Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. You're curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you're waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go.
This quote was taken out of context.
This quote is often falsely attributed to Mark Twain.
Websites that collect quotes are full of mistakes and never check original sources
It's weird how I am constantly surprised by the passage of time when it's literally the most predictable thing in the Universe.
So Yoda sounds like our best bet as an energy source. But with world electricity consumption pushing 2 terawatts, it would take a hundred million Yodas to meet our demands. All things considered, switching to Yoda power probably isn't worth the trouble — though it would definitely be green.
Lots of people in aggregate might know who I am, but they are spread around across the country and the world.
Some of the first infographics I did started off as notes to myself: trying to plot out, for instance, how IP addresses are allocated. After a while, I thought, 'This is a neat thing I can share with people, and they can follow me along in that process of understanding.'
I have always had trouble paying attention. When I was supposed to be at work, I'd be doodling. But then when I was home, trying to draw, I would be working on math problems. I never end up doing exactly what I should be doing at at any given time.
There is a danger of building an identity around the idea of being smart because it is very easy to become off-putting, to become exclusionary.
I think the comic that's gotten me the most feedback is actually the one about the stoplights. Noticing when the stoplights are in sync, or calculating the length of your strides between floor tiles - normal people notice that kind of stuff, but a certain kind of person will do some calculations.
There are definitely times - and I think this is pretty common among cartoonists - where you spend an entire day trying to think of an idea, and you're like, 'I give up.' And then you go and take a shower or run an errand, and halfway there, you get an idea.
I used to work at NASA in Virginia. It was nothing glamorous; I was just tasked with making code compile for obscure projects, and I wasn't very good at it. Now I spend most of my time drawing pictures and looking at funny things on the Internet, which in retrospect is largely what I did at my old job, too.
I don't have hard numbers about this, but the impression I get is that the amount of eyeballs you get from being on the humor shelf at Barnes & Noble - it is almost insignificant.
I'm sad that my childhood came just slightly before the lithium-ion-battery boom, because I would've killed for the cheap radio-controlled helicopters they have now.
I try not to spend too much time interpreting my comics for people, because I try to put out there whatever I can, and people can draw whatever conclusions they want.
I think that putting merchandising into the hands of the artist themselves is one of the best things for the artist.
The nice thing about being on the Internet is that you're not as recognisable as someone that's been on TV.
It's tempting to just write a comic called 'Everyone Mail Randall Munroe Twenty Bucks' - maybe it would work, and I could just close down the 'xkcd' store and sit on a beach and draw pictures and make snarky Reddit posts for the rest of my life.
I'm just one of those people who can always tell the same story twice, forgetting that I've told it already.