Randall Monroe, author of xkcd, What If? and Thing Explainer, came to Oxford last weekend to talk about his books, and the logistics of devoting a sizeable portion of your living space to creating a ball pit.
I videoed a little bit of it.
And probably shouldn’t have, because the video is shit. But there we go. For some reason I thought I could use some basic audio effects like speech enhancement in YouTube. But if you can, I don’t know how to do it.
Anyway, the talk was brilliant, and Mr Monroe seems like a genuinely lovely guy. And the video was only really for me to show off that I was there.
The Oxford audience is, as a whole, not necessarily the most audibly enthusiastic of audiences. People in Oxford tend to be passionate about many things, but can at times be somewhat reticent when it comes to showing it.
Not in this instance.
He ended with a plea against being too pedantic. Which I thought was a bold thing to do in Oxford. Perhaps that was why he did it. But he made the point that science, and general wonder at the universe, works better if we focus on what we can learn from other people, rather than ways we can correct other people in pedantic ways and show off our knowledge.
Some showing off is good however.
Like the fact that I went to see Randall Monroe.
(I’m still from Oxford, after all.)