Thursday, September 10, 2009

Note: Is Information Power after all?

For quite a few years now, the notion that Information Is Power has been considered a dogma.

Yet let me put forward the following syllogism:

If Information is indeed "power" then how come so much of it is free (eg available for free on the Internet)? The assumption here being that when even minimal market forces are in action, supply and demand, something that yields power would not be given for free.

Thus, following on this syllogism, one can argue that maybe Information is not, after all, "Power". What would validate this syllogism?

Well, let's consider what one can do with Information these days. Not much, I would argue. Unless one has the means to use this information to produce something and/or market it to a market, what value does this information have, what "power"?

IMO, Information by itself is not power. One has to be in a certain economy or market or have real access to it (see WTO, free trade for products, services, work, etc) not theoretical access or only via a monopoly or oligopoly of middlemen (see some cases of complaints re certain countries at the WTO) and have the means of production (still being in most cases capital, labor and know-how) in his/her possession or access, for Information to lead to "Power" or even something of value.

Unless one wins a encyclopedic knowledge quiz show!!!

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