401 episodes

Vox Conversations brings you weekly discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light, including five years' worth of episodes hosted by Vox co-founder Ezra Klein.

Vox Conversations Vox

    • Philosophy
    • 4.6 • 370 Ratings

Vox Conversations brings you weekly discussions between the brightest minds and the deepest thinkers; conversations that will cause you to question old assumptions and think about the world and our role in it in a new light, including five years' worth of episodes hosted by Vox co-founder Ezra Klein.

    Peter Kafka and Kevin Roose on big tech's power and responsibility

    Peter Kafka and Kevin Roose on big tech's power and responsibility

    Recode’s Peter Kafka speaks with New York Times’s Tech columnist Kevin Roose about big tech’s power and responsibility - and whether it is going to have accountability.
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    • 30 min
    Sam Sanders and Olivia Nuzzi on President Trump’s last days

    Sam Sanders and Olivia Nuzzi on President Trump’s last days

    New York magazine's Washington correspondent Olivia Nuzzi spent the past four years covering the Trump White House. In this inaugural episode of Vox Conversations, Nuzzi talks to guest host Sam Sanders, host of NPR's It’s Been a Minute, about the perils of anonymous sourcing, some unexpected job hazards (self-loathing), and why Trump didn’t ultimately create, but instead activated, the crowd of insurgents that breached the Capitol last week.
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    • 46 min
    Best of: We don’t just feel emotions. We make them.

    Best of: We don’t just feel emotions. We make them.

    How do you feel right now? Excited to listen to your favorite podcast? Anxious about the state of American politics? Annoyed by my use of rhetorical questions?
    These questions seem pretty straightforward. But as my guest today, psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, points out there is a lot more to emotion than meets the mind.
    Barrett is a superstar in her field. She’s a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and has received various prestigious awards for her pioneering research on emotion. Her most recent book How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain argues that emotions are not biologically hardwired into our brains but constructed by our minds. In other words, we don’t merely feel emotions — we actively create them.
    Barrett’s work has potentially radical implications. If we take her theory seriously, it follows that the ways we think about our daily emotional states, diagnose illnesses, interact with friends, raise our children, and experience reality all need some serious adjusting, if not complete rethinking.
    If you enjoyed this episode, you should check out:
    A mind-expanding conversation with Michael Pollan
    The cognitive cost of poverty (with Sendhil Mullainathan)
    Will Storr on why you are not yourself 
    A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation with John Higgs
    Book recommendations: 
    Naming the Mind by Kurt Danzinger 
    The Island of Knowledge by Marcelo Gleiser 
    The Accidental Species by Henry Gee
    Sense and Nonsense by Kevin L. Laland
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Recording engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Field engineer - Joseph Fridman
    The Ezra Klein Show is a production of the Vox Media Podcast Network
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    • 1 hr 35 min
    Best of: Ending the age of animal cruelty, with Bruce Friedrich

    Best of: Ending the age of animal cruelty, with Bruce Friedrich

    You often hear that eating animals is natural. And it is. But not the way we do it.
    The industrial animal agriculture system is a technological marvel. It relies on engineering broiler chickens that grow almost seven times as quickly as they would naturally, and that could never survive in the wild. It relies on pumping a majority of all the antibiotics used in the United States into farm animals to stop the die-offs that overcrowding would otherwise cause. A list like this could go on endlessly, but the point is simple: Industrial animal agriculture is not a natural food system. It is a triumph of engineering.
    But though we live in a moment when technology has made animal cruelty possible on a scale never imagined in human history, we also live in a moment when technology may be about to make animal cruelty unnecessary. And nothing changes a society’s values as quickly as innovations that make a new moral system easy and cheap to adopt. And that’s what this podcast is about.
    Bruce Friedrich is the head of the Good Food Institute, which invests, connects, advises, and advocates for the plant and cell-based meat industries. That work puts him at the hot center of one of the most exciting and important technological stories of our age: the possible replacement of a cruel, environmentally unsustainable form of food production with a system that’s better for the planet, better for animals, and better for our health.
    I talk a lot about animal suffering issues on this podcast, and I do so because they’re important. We’re causing a lot of suffering right now. But I don’t believe that it’ll be a change in morality or ideology that transforms our system. I think it’ll be a change in technology, and Friedrich knows better than just about anyone else alive how fast that technology is becoming a reality. In a rare change of pace for the Ezra Klein Show, this conversation will leave you, dare I say it, optimistic.
    Book Recommendations:
    Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy
    Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World by Paul Shapiro
    Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
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    • 1 hr 21 min
    Best of: The moral philosophy of The Good Place

    Best of: The moral philosophy of The Good Place

    After creating and running Parks and Recreation and writing for The Office, Michael Schur decided he wanted to create a sitcom about one of the most fundamental questions of human existence: What does it mean to be a good person? That’s how NBC's The Good Place was born.

    Soon into the show’s writing, Schur realized he was in way over his head. The question of human morality is one of the most complicated and hotly contested subjects of all time. He needed someone to help him out. So, he recruited Pamela Hieronymi, a professor at UCLA specializing in the subjects of moral responsibility, psychology, and free will, to join the show as a “consulting philosopher” — surely a first in sitcom history.

    I wanted to bring Shur and Hieronymi onto the show because The Good Place should not exist. Moral philosophy is traditionally the stuff of obscure academic journals and undergraduate seminars, not popular television. Yet, three-and-a-half seasons on, The Good Place is not only one of the funniest sitcoms on TV, it has popularized academic philosophy in an unprecedented fashion and put forward its own highly sophisticated moral vision.

    This is a conversation about how and why The Good Place exists and what it reflects about The Odd Place in which we actually live. Unlike a lot of conversations about moral philosophy, this one is a lot of fun.
     
    References:
    Dylan Matthews' brilliant profile on The Good Place
    Dylan Matthews on why he donated his kidney


    Book recommendations:
    Michael Schur:
    Ordinary Vices by Judith N. Shklar
    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré 
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Pamela Hieronymi:
    What We Owe to Each Other by T.M. Scanlon
    Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Mortal Questions by Thomas Nagel


    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your 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)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 44 min
    Best of: Michael Lewis reads my mind

    Best of: Michael Lewis reads my mind

    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 Twain
    A Collection of Essays by George Orwell
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

    Credits:
    Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma

    Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your 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)

    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
370 Ratings

370 Ratings

statishgrg ,

Great podcast!

The show is so thorough and fun. Also thanks for the reading lists.

ProfesrP ,

makes me smarter

EK show makes me smarter

margot anderson ,

Could be better

Great topics and guests, but the interview style and how many times he interrupts speakers is truly frustrating. It really is the EK show no matter who else is invited

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