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The Ezra Klein Show

New York Times Opinion

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Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike? Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, ou ...
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A.I.-generated art has flooded the internet, and a lot of it is derivative, even boring or offensive. But what could it look like for artists to collaborate with A.I. systems in making art that is actually generative, challenging, transcendent? Holly Herndon offered one answer with her 2019 album “PROTO.” Along with Mathew Dryhurst and the programm…
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“The Jetsons” premiered in 1962. And based on the internal math of the show, George Jetson, the dad, was born in 2022. He’d be a toddler right now. And we are so far away from the world that show imagined. There were a lot of future-trippers in the 1960s, and most of them would be pretty disappointed by how that future turned out. So what happened?…
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The international legal system was created to prevent the atrocities of World War II from happening again. The United Nations partitioned historic Palestine to create the states of Israel and Palestine, but also left Palestinians with decades of false promises. The war in Gaza — and countless other conflicts, including those in Syria, Yemen and Eth…
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Drug policy feels very unsettled right now. The war on drugs was a failure. But so far, the war on the war on drugs hasn’t entirely been a success, either. Take Oregon. In 2020, it became the first state in the nation to decriminalize hard drugs. It was a paradigm shift — treating drug-users as patients rather than criminals — and advocates hoped i…
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Ultimately, the Gaza war protests sweeping campuses are about influencing Israeli politics. The protesters want to use economic divestment, American pressure and policy, and a broad sense of international outrage to change the decisions being made by Israeli leaders. So I wanted to know what it’s like to watch these protests from Israel. What are I…
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A decade ago, I was feeling pretty pessimistic about climate change. The politics of mitigating global warming just seemed impossible: asking people to make sacrifices, or countries to slow their development, and delay dreams of better, more prosperous lives. But the world today looks different. The costs of solar and wind power have plummeted. Sam…
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Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” made him the target of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who denounced the book as blasphemous and issued a fatwa calling for his assassination. Rushdie spent years trying to escape the shadow the fatwa cast on him, and for some time, he thought he succeeded. But in 2022, an assailant attacked him onsta…
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In our recent series on artificial intelligence, I kept returning to a thought: This technology might be able to churn out content faster than we can, but we still need a human mind to sift through the dross and figure out what’s good. In other words, A.I. is going to turn more of us into editors. But editing is a peculiar skill. It’s hard to test …
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There is so much we need to build right now. The housing crunch has spread across the country; by one estimate, we’re a few million units short. And we also need a huge build-out of renewable energy infrastructure — at a scale some experts compare to the construction of the Interstate highway system. And yet, we’re not seeing anything close to the …
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Back in 2018, Dario Amodei worked at OpenAI. And looking at one of its first A.I. models, he wondered: What would happen as you fed an artificial intelligence more and more data? He and his colleagues decided to study it, and they found that the A.I. didn’t just get better with more data; it got better exponentially. The curve of the A.I.’s capabil…
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The internet is in decay. Do a Google search, and there are so many websites now filled with slapdash content contorted just to rank highly in the algorithm. Facebook, YouTube, X and TikTok all used to feel more fun and surprising. And all these once-great media companies have been folding or shedding staff members, unable to find a business model …
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There’s something of a paradox that has defined my experience with artificial intelligence in this particular moment. It’s clear we’re witnessing the advent of a wildly powerful technology, one that could transform the economy and the way we think about art and creativity and the value of human work itself. At the same time, I can’t for the life of…
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Donald Trump can seem like a political anomaly. You sometimes hear people describe his connection with his base in quasi-mystical terms. But really, Trump is an example of an archetype — the right-wing populist showman — that recurs across time and place. There’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Boris Johnson in Britain, Javier Milei in Argentina. And the…
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We’ll be back on Friday with a new episode. In the meantime, we wanted to share one of our favorite recent episodes from our sister podcast, “Matter of Opinion.” Why does the economy look so good to economists but feel so bad to voters? The Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman joins the hosts on “Matter of Opinion” to discuss why inflation, intere…
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American policy is uniquely hostile to families. Other wealthy countries guarantee paid parental leave and sick days and heavily subsidize early childhood care — to the tune of about $14,000 per year per child, on average. (The United States, by contrast, spends around $500 per child per year.) So it’s no wonder our birthrate has been in decline, w…
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For a long time, the story about the world’s population was that it was growing too quickly. There were going to be too many humans, not enough resources, and that spelled disaster. But now the script has flipped. Fertility rates have declined dramatically, from about five children per woman 60 years ago to just over two today. About two-thirds of …
