Good Articles That Don't Deserve Their Own Threads

Fwiffo

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And what if it is white people going to some impoverished place (let's pick Africa) to build houses, do pro bono dental work, or dig for freshwater? Is that an extension of Kipling's White Man's Burden?
 

Thruth

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Another lunatic with a death wish. Although as it is in The Grauniad you are not allowed to mention that the natives are complete savages. They prefer an ‘it’s all whiteys fault’ narrative.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...nedict-allen-explorer-racist-british-colonial
And what if it is white people going to some impoverished place (let's pick Africa) to build houses, do pro bono dental work, or dig for freshwater? Is that an extension of Kipling's White Man's Burden?
In this new world all this type of behaviour smacks of colonialism.

The new way of things is to leave them alone unless asked to help.

There is enough outreach work needed for domestic savages including white trash
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Another lunatic with a death wish. Although as it is in The Grauniad you are not allowed to mention that the natives are complete savages. They prefer an ‘it’s all whiteys fault’ narrative.

https://www.theguardian.com/comment...nedict-allen-explorer-racist-british-colonial
Awful article, had to stop reading before I vomited. The only issue I have with Allen, as no stranger to jungle adventures myself, is so called searching for uncontacted tribes. The issue here is one of disease, if they're truly pristine, they have very little resistance to common ailments in the western world.

And what if it is white people going to some impoverished place (let's pick Africa) to build houses, do pro bono dental work, or dig for freshwater? Is that an extension of Kipling's White Man's Burden?
Always enjoy seeing the ''pro bono'' moniker on LinkedIn accounts. You know for sure, they're utter gobshites.
 

formby

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Awful article, had to stop reading before I vomited. The only issue I have with Allen, as no stranger to jungle adventures myself, is so called searching for uncontacted tribes. The issue here is one of disease, if they're truly pristine, they have very little resistance to common ailments in the western world.



Always enjoy seeing the ''pro bono'' moniker on LinkedIn accounts. You know for sure, they're utter gobshites.
More Guardian click bait...

Like the one where Movember was seen to exclusionary towards men who couldn't grow facial hair..I'm surprised it hasn't been banned as being potentially exclusionary towards transmen.

Or the article where talking about gardening was considered racist because they were discussing soil-purity and non-native species......of plants that is. This was seen as 'covertly' encouraging nativism.

Or the article...

This is the new reality folks...anything goes...anything, no matter how fucking stupid as long as it brings traffic to the site and the writer can make a name for themselves. Cos they're now a brand.

If you wanna know where the alt-right gets it methods from, look no further. The alt-right, is a creation of the pseudo-left.

formby, is not, impressed.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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More Guardian click bait...

Like the one where Movember was seen to exclusionary towards men who couldn't grow facial hair..I'm surprised it hasn't been banned as being potentially exclusionary towards transmen.

Or the article where talking about gardening was considered racist because they were discussing soil-purity and non-native species......of plants that is. This was seen as 'covertly' encouraging nativism.

Or the article...

This is the new reality folks...anything goes...anything, no matter how fucking stupid as long as it brings traffic to the site and the writer can make a name for themselves. Cos they're now a brand.

If you wanna know where the alt-right gets it methods from, look no further. The alt-right, is a creation of the pseudo-left.

formby, is not, impressed.
That much is true. I have to admit, I am still astounded when I find the broadsheets resorting to cheap sensationalism to channel traffic. Including The Guardian. I should know better by now.
 

formby

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That much is true. I have to admit, I am still astounded when I find the broadsheets resorting to cheap sensationalism to channel traffic. Including The Guardian. I should know better by now.
That's all it is. You can make good money saying daft things on social media. You can also end your career.

There was another case, a while back, centred around soi-disant cultural appropriation. The writer Lionel Shriver (a cis-woman) came under attack.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Written by a self-loathing member of the Brit middle class! However, he did work for Frank Field which means he can't be all angst. Another self-loathing member of the upper middle class in the UK is Jeremy Corbyn.

In any dynamic society there will be wealth disparities and this effects housing, education and social mobility of the next generation. But it is not a closed caste system: the last report I read - on the situation in the UK - showed that 21% of those who were born into families of the top earners (i.e. upper middle class) ended up in the lowest.

