329: Gary & Kaspar Kazazian | Methods, Tips, And Strategies In “California Surf Fishing”

As we make our way to episode 329 of the show, we switch things up with the creators of California Surf Fishing, a duo who fishes on the coast of California. Both Gary and Kaspar Kazazian have joined on previous episodes, but never both together and on video, and they join on this one to discuss the book of their fishing knowledge titled California Surf Fishing: The Hunt for Big Fish.

Since 2017, Gary and Kaspar of California Surf Fishing have spent countless hours fishing the Southern California surf in pursuit of game fish. They’re here to teach you everything they’ve learned. Trophy white seabass, halibut, sheephead, and calico bass are within reach. Their book is a how to guide. 

What began as a casual hobby, with a few small perch, turned into a wonderful passion. They learned that there are indeed ways to target large game fish from shore. By focusing on the factors that affect fish behavior, they developed their two methods for consistently catching trophies. Those methods are now for the reader of their book.

Link: California Surf Fishing Website | The Book | Instagram

328: Benjamin van Rooij | The Intersection Of Law And Behavior In “The Behavioral Code”

How can the law make us better, and how does it connect with human behavior? In exploring the topic, authors Benjamin van Rooij and Adam Fine present many examples of how the law has been intended and applied. Professor van Rooij joins us on episode 328 to discuss this and more from his co-authored book The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better Or Worse.

Professor van Rooij is Professor of Law and Society at The University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His areas of expertise include regulatory theory, law enforcement, compliance, lawmaking, law and development, environmental law, and Chinese law. He received his PhD in Law, Governance, and Development from Leiden University, along with his Doctorate in Chinese Language and Cultures.

He researches on how legal rules shape individual and organizational behavior. Here he draws on the broader social and behavioral science to understand the processes of compliance, the effects of corporate culture, as well as the assumptions lawyers have about the behavioral effects of law. He uses innovative fieldwork data both to seek improvement to persistent implementation problems as well as to contribute to existing regulatory, criminological and socio-legal theories.

Links: The Behavioral Code on Amazon | UCI Law | Google Scholar

327: Johnjoe McFadden | Exploring Application And History Of Occam’s Razor In “Life Is Simple”

“Entities should not be multiplied without necessity” is the message behind Occam’s Razor, and seeking the simplest explanation for a conundrum is a strong force in science. On episode 327, Professor Johnjoe McFadden of the University of Surrey takes us through history, science, and philosophy, as connected with Occam’s Razor, in his latest book Life Is Simple: How Occam’s Razor Set Science Free And Shapes The Universe.

Professor McFadden obtained his PhD at Imperial College London and went on to work on human genetic diseases and then infectious diseases, at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. For more than a decade, Professor McFadden has specialized in examining the genetics of microbes such as the agents of tuberculosis and meningitis.

He has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals on subjects as wide-ranging as bacterial genetics, tuberculosis, idiopathic diseases and computer modelling of evolution and has edited a book on the genetics of mycobacteria. He has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan and his work has been featured in radio, television and national newspaper articles. His present post is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey.

Links: Homepage | Wikipedia | Twitter | Faculty Page | Life is Simple on Amazon

326: Jorge L. Contreras | The Story Of The “AMP v. Myriad” Gene Patent Case In “The Genome Defense”

The case Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576, was a case challenging the validity of gene patents in the United States, and few have explored the details of this case more thoroughly than attorney, professor, and author Jorge L. Contreras. His latest book The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA covers the case from its initial cause, each of the court stages up to the Supreme Court, and all the key players along the way.

Jorge L. Contreras is a Presidential Scholar and Professor of Law at the University of Utah with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Human Genetics. His research focuses on intellectual property, technical standards and science policy, and he is one of the co-founders of the Open COVID Pledge, a framework for contributing intellectual property to the COVID-19 response.

Professor Contreras is the editor of six books and the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and chapters appearing in scientific, legal and policy journals including Science, Nature, Georgetown Law Journal, NYU Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and Antitrust Law Journal. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School (JD) and Rice University (BSEE, BA).

You can check out The Genome Defense on Amazon.

325: Uma Naidoo | Tackling Mental Issues In “This Is Your Brain On Food”

Hello and welcome to episode 325 of the show, with guest Dr. Uma Naidoo, author of This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More. This book covers the relation between food and response in many categories of mental difficulty.

Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described Dr. Uma Naidoo as the world’s first “triple threat” in the food and medicine space: a Harvard trained psychiatrist, Professional Chef graduating with her culinary schools’ most coveted award, and a trained Nutrition Specialist. Her nexus of interests have found their niche in Nutritional Psychiatry.

Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based Nutritional Psychiatry Service in the United States. She is the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) & Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at MGH Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

You can check out Dr. Naidoo’s website, as well as This Is Your Brain On Food on Amazon.

324: Stefanie K. Johnson | Leadership And Uniqueness In Teams In “Inclusify”

Welcome to episode 324 of the show, with my guest Professor Stefanie K. Johnson of the University of Colorado-Boulder. Leadership and bringing uniqueness to teams are two topics of importance. On this episode, we discuss topics from her latest book Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Build Innovative Teams, a Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Dr. Stefanie K. Johnson is an associate professor of Organizational Leadership and Information Analytics at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She holds the Andrea and Michael Leeds Research Fellowship, is the Director of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, and is a 2020 RIO Fellow. She is a fellow in the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychologists (SIOP) and the American Psychological Society (APS). She has published 60 journal articles and book chapters in outlets Journal of Applied Psychology and The Academy of Management Journal.

She has presented her work at over 170 meetings around the world including at the White House for a 2016 summit on diversity in corporate America. Media outlets featuring Stefanie’s work include: The Economist, Newsweek, Time, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, HuffPost, Washington Post, Quartz, Discover, CNN, ABC, NBC, CNBC. She has appeared on Fox, ABC, NBC, ESPN, CNN, and CNN International.

You can check out her website, faculty page, follow her on Twitter, or check out Inclusify on Amazon.

323: Emily Erikson, Susan Liautaud, Daniel Markovits | Economic Thought, History, And Ethics

Welcome to a special episode of The Armen Show, where we continue with our second panel of guests (link to the past panel), on the topic of economic thought, history, and ethics.

Joining in on this special episode is Dr. Susan Liautaud, author of The Power of Ethics, Professor Emily Erikson, author of Trade and Nation, and Professor Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap.

You can check out my past episodes with Dr. Liautaud, Professor Erikson, and Professor Markovits.

322: Matthew Stewart | The Dynamics In Play For “The 9.9 Percent”

What can we think about with regards to the upper end of the economic spectrum in the United States, other than the top 0.1%? The next 9.9 percent fit into a specific category of relevance in this country, competing in a different form than the other brackets, and their scenario comes with its own qualms. In episode 322 of The Armen Show, author and philosopher Matthew Stewart joins us in discussing concepts from his latest book The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture.

Matthew Stewart is an American philosopher and author currently living in the Boston, Massachusetts area. He is the author of Nature’s GodThe Management MythThe Courtier and the HereticMonturiol’s Dream, and The Truth About Everything.

He graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a concentration in political philosophy and was awarded the Sachs Scholarship from Princeton for study at Oxford University, where he earned a D.Phil. in philosophy in 1988. He worked as a management consultant prior to writing full-time.

Glad to have Matthew on the show. You can check out The 9.9 Percent on Amazon.

321: Representing Joy And Love Through Comedy, Rap, And Philosophy

Hello and welcome to episode 321 of the show, and we are glad to bring one full of messages about joy, being, and philosophy. Understanding the life we live is key. This one is an episode in person, and brings together discussion about creation in music, comedy, and social interaction.

There is something good about going from one tangent to another, such that the connections of thoughts along the way represent more. Joining me on this one is Emanuelle C. Wright, also known by his rap name of Yungcameltoe, and we discussed a variety of topics in person here. We covered items from making of music and comedy, to philosophy like that of the story of Sisyphus, and more related content.

May you continue to enjoy the content, as we make our way through 2021.

320: Moment Specificity, Life Entropy, And Message Simplicity

Here we are at episode 320 of the show, where I discuss various concepts from messages I had written down in snippets. From taking advantage of the specificity of the moment, responding effectively to the shock of life entropy, and keeping messages simple for prolific network spread, this episode covers a variety of material.

The moment is a key element of this episode, because each moment in our time is one that speaks to us in one way or another. Check this one out to hear more about making use of the current moment.

319: Vanessa Bohns | The Extent of Impact In “You Have More Influence Than You Think”

Does our influence go further than we think of? Are people taking cues and guidance from us, when we are not even aware of it? Professor Vanessa Bohns of Cornell University is a social psychologist who has explored this topic in her latest book You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion, and Why It Matters.

