Abdulaziz Alhamdan 0:16
Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling every day they built for hours and hours, but they didn't ship and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find a way because of this makers became founders and live the lives they deserve. Because of this, these founders live abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine, even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now I'm rebuilding my life one more time, 1% a day, sharing the wisdom of luminaries I've interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, Harvard, Financial Times, even a priest from the Vatican church. So let's begin. My guest today is Ron Waller. Ron is a writer, producer and creator based in New York City, who for 20 years worked alongside Emmy Award winners, and Tony Award winners in producing events in the theatre industry, as well as for the New York Fashion Week, Yahoo, Bloomberg, and many others, when he is not ghost writing for high profile individuals, consulting for writers who want to perfect their craft, or actively researching at the Huntington Library manga Research Center, Ron is exploring the most fascinating topics for humanity through his own books, such as his latest Hubble, Hugh Mason, and the big bang the rays to uncover the expanding universe, which is now available on Springer praxis. Ron, how are you today? I'm just great Abdulaziz. Thank you very, thank you for having me on.
Unknown Speaker 2:39
It's my honor, my privilege. And, you know, it's important to feel people brand right away feel they're like metal or their type. And you're one of the kindest, most interesting people I've ever met. And I know I'm setting the bar high from the very beginning. And to begin exploring your mind, what does seem to be a topic or a subject that insists and demands that you keep on thinking about it that demands your exploration, thought, energy that you have been thinking about these days?
Unknown Speaker 3:19
Well, thank you for that. That was that was a I hope I live up to that introduction. I really appreciate it. Yeah, such an interesting intro to your, to your space here on this podcast. And of course, I like so many people in the world, yourself included, having lived through some of it, and thinking about Ukraine, and Russia, the Russian people and the the, the the the experiences that they are having and and what it means, but something in your intro did trigger historical figures that are based in my book, then I like Joseph von Fraunhofer, for instance, who was a poor child orphaned and sent to work alongside of glassmaker and through a somewhat tragic circumstance of fate, found himself buried under the rubble of an exploded shop space and was pulled from the rubble and befriended by the prince of his territory. And through his connection with that Prince, who saw him as kind of a a galvanizing figure, if you will, was given opportunities with other glassmakers and Fraunhofer went on to become one of history's greatest instrument makers and crucially, for our knowledge of space was with the inventor, the discoverer really have what are known as the Fraunhofer lines, which are the mark the earmarks of, of gases that make themselves known through various special instrument called spectroscope. And these lines appear in in spectrums of the Sun and other stars. And it's through this discovery and the development, that from that discovery that we have learned about how stars what is made in the stars, and how that helped to create everything we see in our galaxy, in the universe, etc. And the planet that we live in. And this ecosystem, it's really a fascinating story and, and your, your intro, stemming from people following their bliss, being given opportunities coming from nowhere, and establishing themselves in a variety of ways I thought was inspirational to the story and Milton hummus and also, but anyway, that that was one fraught, offers the first person I thought of when you in your intro, so I thought, rather than talk about Ukraine and Russia, which we certainly could spend an entire hour. And then so I figured I would start with that. One thing on Ukraine and Russia that I that I that I will say that I don't
Unknown Speaker 6:43
maybe people are feeling, uh, but I don't know that. We, you know, I express that I think about this in terms of spirit, which is to say, how, how a moment like this lives on in the memory, of, in the memory of people in society. And the the, for me, personally, I think the US and NATO policy has been a failed one. I believe that the minute, Putin began to build up his forces on the Ukraine border, that NATO, the US should have led NATO right to the other border, and dared him to flinch. Personally, having been on the playground with the bully, the only way to do that is to face the bully, look him in the eye, and tell him he's not going to dominate. And I do believe it would have saved lives. Personally, I believe that what we have now is the spirit looming large over this, once again, this moment in history, where a dictator, a bully is pushing around a smaller foe, and killing people taking lives. And the fallout from this will, unfortunately, be a negative one in many respects, for decades, maybe, maybe centuries to come. It's a very, it's it's it's almost it's it's hard to overstate the peril that we as a human community. Face and have to live with, in the, in the Fallout to an event like this. It is a pivotal moment in history for more than just political means. And, you know, the, in some ways, the politics, the Ukraine being used as a political football is a part of that. And it is a it's a it's a tragedy, and a travesty of epic proportions.
