Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 05:00:10 EST

Dogan wrote:

> as far as I know in political economy the debate concerns the question what
> kind of informatiın can be codified and consequently commodified.

All information can be quantified and encoded.

> 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.

On the contrary, I'm trying to keep the discussion up-to-date with the
materialist conception of information that arose from engineering and
computer science. Information theory in general does *not* depend on an
agent. Information is a quantity that exists, regardless of the existence of

> 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?
As for the labour value of a product that embodies information content I
agree with Paul C that it is determined by the amount of labour required to
reproduce it as usual. This would be the sum of labour required to reproduce
the physical copy plus the amount of labour required to produce the
information content in the first place divided by the number of copies

In commodity form, the amount of money these copies fetch on the market will
on labour value and rents. The influence of the latter will depend on the
level of monopolisation and legal restrictions through patent rights.

//Dave Z

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Received on Fri Dec 4 05:01:54 2009

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