Talk:Dilbert

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Induhvidual[edit]

Thank you for finding a home for the induhvidual article, AstroNomer! :-) FWIW, talk specific to that article can still be found at talk:Induhvidual. <>< tbc

Removal of images[edit]

I guess the topmost image Dilbert Intro can be removed. The middle one too because I'm stoopid. Jay 18:50, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Why? --mav 00:12, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
ummm... didn't think of a reason really. The topmost image because its just a name. And the middle image because its sort of a duplicate of the third. Moreover dilbert is showing his back to us, which is kind of unaesthetic for an image. Jay 13:43, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)


All three images seem to be dead. Is there an explanation...? alerante | Talk 02:01, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Yes. See Wikipedia:Village pump. --mav

Since no one has opposed it, I plan to remove the images Dilburt_intro.jpg and Dilburt _at_computer.jpg from this page. And because of server problems, the images are lost for now. So until they are re-uploaded/restored, I plan to comment out Dilburt_and_Dogburt.jpg Jay 08:32, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I second. The broken images are not what most people are going to want to see in an encyclopedia. [ alerante 22:54, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC) ]

Hmm ... there's a link to an image of the 19 November 2002 Dilbert strip. There are a couple of problems:

  • It uses an external link, not a wiki link;
  • It's been uploaded by someone with a sparse edit history (1);
  • And it could be a copyvio.

Should it be removed? Now irrelevant. [ alerante 21:29, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC) ]


Is it recommended to add ISBNs to the list of books? [ alerante | “” 22:15, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC) ]

In general, bibliographies should always include the ISBNs - David Gerard 18:13, Apr 28, 2004 (UTC)

TV Series[edit]

Like in most wikipedia articles the show should be a sparate entry. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.112.73.252 (talk) 06:00, 14 January 2007 (UTC).

Agreed. — RevRagnarok Talk Contrib 11:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Alice's pay[edit]

Is Alice really the "highest paid engineer in the company"?

For:

  • I think she said so in the 03/16/98 strip.

Against:

  • In the 7/23/03 strip, Wally claims that he is "the highest paid in the department."
Maybe he managed to wrangle a pay-rise between '98 and '03? Neo

actually, he was trying to get alice angry so she would bend a steel rod into a u-shape40k fan 19:05, 11 August 2007 (UTC) Neutral:

  • In the 1/25/04 strip, Alice compares the CEO's earnings to her own, revealing that she makes about $100000 anually.

Maybe the phrasing could be altered to "she was for a while the highest paid..." as this is verifiable (03/16/98 strip) and will always remain true. - Neo 12:13, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In one of the Sunday strips (I can't remember which one) Dilbert and Wally say that Alice is the only one who ever gets a payrise.HyperHobbes 13:53, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Engineer[edit]

Is it ever revealed what type of egningeer Dilbert is (Mechanical/Software etc)? --Commander Keane 11:30, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC) In the television series he works on both Hardware (the Gruntmeister 3000) and Software projects (the electronic voting system). I haven't read enough of the cartoon strip. --Neo 13:04, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sometimes Dilbert is writing code, but he has worked on a variety of projects in the comic strip, such as designing a safe nuclear power plant. In the 03/25/96 strip, the marketing department says that they want Dilbert and Wally's software product to be changed to hardware. And in the 08/13/95 strip Dilbert was described as an "ant farm engineer." Likewise, Dilbert's company seems to be very diversified. BuilderQ 18:29, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I believe it is because you're more likely to be able to relate to Dilbert if he has a wide variety of traits. More professionals from different industries can relate because Dilbert's company can do anything. Bttfvgo (talk) 18:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I worked on a project for AT&T. Mostly in San Francisco. They weren't exactly a company of smiles, but personal expression wasn't especially supressed. Except in one respect, in their San Ramon, CA office. It was widely understood that the inspiration for Dilbert came from their facility, and there were absolutely no Dilbert cartoons on cube walls. San Ramon was involved with the usual range of engineer functions related to (pre-cell, pre-wireless) telephones. Dilbert was an AT&T telephone engineer. Pretty sure this was true, because San Ramon managers didn't find the topic funny ... at all. 76.126.217.195 (talk) 00:58, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Other characters[edit]

Please add the icons from the other minor characters.- B-101 20:39, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I added all the ones I could find... maybe someone with a Dilbert book can do the rest? -SCEhardt 22:58, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I would like to say that you are missing Rocky the C programmer and he is a minor charector. You are also missing the hot coworker that sits on dilberts lap, The little girl that is a black belt in karate and mother nature

The name of the little girl is Noriko.HyperHobbes 13:56, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

The following page is the best! [1] Bttfvgo (talk) 18:01, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Elbonia[edit]

