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Information Wants to Be Expensive

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 26th, 02009

Long Now member Tony Hansmann spotted this piece in the Wall St Journal which cites Stewart Brand’s quote on information in regard to the collapse of newspapers.

 One reason most media companies suspended normal business practices online, such as seeking subscription revenues, was a misinterpretation of one of the most powerful observations of the Information Age. When author Stewart Brand coined the expression “Information wants to be free,” he focused on how technology makes it cheap and easy to communicate and share knowledge. But the rest of his quote is rarely noticed.

This says, “Information also wants to be expensive.” The right information in today’s complex economy and society can make a huge difference in our professional and personal lives. Not having this information can also make a big difference, especially if someone else does have it. And for valuable information, online is a great new way for it to be valued.