DATA: THE NEW RAW MATERIAL

Remember the 20th century idea of value? Back then it was all about the physical. I can touch this, therefore it has worth. I own this car, I own this house, I own this dress. Its material presence is what makes it significant. Don’t try to tell me any different. But what happens when we stop playing by old school rules; when we recognise that definitions are limitations in disguise?

When we free ourselves from preconceptions we give ourselves permission to dream.

Is what we thought then the best benchmark for now? Should value still be determined by an object’s physical presence and the scarcity of resources needed to create it? Or in the non-physical environment, can we find new ways to assess preciousness?

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Our world is in flux, existing structures are falling away to make room for new possibilities. Transactions no longer have to be overseen by a central power; technology has provided a system where people can vouch for people. It’s a global rewiring of how things can be. This time around we all get to participate, and we all get to decide what we find truly valuable.

Should we continue to listen to those voices that say only the physical has merit, that only stuff made from other stuff counts? Or do we move towards new expressions of worth that accept that innovation, creativity and uniqueness can exist in many forms? What we decide now will become our reality. It’s time to recognise that data as a creative raw material can be as beautiful and precious as something dug up from the ground.