I'd just need to exercise more, and hide my shell-cordovan boots
May 14, 2015 8:23 AM   Subscribe

 
Fuck them, their "this may be the wrong place for you" criteria should be a list of life goals.
- Watch more than 4 hours of TV/movie/game entertainment per week
- Have more than 1 tattoo
- Have ever attended more than 1 protest
- Make more than three posts a week to social media
- Listen to a songs with explicit lyrics more than an once a day
- Wear make-up more than twice a week
- Own any clothing, shoes, watches, or handbags costing over $500
- Have bills that get paid by somebody else
- Drive a vehicle that was given to you by your parents
- Get regular spending money or gifts from your parents
- Have more than one internet app date per week
- Have a complex diet that requires lots of refrigerator space
- Drink alcohol more than 3 drinks per week
- Use marijuana more than twice a year
- Have been prescribed anything by a psychiatrist more than once
- Use any other drug more than twice in your entire life
posted by graymouser at 8:28 AM on May 14, 2015 [40 favorites]


How did a bunch of ten year olds buy a castle?
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2015 [44 favorites]


PUPS OF EXCELLENCE!

Honestly this seems pretty affordable for the area and I am moving out there. I might send them a message.

I am kind of shocked to find a group of people with real jobs who are so seemingly narrow minded, though. The lifestyle regulation is on par with the national intelligence agencies.
posted by grobstein at 8:32 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Beware people... It's a cult. The Cult of Narcisus. And Mammon.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:33 AM on May 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


How did a bunch of ten year olds buy a castle?

And why are they such boring ten year olds?
posted by brennen at 8:35 AM on May 14, 2015 [23 favorites]


Also hilarious - the quantification bias. Attended one protest? Well, that might have been a mistake! But two? Not two!!!! Three drinks a week? A-ok!! Four? Nope. One prescription yes, two no.

I wonder if "songs with explicit lyrics" is code for rap music.

Also, note that one resident is Stanford faculty. If I were "Mark"'s department chair, I would be deeply concerned right about now, since one of my faculty - and one who runs an 'innovation lab' no less! - is living in a space which has these paradiscriminatory criteria. I would start wondering whether anyone was going to scrutinize Mark's hires at the innovation lab, Mark's grading practices, Mark's mentoring habits, etc. I would be very, very anxious about whether "Mark" might be refusing to mentor women who wear make-up, or might be refusing to hire disabled students, or might be otherwise acting improperly, and I would be talking to Mark and then looking at all the records I could find of his interactions with students and employees in case I needed to get ahead of something unpleasant.
posted by Frowner at 8:36 AM on May 14, 2015 [54 favorites]


Have ever attended more than 1 protest

By this standard, I was already disqualified by the time I was a toddler. UNTRUSTWORTHY RABBLE-ROUSING TODDLER.
posted by the_blizz at 8:37 AM on May 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


Fusion: The house might want to consider having a lawyer move in, since there is some potentially problematic language in the post, such as discouraging frequent make-up wearers and people with diagnosed mental health conditions from applying.

Also I'm fairly certain several of the greats in Silicon Valley history would have failed to meet these criteria. And I'm not just talking about John McAfee.
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


I mean, maybe his department chair wouldn't care deep down in his soul as long as "Mark" is innovative enough - but with something blowing up all over social media, it seems likely to prompt some sleuthing and scrutiny that would not reflect especially well on the department.
posted by Frowner at 8:38 AM on May 14, 2015


I just typed up 3 attempts at snarky comments, but really, I can't top what they've already said themselves.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:39 AM on May 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Back in the day, CGI was a pretty psychedelic-fueled enterprise. When Pixar started up, doing medical imaging on tediously microcoded Ikonas frame buffers, they built up a pretty button-down staff. I was told that investors would come in and say, "We've been wanting to get into computer graphics, and this is the first place we've been to that doesn't smell like pot smoke."
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:39 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So that's how Elysium starts.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:39 AM on May 14, 2015


All the criticism here is fair, but if any of the blowback hits those doggies -- I swear
posted by grobstein at 8:40 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager

Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is? I'm guessing not.
posted by octothorpe at 8:40 AM on May 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


This is like my personal definition of hell. They have disrupted my calm.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:44 AM on May 14, 2015


It's like the Hitler Youth, but with JavaScript!
posted by Itaxpica at 8:47 AM on May 14, 2015 [52 favorites]


Also, note that one resident is Stanford faculty.

He's not a faculty member. The Stanford directory divides people into four groups: faculty, staff, students, and "affiliates," a sort of catch all category. He's an affiliate.
posted by crazy with stars at 8:48 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Beware people... It's a cult. The Cult of Narcisus. And Mammon.

