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William Faulkner once famously wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." I've been thinking a lot about that quote, which comes from his 1951 novel Requiem for a Nun, in regards to today's guest, George Dawes Green. George is the creator of the massively popular event series, radio show, and podcast The Moth, which has redefined personal…
 
Today's guest is the rapper, podcaster, and author, Zuby. He's a social media juggernaut who is known for a popular mix of personal empowerment and political provocation that led to a highly publicized (if temporary) suspension from Twitter in 2020 after he broke the British women's deadlift record and claimed he was the new record holder because h…
 
In a career that has spanned seven decades—and included classic shows and movies such as Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, Life of Brian, and A Fish Called Wanda—the comedian John Cleese has uproariously and relentlessly satirized politics and religion while stretching the boundaries of decorum and good taste like so many silly walks. No…
 
Today's episode—my absolute favorite to date, after almost six years!—is a marathon session with Penn Jillette, the larger, louder half of the fantastical and magical duo Penn & Teller. Since the 1980s, Penn & Teller have been part of a broad movement to freakify and weirdo-ize American culture in a way that is profoundly individualistic and ideali…
 
No living American journalist has a fiercer reputation for independence—and invective—than Glenn Greenwald. The Pulitzer Prize winner helped break the Edward Snowden revelations, was once threatened with jail time by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and was part of the team that launched The Intercept in 2014 before resigning six years later, cl…
 
"That's not funny!" is the cri de guerre of contemporary progressives, argues Noah Rothman in The Rise of the New Puritans. "No longer is the American left comfortable with hedonistic pursuits," writes the Commentary associate editor. "To the New Puritan, all society's engines must be harnessed to restore a lost paradise….Enchanting diversions and …
 
Dirty Pictures: How an Underground Network of Nerds, Feminists, Misfits, Geniuses, Bikers, Potheads, Printers, Intellectuals, and Art School Rebels Revolutionized Art and Invented Comix, by Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty, tells the story of how people such as Robert Crumb, Trina Robbins, and Art Spiegelman redefined not just what comic books we…
 
As the most momentous Supreme Court term in recent memory comes to a close, are things better or worse for libertarians? Georgetown Law's Randy Barnett is arguably the most important and influential libertarian legal scholar walking the planet today. Over the years, he's argued against Obamacare and for medical marijuana in front of the Supreme Cou…
 
Is the Libertarian Party (LP) being "trumpified?" Or is it now—finally!—home to the second coming of the Ron Paul Revolution? If you're a watcher of Reason's videos, you know that a few weeks ago, I went to Reno, Nevada, to cover the long-awaited, much-anticipated Libertarian Party national convention, where a group called the Mises Caucus took ove…
 
Bitcoin is trading under $23,000 as I write this, which means the value of the world's biggest cryptocurrency has lost about $45,000 per coin since last November, when it was at about $68,000. Though the recent slide in the price of bitcoin has sent many speculators scrambling back to fiat currency, it's done nothing to cool the fervor of Robert Br…
 
In the late 1970s, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) famously—and controversially—defended the right of neo-Nazis to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois, which was home to many Holocaust survivors. It was a defining moment for the group and for the idea that free speech, no matter how vile, must be guaranteed to everyone. B…
 
During the Cold War in America, about the two worst things you could be accused of was being a communist or a homosexual. In fact, people like FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover routinely conflated the two, asserting that the Soviet Union blackmailed gay diplomats, politicians, and citizens into betraying the United States. Despite no evidence of that, t…
 
Faisal Saeed Al Mutar and Melissa Chen are the outspoken, courageous co-founders of Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB), a nonprofit that translates books about pluralism, science, civil liberties, and critical thinking like John Stuart Mill's On Liberty and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now into Arabic and distributes them for free as e-books throughout th…
 
What sorts of paintings will be hanging in the museums of the future? Agnieszka Pilat is betting that we'll be looking at what she calls "heroic portraits of machines"—fine-art renderings of the technology that freed the modern world from the bone- and soul-crushing labor that our parents and grandparents endured. Pilat's paintings—especially ones …
 
I'm excited to share a special bonus episode of The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie. It's a debate about forgiving student loan, debt organized and produced by the good folks at Intelligence Squared US, America's leading platform for fair, balanced, informed debate on all the leading issues of the day. I've been involved with them for years, i…
 
My guest today is Alex Epstein, the author of Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less. Two basic beliefs frequently circulate today: First, that fossil fuels are causing imminent global catastrophe and, second, that renewable energy sources (especially solar and wind) can supply all our energy n…
 
