Three words of infinite simplicity and value (via Dave Weinberger):
"Control doesn't scale."
Want to understand the convulsion that lies ahead of us? The transitions in economics, technology, management, politics, media and art that must be made if we're to benefit from the new tools? The divisions that animate our "culture war" bullshit sessions?
Three words: "Control doesn't scale."
Human beings have been giving up control in exchange for the expanding wisdom and benefits of freedom for as long as we've been a species, so there's plenty of historical precedent to instruct us on what course to follow. The unprecedented part is actually the rate of change, which means that the challenge in the scaling issue really lies in the feedback loops we imagine. We can't wait around and expect the old culture to vet new ideas for us. We'll have to invent the "new normal" on the fly, and we'll certainly screw that up a few times.
But this is the central issue. And the other thing history teaches is that the people who have control generally don't like giving it up. So that's our short-term future in a nutshell.