MIT has come up with something which looks set to accelerate one of the driving forces of the new ecology we're watching develop - software which makes computer programming something ANYONE can do. And it's free.
Scratch is a programming tool which allows anyone to animate stories, make video games and create interactive art.
This from the BBC: "Primarily aimed at children, Scratch does not require prior knowledge of complex computer languages.
"Instead, it uses a simple graphical interface that allows programs to be assembled like building blocks."The digital toolkit, developed in the US at MIT's Media Lab, allows people to blend images, sound and video."
It means you can make your own video game, music, music videos, tv, films, documentaries, folklore - and almost certainly a whole range of rich culture no one has thought of yet.
With the basic assumption that the power is in the network, increasing the number of participants - and opening the creative process to people from new ways of thinking (ie techy types have needed a mathematical, scientific background, now a computer games maker could be someone with less linear thinking (apologies for lumping the whole of science into one thought mode! but you get the point...)
And get this "A version of the tool is also currently being developed for the XO laptop, designed by the One Laptop Per Child Project..."
And this is just one tiny aspect of life which could be massively changed by reducing the technical bar for people to participate. Puts the whole notion of 'ease of use' into perspective - doesn't it?