PC eller MAC: Apropos fra Umberto Eco

Uniforum 19/96

­ I anledning av universitetsledelsens angrep på Mac, kanskje dere kunne vurdere å trykke Umberto Ecos klassiske betraktninger om forskjellen mellom PC og Mac? skriver professor Helge Lødrup ved Institutt for lingvistiske fag til Uniforum. Oppfordringen følges herved.


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.

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. You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counterreformist 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...

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.

Utdraget professor Helge Lødrup har sendt Uniforum, er fra en engelsk oversettelse av Umberto Ecos spalte «La bustina di Minerva», i det italienske aktualitetsmagasinet Espresso. (September 30, 1994.)

Uniforum 19/96
Publisert 13. des. 1996 09:20 - Sist endra 1. sep. 2014 13:22
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