256: Daniel James Smith & Krystall Schott | Music And Creativity With The Band “Untitled Social Experiment”, Known As “USE”

Welcome to April of 2020 and episode 256 of the show, with the guest duo of Daniel James Smith and Krystall Schott, who make up the band “Untitled Social Experiment”, also known as “USE”. With songs like “Sugar Rush” and “Psycho“, this pairing has brought solid production quality into the content they put out, with messages to understand underneath.

Daniel has been making music for some years under the moniker of T.O.L.D, and brings his experience and skills to Untitled Social Experiment. Krystall has done painting, sang in choir early on, and after modeling in recent years, she made her return to music when teaming up with Daniel to form creative art. Synths and melodies and singing tones abound in the music made by USE.

Show notes:

  • how the group and duo originated, and who they are inspired by
  • the production of art in a light nature, but keeping a focus on content creation
  • how introductions and key moments in life can seem blurry
  • what it takes to get along with someone, based on similarities
  • some bands the group would work with or like to emulate in some form
  • the pandemic and quarantine, and where it leaves each person to self-process, and looking toward how it leaves society
  • what age the members started doing music at, and what types of instruments or singing they have done
  • how support at the right time in life can lead to quicker results
  • switching from one goal to another once it seems too readily available, versus sticking to one thing at a time
  • the way that the members complement one another for production
  • a book called “The Dao of Capital” being read at the current time, and what it represents for temporal understanding
  • the qualities that each band members looks for in others
  • the song Adam & Eve Meet Snake, Say No to apple, Stay in Paradise Forever mentioned in the episode
  • other types of content being put out, whether on Tik Tok or elsewhere
  • periods of flow and lack of flow, and how to think about them
  • a couple of questions back to me about me and my show
  • messages from each member about life

Glad to have Daniel and Krystall on the show~. You can check out their content on Spotify and other audio platforms online, along with some of their content featured on T.O.L.D. You can also check them out on Instagram at @untitledsocialexperiment.

255: Michael Wilt | Discussing Education And Society With A Mathematician And Professor

When it comes to applied mathematics, guest Michael Wilt is both a teacher and interested in its usage. He professes math to the youth, and joins us on episode 255 of the show, discussing his career, people-based elements of society, and more.

Michael got his Masters in Applied Math at California State University of Los Angeles, and has taught various levels of math to high school students, high-risk students, middle school students, and community college students. He also has his own product line of merchandise called “Unicorns and Stuff”.

Show notes:

  • how Michael progressed through the development of his career
  • the kind of teaching that Michael does, and what he hopes to impart on his students
  • development of a curriculum, and how that is the key element of education, with a blueprint for the students
  • the feel around the pandemic before it was a situated item here in Los Angeles, and discussion about the numbers behind it
  • why it is good to understand exponential growth and other graph-based concepts
  • the difference between small and big picture view
  • how Los Angeles and San Francisco differ in status-related mindset
  • energy transfer between people to others who they interact with
  • how people view people in terms of pretty or smart
  • a great singing rendition from Michael, along with an attempt on my end, as well as rapping on both of our parts
  • where Michael is working now, and how it is going with students who are labeled as Twice Exceptional
  • working with students who have ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • comments on rolled-up sleeves and sense of fashion
  • a bit of reverse interview from Michael to me
  • a mug-plug by Michael about his mug and merchandise brand

This episode was recorded earlier in the month, prior to mass spreading of COVID-19. You can check out Michael’s merchandise at Unicorns and Stuff. Glad to have him on~.

254: John Marzluff | Birds, Farms, And Food Detailed “In Search Of Meadowlarks”

Welcome Dr. John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Sciences at the College of the Environment at the University of Washington in Seattle, to episode 254 of The Armen Show. Dr. Marzluff “studies how humans affect birds through habitat fragmentation and increased urbanization, as well as the challenges of conserving birds on islands.

Most of his focus is on ravens, crows, and jays, which are in the bird grouping known as “corvids”, and he looks at how birds affect people, such as with our art or language. Many of his books have focused on birds, including his latest book In Search of Meadowlarks: Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land.

“In recognition of his work, he has been awarded the H.R. Painton Awards from the Cooper Ornithological Society, as well as the Washington State Book Award for general non-fiction.” In this episode, we discuss his latest non-fiction piece.

