Is information becoming revalued? – so that the more often it is exchanged the more valuable it becomes??
I have been having an interesting conversation with a GenX information packager and distributor. We have been talking about presenters giving away all the presentations from a conference for free. I come from the Boomer generation where we were taught that the scarcity of information increased its value. Those who had expertise could multiply its worth by selectively withholding it and charging a fee for releasing it.
However as GenX pointed out the information distribution system changed once information could be distributed asynchronously through a technology like fax machines. Only the ubiquitous installation of fax machines made the information they distributed available (and therefore valuable). In this case the denser the distribution chain the better. I can see the argument for promoting the distribution of fax machines. And perhaps Skype is a good modern example (although they have just introduced a version for charging – so that also seems to be creeping into our culture – a kind of combo ( what is called in sales) “puppy dog” + “bait and switch” close – take this free version and when you have got used to wanting and using it then we will offer you an even more deluxe version that you have to pay for. By then I can’t live without it so I pay.)
But what happens when we think further of fax machines and Skype? One is hardware channel for info exchange, the other is a soft/shareware delivery channel for information. It is like the old blade and razor relationship. Or is it? When you send info thru those channels it is only as valuable as the number of people who receive and exchange/forward it with/to others. When the info pattern is exchanged often enuf it becomes a v-meme and enters the meaning making world as a kind of code. I guess I’d call it a reflective code (per Humans being Gaia’s reflective organ). In the terms of communication amongst the honey bees, it would be a dance that points to something valuable like flower pollen/nectar???
However, the honey bees actually have a species agreement where they first support each other (and in so doing support themselves as individuals (I would call this the bee form of Ubuntu ) and thru pollination support their place/eco-region. So far the human species first supports self, then others, then this place.
Maybe the shift from valuing the distribution channel to valuing the info exchange(d) is a pre-cursor to our shifting from I-support to We-support??? Perhaps this is the life condition that Yellow produces so that Turquoise can emerge??? Is this what GenX and Y are manifesting in the world and what Boomers find a stretch?? Maybe, we are really talking about a species values shift at the Generational level and that is occurring at Lower Left and Upper Left quadrants?
The question comes down to: does the rate of information freely exchanged increase its value? To Be or Not To Be … Free … that is the question.