Tag Archives: BSD

Religions and OSes metaphor of the day

Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
By Charlie Stross

Yesterday, after writing my way past the notional halfway point (both of the current novel manuscript, and of the trilogy it’s the middle volume of), I went and over-indulged in food and drink with friends.

Over the beer, the conversation turned—for no sane reason—to computer operating systems. There being some non-technical folks at the table, I then had to cough up a metaphor to contextualize the relationship between Mac OS X and UNIX, thuswise:

There is one true religion in operating systems, and it is UNIX. Or maybe it’s not the one true faith: there’s an earlier, older, more arcane religion with far fewer followers, MULTICS, from which UNIX sprang as a stripped-down rules-deficient heresy in the early days of the epoch. Either way, if MULTICS is Judaism (and the metaphor is questionable at this point, for unlike MULTICS, Judaism is still alive), then UNIX is Christianity. Read more »