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Today's guest is the Gutfeld! show and Fox News contributor Kat Timpf, whose new book, You Can't Joke About That: Why Everything Is Funny, Nothing Is Sacred, and We're All In This Together, is a massive bestseller. It's also a full-throated defense of free speech and a compelling argument for humor as the best possible coping mechanism. I talk with…
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This is the audio version of The Reason Livestream, which takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The guest on this week's livestream was Dave Rubin, the host of The Rubin Report. A self-described classical liberal, Dave talked with Reason about why he's supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president. We cover a lot of ground, including D…
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In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill wrote, "he who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that." He was laying out the case for robust, good-faith, and systematic debate as essential to an open society. If you don't test your beliefs by engaging with people who disagree with you, you're more likely to make weak, incomplete, self-serving, o…
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This is the audio version of The Reason Livestream, which takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern. Our topic was the release of and reaction to the Durham report, an investigation into the FBI's probe of possible collusion between former President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian government actors during the 2016 election. Our guest was Eli…
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My guest today is journalist and podcaster Jesse Singal, who first came to national prominence a few years ago when he wrote a cover story for The Atlantic titled "When Children Say They're Trans." The article was meticulously reported but questioned various aspects of contemporary activism and created a firestorm that continues to this day. Since …
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This is the audio version of The Reason Livestream that takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The topic this week was whether falling birthrates in the United States and other countries are a bad thing that governments should try to reverse. My guests were Reason Senior Editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown, whose June cover story is "Storks Don't T…
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Is the world getting better? Or is it on the verge of collapse? Stefan Sagmeister emphatically believes that things are looking up, and his art exhibition "Now Is Better" showcases a bold new way to convince the world that he's right. He takes actual paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries, disassembles them, and creates new works by juxtaposing…
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This is the audio version of this week's The Reason Livestream, which takes place every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern. This week's topic is artificial intelligence, or A.I., and my Reason colleague Zach Weissmueller interviews two leading thinkers on the subject. Jaan Tallinn of the Future of Life Institute organized an open letter calling for a pause…
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My guest today is one of my favorite people in the world. Vernon Smith is the 2002 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work in experimental economics. He's almost certainly the only male Nobel Prize winner who showed up with a ponytail and an Adam Smith bolo tie. More than anybody else, Smith is responsible for taking …
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This is the audio version of The Reason Livestream, which I co-host every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern with my Reason colleague Zach Weissmueller. Today's guest is Jacob Siegel, a journalist who served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He's written a fantastic essay for Tablet magazine called, "A Guide to Under…
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For today's episode, I talk with Ben Smith, the first editor in chief of recently shuttered BuzzFeed News, former New York Times media columnist, and founder of Semafor. In his new book Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race To Go Viral, Smith charts the rise and fall of Gawker, The Huffington Post, Breitbart News, and hi…
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Today's guest is Vivek Ramaswamy, an Ohio-based biotech entrepreneur and best-selling author who is running for the Republican presidential nomination. His America First 2.0 platform combines some libertarian elements (prioritizing economic growth, opposing central bank digital currencies, shutting down whole federal agencies) with others that are …
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Established in 1958 and peaking in influence and membership in the mid-1960s, the staunchly anti-communist John Birch Society quickly became a powerful force in conservative politics, with leading figures such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan making appeals to its members without fully endorsing its paranoid vision of a country secretly control…
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Forty years ago, the National Commission on Excellence in Education published A Nation At Risk: The Imperative For Educational Reform, a scathing indictment of public K-12 schools in America. "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an …
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My guest today is Daniel Akst, a journalist and novelist who has written one of the most remarkable books I've read in a while. War By Other Means: The Pacifists of the Greatest Generation Who Revolutionized Resistance is an irresistibly readable history of peace-mongering practitioners of "Christian libertarianism" who refused to sign on to Americ…
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The good news is that President Joe Biden has officially signed legislation declaring the end of "the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic." The bad news? Governmental responses to the pandemic were "a catastrophe for human freedom" all over the globe, says the Cato Institute's Ian Vásquez. He's the lead author of Cato's annual Human…
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My guests today are University of San Diego philosopher Matt Zwolinski and Heterodox Academy President John Tomasi, authors of The Individualists: Radicals, Reactionaries, and the Struggle for the Soul of Libertarianism. This is the definitive intellectual history of a movement that they argue began in recognizable form in the 19th century in Europ…
