Been reading The Wisdom of Crowds.
There's very interesting research referenced in this book which indicates that adding new members to a group can actually make the group smarter even if the new members are less well-informed than the existing members:
Scott Page is a political scientist at the University of Michigan who has done a series of intriguing experiments using computer-simulated problem-solving agents to demonstrate the positive effects of diversity...what Page found was that a group made up of some smart agents and some not-so-smart agents almost always did better than a group made up just of smart agents. You could do as well or better by selecting a group randomly and letting it solve the problem as by spending a lot of time trying to find the smart agents and then putting them alone on the problem.
There are qualifiers to this, it's important to read the whole book, but it's pretty easy to generalize it out to real life. Rails makes it very easy for people to get started, so much so that it draws in people who've never done programming before. Even though this results in individual applications sucking a little extra, it makes the Rails ecosystem smarter as a whole.