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.

The Transformative Power of Restorative Justice

The Ezra Klein Show | 18 June 2020 | 1h 14m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Sujatha Baliga, director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice. Advocates for criminal justice focused on repairing breaches rather than exacting retribution. Restorative justice asks: Who was harmed? What do they need? And whose obligation is it to meet those needs? This delivers profoundly different results, both for victims and perpetrators, with more satisfied survivors, reduced recidivism, and lower costs.

Are Humans Fundamentally Good? (with Rutger Bregman)

The Ezra Klein Show | 1 June 2020 | 1h 39m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Rutger Bregman about his book Humankind: A Hopeful History. Argues that human nature is kinder, friendlier, and more decent than generally thought and that a new world could be built atop that understanding. Discusses the deeply social, egalitarian lives of hunter-gatherers; whether the advent of human civilization was a huge mistake; whether humans have a common nature; the implications of the Holocaust; whether we can build a society without CEOs, politicians, and bureaucrats; and more.

A Former Prosecutor’s Case for Prison Abolition

The Ezra Klein Show | 8 June 2020 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Paul Butler about ideas to do with his book Chokehold: Policing Black Men. Argues that the chokehold is a metaphor for understanding how racial oppression functions in the US criminal justice system – coercing submission that is self-reinforcing. Makes the case that the criminal legal system is not broken and in need of repair; but is working exactly as designed, and needs to be completely reimagined.