Professor Bohns received her PhD in Social Psychology from Columbia University and her AB in Psychology from Brown University. Prior to joining Cornell, she taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Her research focuses broadly on social influence and the psychology of compliance and consent. In particular, she examines the extent to which people recognize the influence they have over others in various interpersonal interactions, including when asking for help, suggesting that someone engage in unethical behavior, and making romantic advances.

Links: Book | Faculty Page | Twitter

318: Kat Fairaway | Havaya, Mindfulness, And Discussion Of Stoic Philosopher Quotes

Actress and filmmaker Kat Fairaway returns on episode 318 of The Armen Show, and we discuss havaya, mindfulness, updates, and 9 quotes from the stoic philosophers Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius.

Kat is an actress living in Los Angeles, who recently starred in three feature films released on Amazon and Lifetime, including: Kidnapped by a Classmate opposite Adam Zastrow (The Kaminsky Method & American Horror Story) and Psycho Escort. Her theater experience includes the world debut of Who You See Here working alongside Tony Award winning writer Matt Hoverman, playing opposite Mather Zickel (I Love you, Man & Rachel Getting Married) and a regional run of Assassins (Squeaky Fromme).

Kat’s passion is expanding and elevating human consciousness, which led to her facilitating with havaya, a group wellness company. You can find them at havaya.one and on IG @havaya.one

Here are the 9 quotes that were discussed in the episode:


  • The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.
  • If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
  • The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.


  • True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so, wants nothing.
  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.
  • You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

Marcus Aurelius

  • Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
  • If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.
  • I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.


Kat on IMDb, IG, Amazon Prime Video, and our previous episode

Jim Carrey Interview mentioned

The School of Life by Alain de Botton

Filming location credit: Boutiq Venice

317: Brandy Schillace | Transplanting The Soul In “Mr. Humble And Dr. Butcher”

Welcome to episode 317 of the show with Dr. Brandy Schillace, where we go into the story of surgeon Dr. Robert White and his transplant efforts. We discuss the story represented in her book Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul.

Dr. Brandy Schillace is a historian of medicine and the critically acclaimed author of Death’s Summers Coat, Clockwork Futures, and most recently Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher, described by the New York Times as a “macabre delight.” Her books have been reviewed in Science Magazine, the New York Times, the Boston GlobeNew YorkerWashington Post, the Wall Street Journal and more.

Dr. Schillace is host of the Peculiar Book Club, a livestream community of authors and readers, and has appeared on Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum,  NPR’s Here and Now, and FOX’s American Built. She has bylines at Scientific AmericanGlobe and MailHuffPo, SLATE, and Crime Reads. Dr. Schillace is a 2018 winner of the Arthur P. Sloan Science Foundation award, and in addition to her work as an author, is editor-in-chief of BMJ’s Medical Humanities Journal.



Peculiar Book Club

Mr. Humble & Dr. Butcher


316: Nancy Sherman | Understanding Stoic Philosophers Of The Past In “Stoic Wisdom”

What can the lessons of the stoics do for us in 2021? What did these philosophers and thinkers know that could guide us in managing our emotions for a better outcome? Has stoicism become popularized in recent years, and what can we take from this change of pace? Professor Nancy Sherman of Georgetown University joins on episode 316 of the show to discuss these topics and more from her latest book Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience.

Nancy Sherman is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. She was also the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the United States Naval Academy. She is the author of Afterwar: Healing the Moral Wounds of our SoldiersThe Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of our SoldiersNew York Times Editors’ pick; Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military MindMaking a Necessity of Virtue: Aristotle and Kant on VirtueThe Fabric of Character: Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue, and the editor of Critical Essays on the Classics: Aristotle’s Ethics.

She has written over 60 articles in the area of ethics, military ethics, the history of moral philosophy, ancient ethics, the emotions, moral psychology, and psychoanalysis. She has delivered over 60 named or keynote lectures and plenary addresses here and abroad.

Links: Twitter | Stoic Wisdom | Faculty page

315: Nichola Raihani | Cooperation As A Key Element Of Human Evolution In “The Social Instinct”

What causes cooperation when there is potential to exploit? Why is cooperation commonplace in nature, when there is clear benefit from selfish behavior. Examining humans and non-human animals, Professor Nichola Raihani of University College London explores this topic in The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World, and joins us on episode 315 of the show.

Dr. Nichola Raihani is a British psychologist who is a Professor of Evolution and Behaviour at University College London. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (Natural Sciences) at Girton College in the University of Cambridge in 2003. She stayed at Cambridge for her graduate studies, where she studied cooperation in pied babblers in the Kalahari Desert.

