Ah, the Treasure Map!
Here’s my understanding of how markets work.
First, the seller must know their costs and bargains for the max return having regard to the price of competing products. The buyer knows the alternatives available and bargains to minimize cost.
The exchange of money simply records how much value the seller provided to the buyer (in both their eyes). This record is only valuable to the seller if it entitles the seller to take out of society the same value (in their eyes) via negotiation with the seller of another good or service (who must perceive the same money value in the exchange).
In this way sellers are motivated to keep costs down to compete and society’s resources are allocated in the most efficient manner to meet each person’s needs… subject to each person having the money to signal their needs (which is another matter)
(I should add that I agree that people should be able to pay for new content on an ‘article by article’ basis and have suggested a model for micro payments. This remains a traditional market, where good writers earn more, rather than the money going to a ‘publisher’.)
The price of any good or service tells me nothing of the accumulated value to humanity (its value as ‘treasure’). This is not an idea I have come across before. Is it your idea?
You seem to be suggesting that when people make goods and services free as on Medium or Wikipedia or YouTube or Open Source Software that people should also be free to pay for it (or not) as much as they think it is worth to them… so as to demonstrate the value to them.
But you seem to be going further. As more and more people pay, you are suggesting the total money paid signals the collective value placed on the good or service (its value as ‘treasure’).
Is this what you are saying?
It means every good and service has to have ‘attached’ to it a cumulative record of the total monies paid for every copy.
You’d have to agree that this is not how markets traditionally work and may be why we have been talking at cross purposes.
So before continuing, to avoid further confusion, it would help if you could confirm or amend my understanding of your idea.
As for paying for ‘knowledge’, like Adam Smiths book… all knowledge should be free… at least after a time. Knowledge is like software… you can give it away and still have it. The more knowledge people have access to the more value we can collectively create.
I have no idea of the value beliefs of others in general. Just because they put $100 value on an item does not give me any information except that someone (or group of people) put a collective value on some knowledge. But there is a lot of ‘popular science’ that many people seem to soak up that is just pseudo science (and pseudo economics and sociology and much else).
I rely on recommendations from people I respect who are knowledgeable on a topic.
I struggle to see the value of putting a price on ‘knowledge’ to signal ‘the most valuable’. But I’m open to how you see it working.