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Re: Funnier than Dilbert/Open Source

From: J the Crusader
Email: cmsjeast@livjm.ac.uk
Remote Name: 150.204.50.50

Comments

At face value, fair enough. It's ultimately irrelevant to the argument but I wouldn't want you to think that I can't see the humour in Dilbert. I actually enjoy it and haven't got anything in particular against when judged purely on that basis.

The problem is how far you let it impinge on your psyche. 'Dilbert is funny' one thing, but 'Dilbert is real life'? It's a cartoon innit!! I suspect the underlying reason for Dilbert's success is that far too many people 'identify' with him which, for reasons I hinted at in the previous post, would be logically impossible if it were based on accurate observation of the workplace. Scott Adams is aware of the fact that people would rather NOT be on the receiving end of a joke, thereby ensuring that this 'identification' process occurs (even though in many cases it is the result of vanity).

This sets up a mindset into which various ideas and perceptions can be framed as truisms (hence 'Dilbert is real life' etc) rather than subjective opinions worthy of challenge. I have seen this process in action when presented with the 'Dilbert' cartoons on the slide presentations. We (presumably) have been subtly co-erced into thinking that 'Unix purists are snobs and bigots' 'Myers-Briggs tests are useless' etc (and I am sure) etc. Valid opinions, but opinions nonetheless.

As regards Scott Adams, he openly admits that his sole motivation is fiscal. Nothing wrong with that, but considering how it is in his interest to maximise his potential audience I would be wary of taking this man's 'real life' without a ton or two of salt. After all, you can't sell as much merchandising to an elite can you?

<not a flame war - purely discussion - merry Xmas>

Last changed: October 05, 2001