Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Geeks Rule the World, part 2

Ok, not the usual grist for the mill, but I just ran across 10 Books Not To Read Before You Die, which is a major exercise in reverse snobbery.

Fair disclosure, I've read three of the books on the list: Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, and Lord of the Rings. I have near misses with three others, having read The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway), The Odyssey (Homer), and How Proust Can Change Your Life (I highly recommend it, its (ahem) pleasantly short).

Now, I'm a live and let live kind of elf. My usual policy would be to just ignore this kind of stuff. After all, reading good books is reserved for people who can appreciate them. It's all about your connection with the book. But that's not what the writer of the article thinks. Here's what he writes about Lord of the Rings:

The best I can say about this book is that it was a very useful tool at school for helping to choose your friends. Carrying a copy of Tolkien’s monstrous tome was the equivalent of a leper’s bell: ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ I knew I would have nothing in common with anyone who had read it. Their taste in music, clothes, television, everything was predetermined by their devotion to Gandalf. Without a shadow of a doubt, in a few years, these people would be going to Peter Gabriel gigs and reading Dune.

I've read Dune, check. Never been to Peter Gabriel concert, nor bought any records.

This got me to wondering what would happen if all the people in the world who have read LOTR suddenly were carried away, rapture-like, to Valinor? You know, we diminish, and go into the East? What would the world be like? I mean, besides all the empty cubes at Google? I can guarantee that the Google logo would never have a funny cartoon ever again. We'd never get any new content for our MMO fix, but then, we'd be in Valinor, so we wouldn't care, would we? You know, this might make a good idea for a book, or even a series, don't you think?

Accountants, engineers, scientists, who needs 'em? We don't need experts to tell us how to run things, just smack it a few times, it'll run. Oh and those artsy-fartsy writers and artists? That's just sissy crap, too. The reality TV shows would still be running fine, I'll bet.

The military might be affected. The odd jarhead might be gone, but what will really hurt is when all of their computers stop working one by one, because there will be no one to tell people to try rebooting the system, and be sure to check if you plugged it in.

Oh, and there wouldn't be any more Vin Diesel movies either. But maybe that doesn't bother you so much.


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