‘homer 2.0’ goes open source.
Public funded literature foundation homer 2.0 spokesman Illias says: ‘our clients demand most actual content and top performance. We are challenged to constantly innovate and improve. To keep the pace we take advantage of our clients expertise and decided to go open source.
A Financial Times news might have read soething like this in 500 b.C..
Like most epic poems, the Illiad, Gilgamesch, the Odyssey was written and rewritten as long, as it was an active part of culture. In Odysseys case it was some hundred years.
Some day someone must have written some sort of source code – most likely a collection of tales deriving from folk culture – a basic set of data like events, protagonists, locations. This source code maintained untouched, but the format was constantly adapted.
Ancient greek poems were mainly consumed by an audience watching actors performing – from elaborated stage works to simple storytellers. Imagine how the same story might vary if it is told to entertain a bunch of friends that came over for a BBQ, or if a theater company worked on an adaption for one of the big stages like Pergamon or Ephessos. It might have been rewritten, recomposed, it was in the center of scholastic debate and part of a curriculum.
As it was contemporary culture for age, it must have been adapted to contemporary fashions, regional aspects, it must have been enhanced with new actual knowledge ever now and then. But surprisingly it’s source code remained untouched.
In a nutshell what happened was that a striking good idea was exposed to constant innovation, beta testing and a massive free range of support. A person, an expert in let’s say nautic might have contributed some essential information on the part, where Homer was tied to the mast, keeping him aboard despite the sirenes song. An extraordinarily creative botanic might have came up with a most vivid and trustworthy description of the cyclop, replacing maybe a lame one, some ancestor did write. The following readers beta tested this contributions – erasing bad ideas and keeping good ones as part of the story. This bits and pieces of particular expertise constantly added up till the story reached the quality, the richness of detail it is still rewarded for today.
Illiad and Odyssey are collective works of popular creativity, a social and highly collaborative piece – open source.
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