Information wants to be free

Information wants to be free… or so goes the quote. Where you find attribution it is often attributed to Stuart Brand. So it is, right there in a transcript from one of the first Hackers’ Conferences. Stuart Brand and Steve ‘The Woz’ Wozniak discussing and out it comes. Not in the package you think you know, because that would be 1) easy and 2) naive, but as a nuanced quote, and expression of paradox.

“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., 1985 p. 49.

As interesting is what The Woz rejoins with,

“Information should be free, your time shouldn’t.” Wozniak S., 1985, p. 49

Food for thought information wants to be free, information wants to be expensive, and your time should not be free.

References

Discussions from the hackers’ conference, November 1984. The Whole Earth Review. May. 45-55

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