Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Information Wants To Be Free

The second law of thermodynamics (as phrased by Rudolf Cluasius) states that:

The Entropy of the Universe tends to a maximum

This applies to information science in the following way:

once information has passed to a new location outside of the source's control there is no way of ensuring it is not propagated further and therefore will naturally tend towards a state where that information is widely distributed.

Therefore, on "the command line of the Internet," Information really doesn't need an "address" it only needs a name.

There's an interesting video of a lecture by the former Chief Scientist of Cisco Systems that you can watch and/or download to your desktop or ipod here. After giving an extremely informative overview of the history of the telephone network and internet, he connects the dots cleverly to conclude with aforementioned concept.

I'll go a step further and add my own piece: Public Information is free information. Let it breath - Let it move around. Art is meant to be enjoyed, It should be on display for the world to see. Music is meant to be heard, It should be played and shared freely. Things that make humanity better should be free. This doesn't mean people can't maintain ownership, or credit, or get paid, or that there can't be a price for someone's goods or services, but generally speaking...information should be "free"

"When information is generally useful, redistributing it makes humanity wealthier no matter who is distributing and no matter who is receiving".

Indeed As Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, likes to point out, When they (and I too, in this regard) mean "Free," it is meant:

"Free as in 'Free Speech' not (necessarily), Free as in 'Free Beer' "

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