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Although Phil uses pictures of people in various destitute situations, he is doing so to make a point: This is what YOU can expect to earn if you take up a career that involves an advanced science or engineering degree. The use of these pictures is not (IMHO) designed to poke fun at the people in them. Anyone who thinks this is the case is missing the forest for the trees. For those who didn't understand the point of the above: Certain people "get" satire, and certain people don't. If you get it, you will see the humor in the gross exaggeration of the essay/pictures. If you don't get it, then just forget it and move on with your life.
Scott: I think that the comment that "Thomas Fly" left was supposed to also be satirical. (You may have missed the joke here because he's kind of subtle.) Did you notice that although he rants against portraying women in B&W, the picture he posted is itself in B&W? Also notice in the last sentence how happy he would be to tell you how 'smart' she is, as if that's what the attraction would be in this case. (Also: Notice how the lovely young lady's name goes from being from Raquel to Rachel?)