In the UK the class system was much more pronounced with accent being a key sign, also dress. It was also possible to arrive in a city with no money and through a letter of introduction to be entertained and engaged even if you had no money on the strength of being a gentleman. Whilst wealth came into it, particularly heredity wealth, the norms of behaviour and culture were the most important presentation of the class system.

I'm not sure what he is getting at: rich people to be barred from living well and be forced to live with people in poverty? Forego a good education for their offspring so that their children can wallow in the poverty of the masses?

From what I read, the author is interested in erasing wealth, not the class system, as the class system is as much about norms of behaviour than just wealth.
 
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formby

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Written by a self-loathing member of the Brit middle class! However, he did work for Frank Field which means he can't be all angst. Another self-loathing member of the upper middle class in the UK is Jeremy Corbyn.

In any dynamic society there will be wealth disparities and this effects housing, education and social mobility of the next generation. But it is not a closed caste system: the last report I read - on the situation in the UK - showed that 21% of those who were born into families of the top earners (i.e. upper middle class) ended up in the lowest.

In the UK the class system was much more pronounced with accent being a key sign, also dress. It was also possible to arrive in a city with no money and through a letter of introduction to be entertained and engaged even if you had no money on the strength of being a gentleman. Whilst wealth came into it, particularly heredity wealth, the norms of behaviour and culture were the most important presentation of the class system.

I'm not sure what he is getting at: rich people to be barred from living well and be forced to live with people in poverty? Forego a good education for their offspring so that their children can wallow in the poverty of the masses?

From what I read, the author is interested in erasing wealth, not the class system, as the class system is as much about norms of behaviour than just wealth.
Where you have disparates of wealth you'll have a class system.

I think the author is trying to highlight hypocrisy.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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This was what I took from it, too.
That's the title of it, but what I saw was the politics of envy: ''The big difference is that most of the people on the highest rung in America are in denial about their privilege. The American myth of meritocracy allows them to attribute their position to their brilliance and diligence, rather than to luck or a rigged system. At least posh people in England have the decency to feel guilty.'''

If you've worked hard, been successful and have more than those who haven't been as diligent and hard working, why should you feel guilty? Should you also feel guilty about luck, that element of chance that plays a part in everyone's career. You can feel depressed about bad luck, but if you've created you're own luck, then what then?

Whilst posh is a loaded term in the UK now, I would never have considered posh people as defined by feeling guilt over their wealth.

This is the hypocrisy: ''Some of my most progressive friends send their children to $30,000-a-year high schools. The surprise is not that they do it. It is that they do it without so much as a murmur of moral disquiet.'' We have these types in the UK as well, the unelected and unelectable Shami Chakrabarti and Diane Abbott. But, why should you feel ''moral disquiet'' if you send your children to a private school? It's only hypocrisy if you virtue signal against it, if you're in favour of it, there is no moral wrong here.

There's a fair bit more, but the author falls into the inequality of wealth is bad thing camp. There should be equality of opportunity as much as possible, but not equality of outcomes.
 

Fwiffo

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A wave of Subway store closures

Do people in retail fast food not learn from each other? I remember this happened with Starbucks and other chains where you open so many you start cannibalizing each other and of course you start lowering the quality and business goes down. Week old lettuce! That sounds healthier than a Big Mac!
 

Fwiffo

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More compassion starts with all of us

"One of the problems, his work suggests, is that the people with the most resources, the ones who can afford to be generous, are also often the least likely to feel compassion. A new study out this week suggests that Scrooge wasn't fiction - our compassion appears to be influcened by our social standing. The study, published in the journal Emotion, asked 1,519 Americans to complete an emotions scale (sample: nurturing others gives me a warm feeling inside) and compared it with their household incomes. The wealthier participants scored higher on 'self-oriented feelings' such as pride and contentment, while the poorer participants reported more 'other-centred' feelings of compassion and love. 'The more power you have, the more money and resources you have relative to others, the less likely you are to feel compassion for another person,' Prof. Piff says."

What if you're like me and you are barely scraping by with money and resources and you still lack compassion? Does that mean I'm a wank? Jerk? Prick?

"The fundamental conflict of everyday social life is when to put your own needs above the interests of someone else - and when not to...'Eye contact, a gentle nod of the head, a smile or a good morning offered freely to another person is a tiny way we can increase connection,' he says. 'Perhaps these acts of micro-kindness matter more when the person to whom they are offered is homeless."

