“information wants to be free”

Very often people ask why the SOT is free. Why are there no fees? Some people are even sceptical that it is free and wait for the “money-scheme” to ambush them.

There is nothing wrong with charging fees for services and SOT is actually funded by the fees we do charge to corporations for consulting. But, on the web, SOT is free and has been since it first started.

In 1995, the School of Thinking became the first virtual school on the internet as one of the world’s first 10,000 websites. Today the internet has more than 600 million websites.

In those first days the ethos of the internet was “Information wants to be free!” and SOT became the world’s first school for teaching thinking to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. As Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW puts it, “The spirit of the internet was not one of patents and royalties but of academic openness”.

STEWART BRAND spreads the “information wants to be free” meme at the first Hackers’ Conference in 1984 …

“On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.”

4 thoughts on ““information wants to be free”

  1. As people understand the VALUE of collaborative partnerships, user participation and other contemporary Opensource and Web 2 practices,
    even greater outcomes all round (surprise!) become apparent in business education personal spheres. But! What if we stopped fighting each other for resources/competition/earth resources? When will it become evident that this may be a win win?Currently lose loss (surprise!)
    I love your thinking on religious virus but I cant be smug I think The Work of Byron Katie (thework.com) has shown me I have plenty judge thy neighbour viruses!


  2. I do accept that ‘teaching free’ is a boon to those interested but how many us take it seriously. Any thing free is seldom valued. I suggest that there should be some ‘tag’ if not much so that only the committed
    opt for it

  3. hello,
    we all want to be FREE men and women, and paradoxically, we limit ourselves, we bound ourselves and are prisoners.
    thank you Michael for making SOT free – you live Free, “walking your talk” – walking in Freedom
    and here; my freedom of speech – freedom to contribute
    born free, live free

  4. information on the web should be free, i have valued the internet and access to information for nearly thirty years, logging onto DIALOG in the early 1980’s – i still have my logon detail .
    thanks Michael for making it free, i am certainly learning a lot <> and hope to put it to good use.
    I have already used many examples when mentoring others

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