Re: platforms for Biblical Studies

Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Thu, 28 Nov 1996 23:53:10 +0000

At 16:44 28/11/96 EDT, Gregory Bloomquist wrote:
>Oh no! Let's not get into another one of these Mac vs. PC debates!
>Both have strengths; both have weaknesses.
>The real question is: what software works best on which platform?
>Does the Gramcord product for Win95, for example, work as well as the
>Mac product, and if not, why not?

I quite agree with Greg.

However, maybe it is time to revive this little piece from Umberto Eco?


The following excerpts are from an English translation of Umberto Eco's
back-page column, "La bustina di Minerva," in the Italian news weekly
"Espresso," September 30, 1994.

..."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 innter 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



Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

[using Eudora Pro v 2.2 and Trumpet Winsock 3.0c ]