Is the homeless person deserving of compassion? Why should I care about someone who has no material value in my life? Why invest the effort into it? My life is finite. I'm not Jesus.
 

Fwiffo

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Move Over, Millennials: How Generation Z Is Disrupting Work As We Know It

"According to a survey by her firm, 78% of Gen Z-ers say getting a four-year degree no longer makes economic sense, and hundreds of programs, from apprenticeships to boot camps, have cropped up to offer an alternative path. New types of work are possible too. Research has found that teenagers are getting their driver’s licenses later and doing less traditional work-for-pay than previous generations. But while they might not be tearing tickets at the local cineplex, they may be starting a popular YouTube channel from their bedroom. Culture Co-op found that nearly 60% of Gen Z-ers, ages 13 to 22, say they are doing some form of freelancing."

"Workplaces are just beginning to feel the influence of Gen Z. Early observations suggest that these young people may opt for headphones at work, collaborating and socializing in chat rooms, rather than in the open spaces set up by millennials. Experts who spend their days thinking about office dynamics say that while members of Gen Z may not have the formal writing skills or emotional intelligence of baby boomers, they’ll be able to teach older coworkers how to learn new tools and skills on the fly—the same way they have all their lives."

Does Generation Z also discount facts? An undergraduate degree guarantees a bump in starting salary and a permanent escalator increase in pay raise for the rest of one's career. But yeah, you know what, ignore statistics and past experience. It's a brave new world.

If the next generation have no interest coming into the office and would rather start their YouTube channels from home, can I reclaim the open collaboration spaces and get my square footage back? I'd like to have an office with a door, my own choice of artwork, guest chairs and preferably a hot secretary outside so I can imbibe and nap.
 

Kingstonian

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A degree is often a waste of time nowadays. There are graduates aplenty. It keeps the unemployment figures down and the government gets the youngsters to pay handsomely for the privilege themselves.

My generation let jobs get moved overseas, so they could get a payoff to retire early. Now they complain that there is no work for their offspring.
 

Kingstonian

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A wave of Subway store closures

Do people in retail fast food not learn from each other? I remember this happened with Starbucks and other chains where you open so many you start cannibalizing each other and of course you start lowering the quality and business goes down. Week old lettuce! That sounds healthier than a Big Mac!
They offer a choice of bread - but all of them are soft and horrible. The salad is bland at best. I would prefer to go to an independent if I have to get someone to make me a sandwich.
 

Fwiffo

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They offer a choice of bread - but all of them are soft and horrible. The salad is bland at best. I would prefer to go to an independent if I have to get someone to make me a sandwich.
I can't describe that smell that comes from a Subway store real bread. I can make my own sandwich as well, but I'm not thirsting for two litres of water afterwards. It's the additives they put in there that turns me off. Of course, there is a 24 hour one underneath my building so when you're sloshed sometimes it's a good test of your faculties after a night out.

A degree is often a waste of time nowadays. There are graduates aplenty. It keeps the unemployment figures down and the government gets the youngsters to pay handsomely for the privilege themselves.
The film Children of Men was not a dystopia after all, but rather a way to keep full employment going.
 

InstaHate

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My generation let jobs get moved overseas, so they could get a payoff to retire early. Now they complain that there is no work for their offspring.
This is a pet peeve of mine (sorry); I remember trying to explain it to OfficePants (unsuccessfully). I don’t know about the UK to be fair, but in the US, globalization (which includes offshoring and simple competition from foreign companies) only accounts for 17-21% of the job loss in manufacturing. The higher numbers (20-21%) typically come from economists arguing that globalization is a major detriment to domestic labor markets. Similar numbers in Germany. The biggest culprit to job loss is increased returns to capital and labor. This isn’t just automation either. For example, if you ran an SME with 300 people, you might need 3 people doing HR stuff and another 10 doing accounting (audits, etc). With new software, you might only need one HR person and two people in accounting. That kind of stuff is really responsible for a lot of the involuntary and structural unemployment plaguing a lot of blue collar industries, particularly those associated with manufacturing. Pink collar (think about how many retail employees were necessary 20 years ago to meet the Christmas demand; look at how few this year thanks to technology) and white collar work will likely be affected in a similar way soon enough.

