mur·mur·a·tion/ˌmɜr məˈreɪ ʃən/ Show Spelled[mur-muh–rey-shuh n]Show IPAnoun 1.an act or instance of murmuring.
During the days of Middle English, this word had only one meaning, the hushed tones when speaking to another in a pass-it-manner; speaking softly and somewhat covertly. Contextually however, it came to include a concept describing the method by which news traveled in those days, one person murmuring to another. From this it is said that certain phrases evolved; “News travels fast” and then “bad news travels faster”. (if they had only known what the future held.)
Eventually, the definition became even broader and came to include a description of the almost instant communication of one creature to another when referring for example to the avian behavior of migrating starlings or swallows and even more-so in reference to the swarming behavior of bees. When watching the lead bird change direction and noticing that the rest of the community follows in a fraction of a second the effect is astonishingly beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNqhi2ka9k
When applying the same principles to the daily stream of human behavior the beauty is still there but it requires a bit of concentration and focus and a willingness that is free of judgment in oder to fully appreciate it.
If one ignores for a moment the issue of the human need for socialization and focuses in the interim on the advancement of human kind and then notices that virtually every major contribution to society was completed by a number of free thinkers so small that by comparison to the total of society would number in millionths of a percent of that whole, then mightn’t one ask the question “what if all of society or even just half of society were to demonstrate a similar level of creativity? Wouldn’t we have evolved into a much more sophisticated society, to say the least?”
The answer to that question must certainly be “No”.
Of course we don’t know what life would be like under similar circumstances. But, if truth be known I think the sudden burst in technical knowledge in the last century or so is not the result of an increasing number of contributors but in the nature of learning. The acquisition of knowledge increases exponentially. The next twenty years may produce greater changes than in the last century. And this suggests that there is a practical side to the herd behavior so prevalent in nature. The need for stability and adaptation to change can only be guaranteed by large, cooperative numbers of similarly minded people.
Have a nice day.