Nicholas Carr is wrong. Again.

Nicholas Carr is wrong again (see Google is not making us stupid). In Information wants to be free my ass, Carr argues that all the money we fork out for information services is based on the high value we place on content. No argument from me on that, but Carr seems to be ignoring all kinds of relevant trends towards free services and content: Skype, free WiFi, Open Access movements, etc. Yes, there are counter-trends, as content providers and others are trying to figure out how to cash in on the demand for information. But that doesn’t mean that the basic ideas behind the information wants to be free meme are wrong. It just means that lots of folks want to make money off of information, and that hardly seems like a big revelation. In fact, that is what Stewart Brand said when he first noted that information wants to be free:

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. (May 1985, Whole Earth Review, p. 49

But that kind of nuance is not really Carr’s thing.

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