Masha Gessen on What Russians Are — and Aren’t — Seeing

The Ezra Klein Show | 11 March 2022 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Masha Gessen about her recent visit to Russia and discussing what ordinary Russians know about the war being waged by their government in Ukraine; how totalitarian societies make it impossible for people to form opinions; Putin; and more.

Predicting the Future Is Possible

The Ezra Klein Show | 3 December 2021 | 0h 52m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Philip Tetlock about ideas from his books Expert Political Judgement and Superforecasting:The Art and Science of Prediction. Discusses the intellectual virtues, habits of mind, and ways of thinking that we can learn to become better forecasters; the inverse correlation between fame and forecast accuracy; the rigour-relevance gap; how to approach real-life questions; and why government bureaucracies often resist adopting the tools of superforecasting.

How to Do the Most Good

The Ezra Klein Show | 5 October 2021 | 1h 28m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Holden Karnofsky. Discusses the evolution of his thinking about how to be most effective with charitable giving, and his role in establishing GiveWell and Open Philanthropy. Covers ground from climate change to animal welfare to evaluating charities to artificial intelligence to the hard limits of economic growth to trying to view the world as if you were a billion years old.

Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not.

The Ezra Klein Show | 20 July 2021 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Annie Murphy Paul about her book The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. Argues that rather than being like a computer, the human mind is contextual, working differently in different environments, with different tools, amid different bodily states, and among other minds. Discusses how the body can pick up on patterns before the conscious mind knows what it’s seen, why forcing kids (and adults) to “sit still” makes it harder for them to think clearly, the connection between physical movement and creativity, why efficiency is often the enemy of productivity, the restorative power of exposure to the natural world, the dystopian implications of massive cognitive inequality, why open-plan offices were a terrible idea. and more.

Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power

The Ezra Klein Show | 11 June 2021 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sam Altman about his essay Moore’s Law for Everything. Backgrounds how AI will generate wealth by making almost everything cheaper, but destroy jobs in the process and shift wealth from labour to capital. Discusses the political economy that will require, arguing for taxing land and wealth, and distributing it to all to share the wealth.

Should We Dim the Sun? Will We Even Have a Choice?

The Ezra Klein Show | 9 February 2021 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Elizabeth Kolbert about her book Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future. Discusses the prospect of intentionally sending sulphurous particles into the atmosphere to dim the sun, whether carbon capture technology could scale up to to make a dent in emissions levels, the ethics of using gene-editing technologies to make endangered species more resistant to climate change, the governance mechanisms needed to prevent these technologies from getting out of hand, what a healthier narrative about humanity’s relationship with nature would sound like, how the pandemic altered carbon emissions, and more.

Michael Pollan on the Psychedelic Society

The Ezra Klein Show | 14 December 2020 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Michael Pollan discussing the Oregon ballot initiative that legalized the use of psilocybin. Covers what Proposition 109 does and the challenges it will face, the lost history of psychedelics being used as a therapeutic tool in the 1950s, why the mental health profession in America is so excited about the revolutionary possibilities of psychedelic treatment, why the “noetic experience” induced by psychedelics has such incredible healing potential, whether widespread psychedelic use would create massive population-level changes in society, and much more.

Nicholas Carr on Deep Reading and Digital Thinking

The Ezra Klein Show | 29 June 2020 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nicholas Carr about his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. Discusses how speaking, reading, and the Internet have each changed our brains in different ways, why “paying attention” doesn’t come naturally to us, how human memory 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 more.