You might expect someone who thinks so much and so deeply about mathematics and science to be socially uncomfortable with the normal humans, but Randall Munroe is an engaging and amusing speaker – both in front of a lecture theatre audience and over dinner later.
OK, how many people have I lost already? I need to remember that not everyone is immersed in Geek culture, even now. Randall Munroe is hugely famous; possibly the second most famous person I’ve met. After Colonel Sanders.
But he’s not… TV famous, for want of a better term. Not public property.
I spend much of my social life in a world where everyone but everyone knows who Randall Munroe is. That world is congruent with the other one – you’ll find XKCD fans in every country of every continent – but it is still a shadow world. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Geek culture is mainstream now, what with everyone being on Facebook and all, but really most people just hang around the gateway to the other realm.
And so he can have literally millions of fans – of which I am certainly one – yet still speak at an obscure conference in a small city, and have a quiet dinner after with friendly and only slightly overawed strangers. If you’re going to be famous, I think that may be the way to do it.
- Tony Whitmore: SkyCon 2012 (tonywhitmore.co.uk)
- Laura Czajkowski: SkyCon 2012 – 20th Birthday bash for Skynet (lczajkowski.com)
- XKCD Creator Randall Munroe On Making Physics Fun (izabael.com)
- Interview with Randall Munroe (neatorama.com)