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The Ezra Klein Show

Vox Media Podcast Network

935
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9.2K
Plays
The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

Vox Media Podcast Network

935
Followers
9.2K
Plays
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About Us

Winner of the 2020 Webby and People's Voice awards for best interview podcast.Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Latest Episodes

Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today

My first conversation with Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen in fall 2019 was one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t expect to have Allen on again so soon, but her work is unusually relevant to our current moment. She’s written an entire book about the deeper argument of the Declaration of Independence and the way our superficial reading and folk history of the document obscures its radicalism. (It’ll make you look at July Fourth in a whole new way). Her most recent book, Cuz, is a searing indictment of the American criminal justice system, driven by watching her cousin go through it and motivated by the murder that ended his life. Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, which Allen directs, has released the most comprehensive, operational road map for mobilizing and reopening the US economy amidst the Covid-19 crisis. And to top it all off, a two-year bipartisan commission of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, which Allen co-chaired, recently released a repor...

72 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today

Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

Land of the Giants isa podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time. The second season is called The Netflix Effect, and it’s hosted by Recode editors Rani Molla and Peter Kafka. The Netflix Effect explores how a company that began as a small DVD-by-mail service ultimately upended Hollywood and completely changed the way we watch TV. It’s a fascinating look at what really goes on behind the scenes at Netflix, one of the few companies that’s actually growing during the pandemic, and how they’re continuing to transform entertainment for you and me. New episodes are released every Tuesday morning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

17 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking

In 1964, the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote his opus Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. In it, he writes, “In the long run, a medium's content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act." Or, put more simply: "Media work their magic, or their mischief, on the nervous system itself." This idea — that the media technologies we rely on reshape us on a fundamental, cognitive level — sits at the center of Nicholas Carr's 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. A world defined by oral traditions is more social, unstructured, and multi-sensory; a world defined by the written written word is more individualistic, disciplined, and hyper-visual. A world defined by texting, scrolling and social feedback is addicted to stimulus, constantly forming and affirming expressions of identity, accustomed to waves of information. Back in 2010, Carr argued that the internet was changing how we thought, and not necessarily for the better. “"My brain, I realized, wasn't just drifting,” he wrote. “It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the same way the net fed it — and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became.” His book was a finalist for the Pulitzer that year, but dismissed by many, including me. Ten years on, I regret that dismissal. Reading it now, it is outrageously prescient, offering a framework and language for ideas and experiences I’ve been struggling to define for a decade. Carr saw where we were going, and now I wanted to ask him where we are. In this conversation, Carr and I discuss how speaking, reading, and now the Internet have each changed our brains in different ways, why "paying attention" doesn't come naturally to us, why we’re still reading Marshall McLuhan, how human memory actually works, why having your phone in sight makes you less creative, what separates "deep reading” from simply reading, why deep reading is getting harder, why building connections is more important than absorbing information, the benefits to collapsing the world into a connected digital community, and much more. The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good. It’s that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves. Book recommendations: The Control Revolution by James R. Beniger The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Research Czar - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

72 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking

Your questions, answered

Believe it or not, we’re already halfway through 2020. What a great year so far, huh? Just a delight. That means it’s time for an AMA. Among the questions you asked: If Joe Biden is elected president, what should his administration's first legislative priority be? What were the best critiques of Why We’re Polarized? How much of today's political conflict comes down to the Boomer/Millennial divide? What’s your reading process? What does preparation for EK Show episodes look like? If you were only intellectually accountable to beauty and not truth, what religion would you choose? What’s your favorite non-Vox podcast? What’s your biggest takeaway from year 1 of being a dad? East coast or west coast? What are the episodes that you have the most fun doing? What’s an important identity of yours that doesn’t usually come out on the show? Roge Karma joins me for this one. References: "In praise of polarization" by Ezra Klein "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Ezra's book recommendations: The Grapes of Wrathby John Steinbeck Beyond Ideology by Francis Lee What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer Most fun EK Shows: I build a world with fantasy master N.K. Jemisin The art of attention, with Jenny Odell Tracy K. Smith changed how I read poetry How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher/Guest host - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

83 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Your questions, answered

Which country has the world's best healthcare system?

