Hello and welcome to episode 287 of the show. On this one, I look to recap a few past episodes, what I learned from them, and what you might be able to take away. The episodes are #274 with Dr. Geoffrey West, #268 with Dr. Maryam Baqir, and #267 with James Nestor.
Dr. West gave us a sense of connection with humanity through biological and physics laws, while Dr. Baqir took us through the first Covid wave and her direct experience, and Mr. Nestor reminded us that there is a better way to breathe. I hope you enjoy the episode, and I look to do more recaps like this one.
We are joined on episode 286 of the show by guest Robert Bilott. He is an environmental attorney at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. He is the author of Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont, which was then turned into the 2019 film Dark Waters.
From his bio, Robert is “A seasoned and internationally-recognized litigator, advocate, and author, Rob represents a diverse range of clients on a wide variety of matters involving federal, state, and local environmental laws. For more than 29 years, he has handled environmental issues of regulatory compliance, permitting, and corporate/real estate transactions, as well as all aspects of litigation arising from such issues, from administrative hearings to multi-party, complex multi-district litigation, mass torts, and class actions.”
Robert’s background becoming an environmental attorney and progressing in the field
Dark Waters and its representation of Robert’s extended battle with Dupont regarding PFOAs and related chemicals
the difference in impact of his book and the film
the details of the case against Dupont
some personality traits that match with being an environmental attorney
Glad to have you all on here for episode 285 – this one is a treat because it includes visuals of the paintings, sculptures, clothing, and crystals created and procured by Dr. Robby Gordon, who has created the Hollywood Gallery and Sculpture Garden. These entities are packed with artistic works of his own, along with those of many others who he knows of.
Dr. Robby Gordon studied art at the University of California Irvine, Irvine Valley College, and Golden West. He also studied at the University of Bologna and UCLA. He spent his first 21 years in Israel, subsequently moving to Europe, where he studied and became increasingly involved in the art world.
Robby’s background as an artist, and some of the various works he has created
how long it took him to set up his gallery in the form that it is, and how he has kept at it daily
some of the countries he has been to, and the culture and artistic sense acquired from those regions
the things he looked for in the residence he would later use to host the gallery, and how it is necessary to pin down what is important to you in life
keeping things varied in terms of types of artistic works made, and how Robby has created in so many styles, such that he takes on a category until he feels like it is on to the next one
the many crystals and rocks that he showcases in his facility
a video walk-through of his gallery, narrated by Robby and recorded by myself
Welcome to episode 284 of the show, with Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Medical Director of McLean SE Adult Psychiatry Community Affairs at McLean Hospital, and Chief of Behavioral Medicine at Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Dr. Rediger is author of Cured: The Life-Changing Science of Spontaneous Healing, and covers ways that people have been cured or healed without the need for regular types of treatment. Taking into account well-being and a person’s specific needs is something hospitals are doing more and more.
what a medical director does at a hospital, and what Dr. Rediger has been part of for nearly two decades
some of the medical issues that his psychiatric hospital is skilled at dealing with
concepts in Cured, including how healing can take place outside of typical treatment
the way that well-being comes into play, and how placebos can showcase the ability of the body to heal itself
the importance of a diet that has specific elements kept out, which were not natural to humans for most of history
insights about mental health, and the effect of the term
a message to all who could use a guide for their mental well-being
In episode 15, which was 268 episodes ago, I mentioned my two past Ebooks, along with a couple of quotes from the one called “Quote Analysis: Volume 1”, but I did not go into detail about each quote. In this audio, I cover all 11 quotes, and my current take on what they mean.
Listing of the quotes:
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
If I can picture that, I’ll bring a picture back.
Real education must ultimately be limited to [people] who insist on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.
If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.
The [person] who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does.
He who hesitates is a damned fool.
When ability exceeds ambition, or ambition exceeds ability, the likelihood of success is limited.
It’s not about timing; it’s about preparation.
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
To be understood, first seek to understand.
The mind, ever the willing servant, will respond to boldness, for boldness, in effect, is a command to deliver.