Does anyone seriously doubt that Elbonia was inspired in part by Albania? I thought that a technologically backwards, eastern-European country named ?lb?nia, where men wear brimless hats and facial hair, and that's just opened its doors to the free market was a pretty transparent joke. The quirks about it being all mud, the women having beards, neighboring Kneebonia, etc. were just additional jokes to add on once he had a name for the place; they don't serve as evidence that it wasn't named after Albania. Tverbeek 15:27, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I am sure that that story of Elbonia's origins sounds very plausible and Elbonia may well have been inspired in part by Albania, but unless you can cite a reference to that in one of Scott Adam's writings or websites, then it remains just conjecture and not fact. Dabbler 22:28, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OK, and I'm rephrasing the reference to Albania to make it more simply factual, but I don't think Kneebonia has any bearing on the credibility of that conjecture, as you put it in the article. Whether Elbonia was inspired by Albania or by Topeka, Kneebonia is still just a joke based on the name Elbonia. Tverbeek 11:43, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Is Elbonia in Eastern Europe? I always assumed that it was somewhere within the American more than the European sphere of influence, and the name is quite similar to some S. American nations (Columbia or Bolivia).
I think that its inappropriate to put any unverified claims - if it is so obvious that Elbonia is indeed named after Albania, then let the reader of the article draw his own conclusions. --Neo 11:52, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)
I also am dubious about the Eastern European claim. To me the Elbonians are not particularly Albanian. That too is a conjecture not a fact. And the Kneebonia reference is part of the equation/joke, so I will put it back in. Dabbler 13:20, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Elbonia is not cover in mud. but covered in differnt surfaces , some food and some not depent on region / state . see dilbert newsletters.

Norman Solomon[edit]

Edward Nilges (spinoza1111) contibutes another way of reading Dilbert based on Norman Solomon's book "The Trouble with Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh".

And I added my two pence worth to try and put it in perspective. The lengthy citation of that book looks like an attempt to push a personal point of view within the supposed guidelines of the wikipedia. I recommend that you make a brief reference to the book on the Dilbert page and put the rest in another article that's about Solomon and his own obviously anarchistic and humorless agenda. Wahkeenah 1 July 2005 09:58 (UTC)

The entire thing is too POV. I reverted. It should really be rewritten completely to meet NPOV. « alerante   » 1 July 2005 18:18 (UTC)

Ed Nilges (spinoza1111) reply: the problem is that Dilbert, and commentary which puts no space between itself and the object of commentary, IS a POV, and this is Norman Solomon's point. He shows how the strip (through the crude and ironic drawing) pushes one point of view, which is that corporate life sucks, but that there is no alternative to it...which there is.

In fact, in view of outsourcing, corporate life as portrayed in Dilbert has an increasing "outside" in that this lifestyle, portrayed as without alternatives, is being deconstructed.

As a result, the entire article minus my contribution is an advertisement for Dilbert and as such is a global POV, and, for balance, it needs to show how there is another way of dealing with the strip, other than saying, oh, that's just like my life and it is so kewl, because it shows that I don't have to have borders and I am not responsible for my choices. Nor is my work product, being so utterly without meaning, morally responsible (in Ward Churchill's view) for suffering.

Having said this, I agree that as presently written the article is POV. I will redraft it and repost it in a few days. I would at this time appreciate more comments.

Norman Solomon, I am certain, is neither anarchistic nor humorless and part of the Dilbert phenomenon is that it treats any suggestion that "another world is possible" with savage irony and put-downs. For example, Wally's schemes to be a real engineer, in the model of perhaps Wally's father, come to naught in a sort of global snigger that such an obviously inadequate individual (inadequate, that is, from the tawdry standards of the strip's creator, which include only money and fame) should actually so buck the hegemonic system.

The fact is that in the 1970s, office workers were treated with more respect and as adults, with the result that Gerald Weinberg, in The Psychology of Computer Programming, showed how these office workers, as "mere" programmers, could act like adults without excess irony, and produce a better product, in "the structured walkthrough".

But as a result in some small part of Dilbert, structured walkthroughs conducted by adults have become a thing of the past, for the Dilbert psychology now involves the players in a cynical game with a Ratbert-dominated company, in which they are being ripped off and rip off in return. But because structures of authority in these types of company are so hidden, they are exercised, in Foucault's sense, through sour forms of "pleasure", which include, in real companies, sniggering comparisions of the humanity of fellow workers to characters in a goddamn comic strip.

In other words, people, grow up, and through Wikipedia grow OUT of a structure that might look pleasant from the inside but was created for the purpose of expropriating such as you.

This has been my POV. I agree that Wikipedia articles need NPOV and I agree that my contribution as drafted was POV. Therefore, after reading any comments to this POV, I shall revise and make it more neutral. But as it stands, the article is POV and a commercial for nasty and trivial popcult flotsam.

Edward G. Nilges uid spinoza1111 7-3-2005

Further comment from Ed: I can do one of two things, and I want your opinion on this.

(1) I can insert a very brief section entitled "Another reading of Dilbert" and say ONLY "Not everybody is a fan of Dilbert. Norman Solomon (insert link to book) believes that Dilbert reproduces acceptance of a corporate lifestyle with an ironic shrug".

(2) Or, I can introduce in addition to Solomon some additional references to deconstruction of popular culture that show how it reproduces conventional attitudes which only seem to have any distance from structures of power and control.

Comments, please.

>>> I think a brief reference to it pointing to another page would be sufficient.

I would like to restate what it is that troubles me about the Solomon book and about your view in support of it.

A core tenet of the argument is that Dilbert puts people down by calling them in"duh"viduals, which the author apparently finds scandalous, although Scott Adams has said, and everyone knows it's true, that "We are all idiots at from time to time". Yet, another core tenet of the argument seems to be that the people who find Dilbert funny are somehow too stupid to see Solomon's viewpoint. Therefore, it is Solomon himself who is ends up labeling people 'in"duh"viduals'.

I think of myself as moderately liberal politically, but one thing that is very annoying about too many liberals (and too many conservatives also) is their compelling need to lecture people about what they should like or not like.

