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The Art of Not Being Sheep
- 983 Short Ideas on How to Avoid Surrounding Wolves, Sheep, Liars, Demagogues, Heroes, the Deranged, Geniuses, Idiots, and Saviors
- Narrated by: Grant Streeter
- Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
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I was born in Yerevan, Armenia (former Soviet Union). I am a biophysicist by profession.
I can trace my mother's family history to the 1600s when, in 1604, during the war between Iran and Turkey, Iran's Shah-Abbas took the whole population of a vast area of Armenia to Persia for strategic reasons. During this forceful deportation of half a million people, ~ 200 thousand died, and the rest reached the eastern regions of Persia. In 1828, through treaties with Russia, the descendants of these people returned to present-day Armenia.
My father's family resided in historical Armenian territory under Turkish rule. They were subjected to the 1915 Armenian Genocide, during which my grandmother was killed, and my grandfather escaped to present-day Armenia with his sons. Still, the majority of the 1,200-inhabitant village was massacred.
Stalin's repressions of 1937 took the lives of my two uncles and got my father kicked out of the university.
I enjoyed a happy childhood as a baby boomer and a beloved son. I remember my boy- the pioneer and Komsomol- teenager years as an endless, beautiful, but irreversible dream. The adulthood was far from perfect, but full of life, intelligence, life-celebrating events, and anecdotes. All of that ended in 1985 when Gorbachev came to power in the USSR, and the destruction of that country began. Most Americans are unaware of the history of the downfall of the Soviet Union.
1991-1993 were the worst years of my life, with no electricity, gas, transportation, or food. Practically everybody was starving. Deaths from starvation and unbearable cold were all around. In the spring of 1993, a huge housing complex with an elderly population near our home appeared mostly empty- people died in that harsh winter. In 1992, a massive exodus of Armenians from their homeland began. Once, my father said that these years were even worse than during World War II.
In 1999 I was lucky to receive an invitation to work in the United States as a scientist, arranged by my former graduate student. With that, I became another link in the chain of Armenian emigration –a process lasting thousand years for Armenians.
I have ended my scientific life by discovering the mechanism of blood return to the heart, an important problem of blood circulation that remained unsolved for centuries, of which I am very proud.
I also proposed a theory on human evolution, which is not accepted yet by mainstream anthropologists.
I have seen the Soviet Union and its downfall, the post-Soviet Armenian state upheavals, and the United States up close for the last 24 years. In the past ten years, I have been active on Facebook, keeping in touch with Armenian and global politics. I have collected many of my short thoughts on Facebook, which may seem to contain anger over my national history, the present state of criminal politics in Armenia, and my vision of current things locally and globally. These thoughts can also guide people who unexpectedly find themselves in harsh social/political conditions. They are different in subjects and themes and are not ordered by any means. I present them in the order in which they evolved.
Now, my life philosophy is the following: I managed to keep myself away from idiots, maniacs, and "genius" people, so abundant nowadays. I will also do my best to avoid this trash during my senior year.