Ancient antecedent of an agile principle?

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

— one of the principles of the agile manifesto

The agile manifesto stresses individuals, interactions and collaboration, and in the principles it further explains how we can realize those by emphasizing the principle of face-to-face conversation, presumably over email and documents. This is of course not a new concept nor one unique to agile. Indeed, the Bible — whose youngest text dates from almost 2000 years ago (the book of James was written sometime between 50-200 AD) — contains a reference to the preference for face-to-face communication. Writing sometime between 90-100 AD, John concludes his third letter — a very short letter — with the following:

I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.

The test of wisdom is its durability: John could’ve very easily been writing today. Even though he didn’t have email, I’m sure he would’ve still found a face-to-face chat the way to go.

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