Confronting The Madness
Ep. 28 Jeff Booth Confronts Inflation + Technology

Ep. 28 Jeff Booth Confronts Inflation + Technology

September 30, 2022

“System problems with the type of magnitude the world is dealing with cannot be fixed by the system creating the problem. A different way of thinking is required.”

- Jeff Booth

I have spent the past decade trying to understand why the mental health crisis worsens while stigma reduction efforts and funding for mental health services are on the rise.

I used to think the problem was a lack of money, but what if the problem was the monetary system itself?

With inflation wreaking havoc across the globe and adding incredible stress and anxiety to millions of families, I thought it would be worth re-sharing my conversation with Jeff Booth from April of this year.

Jeff and I discuss various themes from his recent book The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is Key to an Abundant Future, and how money, as it is currently structured, is serving to fragment our collective well-being.

Jeff’s key arguments:

  • Our Economic System is Sick. Our debt-dependent economic growth has created an economic system that is not fit for purpose. As technological advancement accelerates into unprecedented territory, our need for inflation to support this system is being confronted by the natural force of deflation. We need to urgently rethink our approach.
  • Technology is an Unstoppable Deflationary Force. The emergence of new technologies, such as self-driving cars, virtual reality, and additive manufacturing, will soon create unstoppable deflationary pressure on this system. Coupled with innovation in renewable energy and artificial intelligence, this deflationary pressure cannot be stopped through our model of currency debasement and debt.
  • The Dangers and Possible Solutions. Our current approach is widening inequality and will inevitably lead to the discontent that sows the seeds for totalitarianism. While history tells us that policymakers will probably turn to further money printing and universal basic income as responses, a fuller reset is inevitable. We need to decentralize and fix our monetary system, and we need to confront the deflationary reality now rather than later.

Jeff has become a passionate advocate for Bitcoin as a tool to move us towards a fairer system based on truth and a free market of ideas, a system that moves us from scarcity to abundance.

Fix the money, fix the world?

Mark

Ep. 27 Greg Foss Confronts Money and Mental Health

Ep. 27 Greg Foss Confronts Money and Mental Health

June 23, 2022

Greg Foss has spent over thirty years working with money. He knows it inside and out: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Greg was a founding shareholder at 3IQ, one of Canada’s largest digital asset managers. He is currently CFO and Bitcoin strategist at Validuspower.com. Greg holds an MBA from the Johnson School of Business, Cornell University (1988) and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from McGill University (1986).

Greg and I met at the 2022 Bitcoin Conference in Miami, where he was a speaker and moderator. During one of his talks, Greg shared some of the mental health struggles he has dealt with throughout his life. For those that know Greg, this may come as a surprise. But, as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. 

I have spent the past decade trying to understand why the mental health crisis continues worsen as stigma reduction and funding for mental health services are at historic highs. 

I used to think the problem was lack of money -- I am becoming more and more convinced of the opposite: There's too much of it. 

Greg and I discuss this idea in further detail and how #Bitcoin proposes to fix the underlying problem.

Fix the Money, Fix Mental Health?

 

Mark

Confront

Ep. 26 Dr. Timothy Caulfield Confronts Misinformation

Ep. 26 Dr. Timothy Caulfield Confronts Misinformation

February 21, 2022

Dr. Timothy Caulfield is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Science Policy at the University of Alberta.

 

Timothy may be the most well-known face of scientific myth-busting. 

 

He is the host of Netflix’s The User’s Guide to Cheating Death, and the author of multiple bestsellers on science and misinformation, including Relax: A guide to everyday health decisions with more facts and less worry; The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness; and, last but not least: Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

 

Tim and I confront misinformation, disinformation, science communication; how it contributes to increased anxiety in our daily lives, and what we can do about it.

 

 

Ep. 25 Jonathan Kay Confronts Crowdsourcing Censorship

Ep. 25 Jonathan Kay Confronts Crowdsourcing Censorship

January 28, 2022

My guest today is Canadian journalist Mr. Jonathan Kay. Jonathan was the editor-in-chief of The Walrus (2014–2017) and is presently a senior editor of Quillette, an online magazine focused on long-form analysis and cultural commentary. Jon currently hosts the Quillette podcast and previously co-hosted a podcast with Dr. Debra Soh entitled, Wrongspeak.

 

As a pages editor, columnist, and blogger, Jonathan also previously worked for the National Post. He continues to contribute to the newspaper on a freelance basis. He is also a book author and editor, a public speaker, and a regular contributor to Commentary and the New York Post.

 

Jonathan and I discuss his career in media and how he has watched the landscape shift over time. We discuss the evolution, or devolution, of media, political correctness, the blurring lines between media and activism, and the crowdsourcing of censorship. 

 

We also address the attempt to have Jon 'de-platformed' from this podcast by an activist who sought to discredit him as a "rabid" transphobe.

