The People

March 29, 2009 | 1 Comment

Category: Auto-Biography

Rosanna Schatzki works with me conducting research on diseases and conditions.  We’re starting off by looking for connections that support the thesis that breast cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer have correlations with the many variables connected to our theory.  I’m expecting increased incidence of relatively rare conditions like male breast cancer in populations such as the Jews and blacks, who have migrated from equatorial regions.  I’m also expecting higher rates in Scandinavian countries.  I told Rosanna to check to see if Iceland shows higher rates of male breast cancer.

Yesterday she discovered a study that concluded that there are unusually high rates of male breast cancer among Icelanders and Ashkenazi Jews.  We’re off and running.

Paul Whittaker works with me finding the email addresses of academics conducting research in areas related to what I explore.  For example, I’ll give him a book closely connected to my work, such as Geoffrey Miller’s The Mating Mind or Simon Baron-Cohen’s Prenatal Testosterone in Mind and I’ll have him, using Google, uncover the contact information for selected professors cited in the books.  When a piece comes up that seems related to a professor’s work, I email an invitation to visit.  Almost 50% of the people I email respond to these invitations.

I’ve finished emailing more than 1,000 of these researchers the synthesis piece, “Introduction to the Theory of Waves,” which Roger finished editing.  Each email was customized to each researcher specialty.  That took six weeks to do.

Co-director Laurel Lambert Schmidt is recently guided Wisconsin activists on the use of the just-created Wiscaction.org website, part of the growing Peace, Justice and Environment Project network of statewide networks.  We have more than 42 states in the system and are seeking to have the country completed by July.  More than 1,200 organizations around the country are being served by these online tools with powerful communications features.  Over 10,000 organizations are in our database.  Laurel’s work has been integral to organizers around the country learning to effectively use these tools.  I can’t imagine what this project would look like without Laurel’s passion, attention to detail, laser-like intelligence and astonishing hard work.

Programmer David Larson continues to come up with remarkable and innovative ways to make these networks useful to the activist community.  Soon we hope to have the ability for any individuals or organizations to instantly create their own highly sophisticated website with integrated social networking.  We’re trying to make this free.  We were the first to offer multiple degree of separation online action tracking, which was picked up by Charge.org and is now being used effectively by Facebook.  Here we are seeking to integrate everything we’ve created into a single personal package.

The recession is finally hitting my website design and development business, although a little later than it’s hit most.  In the last three months, we’ve lost 24 clients.  Others are downgrading services to save costs.  Others are adding our services because we’re cheaper than competitors.  This quarter we added 16 clients, many being folks that I dropped off information to by cold calling.  Cold calls (walking in the door and dropping off a flyer) and referrals are still by far the best way to bring in new business.

Rosanna has agreed to be our specialist that will guide clients in the use of My Space, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.  I work with over 400 businesses designing, maintaining and marketing their websites.  Rosanna will enhance the ability of the various firms and individuals we work with to be able to understand and operate in the surging world of social networking.

Many years ago I had one person helping me, Bob Alanis.  Now there are six of us.  Central to everything that happens here is Bob.  Bob is the heart of what makes the web firm work.  There is no way to overestimate Bob’s contributions.  Personable, patient, knowledgeable and a joy to be with, Bob has made making a living as stress free as is possible.

These three things that I do may not seem obviously related:  designing evolutionary theory to usefully predict the causes of medical diseases and conditions; the creation of a Left/Progressive national network of networks integrating online the work of over 1,200 peace, justice and environmental organizations; and serving the local business community by creating and maintaining their websites.

Yet, the people I work with in all three projects often influence or are directly involved in the other projects.  The only person involved in all three is Marcia, my wife.  She is the linchpin, the hub that everything revolves around.  She makes it possible for me to trust.  Without trust, I cannot leap into the unknown.

Then there is Dana, Beck, Rosalie, Craig and others that make the difference between things feeling deeply satisfying and gratifying and it being just another day.

Then there are the children and grandchildren, emerging in these essays over time.

The enthusiasm and talents of these incredible folks make possible these things I do.  These are the people that I am devoted to.


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  1. The People : Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human … | Testicular Cancer on March 29, 2009 1:07 pm

    […] More here:  The People : Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human … […]

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