Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Fast Times at High Times Magazine

Question: What's it like to work at High Times?

John Buffalo Mailer: I’ll put it to you this way.  As wild as you think it is, as wild as you imagine it is—it’s even wilder.  Like it is a crazy Willy Wonka-land environment to be running a magazine out of, and truth be told, if what we were trying to pull off were to work I think I was the wrong guy for it because I was 25 years old.  I was sent in first to kind of assess the staff and the team and see who could stay and who could go with the shakeup. And, you know, I’m a nicer guy than I should be in a lot of instances, but I couldn’t look at that, you know, 55-year-old advertising director with the long ratty grey hair who would forget his teeth oftentimes coming in and like, you know, I said, “Who are you?”  And he's like, “Oh, I’m your ad man.”  I thought, "Oh, we’re fucked." And I couldn’t look at that guy and know that if I fired him he was going to lose custody of his kid and probably wouldn’t be able to get another job anywhere else because he had been there for so long.  That’s not something I wanted on my conscience, not something that I felt like doing and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice that for the greater good of the magazine.  If it was going to work we should have fired everybody and brought in six people that had the same vision, knew what they were doing and could do it.  Instead I tried to kind of like get everyone behind it and it worked... half.  It half-worked.  Half the people were just too paranoid and scared of losing their jobs and so were kind of, you know, putting on the happy face and the stuff going on behind one’s back was insane. 

You know, I ended up walking away from that place with an appreciation for the education that I’ve been given.  I mean essentially I got paid for a year or two to really learn magazine publishing from top to bottom and inside and out and that has helped me a lot.  We were also a little ahead of our time because while we took a huge hit on advertising…  We couldn’t, you know.  There was cultural advertising we couldn’t have in with the new direction of the magazine and didn’t really have the time or abilities to fill that in.  We doubled the Web traffic and that was my sign.  That was kind of what I was using as my argument to say, "Hey, give it another few years. This is going to work." Because back then they didn’t really understand what that meant and they didn’t really see how quickly everything is moving to the Web and how essentially print magazines are going to be collector’s items before we know it.  As each generation comes up that doesn’t have the habits for paper it’s just easier and cheaper to get your stuff online.  You know, people go to what they’re used to.  Certainly our generation, you know, we’ll always want to have a magazine in our hands.  We like that, but they didn’t see the value in that necessarily and you know they may have been right for all I know because it was another few years until really ad revenue starts to move to the websites.  So you know so at the end of the day it was an experiment.  It was something that hopefully sparked a few people to do similar things down the road and will keep a certain flavor of magazine publishing alive.  I have to say at the end of the day I am glad not to be spending all day, every day in the High Times office, you know, covering this particular angle of life.

Recorded March 30, 2010
Interviewed by Austin Allen

"As wild as you think it is, as wild as you imagine it is—it’s even wilder." says former High Times Magazine editor John Buffalo Mailer. "It is a crazy Willy Wonka-land environment." So what did Mailer learn about running a business?

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Videos
    • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
    • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
    • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
    Keep reading Show less

    COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

    A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

    Coronavirus
    • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
    • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast