Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Nov 19 2009 - 05:22:22 EST

Paula wrote:
> 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.
I agree with this. I am not saying that information is value. What I am
saying is that it costs work to produce certain types of information,
and that the information has a value. This is then amortised accross the
multiple copies of the information that are made.
> 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.
One has to be clear what one means by the difference in information
content here.
Does it mean more or less information or different information. I doubt
that the
genuine Dior items have more information.
> Paula
> 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 Thu Nov 19 05:27:25 2009

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