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NathanielS
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Great thoughts, Wil. Thanks for sharing everything that you share. I gotta say, you're a pretty big inspiration for exactly what you're describing. You live it out in your writing and your attitude as much as any person could hope to. It's more than just being the grand poobah of "Don't be a Dick" — it's about being honest and authentic in the things you share with us online and in your writing. I listened to Just a Geek a few months back, and what struck me more than anything was just how honest you were, and how vulnerable. So much of the book was you going back and correcting your own blog — that is, saying how you were really feeling at that time. That's pretty inspiring. It's affected the way I write on my own blog. What's the point if it's not personal, you know? If you're not being vulnerable, and honest (and yes, kind), then what is the point? But more than that, I think you're on to something. If we can be kind to each other, that makes being vulnerable that much more worth it. We can build an intimate community that's actually millions of people. It makes me think of Craig Furgeson's description of Doctor Who: "The triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism." This generation of nerds can really live that out, I think. There will always be some trolling asshole out there, but you're absolutely right. All their vitriol and venom isn't about me or you, it's about them. Something is poisoning them from the inside and the rest of us out here getting excited and making things just end up in the path of their tornado. But I'm really glad to hear that those folks are in the minority for you. The rest of us really appreciate you, or at least I do. You're a good man, Wheaton. Keep your stick on the ice.
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Wil, What I appreciate about you most is that you've chosen, from Dancing Barefoot forward, to share your life and your feelings about things in a really public way. It's too bad that sometimes there's a dark side to being that exposed. Sounds like you were even nicer than you should have been in that instance. Standing up for yourself or others is never a dick move. I would hope you'll always be able to recognize the fans from the famous-chasers. And above all else, I'd hope you never think it's just not worth it to share yourself like you do. As you know all too well, you can't please everybody, but for what it's worth, you were awesome when I met you. I met you ever so briefly in the receiving line at w00tstock Minneapolis, and you were gracious and grateful for an audience. You were standing next to Adam Savage and meeting you two was exactly why I'd stood in line. But once I got there, I wasn't sure what to do. I got to the end of the table with both of you sitting there, and said "I feel like a dog chasing a car. Now I've caught you and don't know what to do with you." I muttered something about being a big fan of your writing, and you thanked me as though I'd been the one who had just sweated out five hours of nerd cabaret. I really appreciated that. So stay classy Wheaton. -Nathaniel
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2011 on if you cut me, i will bleed at WWdN: In Exile
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Awesome! I read that TNG is coming to Netflix Instant Watch in the next few months, and that had me thinking about Memories and hoping that new volumes were forthcoming. I know you've been super busy lately, but any progress on that front? Also, Wootstock Minneapolis was amazing, so here's hoping you and P&S make it out here if you're able to take these on the road. *crosses own fingers*
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Wow. That is a tough question. You've got so much good stuff to choose from. No wonder you're looking for help. Is there any way you could do anything from Memories of the Future? Perhaps you could bring in some TNG clips and do excerpts from the essays with musical punctuation from P&S. It'd be that much more MST3K than even the podcast was.
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Couldn't those kids go to trade school? I know lots of people who went that route, and have satisfying careers as a result. There's a terrific book by Matthew Crawford called Shop Class as Soul Craft that goes into the great satisfaction many people experience by working with their hands. Our culture values "knowledge work" so much that we forget that you need to be smart to be an electrician or mechanic. We tend to think of these folks as somehow less intelligent, yet most of us can't even change our own oil, let alone do the much more difficult things mechanics are able to do. Best of all, plumbing work cannot be outsourced to India or China. Being out of work really sucks, and my heart goes out to folks who are having trouble making ends meet. I was there in 2008. The ugly business of this recession unfortunately includes the job market weeding out a lot of people who either don't have particularly useful skills, or are chronically unemployable. Yet at the same time, enrollment in community colleges is through the roof. People are stepping up to that challenge to get a better education and that hard work is probably going to pay off big time for them. Here's hoping! As for entitlement, I loved your tweet. Unless you have a genuine learning disability, school usually isn't any harder than just showing up and doing the work. The "smart kids" always figured this out early in in their school careers — that tests and all that was actually pretty easy if they just did the frakking homework. The place where any of us can get "judgy" about that is in trying to dime-store psychoanalyze people as to why they weren't as diligent as they ought to have been during school. Maybe their home life sucked. Maybe they were an undiagnosed dyslexic. It isn't always simple. However, you pointing out the obvious relationship between basic past diligence and present lack of an awesome job (which even great jobs usually still require you to actually do something) is something that you're (ahem) entitled to do. You are awesome, please carry on.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2011 on a point of clarification at WWdN: In Exile
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Go Wil, go! I'm turning into a Wheaton completist. I genuinely feel like I'm missing out if I let any of your posts pass by without reading them. So keep with the thought wrangling and the pouring-of-yourself-on-the-page awesomeness. Make the complete Wheaton more complete.
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The porto-potty TARDIS always surprises those who enter it because it smells so much worse on the inside.
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I'm glad to hear that you're playing Fallout: New Vegas, as I feel exactly the same way about it as what you've described. It takes a really long time to do anything, but the experience is so compelling that I don't mind the time investment. It's so much more sprawling even than Fallout 3 was, with something like twice the quests and locations. Plus the quests are intertwined and at times in conflict. It seemed like in Fallout 3 I only ever had two or three quests available at a time. I've especially enjoyed how different the economics are from the Capitol Wasteland just because of the differences in supply and demand. It's amazing to see 4000 cap prices for armor and gnarly weapons. Are you playing on Hardcore mode? Anyway, congrats on needing to recoup. You've been the good kind of busy lately. Cheers, Wil! P.S. I did a little nerd dance when I found you as a Robobrain.
Toggle Commented Nov 11, 2010 on on a long run at WWdN: In Exile
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My wife and I have been counting down the days until the Minneapolis show for weeks now. You, Adam Savage, and Paul and Storm on the same stage seems like it ought to cause some sort of awesomeness singularity. But more than that, seeing all the YouTube clips and so forth, you guys all obviously take the show really seriously and care about it being good, and so I'm looking forward to a really high quality evening of nerdy goodness. As someone else who gets excited and makes things, I know that the doing of it is its own pleasure too, and that enjoyment makes it that much better — which makes you enjoy it more — and 'round and 'round the recursive loop of awesome travels. Looking forward to it! -Nathaniel
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Jun 4, 2010