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Matthew Wilson
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Matthew Wilson

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Ever wanted to make a difference in the world? Here's your chance.
 
After 9 years, I’m leaving Google. Today is my last day.

It’s hard to leave a place that you’ve been at for so long. People love to talk about the perks but really, it’s the people that have kept me at Google so long and it’s the people that I’m going to miss dearly.

So…if I'm going to miss it so bad, why in the world am I leaving?

My friend Roy Chan​ and I used to argue for hours about the role of idealists in the world. He’d try to convince me that change was driven by idealists and I’d tell him safe/sure paths were better…well today I’m going to admit defeat and make the choice of an idealist. I’m joining the US Digital Service working at Veterans Affairs in Seattle tackling electronic medical records.

Why? Because information technology is our generation’s steam engine…getting “digital services” right can make or break an organization (like our government). Because, momentum for change is building and we are at an inflection point for how government uses technology over the next decade. Because veterans and healthcare matter. Because if we citizens keep walking away from the hard problems, choosing instead to just criticize from a distance, things do not get better.

Is this going to be hard? Yes.
Will there be bureaucracy and all the other things that us techies hate? Absolutely.
Will there be legacy software to deal with? Like you couldn’t imagine.
Where is the hope then? The hope is in the people.

I’ve been working with USDS + various agencies intermittently for the last 1/2 year and can confidently say that despite the stereotypes + prejudice leveled against government workers, there are actually very good people in USDS (HQ, 18F, etc) as well as the rest of government. And when I say “very good,” I mean USDS has the highest concentration of talent + passion that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

So with that, bye bye Google. Hello USDS and hello VA.  First target is a point-of-care web application built using a node.js stack. We’re looking for 5-7 people in Seattle. If you know anyone who has the skills and would find this intriguing, I’m interested in talking to them.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/digital/united-states-digital-service
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This image is explained below. Image links to large nonlooping animation. Looping version also available. If you don't think sexism in Tech and Computer Science is a major problem, you really have not been paying attention. T...
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Matthew Wilson

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:-(
 
Wow.  :-(
As half of the wisecracking NPR radio show, Tom Magliozzi made us laugh at our car problems. He and his brother Ray also taught us how things work.
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What a shame. I always love listening to Car Talk when I'm in the US, not least because it's the only car show I find even remotely interesting as a non-car-person. It's like the anti-Top Gear.
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Yes, yes 1000 times yes.
When it comes time to make a point about an important issue the tool I usually default to is humour, or satire, because I find it’s easiest to change people’s minds if you can make them laugh along with you. A lot of awful things have happened this week, and in the week before, and I’ve tried a few times to think of a clever way I could write them up while still getting the point across that, hey, things are really bad. I can’t. So here we are.
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Matthew Wilson

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I'm a feminist, and I think that you should be too.  Here's how to start. 
Most men do many things in their daily lives that directly or indirectly contribute to a culture of gender inequality.
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I was thinking the same. Keep making the world a better place.
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Totally backing this.
Women In Tech: The Book alternates teaching career skills with inspiring autobiographies from amazing women in tech!
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Backed! Thanks for sharing! :) 
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That's her LEM landing code threatening to fall over on her. 
This is a great photo I just ran across on the internets. It said it was “Margaret Hamilton, Apollo program”, but it did…
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<3
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Matthew Wilson

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The C-1 is the only thing preventing me from buying a new car or bike.  Everything else out there pales in comparison.  I am very much looking forward to the day mine arrives.
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+William MacPhee dito
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That more or less sums it up.
 
"To say that you’re not a feminist means that you think men should have more rights and opportunities than women."

Well, that's it in a nutshell. Thanks, Ms Swift.
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Yep. Sure. Sums it up right there, right? Because women need to have more rights than men because we don't derive our rights from God, but from other humans, right?

So clearly, only those with the most power can bestow rights upon another human, and such centralized power and authority are what women need to stop rights-hungry men from taking all the rights, right? What about the Jews? Haven't they got enough rights already? Don't they have enough fingers in the financial pies of the world? How about black men? Trans-folk? Which group needs more rights than the other? Is it a priority list?

We seriously need to reconsider how these arguments are being made. Marginalizing one group for the sake of another is never the way to make progress and only hurts us as a race. Martin Luther King was /never/ about restrictions on one side for the benefit of the other -- neither were the founders, for that matter.

