wouldn't be a far-off number. He's been translated into many, many languages, including Portuguese. And Mauricio has a background in neurolinguistic programming, which applies very well to being able to analyze a lot of things going on in information technology and the Internet and that type of thing. And we were talking a little bit about the quality initiative, the new initiatives that are going on, and the fact that in information technology, sometimes they've got a plethora of new job titles, new job positions. The whole aspect of doing process improvement is a whole new area that our Department of Defense here in the United States, and many leading government organizations, as well as private industry, have started …. and realizing that to build quality software is going to require something more than just programming. That we have to improve the way we develop things. And I think that things have gotten very, very competitive, particularly with the infusion of the Internet. Dilbert seems to capture a lot of the things going on in our society, especially in software engineering. And just before we took a break, Mauricio was talking a little bit about consultants, and their role. Mauricio, what would you say? Does that mean that we should stop hiring consultants? That it's all a scam, that we should be doing things internally for process improvement? What do you think?
Mauricio: No, the Dilbert point of view… that's the Dilbert point of view… is not necessarily true, and does not intend to be. It's not a guide for action. It breaks out and goes beyond cause and effect relationships, in fact. To put it simply, the Dilbert view is useful to help us draw certain boundaries. So if you are spending more with consultants than with system development, then you may remember Dilbert, and you'll take some time to analyze the situation and see what you're doing right. That's what the Dilbert patterns are good for.
Carol: And you talk about boundaries. In terms of… What do you exactly mean by Dilbert sets boundaries?
Mauricio: Well, Dilbert shows you where you can go if you act real, real stupid. And when you analyze a situation like the pointed-hair boss. The pointed-hair boss does very, very stupid things, and you draw the boundary. You say, …………… I won't let myself become the pointed-hair boss. In that sense, it draws boundaries.
Carol: Just in thinking back… I know that you've got a lot of Dilbert tapes and a lot of books and things on Dilbert. What would you say is your favorite, kind of theme that Dilbert has had over the last couple years?
Mauricio: Well, I think it's about project management. I love when they have those things about project management, what happens in projects. Like your project's just been canceled. Why? Because we have another project which has a better acronym. See? This is the kind of thing. It doesn't happen that way, you see, but it happens sometimes in a way that resembles that way very much. And you can suspect that your project was canceled because it had a bad acronym.
Carol: And acronyms, for someone who's not involved in systems projects, every single project, every single system development, if you've got some software you'd want to be built, actually starts in some cases, in the worst case scenarios, with people trying to find out what witty name they could call the project. And I've seen meetings where people have said, "Okay, let's figure out… Let's call it something like SPICE or SPAR or something," and