@Robin, originally - for above - I wanted to start of differently... but make it now an appendix:
To get the simple things out of way: SPI - Serial Peripheral interface BUS [bus = many on the same (wire)] - follows the Master-Slave topology [master makes this bus to a 1 to many topology]. There is only one master and the master controls all communication that goes on. Therefore, SCK on the master is always output and on all slaves it is always input. Thinking of RS232/USART/1 to 1/peer communication is not much of help here... not to forget is the CS - chip select line - something that makes SPI a typical hardware signal driven bus (vs the data or content driven I2c bus)... of course, purposes are different too, so no surprise. SPI allows very high speeds and contention free communication with simple means compared to (m)any of the other protocols... (it's all relative, though, and depends on the requirements and resources you have).
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