I got my start as a blogger. But more specifically, I got my start as a health policy blogger. My first piece of writing I remember people really caring about was a series called “The Health of Nations,” in which I checked out books from college library, downloaded international reports, and profiled the world’s leading health systems. It was crude stuff, but it taught me a lot. The way we do health care isn’t the only way to do health care. It’s not the best way, or the second best, or the third. Ezekiel Emanuel is a bioethicist, oncologist, and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Health Transformation Institute. He was a top health policy advisor in the Obama administration, he’s a senior fellow at the Center for American progress, he makes his own artisanal chocolate, and he’s got a new book — Which Country Has the World’s Best Healthcare? — where he goes into more detail than I ever did, or could, to profile other health systems and rank them against our o...

70 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Which country has the world's best healthcare system?

The transformative power of restorative justice

The criminal justice system asks three questions: What law was broken? Who broke it? And what should the punishment be? Upon that edifice — and channeled through old bigotries and fears — we have built the largest system of human incarceration on earth. America accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its imprisoned population. Restorative justice asks different questions: Who was harmed? What do they need? And whose obligation is it to meet those needs? It is a radically different model, with profoundly different results both for victims and perpetrators. Studies show restorative justice programs leave survivors more satisfied, cut recidivism rates, and cost less. If we’re thinking about rebuilding the criminal justice program, restorative justice should be central to that conversation. sujatha baliga is the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice. She won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2019. She’s a survivor of abuse herself. Her work points toward a new paradigm for criminal justice: one focused on repairing breaches, not exacting retribution. And it carries lessons for how our politics might function, how our society could heal some of its oldest wounds, and how we live our own precious lives. References: "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm by Kazu Haga Book recommendations: For the Benefit of All Beings by the Dalai Lama The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher extraordinaire - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

74 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The transformative power of restorative justice

Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence

In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat diagnoses America’s core problems as decadence: “a situation in which repetition is more the norm than innovation; in which sclerosis afflicts public institution and private enterprises alike; in which intellectual life seems to go in circles; in which new developments in science, new exploratory projects, underdeliver compared with what people recently expected.” Douthat argues that there is a kind of ideological exhaustion, a spiritual malaise, at the center of the American project. We are a victim of our own successes, undone by our own achievements, and unable to break free from our oldest debates. But is he right? Ross and I cover a lot of ground in this conversation. We discuss why conservative Catholics talk so much more about sex than poverty, the dangers of the expansionary impulse, whether psychedelic culture is an antidote to decadence, the importance of utopian ambition, the moral foundations of effective altruism, the problem with contemporary science fiction, whether political liberalism is dependent on Christian metaphysics, why America can’t build, whether war is necessary for existential meaning, how the New York Times op-ed page has changed over the past decade, and much more. Book recommendations: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun The Illusion of the Endby Jean Baudrillard The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The Children of Men by PD James Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

95 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence

A serious conversation about UFOs

You may have been following — I hope you are following — the New York Times's recent UFO reporting. Videos that the Navy confirms are real show pilots seeing and marveling over craft they can't explain. And as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, those videos “only scratch the surface” of the Pentagon's UFO research. UFOs are one of those topics that it’s hard to take seriously because they’re covered in kitsch and conspiracy. But there are those who take them seriously, which means approaching the question with humility. The history, frequency, and consistency of these events point toward something that merits study. But the explanations we force onto them — from religious visitations to aliens — confuse us further. We’re working backward from beliefs we already have, not forward from phenomena we don’t understand. Diana Walsh Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 2019, she published a fascinating book called American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, in which she embeds in the world of UFO research and tries to understand it using the tools of religious scholarship. The results are revelatory in terms of theory but also in terms of the things she sees, learns, and is forced to confront. Sometimes it's healthy — and, to be honest, fun — to train our attention on what we can't explain, not just what we can. In this episode, we do just that. Book recommendations: Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee Authors of the Impossible by Jeffrey J. Kripal UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

