Only that which can be copied is truly unique

Paradox it seems, does it?

Lots has been written about the cultivation of an abundance mindset, in contrast to the more widely adopted scarcity mindset.

One mindset, the one that is often cultivated by shady advertising material, and publications aimed at the uneducated, adopts and promotes a standpoint that is based on fear. Based on the notion that there is not enough for everyone. That there are people that have ‘more’, that there is not enough to eat, not enough money, not enough love, not enough material possessions, not enough time to enjoy etc. It instills a worldview into each and everyone that allows him/herself to be infected that there is race going on, and that you will lose it unless you do whatever is in the interest of the entity controlling this information stream. Unfortunately, there is no winner in this worldview. Because, even if you were in the position of authority, you are afraid too, because why would you make such claims, unless you are afraid that those listening to you, below you are out there to get you and take your position away?

But there is a different mindset, one that is only cultivated by knowing circles, although this knowledge sifts into the mainstream consciousness occasionally, yet slowly. And that is the abundance mindset. It is the idea that the world is rich, and can provide for everyone, the idea that everyone can live comfortable, without being afraid. Its an idea that can, and is being, cultivated among a minority. Yet this minority is growing as I already mentioned. It is an idea that is scary and uncomfortable for those that are still deeply enrooted in the scarcity culture. It is an idea that appears dangerous to the scarcity culture. It is an idea that is being violently fought, ridiculed and laughed at, by those that live in the illusion that they are in control. By those that think of themselves as having power. An illusion though.

So much for an introduction, but how to we get to the conclusion that “Only that which can be copied is truly unique”? Well lets start with an example.

I’ve been to a movie this week, which kind of inspired me to this article. But lets start with something different. I’ve been to a party last week, at a club, and I arrived early with my friends, so we got in easily, Later in the evening though, the place was already getting crowded, and outside the venue a long row of people started to line up.
Would I have arrived this late, I would have probably skipped this party, because I cannot be bothered to wait in a long row. From my mind something that I have to wait for, a resource that is only so scarcely available that I have to wait for it cannot be worth much. Most likely, it is a scam. A common advertising slogan: “Come on, get it now, it is unique, it is only available this time, it is only available for a limited time” already puts me into the perception that the good being advertised is probably boring, and not worth bothering. For example a pair of trousers or any other piece of clothing is never truly scarce. I can buy it today, if I want to or I can get something equivalent next week, next month, next year, and most likely also in ten years. So when someone creates an aura of exclusivity, I am already bored to tears.

And actually, this applies to almost any kind of physical good. Food, clothing, houses, cars, computers, smart-phones, etc…

But in fact there is something that I assign a much greater value. Something that is much more interesting to me, and that I can get excited about much more. And those are immaterial goods. Information, so to speak. And judging from the increasing amount of huge data-centers popping up around the world at centers of wealth, this appears to be a trend. Those are more or less physical factories bound to process, store and interact with immaterial data.

Why is this? What is information? How is it created? Distributed? Valued?

Lets take literature for an example. I’ll take James Joyce’s “Ulysses”, even though I haven’t read it. A work of fiction that is probably widely distributed, and a copy can be most likely acquired for a price that is affordable by a wide range of this planet’s individuals. There might have been a time where reading and the access to literature and libraries has been restricted to an exclusive minority, but in many parts of the world those times are over.

So the material wealth to acquire such an information piece is neglectable. However, few would probably argue against that the text in question is a valuable piece of art.

And even though, many many books are being written as you are reading this. And even though there are many topics and genres where authors repeat the same patterns and thoughts again and again, nothing that is exactly equivalent to James Joyce’s “Ulysses” can ever be produced again. So the idea, the piece of information is that which is unique, even though, its representation can be copied indefinitely.

And therefore we arrive at the conclusion:
“Only that which can be copied is truly unique”

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