Johnson uses the "mediasphere", the environment of media, as an example of a complex system. Changes in technology, in this case cable television, and the ability of local stations to feed news into the system; and in policy (rules), that allowed local CNN affiliates to feed stories into the system, as a dramatic change that ultimately allowed the Gennifer Flowers story to come to mass-light during the 1992 primary campaigns.
Once again, we return to the fundamental laws of emergence: the behavior of individual agents is less important than the overall system. In earlier times, connections were hierarchical; they lacked the connections to generate true feedback; and too few agents were interacting to create any higher-level order. But the cable explosion of the eighties changed all that. For the first time, the system started to reverberate on its own. The sound was quiet during those initial years and may not have crossed into an audible range until Jim Wooten asked that question. And yet anyone who caught the nightly news on January 24, 1992, picked up its signal loud and clear. (p 145)
And earlier: "The likelihood of a feedback loop correlates directly to the general interconnectedness of the system." (134)
A couple of pages later, Johnson describes the danger of an absence of feedback. While the Gennifer Flowers affair as an example of "runaway positive feedback", "the tyranny of the crank results from a scarcity of feedback: a system where the information flows are unidirectional, where the audience is present and at the same time invisible." (152)
Like living in a sensory deprivation tank -- eventually you begin to hallucinate.