Monday, November 29, 2010

Nerd Comics Might Save Humanity, Too

It looks like Randall Munroe is back in action at writing XKCD comics again, which hopefully implies good news.

But seeing his latest post reminded me of this one, which I briefly referenced back in July.

One of the things that I like about XKCD is that he puts some extra stuff in the "hover text". It only appears when you hover your mouse over the image of the comic. So you can only really experience it by going to the actual site (

These extra bits of hover-text are usually very funny. They've become a bonus that you eagerly await after reading the comic itself. Kind of like the prize at the bottom of the Kracker Jack box. But even when they don't initially seem completely related to the comic itself, they can throw a whole different twist onto the message. In this case, the comment turns what was already an awesome comic into one that will probably be my all-time favorite single comic strip:

"Maybe we're all gonna die, but we're gonna die in *really cool ways*."

This was supposed to be part of the Sci Fi Writers Will Save Humanity post, but it really deserved a post of its own.

Why is this one comic strip so important to me? Well, for one, I tend to be a bit a fault. I'm the girl standing behind the chair. I enjoy thinking about where the world is going, but this comic is also a reminder to me that I should live in the present, too. After many years of being told this by people I trust, I'm finally learning that I have to live in today's reality in order to have any chance of helping build the grand future I see.

But the hover-text is the real gem, here. In one sentence, it has solidified my approach to a future that is incredibly exciting, but simultaneously frightening and filled with potential for disaster.

The future will come. That much is certain and unavoidable. Like it or not, there's a possibility that it will be really, really, bad. But if you take an active role in shaping it, you'll (a) hopefully help avoid the really bad stuff, and (b) have one heck of a ride while it all unfolds.

So I chose to be excited about it all, while doing the best I can to ensure it comes out in a good way. If it doesn't turn out the way I want, I'll still enjoy being part of this moment in history.

Reminds me of something my father said long ago, the day I came home from school after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. "You know, everyone has to go sometime. But if you could pick your ending, what an awesome way to go!"


  1. That's exactly what I say to Chris every time he says I'm gonna die on the motorcycle. If that's really how I go, I will have died doing something I loved!

  2. I typically feel it is much better than NOT doing something you love. I'm not an adrenaline junky by any means, but I'd rather have a fulfilling life than a long, safe, boring one.

  3. You can "rush" all you want...just give me a good cup of JOE and an eye on the world!