WNYC Studios
The Middle of Everything Ever
After graduating from high school, without a clear plan for what to do next, Laura Andrews started asking herself a lot of questions. A spiral of big philosophical thoughts that led her to sit down and write to us with a question that was… oddly mathematical. What is the most average size thing, if you take into account everything in the universe. So, along with mathematician Steven Strogatz, we decided to see if we could sit down and, in a friendly throwdown of guesstimates and quick calculations, rough out an answer. Special thanks to all the listeners who sent in their responses to this question. Episode Credits: Reported by - Soren Wheeler and Alex Neason Produced by - Annie McEwen with mixing help from - Arianne Wack Fact-checking by - Natalie A. Middleton and Edited by - Alex Neason Citations: Books You can find links to many books by Steven Strogatz here: Media And the podcast he does for Quanta Magazine, The Joy of Why, here: Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday. It includes short essays, recommendations, and details about other ways to interact with the show. Sign up (! Radiolab is supported by listeners like you. Support Radiolab by becoming a member of The Lab ( today. Follow our show on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @radiolab, and share your thoughts with us by emailing Leadership support for Radiolab’s science programming is provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation Initiative, and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundational support for Radiolab was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
28 min
The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Three Signals We’ve Entered a New Economic Era
“From the U.S. Federal Reserve’s initial misjudgment that inflation would be ‘transitory’ to the current consensus that a probable U.S. recession will be ‘short and shallow,’ there has been a strong tendency to see economic challenges as both temporary and quickly reversible,” writes the economist Mohamed El-Erian. “But rather than one more turn of the economic wheel, the world may be experiencing major structural and secular changes that will outlast the current business cycle.” There are few people who understand financial markets or central banking as deeply as El-Erian. He is the chief economic adviser at Allianz, the president of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and the author of multiple books, including, most recently, “The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability and Recovering From Another Collapse.” Until 2014, he was the C.E.O. of PIMCO — which under his leadership was the largest bond manager in the world. In recent years, markets have been roiled by significant shocks — from a global pandemic that snarled supply chains and disrupted labor markets to a Russian invasion of Ukraine that sent global commodities markets into a tailspin. But El-Erian believes we’re also witnessing a deeper structural shift in the very nature of the global economy. Economic policymakers today are trying to bring the economy back to that of 2019, but in El-Erian’s view, there is no going back. We’ve entered a new era that demands a different kind of response. So I invited El-Erian on the show to help me understand the economic era he thinks we’re entering and how policymakers can respond. We discuss whether the United States is experiencing a permanent decline in labor force participation, why modern supply chains could continue to experience difficulties well beyond the pandemic, how changing U.S.-China relations could unleash inflationary pressures throughout the world, how the Fed’s efforts to stabilize financial markets may have ironically opened the door to the financial collapse, why El-Erian believes a decade-plus of easy money was a colossal mistake, what lessons developing countries learned from the 2008 financial crisis, the parts of the global financial system most at risk of melting down today, El-Erian’s scathing critique of the Fed’s communication strategy and more. Mentioned: “Not Just Another Recession” by Mohamed El-Erian The Only Game in Town by Mohamed El-Erian Book Recommendations: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez Bad Blood by John Carreyrou The World For Sale by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy Thoughts? Email us at (And if you’re reaching out to recommend a guest, please write “Guest Suggestion” in the subject line.) You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Emefa Agawu, Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld, Rogé Karma and Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris and Mary Marge Locker. Original music by Isaac Jones. Mixing by Jeff Geld. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta.
1 hr 3 min
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