It's a cult with a very large following. Which means -- it's no longer a cult.
posted by blucevalo at 8:48 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's like the Lil' Rascals He-Man Woman Haters Club, only with more money. So much more money. Cripes.
posted by ardgedee at 8:49 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty surprised they don't have fridge space for special diets (in their castle)—isn't this like ground zero Paleo/other "optimization" diet territory?
posted by mynameisluka at 8:50 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Have been prescribed anything by a psychiatrist more than once

So after that one time I got a prescription for anti-psychotics after I stripped off my clothes, carved the number of my lord on my forehead and went outside to hunt.... you guys are cool with that, right? He told me I would never have to do that again.

But the real question is dispute resolution. Does Startup Castle function as a autonomous collective under unanimous consent or is there a sort of house 'HR' and management team which handles violations of house rules and forwards complaints to an executive officer? LIke, what happens if the next suite over decides that my listening to Disney movies 24 hours a day constitutes a violation of "watch no more than 4 hours" rule, but I say that I'm only listening, not actually watching and, by the way, I know, for a fact, that Kombucha does contain alcohol and they have way more than three empties just lying around in their suite...

For a start-up focused incubator/collective house, they don't seem to have worked out the edge cases *at all*. I'd be reluctant to participate with any of my personal capital.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:51 AM on May 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


He's not a faculty member. The Stanford directory divides people into four groups: faculty, staff, students, and "affiliates," a sort of catch all category. He's an affiliate.

So when he's described as "faculty" in the ad, it's really just showing off? That's even better.

God why are people so terrible?

I recognize that group houses are really hard to put together - I have lived in various group settings almost my entire adult life - and I am open to the possibility that these people are all, like, 24 and have no real idea how to human interaction and thus have written criteria that are stupider and more mean-spirited than intended. But for pete's sake, you have to be a really shitty person to say that someone who has had more than one mental health prescription is an unwanted quantity.
posted by Frowner at 8:53 AM on May 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


(That even leaves out people who, like, had to try different meds!)
posted by Frowner at 8:54 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


"You should realize that you are coming in to an amazing personal and professional opportunity to be here, and treat it as such. The price is $1000 to join the community. Members sleep in the castle dormitory, which really just a bunch of beds to crash out on, don't have a lot of stuff in tow, and may not have a car (car fees extra)."

On the plus (?!) side, they're hella relaxed about grammar.
posted by wonton endangerment at 8:55 AM on May 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


I hope this gets parodied on Silicon Valley.
posted by cazoo at 8:57 AM on May 14, 2015 [25 favorites]


Although, hmm, must not commute by car, watch TV or movies, wear makeup, own expensive clothing, post to social media, or have a complicated diet. Maybe they just want to keep out people from LA?
posted by the_blizz at 8:57 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


That looks like a pretty sweet castle. But I'd have to start driving to live effectively in it, and fuck that.

Also I suspect my lifestyle of spending about 3 hours a day drawing weird comics, often in a haze of smoke from my bong, would not go well with all these type-A go-getters. Nor would my being a forty something lady.
posted by egypturnash at 8:57 AM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd like to highlight what I consider the punchline to this whole joke, from Fusion's article that Cash4Lead linked:

John, a resident of the Startup Castle (who declined to give his last name), told me in an interview that he didn’t consider these rules discriminatory, and that the housemates were just “trying to get away from people who were obsessed with themselves.”
posted by skymt at 8:58 AM on May 14, 2015 [32 favorites]


It's a cult with a very large following. Which means -- it's no longer a cult.

a culture?
posted by ennui.bz at 8:58 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm really confused. How could they want people to innovate and be creative "disrupters" yet still ask for people who easily fit into a system with such stringent rules? Surely coming from such highly credentialed math/science backgrounds they recognize "cognitive dissonance."

Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager

Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is? I'm guessing not.

I'm pretty sure that a) I'm a former startup CEO since I was in charge of starting up a lawnmower last week and b) an "extreme connector" is a plumber. Or something to do with gastrointesinal stuff - like the extreme connection of his mouth to his anus. OH WAIT an extreme connector is someone who feeds the dogs and then carries their shit to the trashcan.
posted by barchan at 9:03 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there a clothing equivalent of Soylent yet because if not I'm inventing it and getting rich off anyone who wants to live in this weirdass Arcology they're trying to make.
posted by griphus at 9:04 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


You can tell that these n00bs have barely lived in a dormitory, if at all. If they had, they'd replace the whole lot of those idiotic criteria with "must not fart, snore or masturbate audibly."
posted by vanar sena at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Startup Castle? No, thanks, I'd rather join the other cult, the one at the Sausage Castle.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


...and they'll all wear heather grey combination hoodie/footie pajamas
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Every once in a while I think about moving to the west coast, mostly because there are more programming jobs and it seems like a nicer place than the sprawl-y midwest for long bike rides. Thank god something like this always comes along to bring me back to earth. In fact, Chicago might be too close to the crazy, maybe it's time for me to head back east.
posted by enn at 9:16 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is?