Alan King once said that "The world is full of little dictators trying to run your life". That is a creed that I try to live by. There is little that gets under my skin more than people telling me how I should think. As I said before, no one forced Dilbert to work for that company. Well, technically, Scott Adams did, because he drew the strip. But employees at a corporation are there because they choose to be. They have made a decision that whatever negatives that exist in the company are outweighed by the benefits. And if, at some point, they no longer believe that to be the case, they can look for work elsewhere if they want to. They are not little robots, although Solomon's attitude seems to be that they are, simply because they don't see things his way.

One thing about politicians is that they seldom understand the nature of satire. Dilbert makes fun of stuff that people who work in corporations can relate to. You cite Dilbert's situation as "intolerable". No, living in a war zone would be intolerable... unless you happen to like warfare. Maybe the corporate work life would be intolerable to you, and you have the right to not work in a corporation. Solomon falls into the "nannyism" trap when he cops the attitude that people who work in corporations are too stupid to realize their situation and tries to lecture others about what they should find tolerable or intolerable. The people in those situations have the right and the intelligence to make that decision for themselves, to decide what is best for themselves, not what is best for someone else, some self-styled dictator who thinks that everyone should think a certain way. Wahkeenah 3 July 2005 14:31 (UTC)


From Edward G. Nilges:

Mr. Wahkeenah pretty much sums up the arguments that have been fashionable since the 1970s for going with the flow: "freedom", "individual choice", and so forth.

The problem is that a midlevel corporate job, in most cases, is an "individual choice" to *alienate*, to sacrifice, freedom of choice in a number of areas on work premises and on work time, and, increasingly off the job (where, in recent years, employers have been enforcing off-premises lifestyle rules such as nonsmoking).

Recall what the Constitution says about "inalienable" rights. This is a right a person has even if he says he willingly forgoes it.

In all too many dysfunctional corporations (where dysfunctional corporations may comprise the norm), the employee makes what in law would be an unenforceable bargain as seen in Dilbert, for the company agrees to provide pay and benefits, but not, as seen in IBM and General Motors, then, after the fact, make constant war on the benefits in the name of cost savings, while the employee, subject to deliberately vague language about being a team player, has made an open-ended (and thus unenforceable under ordinary arm's-length contract law) committment to do, at the unprotected, non-union, white collar level...just about anything to please the boss.

Peter Drucker and C. Wright Mills both noticed how the white collar system rests on something of a lie. In America, it admits no regulating rule apart from laissez-faire results in fair competition among equals, but INSIDE the corporation, the white collar employees are placed in a classic double bind.

According to the ethic of competition, they must "compete" with each other, and they do, by fair means and foul, to the extent that the company must then institute "team-building" nonsense to restore the natural human desire to cooperate as well as compete that the rhetoric of laissez-faire destroys. But for the company to work, they must cooperate, as in Gerald Weinberg's example of the ideal "egoless" programming structured walkthrough, or as seen in Extreme programming (a phenomenon which also scares managers).

The nihilistic void at the heart of Dilbert's world is the result, for the unresolved contradiction MEANS that it is impossible, within the double bind, to be "adequate" except on Ratbert's terms, where the "adequacy" is exactly equivalent to the amount of the paychecks and the executive perks.

This structure, with a destructive contradiction at its heart, is "naturalized" by Dilbert, as I've said, for its creator never presents an alternative. But in fact it arose only in the Reagan years which sharpened the contradiction between competition and cooperation by placing white-collar employees in increasingly destructive competition with each other...while still calling, of course, for collective work product.

Prior to that time, there was a space created, for example for valued software people, in which they (officially in the case of IBM and NASA) had the RIGHT to stop a project in its tracks through "pushback" if they, in good faith, had technical and scientific objections. One simply cannot imagine Dilbert or Wally having, sodden as they are with self-defeating irony, the knowledge when they are acting in good faith.

And today, the world of Dilbert is increasingly disappearing in the USA for software developers owing to globalization. Already, in the 1980s, good women software developers were, it seems from my experience (which happens to be wide), being systematically eradicated to present a white, young, studly male face to the venture capital gods of the 1990s...to assure aliterate and in some cases strikingly ignorant men with money that scientific problems could be solved in minutes.

Dilbert's creator's response? An ignorant and racist lampooning of Indian developers and little else. Oooh their faces are brown, they must be H1-B, their name must be Asok and their responses completely scripted.

As to your argument that Dilbert makes a "choice": this is nonsense because in a free-market economy, one has the ability to make an optimizing free choice only when one has frictionless access to cash or credit, unlimited for all practical purposes relative to one's goals. This is the situation of a company with a reasonably good Moody's score or a family with a rational mortgage and some savings.

However, most Americans, including many engineers, are so leveraged with debt that all that stands between them and homelessness is the job. They don't live in the friction-free deep space of ideal neoclassical economics, instead in quantum space where IF the balloon payment on the oh-so "creative" mortgage, obtained when the man of the house had a developer job paying 150K in 1999, is NOT made, the sherriff, in places like California, gives them 15 minutes to pack and leave.

Victim blaming talk, talk of "inDUHviduals" and their "choices" (seen by the talker as "bad" in all cases post facto, when the inDUHvidual has come a cropper), insulates fat and ignorant Americans from the quantum reality until it doesn't, but at that point irony and victim-blaming, and talk of "freedom", deprives them quite literally of a language for narrating their lives ... except as "recovery" from an ever-expanding list of personal disorders, vaguely related to defects of character, which are nonetheless addressed by an ever-expanding list of dangerous and untested psychoactive medications.