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President Biden gave a raucous State of the Union speech last Thursday, offering his pitch for why he should be president for a second term. It’s the clearest picture we have yet of Biden’s campaign message for 2024. But while he listed off all kinds of proposals, it’s not as easy to parse what a second Biden term might actually look like. So I sat…
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When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it scrambled the landscape of abortion access in America, including in ways that one might not entirely expect. Many conservative states made the procedure essentially illegal — that part was predictable. But there’s also been this striking backlash in blue states, with many of them making historic eff…
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Marilynne Robinson is one of the great living novelists. She has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Humanities Medal, and Barack Obama took time out of his presidency to interview her at length. Her fiction is suffused with a sense of holiness: Mundane images like laundry drying on a line seem to be illuminated by a divine force. Whether she’s tel…
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Joe Biden’s presidency has been dominated by two foreign policy crises: the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. The funding the United States has provided in those wars — billions to both Ukraine and Israel — has drawn backlash from both the right and the left. And now, as the conflicts move into new stages with no clear end game, Biden’s policies are increa…
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We received thousands of questions in response to last week’s audio essay arguing that Democrats should consider choosing a candidate at August’s D.N.C. convention. Among them: Is there any chance Joe Biden would actually step down? Would an open convention be undemocratic? Is there another candidate who can bridge the progressive and moderate divi…
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Last week on the show, I argued that the Democrats should pick their nominee at the Democratic National Convention in August. It’s an idea that sounds novel but is really old-fashioned. This is how most presidential nominees have been picked in American history. All the machinery to do it is still there; we just stopped using it. But Democrats may …
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Biden is faltering and Democrats have no plan B. There is another path to winning in 2024 — and I think they should take it. But it would require them to embrace an old-fashioned approach to winning a campaign. Mentioned: The Lincoln Miracle by Edward Achorn If you have a question for the AMA, you can call 212-556-7300 and leave a voice message or …
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For years, Agnes Callard has been on a mission to take ethical philosophy out of the ivory tower. She examines everyday human experiences — jockeying for status, navigating jealousy, marriage — with dazzling detail, publishing regularly in mainstream publications. And she tries to live by her philosophy, too, even if it violates social conventions,…
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“If only we had a partner for peace.” That’s been the refrain in the Israel-Palestinian conflict for as long as I’ve followed it. But the truth is you don’t need just a partner — you need two partners able to deliver at the same time. So you could see it as a tragedy of history that Salam Fayyad joined the Palestinian Authority in 2002, at the heig…
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Around 40 percent of people who marry eventually get a divorce. Almost half of children are born to unmarried women. The number of close friends Americans report having has been on a steep decline since the 1990s, especially among men. Millions of us are growing old alone. We are living out a radical experiment in how we live, love, parent and age …
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Political analysts used to say that the Democratic Party was riding a demographic wave that would lead to an era of dominance. But that “coalition of the ascendant” never quite jelled. The party did benefit from a rise in nonwhite voters and college-educated professionals, but it has also shed voters without a college degree. All this has made the …
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If you’re a Democrat, how worried should you be right now? It’s strangely hard to answer that question. On the one hand, polls suggest Democrats should be very worried. President Biden looks weaker than he did as a candidate in 2020, and in matchups with Donald Trump, the election looks like a coin flip. On the other hand, Democrats staved off an e…
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It’s been just over 100 days since Hamas’s attack on Israel, and the costs of the war are staggering. In polling from late fall, 64 percent of Gazans reported that a family member had been killed or injured. Nearly two million Gazans — almost the entire population — have been displaced from their homes, and analysis of satellite imagery reveals tha…
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The fact that Donald Trump is the front-runner for the G.O.P. nomination in 2024 has created a chasm in our politics. In the past, Democrats and Republicans at least understood why members of the other party liked their chosen candidates. Most conservatives weren’t confused why liberals liked Barack Obama, and vice versa for George W. Bush. But for…
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There’s this incredible dissonance at the center of our politics right now. On the one hand, all the polling suggests that Donald Trump is about to win Iowa Republican caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. He seems overwhelmingly likely to be his party’s nominee, and so possibly our next president. On the other hand, he could be constitutionally …
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Being on the internet just doesn’t feel as fun anymore. As more of our digital life is driven by algorithms, it’s become a lot easier to find movies or TV shows or music that fits our preferences pretty well. But it feels harder to find things that are strange and surprising — the kinds of culture that help you, as an individual, develop your own s…
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I’m convinced that attention is the most important human faculty. Your life, after all, is just the sum total of the things you’ve paid attention to. And we lament our attention issues all the time: how distracted we are, how drained we feel, how hard it is to stay focused or present. And yet, while there’s no shortage of advice on how to improve o…
