Operating Systems as religions.
Brought to you directly from Umberto Eco (author)
- via the Italian jounal
- via the Internet
- via Harper's Magazine (January1995)
- via me back to you on the Internet:
Insufficient consideration has be given to the underground religious war that is transforming the modern world: the division between
I am firmly of the opinion
- MACINTOSH users
- DOS users.
- the MACINTOSH is Catholic
- the DOS is Protestant.
Indeed, the MACINTOSH is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the methodical path of the Jesuits.
- It tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach - if not the Kindom of Heaven - the moment 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 (Definition added by GHL- The science or study of interpretation, esp. Scriptures.) upon the user, and takes for granted that not all can reach salvation.
- To make the system work you need to interpret it yourself: the user is enclosed 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 intolerance of the MACINTOSH. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism - big ceremonies in the cathedral but with the possibility of returning to DOS to fiddle with things. With Windows, you can still decide to allow women and gays to be priests if you want to.
And what about the machine language that lies beneath both operating systems? Ah, that is the stuff of the Old Testament, Talmudic and cabalistic.
(Note - Since this was written, Win95 has bridged some of the gaps, sort of like an Episcapalian Baptist.)
End of Schism
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