Dialogue concerning two computing systems

The scene is a bench outside a sandwich shop. Salviati and Sagredo are eating their lunch.

Sagredo: So I’m thinking of getting a new computer. The question is, should I get a PC or a Mac?

Salviati: This is an interesting question. The Mac has some superb features and lots of people love them. However, they can also be frustrating at times, particularly if you’re used to a PC.

Sagredo: Can they both do all of the same things?

Salviati: Compatibility used to be an issue but things have improved a lot. There are some good bits of software that you can get on the Mac that you can’t get on a PC but you also need to bear in mind that many things are web-based now.

Sagredo: So what do you think I should get, on balance?

Salviati: Given that there’s not much in it, I’d go for a PC just because of the cost.

Simplicio walks out of the sandwich shop with a egg-mayonnaise focaccia and sits down on the bench next to Sagredo.

Simplicio: What are we discussing?

Sagredo: I was asking Salviati’s advice on whether to buy a PC or a Mac

Simplicio: [Snorts] That’s such a false dichotomy!

Sagredo: Sorry, how?

Simplicio: I have used both throughout my working life! Sometimes I’ve owned a PC; other times I’ve owned a Mac! At one point, I used a Mac at work and had a PC at home!

Sagredo: But I have to buy one and I want to know which is the best value for money.

Simplicio: [Snorts again] False choice! They both have their strengths and weaknesses! They each do certain things better! You see the world in such black-and-white terms Sagredo! You need to appreciate nuance!

Salviati: PCs are generally cheaper.

Simplicio: Oh, here we go! That one again! You’re such a logical positivist, Salviati, with your reductionist thinking! How can you knowingly make such sweeping generalisations? The large-scale studies that you rely on remove all context and nuance! They are ecologically invalid! I can point to examples of PCs that are much more expensive that Macs! What does your data say about that?

Sagredo: Are you saying that I should buy both a PC and a Mac?

Simplicio: [Snorts] Straw man!

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3 thoughts on “Dialogue concerning two computing systems

  1. Have you had any comments from the Pigeon League?

    I’m with Salviati, though I can see Simplicio’s point of view. I began on Macs when they were a box with a floppy disc drive, stuck with them until they became colourful TV-looking things, then switched to infuriatingly primitive DOS and early Windows-based PCs. Over the years I learnt to master, tinker with and even rebuild PCs (not something I’d ever try to do with the sleek, solid state Macs).

    And now I’m poor but my daughter has a wealthy grandfather, she has a MacBook and I have a PC. We’re both happy (and I find all the swipey stuff very annoying).

    Oh, but was this about education? I enjoyed it for its surface…

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