 

It was a great conversation. Despite Jon's suspect Twitter game, he is articulate, thoughtful, funny, empathetic, and engaging. 

 

Editors note: Jon's PCR test, taken just before the interview, came up negative for rabies.

 

Enjoy.

 

Ep. 24 Tom Wolf and Chief Dale McFee Confront Pathological Altruism

Ep. 24 Tom Wolf and Chief Dale McFee Confront Pathological Altruism

January 15, 2022

Pathological Altruism: Behavior in which attempts to promote the welfare of another, or others, results instead in harm that an external observer would conclude was reasonably foreseeable.

 

Over the holidays, I read a book by author Michael Schellenberger, "San Fransicko: Why progressives are ruining cities.

 

The book posits that progressive policies on homelessness, inequality, and crime have made the cities that progressives control worse, not better. 

 

Schellenberger believes that the real problem isn't a lack of housing or money for social programs. The real problem is an ideology that designates some people, by identity or experience, as victims entitled to destructive behaviors. The result is an undermining of the values that make cities and civilization itself possible.

 

Mr. Tom Wolf appears prominently in San Fransicko. Tom is a former homeless heroin addict who has now become an advocate for recovery. While reading the book, I couldn't help but be impressed by Tom. He has the voice of lived experience combined with a pragmatic, empathetic, and non-ideological approach. I was thrilled he agreed to speak on this episode.

 

I was also grateful to have City of Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee join in the conversation. Dale is a systems-oriented thinker who has been leading transformational change within Edmonton Police Force.

 

We discuss homelessness, addiction, mental illness, drug and housing policies, policing, and politics. We also draw on Tom's experiences in San Francisco to help us consider the type of policies our cities in Canada need to investigate further.

 

I loved this conversation and am grateful to have had the opportunity to listen to Tom and Dale grapple with some of the most intractable challenges of our time.

Ep. 23 Karen Gosbee Confronts Abuse, Trauma, and Finding Meaning

Ep. 23 Karen Gosbee Confronts Abuse, Trauma, and Finding Meaning

October 26, 2021

“An expectation is a pre-meditated resentment. If we could just take that one saying and start to just have conversations, be able to co-exist, and have a bit more acceptance, that would be a good start.”
– Karen Gosbee, from Ep. 23, Confronting the Madness 

Expectations among people are often based on an implicit social contract. That is, without actually verbalizing expectations about give-and-take in a relationship, people construct stories in their heads about legitimate expectations of each other. So, people in a relationship have a "deal" in which the specifics of the deal are never really talked about. It is hard for someone to live up to your expectations when they don't know what they are, but you still might see this failure as a violation of your social contract.

... 

During this episode, Karen shares the trauma she endured in silence for many, many years.

Karen and her three children lost their husband and father, George Gosbee, to suicide in 2017.

What was unknown to many prior to George's suicide was he struggled for many years with mental illness and substance abuse. Through those years, Karen was a victim of both physical and emotional abuse.

She chronicles her journey in detail in her book, “A Perfect Nightmare: My Glittering Marriage and How It Almost Cost Me My Life.”

I highly recommend you read the book and share with those whom you think may benefit from reading it.

...

Karen is someone who I consider to be a friend and kindred spirit. She is someone I have deep admiration for.

We share a unique bond with each other in that psychologically healthy people bore us.

That said, rumour has it that the next DSM revision will include a new disorder entitled, “psychologically healthy disorder” or PHD for short. So that may change our perspective on the psychologically healthy population. Another ingenious discovery by the mental health power brokers, adding to the growing list of diagnosable disorders we didn’t know we had.

...

Karen has channeled her lived experience to become an advocate and community leader, working to improve the mental healthcare system. She is the co-chair of Mental Health and Addiction Stewardship Group for The City of Calgary and was a Member of The Government of Alberta Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council.

Keep Confronting the Madness in your lives.

- Mark

 

Ep. 22 Sanjay Singhal Confronts his Trip to a Historic $5M Gift in Psychedelic Psychotherapy

Ep. 22 Sanjay Singhal Confronts his Trip to a Historic $5M Gift in Psychedelic Psychotherapy

October 18, 2021

In this episode, I had the opportunity to chat again with tech entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist, Sanjay Singhal. Sanjay has co-founded 6 companies and is an active and ongoing investor in over 20 start-ups. 

In early 2019, Sanjay established the Nikean Foundation (nikean.org) with hopes of promoting psychedelic science and bringing to the forefront novel medicines for mental health.

In September of this year, The Nikean Foundation announced a $5 million dollar transformational gift in support of psychedelic psychotherapy at the University Health Network (UHN). The gift is the largest ever donation in support of psychedelic science and research in Canada.