Norman Vincent Peale
We take note of these short communications from these individuals, and what we can do with them today.
We switch it up on The Armen Show every so often. On this episode #282, I will be answering 28.2 questions about myself and the show, as far as my perspective and responses as though I am being interviewed. I find it to be fairly informative.
The first 9 questions, and one later one, are made up by myself, and the other 19 questions are taken from a 19 Podcast Interview Questions article online. It is a mix of my own material and that from outside.
Here are the questions answered on the show:
When did you start this podcast?
What does it mean to you to have a podcast?
What kinds of topics do you most like to cover on the show?
How does a podcast work?
What are some goals you have for the show?
What styles of podcasts do you most relate with outside of your own?
How would you describe 2020?
What books do you recommend for someone wanting to read something new?
What do you most like to see for others?
What’s something people seem to misunderstand about you?
What should I ask you that I didn’t know enough to ask?
What is something you have learned in the past year that has been important?
Tell me about a patient that touched your heart, and tell me about a patient that changed your practice.
What makes you feel inspired or like your best self?
What is one thing that your program did for your client that you didn’t expect?
If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it be and why?
If you could turn back the time and talk to your 18-year old self, what would you tell him/her?
If in 150 years sciences fails to save us & all that is left is a book about your life….What would the title be and what would the blurb tell us about “INSERT NAME”.
What does being Ridiculously Human mean to you?
If you had £100million to spend on health tech and no red tape, how would you spend it
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life? What was your life like before learning it? What was your life like after learning it?
What is your best tip for making the world a better place?
If you can do anything to improve health and healthcare in rural America, what would you do?
If I could remove all barriers and constraints what project would you do and would you want to be known only by that project
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
How would your parents describe what you do for a living?
If you could have dinner with any 3 people dead or alive who would it be and why?
What would you pick for a last meal? 28.2. This 0.2 questions is in the show~
It is almost like a self-interview. We mix it up here on the show, and sometimes we reach from sources outside of the show. Glad to have you as a listener.
Welcome to episode 281 of the show, where I cover a few messages and topics in a monologue type of form. The main theme on this one is that there is value outside yourself to absorb from, and you can tag on to the stories of others to enhance the story of your own.
looking at the stories and path of others
getting value from things outside yourself, and letting the experiences of others bring you messages and understanding
the different types of markets that exist
participating in the markets of your choosing
bringing the people around you up, and what that can do for you
how to bring the people around you up
how acting in line with your true nature matches you in the long-term, but can have slight drawbacks in the short-term
Glad to have you listening, and we continue to the future.
Welcome London Business School Professor Dan Cable to episode 280 of the show. He has come out with a new book titled Exceptional: Build Your Personal Highlight Reel and Unlock Your Potential. Building your highlights into a listing of strengths can give you motivation to use moving forward.
He is Professor of Organizational Behavior and received his Masters and PhD in Labor and Industrial Relations at Cornell University. He gives us guidelines for how to envision our life, focus on what we bring to the table, and grow as a person. He has given a TEDx Talk on how to have a Best-Self Activation, and wrote a previous book in 2018 called Alive at Work.
Professor Cable’s background, and how he got into the field he is currently in
focusing on what we do correctly or well in life
looking at what limits us, whether clearly or in a hidden form
what it means to create your personal highlight reel
imagining your own eulogy, and seeing what that says about your life
crafting a life that you want to live, instead of one that is offered to you without specificity to your taste
Welcome actress and producer Kat Fairaway to episode 279 of the show. Depth is something that Kat represents, and depth is something that I find to be valuable. We can see moments as fleeting elements, or explore them further, such that time allows us to understand more.
Kat is known for her work in productions such as Psycho Escort, Kidnapped by a Classmate and Letters from the Heart. Representing characters in filmography is the heart of Los Angeles, and Kat occupies this great county (as I do). We covered quite a bit about her background, thoughts, and had a bit of fun as well.
