Clay Shirky‘s observation that when someone sees something on the web, they think “I could do that too”, is more than just a casual plaything for idle minds… it’s a fundamental human behaviour with a complex of very powerful drivers behind it.
It’s not just teenagers lip-synching, or happy-slapping, or this year’s harvest of ra-ra skirts. It’s something that appears to be happening in every single sphere and niche of human endevour… and it’s creating this fractal pattern of innovation.
I particularly like the following example because it involves a “genetic learning algorithm” which uses trial-and-error to do a job… and at latest count, around 167 people have replied, asking for the source code so they can participate in some trial-and-erroring of their own – copy->morph->copy->morph->copy->morp etc. It’s a little snapshot of an evolving evolution machine… and is a microcosm I suspect, of this thing that we’re currently calling the web, as a whole.