Incomplete knowledge:
It is generally taught in economics classes, indeed I so learned in college, that there is something called a market.  It works best, of course, if there is a currency everybody agrees upon as having value.  So somebody with an object may decide what that object is worth to the person.  Somebody else decides it is worth even more to them and is willing to purchase it at some price both feel good about; that is the market price.  If the object is becoming rare, the perceived value may rise and with it the market price.  If it is quite common, then the price may fall.  Well and good. 

But there is a hitch.  It is called “information asymmetry,” which ought to be the title of this bit, but it is the subtitle of the article I shall reference. (Secrets and Agents, Economist vol. 420 no. 8999 July 23, 2016 page 55)  Now I enjoy reading the Economist greatly.  They assume an educated and intelligent readership and take an interest in a wide range of topics.  The article goes on to suggest that the process above only really works as advertised when both sides understand the characteristics of what is being shopped for.  Their example is a car; the owner and prospective seller probably knows its quirks better than the prospective buyer.  That owner may be able to sell the car for more than he or she could if all were known by everybody. 

There are some spin-offs.  One is that a way to motivate a worker is to pay the worker more than that worker might be paid elsewhere; the worker (you know, I miss convenient pronouns) will work harder wanting to stay on the employer’s good side.

So here I sit with knowledge of tremendous importance and no way to make money off it.  I might publish a book, but that is unlikely because there is no market for such a book, and a publisher would be taking an unnecessary risk.  I can’t sell the world knowing that in thirty years time it will pretty well be worthless (unless we take extraordinary steps).  I don’t own it.  If I did I would assure that such steps were taken.  Anybody with a child should be highly motivated to preserve Western Civilization, but that is not the response I get.

Anybody got any ideas? 

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