Information wants to be Free

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Full Title or Meme

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


  • Stewart Brand famously said:[1]
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:[2]
  1. Roger Clarke, Information Wants to be Free
  2. Stewart Brand The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT| publisher = Viking Penguin (1987) ISBN 0-14-009701-5 p. 202