Unknown Speaker 9:01
Thank you. And I agree with everything you're saying. There are four questions that popped into my mind. And somehow they're all related and not related at all. I'll go in this direction. You spoke about how it seems to me, you spoke about spirit. What are your spiritual thoughts? I don't mean like, in a belief sense, but about destiny about, like, things turning out to be in our benefit, even if at the time they seemed like catastrophes or do you believe that things are random or there is a grand plan. Like, what are your thoughts about this?
Unknown Speaker 9:45
Yeah, so it's, it's one of the great questions, right. I think there's there's room for discussion on it. My personal belief is that your destiny does not lie before you. It lies behind you and that, but that, again, the spirit, what I'm kind of talking about with regard to spirit is really memory. If you think about it, without memory without the ability to remember, the events, the thoughts, the ideas, the inventions, of our given time, humanity could not have evolved, probably wouldn't have survived. Because in many respects, were not the toughest beast on the planet, frankly. And so it would have been very difficult, when you mean, you can imagine society would be impossible, if people didn't remember the things that went wrong, that they wanted to fix, if you know, somebody invented the wheel, but nobody remembered how it was done, or that it was done. And so you would have this very random system is not even a system that would be, you know, very random existence, very difficult to come together to form communities and build society and evolve as a species. And I do see us as a species, it's so but at the same time, that same memory, cold pull, you know, is a, it also offers a an historical map of the fate of human evolution. And this is, you know, I could talk all day about my feelings about this. But to try to sum it up the the the impact of given people just think about some of the great positive and negative figures in history, we'll just pick two, Jesus Christ, and Adolf Hitler. And I don't mean to compare them as opposites. But there are two highly impactful individuals, just just and they're being used Hitler's being used right now, in Ukraine. As a, you know, who is the boogeyman, Heather's dead, no, 80 years. And yet, his name, the memory of the evil, and what we can call it evil, that he brought, is still so fresh, it's like an open wound, for so many people, many of them still alive, who were alive in his in his camps. So it's memory, as pertains to spirit as pertains to this roadmap that we leave the human race, the people that we come into contact on a daily basis. And for those of us whose spirit, you know, is broader in the world is more, you know, subject to the whole is of the utmost importance. It's I don't, I can't think of a thing more important than maintaining your spirit. As a positive force for change, there isn't really anything greater. That's how I feel about spirit. As an atheist,
Unknown Speaker 13:20
yes, I love what you're mentioning. At the same time, especially like, even in my audience, a lot of entrepreneurs and people who consider themselves like free spirits, and they believe the past is shackles their prison that is not allowing them to soar. And that what matters is the future. And that then any point in time, and it's message repeated a lot and self development, you're free to create any future regardless of whatever happened in the past that the past doesn't have to repeat itself and all that at the same time. You're speaking of the value of the roadmap that you're speaking about, and all that. What would you say to those people that say, well, there is no roadmap, that's what some random people came up with at the at the time. And it doesn't mean that we have to follow it because if we follow it, we're restricting our creativity and ability just to repeat what they did within the constraints of their limited knowledge within those years and all that, at the same time, you're speaking of the importance of standing on the shoulders of giants, right? Otherwise, there will be like complete randomness and inefficiency, where people will need to reinvent the wheel all the time, and all that maybe there is a balance but in reality, a lot of people go extreme. They're either trying to live in the 18 hundred's or whatever dressed and that way you think that way and refuse to accept any modernity or to say the past doesn't matter. Those people that had their lives were today's people. So let's reinvent the wheel. But maybe we'll reinvent something better. What are your thoughts about this?
