A QB test and a Valentine’s Day playlist

First off, sorry for not posting yesterday. As you may have guessed, I got sucked into the endless labyrinth of simmering rage in the comments sections over at Lawyers/Guns/Money, which I encourage everyone to check out if your current boredom level is “critical” or higher on the Kinsey Disaffection Scale.

I haven’t been totally idle. Here’s my Valentine’s Day mix, courtesy of Spotify.

The mix was prepared in the traditional manner, by which I mean only after I re-watched the mixtape scene from High Fidelity. As I wrote on Twitter, transitioning from Janis Joplin’s “One Night Stand” into Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” is probably the greatest segue I’ll ever achieve. It’s all downhill from here.

I’ve no idea if you still need an invite to sign up for free music on Spotify, but if so, email me and I’ll happily invite you.

Finally, alert reader Nathan of Perth wrote in with some fresh Quantum-Botticelli results! I celebrated by taking another one of those awful Jungian personality tests on Facebook, where every question asks you whether or not you enjoy planning stuff. My official score was “somebody who, generally speaking, would prefer not to overdo it with the planning and the logic.” This makes me similar to well-known anti-planning, irrational historical figures like Alexander the Great and Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

The nice part is that I don’t know Nathan from Adam, so I’m not bringing any background knowledge into play when analyzing his results. It’s not quite a blank slate, though, since of course his gender and his slightly old-fashioned “from Perth” are right there in his name.

Let’s begin!


Nathan, the sense I get from looking at your test results is that you’ve been out of school for at least a little while, and work at a job that you consider pretty OK. It’s not always an interesting job, and I’d be surprised if it corresponded exactly to your major in college/university…but that’s not the end of the world, since you’re curious by nature, fairly active, and pursuing a range of intellectual interests on your own time. You’re in at least Year 3 of your job, and may stay with it for many more years.

I’m guessing that you’re not yet married with kids, but that, in some loose sense, you imagine that for the future. (As with all of this, I could be totally wrong.) I’ll also go ahead and wager that a lot of your interests are indoors stuff, including reading and roaming about on the Web.

Your results suggest both shyness and a fairly laid-back attitude. That’s not a common combination. I’d guess that your job is compatible with your temperament, enabling you to do a fair amount of independent work, and sparing you (at least for the most part) the more gregarious types of white-collar work: consecutive meetings, mandatory schmoozing, etc.

Outside of work, I’d guess that you’re happy with your local circle of friends, even though you have some significant differences of opinion with them. That could either be because the group is ideologically diverse, or because you’re a minor exception to (what is otherwise) the rule. This is potentially true of any group of people, but what I mean is that these disputes occasionally catch fire, and can even lead to acrimony; you and your friends talk about things at length, exchange ideas, and are willing to argue about a topic point-by-point.

You’re interested in politics and a variety of other fields of knowledge, and you probably read across a range of academic disciplines. At the same time, you tend to get frustrated by the contentious nature of debates over cultural and intellectual issues; often, this strikes you as a result of the narcissism of small differences. I doubt, along these same lines, that you feel much affection for “hipsters.” (As for other common character types, such as would-be “alpha males,” your basic plan is to avoid those idiots, by avoiding the idiotic places they congregate to exchange business cards. “Going out” is probably not hugely important to you in the first place.) If your parents/siblings are alive, I’d guess that you’re able to see them at least twice a year, even if they don’t all live together.

I’d guess that you’re more interested in books and journalism than you are in pop music, though you probably do collect music, making some effort to hear new stuff. Film: somewhere between a couple DVDs and a small shelf, with some “classic films” (that you bought because you genuinely like them), a few accidental purchases and gifts, and a few pieces of nostalgia. Your friends likely watch more TV than you do, even if you have gotten into shows here and there over the years.

That’s about as much as this form of the test can deliver. I’m certainly becoming aware of some major holes: for example, the test doesn’t say anything about romantic relationships, so I wouldn’t be able to make any guesses about that, or (as the Jungian test does) about your “strengths” and “weaknesses” in relationships. Certainly, if I ever wanted this test to really catch on, I’d have to add in some lovey-dovey stuff.

Your answers were interesting, likable, and honest (at least judging by all appearances).

If nothing else, if these results produce (at the least) some bewildered chuckles, I’ll know my work has not been in vain. When it comes to Groundbreaking Thinkers like myself (and Thomas “Teddy” Edison), that’s the most important thing.