New from Nicholas Alahverdian: Semiotics in Autumn Rhythm

New from Nicholas Alahverdian

For Nicholas Alahverdian, a Harvard scholar with a vast array of research interests and focal areas, Jackson Pollock’s work was that of a genius.

Nicholas Alahverdian 2019
Nicholas Alahverdian Copyright 2019

Jackson Pollock’s painting style was not merely improvisational – it also incorporated characteristics reminiscent of those artists and authors who engaged in the practice of writing and/or painting in the style of stream-of-consciousness.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

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Drip after drip, smear after smear, mixing the two – these techniques cumulatively defined the greatness of his work.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

Loyal to his art and chronically dissatisfied with his performance, he lengthened his artistic stride to further his aesthetic interpretation of the world in which we live.

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

About Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian was born and raised in the Boston metropolitan area. Orphaned at the age of 14, Nicholas was a bookworm and aspired to become a lawyer, journalist, and an elected official. Nicholas said “I found that each profession complemented the other, and as one grows in influence in one field, they simultaneously acquire knowledge to assist intellectual advancement in variant fields. Law, journalism, and politics have a symbiotic relationship with one another, and being involved in those three fields as a professional would epitomize being a public servant.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, About the Author
Nicholas Alahverdian

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At Harvard, he concentrated in comparative literature and political science. His professors and advisors included Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Hamilton, Theo Theoharis, and Thomas Underwood.

Alahverdian has taught political science, literature and creative writing as an adjunct lecturer at Harvard University and other institutions. Nicholas taught courses on political advocacy in the 21st century, with a particular focus on how multiple factors are damaging public faith in elections. and in some cases, democracy in its totality. Nicholas has long been a key figure in helping companies and individuals adopt a fresh approach to campaigning and lobbying, discarding outdated tactics and restructuring for greater success and revenue generation.

Nicholas Alahverdian worked on many political campaigns, including stints with Cranston Mayor John O’Leary, State Representative Raymond A. Hull, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva, and many others. Nicholas Alahverdian’s interests outside of work include poetry, the opera, and reading.

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About Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian, Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize, Harvard
Seamus Heaney and Nicholas Alahverdian


Nicholas Alahverdian is a Harvard-educated scholar and political activist. As an adolescent, Nicholas survived torture and abuse inflicted upon him by the Rhode Island government under the direct orders of a chief judge and a governor following his political activism against them while Alahverdian was an employee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Nicholas Alahverdian, Providence,
Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas was sent to two facilities far from New England that had extensive records of torture, abuse, and negligence. He was forced to remain in these abusive facilities until his 18th birthday and was not allowed to contact anyone, go to school, or prepare for adulthood.

Alahverdian survived the torture, sued his abusers, settled in court, and studied at Harvard University.

The primary scholarly focus of Nicholas Alahverdian is the intersection of philology, rhetoric, and politics. He has been featured in The Providence Journal, NPR, BBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC News as well as The Buddy Cianci Show, The Boston Globe and countless other media entities.

Pope Francis Recognizes Armenian Genocide as ‘First of 21st Century’

The Pope, in an unprecedented move, has identified the Armenian Genocide as ‘the first of the 20th Century’

The leader of the world’s Catholics has used the term “genocide” during a Mass commemorating the Armenian Genocide at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to describe the mass killing of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks

VATICAN CITY — During the month that marks the centennial of the slaughter of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Pope Francis exhorted global leaders to join him in acknowledging what he termed the ‘first genocide in the 20th century.’ Locally, Nicholas Alahverdian worked with an American city that has a history of severe Armenian Genocide denial to acquire a proclamation from that city’s Office of the Mayor. Continue reading Pope Francis Recognizes Armenian Genocide as ‘First of 21st Century’

The Vision of Patrick Kennedy

By Nicholas Alahverdian 
Since retiring from the United States Congress six years ago, Patrick J. Kennedy has made it a personal mission to change the way we look at mental health. He has reignited the discussion on modern healthcare and seems to have singlehandedly breathed new life into challenging the status quo.

“We stand on the doorstep to make momentous progress in advancing the cause of this new civil rights struggle started by the work of President Kennedy over 50 years ago.”
— Patrick J. Kennedy

His father, the great US statesman Edward Kennedy, Senator from Massachusetts and brother of President John F. Kennedy, made healthcare and its quality and affordability his singular passion throughout his service in the United States Senate.
Following the senior Kennedy’s death after years of brain cancer and Patrick’s subsequent retirement from Congress, Patrick has made it his personal mission to see to it that American society has a renewed discussion about cognitive health and neuroscience.

Patrick Kennedy and Nicholas Alahverdian
Patrick Kennedy and Nicholas Alahverdian

He published “A Common Struggle” in 2015, a personal memoir of a life where he battled addiction with drugs and alcohol, some of it impacting his congressional career. The book correlates with his extensive tour of speaking engagements related to mental health and neuroscience and his initiatives to boost funding and research to these important causes.
One of the hallmarks of life in the Kennedy family is selfless service to country and fellow man. Patrick Kennedy truly embodies that spirit.
Find out more about Patrick’s work through The Kennedy Forum at

Nicholas Alahverdian and Andre Dubus III – A Meeting of the Minds

Andre Dubus III, Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian, Andre Dubus III, and Dev

I’ll never forget the first time I met acclaimed novelist, UMass Lowell professor and Guggenheim fellow Andre Dubus III. Following a literary forum, he held court with admirers and fans alike and fortunately I was one amidst the throng that was able to meet him and actually spend some time speaking with him about his writing process. Continue reading Nicholas Alahverdian and Andre Dubus III – A Meeting of the Minds