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“We rarely think about chips, yet they’ve created the modern world,” writes the historian Chris Miller. He’s not exaggerating. Semiconductors power everything from our phones and computers to cars, planes, advanced military equipment, and A.I. systems. Chips are the foundation of modern economic prosperity, military strength and geopolitical power.…
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The holidays are one of the most social times of the year, filled with parties and family get-togethers. Many of us see friends and loved ones who we barely — or never — saw all year. Maybe we resolve to stay in better touch in the new year. But then somehow, once again, life gets in the way. This is not an accident. More and more people are living…
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It’s become something of a tradition on “The Ezra Klein Show” to end the year with an “Ask Me Anything” episode. So as 2023 comes to a close, I sat down with our new senior editor, Claire Gordon, to answer listeners’ questions about everything from the Israel-Hamas war to my thoughts on parenting. We discuss whether the war in Gaza has affected my …
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India is known as a country of paradoxes, and a new one has recently emerged. At the same time that the country is poised to become a major global player — with a booming economy and a population that recently surpassed China’s — its democracy is showing signs of decay. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his administration have silenced critics and i…
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Before Oct. 7, Israel appeared to many to be sliding into a “one-state reality,” where it had functional control over Gaza and the West Bank, but the Palestinians who lived there were denied full rights. In 2021, a group of hundreds of former senior defense and diplomatic officials in Israel published a report warning that this was a catastrophe — …
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Here are two thoughts I believe need to be held at once: Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7 was heinous, murderous and unforgivable, and that makes it more, not less, important to try to understand what Hamas is, how it sees itself and how it presents itself to Palestinians. Tareq Baconi is the author of “Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palesti…
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Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the release of ChatGPT. A lot has happened since. OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, recently dominated headlines again after the nonprofit board of directors fired C.E.O. Sam Altman, only for him to return several days later. But that drama isn’t actually the most important thing going on in the A.I. world, …
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Every day, we consume a mind-boggling amount of information. We scan online news articles, sift through text messages and emails, scroll through our social-media feeds — and that’s usually before we even get out of bed in the morning. In 2009, a team of researchers found that the average American consumed about 34 gigabytes of information a day. Un…
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It is too early to talk about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. With the trauma of Oct. 7 still fresh for the Israeli public and with the ongoing devastation in Gaza, any talk of conflict-ending solutions is cruel fantasy. But it wasn’t always. Peace efforts in the Middle East have been tried over and over again. It is not a history…
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This is a conversation about the relationship between Jewishness and the Jewish State. About believing some aspects of Israel have become indefensible and also believing that Israel itself must be defended. About what it means when a religion built on the lessons of exile creates a state that inflicts exile on others. About the ugly, recurrent real…
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A New York Times and Siena College poll released Nov. 5 showed Donald Trump leading Joe Biden in five of the six key swing states, with a notable jump in support among nonwhite and young voters. In response, Democrats freaked out. But then two days later, voters across the country actually went to the polls, and Democrats and Democratic-associated …
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Earlier this week, we heard a Palestinian perspective on the conflict. Today, I wanted to have on an Israeli perspective. Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author, most recently, of “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.” In this episode, we discuss Halevi’s unusual education as an Israeli Defe…
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Before there can be any kind of stable coexistence of people in Israel and Palestine, there will have to be a stable coexistence of narratives. And that’s what we’ll be attempting this week on the show: to look at both the present and the past through Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. The point is not to choose between them. The point is to rea…
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The day before Hamas’s horrific attacks in Israel, the Arab Barometer, one of the leading polling operations in the Arab world, was finishing up a survey of public opinion in Gaza. The result is a remarkable snapshot of how Gazans felt about Hamas and hoped the conflict with Israel would end. And what Gazans were thinking on Oct. 6 matters, now tha…
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“Two things are true: Israel must do something, and what it’s doing now is indefensible.” So writes Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent at Vox. Almost a month has passed since Hamas fighters slaughtered over 1,400 people in Israel and the state mounted its furious response. For weeks, Israel has laid siege to Gaza, cutting off water and electric…
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After factional infighting dominated the G.O.P.’s struggle to elect a House speaker, it feels weirdly quaint to revisit Mitt Romney’s career. He’s served as governor, U.S. senator and presidential nominee for a Republican Party now nearly unrecognizable from what it was when he started out. At the end of his time in public office, Romney has found …
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Grief moves slowly and war moves quickly. After Hamas assailants killed at least 1,400 Israelis and took hundreds more hostage, Israel dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza in the first week of a conflict that is still ongoing. So far, more than 5,000 Palestinians are reported dead and many more injured. There’s no one way to cover this that reconc…
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