Show notes:

  • the current moment, with the world slowing down due to the pandemic
  • the career trajectory that Dr. Marzluff took to getting into decades of ornithological work
  • how we can take a look around our world with a relaxed pace, so as to maintain our Earth in good condition
  • the kind of research that Dr. Marzluff does, and places he has performed bird analysis at
  • what birds can represent about the impact that humans have had
  • the impact of corn and soybean subsidies, and what the farmland in the US would look like without those subsidies
  • why meadowlarks were chosen for the title of the book
  • farming as related to water consumption and planning
  • a closing message

Thanks to Dr. Marzluff for joining on this episode. You can check out In Search of Meadowlarks on Amazon, or take a look at his faculty page.

253: A Response To The Current Moment Of Global Alteration

With the world in a state of rapid adaptation due to health concerns, I discuss some of the elements connected to the scenario in episode 253.

There are the straightforward health concerns, along with financial impacts, social impacts, relationship-based impacts, and impacts between countries. Though it has been a bit disturbing to see the current moment arising from a couple of months ago, based on much I had read from scientists I follow, it is worth knowing how it will go.

Show notes:

  • the current viral scenario, and what it means for the globe
  • how rapidly it is changing, and what adaptation to the moment really means
  • some of the global impacts of a virus that has no current cure, and transfers readily, silently, and with a lagging period of symptoms
  • the social impacts of such a virus, and how it can affect creation of new relationships
  • the direction of our global society over the next couple months
  • the power of resilience and character in these key months, separating people by power-of-will
  • how the good and bad of preparation before such an event are both amplified once the event arises
  • and more

Glad to have you check out this episode. The virus has thrown off a lot of the routine of the world, but we as people are resilient and respond to whatever comes our way. To more.

252: Allan Ropper | Mental Illness, Syphilis, And Hysteria In “How The Brain Lost Its Mind”

As Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Allan Ropper is able to relayed his decades of neurology experience to students, and as deputy editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, he is able to help edit, guide, and shape the selection of articles that meet the criteria for one of the top science journals of our time. He is also lead editor for one of the top neurology textbooks of current time, Principles of Neurology, now in its 11th edition.

Dr. Ropper joins on episode 252 to discuss his recent book How the Brain Lost Its Mind: Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness. It covers a history of hysteria, syphilis, and conditions that represent the deviation between the brain and the mind. Our discussion includes topics in the book, Dr. Ropper’s career, neurology as a whole, and how past responses to mental illness have functioned.

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Ropper got to be in the field of neurology
  • how the mind and brain are connected, and why the book relates the two
  • the way that Dr. Ropper influenced the field of neurological intensive care
  • what it is like being an editor for the New England Journal of Medicine, including some details about the editing process
  • the field of research that is in its current moment, with an increase in research and published papers
  • how individuals would like to get control of their aging or life conditions, but how we have only come so far
  • the difference between neurology and neurosurgery, including some of the disorders of each
  • what separates a brain disorder from a mind disorder
  • the potential over-medicalization of every-day life
  • the issues of syphilis and hysteria as detailed in the book
  • how people come into the doctor with a broad description, and a neurologist has to reverse engineer the nervous system issue
  • what Moya Moya is, and the details of this specific condition
  • why many conditions of neurology do not have a known source
  • how so much is described as though A or B is wrong with a person
  • a message regarding the theme of the book and Dr. Ropper’s link of that to brain conditions

It was great to have Dr. Ropper on the show. He is an educating individual who is receptive and perceptive. You can check out How the Brain Lost Its Mind on Amazon.

251: Sir Peter Gluckman | Former Chief Science Advisor Details Unintended Consequences Of Innovation In “Ingenious”

From his start as a pediatrician, to serving as Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand for nearly a decade, Sir Peter Gluckman has represented category of science and society. He joins on this episode to discuss his career, along with his recently released book Ingenious: The Unintended Consequences of Human Innovation.

As President-elect of the International Science Council, Sir Gluckman will continue to provide value in the fields of science, health, global impacts, and more. His book Ingenious focuses on how our innovation has led to impacts we did not plan for, and how we can work with these consequences, and help to prevent unwanted future consequences.

