Tuesday, May 27, 2003
# Posted 1:56 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Steve points to this column by celebrated Italian novelist Umberto Eco, which observes that
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.Never much of a theologian, what concerns me are the socio-economic implications of Eco's argument. The MS-DOS emphasis on personal responsibility recalls Max Weber's insistence that Protestant thought is the foundation of capitalism.
Given the worldly success of Microsoft, it seems that Weber's analysis may be just as relevant to the information age as it was to the industrial era that came before it. While there is every reason to celebrate the beauty of Macintosh Catholicism, one dare not forget that it alone could not have brought us out of the dark ages. (0) opinions -- Add your opinion
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