Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: D. Göçmen <>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 04:15:39 EST

as far as I know in political economy the debate concerns the question what kind of informatiın can be codified and consequently commodified. Are you suggesting a subjectivist theory of value of information? What you say seems to point to that direction. It is quite understandable that information theory emphasises the dependency of agent. Because information without the agent is nothing. But the challenge to political economy concerns an entirely different quetion, namely what detirmines the value of information and knowledge in general as they are sold and bought. Is it wrong to assume that there must be some objective criteria. Is it wrong to assume that labour theory of value is applicable here?




-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Zachariah <>
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Sent: Fri, Dec 4, 2009 11:05 am
Subject: Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

Paula wrote:

But the utility of information *is* important.

By definition, the utility depends on the agents that will use the information.

We would hope this exchange of emails is of some use, right? It's not just a jumble of characters, bits, or whatever. There's meaning involved, there are issues involved, there are people involved. If the quantitative approach can't handle that aspect, then the approach itself is of restricted utility.

Your conclusion is clearly mistaken. Apart from the sub-field of lossy source coding, modern information theory does not consider the utility of the information because that is agent-dependent. But this approach has enabled and sustained the development of communication and information technologies since the 1950s. Name any industrial product and you can find how information theory has improved it in some way.

//Dave Z

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