He just means that he makes his living as an ethernet plug.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


John, a resident of the Startup Castle (who declined to give his last name), told me in an interview that he didn’t consider these rules discriminatory, and that the housemates were just “trying to get away from people who were obsessed with themselves.”

No, see, they're not obsessed with themselves, they're just secure in knowing that they're smarter and better than everyone else because they are obsessed with success, which is totally different. Loving yourself is waste of everyone's time, but loving fame, fortune, and influence is super awesome.
posted by clockzero at 9:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


The only thing these brocoders are disrupting is the "no gurls aloud" sign hung outside their tree house.
posted by clvrmnky at 9:20 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


also, while they are strict about the number of tattoos, do they have rules about the size of the tattoo and whether it is on your face? and, does it count as a tattoo if you just carve into your skin and not use and ink. AND, they don't mention piercings at all or whether the house is clothing optional. At my last place everyone loved the tricks I could do with my 'Prince Albert'...
posted by ennui.bz at 9:20 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure they're really committed until I see a college ruled notebook full of awesome ideas for a drawbridge system
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


...and geometric scaling of success for everybody.

WTF does that even mean?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:21 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is there a clothing equivalent of Soylent yet

Yep.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:25 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


If anyone ever visited the drome at 51 Winslow behind Ellis the Rim Man in Alston back in the 90s, hi! Been there done that, with no venture capitalists, no weird exclusivity and elitism - just a fuck ton of tinkerers who were just as likely to cut a roof off a car and turn it into a single use hot tub, build a relay communications system, play quake as a house, brew beer, and any number of crazy parties where if it was raining quickly rescue the contents of the bar in the basement and continue the party elsewhere. Sorry the magic ended, but the real estate weasel thought that they could con the landlord from a $21k/yr house to change it to a $44k a year house. At most 22 people lived in various places in the house. At least 200 people attended 'last call' which was one hell of an event.

Now it is torn down and some expensive condo I think has a mix of parking and porch space where it once stood. If you really want to disrupt the world and make lasting relationships, paying to live in a castle might not be as effective as just finding a lot of talented people and figuring out how to coexist in an old Victorian.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:26 AM on May 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager

I tell them exactly the same thing down at the dole office.
posted by Thing at 9:27 AM on May 14, 2015


This may not be the right place if you:
-Have ever spoken more favorably of a movie than the book it was based on
-Listen to tonal music more than once per day
-Do pot
-Have a sex drive of 12 or over
-Are strong enough for a man but pH balanced for a woman
-Attended more than two tapings of Total Request Live with Carson Daly
-Have the X-gene or any immediate relatives with the X-gene
-Pronounce pecan as 'pea-can'
-Have one of those laughs where you just say the word "ha" loudly rather than actually laughing
-Have attempted to dance with a dog by picking it up by the front paws and humming a waltz
-Are still dating Roger
-Have ever been noted as "tired" or "expired" by Wired magazine
-Completed more than five TV Guide crossword puzzles
-Are any of the following avatars of Vishnu: Matsya, Rama, Narasimha or Kalki

Private rooms start at 3L of clean blood, bile or saliva.
posted by griphus at 9:28 AM on May 14, 2015 [60 favorites]


I read that entire list in Eugene Mirman's voice
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on May 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Every once in a while I think about moving to the west coast

We think they're crazy, too.
posted by flaterik at 9:34 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


The only thing these brocoders are disrupting is the "no gurls aloud" sign hung outside their tree house.

To be fair, I am not sure how many, if any, are coders, and at least two are women:


Katie - Cancer immunology researcher at Stanford, former Olympic trials swimmer
John - data science consultant, Stanford ICME, former spec-ops fitness competitor
Dominic - Cryptographer, consultant, and former startup CEO
Adam - Stanford medical post-doc and triathlete
Mark - Stanford faculty, leading an innovation lab
Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager
Katherine - Serial entrepreneur, world traveler, cyclist


I have yet to evolve past the need to release excrement to cleanse my body, so I don't think I can sign up sadly.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:35 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Is there a clothing equivalent of Soylent yet

There are a lot of people who try to actively imitate William Gibson's idea of "Cayce Pollard Units", which are "things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000."

It tends to be implemented using a very specific dark jeans + milsurp parka + messenger bag aesthetic, though, which is almost hilariously not timeless. It seems to me that the real 1945-2000 neutral masc clothing choice is probably a charcoal two-button suit, white shirt, and striped tie. (For women it's harder, and for non-gendered clothing it's almost impossible over that entire time period.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:35 AM on May 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


How does anybody with a real job and responsibilities find time to exercise for 15 hours a week?
posted by KGMoney at 9:36 AM on May 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


This isn't a joke? The realization that these people are real kind of ruined my day.
posted by dis_integration at 9:39 AM on May 14, 2015


I bet their collective Whuffie is batshit insane.
posted by disconnect at 9:40 AM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Katherine - Serial entrepreneur

Also, maybe I'm the only one, but I find the phrase "serial entrepreneur" to be really sinister.

