mac vs windows vs catholics vs protestants

Umberto Ecco was a genius. He saw right through the trappings of western culture. And a long time ago at that. From Greenflame:

As a Protestant Mac user working part-time at a Catholic theological college where everyone uses Windows PCs I found last Thursday’s technology section on Radio New Zealand National : Nine to Noon (Thu, 25 October) fairly amusing.

You can find the full transcript over at » The Cult of the Mac, and at the end of it Colin Jackson quotes a chunk of Umberto Eco’s 1994 article The Holy War: Mac vs. DOS in which Eco comments:

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.

(Windows is, Eco argues, like the Anglican church, at times appearing Catholic but also in places deep down quite Protestant).

How deep do you suppose the structure of the protestant vs catholic divide runs in western society? Or is it more than western? I presume its a standard human feature that was allowed to mercilessly bloom in eurpoe and then throughout european areas of influence.

As far as i can tell the divide is essentially one between those hankering after stability and those preferring freedom. Perhaps the latter simply have lower levels of risk-aversion? Anyhow, im an ex-protestant mac user.


5 Comments to “mac vs windows vs catholics vs protestants”

  1. Another question can be, how far is Steve Jobs from being the Pope for the Universal binary believers? Or perhaps more of a Prophet (it lets in more cool religions…)
    Users also know they are the best, part of the self elected best technology users, and the way used to know such thing is not geneologic, but a universal currency as well : they pay to know that they have the best; they pay to know they are the ones who have chosen.

  2. ML… R u imp lying that you’ve converted to the Catholic Church?

    monk… isn’t this part of the genius of mac marketing?… that u can self-elect into the caste of ‘best’ technology users?

  3. eduardo – im implying that ive found certain aspects of the mac/catholic worldview … rather comfortable. i wouldnt say ive converted wholesale. im more of a pick and choose, religion and ethics à la carte kinda human.

    monk – u pagan. trying to buy your way into the kingdom. for shame. getting a mac is no indulgence, it is a sign of belonging to a community of believers, tho certainly the better believers.

    it must therefore be the open source people who are showing the way out of religion: a religion that asks for no worldly goods, that is truly free. I dont think Christianity has an equivalent for that … yet.

  4. “truly free”?
    But I’ve always been told there is “no such thing as a free lunch”!?

  5. that is the increadible feature of the “new economy”! though u r right that it isnt truly free… though it is as good as: someone else is paying for it and there are really no strings attached, just like the unconditional love of the Father. And what is more, the software really exists 😛

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