Well, I'm not going to go too far into this because I haven't really fleshed it all out and it would sound idiotic otherwise. But, basically, the idea is that there exists a spectrum of technologies, based on both the instant and future amount of cooperation required to produce, maintain and operate them.
On the one hand, you have things like paperclips and hammers which only require a single person to operate and could be created from scratch by just about anyone. And, on the other, you have things like mortgage-backed securities and nuclear power plants which require massive cooperative effort and therefore generate massive systemic risk as a result. The difference between them is fairly obvious.
And the thing is, only idiots should actually *want* to live in a world with mortgage-backed securities or nuclear power plants, because only idiots fail to recognize the risk inherent in them. Yet they still exist. And many otherwise reasonable people use them and invest in them. Why? Because they have to. Because they are dependent upon them. They are dependent upon the stratification of society that enables things like mortgage-backed securities and nuclear power plants to exist. They are dependent upon the benefits provided by these technologies, and either oblivious to or shielded from the risks. And these technologies are currently *allowed* to exist, so therefore if we don't invest in building them, someone else will, and we will therefore be worse off regardless once they eventually blow up so we might as well reap the benefits in the mean time, right?
Okay, so that's a fairly simple concept. Anyone can see the difference between mortgage-backed securities and paperclips. The hard part is everything in-between. Where do we draw the line? Well, my working definition would be that if it is something that a single person could reasonably build himself using nothing more than similarly-categorized technologies and a per-capita average of the world's resources, then it qualifies as a paperclip. If it requires multiple people, more resources than average, or technologies that depend on either, then it is a nuclear power plant and should tend to be regulated. Simple and fairly straightforward, if not entirely practical.
But the really interesting question is "where does something like open source software fit in?" Because as far as I'm concerned, that might as well be a paperclip. Its design and production is completely transparent, and anyone has the opportunity to build or replicate it. Yet it basically depends on microprocessors, which a person could probably not reasonably build in his garage. Bitcoin, too, for example, is one of those massively cooperative technologies that ideally shouldn't exist, yet compared to the alternatives, it might as well be a paperclip.
So, I guess the answer to your question is that it kind of complicated. Yet the concept undeniably exists, and I think is worthy of attention.