I’ll steal the TL;DR from the author:
TL;DR: By giving an actual social status to the people contributing to a repository, GitHub would solve the problem of zombie-projects with a scattered community. By allowing these citizens to actually collaborate with each other, instead of just with the owner, repositories will live as long as the community exists, completely on auto-pilot.
Ignore “GitHub” for a second and replace with WordPress.org. Upvoted contributions to by_the_people_ branches on plugins could be an interesting way of addressing the stale plugin or unresponsive plugin author issue.