Paradign Shift

In a recent issue of Forbes mag­a­zine (May 7th, 2007) sev­er­al authors wrote short essays on the nature of net­works. One of which (titled “90 Years of Networks” by Amanda Schupak) includes a nifty lit­tle time line of sig­nif­i­cant events in the his­to­ry of net­works and net­work­ing. In the 1991 spot she includes the following:

Finnish pro­gram­mer Linus Torvalds kicks off open-source move­ment, a sort of wiki of com­put­er code, with a plea for con­tri­bu­tions to Linux oper­at­ing system.

Note care­ful­ly the wording.

Open source is now described as being wiki-like rather than a wiki being described as being open source-like.

Please don’t be tempt­ed to exclaim — but that’s a tau­tol­ogy! a wiki is a sort of open source project. You’d be miss­ing the point. This is about par­a­digm and analo­gies, not about hier­ar­chi­cal typed-classification sys­tems. The more famil­iar object is being used to describe the less famil­iar object. In the view of this writer a wiki is more famil­iar to her read­ers than open source.

That grind­ing sound you hear is my world view rub­bing up against the curbing.

PS I’d love to give you a link to the arti­cle but in the three days since I pulled it up to read, it has dis­ap­peared behind the for-pay wall. pfft.