Like, I'm sure they seem like a nice person on the surface, maybe a little off, a little quirky, but okay generally. And then one night you walk in a few hours earlier than you said you'd be home, and you find them sitting in their underwear, lovingly caressing a stack of business plans from dead startups that they've been keeping in a manila folder hidden in the air conditioner.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:40 AM on May 14, 2015 [34 favorites]


How does anybody with a real job and responsibilities find time to exercise for 15 hours a week?

In certain social groups I've been on the outskirts of, a two hours a day six days a week workout routine was not unusual.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on May 14, 2015


How does anybody with a real job and responsibilities find time to exercise for 15 hours a week?

15 hours is such an odd number too, because it means that 2 hours per day every day just won't cut it. You're so lazy you only hit the gym for 2 hours a day, every day? No startupcastle for you.
posted by dis_integration at 9:42 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is there a clothing equivalent of Soylent yet

I am thinking it would be pretty much exactly like the outfit Christian Bale wears at the end of Equilibrium, only with fewer guns and more slim rectangular glasses.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:43 AM on May 14, 2015


Katherine - Serial entrepreneur

Also, maybe I'm the only one, but I find the phrase "serial entrepreneur" to be really sinister.


Not exactly the vibe I get, but there is something odd about it. It's like if someone describes themselves as a "serial monogamist," you are maybe licensed to wonder why none of the series worked out for them. Similarly, if someone is a "serial entrepreneur," they are presumably someone with a string of failed businesses behind them. A "former startup CEO" is even worse, because not only did they fail, but they were not able to find backers for their subsequent ventures.

Now, a handful of former startup CEOs and serial entrepreneurs are coming off successes, and that should be impressive. But that can't be true of the median members of these classes.
posted by grobstein at 9:49 AM on May 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Itaxpica: "It's like the Hitler Youth, but with JavaScript!"

It's like Eyes Wide Open, but with a protestant work ethic!
posted by boo_radley at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, this page called no explanation necessary really really really needs to be explained to me.
posted by dis_integration at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It must be nice to be a lawyer in SF pocketing all the incorporation fees from the endless churn of disposable "companies" coming out of there these days.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2015


Startup Castle Dance: The one time a year when everyone smokes marijuana, drinks 3 beers, listens to explicit lyrics, and dances*, all in one night! Crazy shit, I tell you. The big question though on everyone's mind is always, will you end the night in the ol' dormitory, a Private Team Room, or an Ultra-Luxury Room with a Visiting Investor.

Makes for awkward talk by the empty fridge the next morning, that's for sure.

*Counts towards weekly exercise tally.
posted by Kabanos at 9:51 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was mocking this with a friend of mine, and considered that it might be the housing equivalent of the overly specific job requirements suited for exactly one person. I mean, it might be that the person who actually owns the house is requiring them to have semi-open advertisement for a housemate and they actually just have one person in mind, so they put out an overly specific advertisement.

I then realized I met too many of the requirements. Should go to more protests.
posted by curuinor at 9:51 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


15 hours is such an odd number too...

Actually the community uses a logical 15-segment "week" based on human biorhythm patterns rather the utterly arbitrary 7-day week. So really you have to only exercise for five quadarcs once a tempseg to fulfill the requirement.

Also everyone has a DVORAK keyboard.
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on May 14, 2015 [45 favorites]


You know, that list mentions "parents" with verrrry suspicious frequency.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:53 AM on May 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Remember how after 9/11/01, everyone said that satire was dead?

No, now it's dead. Between stuff like this, and the recent casting call that went up around the Mission looking for actors to be in a TV show about "six technology executives living, learning, and loving together in San Francisco's Mission District", satire has been reallocated to make better use of forward-thinking disruptive resources.
posted by rtha at 9:55 AM on May 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


wenestvedt, their excluding cars donated by parents leaves me free to drive ...oh, never mind.
posted by wonton endangerment at 9:57 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Disruption is good!

I bet a fair housing lawsuit would be very disruptive. (It's no 'titstare app', but really, that's so 2013 anyways.)
posted by rmd1023 at 9:58 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. Suddenly I'm really much happier that my kid didn't get in to Stanford.
posted by cooker girl at 9:59 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it a reasonable assumption that once per year they stone one of the roommates to death to ensure the Soylent harvest?
posted by griphus at 10:02 AM on May 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


I don't know if I've felt this on the right side of the Cal-Stanfurd rivalry since booing Tiger Woods in 2009.
posted by memento maury at 10:03 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember how after 9/11/01, everyone said that satire was dead?

