Re: Creating Wealth (was: When is an MP3 file like a lighthouse.)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Fri Oct 26 2001 - 00:31:53 MDT

"Robert J. Bradbury" wrote:
> Eliezer recently said:
> > Freeloading may increase total unfairness, but it still
> > increases wealth. Downloading always increases wealth.
> I objected to similar comments earlier. I don't understand
> the way Eliezer is using the term "wealth", which the
> dictionary defines as "much money or property; riches"
> and "valuable products, contents, etc.".

Hmmm. A very old-fashioned definition that does not really grok
the realities of the information age. It assumes that money,
property and such are static and that if I take then I have
away from you. In information this is often the opposite of the
truth. If I take you still have and my also having makes
creative innovation and increase of information wealth more
likely than it was before.

I don't know what kind of models will get us from "here" to the
"there" we can begin to make out a bit down the road. But along
the way we need to loosen our grip on some fundamental
assumptions about what wealth is and how economics works and
begin to think of how we wish/need it to work to maximize our
greatest benefit and potentialities.

- samantha

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