What I find fascinating about this story is I've seen much larger and much more elaborate cable lacing jobs that look just as good at telco central offices and data centers, but its always very vague about what exact part of my NDA or employment agreement I'd be violating by posting (or taking, or distributing) pictures. These mars pictures, cropped, may be the only chance for a civilian non-employee to ever legally see professionally done cable lacing, weird but true. There's a zillion other places to see the surface of mars, but only a few to see cable lacing.
Its interesting that in advertising pictures they always use superglue to make the cables look "PHB-good". So you can't see cable lacing in ads, which is too bad.
Done correctly, cable lacing is, literally, an art form. One guy I worked with "knitted" geometric patterns as he spaced the lacing in various locations and used different colors. Also I saw at least one large example of AT+T being "dot matrixed" into a large bundle of cables by careful spacing of lacing.
Artistic cable lacing is kind of an "apprentice" masterpiece situation, you learn lacing well enough to do art, then you show it to other techs (and your boss) to prove you're not an apprentice anymore, then, sadly, for most techs, no more lacing art work. Oh well.
Another interesting point is that in general, the more specific the sub-reddit, the less it is infected with the type of "reddit culture" that gets so much bad rep here on HN (although occasionally it always gets some, cause Reddit has a shared culture--I personally don't mind, really).
Different people like different things. Just because they geek out on something different from what you geek out on does not make them abnormal.
I think it is perhaps the single greatest website on the entire internet.
Mars itself is neat. But they haven't done much exploration with this rover yet, and so: Knots is what we got. :-)
However, this comment, along with the negative comments about the uptime of Tindie's blog (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4472348), has me thinking that these complaints of undue negativity are justified.
I find the attention to detail involved in selecting knots to be a tremendously interesting aspect of sending a physical vehicle to mars, and I find it to be a testament to human specialization and intelligence that there's a whole community of knot experts that can provide so much insight into the knot choices. Implying some sort of OCD around sock drawers seems incredibly rude, and counter-productive to building or maintaining a culture of technical excellence.
Perhaps there's a cross-cultural interpretation associated with sock drawers that I'm missing. Granted there has been negativity on HN lately, but are we not manufacturing drama here?
//edit: I read it that he's impressed with their focus and passion, which sounds more like a compliment.
There's a pretty clear implication that it's silly to "crop out" pictures of mars, focus on knots, and the kind of people that would do that would be OCD in their maintenance of sock drawers.
It's a silly, vaguely cutting generalization. Observe the top reply, which takes a defensive stance: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4474178
I do hope so. As then there is a chance that we might find out what it is and then everything might just make sense. Otherwise I'm just going to paraphrase Keynes and assume that internets can remain irrational a lot longer than I can stay sober.
However I would say that if you want to maintain a culture of technical excellence, it should be built well enough in the first place to cope with things like occaisional wayward comedy about the possible sock organisiation habits of fans of practical topology, without getting too upset about it.
Otherwise it isn't a very good culture of technical excellence and it will all fall apart the first time somebody sneezes.
 I was also not being backhanded in the first place. You are allowed to include jokes in complements and you do not have to show some sort of undue reverence for people whose work you appreciate when you point out that you like what they do.
The problem with this analysis is that while Dilbert is funny (and fake), you were demeaning (of real people), and your defense uses the same subtly demeaning tone as your original comment.
Also, I would rather you didn't attempt to try and act as some sort of translator for me, as you appear to be a complete and utter dick.
Sorry for my undue negativity about this.