Unknown Speaker 15:12
Yeah, it's interesting, right? I mean, Santiana comes to mind. Those who are not willing to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Slightly paraphrasing there, but I think we are, to some extent in memory, to some extent, subjects us to building on the past. And I would say that the evidence for that is that we have really actually come a long way as a as a species, haven't we, I mean, this facade we have built is a little bit, we've kind of, you know, maybe over constructed. And now we're learning that, you know, we probably have built this system of, of distractions. You know, if you think about existentialism, they talk about boredom as being a major undercurrent for human thought and philosophy and, you know, the depraved human animal. But yeah, we have, we have kind of over constructed it, and now we're learning Oh, hang on, we've maybe need to check up a little bit and, and maybe change some of the things that we do. But we wouldn't be able to do that if we didn't have memory. So it is important. It's not all bad news. The news generally, is good. People have been oppressed. And I think the more we're open about expressing that, the better off we will become. And it seems like with each generation, we are getting there, I love, for instance, this new movement on your podcast, here you had put your name and then your pronoun, this pronoun movement, I know a lot of people are, you know, railing against the notion that people can choose not to be male or female. And I understand the fear behind that, you know, oh, my god, the human race is going to become this band of hermaphrodites. Not going to happen. Nature is nature. But it's not an all or nothing, it's not a black and white, it's not a male, we're finding it out. It's not a male, female world. And I look just like the fact that not everywhere. And there, you know, some countries that are well behind the curve on this, but that in some parts of the world, people are beginning to have a voice and being able to express it more often than not, and there are, you know, atrocities involved in this as well. But more often than not being able to express that. And it's just, it's beautiful that we're here. Because it wasn't that long ago, in the lifetime of my parents, that that was totally unheard of anathema. In the broader society, you saw to the them's walking down the street holding hands, and it was impossible to almost impossible to tell, you know, what gender they were reflecting. And really, if you think about it, gender, you know, the female gender especially, has been branded, you know, dresses to skirts, to you know, I mean, but it's been all about the beautification, the benefit and beautification of, of the female, gender of our species, but they don't, I mean, what is less attractive about a woman in blue jeans? For me? Nothing. You know, I just I, so it's the ability to express that and have a conversation about it, I think is brilliant. So, yeah, I don't know if I answered your question. But it is, it is interesting to think about these things, I guess.
Unknown Speaker 19:14
Thank you. And I remember another thing. I know you're fascinated with story, storytelling, and stories in general and us are also deeply connected to memory to spirit and to history. So what's the role or the position of stories and storytelling within memory, the future history and the whole concept of being a human like, is it something while I want to have an answer that just let me know your thoughts?
Unknown Speaker 19:52
Okay. These are my thoughts. Story. Well, I guess I I'll take it from the standpoint of creativity, and then the various levels of creativity. For me, as I look at the world, and we're learning this increasingly as well, as we explore in new ways the natural world, but really creativity exists throughout the animal kingdom, and to some extent even into extends into flora, plant life. And the interesting ways in which they, some plant species have been very basic plant species have learned to survive, and when, when, when the chips are down, and it's really, really interesting. But if you look around the animal kingdom, that the amount of creativity is just astounding. It's not a human trait, it is, is really, truly a natural state. And it's probably the reason if you and I even at the molecular level, cells go through a system of, of sometimes random, and sometimes not so random. Plausible Deniability, if you will just, you know, they try things, and then they try something else, to see what the best fit is. virus does this. So, yeah, we've been living through this pandemic, and we've been talking about mutations, that's the virus trying to find a way to live a host without killing the host, was very basic. So creativity is really a very natural order. Free Expression is kind of like the next level, you know, if you think about a dolphin body surfing or, you know, an eagle soaring and, you know, things of that nature, you know, a bear sliding down a hill on its back, scratching, its back at, that might just be fun to slide down a hill on your back, I know it is for me. So that kind of represents a more evolved species. And, you know, certainly that finds its way into the human animal, no doubt about that. I think the difference in the main event for humankind appears to be self expression, the ability to see the world through your very own filter. And this is where story comes in. Being curious about the world around you. And I tell my I tell my, my writing clients all the time, not to pay attention to some of the stuff that's out there about what you should do as a writer, you know, you should write every day. That's kinda true in the beginning, you you because you're exploring the field, you want to try to get a sense of what you're about what what works, what you what you seem comfortable in, and what you don't. And maybe try those avenues that work best for you first, maybe go back to the other stuff, too. But if you find something you're passionate about, and you like to write in that medium, then that's probably going to be the best fit for you moving forward. And you don't need to necessarily write yourself, you know, write your experience, you're going to write that into whatever it is you're doing to begin with. But it's just as important, if not more important to be curious to be writing about something you're really curious about, that's going to keep you in the game. It's kind of you know, because writing is a lonely experience. And this is the writing side of story story appears in virtually every walk of certainly the art world.