Show notes:

  • how Sir Gluckman’s career has panned out over time, and how he started out as a pediatrician
  • his experience as Chief Science Advisor for the Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • what it means to be a “knowledge broker”, and how connecting people to the right people is an important skill
  • the ways that Sir Gluckman has written about or focused on reduction of obesity, as well as being co-chair of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity
  • partnering writing books with his co-author Mark Hanson, and what each brought to the table across the decades
  • how the early experience between parent and child affects so much of a person’s life
  • the important of psychological resilience, and how it separates segments of individuals
  • how evolutionary thinking is a unifying element of biology
  • the global impacts we are facing now, which we did not have in place 200 years ago
  • the belief or non-belief by citizens that their governments can help to take care of basic societal needs
  • dealing with misinformation that is released, and how governments or public companies can adapt
  • the level of research put out by smaller countries, versus the percentage put out by some of the larger countries, along with some specific examples
  • whether a centrally-situated response wins out against solutions around the world, to global issues
  • a message about how to cope with rapid environmental, social, and technological changes which are taking place

You can check out Sir Peter Gluckman’s Wikipedia page, University of Auckland page, or Ingenious on Amazon. Glad to have him on~.

250: As We Make Our Way Forward

Welcome to episode 250 of the show~. This returns to the style of me speaking by myself, doing some impressions, telling some story, and updating on recent content.

There is great material to cover in March, and we look towards continued growth and improvement.

Show notes:

  • the interconnection between guests and episodes
  • using Zoom for recordings, and how it has been
  • the Kobe memorial, and what he represents as related to what I do
  • the fun of getting books in the mail
  • made up stories
  • impressions of various podcast types

249: Azra Raza | Myelodysplastic Syndromes And Current Oncology In “The First Cell”

When it comes to cancer treatment, Dr. Azra Raza of the MDS Center at Columbia University has been working with patients for decades. She is an expert on myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), which are disorders caused by poorly formed or otherwise nonfunctional blood cells, and acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which affects 1/3 of MDS patients. This type of cancer, along with the stories of many patients and the progressions of their treatment, is detailed in Dr. Raza’s book The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last.

Dr. Azra Raza is the Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine and Director of Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center at Columbia University. She has previously held positions at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Cincinnati, Rush University, and the University of Massachusetts, and has been published in numerous notable journals like The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Blood, and Cancer.

One of the items I found most interesting was that Dr. Raza has collected a repository of over 50000 tissue samples from MDS and acute leukemia patients, beginning in the early 1980s. We talk about this in the episode, but I find a lot of value in being the firsthand resource in some specific category or field.

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Raza got into her career in the first place, and specifically into the field of MDS treatment
  • the 50000+ patient tissue samples that Dr. Raza has collected, and what they mean to potential research that can be done today
  • why mouse models do not provide a good representation of how a treatment will work in people
  • how Dr. Raza’s tissue sample data compare with the collection of samples presented in a Nature article/study of many types of cancer
  • the search for valid biomarkers that represent an issue or non-issue
  • how being the individual who does the most in one specific category makes you the prime source
  • what the reductionist philosophy can do if it is taken too far in responding to a health-disturbing pathogen
  • cancer not being of one type, but instead quickly altering generation by generation, leads to a variety of cancer cells showing up
  • why the first cell is the most important one in the production of cancer
  • the likelihood of treating an average cancer patient in 2020, and the associated mortality
  • how there is much value in early testing for cancers
  • the difference between something working in spite of something or because of something
  • some of the experience shared with fellow lab mate Siddhartha Mukherjee, and a message from his research insight
  • a great closing poem by Dr. Raza

It was wonderful to have Dr. Raza on the show. You can check out The First Cell on Amazon, Dr. Azra’s Columbia University page, or a talk she gave with fellow lab mate researcher Siddartha Mukherjee.

248: Nicholas P. Money | The Mycologist Leads Us Through The Potential Path For Humans

In the Department of Biology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Dr. Nicholas P. Money brings his expertise to teaching about the world of fungi/mushrooms, as well as related organisms like yeast and microbes.

In his book, The Selfish Ape: Human Nature and Our Path to Extinction, Dr. Money leads us through some of what has led humans to where they currently are, and as well, to our potential positive or negative paths down the line.

