Contrary Brin: A Little More Hormatsian Wisdom
A good summary. In a world where brilliance and excellence is commonplace, what becomes valuable? Remember, diamonds, if they were common, would be cheap -- despite their interesting properties.
That which is valuable is that which cannot be readily substituted. Connections. Family ties. Owned wealth. Power.
See also this and this and this and (most recently) this. From neo-feudalism to the new guilded age.
Teddy Roosevelt, where are you?