The Value of Knowledge

I am starting to revisit work done over fifteen years ago on the financial value of knowledge.

Interestingly, the period when I was first analyzing valuation methods for intellectual property/knowledge was coincident to Internet enterprises devaluing knowledge/information.

It was a period where social media, Google, and other Internet enterprises were building advertising financial models. Those enterprises were both devaluing information/knowledge as well as condescending to longstanding academic and publishing ethics on knowledge creation/evolution.

Currently (20 years later) we have the result of their ephemeral business model and condescension…fake news.

It was inevitable.

It was also the result of complex cultural changes that were evolving because of our highly individualistic society.. and much of the petty social action that results from that self-absorption.

I now confront another harmful cultural outgrowth of those events.

How do you financially appraise the value of sound, rigorous knowledge creation in a society that has very few tools for analyzing those assets?

In a few narrow fields (mostly linked to progressing self-interest – human aiding biotechnology, personal computational technology, etc.) those knowledge developments are highly (and I might add artificially) valued.

In most other fields the basis for valuation is only linked to current cash flow generated by those knowledge creations or – in some rare cases – projected cash flows from comparable analysis.

Neither of those approaches allow for analysis of asset value based upon historical, cultural, scientific comparisons that accommodate for externalities…. and natural elegance (more on that in another post) .

I’m in process on further research to address some of the issues/problems that I encountered 20 years ago when we began our agro-ecological work.

More to come.