The New Coronavirus Strains
Play • 37 min

Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch shares his concerns about the emerging COVID variants from the UK, South Africa, and Brazil. He also discusses how these new variants could impact vaccine rollout worldwide, and his cautious predictions for when we might return to something resembling normal.

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The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
A Radical Proposal for True Democracy
One thing I want to do on this show is give space to truly radical ideas, to expand the boundaries of our political and moral imaginations. And Hélène Landemore, a political scientist at Yale, has one of those ideas. She calls it “open democracy,” and the premise is simple: What we call democracy is not very democratic. The role of the people is confined to elections, to choosing the elites who will represent us. Landemore argues that our political thinking is stuck in “18th-century epistemologies and technologies.” It is not enough. We’ve learned much in the last few hundred years about random sampling, about the benefits of cognitively diverse groups, about the ways elections are captured by those with the most social and financial capital. Landemore wants to take what we’ve learned and build a new vision of democracy atop it — one in which we let groups of randomly selected citizens actually deliberate and govern. One in which we trust deliberation and diversity, not elections and political parties, to shape our ideas and to restrain our worst impulses. This is a challenging idea. I don’t know that it would work. But it’s a provocation worth wrestling with, particularly at this moment, when our ideas about democracy have so far outpaced the thin, corrupted ways in which we practice it. You’ve heard people say, “We’re a republic, not a democracy.” Landemore’s challenge is this: What if we _were _a democracy? We honor those who came before us for radically reimagining who could govern, and how politics could work. But did they really discover the terminal state of democracy? Or are there bold steps left for us to take? Recommendations: Liquid Reign by Tim Reutemann The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas The Principles of Representative Government by Bernard Manin Mortelle Adèle Book Series The Ezra Klein Show is hiring an Associate Producer! Apply to work with us by clicking here or by visiting www.nytco.com/careers. Thoughts? Email us at ezrakleinshow@nytimes.com. New episodes every Tuesday and Friday. The Ezra Klein Show is produced by Roge Karma and Jeff Geld; fact-checking by Michelle Harris; original music by Isaac Jones; mixing by Jeff Geld.
45 min
In the Bubble: From the Frontlines
In the Bubble: From the Frontlines
Lemonada Media
Andy Slavitt from Inside the White House
Dr. Bob catches up with Andy ahead of one of his White House COVID-19 press conferences to chat about what he’s been up to since temporarily leaving the show for a role in the Biden administration. They talk about the variants, the vaccines, and the administration's commitment to equity. Plus, a reflection on the U.S. passing 500,000 deaths, and how that’s pushing Andy to work even harder to bring an end to the pandemic.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In the Bubble’s new Twitter account @inthebubblepod.   Keep up with Andy in D.C. on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt. And be sure to check out his new Twitter handle @aslavitt46.   In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. Become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at https://www.lemonadamedia.com/inthebubble/    Support the show by checking out our sponsors!   Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NEJFhcReE4ejw2Kw7ba8DVJ1xQLogPwA/view    Check out these resources from today’s episode:    Watch President Biden’s full address at the vigil marking 500,000 COVID deaths in the United States:  https://youtu.be/yCqua2rE0LA  Read more about the FDA’s new guidelines for vaccine developers addressing virus variants: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-issues-policies-guide-medical-product-developers-addressing-virus  Listen to Andy on The Hugh Hewitt Show talking about the vaccine rollout: https://hughhewitt.com/video/wh-covid-response-teams-andy-slavitt-and-hoovers-lanhee-chen-on-vaccine-rollout-variant-risk/  Check out the CDC’s updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated people: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html  Learn more about Dr. Bob Wachter and the UCSF Department of Medicine here: https://medicine.ucsf.edu/    To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to www.lemonadamedia.com/show/in-the-bubble shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
50 min
Worldly
Worldly
Vox
The world’s great powers
Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down one of the DC foreign policy world’s hottest new catchphrases: “great power competition.” It’s the idea that international politics in the 21st century will be dominated by a struggle for influence between the US, China, and (to a lesser extent) Russia. The gang talks about what the concept actually means and whether it’s a useful framework for understanding international politics today and in the future. References: Dan Nexon’s Foreign Affairs article inspired the Worldly crew to record this episode. The Atlantic had an excellent piece explaining how “great power competition” became a DC buzzword. The National Interest had an op-ed detailing why great power competition could be a problem. Matthew Kroenig wrote in Foreign Policy on how the US should outline goals for its competition with China. The Congressional Research Service has a comprehensive report on what “great power competition” has meant in recent years. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
54 min
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Tech Unions, Color Perception, Fish Vs Birds. Feb 19, 2021, Part 2
Reprogramming Labor In Tech More than 6,000 warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama are midway through voting on whether they should unionize. If the ‘yes’ votes win, it would be unprecedented for the company: The last time a unionization vote was held by Amazon’s United States employees, back in 2014, a group of 30 technicians ultimately voted not to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers. Meanwhile, at Google, a group of more than 800 have recently joined the Alphabet Workers Union, which was formed in early January. The AWU is a minority union, a kind of union that cannot negotiate contracts. But, the union has said, they will still be able to advocate for workers who would be excluded from a traditional union, like the temporary workers, contractors, and vendors who make up more than half of Google’s global workforce. And in the world of app-based gig workers, a debate has been raging for years about whether Uber and Instacart workers are full employees with rights to overtime and collective bargaining—or contractors, which have neither. In California, state law has changed twice in the last year to try to answer this question. SciFri producer Christie Taylor talks to legal scholar Veena Dubal, and historian Margaret O’Mara, about this rise in union activity, and the way tech companies have impacted our lives—not just for their customers, but also for their workers. Fish Versus Feather: Georgia’s Salt Marsh Smackdown At Science Friday, we love a smackdown, whether it’s a debate over which mammal has better sonar—dolphins versus bats—or which planet is the best to host signs of life—Mars or Venus? But when it comes to fish versus birds, we don’t need to manufacture drama. Nature gave us its own. Corina Newsome, a graduate student at Georgia Southern University, was studying how seaside sparrows adapt to nest flooding, an environment where the most likely predators are animals like minks and raccoons. That’s when she caught on film a very unusual interaction: A fish entered a sparrow’s nest, and killed one of the new hatchlings. Newsome joins Ira to explain what she saw, and how climate change is helping to turn the tables on this predator-prey relationship. The Neuroscience Behind Seeing Color The basic mechanics of how we see color sounds simple enough—light hits an object and bounces into our eye. Then, our brain processes that information. But how we perceive color is much more complicated. Neuroscientist and artist Bevil Conway is mapping out how the neurons in our brain respond to color to make a neurological color model. He explains how color might encode meaning, and the plasticity of our visual system.
47 min
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