Mac vs. Dos

“The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and the 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 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.” Umberto Eco‘s 1994 essay turned up on an index to Marshal McLuhan Studies.

Mac vs. Dos (McLuhan Studies)