Back in April, I attended Bitcoin 2022, held in Miami, where I spoke with today's guest, who is the CEO of the publicly traded company that owns more bitcoin than any other. Can you guess which company that is? It's not Tesla, Square, or Coinbase. It's MicroStrategy, which is based in Virginia and provides business intelligence, mobile software, an…
 
The leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) has sent shock waves throughout America, with pro-choice and pro-life advocates scrambling to figure out what happens next if the right to an abortion is withdrawn at the federal level. "Roe was egregio…
 
Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," went from being a weird online experiment 21 years ago to one of the mainstays of the modern internet with astonishing speed. Even more astonishing, it has maintained its reputation and functionality since its founding, even as the rest of the social internet seems hellbent on tearing itself …
 
Meet Aella, the daughter of evangelical Christians from Idaho who were so poor they couldn't always put food on the table. A former factory worker who never graduated college, she became one of the most successful performers on the adult subscription site OnlyFans, sometimes taking home over $100,000 a month on the platform. She still does one-on-o…
 
Colorado's Jared Polis might be the most libertarian governor in America, at a time when his big-state Democratic colleagues are getting exposed as hypocrites while presiding over historic population declines or getting kicked out of office for sexual harassment and sending COVID infected patients back to nursing homes and then lying about it. I'm …
 
On October 4, 2020, when COVID-19 was raging, American schools were mostly shuttered, and vaccines were believed to be years away—a team of top researchers at the world's most prestigious universities, including Stanford's Jay Bhattacharya, Harvard's Martin Kulldorff, and Oxford's Sunetra Gupta—published the Great Barrington Declaration, a controve…
 
In a world where drug legalization efforts are on the march and the pernicious effects of drug prohibition on criminal justice, education, foreign policy, and racial and ethnic communities are being scrutinized like never before, Columbia neuroscientist Carl Hart is breaking bold new ground on how we think about drug policy, substance use and abuse…
 
In 2019, Jeff Kosseff published The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet, the definitive "biography" of the controversial law known as Section 230. Part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Section 230 grants broad immunity to websites and internet service providers from legal actions based on user-generated content. Section 230 enabled th…
 
"I am a professional rememberer," writes Nathan Rabin in The Joy of Trash. "It is my duty to remember not just for my own but for society." Rabin is really taking one for the team here, especially since his new book accurately bills itself as the "definitive guide to the very worst of everything." Among the godawful things he explicates are Academy…
 
Do you want to build a rocket ship but don't have the deep pockets of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson? You might want to turn to the Rocket Factory, "a trans-dimensional manufacturing plant" created by artist Tom Sachs, in which you can build and own a personalized rocket in both the physical and virtual worlds. The project is one of the…
 
"If you're not living in a culture that has room for 'thought crime,' then you're not living in a culture that is growing," says Mike Solana. "You're not living in a culture that has the potential to progress in an exciting and—I want to say utopian—a positive direction." Solana is a vice president at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, a venture capital …
 
This week's Reason Interview was recorded in front of a audience at New York's Caveat theater, the first in a monthly series of live "speakeasy" events in which I talk with guests known for their commitments to heterodox thinking, free expression, and open debate. I interviewed the only writer—living, dead, or likely ever to be born—who has been fa…
 
Should the United States do more to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders? Will financial sanctions against Russia work and are they moral? What does a libertarian foreign policy predicated on "realism and restraint" look like? Today's guest on The Reason Interview is Will Ruger, the newly appointed president of the American Institu…
 
Is libertarianism a specifically political philosophy whose only legitimate concern is the role of the state and its use of force vis a vis the people it rules? Or does libertarianism, properly understood, also entail a variety of cultural commitments that range far beyond arguments over the size, scope, and spending of government? To put it slight…
 
In Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media, the Danish activist and scholar Jacob Mchangama argues there has always been a tension between "elite speech" and "egalitarian speech" and that today's battles over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the latest in a long line of attempts by the powerful to silence the masses. The 43-year-ol…
 
Though he's black and proud of it, libertarian school-choice activist Chris Stewart isn't celebrating Black History Month this February. Instead, he's pushing what he calls "Uncomfortable History Month," or an embrace of teaching the past in all its contradictions, hypocrisies, and triumphs. At his Substack, a free mind, he tells the story of Mary …
 
On today's show, I talk with writer Kat Rosenfield, whose new mystery novel No One Will Miss Her has been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe award, the highest honor in that genre. She also authored a fantastic recent essay for Reason about the immense cultural staying power of The Matrix, the 1999 movie that introduced the concept of being red-pille…
 