In fine, to say "we are all idiots", to say "we are always free" is necessarily talk that is free of content and unfalsifiable. As political talk necessary to the survival of an ideological system it is equivalent to Communist talk about the proletariat because it has no outside EXCEPT a small torus of "irony" and satire"...of the same sort that appeared *samizdat* under Communism, with the critical difference that laissez-faire has long learned how to live with this torus or ring of "irony" and "satire".

Finally, we have that oh so weary claim, that somehow "liberals" with Jewish-sounding names like Norman Solomon are lecturing us hep cats, and telling us what to do and how to think.

News fa lash. When you crack a goddamn nonfiction book, you're paying the author to tell you in many cases what to do and in all cases how to think. When you go to skewl, same deal.

Of course, I am well aware that many Americans don't read anymore because as freeborn bigod Americans they are indeed bored out of their skulls with liberals and other stinkers who might know a thing or two, and would rather read Dilbert collections.

This is BECAUSE these collections reconcile the reader to lives that free men and women would find completely intolerable, in which their creativity and hard work is AT ONE AND THE SAME TIME demanded without union protection against long hours or the theft of pension, and consistently disrespected, because the white collar system runs on low self-esteem.

Dilbert universalizes and naturalizes this evanescent system but on Sep 11, a prophecy of hero computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra came to mind. He felt that given the anti-intellectualism of systems creators and their search, under laissez-faire, for the easy way out would ultimately cause the collapse of organizations built on poor business intelligence, and on September 11 this may have been what we saw. For ultimately, the system EITHER failed to foresee resistance to its ideology, OR (in the words of the investigating committee) was "blinking red" while Bush in Ratbert style took a fucking vacation, or both.

As to "satire". "It's satire". "You humorless Feminazis and libs don't understand satire". I understand "satire" more than you because the target of satire is under NO moral law to grin and bear it. Lorne Michaels and the original crew of Saturday Night Live buckled under corporate network pressure and the result by 1979 was that Gareth Morris and later Eddie Murphy were capering and gibbering TARGETS of racist "satire" for the amusement of drunken, stoned white hep cats. Basically, in Amerikkka, it is IMPOSSIBLE to speak truth to power as satire except "affectionately" in the Friar's roast sense because people like Scott Adams, who measure their self worth and those of others by the amount of money they have, live in fear of advertisers picking up the phone.

I am going to put in a simple, one sentence section labeled "deconstructing Dilbert" with a pointer to Norman Solomon's goddamn book. Fair enough or what?

Yup. Wahkeenah 4 July 2005 10:57 (UTC)

Edward Nilges replies: I didn't keep my word completely, Mr Wahkeenah, and for this I apologize sincerely. Instead I added a short section of more than one sentence because I decided on one or two further links to books that "deconstruct" Dilbert. Let's see how this edit fares with other readers and writers.

You are still liable to get zapped for pushing a Point of View, and the essence of the argument still boils down to someone trying to tell someone else what they should like or not like, how they should run their life, and that they are too stupid to see things the author's way. Wahkeenah 4 July 2005 13:57 (UTC)

Zap away, pard. And as I have said you cannot escape the fact that any book, even a 'pedia, is looked to by its reader for value judgements and information, both guides to how the reader should run his life.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica made global value judgements INCLUDING the superiority of white men in general and British men in particular.

Wikipedia can do better. But in so doing, it has to make an convey a value judgement that it is BETTER to be tolerant and to be global, and respect world input.

The very idea that learning and culture can make room for a return to barbarism is uniquely American. It's the slob who sits like Bush in the back of a university class and reasons that a widening tolerance can be negated by having to tolerate his defects of character and gluttony.

It mistakes tolerance for vacuity.

Dilbert is a global point of view that has walled itself off from critique through irony so that for its creator the dollars keep coming. Its creator doesn't have a shred of artistic integrity like the guy who drew Calvin and Hobbes and who realized that within the constraints of a comic strip, he could only go so far with the limited license afforded by "boys will be boys".

Therefore I am relieved to see a limited section on Criticism with my references. The wording is a bit clumsy and I will tweak it only.

7-10-2005 Edward G. Nilges (spinoza1111, email me at spinoza1111@yahoo.com)

I be chilling with the final paragraph inserted, which is that the "possible flaw" is that hell, Dilbert is justa cartoon giving the office worker a chuckle or two as he goes to work. Except I don't think it's a flaw. We're reconciled to power by pleasure.


This is all absurd and practically insane. Norman Solomon's book deserves ONE sentence in this article, nothing more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.230.111.10 (talk) 17:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Splitting into multiple articles[edit]

As the article is approaching 35 kilobytes long, I propose that the the article spin off its characters section into multiple articles:

Current section New article
Dilbert#Dilbert Dilbert (character)
Dilbert#Dogbert Dogbert
Dilbert#Ratbert Ratbert
Dilbert#Catbert Catbert
Dilbert#Pointy-Haired Boss Pointy-Haired Boss
Dilbert#Wally Wally (Dilbert character)
Dilbert#Alice Alice (Dilbert character)
Dilbert#Asok Asok (Dilbert character)
Dilbert#Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light
Dilbert#Elbonians merge to Elbonia
Dilbert#Other characters List of minor characters in Dilbert

A Category:Dilbert characters should also be created. Some of the sections may be too short to merit their own articles (especially the last few), and can be thrown into the list of minor characters. Anyone? « alerante   » 1 July 2005 18:26 (UTC)

Edward Nilges uid spinoza1111: what's the point of having ANY articles about a trivial and nasty popular culture phenomenon (see my comments above) that through irony doesn't even allow the reader to engage it creatively, for all responses are through irony scripted and anticipated with an adolescent smirk?

