I’m happy about these results…

The “Which ____ are you?” tests that are all over the Internet are usually just amusing, with the questions not really reflecting the results. But this one seems to have actually had a bit of thought put into it; the questions are good, and the answers make sense, at least for me:

Gandalf

A wandering spirit caring for a multitude of just concerns, you are an instrumental power in many of the causes around you.

And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

It makes sense, too, in more ways than one. The test is based on personality and motivations and asks you “What would you do in this situation?” types of questions. But if you think about it, it makes sense in another way, since I’m such a computer geek.

Wizards in fiction are sometimes portrayed as good (like Gandalf), sometimes evil (like Saruman). But one thing they always have in common is their command of magic, which is (in fiction) always based on pieces of obscure, arcane knowledge. So they’re constantly reading, absorbing knowledge for its own sake, as well as for the understanding of magic that it gives them. And magic, in fiction, is usually tricky to get right: there are certain magical runes that must be drawn in exactly the right way, certain magical incantations (which seem like nonsense syllables to anyone who hasn’t studied magic) which must be pronounced exactly right if the spell is to work right, and so on.

Well, my nose is almost always in a book. There aren’t many people who would see the book “802.11 Wireless Networks: the Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition” in a bookstore and say “Ooh, I’ve been meaning to study those!” But that’s exactly what I did about six weeks ago: I pulled that book off the shelf and spent the next hour absorbed in the arcane realm of TCP/IP, 802.11 WLANs, and WPA/PSK. See? Looks like nonsense syllables to anyone who hasn’t studied magic computers, right? And let me tell you, if you get your WPA configuration wrong, your wireless network will just plain not work. It will sit there and do absolutely nothing useful. Until you contact your local “computer wizard” (see? even the terminology carries over) and get him to fix it. Then suddenly everything works, and your wireless NOTwork has been turned into a wireless NETwork.

I think there’s a reason why fantasy worlds like Tolkien’s appeal to so many computer geeks. It’s because, in a way, they’re a reflection of the work that geeks do.

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