i’ve been thinking a good deal about information.
One of the constant mantras one hears in this industry is “Information wants to be free”. In other words, there shouldn’t be artificial restrictions or barriers put in place to prevent folks from accessing data they want. It’s a beautiful idea, full of merit, but kinda bad.
The problem with that outlook is that while gaining information is easy, the skills associated with processing it are often missing. Folks cherry pick the information they want to have. It’s pretty typical, completely normal, and well documented throughout history. It still doesn’t make the world hollow or typing in your PIN backwards on an ATM summon the police.
Fact is information, just like anything else you find just lying around, needs to be evaluated. Thus, the rise of individuals and organizations of trust who provide expert overview. Some of those organizations decide that they need (or just want) income from their expertize and required folks who want it to pay up for it. While i enjoy being a completely cheap bastard and don’t like ponying up for such things, i can understand the value proposition they are offering. i can also understand that just because a group wants you to pay for that opinion, doesn’t mean that said opinion is worth what you pay for it. Or that the “free” version isn’t far better than the one you just paid for. (Again, kinda need that “critical thinking” part to make sure you’re going to get proper value and advice.)
It’s just interesting to see how this model, which has existed in “real life” for eons, is now starting to take root online. Just in time for the latest brood of students unversed in said critical thinking get to hit the web.
It’s a good time to be alive. Particularly if you inherited a few genes from P.T. Barnum.