What'd the "real" Captain Kirk say on Saturday Night Live?

Wasn't it "get a life"?

At a minimum Star Trek fans CREATIVELY responded to Star Trek and used it for HUMANISTIC ends whereas Dilbert, through irony, allows its fans to choose only to be Dilbert, or Wally, or Asok, or Alice.

Get a life! Create a life!

1) Please sign your responses with ~~~~ after your post. 2) This is Wikipedia, and its goal is to cover (nearly) everything of notability. « alerante   » 5 July 2005 00:37 (UTC)
Spinoza - What the HELL are you babbling about? This is why I don't bother to get seriously involved with Wikipedia... apparently we have to take people like you seriously. If it's just a "trivial pop culture phenomenon", I don't see why you've spent pages upon pages in the talk page here ejaculating pyschobabble about it. Someone's taking a comic strip too seriously, and all signs point to you.

This is Ed Nilges (aka spinoza11111): what the HELL am I talking about? I'll tell you.

You say "someone is taking a comic strip too seriously, and all signs point to Nilges-spinoza".

This is BULLSHIT.

I come upon an article in what is supposed to be an encyclopedia which is before my contribution overlong, with detailed and reverent treatment of Dilbert.

Yes, Dilbert is notable: hell, Time nominated Hitler for Man of the Year because Hitler was notable. At the same time, they put CRITICAL DISTANCE between themselves and Hitler. They did NOT merely describe Naziism as an amusing Pop culture phenomenon, with torchlight parades and beating up Jews.

Somebunny is taking a comic strip TOO SERIOUSLY, and news fa lash: it ain't me, Babe.

I contributed in the genuine Wikipedia tradition, to balance an implicit POV ("Dilbert is a significant Pop culture phenomenon, and all who pretent to be wise hep cats gotta know all about Dilbert with no backtalk"), an implicit POV which fattens the wallet of an INCOMPETENT comic artist, a pointer to Norman Solomon and a discussion of same.

It was then cut down, and I worked with serious people who differed with me to arrive at a final short section which also points to additional resources on the GENUINE nature of white collar work, including Braverman, C. Wright Mills, and Drucker.

And you DARE to make this accusation, that I am crapping up Wikipedia?

Get lost. Go jump in the lake. I came across a normalized deviant article which was the sort of crap to which William Shatner said "get a life". The sort of loser fandom which pretends that the learned man has to know about vicious and nasty comics which INSULT working people, the sort of loser fandom which has no critical distance.

Master Kong Fu (Confucius) knew that the learned man would be selective and would not feel to learn the pornographic drunken songs of Li Po. But it seems in Amerikkka, Dilbert and Saturday Night Live have normalized the DEVIANCE of believing that ironic hep cats and kittens will just suck up the anhedonic and classist Dilbert with no back talk.

I made a MASSIVE improvement to the POV of this article and made it more in the wiki spirit.

Edward G. Nilges

Earlier, you were saying that there is no notability, and now you're claiming there is? (By the way, I wouldn't invoke Godwin's Law so early if I were you.) « alerante   » 12:58, 12 July 2005 (UTC)


Since no one has raised any real objections, I will begin splitting the characters into their own articles after giving about a week for anyone to speak up that hasn't yet. æle 18:21, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

To Edward G. Nilges, This is a little (okay, a lot) late, but the other dude was right. You invoked Godwin's Law on the Dilbert talk page. You are not only taking a cartoon too seriously, you have officially gone off the deep end. It's people like you who give the left a bad name, what with you're mentioning Hitler and the Nazis when talking about anyone and anything you don't like. It's as bad as conservatives mentioning the terrorists and 9/11 about anyone and anything they don't like. That was extremely off-topic but it had to be said. Sorry it was said here. FrankNiddy 00:09, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Lola[edit]

The lady described as "That new female character who is seducing Dilbert" is named: Lola. DrWho42 01:23, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Cow-orker vs. Co-worker[edit]

The newest revision (as of me writing this) changed "cow-orker" to "co-worker" (and incidentally, "co-worker" doesn't have an article, while "cow-orker" does). Without just undoing the change, does anyone else feel there's a compelling reason to use "co-worker" in this situation, given that cow-orker is definitely relevant to the Dilbert strips and that it's been changed back and forth at least one other time recently? Pgengler 14:16, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

If the word should be cow-orker put an invisable comment in the text using <! --cow-orker is correct spelling in this text --> (just no space between the ! and -)
I've changed it back to cow-orker, and per this advice, put a comment in there. Pgengler 14:39, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

No mention of the Dilberito?[edit]

Not every cartoon character gets a "tasty, easy-to-prepare, nutrition-packed food that fits today's hectic lifestyles" named after them. Surely the Dilberito should be mentioned here.


What the...? The Dilberito page is gone, as apparently the company has been bought by another company. Here is the redirection notice used on dilberito.com

"Scott Adams Foods is now Natural Chef Foods." Bttfvgo (talk) 17:59, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject?[edit]

Dilbert's recently grown from a small collection of articles to a huge category of pages. I'd like to suggest starting a WikiProject descended from WikiProject Comic strips. Anyone? æle 03:00, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I Second! Great Thinking! Umpajug 14:37, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Third right here! Wii Wiki (talk) 20:05, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Shockrave.com[edit]

Back in 1998 and 1999, there were some Dilbert cartoons on Shockrave.com as an example of what could be done with Macromedia Flash. As I recall, they were completely original and not seen on television. I can't remember if the voice actors were the same, and the site is long gone unfortunately. I think it would be at least worth mentioning for posterity. Perhaps somebody who remembers it better could add a paragraph to the article?