Can You Spare Some Change? The Moral Argument of the Beggar

By Nicholas Alahverdian
When a beggar asks a passerby for money, a litany of thoughts may congregate in one’s head. Indeed, it is up to the passerby to act in the right way, or in a way that tends to promote happiness, or in the wrong way, or in a way that promotes the antithesis of happiness. But whose happiness matters? To the passerby, it may be their own or it may be that of the beggar.
On the contrary, one could “reject all established morality while believing to be an objective truth that it was evil or corrupt”. At what point does the practice of freely giving money upon request with no effort on the part of the beggar become evil and/or corrupt? What does the beggar have to lose?
Through the lens of John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism, especially considering the existence of pleasure and the absence of pain, the foundation of morality would suggest that a passerby giving money to a beggar on the street is actually the right thing to do. Objectively, it may be the right thing to do and may cause a pleasurable and altruistic experience. But what of the approach which considers the moral framework that strives for pleasure and pain whilst eliminating the devastating impact of animalistic tendencies, specifically ridding one’s community of panhandling and squalor?
If a person uses his or her higher faculties, it is completely within reason to suggest that Mill would reject the idea that succumbing to the requests and/or demands of a panhandler is the right, moral, or ethical thing to do in every single case. Consider the circumstantial and/or prima facie evidence which may or may not be apparent upon being asked for money… Does the beggar have marks on his arm from injecting himself with heroin? Does his breath sting one’s face with the pungent scent of cheap alcohol? Does the beggar have any stated intention of what he or she will do with the money? All of these questions are essential and imperative when considering whether or not catering to the request of the beggar for a bit of money is actually catering to his higher faculties or his lower faculties.
So would Utilitarianism endorse the general act of panhandling? Perhaps, but not before considering the aforementioned. Now, looking through the concept of Cultural Relativism advocated by philosopher John Leslie Mackie, we are presented with the quandary that standpoints are equally privileged and no standpoint is uniquely privileged over any other. Mackie advocates the viewpoint that all moral claims are false since they assert characteristics that are “ontologically queer” cannot be perceived by normal empirical means.
The characteristics of goodness and altruism can indeed be attributed to the act of one giving his or her money to the beggar, but when viewed through the lens of the argument of cultural (or moral) relativism, the giver becomes trapped in a moral dilemma since there is no hierarchy of what should take precedence. The same with the beggar, who stands at a crossroads of ethics: is his financial dilemma, whether it be due to lack of work, a drug habit, or gambling, significant enough to jeopardize the happiness of others to the point of soliciting donations from unsuspecting passersby.
Thus, we arrive at a crossroads ourselves: how would Mill respond to the appeals of the beggar? And what about the notoriously blunt Mackie?
Mill, as an advocate for seeking for pleasurable experiences throughout one’s life by exercising a variance of faculties, both higher and lower, would adamantly advocate that there is no uniform approach to approaching a begging panhandler. One must contemplate the subject’s situation, demeanor, plea, and other characteristics; proceed to analyze the facts in accordance with the begging panhandler’s statements; and finally use his or her higher faculties to come to a complete and wise determination of how he or she will respond – all in a matter of seconds. “Can you spare some change?” never seemed so complicated.
Mackie, alternatively, would prefer a comparably self-serving result wherein the begging panhandler is ignored, or worse, interrogated. The dialogue that would ensue would be a microscopic analysis of the history of haggling as opposed to inventorying the needs of the begging panhandler since, again, the “ontologically queer” characteristics that seemingly advocate for moral righteousness (i.e. goodness, care, altruism, etc.) cannot be perceived by normal empirical needs.
Mackie’s argument depends upon the stance that no one situation is more important than any other. In fact, the argument would be so convoluted that he would walk away with an extreme sense of frustration that he was held up for far too long.
In conclusion, the best way to address the situation, or, rather, the ideal way to deal with the situation is to employ the analytic and rational foundation of establishing the needs of the person in question.
Mill allows for flexibility in one’s thinking in his Utilitarianism philosophical approach, whereas Mackie would exact a nihilistic blow to the panhandling beggar. Mackie’s approach does not go over so well ethically and morally because there is no grading system or analytical approach that would allow a passerby to shift the mirrors to see where the smoke was coming from.
Put another way, the passerby has literally seconds to establish the history, background, factual synopsis, and prima facie evidence that needs to be assessed in order to allow a solid moral framework to be established. At that point, it is unquestionably a more robust approach to figuring out whether or not giving a begging panhandler money is the right thing to do according to one’s higher faculties.
Mackie’s philosophical approach is rigid, invariable, and irrationally stringent. The ethical and moral approach to understanding the needs of a fellow human being are better suited by Mill’s intelligible and compassionate, yet practical, approach. It is only through this practical approach that a reasonable resolution can be reached.
Works Cited and Referenced
Rachels, James. The Right Thing to Do.
New York: McGraw Hill, 2012. Print.
Moral Relativism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Date Accessed: 24 August 2016.

Nicholas Alahverdian works for DCYF overhaul |

By Walt Buteau
Target12 Investigator
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nicholas Alahverdian claims he was beaten everyday while he was in Department of Children, Youth and Families custody and now he is pushing for reform.
Alahverdian was a general assembly page at the age of 14 but one year later he was living in a series of DCYF funded group homes where he says the other kids used him as a punching bag.
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Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" (Der fliegende Holländer)

Renowned composer Richard Wagner initially averred that he was influenced to compose this The Flying Dutchman after he endured a tempestuously thunderous voyage to London in 1839, yet in 1843 he confirmed that the actual source of inspiration for Dutchman was Heinrich Heine’s novel The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski. Continue reading Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman" (Der fliegende Holländer)