Her doctoral research was supervised by Tim Clutton-Brock. In 2008 she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). In 2011, she moved to University College London, where she studies the evolution of punishment and cooperation.

Links: Twitter | Faculty Page | Research | The Social Instinct

314: Emily Erikson | How Economic Thought Was Shaped By Companies In “Trade And Nation”

What can we learn from 17th century economic discourse? A crucial transformation in economic thinking happened at the time, and analysis of the discussion of the time period is informative regarding a shift from a more moral view to one of company growth. Professor Emily Erikson of Yale University discusses these concepts from her latest book Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought on episode 314.

Emily Erikson is the Joseph C. Fox Academic Director of the Fox International Fellowship and associate professor of sociology and the school of management (by courtesy). She works on the emergence and development of global networks, organizations, and the institutions of capitalism and democracy.

Her work has appeared in the American Journal of SociologyAnnual Review of SociologySociology TheoryThe Journal of Economic History, and Social Science History, among others. She serves on the council for the economic sociology section of the American Sociological Association, the editorial board for Social Science History, the editorial committee for the Relational Sociology Series. She is a founding member of the advisory board for the Journal of Historical Network Research and sits of the executive council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate.

You can check out her faculty page, or see Trade and Nation on Columbia University Press.

313: Daniel Markovits | The Impact Of The Meritocratic System On Society In “The Meritocracy Trap”

What is meritocracy, and how are the dynamics associated with its proliferation affecting equality and culture? Professor Daniel Markovits of Yale Law School joins on episode 313 of the show, and we discuss these concepts from his book The Meritocracy Trap: How America’s Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite.

“Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Private Law. Markovits works in the philosophical foundations of private law, moral and political philosophy, and behavioral economics. He publishes in a range of disciplines, including in ScienceThe American Economic Review, and The Yale Law Journal.

After earning a B.A. in Mathematics, summa cum laude from Yale University, Markovits received a British Marshall Scholarship to study in England, where he was awarded an M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the L.S.E. and a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Markovits then returned to Yale to study law and, after clerking for the Honorable Guido Calabresi, joined the faculty at Yale.”

You can check out The Meritocracy Trap on Amazon, or Professor Markovits’ faculty page.

312: Paige Madison | Examining Human Evolution In The Anthropocene

Fossils take us through a history of evolution with the pieces that are found. Dr. Paige Madison of the University of Copenhagen studies fossils, human evolution through findings, and joins us on episode 312 of the show, coming from the Natural History Museum in Denmark.

From her bio: “Paige is a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum Denmark, University of Copenhagen, examining human evolution in the Anthropocene. She received her PhD in the history of science, focusing on the history of paleoanthropology, from Arizona State University. Her passions include human evolution and science outreach. “

You can check out her website Fossil History or follow her on Twitter.

311: Damon Centola | Understanding Spread Of Ideas, Movements, And Behaviors In “Change”

Professor Damon Centola of the University of Pennsylvania joins on episode 311 to discuss topics from his book Change: How To Make Big Things Happen. We look to spread ideas and behaviors that resonate, and knowing how to do so is a key piece of the process. The more we know about information and behavioral spread, the less we do that is not necessary.

From his bio, “Damon Centola is Elihu Katz Professor of Communication, Sociology and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group.  Before coming to Penn, he was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University.

His research includes social networks, social epidemiology, and web-based experiments on diffusion and cultural evolution.  His work has been published across several disciplines in journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, and Journal of Statistical Physics.  Popular accounts of Damon’s work have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, Wired, TIME, and CNN.”

You can check out Change on Amazon, or take a look at Professor Centola’s faculty page.

310: Roya Hakakian | Perspective Of Immigration In “A Beginner’s Guide To America”

On episode 310, we switch things up and head to the world of poetry and writing on the switch to living in America by author Roya Hakakian. Her book A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious takes us through what one can expect being in the United States, from the perspective of someone immigrating via Iran. We discuss her current book, as well as the trajectory from her past books.

From her bio, Roya “is an author and Persian poet whose opinion columns, essays and book reviews appear in English language publications like the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and NPR’s All Things Considered. A founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, she has collaborated on over a dozen hours of programming for leading journalism units on network television, including CBS 60 Minutes.

Roya is the author of two collections of poetry in Persian, and is listed among the leading new voices in Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies around the world, including La Regle Du Jeu, Strange Times My Dear: The Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. She serves on the board of Refugees International.”

You can find her book on Amazon, or visit her website.