Kat’s background, and representing parts of Europe
some of her work in movie/content roles she has been in, whether on Lifetime, Amazon, or elsewhere
being at peace through mindset or meditation
fun with accents, and some swell singing (I also rapped)
a Gary Vaynerchuk message about blocking out unsupportive voices
how one can choose their attitude in response to circumstances
how those who have suffered and not ran away are appealing
picking apart life through doubt, or a different way
To look at something holistically is to look at it with a broad view, as compared with narrowing our perspective and leaving out the bigger picture when making decisions. Dr. Joseph Sarkissian handles the world of dentistry in such a way, treating patients with detail that takes their total health into account, and he joins on this episode of the show.
Dr. Sarkissian runs his dental practice in Glendale, California. He studied microbiology at the University of Alabama, and received his dental degree at the University of Goettingen in West Germany. His practice of dentistry was originally on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, and he later relocated to Los Angeles, where his own practice is now located. He is of the Armenian people, similar to myself, and represents well for the nation and its continuity of tradition and exploration of its roots.
a bit about Dr. Sarkissian’s national and educational background, linking to how he got where he currently is
holistic or biological dentistry, and the tenets that are followed under that description of practice
impacting the youth, in terms of health and their aesthetic smiles
how dentistry has changed or improved in the past decade
whether mouth breathing or nasal breathing can be noticed by a dentist, and the impacts each type can have
how much tooth health is connected with overall health
the building of one’s own practice, and what it takes to maintain that
the importance of early dental care and adjustment, in prevention of problems decades down the line
how much regular dental care impacts the need for dental work
complex procedures that are performed, and how skill is built up for those
When it comes to interviewers, few are as currently prolific as Ricardo Lopes, host of “The Dissenter”. He is known for his social commentary, provoking thought, having strong opinions, and still being open-minded to new concepts. He hails from Portugal, and has been doing interviews for a few years now.
On his show, Ricardo has spoken with some of the same scientists and researchers I have spoken with, along with many others, including Steven Pinker, Robert Sapolsky, and Noam Chomsky. A big focus of his is social science, and he has spoken with people based on their insights and research, sometimes solely from their research papers.
how Ricardo starting doing interviews, and where he comes from
what The Dissenter podcast is about, and how it is important to keep open-minded about new information coming in
why Ricardo prefers social science and related fields
What does a little risk taken or effort made today do for you a week from now? How about 10 years from now? We look at life in an extended framework if we want to see it more clearly. Episode 275 is about this concept, how something can build only once it is started, and when the valuable representation of what you did will show up.
how a spark has to be in place for the item to light up years later
why compound gains start off disturbingly slow and pick up speed
looking at past musical artists or content creators, and how their early efforts on the internet set the stage for thousands of people who followed them
What is the damage we’re not attending to, with regards to the pandemic? How does biological and social contagion spread based on population and contact networks? How do scaling laws inform us about efficiency and person/city/network growth and change over time? Last month, researcher and professor Dr. Geoffrey West, author of Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies, co-wrote an article on the topic of scale in relation to the pandemic with fellow Santa Fe Institute President and researcher Dr. David Krakauer.
Dr. West is a theoretical physicist, who is distinguished and former President of the Santa Fe Institute, a scientific think-tank in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is able to combine multiple fields of research in ways that were not previously looked at. He is a leading researcher on a scientific model for cities, and is known for the metabolic theory of ecology. His B.A. in Physics is from Cambridge University, and his Ph.D. is from Stanford University.
I originally came across Dr. West’s work through his book Scale, which I summarized chapters of in some of the earliest episodes of this show, specifically 2, 9, and 11. It was informative to me to get a sense of how a population or network develops from early large paths to the smaller nodes at the end, and where there is efficiency in growth that is connected to non-linear scaling ratios. We spoke about the book, as well as a variety of topics.