Yeah, but it was actually booked on a later flight.
posted by Thing at 10:13 AM on May 14, 2015 [24 favorites]


I wonder if "songs with explicit lyrics" is code for rap music.

Yes, surely this. don't let the sun set on you in startup castle.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:15 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is?


you're gonna get connected whether you like it or not
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hey, could this be my one song with "explicit lyrics"?

There is Power in a Union

For fuck's sake, shit like this is making me nostalgic for my youth. I GREW UP IN THE 1980s. THERE OUGHT TO BE NOTHING TO BE NOSTALGIC ABOUT THAT.
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it a reasonable assumption that once per year they stone one of the roommates to death to ensure the Soylent harvest?

how dare you cast aspersions on the time honored traditions of human sacrifice
posted by poffin boffin at 10:19 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


This seems to be straight-up illegal.

There are exceptions to the California housing discrimination law for roommate situations, but (even assuming they apply here, which they may not), it is forbidden to advertise discrimination.

And with their own .org web site it starts to look like an organization rather than a private home... and a whole world of anti-discrimination law hurt.
posted by Jahaza at 10:24 AM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is there any possibility this is a Big Brother-ish reality show? Some of the conduct rules seem really arbitrary outside of broadcast Standards & Practices rules.
posted by ardgedee at 10:26 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd like to interview these folks for an updated edition of The Organization Man, think they'd be game?
posted by katya.lysander at 10:29 AM on May 14, 2015


Is it a reasonable assumption that once per year they stone one of the roommates to death to ensure the Soylent harvest?

NO. plz see [14] re: marijuana use
posted by indubitable at 10:31 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


There are exceptions to the California housing discrimination law for roommate situations, but (even assuming they apply here, which they may not), it is forbidden to advertise discrimination.

Explicitly:
However, the owner cannot make oral or written statements, or use notices or advertisements which indicate any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, or disability. Further, the owner cannot discriminate on the basis of medical condition or age
They definitely are checking off the medical condition/disability boxes for both their exercise and psychiatric medicine requirements, and likely also the source of income requirements given their odd aversion to people who get $ from the rents. And the medical condition discrimination looks like it applies even in the case of roommates, and not just to oral or written statements. Someone who ticks off all the other boxes but is physically incapable of exercising 15 hours a week really needs to try and rent there, and then sue, sue, sue.
posted by dis_integration at 10:34 AM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think I've seen this movie. It's all going to be great, until the murders start...
posted by happyroach at 10:36 AM on May 14, 2015


Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is?

Someone who:
- drinks Mountain Dew at least three times an hour
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:41 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's now a Twitter account @startupcastle. Presumably satire/sarcastic, but perhaps the site and ads are a set-up anyhow?

As someone who technically meets most of their requirements, yet would create extreme discomfort for them in ways they've neglected to exclude, I'd like to believe that something so insular isn't an actual thing. But then, I remember acquaintances who'd fit in perfectly and love something like this.
posted by wonton endangerment at 10:42 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also everyone has a DVORAK keyboard.

I.y x.by!
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:44 AM on May 14, 2015


Yes, I'm now roaming around Woodside and Portola Valley on google maps satellite view trying to see if I can spot this place.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:46 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I've known a few startup castles of this kind, in Palo Alto and Berkeley (where it's just big apartments). The logic goes that these things have lots, on the order of a dozen rooms and often rent for on the order of $10000, so that ends up being mighty cheap rent for a bunch of startup kids splitting it 12 ways or something. But those kids are significantly saner so they actually have friends to invite and non-discriminatory policies. I think the group home aspect is less execrable than the "seems to be specifically designed for like 100 people on this earth and NO MAKEUP USERS OR RAP FANS" aspect
posted by curuinor at 10:52 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


A substantial percentage of actual SV programmers I know don't mean their criteria at all...
posted by atoxyl at 10:54 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


So all these precise thresholds, like three drinks per week, one psychiatric medication but not two, no more than 1 protest, I assume they were trying to exclude room-mates they didn't get along with, but without excluding any of their current residents.

Then I realized what this reminds me of. They're over-fitting the data.
posted by RobotHero at 10:56 AM on May 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


Am I the only one mentally pronouncing "Startup Castle" the way that Cockney cabdriver pronounced "Gothic Castle" on Arrested Development?
posted by griphus at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have yet to evolve past the need to release excrement to cleanse my body, so I don't think I can sign up sadly.

I dunno, these people seem to cleanse their excrement by typing it all out.

