On Rational Actors, Kevin and Ben discuss Ezra Klein‘s move to Vox Media and the challenge of striking out as an independent journalist online. They consider how social media has displaced SEO and encouraged journalists to hone their personal brands. Where does Vox see this new project going? What lessons can new media outlets draw from the success of BuzzFeed? Turning to the State of the Union, Ben proclaims Obama a diminished figure, while Kevin defends the president. Finally, they debate the significance of Obamacare in terms of Obama’s legacy.
Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, and economist Richard Wolff debate the relative merits of planned economies and free markets, as well as the rights of workers to determine the fate of the companies they work for.
Glenn Loury and physicist Stephon Alexander, author of Fear of a Black Universe: An Outsider’s Guide to the Future of Physics, discuss the racial achievement gap in quantitative fields and how it might be closed.