Uncommon Knowledge — audio edition
About This Show
Updated every two weeks, the Uncommon Knowledge podcast brings you fascinating discussions with today's biggest thinkers. View full episodes at http://www.hoover.org/uk Also check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UncKnowledge.
Most Recent Episode
The Vanishing American Adult
Recorded on June 2, 2017
Senator Benjamin Sasse joins Peter Robinson to discuss his book The Vanishing American Adult and the growing crisis in America of prolonged adolescence. Senator Sasse argues that children are growing up, entering adolescence, and becoming stuck in the transitional stage to adulthood as they fail to become financially independent from their parents. He argues that because this generation of children is growing up during a time of relative peace and prosperity, it has allowed millennials to grow up without the issues of previous generations that were raised in war time. In this era of consumption and material surplus, he argues that adolescents are leading age-segregated lives and not developing a work ethic and that both their parents have an obligation to teach their children to grow up. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of intergenerational learning by allowing children to be raised around their grandparents and other adults to help them learn that the trivial trials of youth don’t matter in the long run.
Senator Sasse believes that there are certain virtues that American children have to learn to become productive and happy adults. Part of that is by teaching children the distinction between production and consumption and how to find happiness and self-worth through jobs that make one feel like a necessary part of the company/society. This, he argues, will help raise peoples’ self-worth and lead them to happiness and fulfillment in their everyday.
Senator Sasse finishes by stressing the importance of building children’s identities as readers to help foster the growth of ideas and active learning over the passive activities of sitting in front of screens. He notes that sedentary life is not fulfilling and that by encouraging people to participate in production over consumption will lead to more fulfilling lives. He ends on the optimistic note, that while our youth may still need guidance, overall America’s best days still lie ahead. (Playing time: 38:10)
Rated 5 out of
Peter Robinson does a great job as an interviewer. He's always done his homework and you can always know he'll help you learn about the subject. He seeks truth, not gotcha moments.
Date published: 2014-02-04
Rated 5 out of
Best production podcasts ever
Informative, accurate, and thoughtful comments on current events. Nice to hear a carefully considered point of view.
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 4 out of
Reliably Informative and Engaging
Peter Robinson and his trademarked "Last Question" always make for interesting interviews. He knows how to stay out of responses, letting guests make answer questions at length, but he also knows when to steer guests back to the original topic for discussion. His best interviews are normally with Thomas Sowell, though I loved the one he did with Harvey Mansfield. For the unaware, Sowell and Mansfield are famous conservative academics. The show features a strongly conservative focus, normally featuring the best the American right has to offer.
Perhaps one issue with Robinson, however, is that he is a bit too deferential with his guests. While I certainly would not enjoy him tearing into guests--there's enough of that on the 24 Hour Cable News networks--I would like him to press harder when a guest makes a questionable assumption. Also, the variety of guests could be wider. Robinson too often pulls out of the Hoover Institute, where he and the show are located. The effect is something of a public relations wing for the HI, though you have to follow the show closely to notice.
For those who do not know, Robinson is somewhat infamous for posing his "last question" five or six times before he is really finished. By this, I do not mean he poses the same question so many times but that he discovers his last question opened up a new question he simply has to ask. If you aren't keeping track of the time passing while listening to the podcast, you know you have about ten or twenty minutes left (out of forty to fifty) when Robinson first says he's asking his "last question."
Date published: 2013-12-10