CSHL reminds me of the way things work in human societies. Your individual capabilities are one thing, but without having people to vouch for you, those skills remain concealed from the larger community.
To express yourself, you usually do so in order to be heard [by others]. For people to listen to you, they want some type of assurance that its worth their time. For that to happen, they need someone they trust tell them that what you have to express is worth their attention. That is why even if you have exceptional individual abilities, you still need a community. To be part of a community you have to accept the principles upon which that community was formed in order to be admitted into its circle. These principles for the large part are conventional, contingent and subjective. Upon close examination they are outright ridiculous. However since they are produced by humans, they are humanly ridiculous, and they are the key to being part of a community so that your individual expressions can be heard.
This applies to communities of empirical research, jurisprudence, art, sports and so forth. Whenever like minded people gather they do so according to certain principles. To be part of them you have to accept those principles. Man is weak and lonely, and needs to be heard. Most people are fortunate not to be aware of this whole process and just take their community as being *the* community; the standard upon which others are measured. Others have the sad fate of seeing beyond that and thus live their lives changing hats as they move. Eventually, they learn how to enjoy the charade.