My thinking has long been that the best approach is to provide fertile ground, but not sweat definitions or purpose.
We aren't a new thing, we just have new options. We've connected by cafes, mail, BBSs, forums, community centers, HAM radio, etc.
Some of the aspects seem inherent to intellectualism, such as age-agnosticism and self-education. But, as for the re-thinking of competition/post-political stuff, IMO, that's determined by external factors and probably shifts with the times.