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Four Fabulous (and Realistic) Female Characters for HBO’s Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley title card

My latest piece for Quartz is a light-hearted commentary on HBO’s Silicon Valley series that debuted a couple of weeks back. I argue that the show, which features just one speaking role for a woman in the series premiere, has actually made Silicon Valley (the non-italicized one) look even more sexist than it is in real life… […]

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It’s Different for Leaders: Lessons from Mozilla’s CEO Appointment

Photo by Tom Gill

Mozilla appointed a new CEO, Brendan Eich, last week, and a lot of good people are feeling troubled by it. They’re wrestling with wildly conflicted feelings and convictions. They’re doing the hard work of trying to reconcile their deeply-held respect for diversity and freedom with itself, as freedoms of belief and expression hit painfully up […]

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What’s the “Tox” in a Digital Detox?

Juice detox

When Rohan Gunatillake and I hosted our conversation at South by Southwest last weekend, the question we opened with was this: When we refer to a digital sabbatical as a “digital detox,” it suggests that technology itself is a toxin. Is that true? And if not, what’s the “tox” we’re trying to remove from our systems? As […]

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Beyond Unplugging: How to Stay Sane Online

Beyond Unplugging: How to Stay Sane Online (my SXSW session)

For the hyper-connected among us, 2013 may well have been the year of the digital sabbatical. Many a media story hyped the benefits of multi-day technology cleanses, where analog, “real-life” experiences were touted as carrying the healing properties of a lemon-juice-and-cayenne shot, and our plugged-in, screen-addled culture was soundly critiqued. While I’m a strong advocate […]

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Getting Real About the Gender Ratio in Tech: What the Numbers Reveal

Photo of a woman's hands typing on a keyboard

I have a new piece in Quartz today, on Tracy Chou’s excellent Women in Software Engineering project. In just two weeks, she’s collected data on gender diversity in 84 companies’ engineering teams. It’s growing daily, with contributions from company employees doing head counts as well as volunteers combing companies’ websites for info. Why, you might […]

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Why Pinterest is Seriously Valuable (and What It’s Teaching Men in Power)

Pinterest screen capture

Pinterest has just closed a big funding round – $225 million – and has posted its current valuation at $3.8 billion. The digital world is all abuzz about it. And I notice that many of the online commentators seem surprised – shocked, even – by that valuation. This parallels my experience talking to friends about […]

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Impact Versus Intent, or Why It Doesn’t Matter Whether Pax Dickerson is Sexist

Abstract photo of a red and white surface with a thin crack

Most of y’all who work in the tech industry already know how earlier this month, we witnessed a couple of epically sexist pratfalls: There was the whole Titstare debacle at TechCrunch Disrupt, and then the next day, Pax Dickinson got fired from his position as Chief Technical Officer at Business Insider for filling his Twitter stream with bigoted […]

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Fitter, Happier, More Productive: How Tech Can Help Us Be & Do Better

Photo of a BMX bike rider performing a trick in mid-air

Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Vancouver User Experience group (AKA VanUE). The theme was “Inspiration,” so I decided to focus on something that’s preoccupied me for my entire career in tech, which is how we can bring our best selves to technology, and use technology in ways that help us […]

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What Men (and Everyone, Really) Can Do To Support Gender Equity in Tech

Architectural photo of a glass walkway between buildings

A thoughtful reader recently asked about the role of male allies in solving the gender imbalance in the tech industry: As a guy in the tech industry, I honestly don’t know how to fix most of the issues… I do want to help, but like many other guys I don’t know the best way to […]

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Once And For All: Tech is Not a Meritocracy

Photo of skimming cream off the top of bottled raw milk

This piece originally appeared on Quartz, but I’m quite proud of it, so I’m republishing it here. I’ve had it with meritocracy. Not because it’s not a wonderful concept. Of course it is. My problem is with the belief many people seem to hold that the world (or some part of it) is already a meritocracy, […]

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