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Every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, Zach Weissmueller and I go live at YouTube and Facebook with great thinkers, activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, policy makers and other people who are central to the world in which we live. We're excited to present the audio of those conversations as bonus episodes of the Reason Interview podcast. This time aro…
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"This book is born of an anxiety I was feeling, which was this sense that we were leaving pieces of ourselves, in all these different forums, in all these different media," says today's guest, former Reason Senior Editor Kerry Howley, whose new book is Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs: A Journey Through the Deep State. "There's a piece of yourself i…
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Every Thursday at Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, Zach Weissmueller and I go live at YouTube and Facebook with great thinkers, activists, politicians, entrepreneurs, policymakers and other people who are central to the world in which we live. We're excited to present the audio of those conversations as bonus episodes of the Reason Interview podcast. Th…
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"What we want is a nonslave society, a society without masters," the economic historian Deirdre McCloskey told me late last year at the annual Liberty Forum conference of the Atlas Network, a group founded in 1981 by British businessman Antony Fisher. The Atlas Network supports nonprofits around the globe that fight against authoritarianism and pus…
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Most people have no idea that pinball was illegal in New York from the early 1940s until 1976, when a journalist named Roger Sharpe finally won his crusade against the city to free the flippers. The story of that insane ban is the subject of the new movie Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, which Richard Brody of The New Yorker called "better than…
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My guest today is William Bratton, the former police commissioner of New York City and former chief of police in Los Angeles. He is widely credited for playing a major role in the historic decline of crime in the Big Apple in the 1990s, and he's a major presence in the new documentary Gotham: The Fall and Rise of New York, which will be released on…
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Today's guest is Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. The author of two books on how bad medical policy persists long after it has been recognized as ineffective or even deadly (Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Harm People With Can…
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Today's Reason Interview podcast has double the hosts and double the guests. Every Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern, Zach Weissmueller and I host a live interview on Reason's YouTube channel. Today's episode is pulled from our recent conversation about government regulation of cryptocurrency and related matters that we had with Hester Peirce, a renegade …
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My guest today is the Edgar Award–nominated mystery writer and Reason contributor Kat Rosenfield, whose new novel is You Must Remember This, a Gothic whodunnit set in Maine that is simply impossible to put down. Kat is one of the most fearless—and most interesting—cultural critics at work today. She joined me in February at the Reason Speakeasy, a …
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Do we use social media—or does it use us? That's one of the fundamental questions posed by artist Dave Cicirelli in a series of works produced in different media—including social media, in real time—over the past decade. He creates what he calls "experiential art" because the audience must interact with it rather than passively contemplate it in or…
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In the 1990s, Marc Andreessen helped make the World Wide Web navigable by co-authoring Mosaic, the first super-popular web browser, and then by co-founding Netscape, one of the first great internet initial public offerings (IPOs). As a founder of the venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz, he has had a central role in funding Facebook, Pint…
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I'm the father of two adult sons who are thankfully out of the K-12 educational system. I say thankfully because I found education inherently anxiety-inducing. Turning your kids over to a school for years is no simple thing and my own ambivalent memories as a student didn't help. I'm pretty sure it's always been this way, but today it just seems at…
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"Brown v. Board of Ed ultimately was never about black kids getting into a white school. It was always about ultimately a parent being able to decide where their children should attend school," Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears tells me in today's Reason Interview podcast. She is one of the driving forces behind a new bill that would create so-…
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Pessimism is everywhere these days, with a whopping 76 percent of Americans telling Gallup they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. Some of that's understandable: COVID-19 has killed 1.1 million Americans, there's a major land war going on in Europe, the stock market has tanked, and the political scene is filled with fakers and liar…
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With more states and localities legalizing what the government still calls "illicit" drugs, how should we rethink criminal penalties and treatment for people with substance abuse problems? What policy and cultural frameworks will allow all of us to make better use decisions, reduce harm to ourselves and others, and make sure people who need help ca…
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No federal bureaucrat played a bigger role in 20th-century law enforcement than J. Edgar Hoover (1895–1972), who served as the head of the FBI and its predecessor agency for half a century. Hoover oversaw crackdowns on everything from real and imagined communists in the first Red Scare of the 1920s and its sequel in the 1950s; staged high-profile s…
