Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Eco - "Writings: IBM vs. Mac"

I'm blogging this, because it's funny. From
"I asked above whether fountain pens were Protestant. Insufficient consideration has been given to the new underground religious war which is modifying the modern world. It's an old idea of mine, but I find that whenever I tell people about it they immediately agree with me. The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation. DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: Far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment. You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counter-reformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions: When it comes down to it, you can decide to ordain women and gays if you want to."


Blogger jonponder said...

huh.. that's interesting... i always thought of DOS as being more Legalistic and dogmatic and Mac being more protestant (reformed even).

DOS is all about the letter of the law, and specifics. Everything is straightforward, no room for art or interpretation. Then come the difficulties in working it. you soon find it only LOOKS straightforward, but then you get into all kinds of logistical frustrations... and i wont even get into viruses and computer errors.

Mac is a little more carefree. Mac embraces the heart of personal computing. You might not know HOW it works under that slick interface, but you dont care. You can do what you need to do and your OS works and it looks nice. You love it because, deep down you know you're predestined to be a mac person. You embrace it and love it.

12/01/2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Crystal Ben-Ezra said...

Heretic! :-)

12/02/2005 05:29:00 PM  

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