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Money got into mycology in the first place, and what kind of work he has done with fungi and mushrooms in recent decades
  • the way that fungi and mushrooms relate with the lives of humans, and what kinds of takeaways we can take from their evolution
  • what it means that food comes from entropy and ends with sugar
  • some of the evolution that has occurred in a non-linear fashion, along with features passed on for different future functions than original
  • information about some of the high-speed camera work Dr. Money worked on early on to see fungi releasing spores in slow detail
  • how we are more closely related to fungi than we are to plants or other animals
  • whether we have a potential good path out of upcoming extinction, due to global warming and related industrial pollution
  • what population growth means to the potential of human success on Earth
  • some of the scientists that Dr. Money liked or worth with

Glad to have Dr. Money on the show. You can check out his faculty page, personal page at The Mycologist, or The Selfish Ape on Amazon.

247: Lydia Denworth | How Life’s Fundamental Bond Develops And Matters For Well-Being In “Friendship”

Episode 247 is on the scene with science journal Lydia Denworth, author of Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond. It covers the basis behind why we as people become friends, and how it can be so powerful. Some of the greatest things done by people came from strong friendships.

Lydia Denworth has contributed to Scientific American, and writes the ‘Brain Waves’ blog for Psychology Today. Her work is regularly across such publications as Scientific American Mind, Parents, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News. Regarding Friendship, Dr. Nicholas Christakis of episode 232 said “If you care about what really matters in life, read this fantastic natural history of human friendship.”

Show notes:

  • what led to Lydia getting into the field of science journalism
  • analyzing and discussing the concept of friendship
  • how science benefits from reaching out to other work in related fields
  • why friendship is the piece of the relationship story that was left out for a long time
  • where long-running research in field sites is done on animals like macaques to see their social patterns
  • how neuroscientists can see differences in brain activity in early years of a person’s life, representing rapid growth/adjustment
  • how empathy and theory-of-mind is developed at a certain age range
  • what macaques do to subjugate other ones, and how stress responses are a part of the social win/loss paradigm
  • the way that public speaking or math can be used to examine stress level
  • what loneliness represents about the person in that position, regarding their mental health
  • the lunch time that exists in middle school, and what it represents for socialization and internal battles
  • some of the illumination on women in science in the book, as well as one way that expanded a direction of research
  • the types of friendships that are more valuable in the long-term, and how many close friends the average person has
  • how there needs to be back-and-forth in a successful long-term friendship
  • what face-to-face interaction means for friendship and its growth

Having Lydia on the show was a nice opportunity to learn about friendship and its value. You can check out her TED Talk “The Science of Friendship”, her home page and updates, or look at Friendship on Amazon.

246: Larry Rogero | Building Sustainable Wind Power And Renewable Energy Solutions For Corporations

When it comes to sustainable energy solutions, Larry Rogero has been implementing them for corporations for decades. I first met Larry through his wife Christel, who is my friend and mother of episode 208 guest nutritionist Erika Stowe-Madison. Larry brings a focus and deliberation to what he does that is necessary for long-lasting results.

Larry is Chief Operating and Strategy Officer at Summit Inspection Services, and has worked in environmental affairs for decades. He got his Masters in Environment Management at Yale University, and his Bachelors in Biological Sciences from my institution of higher learning, UC Santa Barbara.

Show notes:

  • a superb intro by Christel
  • what led Larry into the field of environmental concern in the first place
  • how wind power has been used in recent years, and where it is going in coming years
  • the ways that Larry has contributed to his organization, and what it takes to get a wind power project in place and going
  • some of the issues with installing wind turbines in new places
  • environmental concerns in coming years, and the amount of renewable energy we currently have in place
  • a reverse interview with Larry asking me many questions about the show and my ideas behind it
  • books read by both of us, and people we both look to as representative people to check out or follow
  • and much more

It was great to have Larry on the show, and it was neat to explore his methodical nature that he has displayed in his field for decades.

245: Sarah Rose Cavanagh | Psychologist On Emotions, Collective Consciousness, And Emotional Regulation In “Hivemind”

We dive into the collective consciousness of humans on episode 245 with Dr. Sarah Rose Cavanagh, author of “Hivemind”. The book takes us through how group elements and stories spread among people, the ways that people can build each other up or tear each other down via the internet, vulnerabilities of certain groups of people, and lessons for people to take through their days.

Dr. Cavanagh is Associate Professor of Psychology at Assumption College, and got her PhD in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University. Her research is on how patterns of emotional reactivity illuminates trajectories of risk and resilience in individuals.