What we need is /equal/ rights, not /more/ rights across the board, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, gender or any other differentiator.
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You'll need an HTML5 capable browser to see this content. Video image. Play. 00:00. 00:00. Kickstarter.
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And backed.

edit: And upped my pledge to get the wooden set.
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My feminist fantasy: That when a woman shares her stories of experiencing sexual harassment (or worse) on the street or in a bar or at a con or wherever, they'll get responses much like the majority of the comments on this blog post:

http://wilwheaton.net/2011/07/if-you-cut-me-i-will-bleed/

Yes, it's from 2011, but he reposed it the other week pre-Comicon and when I read it, I thought, wow. Wow. Look at all those people who totally understand how scary that experience was and how no one is blaming him at all or telling him how much he should like the attention/consider it a compliment or saying that those people just can't help themselves because he's such a famous person.

Yes, the situations are not completely 100% analogous, but they are really damn close. People who seem to be waiting for you who often physically cut you off from your companions (seriously, PUAs actually purposefully publish that this is a tactic they use) and physically and vocally demand something of you... and then if you refuse, rebuke you and even chase you down to try to get what they want from you, because they feel they are entitled to something from you just because of who you are - and that they want something.

When women complain about this kind of treatment, they hear one or more (or all!) of these wonderful responses: 1) That didn't really happen, you're lying/exaggerating 2) This doesn't happen often so get over it happening once in this isolated incident  3) This has happened to me before but I didn't mind, so you shouldn't either 4) This has happened to me before and no one would ever care about it happening to me so you should just put up with it [without complaining] 5) Not everyone behaves like this [so stop talking about it] 6) You must have done something to earn that kind of attention, what were you wearing? 7) Other people have it worse than you do, so stop complaining about this thing 8) Stop being such a whiny victim, why do you always have to act like such a victim? Do you like being a victim? 9) Don't take it so personally 10) Smile, it's a compliment! 11) What were you even doing there? Don't you know better than to go places like that? 12) Give them a break, they just can't help themselves. Can you blame them? 13) Shut your ugly face you bitch! If you want something to complain about, I'll come to your house and give you something to complain about! 14) No one would want to do anything like that to you, you're too ugly. 

...I could go on, I realize, but it would just get more stomach-turning from here.

What a wonderful world we would live in, if people responded to women the way they responded to Wil (these are all paraphrases of actual comments):

1) I try not to do that to people because I figure that happens to them all the time and it must really bother them 2) This makes me so angry on your behalf, this is awful. If I ever saw it happen to you, I would stop it from happening! 3) That makes me so sad! It's so inappropriate! Your boundaries should be respected! 4) Thank you for sharing your story! You're great! 5) You did the right thing to say no! No one has the right to do that to you, no matter who you are. What entitled jerks! 6) I'm so sorry you had to go through that. 7) I hope you don't mind me telling you what my experience is like on the other side of this, let me politely share my story while respecting yours. 8) I feel for you, a friend experienced/s that, too, and I try to look out for her. If you ever need someone to look out for you, let me know! 9) Geez, people can be so stupid sometimes. Sorry you went through that! 10) I'm sorry people are like that! People need to learn how to behave better! 11) I've seen this happen too, and it's so creepy! Such behavior should not be encouraged, ever! 12) Entitlement is never pretty. I'm so sorry this happened to you. 13) I'm horrified that this happened to anyone. 14) Wow, that deserves a restraining order!  15) I'm surprised you haven't talked about this sooner. I appreciate that you're still willing to interact with other people in spite of this behavior.

Here's some partial quotes:

"I’m so sorry you had to go through that. You were seriously WAY too nice. I will never understand what a crowd of rabid fans could possibly get out of scaring the shit out of someone they supposedly admire. I watched a really disturbing youtube video of Zachary Quinto being accosted while trying to walk home at night. There were numerous folks in the crowd with cell phones taking pictures of this mob that at one point had him pinned against a car. WTH!! I kept waiting for someone to call the police on his behalf because if that was happening to anyone else it would be considered assault. It makes me sick."

"You’re an actor, you signed up… to act. Not to be attacked. I’m horrified and embarrassed on behalf of all the real fans ... I have also seen that ugly sense of entitlement even among “real” fans. You clearly understand that not all fans are like that, and I’m just so sorry. It’s inexcusable in any circumstance"

"I’m glad you were honest enough to express your feelings about the incident with your readers"

There were countless "Thank you for sharing your story!" type comments from people, as well as "Good for you! Well done!" sentiments. Overall, it was BOO HISS HARASSERS all the way.

Please, oh please, world, will you someday respond to women the same way you responded to Wil Wheaton?
On the way out of the Syfy party on Saturday night, a pretty horrible thing happened. I wasn't going to talk about it in public, but I can't stop thinking about
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