One of the most important conceptual advances in understanding spreading and diffusion was the concept of critical thresholds leading to cascades. An idea / innovation either dies out shortly or increases exponentially until it saturates the graph.

The cascade, or a threshold above which some information spreads deeply through a social network, implies that the information we see is the information that is capable of triggering a cascade, whose inverse implies that we do not see information (which may be true, and valuable!) that fails to cross the critical threshold.

The result is that there are many true, valuable insights in immediate reach of any independently thinking mind. Low hanging fruit.

This is the novel argument for independent thought - it’s not valuable because you reach the unthinkable contrarian truth nobody else could have seen. It’s valuable because it lets you reach the low hanging fruit that didn’t catch the attention of the cascades across your social network.