April 2010


Roberto Gejman (Computer Science Departament, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, CHILE)

An integrated set of definitions and distinctions in the information, communication and knowledge field is proposed.  It is argued that more attention must be given to records, usually confused with information.  Descriptions are shown to be the fundamental facts behind information. Information is defined as an abstract concept, free of material or syntactic constraints.  Information is observer free but it is dependent on the shared ontological background of communities. The world may be characterized as being structured by only six components.  Knowledge is the capacity to act effectively and it is not information. Information quantity and its relation with the entropy of physical systems are shown to be more ambiguous and less important than they are usually thought of.  It is argued that information studies should move on from these old concerns to confront the vital information challenges in this globalized information society with information superabundance.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008
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Juan Miguel Aguado (School of Information and Communication Studies, Universidad de Murcia, Spain)

By attempting to fix an observable magnitude, the concept of information involves a cognitive model that enables a double ontological rupture: between subject and world, on one side, and between cognition and action, on the other side. A genealogical approach to information as a simultaneously epistemological and cognitive crossroad highlights the centrality of observation theory in the resolution of its contradictions. The recursive nature of observation inherent to informational logics makes constructivist assumptions especially relevant as a key contribution for an epistemological revision of the ideas of information and communication.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Manuel Liz (Faculty of Philosophy, University of La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain)

Many times, the notion of information is used in such a way that the following two theses are suggested: 1) that the world might be no more than information, and 2) that our minds might be no more that information. This paper rejects both theses. In relation to that, I will argue for the need to take into account non-informational aspects of reality that are epistemically accessible. Only that way, we could deal with the problem of selecting a determinate semantic content and with the problem of error. The two more common strategies to deal with these problems appeal to some primitive “referential capacities” or to some special kinds of (natural) “functions”. We propose another strategy based on very simple processes of signalization. With the help of that strategy, we offer a new way of defining semantic content.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Manuel Campos (Departament de Lògica, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

The term “information” has an obvious ordinary use: from information we obtain in our interaction with the world, we are capable of acquiring knowledge about it. Assuming a realist point of view, information thus interpreted (measurable in propositional terms) is acquired by the subject through inductive fallible processes based, in part, on the recognition of natural correlations. This approach to the notion of information has, however, as a counterpart, that it seems to render the notion redundant.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Jose Antonio Moreiro (Dept. Library & Information Science, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain), Jorge Morato, Sonia Sanchez-Cuadrado, Anabel Fraga (Dept. Computer Science, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

Indexing languages have traditionally been an essential tool for organizing and retrieving documental information. The inclusion of indexing languages into the digital environment leads to new frontiers, but also new opportunities. This study shows the historical evolution of the indexing languages and its application in document management field. We analyze diverse trends for their digital use from two perspectives: their integration with other digital and linguistic resources, and the adjustment of them into the Web environment. Finally, there is an analysis of how these languages are used in the Web 2.0 and the incorporation of ontologies in the Semantic Web.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain), Basil M. Al Hadithi (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)

At the beginning of his famous “Mathematical Theory of Communication” (MTC), Shannon removes the semantic questions from the technical task, and such exoneration seems to be commonly accepted, even for those who certainly care for ‘semantic questions’. However, the MTC communication model itself is built upon this fundamental assumption, which at the same time is used in other information theories and –even with wider practical consequences– as a design pattern for the Information Technologies.

At the present time, when human communication is more and more dependant with respect to information technologies, the suitability of the communication model used to design the technological systems has to be put into scope. None essential element needed to establish a proper human communication should be omitted; otherwise this technology could isolate people, betraying its hypothetical purpose. Comparing the technological model to others based on several pragmatic theories of communication (emerged in linguistics, semiotic, psychology and anthropology), the insufficiency of the technological model is shown, pointing out some elements that a new model should not forget.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Estela Mastromatteo (Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas)

This contribution emphasizes that in order to achieve a real and sustainable human development in Latin America, and for this region to be part of the information society, it is extremely important to create conditions for a free access to information, education for everyone and in a permanent manner, and development in science and technology should be destined to serve society. Access to information and information technology are major promises in this era, but at the same time, become new forms of exclusion. In Latin America the two realities coexist. It is crucial in the solution to rethink the ethics of information and the values that underlie it, respect for human rights, the commitment of societies and our leaders. It also highlights the role of libraries as mediators in the production process, organization and retrieval of information access, in safeguarding the freedom of information and the right to free expression through technology, with ethics and values into a real development in Latin America.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

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