A recent post in the Atlantic by Bill Davidow examines the dangers of living in an increasingly connected Internet-driven world. He opines that instead of a more transparent and information-rich landscape, the Internet is driving a frenzy of "positive" feedback that may be driving people apart instead of together. 

As examples of this, he cites the recent budget ceiling debacle in Washington, flash mob attacks around the world, and high-frequency financial trading. The thesis is that an idea can gain significant momentum very quickly through the instant feedback mechanism that is the Internet. What used to take time to gain momentum as people learned and thought about new concepts now is quickly consumed and spread with a speed that defies logic. 

A prime example of this is the Internet bubble and bust of the late '90s. Companies generating no business would receive a glowing review online, sending the stock soaring. As the stock price rose, more people would pile on, and that would feed the positive feedback loop. As the bubble burst, falling stock prices caused another piling on - this time on the other side with people selling as quickly as they could click their mouse.