2021 was "the year of school choice, and we're just getting started," says Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at the American Federation for Children and a leading advocate for school choice. The disruption to schooling caused by COVID-19, demands by teacher unions for more money and less accountability, and the mounting frustration of …
 
The history of censorship in the United States is a long and ugly one—and far from over. It's also a deeply ironic tale, with seemingly successful attempts to stamp out unwanted expression ultimately giving way to more and more freedom of speech. In The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder, legendary First Amendment lawyer Robert Corn-Rev…
 
On December 17, 2021, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the city's Tenderloin district, which will lead to an increased police presence in the epicenter of the city's growing homelessness and addiction crisis. "It is time for the reign of criminals to end," she said in a press conference. "It comes to an end when we …
 
"About three times as many Europeans leave their homelands and immigrate to the United States every year as the other way around," reports David Harsanyi. Yet "a growing number of American elites—politicians, academics, pundits, journalists, among others—argue, with increasing popularity, that we should look across the Atlantic for solutions to our…
 
"More and more people are seceding from the pandemic, basically saying, 'Well, we've got a better idea of what the risks are for us personally. We now can calibrate…more of the risks that we want to take. As that happens, more and more people will be able to leave the pandemic behind as we go forward into the next year," says Reason Science Corresp…
 
"I am leaving New York City for Florida." wrote self-confessed "New York supremacist" and New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz in a widely circulated article for Fox News. She's not happy about it, but she's also not apologizing. What drove her out of the city she and her husband called home for decades was the arbitrary and capricious treatment…
 
Everywhere you looked this past spring, you saw stories about the preordained "hot vax summer" and "slutty summer" that was about to erupt in America like a long-simmering volcano of carnal desire. Real and imagined experts predicted that single people, newly vaxxed and after a long, involuntary sexual pause due to COVID-19 lockdowns, would be on t…
 
Kenny Xu is the president of the nonprofit Color Us United, which advocates "for a race-blind America" and the author of An Inconvenient Minority: The Attack on Asian American Excellence and the Fight for Meritocracy. He's also a Robert Novak fellow at The Fund for American Studies. Xu is the son of Chinese immigrants. Some of the most interesting …
 
With apologies to Elvis Presley: Can 75 million Kenny G fans be wrong to love the man who inspired the "smooth jazz" genre? That's the question at the heart of the brilliant new HBO documentary, Listening to Kenny G. Best known for such instrumental hits as "Songbird" and "Silhouette," the saxophonist formerly known as Kenneth Gorelick has sold 75 …
 
Have you ever stopped to think about why all the food at the traditional Thanksgiving dinner gets put out at the same time? No courses and no servers—just a culinary dump of turkey and all the fixings onto the table and an ensuing feeding frenzy. As food historian Rachel Laudan explains, both what gets eaten at Thanksgiving and how it gets served i…
 
In his bestselling new book, Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America, New York Times columnist and Columbia University linguist John McWhorter argues that the ideas of Robin DiAngelo, Ibram X. Kendi, and The 1619 Project undermine blacks by sharpening racial divides and distracting from actual obstacles to real progress. Nick Gil…
 
All respiratory pandemics follow a script, one that's as much social and political as it is medical or epidemiological, says Yale sociologist and medical doctor Nicholas Christakis, who has just released a new paperback edition of his authoritative book, Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live. In his conv…
 
Reason's December special issue marks the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. This story is part of our exploration of the global legacy of that evil empire, and our effort to be certain that the dire consequences of communism are not forgotten. If the Soviet Union was notoriously incapable of producing blue jeans, smokeable cigar…
 
As anyone who is involved in drug policy can tell you, Afghanistan wasn't really America's longest war. That shady honor belongs to the war on drugs, which has been waged at the state, local, and federal levels for well over a century, even before President Richard Nixon officially declared in 1971 that he was starting "an all-out offensive" on the…
 
Andrew Yang's run for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination didn't last all that long, but his support for a universal basic income (UBI) pushed that arcane topic to the center of ongoing policy debates about how best to help Americans dislocated by technological and economic change. The 46-year-old entrepreneur, who also ran unsuccessfull…
 
In the controversial yet bestselling books The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now, Harvard linguist Steven Pinker made the case that humanity has been getting richer and less violent over the past two centuries. In his new book, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters, he argues that our ability to reason and thi…
 
Because of the war on terror, argues Rafia Zakaria, American feminism has been recast from a "movement that existed in opposition to the state, as a critique of its institutions and mores…[to] one that serve[s] the state's interests through any means imaginable." Nothing exemplifies this tragic turn better, she says, than the Oscar-winning movie Ze…
 
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