Up side canyons of the Grand Canyon there are puddles along a stream bed completely isolated from any moving water source. The puddles are teaming with life despite the absence of any water way into the pond. Tadpoles, minnows, algae, water slugs, water striders and many types of aquatic plants saturate the pond. Each one crawling through the thick algae, swimming the perimeter or peering up tempted by what lays outside the water. The slowly evaporating pond shrinks without regard to the increasingly frantic creatures.
Evolution goes into overdrive as resources become scarce in this isolated environment. The pond creatures necessarily breed incestuously magnifying the existing genetic traits and increasing the frequency of mutations. Succeeding generations become better suited for the sunny desert pond slowly shrinking and warming.
One can imagine just before the pond is consumed by the sun, and the last creatures are baked, a storm rages upstream raising the adjacent stream enough overtake the pond and wash its inhabitants back into the mainstream. The organisms well adapted for the still warm pond are now tumbling through the cool flash flood and headed toward the big river. The former pond is now the stream bed and only the organisms adapted for the warm pond but can also survive the river will continue to reproduce and propagate genetic features.
Many remains of ponds not saved by the flood lay scattered along the stream bed. Remains of creatures adapted to the extreme but with out impact on the continuing generations. These short tendrils of evolution cut short by a high pressure system covering Arizona keeping away any potential moisture that could save the new age creatures. Survival of the fittest
These ponds of temporary life mimic the ways cultures and ideas develop in stressed environments. Some ideas flourish and adapt into a stronger form while others get caught in a vicious loop only to be killed once dumped back into the mainstream. Other, potentially great ideas are never seen by the majority only to be passed by and left baking on the dry rocks.
How can we create environments that foster fast changes to ideas that leave them stronger and ready to contribute something to the mainstream all while minimizing the risk of being dehydrated to death? The most adaptive pool I've seen so far has been noisebridge in San Francisco, an infrastructure provider for DIY projects. We can thank similar puddles like the cafe penny universities during the age of enlightenment for many of the great ideas we still learn about today.
The only related joke I've heard:
How do you kill a hipster? .................... Throw him into the mainstream.