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The Way is truly nameless.

Although the uncarved block may be small,
the world dare not treat it as inferior.
If managers and CEO’s could hold to the Way,
all things would bow to them of their own accord,
manna would fall from heaven,
and the developers would coordinate the project themselves.

When the project is conceived, development has already begun.
Once development has begun, at some point it must end.
Know when to release: thus you may avoid danger.

The world is to the Way
as ten thousand streams to the sea.

 


chapter notes:

The chapter title identifies “the uncarved block” as representing the Open Source project. In the original (and in mistranslation, too), “the uncarved block” represents primal simplicity, but some contexts it also appears fairly descriptive of the way Open Source maintains its cohesion in the face of attempts to appropriate it.

Again, I have gratuitously inserted “ten thousand” where it does not appear in the original.

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