This week’s conversation is a rather unusual. There’s one guest, as there usually is, but this time there are two hosts—or, two people asking the qeustions.
The guest is David Staley, whom longtime listeners to the podcast will recognized from Episode 111, where he talked about his book Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education, a collection of ideas about the kind of higher education we might have in America if we wanted to. What I didn’t really appreciate then was that David is the rare historian who is as interested in the future as he is in the past. Indeed, he’s written essays, and even an entire book about this, which is appropriately enough titled History and the Future: Using Historical Thinking to Imagine the Future. We’ve talked about history and the future before, in Epsiode 46 with Professor David Hochfelder, and since I’m deeply skeptical about this concept I thought it good to talk with David about it. And even more reason to, considering how in the summer of 2020 we are deeply uncertain about our future.
The other fellow asking questions is an old friend of mine, Brent Orrell, who is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on issues of career and technical education, criminal justice reform, and prison education and reentry. Indeed, he has a podcast about these issues called “Hardly Working” (here’s a link to the latest episode, which has some very handy ways of subscribing). I thought that Brent would have a lot of great questions to ask David from a very different perspective, and I hope you agree that it was.