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Cavanagh got into psychology in the first place
  • the way that elements can spread from group to group
  • what the hivemind represents, and how we operate as a collective consciousness
  • the way that stories can propel a fiction or nonfiction from a small form to a societal belief
  • the impact that online frameworks have had on people, whether to build them up or tear them down
  • who is most vulnerable to manipulation due to their current life condition and physiology
  • how many are walking through life in the form of a constant form of minor fight-or-flight response
  • a lesson about how serendipity can be built or supported in one’s existence

Glad to have Dr. Cavanagh on the show, and you can check out her faculty page, Hivemind on Amazon, or follow her on Twitter.

244: Scott Grafton | Neuroscientist And Brain Imaging Center Director On Mind/Body Connection In “Physical Intelligence”

Our first guest of 2020 is Dr. Scott Grafton, Bedrosian Coyne Presidential Chair in Neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of the book Physical Intelligence: The Science of How the Body and the Mind Guide Each Other Through Life.

It was great to talk with Dr. Grafton because his book connected with some concepts from some authors/researchers in past episodes, and described a way of thinking about the physical element of intelligence, and how our motor function is connected with our layers of brain processing. I also went to UCSB, and that is a nice point of similarity.

Dr. Grafton is director of the UCSB Brain Imaging Center and codirector of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies. He received BA’s in Mathematics and Psychobiology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his MD degree from the University of Southern California.

Show notes:

  • brain scans and positron emission tomography (PET) for understanding of brain function
  • Dr. Grafton’s career, and what led him to brain and motor function research
  • running the brain imaging center, and how imaging has developed in recent years
  • where all the action in the brain is located
  • visual perception, and how the percentage of vision someone gives to an object relates to its importance in a broad perspective
  • how it is difficult to maneuver over rocks, and to create robots that would walk across rough rocks
  • body schema, as it compares with attention schema theory, for physical sensation
  • the way that practicing something in your mind connects with ability to do the motor action
  • how the brain creates synergies of muscle movements
  • how babies have plasticity, and take risks in order to understand their physical environment from scratch
  • how nature serves as a medicine to people and their well-being
  • the way that entropy is key to a healthy life, and how one does not benefit from distancing from entropic conditions

You can check out Dr. Grafton’s faculty page, or check out Physical Intelligence on Amazon.

243: Welcome To 2020

Hello my fellow podcast listeners, associates, colleagues, individuals, audience members, and personnel. We here at The Armen Show Podcast (known for its consistency, variety, depth, and goal-oriented nature) are glad to walk right into the new year of 2020.

The show starts on a noticeably different footing as compared with its presence at the same time last year, and this is a springboard into the forward progression at hand.

Show notes:

  • where we are at in the great year of 2020
  • how TikTok is the place where a lot of energy is currently going
  • some of the plans or ideas for 2020
  • speaking or some form of speech-providing
  • ways I can improve my end of the show throughout the year
  • emotional awareness and better blending with guests
  • telling more stories, and including more of my own experiences, along with mentions of past guests
  • how I will be including more elements without thinking if X or Y or Z is the right thing to add in
  • how I will be looking at other podcasters/creators to see what I can add in or improve upon
  • what the podcast represents and is meant to express

Keep up with the show and you are keeping up with the movement. Let’s roll onward.

242: Closing Out The 2010s With A Recap

Long live the year, the decade, and the dynamics that have progressed over time. This episode is me closing out the decade with some descriptions of my content creation over time, what I have noticed of the internet as it shifted over the years, and what changes I have seen in the planet in the past decade.

I like to do recaps and compilations to get a broader sense of what has happened. We can only see so much from a smaller view, but I don’t like to stick with that view. The bigger picture is the world I like to inhabit, and at times, I share that with you.

Show notes:

  • progression of my social media content over the years
  • my blog Timeless Information and its various contents
  • YouTube videos with strangers in public
  • SnapChat themes across different messages
  • Podcast audios and shared insights
  • TikTok clips of insights, or shared with strangers
  • the development of the internet over the past 10 years
  • what people have used and shifted toward
  • some global dynamics I have noticed
  • what cultures have more recently gone online in big numbers
  • what I have liked to do

Glad to have you all on the show in these times. We progress to the next decade in smooth fashion, and there is a world of opportunity for those who seek it out. To more great things~

241: Brian Sweis | Decision-Making Brain Processes, Neuromodulation, And Disorder-Based Research

Image result for brian sweis

The year of 2019 is shortly coming to a close, and we start to bring it home with episode 241, featuring guest Dr. Brian Sweis of the University of Minnesota. He was listed as one of the recipients of the Forbes 30-under-30 description in the category of Science for 2019, and his focus is neuroscience.

