Top 38 Randall Munroe Quotes

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“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“What people don’t appreciate, when they picture Terminator-style automatons striding triumphantly across a mountain of human skulls, is how hard it is to keep your footing on something as unstable as a mountain of human skulls. Most humans probably couldn’t manage it, and they’ve had a lifetime of practice at walking without falling over.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“I think that putting merchandising into the hands of the artist themselves is one of the best things for the artist.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“I think the really cool and compelling thing about math and physics is that it opens up entry to all these hypotheticals – or at least, it gives you the language to talk about them. But at the same time, if a scenario is completely disconnected from reality, it’s not all that interesting.”

― Randall Munroe

“One of the things I’ve learned with doing ‘xkcd’ is that you sort of give people, ‘Here’s the thing, and here’s the button you can press to get another thing.’ Sometimes that can be more easy to digest than, ‘Here’s a long page of things.’”

― Randall Munroe

“I learned very early on in life that not everyone wants to hear every fact in the world, even if you want to tell them everything you’ve ever read.”

― Randall Munroe

“Once I got married, I started working from an office. I found that having somewhere to go that isn’t my house is mentally helpful: ‘This is the place where I answer email and write blog posts,’ and ‘over there is the place where I do the dishes.’”

― Randall Munroe

“Google owns YouTube, and recently, I drew a comic about an idea for a YouTube feature – which they actually took seriously and implemented. So I’m thinking that maybe we’ll have a future where Google is ‘xkcd.’”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“I read comics and I did science, and never really put them together until I accidentally found myself in the middle of one.”

― Randall Munroe

“The thing about the Internet is that you can write something… for a very narrow audience and make a living at it.”

― Randall Munroe

“Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it’s the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the world?”

― Randall Munroe

“It’s amazing what’s buried in old, poorly digitized PDFs hosted on some random professor’s website.”

― Randall Munroe

“It used to be if you wanted to do a newspaper comic, you had to appeal to a pretty big chunk of the newspaper’s readership for them to want to keep you around. ‘Dilbert’ would be office humor, but even that is pretty widely experienced.”

― Randall Munroe

“One of the nice things about the Internet is you can do a comic that’s just for Ph.D. students, or for truck drivers, and you get to reach all of them without having to satisfy the other 99%.”

― Randall Munroe

“I have the standard cartoonist setup, which is one of those Cintiq tablets, and a laptop. If I’m mostly writing code, I’m on the laptop, and if I’m mostly drawing, I’m on the Cintiq.”

― Randall Munroe

“A lot of the time, when I find myself critiquing scientific accuracy in movies, I have to remind myself that it had to get close enough to getting it right to get things wrong.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.’”

― Randall Munroe

“People in my world can be disdainful of political and social problems and solutions. But we’re never going to stop needing those.”

― Randall Munroe

“I’m just one of those people who can always tell the same story twice, forgetting that I’ve told it already.”

― Randall Munroe

“A lot of people will refer to comics by number to me, and I’ll realize they’re expecting me to remember all the comics by number. And I can’t even remember what I ate this morning, let alone which comic was #473!”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“The nice thing about being on the Internet is that you’re not as recognisable as someone that’s been on TV.”

― Randall Munroe

“Lots of people in aggregate might know who I am, but they are spread around across the country and the world.”

― Randall Munroe

“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.”

― Randall Munroe

“A lot of times, the idea of a comic will be, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you…’ But instead of doing it, I’ll draw a comic about it.”

― Randall Munroe

“An artist shouldn’t be judged by how many people like his art but by how pure and good it is – but I think that when you’re telling jokes, which is more what I’m doing, if people aren’t laughing, you’re telling bad jokes.”

― Randall Munroe

“I don’t feel bad about the fact that I notice if a lot of people laugh at a comic, and think, ‘That worked; I’ll do things like that more.’”

― Randall Munroe

“I think the weirdest question I’ve ever gotten was, ‘If people had wheels and could fly, how would we differentiate them from airplanes?’”

― Randall Munroe

“I have no artistic training – as you might have guessed from all the stick figures! – and there are a few things I have a really hard time drawing. I think the one that comes up the most is airplanes. Big airliners have such a weird wing shape, and I always have to redraw them 20 times before they’re even recognizable.”

― Randall Munroe

“People often say, ‘I like your comics, even though I don’t know enough math to get all of them,’ as if it’s some kind of club where they don’t belong. But there’s no club. There’s just lots of people who are excited about thinking, learning, joking, and sometimes overanalyzing things.”

― Randall Munroe

“I love learning about the science that governs the universe around us and want to share the delight of discovering how things work and why.”

― Randall Munroe

“When I was in college, I had a fear of cancer.”

― Randall Munroe
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