how Dr. West progressed from his background in the UK to where he is at the current moment
his experience as a researcher and past President at the Santa Fe Institute
progressive from theoretical physics and particles to looking at cities, companies, networks, and global sustainability
fostering collaborations between scientists of different fields, and non-linear thinking as connected with risk-taking
scaling rate as it relates with food requirement for different sizes of organisms
how all organisms are network systems that follow scaling laws
the way that one’s blood vessels share these laws with roads and freeways, trees and branches, and neuron paths in the brain
whether the scaling laws relate with determinism as related to biology, and how biology differs with physics in that regard
our similarities as viewed from a long-distance perspective
the way that one city is similar to other cities, at their respective stages of development, taking into account the specific environmental and cultural variables of the region
Dr. West’s relationship with Dr. Krakauer, and the article they co-wrote
looking at the pandemic as something to focus on, while not forgetting that it is one element of a bigger picture situation humanity is part of
how one item on the planet affects something else on the planet, especially in a heavily interconnected planet
exponential gains, and the lack of understanding that has been associated with the concept
counter-intuitive responses to problems, which require looking at problems with more depth than only repairing directly what is broken at first glance
the reception of science in the public domain, and how that is affecting responses to problems or new scenarios
how higher-level education has been very prolific in its ability to serve as a backbone for society to work from
the way that feel of age can alter based on our current moment
Our time is our own to get things done, for our own form. On episode 273, it is about building your own thing, and not letting your important time slip, though the time not connected to your main projects is not as important.
your self-oriented time
noting the value of moments versus the value of other moments
recognizing that there are some periods of time you can’t afford to let go to any type of waste
Writing in a journal can be the way to some forms of understanding or expression. My recent writings in one contribute to the thoughts in this episode, which is #272 of the show.
How to propel work forward
The way that collaboration can bring out elements that were dormant
Using the “why” behind what you do versus the “how” or “what”
Having a variety of mediums to post on
Moving things around and building kindling for your fire
Imagining how you want your story to go
Little things each day turning into a larger entity
We keep it simple on this fast-paced episode, with insights coming forward in stream of consciousness form. Credit to Toby Emerson for the intro and outro music, and for supporting usage of his music from many years ago for such creative purposes.
Welcome moral and political psychologist Dr. Cory J. Clark to episode 271 of the show~. She has done research in the categories of moral judgment, punishment, free will, political bias, and motivated cognition. Looking at how bias applies in daily discourse or decision-making helps to clear out poor decisions that would have to be corrected at some future instance.
Dr. Clark got her Ph. D. from the University of California, Irvine, in Social and Personality Pyschology and Quantitative Methods, following a B.A. in psychology and philosophy. Some research papers she has contributed to include material on tribalism in different moments of societal condition, political differences in free will belief, and how bias pervades both sides of political landscapes.
how Dr. Clark got into the category of social and personality psychology and quantitative methods at UCI
the way that serendipity and the flow of life can lead us to the next step
connection between punishment and belief of free will, and how that connection affects how people are viewed
how to study individuals seeking out information that supports their beliefs
the better-than-average effect of self-thought in the category of self-serving biases
people bringing out certain sides of personality on social networks, and the mob effect that can apply
the short-term internet response to long-term careers
free will as it applies to the fixed nature of a specific moment in time and the moment that follows it
humans evolving to a point of looking back upon their own thinking in hefty detail
punishment and the moral judgment associated with it as related to a recent death penalty action
the collective nature of people’s actions, as with the internet
a message about perspective to take into account when seeing two-sided issues, which are very common in public discourse
I was glad to have Dr. Clark on the show. Feel free to check out her website, which has all her material well organized, including her research that is easily readable, and her content across other shows.
Welcome guest Dr. Darya Pino Rose to episode 270 of the show~. She has a neuroscience Ph. D. from UC San Francisco, wrote the book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting, and has posted much content in relation to food and health on her website Summer Tomato.
