Episode 83 - Michael Strong on The Future of Education
One third of American adolescents are on medication – half of that number, on psychoactive prescriptions. We have an educational system that not only can’t prepare young people for the rapidly evolving future world we’re creating for them to inhabit – it traumatizes people by attempting to squeeze every kind of human through the same twelve-plus-year sentence of indoctrination and obedience training.  

Are damaged and addicted mind control slaves really who we hope we’re shaping? Obviously not! That’s where the radical (yet common sense and plainly reasonable) ideas of Michael Strong come in. Michael has devoted his life to establishing new education systems that prepare young people for a lifelong learning process, to think for themselves and find their self-esteem in cultivated excellence, not rote memorization or decontextualized performance. Civilization might mean domesticated people…but do want to live in the Calcutta Zoo?

In this week’s episode, I speak with Michael Strong – about how he sees the future evolution of education and learning – starting with a “narrative collapse” about our consensus standardized testing hallucination and a departure from the “factory-worker factory” model that dominates the US public education system now – and growing into an ecology of different styles and possibilities more suited to the future: early-entry programs that restore apprenticeship, train young entrepreneurs, link “un-schooled” families into a learning network, and rebuild the independent and creative minds we’ll need to thrive through the next hundred years of exponential change.

About Michael Strong:





We Discussed:

“I think creating better ways of living is the most exciting, fun task for the 21st Century…[and] middle and high school is more or less prison for 80% of students.”

• How to create happy, positive, creative experiences for young people by reimagining the education system

• How do we unwind a system that pressures everyone to conform, and establish a system that encourages the vast (and USEFUL) diversity of human personality types, talents, and learning styles?

“School is a very narrow band for people who are good at tasks…that doesn’t do justice to the diverse count of moral beings, but also there’s this moral chaos, where I think a lot of the consumerism and addictive behaviors of young people is that there is no sense of virtue or excellence.”

• Why mental health and behavioral disorders are at an all-time high, and getting worse, and what to do about it.

• The tragicomedy of Socratic process versus fundamentalists in the schools, and taking a pragmatic stance to the chaos and complexity of our time.

• Crafting your own sense of meaning and independent moral authority in stark contrast to our legacy of hierarchical thinking.

• How to individuate in an era of increased networking – how to tell the difference between pressure to conform and desire to connect?

• Technology addiction versus relational meditation and deep nature communion.

“One of the things I love about the San Francisco Bay Area is that no matter how weird you are, somebody is weirder.”

• Individualism versus political correctness.

• The dissolution of established job categories and the beginning of totally unique, distinct purpose and meaning for individuals.

• The proliferation of new aesthetics and the emergence of new freedom and openness in the human experience.

• How grateful should we be for living in the modern era?

• How do we prepare young people to think independently?

• What integrated educational curricula look like, exploring ideas across subjects rather than demanding the learning of specific facts.

• How to measure success for students in nontraditional systems so they can still win at the university admissions game.

• And more…

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts:


Subscribe on Google Podcasts:


Subscribe on Stitcher:


Subscribe on Spotify:


Subscribe on YouTube:


Subscribe on iHeart Radio:


Join our Facebook Discussion Group for daily news and conversations:


Support the show (and an avalanche of other mind-expanding media):


Tier Benefits
Pledge $0 or more per month
Pledge $0.01 or more per month
Patrons Only
Tons of Exclusive Extras
$2 or more per month 61 patrons
• A huge archive of patrons-only goodies, including original science fiction, original music, and workshop recordings...

• A shout-out on the podcast and your name in the acknowledgements of major projects.

• A big hug when we meet in person!

+ Coloring Book + New Music + More
$5 or more per month 61 patrons
Everything at the $2 level plus: 

• Every new coloring book page that I create, both PDF and PSD formats so you can print your own or color on a tablet

• ALL of the new music, audiobooks, and Ableton Live devices I release!

• ePub/PDF of my upcoming book, How To Live in the Future (when it is finished – meanwhile, I will post new chapters here first)

• 10% off art prints and original paintings from michaelgarfieldart.com (contact me for your discount code)

+ Patrons-Only Episodes + Original Art
$10 or more per month 20 patrons
Everything at the $5 level plus:

• Exclusive Future Fossils Podcast episodes!

• Early access to special episodes months before publication!

• A unique digital sketch created for and emailed to you.

• 20% off art prints and original paintings from michaelgarfieldart.com (contact me for your discount code)

+ Guestlist + Art Prints + Influence
$20 or more per month 7 of 50 patrons
Everything at the $10 level plus:

• Free admission (plus a guest) to Future Fossils Live events in your city!

• Up to SIX signed poster prints from michaelgarfieldart.com, for you or mailed as gifts to anyone, for every year of your support.

• Request specific guests for Future Fossils Podcast and I'll do everything I can to make it happen!

+ One-on-One Video Calls
$100 or more per month 0 of 10 patrons
Everything at the $20 level plus:

• One recorded 60-minute video call a month where I'm yours to discuss whatever you like – professional consulting, or creative coaching, or casual conversation.  If you'd like to learn more about blockchain and decentralization, want regular help from someone with over a decade of writing/editing experience, would like private art lessons, or just want my feedback on your "crazy" ideas (I don't think much is crazy), I'm yours for an hour every month.  And I'll email you the recording of our private session so you can go back over everything we talked about...

+ Become A Featured Sponsor
$250 or more per month 1 of 3 patrons
Everything at the $100 level plus:

• 40-second ads for your brand, project, or desired charity on every episode of Future Fossils Podcast (four or more each month).

• Featured listings in the liner notes of my new audio releases.

• Banner ads for you or your company in my blog and email newsletter (currently ~8500 subscribers).

If you would like more details on this partnership (or something like it), email me at [email protected]

Recent Posts