Picture this, you are on walkabout (an Aussie term for travelling, roughly speaking) and your throat is parched. The big bright day star is pounding on you with heat waves far greater than the blast of heat that hits you in the face when you open the oven to see what your mother is baking. Only this time there is no oven door to close. The soft drink you had is long gone and lets face it, it only made you thirstier. There is not a bar in sight, nor any civilization that you can hear. Suddenly you hear a welcome sound. The pleasing tinkle of running water. The sound of this makes your throat feel like you swallowed a cup of ground glass and you hurriedly scramble to the source of the sound. As you round the hill a pleasing vista unfolds before you. A cute little waterfall merrily tinkling away and next to that a silent pond. Your thirst becomes unbearable and now the decision is yours. What do you drink from? The waterfall or the pond? The pond is deep and still. It has lain there unchanged for what looks like aeons. Water bugs are skipping across the surface, lily pads and algae cover a large portion and the bank looks soft and muddy. The smell of decomposing vegetation wafts across your nostrils. With your stomach churning slightly you look across to the waterfall. Here there is non-stop activity. The water is crashing down the rocks in a chaotic manner, yet ultimately heading in the same direction. A fine refreshing mist hangs in the air and the rocks are swept clean by the constantly renewed water. The water itself is crystal clear and invitingly cool to the touch. Unable to stand it any longer you drink deeply from the running water, shuck off your clothes and let the waterfall cleanse the filth from your body. In summary, the pond is a stable and stagnant ecosystem. It doesn't change or renew and if you were to drink from it you would become ill. If you were to bathe in it you would end up dirtier than before. The waterfall is a dynamic and constantly changing system. It is continuously renewing itself and as a consequence, it and anything in that system is cleaned and the dirt washed away. The parallels in this scenario apply to just about everything in both nature, our lives and technology. Things which stay stable and do not change ultimately, by the law of entropy, stagnate and become rotten. Things which are dynamic and constantly renewed grow and become better with time. The faster the change, the faster the growth. Of course change can be bad as well as good. Fortunately, according to the theory of evolution, the bad changes do not last long and are quickly superseded by good changes. I believe they are a necessary part because without the bad, then how do we know what is good? This is one of the reasons I like Linux so much. Linux is a dynamic, constantly changing operating system ecosystem. Flotsam and jetsam does not have a chance to hang around for very long and is eventually washed away by better solutions. I think this is the reason why Linux has evolved far faster than any proprietary operating system I know of. What do you think? Which would you prefer? A stable, unchanging system or a continuously improving one? Tell us why in the comments below.