89 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A serious conversation about UFOs

A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition

In 2017, Paul Butler published the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men. For Butler the chokehold is much more than a barbaric police tactic; it is also a powerful powerful metaphor for understanding how racial oppression functions in the US criminal justice system. Butler describes a chokehold as “a process of coercing submission that is self-reinforcing. A chokehold justifies additional pressure on the body because a body does not come into compliance, but a body cannot come into compliance because of the vice grip that is on it.” That, he says, is the black experience in the United States. Butler knows that experience all too well. He began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor, a job that he describes in this conversation as “basically just locking up black men.” Then, the tables turned and Butler found himself falsely accused of a misdemeanor assault. "After that experience I didn’t want to be a prosecutor any more," he writes. "I don’t think every cop lies in court but...

64 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition

Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful

The first question I asked Ta-Nehisi Coates, in this episode, was broad: What does he see right now, as he looks out at the country? “I can't believe I'm gonna say this,” he replied, “but I see hope. I see progress right now.” Coates is the author of the National Book Award-winner Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer, among others. We discuss how this moment differs from 1968, the tension between “law” and “order,” the contested legacy of MLK, Trump's view of the presidency, police abolition, why we need to renegotiate the idea of “the public,” how the consensus on criminal justice has shifted, what Joe Biden represents, the proper role of the state, the poetry Coates recommends, and much more. But there’s one thread of this conversation, in particular, that I haven’t been able to put down: There is now, as there always is amidst protests, a loud call for the protesters to follow the principles of nonviolence. And that call, as Coates says, comes from people who neither practice nor heed nonviolence in their own lives. But what if we turned that conversation around: What would it mean to build the state around principles of nonviolence, rather than reserving that exacting standard for those harmed by the state? Book recommendations: Punishment and Inequality in America by Bruce Western Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration by Devah Pager The Country Between Us by Carolyn Forche Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Editor - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

92 MINJUN 4
Comments
Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful

Latest Episodes

Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today

My first conversation with Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen in fall 2019 was one of my all-time favorites. I didn’t expect to have Allen on again so soon, but her work is unusually relevant to our current moment. She’s written an entire book about the deeper argument of the Declaration of Independence and the way our superficial reading and folk history of the document obscures its radicalism. (It’ll make you look at July Fourth in a whole new way). Her most recent book, Cuz, is a searing indictment of the American criminal justice system, driven by watching her cousin go through it and motivated by the murder that ended his life. Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, which Allen directs, has released the most comprehensive, operational road map for mobilizing and reopening the US economy amidst the Covid-19 crisis. And to top it all off, a two-year bipartisan commission of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, which Allen co-chaired, recently released a repor...

72 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today

Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

Land of the Giants isa podcast from our friends at Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network that examines the most powerful tech companies of our time. The second season is called The Netflix Effect, and it’s hosted by Recode editors Rani Molla and Peter Kafka. The Netflix Effect explores how a company that began as a small DVD-by-mail service ultimately upended Hollywood and completely changed the way we watch TV. It’s a fascinating look at what really goes on behind the scenes at Netflix, one of the few companies that’s actually growing during the pandemic, and how they’re continuing to transform entertainment for you and me. New episodes are released every Tuesday morning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

17 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking

In 1964, the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote his opus Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. In it, he writes, “In the long run, a medium's content matters less than the medium itself in influencing how we think and act." Or, put more simply: "Media work their magic, or their mischief, on the nervous system itself." This idea — that the media technologies we rely on reshape us on a fundamental, cognitive level — sits at the center of Nicholas Carr's 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. A world defined by oral traditions is more social, unstructured, and multi-sensory; a world defined by the written written word is more individualistic, disciplined, and hyper-visual. A world defined by texting, scrolling and social feedback is addicted to stimulus, constantly forming and affirming expressions of identity, accustomed to waves of information. Back in 2010, Carr argued that the internet was changing how we thought, and not necessarily for the better. “"My brain, I realized, wasn't just drifting,” he wrote. “It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the same way the net fed it — and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became.” His book was a finalist for the Pulitzer that year, but dismissed by many, including me. Ten years on, I regret that dismissal. Reading it now, it is outrageously prescient, offering a framework and language for ideas and experiences I’ve been struggling to define for a decade. Carr saw where we were going, and now I wanted to ask him where we are. In this conversation, Carr and I discuss how speaking, reading, and now the Internet have each changed our brains in different ways, why "paying attention" doesn't come naturally to us, why we’re still reading Marshall McLuhan, how human memory actually works, why having your phone in sight makes you less creative, what separates "deep reading” from simply reading, why deep reading is getting harder, why building connections is more important than absorbing information, the benefits to collapsing the world into a connected digital community, and much more. The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good. It’s that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves. Book recommendations: The Control Revolution by James R. Beniger The Four-Dimensional Human by Laurence Scott A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Research Czar - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

