the power of information

This is an essay I wrote a couple of years ago. I stumbled upon it while looking for some quotes that I thought I had on this machine. I thought it applied to my current series, but it more likely belongs to another, unwritten book.

Anyway, book post to follow...


Currently we live in what is widely referred to as the “Information Age.” People manipulate and control information continually, even so that some groups, such as the United States Central Intelligence Agency, are equated with information. No one would dispute that the CIA is a very powerful organization. Information is their business and that business creates power.

Say you had a secret that someone was having an affair. What is the difference between telling that person’s spouse or a stranger on the street? There is a difference, of course. The stranger has the knowledge, but not the power. Say the stranger subsequently meets someone in a bar and tells that person about the affair. The listener is the spouse of the adulterer, and the conversation gets them to thinking...

Suddenly the stranger has become very powerful, without even knowing it.

The lines between knowledge and power are blurred and dynamic. Information equals power in our world today. But at what point does information become power? And at what point does said power gain a dangerous influence over the information? Imagine someone who has intelligence; knowledge, but only holds it; does not act on it.

Is it possible for that person to remain powerless?

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