Information wants to be Free

From MgmtWiki
Revision as of 14:21, 2 May 2020 by Tom (talk | contribs) (Context)

Jump to: navigation, search

Full Title or Meme

A description of Information is caught in between the thesis of cost and antithesis of freedom. The synthesis is still a work in process.[1]


  • Stewart Brand famously said:[2]
On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.

Brand's conference remarks are transcribed in the Whole Earth Review (May 1985, p. 49) and a later form appears in his The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT:[3]


  • Information is the coin of the realm of the information age, but money is still the metric of wealth. That cannot continue forever.
  • The internet has grown up with the morality of the Wild West where a man could take what he wanted and do with it as he pleased.


  1. Johann Gottlieb Fichte described self-consciousness and self-awareness as well as Thesis, antithesis, synthesis
  2. Roger Clarke, Information Wants to be Free
  3. Stewart Brand The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT| publisher = Viking Penguin (1987) ISBN 0-14-009701-5 p. 202