72 MIN6 d ago
Comments
Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking

Your questions, answered

Believe it or not, we’re already halfway through 2020. What a great year so far, huh? Just a delight. That means it’s time for an AMA. Among the questions you asked: If Joe Biden is elected president, what should his administration's first legislative priority be? What were the best critiques of Why We’re Polarized? How much of today's political conflict comes down to the Boomer/Millennial divide? What’s your reading process? What does preparation for EK Show episodes look like? If you were only intellectually accountable to beauty and not truth, what religion would you choose? What’s your favorite non-Vox podcast? What’s your biggest takeaway from year 1 of being a dad? East coast or west coast? What are the episodes that you have the most fun doing? What’s an important identity of yours that doesn’t usually come out on the show? Roge Karma joins me for this one. References: "In praise of polarization" by Ezra Klein "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Ezra's book recommendations: The Grapes of Wrathby John Steinbeck Beyond Ideology by Francis Lee What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer Most fun EK Shows: I build a world with fantasy master N.K. Jemisin The art of attention, with Jenny Odell Tracy K. Smith changed how I read poetry How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher/Guest host - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

83 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Your questions, answered

Which country has the world's best healthcare system?

I got my start as a blogger. But more specifically, I got my start as a health policy blogger. My first piece of writing I remember people really caring about was a series called “The Health of Nations,” in which I checked out books from college library, downloaded international reports, and profiled the world’s leading health systems. It was crude stuff, but it taught me a lot. The way we do health care isn’t the only way to do health care. It’s not the best way, or the second best, or the third. Ezekiel Emanuel is a bioethicist, oncologist, and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Health Transformation Institute. He was a top health policy advisor in the Obama administration, he’s a senior fellow at the Center for American progress, he makes his own artisanal chocolate, and he’s got a new book — Which Country Has the World’s Best Healthcare? — where he goes into more detail than I ever did, or could, to profile other health systems and rank them against our o...

70 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Which country has the world's best healthcare system?

The transformative power of restorative justice

The criminal justice system asks three questions: What law was broken? Who broke it? And what should the punishment be? Upon that edifice — and channeled through old bigotries and fears — we have built the largest system of human incarceration on earth. America accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its imprisoned population. Restorative justice asks different questions: Who was harmed? What do they need? And whose obligation is it to meet those needs? It is a radically different model, with profoundly different results both for victims and perpetrators. Studies show restorative justice programs leave survivors more satisfied, cut recidivism rates, and cost less. If we’re thinking about rebuilding the criminal justice program, restorative justice should be central to that conversation. sujatha baliga is the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice. She won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2019. She’s a survivor of abuse herself. Her work points toward a new paradigm for criminal justice: one focused on repairing breaches, not exacting retribution. And it carries lessons for how our politics might function, how our society could heal some of its oldest wounds, and how we live our own precious lives. References: "Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm by Kazu Haga Book recommendations: For the Benefit of All Beings by the Dalai Lama The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher extraordinaire - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

