"Though I had never been to Esalen, I knew of it as the birthplace of Gestalt therapy; a place frequented by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, and the writers Henry Miller and Aldous Huxley; a place where people got naked in the hot springs, but which had been toned down a bit since Hunter S Thompson – a caretaker of the place for eight short, disastrous months – described it as “a real menagerie, flavoured with everything from bestiality to touch football”.

Somewhat to my disappointment, there was no bestiality or touch football but there were a lot of attendees from Silicon Valley, many of whom were taking a workshop inspired by the mythologist Joseph Campbell and titled “The Hero’s Journey” or some such. One Google employee described this to me over lunch as a course in “charting your personal narrative”, as his friend and fellow tech-company employee sprinkled some sort of green vitamin supplement on his already organic, sustainably farmed and presumably healthy food.”

- I wrote a Diary column for the FT on meditation and digital overload (among other things.) You can read it here.

Internship Opportunity

(FYI - not one of my clients, so I’m not doing the hiring. Posting this at the request of a friend.) 

Editorial Internship

Seeking an Editorial & Social Media Intern for an independent news site, created by one of the country’s top ranking talk radio hosts. The perfect candidate will have a keen interest in news, politics and social media, can work from home and enjoys a fast paced, iterative environment. Get first hand exposure to the convergence of old and new media with a newly launched property that is committed to being disruptive and making change. Sound interesting?

Job Description Content & Social Media Intern:

Overview – Responsible for the curation and uploading of content onto EpicTimes.com as well as the management of the Social Media sites for EpicTimes.  Accepted candidate will report directly to the EpicTimes Content Editor and Jerry Doyle Show Executive Producer. 

Content Curation – Articles are collected and posted to the EpicTimes website no later than 9AM EDT on a daily basis.  The initial batch of stories is between 25 and 30 items.  As the day progresses additional items shall be selected and uploaded.  Content is a mix of news items, entertainment, health, pop culture, etc.  

Social Media – Responsible for maintaining a steady flow of appropriate content to the EpicTimes Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the day.  Monitor “trending” stories and responding to the highly engaged community.

About EpicTimes: It’s not about WHO is right or wrong – it’s about WHAT is right or wrong.  We are very excited to deliver directly to you some of the most influential voices spanning a variety of expertise, all designed to help you “opt-in” to the things that most directly impact your life and “opt-out” of the insanity of the so-called solutions brought to you by the permanent political class, the crony capitalists, the media cheerleaders, the purveyors of perpetual outrage, and the seemingly endless collection of focus group phonies.

About The Jerry Doyle Show: It’s the fourth largest syndicated talk show in America, with over 7.25 million weekly listeners (according to Talkers Magazine). Bringing with him a twelve year acting career in Hollywood including the Emmy Award winning television series Babylon 5 and a decade as an Investment Banker on Wall Street in the heady days of the “Greed is Good” mentality Jerry has seen the good and bad of two of Americas largest industries – money and entertainment.  The Jerry Doyle Show isn’t a platform for Republican talking points, although he ran for Congress as a Republican in 2000  he is now a registered independent. Jerry says he didn’t leave the Republican Party, it left him.  We address the issues through the lens of a fiscal conservative, social libertarian who is more interested in finding solutions than wallowing in phony outrage.

Please send your CV to Brad Silvers brad@rogueradioproductions.com

One more job posting: Associate Editor, BrickUnderground

BrickUnderground, the go-to site for an insider’s view of New York City real estate, is seeking a full-time Assistant Editor to join our team. 

The ideal candidate is a stellar writer and reporter with a strong work ethic, top-notch organizational skills, and a willingness to pitch in on all the editorial tasks involved in running a digital newsroom. 

For the right person, this position will provide huge opportunities for growth and rapid advancement in an expanding media company. Benefits include health, dental, 401(k), flex-spending, and a casual and fun work environment. 

-Create and package several daily blog posts (including recurring features, link wraps and aggregated content)
-Brainstorm, report and write original stories on all aspects of buying, selling, renting, renovating and living in NYC
-Assist with social media efforts 
-Coordinate production of weekly newsletter
-Post daily editorial content to CMS
-Attend real estate industry events 
-Support editorial efforts as needed

-1-2 years professional journalism experience or relevant graduate degree 
-Ability to turn in clean copy
-Social media experience
-Interest in New York City real estate crucial; knowledge a plus
-Familiarity with Photoshop and CMS platforms major pluses
To apply, send us:
-brief cover letter 
-3 examples of your best writing/reporting
-1-2 examples of your best digital content (slideshows, video, audio, social media campaign, interactive story, etc.)
-links to relevant social media profiles
Send materials to Leigh Kamping-Carder at leigh AT brickunderground.com.

