Ursula K. LeGuin, the noted science fiction author, uses her stories to talk about issues of the day. What’s interesting is when she throws out a side comment that is loaded with great stuff.
In The Dispossessed (1974), LeGuin talks about why people need to be colocated to spur cross-disciplinary “open source” conversations that drive innovation:
It was a revelation, a liberation. Physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, logicians, biologists, all were here at the University, and they came to him or he went to them, and they talked, and new worlds were born of their talking. It is of the nature of idea to be communicated, written, spoken, done. The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on. [pp. 72]
What a wonderful way of putting it!
The entire book is interesting, although not a satisfying ending. (Welcome to pre-Star Wars SF.) Dealing with a utopian society based on a future colony of Earth and their Communist and Capitalist (think UK) counterparts on the home planet, it raises interesting issues, including the problems inherent to having no leaders. Recommended