74 MIN2 w ago
Comments
The transformative power of restorative justice

Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence

In his new book, The Decadent Society, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat diagnoses America’s core problems as decadence: “a situation in which repetition is more the norm than innovation; in which sclerosis afflicts public institution and private enterprises alike; in which intellectual life seems to go in circles; in which new developments in science, new exploratory projects, underdeliver compared with what people recently expected.” Douthat argues that there is a kind of ideological exhaustion, a spiritual malaise, at the center of the American project. We are a victim of our own successes, undone by our own achievements, and unable to break free from our oldest debates. But is he right? Ross and I cover a lot of ground in this conversation. We discuss why conservative Catholics talk so much more about sex than poverty, the dangers of the expansionary impulse, whether psychedelic culture is an antidote to decadence, the importance of utopian ambition, the moral foundations of effective altruism, the problem with contemporary science fiction, whether political liberalism is dependent on Christian metaphysics, why America can’t build, whether war is necessary for existential meaning, how the New York Times op-ed page has changed over the past decade, and much more. Book recommendations: From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun The Illusion of the Endby Jean Baudrillard The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood The Children of Men by PD James Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

95 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Ross Douthat and I debate American decadence

A serious conversation about UFOs

You may have been following — I hope you are following — the New York Times's recent UFO reporting. Videos that the Navy confirms are real show pilots seeing and marveling over craft they can't explain. And as former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, those videos “only scratch the surface” of the Pentagon's UFO research. UFOs are one of those topics that it’s hard to take seriously because they’re covered in kitsch and conspiracy. But there are those who take them seriously, which means approaching the question with humility. The history, frequency, and consistency of these events point toward something that merits study. But the explanations we force onto them — from religious visitations to aliens — confuse us further. We’re working backward from beliefs we already have, not forward from phenomena we don’t understand. Diana Walsh Pasulka is a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. In 2019, she published a fascinating book called American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology, in which she embeds in the world of UFO research and tries to understand it using the tools of religious scholarship. The results are revelatory in terms of theory but also in terms of the things she sees, learns, and is forced to confront. Sometimes it's healthy — and, to be honest, fun — to train our attention on what we can't explain, not just what we can. In this episode, we do just that. Book recommendations: Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee Authors of the Impossible by Jeffrey J. Kripal UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record by Leslie Kean Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

89 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A serious conversation about UFOs

A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition

In 2017, Paul Butler published the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men. For Butler the chokehold is much more than a barbaric police tactic; it is also a powerful powerful metaphor for understanding how racial oppression functions in the US criminal justice system. Butler describes a chokehold as “a process of coercing submission that is self-reinforcing. A chokehold justifies additional pressure on the body because a body does not come into compliance, but a body cannot come into compliance because of the vice grip that is on it.” That, he says, is the black experience in the United States. Butler knows that experience all too well. He began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor, a job that he describes in this conversation as “basically just locking up black men.” Then, the tables turned and Butler found himself falsely accused of a misdemeanor assault. "After that experience I didn’t want to be a prosecutor any more," he writes. "I don’t think every cop lies in court but...

64 MIN3 w ago
Comments
A former prosecutor's case for prison abolition

Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful

The first question I asked Ta-Nehisi Coates, in this episode, was broad: What does he see right now, as he looks out at the country? “I can't believe I'm gonna say this,” he replied, “but I see hope. I see progress right now.” Coates is the author of the National Book Award-winner Between the World and Me and The Water Dancer, among others. We discuss how this moment differs from 1968, the tension between “law” and “order,” the contested legacy of MLK, Trump's view of the presidency, police abolition, why we need to renegotiate the idea of “the public,” how the consensus on criminal justice has shifted, what Joe Biden represents, the proper role of the state, the poetry Coates recommends, and much more. But there’s one thread of this conversation, in particular, that I haven’t been able to put down: There is now, as there always is amidst protests, a loud call for the protesters to follow the principles of nonviolence. And that call, as Coates says, comes from people who neither practice nor heed nonviolence in their own lives. But what if we turned that conversation around: What would it mean to build the state around principles of nonviolence, rather than reserving that exacting standard for those harmed by the state? Book recommendations: Punishment and Inequality in America by Bruce Western Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration by Devah Pager The Country Between Us by Carolyn Forche Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcastsYour support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Editor - Jackson Bierfeldt Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

92 MINJUN 4
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Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful

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