Graham Plaster

culture + diplomacy + ethics + smart power + technology + humanities + entrepreneurship + philosophy

Intelligence as Fiat Currency

The relationship of the suppliers and users of knowledge to the knowledge they supply and use is now tending, and will increasingly tend, to assume the form already taken by the relationship of commodity producers and consumers to the commodities they produce and consume that is, the form of value. Knowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorized in a new production: in both cases, the goal is exchange. Knowledge ceases to be an end in itself, it loses its “use ­value.” – Jean-Francois Lyotard in “The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge” (1979)

There are many points in Lyotard’s philosophical essay that are relevant to the information age and the informational aspects of defense. This point, that we are trending towards a separation between knowledge and its traditional use-cases, suggests that we may see a time when virtual currency and intelligence are one and the same. Perhaps the old sayings “cash is king” and “knowledge is power” will eventually mean the same thing.

 

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