A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 21, 2013
“Information is power, but like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves”

"Information is power” is a saying that has been cited in print to at least 1902. Internet activist Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) wrote a Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto in July 2008 that began:

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.”

Swartz fought for freedom of information over the Internet, but he was accused of criminally misusing the records of JSTOR, a digital collection of academic journals. Swartz committed suicide in New York City on January 11, 2013. “Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves” soon after became a widely cited quotation.


Wikipedia: Aaron Swartz
Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist.

Swartz was a member of the RSS-DEV Working Group that co-authored the “RSS 1.0” specification of RSS, built the website framework web.py and created the architecture for the Open Library. In the early days of Reddit, Swartz’s Infogami and Reddit merged; the merger agreement made Swartz an equal partner in the merged company. Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism. In 2010 he joined the Harvard University Center for Ethics. He founded the online group Demand Progress (known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act) and later worked with U.S. and international activist groups Rootstrikers, and Avaaz. He also worked as a contributing editor to The Baffler.

Google Books
The Initiative and Referendum
By Hermann Lieb
Chicago, IL: H. Lieb, Jr. & Co.
1902
Pg. 167:
Information is power, superior knowledge on the one hand and ignorance on the other gave the few, who in olden days became the rulers, supreme power over the lives and property of the many.

Google Books
The Influence of the Press
By R. A. Scott-James
London: S.W. Partridge & Co.
1913
Pg. 32:
Every Government is aware that information is power.

Google Books
Charles H. Taylor:
Builder of the Boston Globe

By James Morgan
Boston, MA : s.n.
1923
Pg. 64:
Information is power. If a subject knows as much as a king, the king’s advantage is gone.

Google Books
Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations
By Robert Debs Heinl
Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute
1967, ©1966
Pg. 258:
Information is power.
Arthur Sylvester: Remarks at Sigma Delta Chi dinner. New York. l962

Google Books
Surveillance and Espionage in a Free Society
Edited by Richard H. Blum
New York, NY: Praeger Publishers, Inc.
1972
Pg. 172:
Information is power. Secrecy is power. Speed in communications is power. Ability is power. And the sheer number of people is power. CIA had all these, ...

Google Books
30 October 1974, Computerworld, “Privacy Issue Wends Way to Local Level” by Nancy French, pg. 2, col. 2:
According to Cleighton Penwell, department administrator, “information is power.”

OCLC WorldCat record
METRO : because information is power
Author: Alice Norton; New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency.
Publisher: New York : New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency, 1974.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Information is power : the Ontario Library Association, 1978 conference papers.
Author: Ontario Library Association.
Publisher: Toronto : OLA, 1979.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The information society
Author: Marc Uri Porat; Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.; Varied Directions, inc.; KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.); PBS Video.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : PBS Video, ©1980.
Edition/Format: Video : Videocassette : U-matic Visual material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Highlights the theme that information is power and explains that in an information society the difference between survival and defeat hinges on information.

Pastebin
Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.
(...)
Aaron Swartz
July 2008, Eremo, Italy

Google Books
Administration and Management in Criminal Justice:
A Service Quality Approach

By Jennifer M. Allen and Rajeev Sawhne
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
2010
Pg. 144:
The old adage “information is power” implies that the more one knows, the more power one has.

PressTV (Iran)
Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:37AM GMT
Obama’s ‘kill list’ critic found dead in New York City
(...)
Swartz was critical of monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of society.

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves,” he wrote in an online “manifesto” in 2008.

Based on that belief, the computer prodigy founded the nonprofit group DemandProgress.

The group launched a successful campaign to block a 2011 bill that the US House of Representatives called the Stop Online Piracy Act.

WCAI (Woods Hole, MA)
0:59 AM MON JANUARY 21, 2013
Suicide Prompts Groundswell in Open Access Movement
By HEATHER GOLDSTONE
The suicide of computer prodigy and internet activist Aaron Swartz on January 11th has prompted a groundswell of support for the open access movement - the push to make academic publications available online, free of charge and without copyright restrictions.

Swartz helped invent RSS feeds - the technology that allows website updates and internet search results to be automatically delivered to users - and co-founded the social news site Reddit. He was also a staunch advocate of open access, which he viewed as a social justice issue. His Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto began:

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Monday, January 21, 2013 • Permalink