In 2019, Dr. Rose gave a TEDx Talk in Salem, Oregon about the concept of becoming healthy without focusing on the dieting aspect. Changing the focus of how you respond to something is a more nuanced detail than the steps along the way, and I would always agree to look more at the root of an item than the after-effects. Dr. Rose has seen the issue with the mindset involved with short-term dieting, and the focus on countering the negative, versus reaching towards the great benefits of local produce of greens and vibrant colors. We spoke about this topic, habits, aging, broad perspective, her children, and more.
bringing a logical viewpoint to any decision-making in life, whether for health maintenance or weight loss
how the content we put out there can be messages to our past self
some of the simpler things people can do in relation to eating food and keeping health in good order
the way that food can taste delicious and still work in your favor
the farm-to-table movement that had picked up in the Bay Area, and exposition to a different way of taking food in
how habits are very different based on whether they are internally or externally motivated
the connection between habits, willpower, and motivation
how what is presented to us early on in life has such a large impact, and is internalized until we later look back at the time with questioning
When you think of a corporation, you think of its products and services, but in the case of Samsung, its history is connected to families, dynasties, and its tie to the economic prosperity of South Korea. In Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech, author Geoffrey Cain discusses the people involved and the path taken by the large entity known as Samsung.
Geoffrey Cain serves as a skilled foreign correspondent, author, commentator, anthropologist and scholar of East and Central Asia. He was a former correspondent at The Economist, and is a regular commentator in The Wall Street Journal, Time, and The New Republic, and a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Bloomberg. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
how Samsung is connected to the country of South Korea in more ways than being a corporation
the interest behind writing this book and getting into the company structure
what it was like interviewing a variety of people inside the company
some ways that Samsung had to compete with Apple, and continues to do so, while also cooperating in some capacity
the way that Samsung is different from a large company in the US
some of the features or releases that impacted the growth of Samsung
There are a select few individuals who have gone through such a recent moment of intensity and pressure as Dr. Maryam Baqir, M.B.B.S., of Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. As Covid-19 cases quickly ramped up in the epicenter of the virus, doctors like her began to respond to an onslaught of cases that turned hospitals into treatment zones far more packed and adaptive than would be the case in calmer times.
Dr. Baqir specializes in Internal Medicine, and received her medical/surgical degrees from Aga Khan University in Pakistan. She grew up in Karachi, though she was born in Tehran, Iran (similar to myself). We met in Manhattan, along with her companion Shan of episode 258. Our discussion in this episode involved much about her recent experience, life messages we both understand and take note of, and a deeper view of what an active response to life challenges looks like. Much was shared and expressed.
how she got into this career path, and what it means to her at this time
what it is like to live in the area of Brooklyn, and how Dr. Baqir got there
the difference in culture between Pakistan and the US
what the response to coronavirus entailed on its initial run-through
how the hospital had to adjust in order to be able to treat all the new patients of one specific condition
processing what occurred, and what the main issues were in relation to the virus, as far as equipment/resources
the feel of the patients, and what it is/was like for them getting treatment from individuals behind masks and shields
empathy shared with patients and their families in a time of anguish
seeing trucks show up because of the out-flux of those who passed away
healthcare workers deciding whether or not to self-quarantine at their home
some of the impacts of in-hospital aerosolization of the virus
fighting for patients for an extensive period of time, and decisions a doctor has to make along the way
how procedure priorities were changed at the hospital, and how doctors were switched from their specialty to tackling the current epidemic
the influx of volunteers from around the country to Dr. Baqir’s hospital, among others, in order to meet the response requirements
connection/unity between healthcare workers on a shared mission
resilience and strength shown in various stories of the moment
how some of the responses to the pandemic were come up with on the spot, or served as an impromptu training
some of the improvements that have been arrived at through these few months of trials and understanding in relation to the virus
comparing symptoms of individuals in similar proximity, and noting differences
use or non-use of shame as a response to public hygiene/safety habits, such as the use of a mask
some of the growth felt by Dr. Baqir during these months
the value of human compassion, and the difference that makes in care
a range of emotions that you feel during an intense experience, and not holding back on showing/expressing them
the concept of not living while being alive, and accepting mortality
preparing for end-of-life care before it gets to an emergency situation
the passing of Maimonides Medical Center Chief of Medicine Dr. Stephan Kamholz due to Covid-19, and his career and impact
a closing message for all people
It was wonderful to have Dr. Baqir on the show. We were able to cover her experience and related life messages in a free-flowing and spontaneous discussion full of detail. You can follow her on Twitter at @MaryamBaqir.