Courage and humility are the driving personality traits behind collaborative creativity. One must be confident of the value of their perspective and ability, and humble enough to blend their finest work with that of others
Listening to soulful cello music from Magnatunes, I appreciate the interplay of various instruments both real and simulated. The resonating base tones weave with playful rapid rhythms. Some of the music is played by a single cellist, while others are a mix of synthesized harpsicord, and wind instruments. One of my current favorites is an electronic cello piece mixed with drums, Jami Sieber's Undercurrent (listen at Last.fm).The patterns of music, and the creative expression of the artist lead me to consider alternative collaborative creations, specifically software development.
At any given moment while developing I'm leveraging hundreds of thousands if not millions of man hours of development. The enormity of the code bases I don't even see is at first overwhelming. By nature programming is a highly collaborative creative outlet. Even software written in isolation uses open license programming languages, and a variety of utilities.
Collaboration Throughout Life
We inherit technological and cultural patterns. We then reinvent them to better fit the changing world we mold both consciously, systematically, and implicitly. I used to think of Utopia as an entire world full of peaceful cocreating societies. Now I've narrowed that surreal perspective down to individual interactions. Social patterns begin with a single case, an epoch. I can help set an example that leads to another, in a chain of mutually beneficial collaborations. Everything I accomplish now is limited to a single life time.
We can't witness the rise and fall of oceans, the merging of biology and technology, or the shift in the quality of life of global citizens hundreds of years from now. But the expression of our actions as a series of threaded patterns can extend indefinitely, if only they're judged suitable. And they need never be connected to our identity.