How many people want to keep knowledge locked up in their minds? They sometimes go as far as patenting their knowledge as an effort to keep other people from knowing what they know.
But how does that improve the world or humanity? It doesn’t.
I used to work for an “automotive information provider”, a company that would gather repair information, convert it into their database format, add some electronic “bells & whistles”, then sell it to repair shops who needed the information to fix cars. It was a simple business idea and it made the original founder quite wealthy. One day I was talking with my supervisor (at the time) and I had mentioned that some of the OE companies provided their repair info for free and if the other OEs followed suit, we would be out of business. He replied “Good thing the others are greedy”.
There are many ways to find information, for free. Sometimes it’s as easy as a Google search, sometimes you need a “specialized database” (like WebMD or Wikipedia) and sometimes it takes a little digging. The beauty of the internet is that no matter what you are looking for, it’s probably out there just waiting to be found. Many mechanics are utilizing web searches, Youtube, and other free information sources rather than paying for information. Any trick to help repair a car, solve a problem, or find an answer, right?
And it’s not just auto mechanics, it’s everyone and rightfully it should be everyone! We are living in the Information Age, with more information available at our fingertips than ever before. Yet it still amazes me that so many people, even those with smart phones and lap top computers, still do not think about doing a simple search. Every day people ask me questions and my first reply is always “What does Google say?”.
When any commodity is readily available, the overall price of that commodity goes down. Businesses can’t compete if information is available for free; businesses need secrets because those are the only advantage they have over the competition. If a commodity or product is scarce, then the overall price goes up, and THAT’S good for every capitalist business.
So what is more important – making a profit or helping people find the things they require? Can we continue to sell our humanity one piece at a time or can we drop our egos and redesign the world in such a manner that everyone has free access to the things they need, not only to survive but also to thrive? Humans have 100+ years of capitalism as well as thousands of years of separatism to overcome. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s the one true task we must accomplish if we have any chance of survival.