Still ~20% is A LOT of lives affected, and anyone who says otherwise is an ass. And both offshoring and the increasing returns to capital benefit both consumers and ownership/management at the expense of employees.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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This is a pet peeve of mine (sorry); I remember trying to explain it to OfficePants (unsuccessfully). I don’t know about the UK to be fair, but in the US, globalization (which includes offshoring and simple competition from foreign companies) only accounts for 17-21% of the job loss in manufacturing. The higher numbers (20-21%) typically come from economists arguing that globalization is a major detriment to domestic labor markets. Similar numbers in Germany. The biggest culprit to job loss is increased returns to capital and labor. This isn’t just automation either. For example, if you ran an SME with 300 people, you might need 3 people doing HR stuff and another 10 doing accounting (audits, etc). With new software, you might only need one HR person and two people in accounting. That kind of stuff is really responsible for a lot of the involuntary and structural unemployment plaguing a lot of blue collar industries, particularly those associated with manufacturing. Pink collar (think about how many retail employees were necessary 20 years ago to meet the Christmas demand; look at how few this year thanks to technology) and white collar work will likely be affected in a similar way soon enough.

Still ~20% is A LOT of lives affected, and anyone who says otherwise is an ass. And both offshoring and the increasing returns to capital benefit both consumers and ownership/management at the expense of employees.
'''The biggest culprit to job loss is increased returns to capital and labor''. Well, that's a Marxist intepretation of it.

Increases in efficiency through automation, new software and improved processes often means you can churn out more and more cost effectively. Particulalry in manufacturing. This often leads to more employment and in the case of automation, more females in the workplace as the need for manual brawn is reduced. But not always,

I'm involved in lot of bespoke manufacturing not only oil & gas, but power generation, marine and mining and without doubt the biggest threat to blue collar jobs is the off-shoring of jobs overseas. These jobs still exist, they haven't been made obsolete, they've been shipped overseas where the cost of land and labour is much cheaper. Not to mention the ease in which you can alleviate environmental and labour laws.

Now we are also seeing the Indianisation of traditionally highly educated engineering degree and above positions being either farmed out to Bangalore, or companies setting up feeder agencies in India who then transfer them to Europe on short term contracts. The current costs for an Indian graduate engineer here is US$200-225 a day, plus a Euros 100 a day living allowance. The European equivalent is at least double that and often quite a bit more.

So I am starting to see a lot of white collar MSc's, PhD's that are metallurgists, well reservoir and process engineers finding themselves being made redundant and struggling to find the equivalent positions. Indeed, I was with one of my clients the other day and he was complaining that the last two positions his wife had were both off-shored to India in short period of time.

Globalization is a significant factor in reducing salaries in the west, whilst places like India have benefitted, but all those middle class white collar workers who think this will only effect manual work need to guess again.

The so called Indian Knowledge export is currently storming the oil & gas industries. Already the Middle East is pretty much dead - other than senior management - for the expat Brit and the likes on a serious good packages.
 

Fwiffo

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I thought his observation was Europeans being displaced by brown people. I'm trying to situate the same parties in my mind in the timeframe of the industrial revolution....
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I thought his observation was Europeans being displaced by brown people. I'm trying to situate the same parties in my mind in the timeframe of the industrial revolution....
Not at all, I was merely drawing attention to the fact that increased productivity and new technologies do not necessarily mean redundancies. They can make the company more innovative and competitive. One of the problems with the current wave of globalization is that it chases cheap labour, whilst innovation is stifled as there is no incentive to improve processes.

New technologies have not displaced the western working class - globalization with off-shoring has.

One thing that has yet to dawn on millenials and liberals, is the fact that everyone, including all the graduates of the future, will face tough competition to enter the job market as the organisations will have a global pool of talent to pick from. Positive and negative I suppose.
 

formby

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Not at all, I was merely drawing attention to the fact that increased productivity and new technologies do not necessarily mean redundancies. They can make the company more innovative and competitive. One of the problems with the current wave of globalization is that it chases cheap labour, whilst innovation is stifled as there is no incentive to improve processes.

New technologies have not displaced the western working class - globalization with off-shoring has.

