so reading more about herding and cascades - interestingly enough, cascades can be demonstrated to happen without appealing to behavoural economics - but behavoural economics means that they happen sooner because of herding behaviour....oh well.....another nail in the coffin for the dogma of markets - the more i read of the 1980s BS people wrote, the more it looks like the old Marxist style rants - one big hammer so everything looks like a nail. sad sad sad.
meanwhile, having an impact is an interesting problem (to which UK government funded researchers anre now required to address themselves) _ looking at the Mcleod fine book on the history of inventors, it is very much a matter of hit or miss whether some one thing out of millions is the one that succeeds - many people had a go, for example, at making telegraphs work, and radio work, and so on, but the guys that get their name on the thing (Edison, Morse, Marconi, Bell, etc) are just ones that got lucky, really...although in some cases, they were also extremely fine (and possibly ruthless) business minds as well as (maybe) being creative in the tech. arena. Its part of what I said before here - "realizing the applicability of an invention" is crucial, in both senses of the word "realize" -
1/ intellectually grasping the commercial or social benefit the "new" idea will have.
2/ building it and getting it out there as a product or service in the Real World (TM)