"To inspire them to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life."
-John Coltrane on Uplifting Others

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Open Source and the Talmud

A few months ago, I read The Talmud and the Internet by Jonathan Rosen. I reviewed it in an earlier post. That review is from a teacher and deconstructed perspective, but what after last class, I've thought of it a different way.
The Talmud and the Open Source movement are similar in an interesting way. Any rabbi can add on to the Talmud, but he or she must enter into training and earn a certain level of reputation. Then their writings are listed alongside centuries of others around the original text, which is then read and pondered by faithful members of the covenant.
Likewise, the source code is open to anyone, but it takes experts to look for bugs and clean up. While I can consume their software, I do not have the expertise to enter the source code; it takes training, much like the rabbis with the Talmud, to enter that conversation.
I recommend reading this short novel to anyone who is interested in the ties that bind or in the idea of an "open" book or source.

1 comment:

  1. The connection to the Talmud is one that I wouldn't have thought of! How does the text the rabbis add to the Talmud get circulated among their audience?