The Information Age

The growing information age brings with it many problems. The essence of information is that it is easily duplicated. If I give a physical, material item to another I must surrender control of it for myself. If I give information, I still have it, unless I also give my last copy of the media on which it's recorded. Copyrights and patents imply that we own the information itself. This may be legal, but its not moral and it's not practical. These are attempts to restrict communication. They become anachronisms as the information age progresses.

The information game is what we call a non-zero-sum game. I don't have to lose in order for someone else to gain, and vica versa. Like with love, we don't really "give" or "share" information because these words imply that we no longer have as much as we did. We only make more of it by duplicating it.

You say, "What motivation would people have to produce original information if they weren't able to control it and profit from its distribution?" This attitude results from the slave culture in which we still live (that may be destroyed as the information age takes over). This culture tells us that we must work, or at least be paid, by someone else in order to survive with dignity and prove our value to society. But much of our best art of all kinds was produced by people who were, at most, very unsure of being paid for it.

The best things in life are free exchange of information, which is getting more difficult to restrict all the time, and those who try will hopefully be left behind.


Send me your thoughts.
Dan Robinson, danrob@efn.org, Eugene, Oregon
My home page: http://www.efn.org/~danrob/