About Brick: 
BrickUnderground is New York City’s most popular and trusted source of real estate advice, with 125,000-plus unique visitors every month. We post 5 times daily and are passionate about providing our readers—NYC buyers, sellers, renters, renovators and dwellers—with practical information they can use, trust and share. 

I’m hiring. (Again!)

Among other things, I’m the editorial director at Flavorpill and there’s a lot happening there right now. We’ve expanded the edit team for Flavorwire (our culture website) and are redesigning and restructuring Flavorpill (our events platform.) I’m in the process of looking for an editor-in-chief and staff writers for the latter. Applicants can apply here

Seeker is a soon to be launched lifestyle website that illuminates the ways in which technology affects the human experience and covers a wide range of topics including, but not limited to gaming, pop culture, sports and music. It will publish unique, first-person takes on these topics and original content from a wide range of perspectives.

We’re seeking a full-time editor-in-chief to manage all editorial functions, including assigning and editing articles, lists and video projects and ensuring that the site’s editorial aligns with the site’s mission, style and tone. The editor in chief will manage a small full-time team of writers, editors and other editorial personnel. Job functions include

- Assigning and editing original content
- Overseeing other aspects of production, including art direction and image selection

- Implementing and managing workflow processes associated with editorial
- Analyzing and evaluating data to determine most effective editorial and marketing practices and adjusting strategies accordingly

Applicants should have at least 7 years of experience as an editor at an online publication, including some management experience, and be prepared to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment that publishes hourly. Experience building and growing audience on an early stage website or online community is a plus. Candidates should also have some basic journalism experience and a track record of commissioning and creating original content that is compelling and unique.

The ideal candidate has experience with and enthusiasm for growing new media properties from scratch and can translate the company’s mission into cohesive, captivating editorial that engages readers and keeps them coming back for more.

Compensation will consist of a competitive base salary with an additional potential bonus contingent upon traffic performance. Applicants should be familiar with Wordpress and basic analytics tools such as Chartbeat and Google Analytics, and have fluency with social media and social media analytic tools.

The position is based in New York City. Send cover letters and resumes to me at espiers AT elizabethspiers.com. 

Paypal succeeded in spite of this stupidity, not because of it.

From the Thiel/Levchin thing that’s been circulating all morning: 

PayPal once rejected a candidate who aced all the engineering tests because for fun, the guy said that he liked to play hoops. That single sentence lost him the job. No PayPal people would ever have used the world “hoops.” Probably no one even knew how to play “hoops.” Basketball would be bad enough. But “hoops?” That guy clearly wouldn’t have fit in. He’d have had to explain to the team why he was going to go play hoops on a Thursday night. And no one would have understood him.

Si Newhouse as the ideal owner

From Isaac Chotiner’s David Remnick interview in TNR

How does one relay a big story with possible repercussions to the owner? At The Washington Post apparently there had been a covenant between Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham called the No Surprises Rule. Graham would not wake up and see that they had run the Pentagon Papers. So I called Si Newhouse,1 who I then had a very slight relationship with, and said that we have this story that I think accused the prime minister of Russia of taking bribes from Saddam Hussein. I called him up and said it had been thoroughly checked and the lawyer had read it and I knew who all the sources were. And there was a long pause. Then he said, “That sounds very interesting. I look forward to reading it.” And that was it. And I have never called anyone since. That is not a common thing anywhere. To take that onboard, that freedom, as well as that responsibility—that was a complicated thing to process.

Good to see that not all media owners buy properties in order to manipulate the editorial.  

I look a little tough in my author’s photo, and I’ve been amazed at how many people—universities, magazines—ask me to send them a different photo, because they say I look aloof, unapproachable, tough, scary, and/or sad. I started asking male authors with tough-looking photos if they had ever gotten any grief about this and they said no, never. When it comes to the author’s photo, women are more likely to hear things like: “You don’t look as pretty as you could in your photo!” or “Why aren’t you smiling?” I, for one, would like to know what it is about an un-smiling woman that makes some people so fucking uncomfortable. Or why anyone would assume a woman’s foremost concern is prettiness.

Very little truthfulness anywhere, antagonism everywhere, so much calculated to disgust, the gigantic hypocrisies, no holding fierce passions at bay, the ordinary viciousness you can see just by pressing the remote, explosive weapons in the hands of creeps, the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events, the unceasing despoliation of the biosphere for profit, surveillance overkill that will come back to haunt us, great concentrations of wealth financing the most undemocratic malevolents around, science illiterates still fighting the Scopes trial 89 years on, economic inequities the size of the Ritz, indebtedness on everyone’s tail, families not knowing how bad things can get, money being squeezed out of every last thing — that frenzy — and (by no means new) government hardly by the people through representative democracy but rather by the great financial interests, the old American plutocracy worse than ever.