Unknown Speaker 23:58
But from a writer's perspective, you being curious, being passionate about something you're curious about is really going to help you get to the finish line. So and you don't have to be, you know, a great storyteller, to be a great writer. And you don't have to be a great writer to be a great storyteller. The two are not mutually attractive. My dad was nearly illiterate. But could he tell a story? He used to sit at the table. You couldn't wait to dad's house because he was going to my parents were divorced. You couldn't wait either because after dinner was the best part of dinner, because dad was going to unfold these tales from it can be some simple thing that happened to him on the way to work or some you know, and he just had an ability to hold your attention. Kind of maybe in a time when people were a little less a Add in life, I think we have. Well, podcasts are an example of though that still existing the ability people want to hear story. So, I am not as good nearly as my father were on folding a story is concerned, you know, I respect that ability in him to the utmost degree. But I can, you know, I have learned through the 10,000 hours principle, to be a writer and I, I understand it. And so, you know, but getting back to perspective, I think the ability to self Express is a uniquely human trait, and should be experienced by every human being in their lifetime. For me, that's the thing that I want to champion most. tell the stories, you have to tell your story. Tell the stories you want to tell, talk about it, write it down for you, for the world, for your brothers, sister, kids, whatever. Tell you.
Unknown Speaker 26:15
Thank you and mentioning that. What's the story of that led you to writing your most recent book? What fascinated you about the topic? Or the people? Or how did it come to be? And how did it change you as a person?
Unknown Speaker 26:34
Great question. I was four or five years into my writing career. And I had just I was actually in writing and children's fiction, and had published recently, a book this is in the early 2000s, I published a children's book illustrated by my girlfriend at the time and you know, I was taking a sabbatical happen to be in the Philippines. And you kind of a writing hiatus there. And while he was there, I was reading a book about the Big Bang. I had always been curious about the Big Bang. I've always been curious about the stars love the stars. grew up with my my parents kind of, you know, keeping my mind on the stars, the solstice, the equinox, the movement of the planet, etcetera. saw the lunar landing as a three year old and remember bits and pieces of it was a major event for me. And but I'm not an astrophysicist I'm not astronomer, I just had an affinity for this gets to the curiosity question. I was curious about it. So I was reading this wonderful book called Big Bang by a guy named Simon Singh. Wonderful, wonderful guy and writer and physicist. And there was a story in there about a guy with an eighth grade education and became a cowboy Newell driver helped to drag the materials for this observatory, this world class observatory up us narrow mountain trail 10 miles in each direction, this perilous journey of this thing to build this, you know, the world's greatest observatory with two of the world's greatest and most technologically advanced telescopes. And that was at at Whoa. And he went on to help Edwin Hubble disk from a janitor became a janitor at the observatory. This is what I read in the book, and later helped Hubble Edwin Hubble Space Telescope guy discover the expanding universe, practically what they call practically in the business, which just means that they discovered the evidence for it experimentally, rather than theoretically, which came out of Einstein's general relativity equations that all of that was of interest to me. But what is of special interest to me was, who's this guy who didn't spend more than a day in high school? Who went on to do this work and collaborate with him and why don't we know more about him? And so that was that curiosity. led me to the next step. I'm gonna, I'm gonna dig this up. I'm gonna find everything I can about this guy and figure it out. And one thing led to another. And then speaking of following your bliss, I mean, the road to this was, there was no trail. The only one led to his granddaughter, and that did open up some doors. But the it actually didn't actually Point of fact and the family and I laugh about this, periodically, I have almost done, I've given them more information about their grandfather and great grandfather than they had themselves. Because they knew the guy, right. But they didn't know his history. And he wasn't a great talker about US history. So that's, that's how I got started on this. And it led to the two books that the previous book on the biography on Homicide, and now this book on, on Hubble, and, and he, and they're in this crazy race to uncover who did what, when, and when Einstein and what he felt about it. And it just, it was just this crazy for 50 years, through the middle of the 20th century, these these all these world renowned figures, were standing on their heads, trying to figure out what promising was bringing down meant, primarily, what Emerson was bringing. Very, very fascinating topic for me, and for those who have any interest in science history, and why how where we are and how we got