One thing that has yet to dawn on millenials and liberals, is the fact that everyone, including all the graduates of the future, will face tough competition to enter the job market as the organisations will have a global pool of talent to pick from. Positive and negative I suppose.
I was referring to Inta's point about automation taking jobs. That was the Luddites argument. Economies are not static, they are constantly changing, constantly in flux. Its the [main] reason economists predictions are usually wrong.
 

InstaHate

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'''The biggest culprit to job loss is increased returns to capital and labor''. Well, that's a Marxist intepretation of it.

Increases in efficiency through automation, new software and improved processes often means you can churn out more and more cost effectively. Particulalry in manufacturing. This often leads to more employment and in the case of automation, more females in the workplace as the need for manual brawn is reduced. But not always,

I'm involved in lot of bespoke manufacturing not only oil & gas, but power generation, marine and mining and without doubt the biggest threat to blue collar jobs is the off-shoring of jobs overseas. These jobs still exist, they haven't been made obsolete, they've been shipped overseas where the cost of land and labour is much cheaper. Not to mention the ease in which you can alleviate environmental and labour laws.

Now we are also seeing the Indianisation of traditionally highly educated engineering degree and above positions being either farmed out to Bangalore, or companies setting up feeder agencies in India who then transfer them to Europe on short term contracts. The current costs for an Indian graduate engineer here is US$200-225 a day, plus a Euros 100 a day living allowance. The European equivalent is at least double that and often quite a bit more.

So I am starting to see a lot of white collar MSc's, PhD's that are metallurgists, well reservoir and process engineers finding themselves being made redundant and struggling to find the equivalent positions. Indeed, I was with one of my clients the other day and he was complaining that the last two positions his wife had were both off-shored to India in short period of time.

Globalization is a significant factor in reducing salaries in the west, whilst places like India have benefitted, but all those middle class white collar workers who think this will only effect manual work need to guess again.

The so called Indian Knowledge export is currently storming the oil & gas industries. Already the Middle East is pretty much dead - other than senior management - for the expat Brit and the likes on a serious good packages.
It is certainly a Marxist analysis if I were to tie it to Trump’s victory (Marx absolutely would have predicted Trump’s victory), but I attach no valence to it (not suggesting it is either good or bad) which is what I am guessing you meant by a Marxist argument.

I’m just stating what a number of both “pro” and “anti” globalization macroeconomists have concluded. I’m not basing this off of the interpretation of journalists. I read the actual research, read the methododology, and confirmed the appropriate use of statistical analysis (generally HLM or some random or fixed effects model to capture industry effects). At which point OfficePants explained he believes what he believes because he saw a factory shut down and go overseas (which is perfectly consistent with the data). I hate the way anecdotes influence our perceptions and beliefs when actual data is available, especially when its not sample data but population data and not even requiring inferential statistical analysis -_- (data and statistical analysis is not without fault, and can be and is manipulated, though generally anyone with a few methodology classes can recognize it...note that journalists who “report” research rarely take grad level methodology and statistics classes)

Within manufacturing, globalization accounts for ~20% of job loss. That’s not an argument, just an empirical statement. This doesn’t mean that that’s good or bad, and it doesn’t speak to reduction in real wages due to global competition (if you’d like to avoid relying on anecdotes, journalists, and youtubers, I can see if here are any peer reviewed reports on the subject, ideally some from the globalization-is-a-big-deal camp and some from the (yay-globalization camp). It doesn’t speak to other industries or sectors, nor does it speak to the ability of unemployed to find work in other industries (but as there is reduced demand for labor across the sector, the unemployment is probably structural). It doesn’t mean that people who say globalization is a problem are wrong, and it isn’t like you can use improvements to capital as a political bogeyman to get elected (all politicians use bogeymen to get them elected).
 

InstaHate

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I was referring to Inta's point about automation taking jobs. That was the Luddites argument. Economies are not static, they are constantly changing, constantly in flux. Its the [main] reason economists predictions are usually wrong.
In the long term, it doesn’t. In the short term, it can. That’s the nature of structural unemployment.

As far as job loss in manufacturing, all I can say with certainty is that ~20% over the last two decades in the US is due to globalization. What accounts for the other 80% (economic downturn, shifting consumer preferences, lazy milennials, returns to capital, etc), I’ve not read anything peer reviewed on it. But given that it is hitting industries which are increasingly capital intensive, my guess is that that accounts for a good deal of it. And in the long (and even medium) run that’s a good thing. Structural unemployment must be endured for an economy to continue to grow and avoid obsolecense.
 

