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Sep 6, 2010
@Dilgal - You need to hire someone like Wally as a developer to go up against this tester!
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Aug 13, 2010
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Aug 11, 2010
And then, of course, there is the wonderfully !$%*!$ problem of interpreting any data that might exist, fake or not, not to mention fake/real interpretations to boot. All of this leads to your basic Thelma and Louise outcome as a result of the law of unintended consequences....
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Aug 11, 2010
The product fails because the test, not the product, is flawed. So just omit the flawed test -- less effort, better results. This message has been approved by Wally.
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Aug 11, 2010
I read today that "humor stems from a benign violation of the way the world ought to be."


According to the new theory, if a joke announces some kind of potentially disturbing anomaly -- revealing something that the reader finds unacceptable -- the outcome can nevertheless be funny if everything turns out okay in the end. I guess that's the difference between comedy and tragedy, in the classical sense.

In today's strip, it's not clear at first that everything really is okay in the end. After all, Dilbert and the boss are planning a conspiracy to fool the customers. That might be troubling.

But maybe, in this case, the important emotional aspect of the anomaly relates only to the immediate sense of embarrassment we feel about Dilbert's request to fake the data. Dilbert doesn't usually participate voluntarily in such unethical conduct. He is morally superior to those around him, and we expect him to uphold that image!

But then it turns out that the boss, anyway, can't possibly disapprove of Dilbert's request, because as far as PHB is concerned, such data is always fake.

Suddenly, then, it appears that there is literally no problem, as if the sea had suddenly risen to cover up a potentially dangerous rock. To all appearances, after the sea rises (because the boss's fantasy world features very high water), there is no rock. It does not, and never did exist. No one can ever find out about Dilbert's evil impulse.

This relieves our concern that Dilbert might disappoint us by appearing less than morally upright, and thus the strip is funny.

Naturally I fully expect everyone here to accept my analysis without further discussion or acrimony. Please -- no dissent!
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