Information Age Dilemma

The Low Golden Willow (
Sun, 21 Sep 1997 18:05:41 -0700 (PDT)

The free market punishes stupidity and inefficiency. This is good. But
it also fails to reward producing information for free, or exploration,
which is bad if people need that reward to live. Copyright fills in the
gap, but less than ideally, because it makes information not free for a

A system which could afford to support its entire population for little
effort can afford much exploration and research and art. This is good.
But it can fail to punish inefficiency or population growth faster than
productivity growth, until the system collapses. This is bad. Or could
be bad; possibly it wouldn't be a real problem. Western birthrates have
been dropping, and maybe people would adopt more efficient measures
because those felt more elegant. But I'm not sanguine about the
problem, as Banks is.

Is there a fix? And is it reachable from current society? I dunno.
But this is what I've been getting at.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

He played as the Culture. He'd habitually set up something like the
society itself when he constructed his positions and deployed his
pieces; a net, a grid of forces and relationships, without any obvious
hierarchy or entrenched leadership, and initially quite profoundly