Also, my bet on "extreme connector" is one that tries to connect everything but then fails miserably because it doesn't actually implement any protocols correctly. But hey, it was Kickstarted, so that's something.
posted by qcubed at 11:00 AM on May 14, 2015


you do all understand that this is a joke, right?

because so far everyone seems to be talking about this as though it is a thing that actually exists, which it does not.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:08 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Must own at least 15 of the books on ... oh, nevermind, wrong thread.
posted by Ambient Echo at 11:09 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I won't dox, but it seems that Mark actually does exist. Don't know if they took random Stanford kids from wherever, though
posted by curuinor at 11:10 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


More proof that the Bay Area is turning into NYC, but with less culture.
posted by wuwei at 11:11 AM on May 14, 2015


Yes, I'm now roaming around Woodside and Portola Valley on google maps satellite view trying to see if I can spot this place.

bingo
posted by theodolite at 11:11 AM on May 14, 2015


Yup.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:16 AM on May 14, 2015


"But the two people behind Startup Castle stand behind their desire to only live with driven, physically fit teetotalers who don't get money from their parents. They say they just want friends who share a "common value system."

"I don't think there's anything in the post that restricts intellectual or cultural diversity at all," said John Lakness, a researcher and the founder of Startup Castle. "That's the type of diversity that we value and not so much the superficial diversity."

Even filtering people out based on "superficial" diversity can break the law. In the state of California, it's illegal for landlords to discriminate against anyone based on physical appearance, a mental disability, or their source of income.

Lakness is not new to the spotlight. In 2007, he appeared on the Survivor-like reality show Pirate Master, in which 16 contestants competed for $1 million in treasure. He was eliminated in the first episode for threatening to steal the pirate crew's compasses. He also worked for a time as a male stripper at Chippendales."
posted by gingerbeer at 11:17 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


'And people who constantly post to social media lack a "higher motivation," they agreed.'


Busted.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:18 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lakness is unemployed, per the article.

Oh, and they don't want anyone who has gone to protests because people who are political can be pushy. And yet, of course, they want to "save the world". Not through protest, naturally, that's pushy. Emma Goldman, Cesar Chavez, Silvia Rivera, Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners, ACT-UP, the protesters at Ferguson - all pushy, much too pushy to be housemates with.
posted by Frowner at 11:23 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh my god the dude was on Pirate Master. I didn't just hallucinate that show.
posted by graymouser at 11:29 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


you do all understand that this is a joke, right?

A joke: yes.
A hoax: remains to be seen.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


It goes without saying that not only must you be a dog person, you most definitely must not be a cat person.
posted by bendybendy at 11:34 AM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh my god the dude was on Pirate Master. I didn't just hallucinate that show.

I assume he's just using this as a way to fund his real scheme: a pirate-themed male strip club called Revenge.
posted by griphus at 11:34 AM on May 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager

The only way you type these words and let them out into the world without so much as blushing is if you're inured to how shitty it looks by years of doing far worse when padding your resume.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:36 AM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'll just choose to believe this is actually a veiled casting call for HBO's Silicon Valley Reality spinoff show, and continue on my merry way.

The alternative is just too horrifying to contemplate.
posted by j.r at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2015


As I said on a friend's FB page when I saw this: Do you want uprisings of the proletariat? Because that's how you get uprisings of the proletariat.
posted by symbioid at 11:42 AM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is? I'm guessing not.

It's just an extreme reflektor.
posted by Kabanos at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2015


"The no-makeup rule was meant to attract outdoorsy people like herself, not to rule out women. Frisch says she only wears makeup once a month and doesn't want the pressure to put it on every morning at home."
OH WELL IN THAT CASE
posted by theraflu at 11:49 AM on May 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I remember that time that I lived with two girls who wore a lot of make-up. One of them also wore vintage dresses every day and the other one dressed in hard femme rocker get-up. I couldn't face the pressure that their appearances placed on me and so I said that they both had to start dressing like me and stop wearing make-up.

Also I made my other housemates stop reading books about math because it made me feel pressured to learn more math. And I made the cat stop chasing mice because she would always beat me to them.
posted by Frowner at 11:56 AM on May 14, 2015 [32 favorites]


you do all understand that this is a joke, right?

because so far everyone seems to be talking about this as though it is a thing that actually exists, which it does not.


If it's a joke, it's hilarious and it got me, 100%. But is there any evidence it isn't real?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:00 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, Frowner, there are probably no cats allowed in the house, so the mice will be all yours.

Also, ugh, so much irony and grossness and internalized misogyny. Pressure* to wear makeup = bad; pressure** to exercise more than 2 hours a day = good.

*Pressure, here, meaning "people wore makeup in my presence and that made me feel bad."

**Pressure, here, meaning "it is explicitly listed as a requirement on the posting with the implication that if you don't, you will be kicked out."
posted by j.r at 12:01 PM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


> Oh my god the dude was on Pirate Master. I didn't just hallucinate that show.

