Posted June 13, 2015 10:35 PM by

20 years later: Apple still Catholic to PC’s reformist ways?…

 

(CUSA) – This is from 1994 but still has charm for those who “struggle” with choosing operating systems.

 

And as we sit here in 2015, I do think Apple has been influenced by the Jesuits! —DNW.

 

 

UMBERTO ECO—

 

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 counterreformist 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 reach salvation.

 

To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: a long way 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 counterreformist 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…..

 

And machine code, which lies beneath both systems (or environments, if you prefer)? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is Talmudic and cabalistic.

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From an English translation of Umberto Eco’s back-page column, “La bustina di Minerva,” in the weekly Espresso (30 September 1994).

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