Howard Rheingold gave a TED talk in 2005 discussing the nature of cooperation, and how it contrasts with classical views of competition as the driver of progress. Discussed: The Prisoner's Dilemma (and how he suggests eBay solves it), Tragedy of the Commons (and how humans create social structures to overcome it), The Ultimatum Game, Wikipedia, Bittorrent, and finally Rheingold's proposal for a Cooperation Project to embrace a cooperative form of economic progress.

This video is worth a look for anyone interested in economics, game theory, or the history (and possible future) of human society.

Read more: Prisoner's Dilemma, Tragedy of the Commons, Ultimatum Game, more on Howard Rheingold (at the bottom of the page is a link to a QuickTime movie describing Rheingold's Cooperation Project).