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Thinking about putting together a great home cocktail bar? Just interested in this fascinating, highly expressive subculture? Guest host Peter Suderman, Reason's features editor, talks with Jacob Grier, a craft cocktail bartender and writer based in Portland, Oregon. Grier is a Reason contributor and the co-author, with Brett Adams, of the new book…
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"This universe is finite. Its resources, finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist." So declares the Marvel Comics supervillain Thanos near the end of Avengers: Infinity War, when he destroys half of humanity with the snap of his finger. In Superabundance, Marian L. Tupy of the Cato Institute and Gale L. Pooley of Brigham Young Un…
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It might be the oldest profession, but prostitution and other forms of sex work are also among the most prohibited and regulated around the world. At the latest Reason Speakeasy—a monthly live event in New York City with outspoken defenders of free speech and heterodox thinking—I talked with Kaytlin Bailey, the founder and executive director of Old…
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Has the Republican Party lost its mind—and its way—in its slavish devotion to Donald Trump, who insists that the 2020 election was stolen from him through extensive voter fraud? That's the question that journalist Robert Draper investigates in his new book Weapons of Mass Delusion, which looks at rising Republican stars such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor…
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As a teenager growing up in Greenwich Village in the late 1960s, Steven Heller improbably became the art director of pioneering alternative publications such as The New York Free Press, the pioneering porn magazine Screw, and The East Village Other before eventually moving on to work at The New York Times and teaching at the School of Visual Arts f…
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The libertarian movement has lost its way over the past 60 years as it's shifted from Friedrich Hayek's classical liberal corrective to Depression-era central planning to Murray Rothbard's full-blown anarcho-capitalism in which all taxation is theft and all transfer payments are immoral. That's the argument in a provocative new book called Burning …
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Today's episode is guest-hosted by my Reason TV colleague Zach Weissmueller. Zach went to Philadelphia to talk with Maj Toure, who runs the Solutionary Center in North Philadelphia. It's a place for locals to learn firearms skills and safety, how to avoid and de-escalate conflicts, and to pick up other life skills ranging from first aid to yoga to …
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Over the past decade, no social critic has been more withering toward identity politics and cancel culture than Andrew Doyle, the playwright, comedian, and journalist from Northern Ireland. Whether it's creating the parodic Twitter personality Titania McGrath or penning a best-selling defense of free speech, the Oxford-educated Doyle has never miss…
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Larry Krasner wants to fix America's criminal justice system, which imprisons more people per capita than any other country on the planet. Since 2018, he's served as the district attorney of Philadelphia—one of America's most highly incarcerated and crime-ridden cities. Krasner spent three decades as a criminal and civil rights defense attorney bef…
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Over the past 50 years, boys and men have lost ground at school and work and they're living shorter lives. They're less likely than women to graduate from high school and college or to earn advanced degrees. They're dropping out of the labor force in record numbers and account for two-thirds of the so-called deaths of despair stemming from suicide,…
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In 2013, the serial entrepreneur Balaji Srinivasan gave a widely discussed talk at the tech incubator Y Combinator on a paradigm derived from the work of political economist Albert O. Hirschman. There are two basic paths to reform, he explained: You can speak up and remake a system from within ("voice") or you can simply leave and build something n…
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The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020 touched off a summer of protests over police brutality, especially with regard to African Americans and Hispanics. To many, the killings cemented as fact a narrative that began with the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and found expression in highly charged slogans such as "a…
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No governor is more cheered and hated right now than Florida Republican Ron DeSantis, currently in the news for flying around 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha's Vineyard to own the libs. The 44-year-old Navy veteran and double-Ivy-Leaguer also headlined the third National Conservatism Conference, where he emphasized that the state should punish and…
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Did you know that Otto Frank, the father of Anne, repeatedly tried to emigrate with his family to the United States after the Nazis came to power in his native Germany? Each attempt failed due to American immigration restrictions put into place in the 1920s. Two-thirds of European Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II in a systematic, r…
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Today's guest is Phil Magness, the intellectual watchdog based at the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) who is keeping tight tabs on suspect claims from journalists and academics. His targets have included Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of The New York Times' Pulitzer Prize–winning series The 1619 Project, which Magness documented w…
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"I came to realize that economists…tend to focus on things that can be measured," says Russ Roberts, host of the long-running podcast, EconTalk, and author of the new book Wild Problems. "Dignity is hard to measure. A sense of self is hard to measure. Belonging is hard to measure. A feeling of transcendence is hard to measure. Mattering—that you ar…
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You've probably heard the latest news that school lockdowns during the COVID pandemic are responsible for erasing two decades of progress in math and reading test scores. On national tests of 9-year-olds, math scores declined seven points between 2020 and 2022. Reading scores dropped by five points. These are "some of the largest declines" in half …
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