Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Call To Update The "Macintosh Is Catholic, DOS is Protestant" joke

Umberto Eco once said (my favorite parts in italics):

...."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 reach salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: a long way from the baroque community of revellers, 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 allow women and gays to be ministers if you want to.

"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..."

Someone among us remembers this old joke...check out the latest "conversion" at Pontifications.

It's midsummer and I'm doing all the work around here, dang it. Want to help me out? Tell me what this joke should look like in 2006...
--the ascendency of IPods?
--the heresy of Linux?
--where do Firefox and Internet Explorer fold in?

Just put it in the comments box and I'll try to write something out of the suggestions next week.



IA_ said...

Linux is like a Darwinistic-Athiest, theres no one intelligent designer, its kind of random smashing together with external influences determining which combination or amalgimation will survive to mutate in the next wave.

Ph34r teh demonic word verfication!

Unsuspecting Pollyanna said...

One word, my friend, and it may mean a LOT of extra time in purgatory for me, depending on what you do with it. I know I tread on dangerous ground here, but I have an iPod and this just flew into my brain at your request. This word is:


Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa....

The Ironic Catholic said...

OK, one caveat...being something of a Luddite, you need to explain to me some of the more obscure (?) applications and systems....

Jeff Miller said...

This post covers the subject.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Egad! It's been done!

That was very funny, Jeff. I'll try to take a different tack (I'll have to, since I know squat about Linux).