Dialogue concerning two computing systemsPosted: November 22, 2015
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!