It seems to me the that, when someone has an idea and wills it forth, it can benefit Mankind or injure Mankind. The act of creation being crucial in the development of humanity. We advance and learn from the accumulated knowledge and inventions of those who have lived before us. The aggregate of their invention has raised our lot. There have been a few that have dramatically lowered the lot of Man but most have raised it.
Ideas and their offspring can be utile. Like a piece of furniture. A woodworker comes up with an idea for a new piece of furniture that will fill a need. Then he decides what wood to use, how it should be constructed and finished. (The utility f the item was decided when the person saw the need and answered it in his idea). Then he or she builds the piece. It may be effective at filling the need it was built for, it may be ineffective at filling the need it was built for or it may be found to be effective at filling some other need that was never envisioned. The idea is utile in that it fills a need that can be filled with a piece of furniture.
The utility of an idea may be in it’s entertainment value. Many people have become wealthy by filling people’s need for distraction. The need for distraction grows as free time grows. Movies, television, and any of a host of things fill this need.
Ideas may be utile only in their luster. Creating a new type or style of jewelry for example. Inventing a new setting for stones that is cheaper, stronger or better in some way than existing means of setting stones in jewelry.
Other utilities can be supposed. But in order to be beneficial to Mankind an idea and it’s outcome should be utile. If it is not utile market forces will quickly make it extinct. The market can be reliably counted on to be pragmatic. Let people assign a value to a creation and vie for market share. The market will deturmine it’s utility.
Unfortunately this is not the case. Market forces are not always used. In fact Government often undermines or warps outcomes to achieve some political end. (Some politically powerful group is benefited). Ideas are subject to increasing scrutiny as the person having it is lower on the societal scale.
I forget what philosopher said this, but, one of them said that; Appearances are more important than facts. Take a person giving a speech. Lets give him a lisp. Further lets make him very homely. A nice hump on his back and a nasally tone to his voice. Though he is a fountain of wisdom he will be ridiculed a fool. Derided as too stupid to walk among men. But take another person hansom and articulate. A tone to his voice that gives one shivers up his leg. And no matter the drivel he vomits he will be idolized and deemed a genius.
This explains why many great ideas have fallen by the wayside, While others that lower the lot of Man have been elevated. If an idea or invention helps the people but in some way damages the interests of the Elite it will be vilified and reviled by beautiful people. The person who can get just the right quiver in his voice will sway the masses… to their own injury. The unbiased media is complicit. They studiously avoid telling the whole story… About anything.
I am given hope by the rise of new media. New media has already caught unbiased reporters fabricating from whole cloth hit stories about politicians they dislike. There is nothing more destructive of liberty than a biased media that claims to be unbiased.
With “new” media creating supply (of content), demand has shown itself to follow Say’s Law… and grows. “Supply drives demand.” the old classical economist maxim. This new content (like you are reading now) opens the ocean of ideas to the valley of demand for them. Filling this valley will raise everyone’s boat. Even if it is a life vest.
Unfortunately the US and other government’s are looking to clamp down on the free flow of ideas that the internet represents. They see people being empowered as a threat. Rightly so. Tyrants that world over quiver at the thought of an informed populace. Look at the lengths China has gone to. I would bet if you typed in “International Capitalist Party” (without quotation marks) in a Chinese search engine you wouldn’t get a single link to this sight. (Like Bing).
As government puts the brakes on the flow of information through the internet the economies of the world will inevitably suffer. GDP will be lowered for generations. But really, isn’t that a small price to pay, so that the Elite can keep oppressing people?