The Lioness

While technology may change, human behavior does not. At least, that’s what reading the collection of Aesop’s Fables suggests. The characters and motivations in the parables, attributed to Aesop after he died in 564 BCE, remain relevant today.

Aesop 2021 projects these well-known (and not-so-known) stories into an age only a stone’s throw from our own. When cynicism and pessimism abound, hope becomes a rebellious act against the tyranny of the default. Each story recasts a fable’s lesson from our upcoming solarpunk future as a software tale.

The Aesop 2021 project is part of the Never Break the Chain March Writing Challenge. The original sources were translated by George Fyler Townsend and provided under the Project Gutenberg license. Addition reference provided by a Library of Congress interactive book adapted from the public domain book “The Aesop for Children: with Pictures by Milo Winter,” published by Rand, McNally & Co in 1919.

Below is the latest installment.

A picture

One day, around the fishing hole, the developers who were casting about for software solutions started a friendly debate among themselves. Each fisherman boasted about the volume they caught and reassembled, but none could agree upon the best productivity metric. With no arguments reaching consensus, the group stowed their equipment and sought out the Loiness, an elder of great renown and architect in her own right.

They found her walking in the gardens. With much joshing, they demanded to know who had the most plentiful body of work.

The Lioness laughed at them and said, “Long ago, the amount we could create effectively became infinite, yet here you are arguing over who has more. That is the scarcity mindset. Making and maintaining the right thing?” She continued, “That is the mindset of enlightenment.”

Original Fable

A CONTROVERSY prevailed among the beasts of the field as to which of the animals deserved the most credit for producing the greatest number of whelps at a birth. They rushed clamorously into the presence of the Lioness and demanded of her the settlement of the dispute. “And you,” they said, “how many sons have you at a birth?” The Lioness laughed at them, and said: “Why! I have only one; but that one is altogether a thoroughbred Lion.”

Moral of the Stories

One’s total contribution should be thought of as depth and impact; two things that may be beyond easy summation. The value is in the worth, not in the number.