The New Economic Medium Is Knowledge

Knowledge And Barter Knowledge And Barter

 Humans once bartered goods for goods, then the world began using currency, so what is the future medium of economics?

To fully understand the direction of what economist call "the new economy", we must be fluent in understanding the power of knowledge. A new era has begun in which innovation, although important, becomes secondary to the selective hiding of information across knowledgeable individuals.

This then creates an unbreakable chain between information technology, knowledgeable members of society, and transfer networks. The third is the most fluid as it is constantly adapting and becoming more complex. These networks are what gradually changes the very way society operates. On a larger scale, they are the new function of the current and future economy.

This concept affirms that:

  1. Society emerges with an infinite number of different facets and arises as a result of the changes generated by a series of technological innovations in computer science, telecommunications, and media.
  2. It is one in which citizens have virtually unlimited access and immediate information.
  3. Its processing and transmission act as decisive factors in all the activity of individuals, from their economic relations to leisure and public life.

Essentially, Information brings knowledge and knowledge to power.

Selectively Hiding Information

 Although it is hard to come to terms with the statements above, it hints that certain clandestine knowledge controlled by a group of people is possibly responsible for maintaining human behavior at the "status quo".

As such, the "new economy" concept hints at the importance of the acquisition and selective hiding of information which may be exploited as a medium for economic advantages. For example, open source companies that write software and code which is then released publicly only provide support for their products in exchange for financial compensation. A plumber similarly might come to a scene, address an issue, and fix it. Although the plumber will never tell the secrets of how he fixed the issue, and only give bleak advice on how to avoid it in the future.

It might seem like common sense. To maintain a constant stream of revenues, it is important to have constant necessity. If you give away your secrets, which can then be repeated, they are no longer secrets. Thus, failing to selectively hide information is self-betrayal in the future economy. Only vague and generalized information should be disclosed.

Curiosity is the lust of the mind

Thomas Hobbs

In this economic change that has yet to come, or perhaps already has been in action secretly, it is important to learn when and when not to disclose information. If you disclose too little, you risk looking incompetent. If you disclose too much, you risk dethroning your own usefulness. It is, therefore, extremely important to selectively hide information.  

Keep Secrets Secret 

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead

Benjamin Franklin 

In some of Dale Carnegie's works (a 1900's inspirational author), it is mentioned that the one thing humans often strive for is "to feel important". This feeling, also known as social reinforcement, makes secret information much, much harder to confidentially contain.

Take, for example, a fist fight in a high school courtyard. Many of those that witness it might swear to keep the identities of the parties involved a secret while spreading this clandestine information to their peers like wildfire. As these propagate this information, they feel their moment of "fame" as other individuals are struck with admiration by this modest information. The following day, the two individuals involved are suspended. Somehow this secret information got to the administrator's office.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

1941 American Counter Espionage Propaganda Idiom

The scenario above is an important example of what might and will likely occur when groups are tasked with keeping secrets. As we often learn from history, secrets can be kept only when one individual is tasked with keeping them. As with the schoolyard children, groups of individuals fall privy to their own desire to be acknowledged. This can often lead the propagation clandestine information to individuals that do not have loyalty or a stake in the continued covering up of the secret information. These individuals can be referred to as rouges or confederates that will devalue the power of information that is passed down to them (usually inadvertently and indirectly).

In this new and upcoming economy, it is extremely important to simply keep secrets secret. those that possess hidden knowledge will possess power and those that do not will have to pay to access portions of that power. 

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