Supercut of the dude on Pirate Master (Dropbox; might not last. Via waxy)
posted by ardgedee at 12:03 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


> as though it is a thing that actually exists, which it does not.

For all kinds of reasons I'm willing to believe it's a hoax, but you have to bring more to the table than, "That thing does not exist, despite your finding material evidence of it."
posted by ardgedee at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ummm, what? It is not even remotely plausible that this could be real. This is a parody of Silicon Valley startup culture and not at all the real thing.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:16 PM on May 14, 2015


I know some SV-types who basically live like monks and I'd imagine a few of them would just by default hit all the requirements.
posted by griphus at 12:20 PM on May 14, 2015


It is impossible to parody SV culture tho
posted by The Whelk at 12:23 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I do not think this is a hoax. There's too much that's real-googleable and it seems like one could pretty easily figure out who some of the people alleged to live there actually are - one does not want to dox someone merely for being silly, but most of them are associated with Stanford and have rather idiosyncratic professions.
posted by Frowner at 12:24 PM on May 14, 2015


It's not impossible that it's a hoax, certainly, but the media attention they're getting isn't indicating that:

Fusion
ValleyWag
Business Insider
CNN
posted by gingerbeer at 12:33 PM on May 14, 2015


Also hilarious - the quantification bias. Attended one protest? Well, that might have been a mistake! But two? Not two!!!! Three drinks a week? A-ok!! Four? Nope. One prescription yes, two no.

This is aspie as hell. As well as fascist. Faspie? Ascpist? How would you spell that portmanteau?
posted by theorique at 12:36 PM on May 14, 2015


their odd aversion to people who get $ from the rents

Knowing a couple of fairly insufferable people whose lifestyle is 100% enabled by parental gift money, this is actually the one thing where I and the startup castle folks see eye to eye. Outta my house, overprivileged trust fund babies.

Also, and I really can't state this strongly enough, I just absolutely fucking passionately hate the word "outdoorsy".
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:42 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder what protest one of the inhabitants went to such that they made that exception...
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:00 PM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


For some reason the "serial entrepreneur" thing makes me think of this. "My superpower is getting things done. It's an exceedingly rare and critical superpower."
posted by brundlefly at 1:31 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why are they slowly walking in a circle while holding hands? It's in the header, which I found mesmerizing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:59 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The corpse in the library: "Why are they slowly walking in a circle while holding hands? It's in the header, which I found mesmerizing."

It's certainly not Black Capitalistic Rituals! Ha! Ha-Ia-Ha!!! Why the idea!
posted by boo_radley at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


that's why they can't drink and need to work out so much, so they're pure for the bloodletting.
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow. I live uncomfortably close to these people.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:33 PM on May 14, 2015


Jerri: I wanna go home!
Father: Fine. You're not a prisoner here. There are no bars on our electrified fences. We don't have attack dogs in our alligator-infested swamps surrounding this compound.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:37 PM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


The only thing these brocoders are disrupting is the "no gurls aloud" sign hung outside their tree house.

If anything it seems kind of aimed at excluding their notion of a "startup bro" I mean:

- Watch more than 4 hours of TV/movie/game entertainment per week
- Listen to a songs with explicit lyrics more than an once a day
- Drink alcohol more than 3 drinks per week
- Use marijuana more than twice a year

This posting actually represents... an even less sufferable type of person.
posted by atoxyl at 3:32 PM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


> Listen to a songs with explicit lyrics more than an once a day

What if it's only once a day but it's one really long, really filthy song? Is that okay? Like, six hours long. And super duper sweary.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:38 PM on May 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is?

"Extreme connector" is like one of those USB hubs for your laptop innit?
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like, six hours long.

A 6-hr remix of the intro to Windowlicker
posted by griphus at 4:40 PM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Have ever attended more than 1 protest "

My mother was a hippie, growing up in 1960's Madison, WI. I've been going to protests since I was -9 months old.

Fucking squares, man.
posted by spinifex23 at 4:55 PM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


What if it's only once a day but it's one really long, really filthy song?

A six hour looping remix of Karen FInley's "Tales of Taboo"? We can do that.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:06 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I am not sure how many, if any, are coders, and at least two are women:

Katie - Cancer immunology researcher at Stanford, former Olympic trials swimmer
John - data science consultant, Stanford ICME, former spec-ops fitness competitor
Dominic - Cryptographer, consultant, and former startup CEO
Adam - Stanford medical post-doc and triathlete
Mark - Stanford faculty, leading an innovation lab
Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager
Katherine - Serial entrepreneur, world traveler, cyclist


Now this...sounds like a eugenics program, or at least a matchmaking effort.
posted by limeonaire at 7:22 PM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


If anything it seems kind of aimed at excluding their notion of a "startup bro" I mean:

Yeah, this doesn't match _either_ SV programmers (bro- or otherwise) or SV founders I've known. None of them would meet these criteria. I know a handful of programmers who possibly meet the criteria, but usually they are the family/religious type, not the driven-founder type (who usually would fail out on various drug and spending related issues, among others).