Here is a page from the Internet Archives... Animations ...And most of the episodes are still available at the Archives... ShockWave Episode 1 Bttfvgo (talk) 18:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Books[edit]

Anyone have any idea what books 2 and 3 are? They're the only ones missing from Dilbert#Media. æle 10:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I found them. æle 21:35, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
We need to figure out the title to the first book. Also a page is needed for: Building a Better Life by Stealing Office Supplies. Currently this page is a redirect when it should be an article about the book. More info can be found at Barnes and Noble's Website. Wii Wiki (talk) 20:04, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

150 million fans???[edit]

At the end of the first paragraph, it says that there are 150 million fans of Dilbert. I don't think that this seems accurate. Considering that there are 6 billion people in the world, that's 2.5%. Considering only about half of them can read, and even fewer can read English (or the other languages Dilbert is translated into), that's like 8.3%! Some of those people do not have newspapers or computers and others simply have no interest. So we're saying that over 10% of people who have the ability to read Dilbert, not only do, but are fans??? That seems way to high to be realistic. Maybe someone could find that stat and source it?


  1. Exposure to over 150 million people every day, worldwide.
  2. The Dilbert daily comic strip is syndicated to over 2000 newspapers in 70 countries and 23 languages.

From United Media Licensing

Scott Adams states in his book "Stick To Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!" on page 34 under the blog entry "Cartoonist Kills Thousands", "Let's see, we estimate that 150 million people read Dilbert..."

150 million viewers ~ 150 million fans... After all, why read it if you aren't a fan? Bttfvgo (talk) 18:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Lucy van Pelt -> Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan -> Miss Piggy-> Alice[edit]

I suggest that an addition be made to the section about Alice. Right after "She also has a short, often violent temper, sometimes putting her "Fist of Death" to use, even against the Pointy Haired Boss," there should be a new sentence: "Her angry self-assertion is in the tradition of chracters Lucy van Pelt (Peanuts), Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (M*A*S*H), and Miss Piggy (Muppets)." Brainhell 00:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)


...But Alice's character is based on a real-life character named Anita... Bttfvgo (talk) 18:23, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Xmas tree paradox[edit]

"For instance, to spare time from having to buy and decorate a Christmas tree every year, the house has a large yet inapparent closet adjacent to the living room where the tree can be stored for later holiday seasons."

This doesn't seem to make sense, because one is not going to store a once-live tree for a year, nor buy a new artificial tree every year. Brainhell 00:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that's supposed to be the joke 74.120.173.56 19:11, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Asok[edit]

I am a little confused about a sentence in this section. It reads, He does not eat, at least, beef.. Is this saying that he doesn't eat beef, (Possibly because he's a Hindu), or does it say that he doesn't eat at all? (Somewhat hard to believe.) There is nothing about food on Asok (Dilbert character) JP Godfrey 09:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that editor was saying that he knows Asok doesn't eat beef (presumably from one of the strips) but doesn't know weather or not he has more restrictions. (Some Indians don't eat beef nor pork to avoid offending those of either group.) There's also a significant number of Indians that don't eat meat at all. Myself, I don't recall seeing a strip that said that either stated Asok's religion or stated that Asok doesn't eat beef, but I've missed several. Jon 19:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Asok eats bagels (he was to unispired to finish swallowing), he eats crackers (and thats all he had time ), he eats sandwiches (during lunch and work things)and he drinks tea (which he can heat by putting it to his forehead and thinking of fire). Brokenscope 04:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Criticisms[edit]

Gee.. why isn't there any section relating to criticisms? I can remember a few people who have said that dilbert is the most badly drawn, un-funny piece of crap ever written. I agree with it, because it's not funny, it's not welll planned, it's not ironic, it's not clever, it's just shite. The magical Spum-dandy 13:15, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Dilbert#Criticism? æle 21:01, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
You know what's weird? I liked the cartoon series so found myself thinking I should try the comic as it's supposed to be "better." I didn't like the comic much or at all. It's usually obscure geek-humor or people moaning. Asok is maybe the only likeable one and in a way the boss comes out sympathetic. He's stupid, but in least his stupidity keeps him from being as bitter and whiny as the people he works for. (Who presumably would find other work if they're really so smart and hate their company so bad. Well except Wally maybe) In the cartoon this was toned down a bit with oddball zaniness and more frequent moments of sweetness.--T. Anthony 16:01, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
The point about criticism sections is that they aren't for "I don't find this funny" or "I think this is badly drawn". Criticism sections are overused anyway. DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

This article desperately needs some criticisms as the criticisms and parodies section consists entirely of parodies. I think some over-defensive fan of the series likely deleted any actual criticism about the series just like every other article. I remember reading many things about Dilbert over the years because Dilbert has just become a soapbox for the writer to make fun of every other kind of profession but engineers. They're not even funny or well founded arguments in his mocking, I personally find myself agreeing with the Pointy Haired Boss on occasion simply because Dilbert is an arrogant, insufferable ass who believes himself to be infallible and can't take a hint that not every idea he has is gold and actually conflicts with good business 99.240.191.134 (talk) 04:58, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Maybe you are pointy haired boss material, apply for a position. Leaving joke aside, criticism sections are the worst part of Wikipedia, they invite low-quality contribution and they are many times not properly sourced. By not properly sourced I mean that all the content in Wikipedia should be "encyclopedic", not merely reproducing some comments made on random websites. If you could find serious, encyclopedic criticism made by relevant sources then yeah, feel free to include it, otherwise just because you don't find it funny it doesn't mean that we need to have a criticism section for it. man with one red shoe 12:07, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Tie[edit]

