Consciousness flow will have no blockage anymore. Traditionally, it was blocked by military power, or by capital power. But in the web area, in the social domain, we will see that consciousness flow will be more and more natural.
In traditional industry, such as agriculture and manufacturing, there are a lot of physical barriers that can block the flow of consciousness. For example, to manufacture some product, a lot of things can be put in place to block competition.
But in the area of social domain, the physical barrier is very low, especially when web starts to connect people together. So for this kind of consciousness product (music, or a social solution), it is more about competing for people’s attention. That is why they have to be kept free. The same as open source, best solution wins. It is all about whether it is interesting or it really solves the problem. In my post Comments on whither the world, I wrote “Our time is about how to build better social products (such as learning, music, journalism and so on). It is about what really makes us happy.” The making of social products has very different characteristics from the traditional industry. For example, the coming of people together to cooperate is more ad hoc, more flexible and manifest more varieties of ways of organizing (as we can see in bar camp and unconference). The kinds of social products cover a very wide range of products or services. They address a wide range of need that was very insufficiently addressed in the past due to a lot of barriers. As agriculture and manufacturing industry satisfy our stomach and physical needs, the social products satisfy our spiritual (however problematic this term “spiritual” is) needs, and is the thing that really makes up happy. In the area of web, we are going to see more and more people coming together addressing those needs. The ways people cooperate in these areas will be very different from the traditional industries and the “core values” of human being will be more and more embodied in the process.
If we believe the “basic good” of human nature, we can believe this process will lead to a much brighter future. That is why we should be very optimistic.
It is along this line that I understand the meaning of (social) software. (Also this is why I understand computer science as a bridge between physical science and human science). Here the Python principle (the principle of play) applies, e.g. make things that are easy for people to play (interact) with. It is here the core values of human activities connect: play, learn, and create.
(To be revised)