Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paula <>
Date: Wed Nov 18 2009 - 18:10:58 EST

Paul C wrote:
> But the same can be said of many industrial products.
> The information content of two ( you can have any colour you want so long
> as it is black ) model T Fords was the same.
> It was this information content that distinguished a Ford from a Buick.

Yes, but their value would not depend on that information content, only on
the amount of abstract labor-time needed for the production of each car.
Indeed a Ford and a Buick can have exactly the same value even though the
information content differs.

Another example comes to mind here, that of 'fake' brand goods. A factory,
say, produces luxury handbags, but some of them are smuggled onto the black
market. All the handbags are produced the same way, but the legal ones are
the 'genuine brand', therefore they carry a different information content
and sell for a much higher price. I would argue, however, that the value is
the same. The difference in information content does not enter into it.


PS - regarding Jurriaan's comments, it's fine to start 'by inventorizing the
ways in which intellectual property is actually sold, and what sort of
property rights pertain to it'. But if we are trying to decide whether
knowledge has value, then at some point we would indeed have to abstract
from these markets, since value is produced before exchange.

Also, knowledge is not exactly the same as information, but the two are
closely related. Here we are considering whether labor that produces
knowledge and/or information is productive of value.

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Received on Wed Nov 18 18:25:05 2009

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