Can someone check the credibility of the tie being a "phallic symbol"? Where in the strip does it say that Dilbert had a downward pointing tie due to having sex with someone? Bibliomaniac15 01:08, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

It's in the chapter introduction for Liz in Seven Years of Highly Defective People. æ² 2006-06-29t15:53z

I don't think so - I confess to having a similar tie when I was in a similar role in an organisation which had a dress code, including ties. However there was no code on the state/standard of tie ! So, it was used every day for months and months. Working at a desk, the bottom of the tie gets bent up (no joke intended). What with the grease etc, it ends up assuming this position, even when you stand up. In the past having felt I had a strong affinity with Dilbert, but now, having just written the above, I fear that that affinity might really be with Wally !!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.222.124.136 (talk) 00:20, 14 March 2011 (UTC)


Ghost artists[edit]

I'm pretty sure Adams has been using a ghost for a while, since his signature left and for a while someone else's initials appeared on the strip. Anyone have any info?

I've a feeling he had a problem with his hand, later solved using a new drawing board or something. Could it be something to do with that (somebody else is bound to know more than me!)?

This might help: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/09/AR2005050901066.html Ryan.n 03:26, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

I read, in one of his books, I believe, that when he was using his left hand he would sign/mark the strips with L.H. which stood for Left Hand and is why the artwork might have been slightly different. Bttfvgo (talk) 18:36, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Topper Entry[edit]

The topper entry at the bottom of the cast list is terrible - no offense intended. - SomeGuy

Carol[edit]

I added Carol to the list of main characters, since she has entire storylines to herself and appears more often than some of the other "main" characters listed. -- Musiclover 05:39, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

prior art[edit]

According to Scott Adams, a WWII-era Dilbert comic was the accidental origin of this comic's name.

7. How did Dilbert get his name?

I developed Dilbert as a doodle during my corporate years. He had no name, but my coworkers thought he needed one. So I had a “Name the Nerd” contest on my cubicle whiteboard. My boss at the time, Mike Goodwin, wrote down “Dilbert,” and I closed the contest. We had a winner.

After I submitted Dilbert for syndication, Mike sheepishly told me that he realized why Dilbert seemed such a good name for a comic. He was looking through his Dad’s old military artifacts and realized he had seen a Dilbert comic before. Since WWII, a comic called Dilbert had been used by military pilots in the context of telling them what not to do. A “Dilbert” was synonymous with a pilot who was being an idiot. It was too late for me to turn back at that point. I kept the name Dilbert, and I never heard from the family of the original artist. Obviously they are aware of my version of Dilbert. I appreciate that they evidently decided to not make it an issue.

[2] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.103.80.9 (talk) 23:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC).

I believe is was in the book "Seven Years of Highly Defective People" where he stated the artists name was "Osbourn"... Bttfvgo (talk) 18:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

The following link shows a picture of Dilbert Groundloop, created by Robert_C._Osborn. See also [3] Bttfvgo (talk) 00:48, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Help[edit]

We, on the Dilbert Wikianeed help writing articles. Andrew Marsden 16:33, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Collections merge back, or to different article?[edit]

I seriously doubt that there's much more than a sentence to say about the various collections of Dilbert comic books (Shave the Whales, etc.), at least that's unique to just that book. Maybe something along the lines of List of Calvin and Hobbes books would be better? (Obviously, this doesn't apply to the "real" books like The Dilbert Principle, etc.) SnowFire 23:02, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Lists[edit]

Doesn't this article have too many lists in it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by TommyHearns321 (talkcontribs) 17:49, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

The TTP Project[edit]

I followed the links from recursive acronym syndrome and got nowhere.... MMetro 06:44, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Oh you must be so proud of your jokes!! ATMarsdenTalk · {Semi-Retired} 20:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Comics B-Class Assesment required[edit]

This article needs the B-Class checklist filled in to remain a B-Class article for the Comics WikiProject. If the checklist is not filled in by 7th August this article will be re-assessed as C-Class. The checklist should be filled out referencing the guidance given at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment/B-Class criteria. For further details please contact the Comics WikiProject. Comics-awb (talk) 16:20, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Lead?[edit]

>Dilbert, which predates Office Space and all versions of The Office...

Why is this mentioned in the lead of the article? This seems like a proactive attempt by someone to defend against claims that dilbert stole from the office or office space, or alternatively, an attempt to claim that the office or office space stole Dilbert's idea. I don't think it is appropriate for the lead, and I don't think it's relevant to the article to compare it to two other unrelated uses of office humour, unless there is citable examples of critics or media comparing the three. TheHYPO (talk) 05:33, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

MIT humor page as sole source?[edit]

The management consultant story, purportedly from the AP, cannot be found on the web, except on a page with this url: http://web.mit.edu/jcb/humor/scott-adams-mgmt-consultant. I'm wondering if there's consensus to delete it until someone finds a better source? David in DC (talk) 16:41, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I've now looked at other postings at http://web.mit.edu/jcb/humor/ and I fear we've been pranked. I'm going to be bold and delete. If someone has a better source, please reinsert. But beware, places like answers.com get their info from us. that doesn't count as a better source. David in DC (talk) 17:16, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
A version of the story does appear in one of the Dilbert books, possibly 'The Dilbert Principle' or 'Joy of Work'. If I find it I'll post a note about it here - I think it differs slightly from the mit link so it will not be exactly as it was written before.Hakko504 (talk) 11:19, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Found this page, don't know if it helps, but its supposed to be an interview with Scott Adams. Interview with Scott Adams About half-way he talks about about setting up a "scam" against Logitech, somewhat rendering the article true... Also I've read there is indeed an article in 'The Joy of Work' discussing the set-up. {pages 234-236} Bttfvgo (talk) 19:00, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