Fwiffo

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Why are millennials always blamed? It's Generation Z that needs to be blamed. Little buggers crawling out of university now at 22 or 23.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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There is always much effing and blinding on Guido. It is a release valve for posters but at the same time it gives ammunition to those who say it is for ‘swivel eyed’ loons.
He lost a lot of posters when he wrote/was instructed to write the hit piece on Tommy Robinson. There's still some excellent posters on there, you just have to keep scanning and use the filters.
 

Fwiffo

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I don't know how to put this article here neatly because it's behind a pay wall. Obviously I wasn't tapped by the Finance Minister to do something but the personal stuff I can connect to easily. The machismo and stubborn self-reliance to beat the thing because..well, that's what real men do. The need to go zero or one from one extreme to another. And of course if I stopped, how would I still be in my line of work? Funny I just spent all of yesterday not eating a thing. I had to shove food down my mouth at the end of the day just to say I ate. Here's to that one guy who couldn't crawl out of the abyss that people need to stare at from time to time to get a sense of mortality.

‘He tried, desperately’: Calgary business titan George Gosbee’s secret struggle with mental illness and alcoholism

He was the exemplar of a new generation of Alberta entrepreneurs. He built an investment bank from nothing – earning huge wealth, acclaim and the ear of Justin Trudeau. But beneath the veneer of business success, there was another side to George Gosbee – one of mental illness and alcoholism. The family he left behind tells their story.

From the outside, George Gosbee appeared to have it all.

He was a big player in the Calgary business establishment, a man who could get the ear of fund managers, chief executive officers and finance ministers. When Justin Trudeau was preparing for a run at the Prime Minister's job, he sought out the financier for advice on economic policy. With business success came great wealth and status, including membership in the small, elite club of people who have owned a piece of a National Hockey League franchise. Meanwhile, he also tried to live a life with meaning – one that included mountain-climbing expeditions to Kilimanjaro and Antarctica.

But away from public view, the wunderkind investment banker was a man tormented by a near-constant struggle with alcoholism and mental illness, members of his family say.

"This was at the heels of him all the time," said his widow, Karen Gosbee. George Gosbee's death by suicide on Nov. 12, at 48 years old, shocked Alberta's financial community, where he was known as a risk taker and consummate salesman, and had been an abiding presence for more than two decades.

Karen is speaking because she believes George's private pain is far from unique. In a series of interviews with The Globe and Mail, she said her husband created a business legacy that won't be forgotten, but his family saw a much different version of the man.

He had long tried to manage his mental illness and his drinking, Karen said. George had attempted suicide once before sending him to a Calgary hospital in late 2014, she revealed. He had been in addiction-treatment facilities twice, and joined a 12-step program. For more than a year, the founder of AltaCorp Capital Inc. had been living separately from his family to give him the space to recover, Karen said.

"A lot of people saw him as so accomplished and so externally validated," she said. But, she wants people to know, that if this could happen to someone like him, it could happen to anyone.

"Maybe people will have more of an empathetic ear to other leaders out in the business community."
George's frenetic energy – along with good timing – helped make him the exemplar of a new generation of Alberta oil-and-gas entrepreneurs. At just 30 years old, he used what he said was "a couple hundred grand" to create his own investment firm, Tristone Capital Global Inc., just as Canada's energy sector was heading into a boom period. He went on to sell it nine years later, 2009, for staggering $130-million. But a year later, he was starting his next investment firm, AltaCorp, in partnership with the Alberta government-owned ATB Financial. Meanwhile, his big picture economic patriotism – he spoke of growing underdeveloped Alberta sectors such as technology and agri-food – saw him selected for other plum roles, including a spot on the board of the province's $70-billion pension fund.

And after the federal government participated in the bailout of two U.S. auto makers in 2009, he was tapped by Ottawa to represent the government on the board of Chrysler Group LLC. Jim Flaherty, the finance minister at the time, looked to him for advice. These tributes were laid out alongside his demons at his funeral. The Anglican priest officiating the celebration of life talked about George's "shadows," his self-medication and substance abuse. Karen said she was approached by several people who told her about their own depression or suicidal thoughts.

"Lord knows there are so many people that came up to me," she said. "So why can't they tell their best friend?"

