I am looking for examples of ideas, historical or current, where the output of a production process is also used as the input. An example could be something like this:
This is an example of a self-magnifying (or positive feedback) process. What are other examples of such ideas?
The reason why I am so interested is that really radical ideas could be produced with such self-magnifying effects.
A Q&A site like this ;-)
Really - you could say any site that drives repeated user input (community site) fits this model. Even more so if it has a viral component that compels others to join
This methodology is quite common in writing programming languages and called bootstrapping.
The BASIC, C, and Pascal computer languages were created this way. A current day example is REAL Studio, from REAL Software. For a number of years the current product release has been developed and compiled using a prior version of itself.
See this Wikipedia article on compiler bootstrapping for an introduction.
I have found an example myself. The RepRap 3d printer, which can print large parts of itself, meaning that it can to a large degree self-replicate. http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page Self-replication is only one way of positive feedback. I thought of another much simpler answer, which is when cutting trees in the forest, to utilize the energy they release to make other trees fall as well, as a kind of domino effect. I do not see how it would work in practice, but it is what I am looking for, because the trunks are used as input to create other trunks (from trees).