Eric S. Raymond, in his seminal essay - The Cathedral and the Bazaar, says, “While I don’t claim to be a great programmer, I try to imitate one. An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness. They know that you get an “A” not for effort, but for results and that it’s almost always easier to start from a good partial solution than from nothing at all”. Or less formally, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”
Eric dubs this as “Linus’s Law” and further talks about two styles of development:
1. The conventional, closed, proprietary kind, which is compared to that of a cathedral – meticulously picked ideas, tight specification of objectives, systems and set processes, the long interval between launches owing mainly to numerous edits and making sure the best possible software is launched.
2. The open, peer-peer, decentralized, market like style – The bazaar, where there are short release intervals and constant feedback who are mostly outside the project, intense peer review and so on, which enables more and more developers to participate openly and build great software, together.
Taking this concept forward - do we as literature, want a cathedral-style of writing or the Bazaar style?
The cathedral style refers to authors who publish novels and books across various genres, carefully written, meticulously, and extensively researched and published over long intervals.
The Bazaar style is what we are trying to build here, where each one can be inspired by another, where enough eyeballs are aggregated, and where each one can build on another's idea - however ensuring due credit to the author along the chain.
And do you know which played the most pivotal role in propelling technology growth beyond our wildest dreams - it is, without a trace of doubt, the Bazaar style of software development. It is what made possible today's world we live in, a world where technology has even overshadowed the very potential of humans who made it possible. Who, in a way, brought to us distractions leading to people transitioning from books to videos, from stories in the text to short-lived stories on Instagram and WhatsApp...
In this situation, now, how do we bring back literature to it's prime? How do we ensure there are enough eyeballs and how do we ensure the collective growth of creativity and humankind?
By giving the doctor his own medicine, by fighting fire with fire, by banding together and collectively ensuring the growth of good ideas, of mind-numbing stories, and pushing the barriers of creativity.
By understanding that the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives and building that pack through our own Bazaar.