While still grieving, Karen believes her husband's story can help others. In one way or another, she says, mental health is an issue for most families – right across the socio-economic spectrum. The Gosbees now believe that one of the first steps in dealing with mental illness is removing the shame, and "normalizing" discussions around it.

"A lot of people know him only as that public figure – the one that's always smiling," said John Gosbee, 23, their oldest son.

"They don't see really what's underneath the surface, or kind of what he was battling with the majority of his time," John said. "With the social stigma, he thought maybe he could beat it by himself."

When George and Karen met in their early 20s at the University of Calgary, they bonded over a similar sense of humour and George's medical history. Karen's father is a neurologist, and George had undergone surgery at 21 for a benign tumour. Even before he was fully recovered from his surgery, and while he was still attending university, he went to work for the brokerage Peters & Co. Ltd. – a move that would start his swift rise in Calgary's investment banking community. Following Peters & Co, he worked as managing director at Newcrest Capital Inc., another independent firm.

A lot of people know him only as that public figure – the one that’s always smiling.

He and Karen married in 1994. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but Karen said he didn't take his prescription for a Ritalin-like medication because he was worried about it slowing him down as he conquered the business world. Later, he was diagnosed with depression, and explored treatments for other disorders including borderline personality and bipolar, she said.
At the same time, regular binge drinking was part of his life.

"All I know is that there was a mental-health component and there was substance abuse," she said. "I can't determine what came first."

In 2000, George founded Tristone, which quickly made a name for itself in financing and deal-making for junior oil companies and energy trusts, which were a hot sector at the time. Early in the firm's history, George brought in people with deep technical expertise, making Tristone a major force in the business of acquisitions and divestitures of oil and gas properties. The boutique dealer grew quickly – especially as oil prices ratcheted up beginning in 2004 – and opened offices in London, Houston, Denver and Buenos Aires.

The Gosbees' three children were young, and George worked long hours and travelled around the world for work. But John said when he was home in Calgary, he was present – attending hockey games and taking the kids to indoor climbing gyms when the weather was too cold to go outside.

"He supported us. He was a really kind father – really, really kind," John said. "He gave us everything. And later … he kind of became a recluse."

Karen said that up until 2008, George was a heavy drinker. But that was the year it accelerated. Alcohol became an everyday thing, and binge drinking would happen three or four times a week. At times, he combined alcohol and sleeping pills, heightening his family's concern. He would go a whole day without eating, or would pass out at the dinner table, Karen said. Someone in the family would talk to him by phone in the afternoon, and they could tell he was drinking – and a plan was hatched to get him home. The kids didn't ask him to come to their school or sports events. They avoided talking about his work because it made him more stressed.

"The family was all working around it," Karen said. "It was one of those things where the family was trying to hide it … you're on high alert."

The year 2008 was an intense time for George – indeed, for many people in the financial industry. Financial contagion had set off a sickening crash in markets and oil prices, and George, along with everyone else, was worried about losses. But Karen said the heavy drinking didn't stop when markets recovered, and is loath to point to economic or business factors as the reason for his problems. "It was a big thing for George, in that one, because a lot of people suffered," she said of the financial-crisis period. "But there will always be a reason to drink, or to use."

In 2007, he had began a seven-year stint as vice-chairman of Alberta Investment Management Corporation ( AIMCo) – the province's newly created pension and endowment fund – which became one of his proudest business accomplishments, John said. In 2008, he was appointed to Mr. Flaherty's Economic Advisory Council. Next came the Chrysler board appointment, "to make sure the Canadian government's investment is well managed," George said. At the time, he regularly made lists of the most influential Canadian businesspeople.

In the same period, George sold the company he had built from the ground up. In May, 2009, Australia's Macquarie Group paid $130-million to acquire the 170-employee Tristone. He later said he sold it reluctantly, at the urging of other shareholders.

In 2013, George headed a Canadian group that purchased the Arizona Coyotes, and he was credited with playing a major role in keeping the troubled franchise in Phoenix. But the group, which included Canadian oilmen looking for a business legacy beyond the energy sector, sold their controlling interest in the NHL team a year later.

Even while George struggled personally, Karen believes he still excelled in the business world.

She tried to look after him. There had been addiction in her own family when she was growing up, and she believes there was a strong element of co-dependency in their relationship. She wanted to "save him."

