the door. And I'd just like to ask you, Mauricio, what do you mean by Dilbert Society?
Mauricio: Well, Dilbert Society is a society where rules and logical reasoning are used to justify illogical behavior and irrational conclusions. A society where one is virtually powerless to deal with ……. stupidity, like the pointed-head boss that Dilbert has to deal with.
Carol: I know that your boss is not pointy-haired. Would you say that he has some of the characteristics… not necessarily in your current job, but have you encountered people who behaved like the Dilbert boss?
Mauricio: Well, Carol, now and again every one of us will behave like that, because that's the way you see the person. But sometimes you're not aware of all the facts about a certain situation, and then you'll act stupidly.
Carol: And stupid is probably somewhat of a subjective thing that probably changes a little bit with each person.
Mauricio: Yes. And then, the Dilbert thing is when you act stupid and you use rationality and logic to justify your behavior in a way that people think that you're doing the right thing. And they feel cornered, not able to respond to you because you're using logic. But deep down, you know that the person is doing something stupid.
Carol: Right. What do you see as the role of Dilbert, who is… It's amazing to me when I think about Dilbert having started as a very small comic strip, syndicated in one or two newspapers, then emerging into a full-scale TV show, a number of management tapes, that I know you've got a few of, management books, full-scale cartoon… The calendars. Every time I go into a client site that has anybody from IT, I see a number of different Dilbert cartoons up. And is it the same thing in Brazil? Do Brazilian IT companies and software companies… Do they have Dilbert in Portuguese?
Mauricio: Oh, they do. All of these books are in Portuguese. All of them have been translated into Portuguese. And in IT companies like mine, I work in a bank that has 600 people in IT, every one of us laughs a lot reading Dilbert books. The first time you read them, it's just like you've found yourself somewhere. My God! This is like one of those enlightening experiences. That's who I am! That's me! And this is my boss, and this is my colleague! You do find yourself there. And you know why? Because it's the same everywhere.
Carol: Would you say that it's not necessarily just an American depiction, it's more of a universal thing? There's something in information technology pervades the cultural boundaries?
Mauricio: Oh, yeah, because you don't have all the answers yet. So you have to try, and then sometimes you make it right, sometimes you don't. And then people will do stupid things, as I said. And they won't be aware that they're doing them.
Carol: Right. What do you see as being the role of Dilbert? Being the main character, kind of in the context of the Dilbert Society?
Mauricio: Well, I think to some people, Dilbert is a cynic. I'll grant that. But I don't agree. I think in fact that deep down, the Dilbert view is rather humanistic. Dilbert is there to remind us of what should be done to people, and what should not. You see? (inaudible) …one of that Scott Adams strips, that the employer has asked to be sent to a technical conference, like this one here that we're in. And the manager says, "Well, I see you