OK. I think I've got it sufficiently sourced. Hoorah for the Seattle Times. But if someone could add footnotes from one or both of the books listed above, that'd be swell. :) David in DC (talk) 18:54, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

The story is found in the book 'The Joy of Work' in the chapter "Bringing Humor and Creativity to Your Job" The story is found on pages 233-238. Bttfvgo (talk) 00:03, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Criticism[edit]

There is a paragraph starting "Norman Solomon believes the strip is insufficiently critical of top managers...". It strikes me as silly, because Solomon is essentially saying that a cartoon is not accurate describing the state of high-tech workplaces (this is a cartoon in which accountants are trolls and a dog is a management consultant). It's like complaining that Garfield doesn't accurately describe the behaviour of cats. I don't know what the context in which Solomon made these statements but I'm pretty sure it wasn't as a serious criticism of Dilbert. DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Little mention of the web site[edit]

The web site has very little mention considering the fact that it has all the daily comics back through 1992, and all in color, despite originally only the Sunday comics having color. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.2.109.102 (talk) 18:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

more info[edit]

There's a lot of new material on the characters from this source. It's only a personal site, but it's on the internet, so it must be true.[4] Earthlyreason (talk) 09:13, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


New Animation[edit]

From the page: On April 7, 2008, dilbert.com presented its very first Dilbert Animation. Technically, this is not true, as there was a page on the old site (revision 5) called "Animations" which featured 12 videos in SWF (Flash) and 28 (or so) more 3D renderings for the Cosmo/World View Players... I have them all saved, as well as the original page, if you need validation. Check this link... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Dilbert#Shockrave.com bttfvgo (talk) 23:50, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert[edit]

I've moved this book under Other Books as I've just gotten Freedom's Just Another Word for People Finding Out You're Useless and it's numbered 32. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.108.14.92 (talk) 21:52, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Women?[edit]

"Women’s expectation of preferred treatment and their dominance of men through victimism and sex"

This was in the "Themes Explored" list. I don't think it's an appropriately neutral phrasing, and I don't recall the comic being quite this negative about women, but I don't remember well enough to correct it. So I'm taking it out; anybody want to fix it? 00:28, 13 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.189.35.165 (talk)

Guest Artists[edit]

Would it be worthwhile including a section on guest artists? KMcD (talk) 12:32, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Lack of images[edit]

Greetings. The article currently has a single image only. I think it ought to have several, perhaps while discussing the various themes the author uses. 211.25.207.22 (talk) 05:48, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Non-articles on individual volumes should go[edit]

Why is there articles on every single Dilbert book? They all contain the cover image and a section "plot", but, as any fan will have to admit, Dilbert has no plots that would overarch more than a handful of panels. So, most of the articles just recount the personae, while others just make something up to distinguish the phase of the strip represented in the book from the others, or they just recount the chapters. To me it seems quite clear that from an encyclopedical point of view there is no noteable information assigned to single volumes of Dilbert, and these articles should be deleted. -- Seelefant (talk) 16:50, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Movie?[edit]

I know that many of you consider this to be just an internet rumor, but look at this. That means that Scott Adams is actually considering a Dilbert movie, and he said nothing about what it might be about. There are rumors that it will be live action, and even rumors of the plot, but he says they don't even have a director, an actor, or anyone else. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pawsrent (talkcontribs) 18:32, 20 July 2010 (UTC)


Dilapidation?[edit]

The section "Themes" mentions

Fourth World countries and outsourcing (Elbonia) > Dilapidation

I don't understand what the word "dilapidation" is supposed to mean in this context.

It links to an article on ecclesiastical law, which is even more confusing.

This makes no sense at all to me. We should make this clearer in the article.

Please edit the article to improve this - don't just explain here.

-- 189.122.29.43 (talk) 16:25, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Criticism and parody section[edit]

I'm on a mini-crusade to change "criticism" sections to "reviews" or "reception" for de-POV reasons (per WP:CRIT). It's also strange that we don't see any positive reviews, that makes the article unbalanced. Also, the parody should probably not be tacked together with a "criticism" or "reviews" section. I won't do the changes right now because I haven't edited on this page too much and I will probably not be welcomed, but I would like to see long-time editors of this page do it by themselves and balance the article. man with one red shoe 17:11, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

April 16 1989 not first strip[edit]

Although April 16 1989 is the earliest strip published on dilbert.com, it's not the earliest Dilbert strip ever. See http://www.dilbert.com/first_50/

For a long time, even the April 16th strip wasn't published on dilbert.com, so that's not definitive.

Barry.carter (talk) 21:47, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Dates for "Journey to Cubeville" and "Don't Step in the Leadership"[edit]

Journey to Cubeville was listed as 9/1/96–1/18/98, while Don't Step in the Leadership was listed as 1/12/98–10/18/98. This overlap is almost certainly a mistake. I was able to verify from a scan of the back cover text of Cubeville that it only collects to 1/4/98, but I don't have copies of either handy. Could someone check the start date for Leadership and double-check the end date for Cubeville?--Roger McCoy/រ៉ាចើ (talk) 05:52, 30 May 2014 (UTC)