Friday, 27 September 2013

Free information and ecology

For several years now I've taken two things as self-evident. I'm also acutely aware that these are not at all evident to other people. 

The first is that the human race is treading on very thin ice when it comes to our relationship with the natural ecosystems of the planet. And the ice is about to melt, because that's the nature of thin ice.

The other is that intellectual property, and the notion of owning ideas and creations of a non-physical nature is just wrong. 

Since I believe both of these things, I don't usually think of them as separable, much less contradictory. However, I've been wondering recently whether intellectual property could actually be good for the environment. It's possible that freely allowing information to spread is going to lead to more consumerism and greater damage to the environment.

Then I think, no way, I must just be getting old and veering to the right.