Data Comic Strips
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A large man enters Dilbert's cubicle and says, "Yo, Dilbert, give me your lunch money or I'll erase your data diskettes." Dilbert replies, "Touch my data and I'll erase any mention of you from the main payroll computer." Beads of sweat flies from the man's head and he says, "No . . . Please, I'm sorry." Dilbert turns toward the reader and says, "Nothing is more pathetic than an aging school bully." The man says, "I took shop; I can make you some nice bookends."
Dilbert sits at his desk. Dilbert thinks, "I've got to make the engineering newsletter more interesting." Dilbert thinks, "It needs pathos and human drama." Dilbert reads from a printout, "How to cope with the loss of loved data . . ." Dogbert says, "Wait . . . I better get some tissues."
Dilbert sits at a conference table with three people from marketing. A woman says, "Maybe Dilbert can explain to the marketing people how the system works." Dilbert thinks, "Uh-oh." Dilbert says, "Uh . . . So the electrons alter the data bits . . . And then they go to the virtual array where they conflugalize. Got it?" The woman asks, "How many of those words did you just make up?" Dilbert thinks, "They're on to me."
Dilbert sits at the desk and Dogbert sits next to him. Dilbert says, "There . . . I think I've invented a way to send vast amounts of data without fiber optic cables." Dilbert continues, "It's a simple application of J. S. Bell's theorem. He showed that if you break up a molecule and change the spin of one electron, the spin of the other electrons originally joined will immediately change too, no matter where they are." Dilbert asks, "What do you think the fiber optic industry will give me for this." Dogbert replies, "A horse's head in your bed."
Dogbert sits on the hassock watching television. A newscaster says, "The budget for education was cut ten million dollars." Dogbert thinks, "Is that a big percentage? Does it make any difference?" The reporter says, "Congress considered a music safety law after studies showed a ten percent increase in piano-related deaths." Dogbert wonders, "How does that compare to other health risks? Should I be concerned?" The newscaster continues, "Lawmakers debated a bill to lower capital gains tax rates . . ." Dogbert thinks, "What do most economists think? Would it stimulate the economy much? Should I care?" The newscaster continues, "A new poll show that many voters have strong opinions on these issues despite the fact that we provide no useful contextual data." Dogbert walks away with his ears standing up. He thinks, "I've got to stop watching scary shows right before bedtime."
A man stands in front of Dogbert's desk and says, "We don't need any of your 'intuition' mumbo jumbo. We need quantitative data!" The man continues, "The only way to make decisions is to pull numbers out of the air, call them 'assumptions,' and calculate the net present value." The man continues, "Of course, you have to use the right discount rate, otherwise it's meaningless." Dogbert says, "Go away."
Dogbert sits in the chair. Dilbert says, "Look what I got for my computer! It's a romostatic real-time data compression processor!" Dilbert walks away saying, "Oooh . . . I can't wait to plug you in, my little darling. I've waited so long." Dilbert says, "Oh yes! Yes!" Dogbert asks, "Does the church know about this?"
Dilbert stands across from the Boss's desk and says, "Government statistics show that office productivity went DOWN as computers became widely used." Dilbert continues, "But I didn't believe it." Dilbert says, "So I wrote a little software program to test that conclusion." Dilbert continues, "It only tood a month, but it produced some impressive data." Dilbert continues, "In fact, it was so impressive it took a week to figure out how to print it." Dilbert continues, "But before I could print, my computer crashed and I didn't have backup copies." Dilbert concludes, "So, it seems the government was right; computers are to blame for the decline in productivity." The Boss asks, "Do you think the employees could be partly responsible?" Dilbert replies, "Sure, find a scapegoat."
Dilbert sits in his chair and Dogbert stands on the hassock holding a stack of documents. Dogbert says, "I'm building a permanent file of all the stupid things you say." Dilbert replies, "At least it's only a few pages long." Dogbert says, "This is just the table of contents." Dogbert continues, "The full database will be compressed on CD ROMS." Dogbert points to a man and says, "I hired Juan and his crew to design the system and type in the data." Juan says, "We're working overtime." Juan continues, "The new computer center is done . . . We had to level the neighbor's garage." Dilbert asks Dogbert, "By any chance, are you still upset that I asked you to fetch my slippers?" Dogbert asks Juan, "Did you get that one?" Juan writes on his clipboard and replies, "I'll need to hire more people."
The boss: engineering is simple. you start by questioning the employees who would get fired if you succeeded. The Boss: Then you use data to design a more efficient business process. Dilbert: So...you say you use flying monkeys to deliver the finished design? Men: They're very fast.