Thats what confuses me, if it was a parody it should be parodying something that exists, but this attitude is just not very Silicon Valley at all to me (and I lived there 10 years and still work for an SV company).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:55 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nathon - Former startup CEO, extreme connector, house manager

Do I want to know what an "extreme connector" is? I'm guessing not.


Really, it sounds like a pimp or...Sir (Mister?...a male "madam").
posted by MikeKD at 7:57 PM on May 14, 2015


"spec ops fitness competitor"
LOL
posted by wuwei at 8:05 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


What if it's only once a day but it's one really long, really filthy song? Is that okay? Like, six hours long. And super duper sweary.

Outtakes from "Joe's Garage"
posted by Daily Alice at 8:12 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, at the room mate interview...

"But it IS only one tattoo... it just happens to cover my entire body!"
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:28 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Any evidence that it's a hoax/joke?

I sort of do hope it's a hoax, although, if it isn't--at least these people seek out their own and aren't imposing their "values" on other poor roommates.

I think where they cross the line for me is by calling it a community of "excellence," and being so stringent--abstaining from certain activities that some people see as frivolous (like watching TV or putting on makeup) is one thing, but automatically disqualifying people with physical/mental health problems from excellence is disgustingly ignorant. I'm trying to abstain from making a list of excellent people

What does "excellence" mean, anyway, especially when you confine it to such narrow categories? I'm even a bit miffed by the automatic disqualification of television. Are you not supposed to be engaged in any culture? Today, TV is where some of the best writers are choosing to tell their stories.
posted by Eyeveex at 11:06 AM on May 15, 2015


Simpsons did it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:36 PM on May 15, 2015


Can I average out my explicit songs? Sometimes I would like to load up on Mondays and take the rest of the week off. Also, I only have one tattoo, but it is a full-back tattoo of the lyrics to Riskay's Smell Yo Dick in Comic Sans. I got it one of the two times that I smoked marijuana last year, at the only protest that I've ever been to.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:04 PM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


From Quora: What is it like to live at the Startup Castle?

It sounds like the rules are growing as the Control Freak in Chief gets increasingly peevish about housemates.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:06 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, my pick for music to play there would be Pardon my Freedom by !!!.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:26 PM on May 19, 2015


From that Quora link:
Imagine one day having your bed converted into a bunk bed without your consent. Being promised food to be included in the fee you pay only to be yelled at when the food runs out. Witnessing an ex-military dude marching around the house yelling at people who didn't "keep their shit clean enough". Being chastised for not organizing events for the house. Being drawn in to long, inappropriately misogynistic, conversations about sex.
Misogynistic conversations about sex? I am so surprised!
posted by rtha at 3:31 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm even a bit miffed by the automatic disqualification of television. Are you not supposed to be engaged in any culture? Today, TV is where some of the best writers are choosing to tell their stories.

It's like a whole "intentional community" run by this guy. With a few more psychological issues ... uh ... "quirks", apparently.
posted by theorique at 4:30 AM on May 20, 2015


You know, I find it much easier to take now that it seems like this is just coming from one neurotic. I do understand the stress and madness of being de facto house parent, and one could easily see a sort of stubborn youngish person believing that he could force a successful group house into existence - the social version of engineer's disease. Really, he'd probably be better off hand-picking three or four friendly acquaintances who want long-term housing and finding a smaller place. It is difficult enough to get four people who like each other and share the same goals to keep the kitchen clean, never mind a disparate crowd of Silicon Valley chancers.
posted by Frowner at 6:39 AM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]




It is difficult enough to get four people who like each other and share the same goals to keep the kitchen clean, never mind a disparate crowd of Silicon Valley chancers.

This is a good point. It's very hard to depend on good will and spontaneous organization to keep a group of >3 people following a set of agreed-upon rules. Add turnover and you are left with a very serious cat-herding problem.

With larger groups, you kind of need someone to have the thankless role of "rules Nazi" or "culture Nazi". Otherwise, drift and entropy take over and things go their own way (not necessarily a good way).

That said, the person needs to be "normal". Someone with weird hot buttons or demands probably shouldn't be in charge of setting the tone and the culture for a group that needs to appeal to a broad group.
posted by theorique at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]




the freude

it schadens
posted by griphus at 10:40 AM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you want to part ways amicably, you will be refunded for all remaining days.

I can't help but wonder what paperwork you have to sign for the parting to be termed "amicable".
posted by rmd1023 at 10:44 AM on June 12, 2015


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