But eventually, Karen said she realized she needed to create a healthy example for their children. She started attending Al-Anon in 2013, and has since taken addiction-studies courses at Mount Royal University.

"I detached with love," she said. "I needed to do my own recovery if there was any chance that I was going to be able to mentor that for my kids, and for George to grow, too."

In December, 2014, Karen was in emergency at Calgary's Foothills hospital with George after his first suicide attempt. She was rapidly laying out plans to get him into the best addiction-treatment facility available when a blunt-speaking psychiatrist told her to stop – that George would only get help when he decided for himself he wanted to act. "He leaned over and he's like, 'Hon, it doesn't matter what rehab place he goes to. He needs to decide to get better.'"

George did make the decision to do something. He entered a substance abuse treatment centre on New Year's Day in 2015. Karen said George worried once he stopped drinking, it wouldn't be as easy for him to socialize for work – as so many business relationships were formed at a bar.

"That was a big fear … when he had to quit and he wouldn't be able to do a lot of that stuff. How would he function in those circles?"

Relapse is a part of recovery, and George was back to treatment in July, 2016. When he left, he began living separately from the family to work on himself, Karen said. He was attending Alcoholics Anonymous. She and John, and younger siblings Carter and Isla, still saw and spoke to him regularly. There was no legal separation, and the couple had recently started therapy sessions to determine where their relationship was going, Karen said. There was also regular yoga for George, and mountain climbing – including 2017 expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro, Antarctica's Vinson Massif and an attempt at Everest – that his son John said kept him "balanced."

"He tried, desperately," Karen said. Someone like George, she said, was used to having solutions and results instantaneously. "But in recovery, it just doesn't happen that way."

John said his father at one time had a good connection with his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, but George had recently "seemed to kind of let go of the relationship." "You would have maybe thought he would always battle with this, but … it wouldn't come to this abrupt end," John said of his father's suicide. "To be honest it seemed like it came out of nowhere, because with his expeditions he seemed like he was the healthiest he had ever been before." John, who is studying chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, is plain-spoken about his father's strengths and his trials. In his eulogy at the funeral on Nov. 18, John spoke about George's talent and work ethic, his delighted grin expressing that "he got what wanted from you before you even had a chance" and his push to have his children attend university and see the world. John also said his father did everything he could to try to defeat his illness.

"We can only imagine the weight burdened on him as he trudged through each day, each hour, each minute," he said in the eulogy.

"I know now that these ghosts no longer lurk behind him, and hold him down. He is now light."
 
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Pimpernel Smith

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He and Karen married in 1994. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but Karen said he didn't take his prescription for a Ritalin-like medication because he was worried about it slowing him down as he conquered the business world. Later, he was diagnosed with depression, and explored treatments for other disorders including borderline personality and bipolar, she said.
At the same time, regular binge drinking was part of his life.

"All I know is that there was a mental-health component and there was substance abuse," she said. "I can't determine what came first."

"He supported us. He was a really kind father – really, really kind," John said. "He gave us everything. And later … he kind of became a recluse."

Karen said that up until 2008, George was a heavy drinker. But that was the year it accelerated. Alcohol became an everyday thing, and binge drinking would happen three or four times a week. At times, he combined alcohol and sleeping pills, heightening his family's concern. He would go a whole day without eating, or would pass out at the dinner table, Karen said. Someone in the family would talk to him by phone in the afternoon, and they could tell he was drinking – and a plan was hatched to get him home. The kids didn't ask him to come to their school or sports events. They avoided talking about his work because it made him more stressed.

"The family was all working around it," Karen said. "It was one of those things where the family was trying to hide it … you're on high alert."
That's looks like self-medicating to me. Which came first: clearly the bipolar, ATD, etc, etc.

Along with the alcohol there is mention of sleeping pills, maybe lots of coke too with reference to the substance abuse.

In my experience, bipolar's can be the life and soul of the party at least initially, but once you get to know them and the mask slips then like with other mental disorders they're not that attractive to be around and will ultimately bring the party down. Of course, there's different types of mania, but I've known a couple of bipolars over the years and they've all had a very special ability and charisma in charming people into their world until much later they are rejected when people wake-up and realise they are off the beaten track in someone else's nightmare.
 
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