There's been lots of buzz around the blogosphere regarding Randall Munroe's 'sudo' comic. I think that on the whole, Randall's comic is really wonderful -- it's one of my favorites, in fact -- but I think this particular "episode" is a really unfortunate example for people to be praising.
I've seen posts where people are talking about how this particular comic is great because you either "get it," or it is completely indecipherable, which for the most part is true. The problem that I have with it, however, is that nobody actually gets it -- they just think they do.
Here's the comic:
See, in the context of the comic, the "sudo" command seems to serve the function of forcing a user to do something that you don't want to do yourself. Stickman 1 says "make me a sandwich," to which Stickman 2 replies "no." Then Stickman one basically just waves his "sudo" wand to force Stickman 2 to do it anyway.
But see, that's not what the "sudo" command actually does. The user of "sudo" is still doing the actual work, they're just doing it with the permissions of another user. For example, lets say that I want to create a file in a directory owned by user Bob. I ask Bob to make the directory for me, but he says no. So then I decide to go over his head and use "sudo" to make the directory myself, and as far as the sytem is concerned, the directory was created by Bob. But I did the actual work.
So, in the comic, Stickman 1 just walked into the kitchen and made himself a sandwich, appearing to any onlookers as if he was Stickman 2. This is not funny.
What is funny, though, is tons and tons of people who think they get the joke, but actually don't. I suspect that Randall did this on purpose, an act which commands of me the following : "Bravo Randall!"