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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Move Fast and Break Things
I was almost fired from a job driving the hearse in funeral processions, but then the funeral home realized how much business I was creating for them.
Title text: I was almost fired from a job driving the hearse in funeral processions, but then the funeral home realized how much business I was creating for them.

Explanation

Cueball appears to be at a job interview, proudly stating his motto to the interviewer Ponytail.

"Move fast and break things" is a saying common in science and engineering industries. In that context, it means that making mistakes is a natural part of developing ground-breaking technologies and is nothing to worry about. In particular, it was adopted by Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, (who even went as far as to say that 'breaking things' is a necessary feature of moving 'fast enough').

While in software development it is unusual for any great harm to result from breaking things, the jobs listed in the comic are ones where there are serious consequences of mistakes. Some would result in dangerous or deadly situations, while others would just end up with broken packages etc. It's not clear what job Cueball is interviewing for; one suspects it's probably one that belongs in the 'breaking things is bad' group.

The results of moving fast and breaking things for the listed jobs might include:

  • FedEx driver - Injured/killed pedestrians, collisions with other vehicles, broken & damaged packages
  • Crane operator - Damage or destruction of load, dropping loads on people below, damage to crane
  • Surgeon - Incorrect operations performed, removing wrong body parts, sloppy incisions
  • Air Traffic Controller - Air collisions, travel disruption, chaos
  • Pharmacist - Handing out wrong drugs, resulting in illness or death
  • Museum Curator - Damage or destruction of items of historical significance
  • Waiter - Crockery broken, wine spilt on customers, food tipped over people
  • Dog Walker - Injuring the pet, or preventing it from fulfilling its bodily functions (the major reason for a walk)
  • Oil Tanker Captain - Collisions between vessels, or tanker and port, or running aground, oil spills
  • Violinist - Ruining an ensemble's performance by playing too fast (with a higher tempo than fellow musicians), maybe even breaking the strings of the instrument
  • Mars Rover Driver - Breaking an incredibly important vehicle, preventing further exploration, and ruining an extremely expensive mission
  • Massage Therapist - Injuring the client, breaking bones.


The title text posits a morbid scenario where Cueball keeps running over funeral attendees, generating the need for more funerals.

Transcript

[Cueball sits in a chair in a job interview with Ponytail]
Cueball: My motto is "Move fast and break things."
[Below the picture follows a list ]
Jobs I've been fired from
Fedex driver
Crane operator
Surgeon
Air Traffic Controller
Pharmacist
Museum Curator
Waiter
Dog Walker
Oil Tanker Captain
Violinist
Mars Rover Driver
Massage Therapist

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