I was lacking inspiration as to what to write and eventually I went back to first principles. This was the insight. Bernard of Chartres (around 1150’s), long before Newton or Oasis, observed from his already lofty perch, that we are standing on the shoulder of a giant. So in order to find something to discuss, I should look to others. The key observation was that what we write and read depends on what others have laid down before us. We depend on others for both a potential application of our ideas and also for the ideas themselves. Alone, we can’t make giant leaps. Instead, we inch our way forward, we take ideas before we can give ideas. Even if one could believe an innovation is independent of a community, then an innovation (which is almost by definition useful) must serve some community. Recognition of the marriage between the innovation and the community serves to show that the innovation couldn’t actually have been made without some community.
With “social” driving all the thinking within technology it seems everyone is talking and moving in the same direction. Social will take us to the next level. Social can do, but it will still be considered an inch of progress when viewed from afar. It is a pretty heady catalyst that focusses our energies on communities and unleashes the tools and means of production to the entire population, long tails and all.