He completed the PhD part of his MD/PhD program in 2018, and continues through his MD at this time. His research exists “…at the intersection of affective, behavioral, and cognitive neuroscience and clinical psychiatry and neurology, particularly focused on neuromodulation interventions.” The work he does “… aims to understand how the brain processes information during decision-making and how lasting changes in the synaptic mechanisms of plasticity, particularly in the context of addiction and other psychiatric disorders, give rise to maladaptive behaviors.”

Show notes:

  • how Dr. Sweis got to where he is in the MD/PhD neuroscience program at the University of Minnesota
  • why is it relevant that one study the intersection of multiple fields like affective, cognitive, and behavioral science, along with neurology and neuroeconomics
  • what some of Dr. Sweis’ work on neuromodulation efforts looks like in terms of description and example
  • how there are biomarkers that are more or less reliable than others to inform researchers of an attribute in place
  • why decisions are multi-faceted, and can arise from distinct circuit-specific neural computations
  • the difference between decisions made from an emotional standpoint, versus from a logical basis, and how each can be beneficial in different scenarios
  • the kinds of animal and human trials that are done to research how the brain is impacted, and what kinds Dr. Sweis performs
  • what it means to look at decision-making in a neuroeconomic way, assessing comparative values to choices
  • how disorders can alter how stored information is processed
  • some of the scientists and advisors along the way that have guided or informed Dr. Sweis, along with the reasons why

I can see why Dr. Sweis was selected for the Forbes designation, and enjoyed discussing with him while he currently is in a study program. He has long-term goals for research, teaching, and medical work, which is a full-throttle set of items. Some of his research application qualities remind me of Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman from episode 201, who discussed his research on dopamine. Dr. Sweis also mentioned my interview with Dr. Robert Sapolsky in this episode, and I have always liked Dr. Sapolsky’s book Behave.

You can check out Dr. Sweis’ material on his University of Minnesota page, follow him on Twitter, or look at some of his publications.

240: Overview Of “The Armen Show” Podcast In 2019

2019 has been a fabulous year for the podcast. There will be a couple episodes after this one, but this episode serves to describe and summarize the episodes that were covered this year, along with how they link to one another progressing through them.

This year took the show into a different bracket, as far as guests, video, and messages being provided. There was more of authors, researchers, notable individuals, speakers, and stories that resonate. I was glad it went in this direction, and the show is in a good space to start out 2020.

There are no show notes in this description, because the episode itself is a review of the past episodes.

The podcast went to many different sources this year, including Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play, and was then added to YouTube with the selection of episodes that have the guest on video, either from in-person, or on Skype.

May there continue to be more wonderful guests, things learned, and connection. Subscribe, let people know, like on iTunes or other services, leave a review, or do whatever you would like to help the show become more known, reach a larger audience, and lead to greater guest opportunities.

239: Michael Graziano | Attention Schema Theory And Subjective Awareness In “Rethinking Consciousness”

How does our focused attention relate to what we call “consciousness”? What types of attention are out there, and what are the functions of each type? Professor Michael Graziano explores this and more in his book Rethinking Consciousness: A Scientific Theory of Subjective Experience.

Author Michael Graziano is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Princeton University, and he has written multiple books on neuroscience, evolution, and human nature. The Graziano Lab at Princeton focuses on the brain basis of consciousness, based on attention schema theory, which was formulated by Professor Graziano.

I talked with Professor Graziano about his book and concepts related to consciousness. The mechanistic approach he brings to the topic is something that I am able to relate with.