The Nikean Centre for Psychedelic Psychotherapy will be housed at University Health Network (UHN), which is a multi-campus healthcare institution encompassing Toronto General and Western hospitals, The Princess Margaret, Toronto Rehab and The Michener Institute of Education.  These are some of the most reputable healthcare institutions in the world. In 2021, UHN’s Toronto General Hospital was named the number-four hospital in the world and the number-one hospital in Canada for the third year in a row.

By accepting this gift, UHN is sending a powerful message that Canada is serious about psychedelic research and tackling the existential mental health crisis affecting the masses.

In this episode Sanjay and I dive into the catalyzing impact this gift intends to have for those suffering from mental illness.

 

 

 

Dr. Vincent Agyapong Confronts Digital and Global Mental Health

Dr. Vincent Agyapong Confronts Digital and Global Mental Health

October 10, 2021

On #WorldMentalHealthDay, there is no person I would rather be speaking with. I am privileged to call my next guest, first and foremost, a friend.  

Dr. Vincent Agyapong stands, in my eyes, as one of the most generous, kind, supportive, thoughtful, and empathetic men I know.  I went through a personal challenging period in 2020 and Vincent made sure to call me week in and week out just to check in.

As a professional, I have not come across a more hard working, innovative, and dynamic individual.  It is no wonder he has been sought after by many organizations around the world.

Vincent is the newly minted Professor of Psychiatry and Global Mental Health and the Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University. He is also the Chief of Psychiatry for the Central Zone at Nova Scotia Health Authority. 

In this episode Vincent and I focus on global and digital mental health issues and trends. We talk in depth about his major health innovation: supportive text message interventions.  His various text messaging programs have had over 80,000 subscribers. 

As founding board members of The Global Psychological eHealth Foundation, Vincent and I also talk about our efforts to focus on global mental health research, advocacy and consulting work. The Global Psychological eHealth Foundation has a specific interest in developing, implementing, and evaluating impacts of, evidence based, easily scalable, and cost-effective e-mental health tools geared at closing the treatment gap for communities in low-, middle- and high-income countries

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy World Mental Health Day.

If you look in the right places, there is so much to be grateful for.

Ep. 20 Luke Jahjefendic Confronts His Five Tours of Afghanistan

Ep. 20 Luke Jahjefendic Confronts His Five Tours of Afghanistan

September 22, 2021

Antifragile is a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to suggest that “things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty...Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.

My guest today, Luke Jahjefendic embodies Antifragility.

Born in Bosnia, Luke immigrated to Canada during the midst of the Bosnian War.  Landing in Toronto at age thirteen, Luke joined the Canadian Armed Forces in his early twenties as way to payback the country who he says, “saved his life.”

In total, Luke did five tours of duty and spent over 1200 days serving in Afghanistan -- one of the most of anyone in the Canadian Armed Forces.  During our conversation, we unpacked each tour one by one.

The notion of suffering is woven throughout our conversation. Suffering often carries a negative connotation, but like Taleb, who believes that “complex systems are weakened, even killed, when deprived of stressors”, Luke’s perspective on suffering is worth absorbing.

In many ways, our society is being weakened due to a lack of significant stressors placed on our systems.  I’m referring specifically to those of us who are living “comfortable” lives. 

We often equate comfort with happiness, but, ironically, most people find the opposite is the case. Confronting, and then transcending, suffering is where meaning, purpose, and happiness live. 

During this conversation Luke provides us all a reminder of that.

 

 

 

 

Ep. 19 Dr. Valerie Taylor Confronts redefining the meaning of ”Sh*t for brains”

Ep. 19 Dr. Valerie Taylor Confronts redefining the meaning of ”Sh*t for brains”

September 18, 2021

In this episode I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Valerie Taylor.  Originally hailing from Newfoundland, Valerie is now the Calgary Zone Lead for Addiction and Mental Health with Alberta Health Services as well as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary.

Her research focuses on working to identify new treatment modalities for those suffering from mental illness.

In 2020, Valerie was named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women.

Valerie has a keen interest in the area of the brain body interface.  A major focus of her research is the gut brain axis and investigating how manipulation of this system can be used as a potential therapeutic target for new treatments and how psychiatric illness impacts the gut microbiome.

Valerie is currently running the only clinical trial in North America using fecal transplant to target mood disorders (must listen to become a convert), and are running a longitudinal microbiome biobank which contains detailed clinical, fMRI, and biological (feces, urine, blood) data.

Just recently, Valerie announced The Parker Psychedelic Research Chair, the first of its kind in Canada, thanks to a $3M gift by UofC Alumnus Jim Parker.

I'm so impressed by Valerie and the innovation she is driving in Calgary.  I love this episode so much and would be prepared to donate my stool to her research, but the only issue is I wouldn't quality as a "healthy subject.":)

 

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