Science is a network of propositions that are more or less interconnected and consistent in spite of having no single author. It is a collective process, and though many individuals are involved at any one time and over long periods, and they are not always in communication, there is a goal in common, namely the description of the world. The approximate mutual consistency of the network gives it the appearance of a designed output assembled by many and easy to mistake as intended by many to serve a shared desire for knowledge.

This misleads scientists into thinking that there is or must be a collective economic output, which misunderstanding explains the almost universal collectivism of that profession.

However, the networks of science were unplanned, and result not from the intention of a , single collective will but from trial and error, with mutual consistency resulting from many discrete decisions regarding each individual proposition, permitting this one to stand, or condemning that one to fail. Similarly, the network of manufacture and exchange that we see all around us is co-ordinated as the result of a multitude of individual decisions, not because of some collective or socialised will to production to serve some collective requirement.