A lot of times these forums don't really work - you know - you gather a bunch of folks, ask some questions and the sum is somehow supposed to be greater than the parts. This time though, I have to hand out some kudos to TIME Magazine; their article, The Road Ahead, gathered some great brains (Gladwell, Dyson, O'Reilly) but more importantly, gathered some great conversation and insights.
Fair warning - right now the whole article is available online - don't know how long that will last. I think that O'Reilly's initial idea that the most transformational thing happening right now is our growing ability to harness collective intelligence is deceptively powerful. Deceptive because I think most people will just see it and agree "Yeah, that's a good one" without pausing to think about it a bit deeper. As a historian, I know that there truly are transformational moments - points in the timeline when you can locate a sea change - an inflection - a movement from one thing to the next. This is one of those times.