Show notes:

  • what Professor Graziano works on with students in the Graziano lab
  • how the brain basis of consciousness is studied, and ways that we accept consciousness as defined
  • what the attention schema theory is, and how the model has two functions for daily living
  • the way that signals compete with each other in the computational process of attention
  • how a frog’s form of attention differs from that of a person, and the types of awareness that exist
  • what “biased competition” is, and and the battle for incoming stimuli to the cortex
  • why covert and overt attention are both needed, and how they differ
  • consciousness only being present in a few types of organisms/mammals
  • the concept of affordance, and how the brain works tirelessly as a prediction machine
  • why consciousness is defined as a hard problem, and if that difficulty can be usurped with some research method

It was swell to have Professor Graziano on episode 239 of the show. You can check out his lab page at Princeton, see his research publications, or check out his book Rethinking Consciousness on Amazon.

238: Cameron Porter | Major League Soccer Striker Transitions To Founding And Funding Of Companies

I like people who put their thoughts out there, and furthermore, when they have a “Principles” page on their website that describes the thoughts that guide them. Cameron Porter joins on episode 238 of the show, not only as a former Major League Soccer striker on various teams, but as a current founder and funder for AlleyCorp, an organization that builds transformative companies in New York City.

At AlleyCorp, Cameron “…is responsible for new company R&D, due diligence on seed investments, as well the development of internal tools/initiatives.” Regarding his academic experience, he “… studied computer science at Princeton University where he was recognized as an Academic All-American and William Winston Roper Trophy finalist for high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship.”

Before the episode, I had checked out his speaking with David Perell on The North Star Podcast, and enjoyed their discussion. My discussion with Cameron ranged from his mindset, to his soccer experiences, to his founding and funding practice.

Show notes:

  • how Cameron ended up in the founding/funding category at AlleyCorp, transitioning away from his professional soccer career [2:20]
  • the concept of how greatness is not able to be planned, and the way this message has attached to Cameron’s path [3:40]
  • what a long-term perspective can provide, and an example of a project that took this perspective into account [5:20]
  • some of the takeaways that Cameron got from his time at Princeton, including those related to people [6:55]
  • the way that Cameron sees the soccer portion of his career in relation to what he currently does [10:20]
  • some differences that may have existed between Cameron and some of his fellow soccer players [12:00]
  • what led Cameron to playing in the position of striker on the field [14:00]
  • examples of a fork in life that Cameron had other than the knee injury that impacted his career [14:00]
  • the concept of whether something will matter in 5 years [18:20]
  • creation versus consumption, and Cameron’s principle of looking at output instead of input, personally or in the workplace [22:45]
  • incompetence over malice, and how to look at the feedback or commentary that others send to you [26:45]
  • perspective on fear, alternatively looked at as uncertainty [30:00]
  • whether Cameron thought he might have some sort of large injury before it happened on the field [32:10]
  • entropy in socialization and life, and the way that Cameron would want entropy to be represented in his outputs/projects [34:00]
  • how podcasts are not as constrained in direction as some other mediums that exist [37:30]
  • if Cameron would make a podcast, and what it would be about [39:00]
  • whether audio, video, or text input/output is most preferred by Cameron for content purposes [42:45]

I sure enjoyed having Cameron on the episode. His thoughts are clear, and on point, and he has a warm nature. To the potential of a follow-up episode in a year, to compare the deltas from where he and I were at during the time of this episode. To more good things. You can check out his website at incremental.nyc

237: Bob Varo | Belgian Music Producer With Sights on Los Angeles

Here we are on episode 237 with music producer Bob Varo. He originates out of the European nation of Belgium, and makes music of the rock or metal variation, or it may be alternative.

We talked about a lot of his musical experiences, what he aims to do in music production in the future, and how his experience has been coming to Los Angeles a few times from Belgium.

Show notes:

  • the country of Belgium that Bob originates from, and places he has been in or around there
  • what some of the differences are between his experiences in the music production field in Belgium versus Los Angeles
  • where Bob has performed or done musical work over the years
  • how Bob looks to add value to artists he works with, whether it be songwriting, recording, or mixing/mastering
  • why it is important to flow with the current methods of sound and music generation, with more technological possibilities
  • challenges that can come up when working with a certain artist
  • how I met Bob at a house party in the first place
  • some bands that Bob has known of, or identifies with, or would be glad to work with if given the opportunity
  • why taking classes can create a small-world scenario that leads to memories for your select grouping
  • one of Bob’s studio/travel experiences through parts of northern Europe
  • the difference between those who release music as albums versus “big-hit” singles one after another

Glad to have Bob on the show.