300 episodes

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.

The Ezra Klein Show Vox

    • Philosophy
    • 4.6, 7.9K Ratings

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.

    Can artificial intelligence be emotionally intelligent?

    Can artificial intelligence be emotionally intelligent?

    When we talk about AI, we’re often talking about a very particular, narrow form of intelligence — the sort of analytical competence that can win you games of GO or solve complex math equations. That type of intelligence is important, but it’s incomplete. Human affairs don’t operate on reason and logic alone. They sometimes don't operate on reason and logic at all.

    In 1995, computer scientist Rosalind Picard wrote a paper and subsequent book making the case that the fields of computer science and AI should take emotion seriously, and providing a framework for how machines could come to understand, express and monitor emotion. That project launched the field of “Affective Computing” and today Picard is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT, and a leading inventor and entrepreneur in affective computing. 

    In this conversation, Picard and I discuss the importance of emotional cognition to human decision-making, how emotion-tracking technology is being used to help disadvantaged populations (but could also be used to bring about dystopian results), how affective computing deals with the subjective expressions of human emotions, what studying affective computing taught her about interacting with other humans, why Picard believes the goal of AI technology should be to “empower the weak”and “reduce inequality,” and much more.

    Book recommendations:
    The Bible (stick around for the reasoning behind this one)


    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    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)

    Credits:
    Producer/Editer/ Jack-of-all-audio-trades Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Danielle Allen on the radicalism of the American revolution — and its lessons for today

    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 report with more than 30 recommendations on how to reform American democracy — and they’re very, very good.

    This is a wide-ranging conversation for a wide-ranging moment. Allen and I discuss what “all men are created equal” really means, why the myth of Thomas Jefferson’s sole authorship of the Declaration of Independence muddies its message, the role of police brutality in the American revolution, democracy reforms such as ranked-choice voting, DC statehood, mandatory voting, how to deal with a Republican Party that opposes expanding democracy, the case for prison abolition, the various pandemic response paths before us, the failure of political leadership in this moment, and much more.

    References:
    My first conversation with Danielle Allen
    Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center's Covid-19 work
    "Our Common Purpose" report on reinventing democracy for the 21st century

    Book recommendations:
    To Shape a New World by Brandon Terry and Tommie Shelby 
    Solitary by Alfred Woodfox 
    The Torture Letters by Laurence Ralph


    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    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)

    Credits:
    Producer/Editer/ Jack-of-all-audio-trades Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

    Land of the Giants: The Netflix Effect

    Land of the Giants is a 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 min
    Nicholas Carr on deep reading and digital thinking

    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/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)

    Credits:
    Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld
    Research Czar - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Your questions, answered

    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 Wrath by 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/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)

    Credits:
    Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld
    Researcher/Guest host - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Which country has the world's best healthcare system?

    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 own.

    So, yes, this is a conversation about which country has the world’s best health system. But it’s also about how innovation in health care actually works, whether there’s any evidence private insurers add actual value, whether health care is the best investment to make in improving health (spoiler: no), how do you improve a health system when half of the political system will fight like hell against those improvements, and much more. Emanuel has also been doing a lot of work on coronavirus policy, and so we spend some time there, discussing the question that’ tormenting me now: Are we simply giving up that fight? And is there even a politically viable option to giving up, given how much time the government has wasted and how exhausted the public is?

    Book recommendations:
    Master of the Senate by Robert Caro
    The Last Place on Earth by Roland Huntford
    On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith


    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    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)

    Credits:
    Producer/Editer/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
7.9K Ratings

7.9K Ratings

efishm ,

Danielle Allen for president

What a thoughtful, nuanced guest who said a lot of important things about American govt.

uccellina3 ,

Subscribe!

My favorite podcast. Assumes we can all be thinking people. Klein is a true public intellectual.

happeial ,

Excellent interviews

Sure, it’s another typical interview podcast, but with atypical depth. Ezra Klein obviously has a slant, but he’s one of our great thinkers, and he does his homework.

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