The Well-Field System: How China Pioneered Open Source 30 Centuries Ago
Pujol Enterprises LLC
International College of Sustainability Studies
November 12, 2011
The conventional timeline of open source often revolves around its etymology and start as a software movement in the twentieth century. While anecdotal evidence recalls kitchen recipes that have been shared at no cost since the beginning of civilization, no formal system has stood in between, where a private economy organizes shared and discrete resources. None except for a concept invented by Chinese philosophers in the 9th century BCE called the Well-field System. The latter, in essence, operates in many ways as what we call today an open source system.
This paper, for the first time, connects the dots.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: well-field system, open source, China, history, technology
JEL Classification: B10, D24, H20working papers series
Date posted: November 13, 2011 ; Last revised: January 10, 2012
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