a nuclear war. China has shown much more forbearance toward US meddling in Taiwan than the US did with Russia. But there is no guarantee that this will continue. The US seems to be blind to the fact that other countries can and will expand economically and practice different forms of government than suits the US view that it should be the only super power. This does not seem prudent or even rational.
China has 4 times our population. They are a very well educated, hard working population. As ever the aggressive, militaristic approach of the US to any country which refuses to bend the knee to the US will alienate China which is a powerhouse in its own right will hurt the US and the world in the long run. America is on the wrong side of history.
This thoughtful discussion about the downside of AI language software like ChatGPT was very illuminating. At one point the guest mentioned the use of click-bait to send someone to another website which will entice them to buy something worthless. The solution to all advertising online is to install ad filters in your browser, like Adblock Plus, which strip ads out of a page or tracking cookie blockers like uBlock Origin. In Firefox these are called add-ons. Also get a Raspberry Pi box and install pi-hole, a DNS server which blocks most disreputable sites and also prevents a malicious DNS from sending you to a site which mimics your bank.
In Episode 179 of the Ezra Klein Show, Ezra has a deep, intense, insightful and educational discussion with Pippa Norris, a political scientist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, about the cause of changing political trends and why democracies around the world are choosing to elect authoritarian leaders. What I see however are leaders who might talk a good game to win the support of dissatisfied groups in the electorate, but who instead advance the cause of the 400 billionaires in the world. Obama promised change and delivered none while at the same time alienating large segments of a fairly racist American society. Biden has tried to bolster America's diminished technological clout by rattling his saber at China and Russia and by his willingness to squander huge sums on the military and an unnecessary proxy war with Russia and a confrontational approach to China. And Trump, a liar, cheater, and fraudster par excellence, was able to capitalize on his TV persona and his uncanny ability to appeal to an aggrieved part of American society. As POTUS, while enriching himself, he almost succeed in a coup. His livelihood and liberty were on the line so he had nothing to lose by attempting to overturn the election. But the irrational devotion of his followers has not diminished. They still hold out the delusional hope that he can turn back the cultural clock in their favor.
Technology combined with a complete redesign of our governmental expenditure on the military to instead expend on a complete redesign of our energy production can do it. We expend $1 TRILLION a year in an absurd, bloated, incompetent, and wasteful military that keeps looking for a new and ever more disastrous war to fight. The threat to our national security is not enemies abroad but destruction of the ability of the planet to support life. Congress likes the military because it brings federal dollars and jobs to their states. New energy infrastructure can do the same thing and actually be a good thing instead of a death machine
lol Matt saying that campaign finance reform doesn't have anything to do with supporting democracy shows how out of touch he is with how elections actually work. we live in an oligarchy and money in politics is one of the main causes
in the country surrounding Rochester NY, a surprising, almost total lack of Trump signs.
Technology will not save us. Our technology is the problem. Ego is in control.