I Meeting

Cybersin-p1By M. Ortiz Osorio (University of León, Spain) and J.M. Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain; University of Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Abstract: During the government of Salvador Allende, Chile implemented a paradigmatic system of control and regulation of production, emerged from the need of controlling and knowing the Chilean nationalized industry concerning the needs to provide.

Allende believed that the transformation pathway to socialism could be different to those that had existed, and he suggested a model of integration with the worker as the core of process management and decision making. In that sense the Cybersyn project was designed with the goal of having a decentralized state control of the industrial production able to attend real needs properly and timely. Starting on real-time information that would anticipate and correct potential incidents before they even occur.

The project provided valuable information on the nationalized companies for coordination and operation, being a political tool of vital importance for Allende’s government for which decision-making issues reach the most proper level. Latin American current processes of social disruption allow us to analyze the historical perspective of this project to find parallelizing, similarities and common points that allow us to extend the analysis of industrial relevance of these cases. Furthermore, the current political, economic and social reality has evolve in such a way that the Cybersyn model requires an adaptation to new relevant complex features of the social system which challenge its practicality.

  • Paper presented in the European Meeting of Cybernetics and System Research-EMCSR, Vienna, April 2014 (included in the book of abstracts): EMCSR-14-Cybersin

EMCSR14-JMDN-Information ethics_p1By J.M. Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain; University of Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Abstract: Insofar the interactions developed between social, technical and natural agents have been now significantly modified by the new information and communication technologies (ICT), we can speak of a new social dynamic arisen therefrom. Moreover, the central role that information takes in social life has lead us to talk about the dawn of the information age. If we take this seriously, a consequent ethical thinking should start unravelling the tangled skein through rephrasing what information really is and how it can be understood throughout reality. Otherwise, how could we think our proper behaviour embedded in the complex realm of informational interactions of all kind?

In any case, is it feasible puzzling out most appropriate behaviours from the outset –as a sort of optimized code? Or rather, are there fundamental constraints setting the optimum completely out of reach and our whole (cultural) history just the path of the exploration? The globalisation process, developed in strong connection to the deployment of information technologies in very unequal benefit to different groups of the global human system, settles a situation in which the management of the global system complexity is significantly apart from democratic handling, despite the broad usage of democratic facades. Indeed participatory process –concerning relevant decision-making issues– are hard to be found behind these facades. Addressing the issue of inequality at the global scale is in our view a fundamental question of today’s information ethics for which an approach based on electronic-Subsidiarity is proposed.

  • Paper presented in the European Meeting of Cybernetics and System Research-EMCSR, Vienna, April 2014 (included in the book of abstracts): EMCSR14-JMDN-Information ethics

José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Francisco Salto Alemany (Area of Logic and Philosophy of science, Universidad de León,Spain)

Abstract of the paper: A trans-disciplinary frame is proposed, aimed at addressing the very understanding of information in all its variety. It aims at unifying perspectives and integrating techniques from different fields of knowledge and practice, searching for the most overarching account of information phenomena, a better formalization of real processes and a global stance towards problems concerning information. Such research frame might try to answer: Which are the basic distinct accounts of information to be applied in fields from telecommunication to philosophy, from biology to documentation, from logic to quantum physics? Which are the minimum primitive concepts that may cover all of them? Is a unified theory feasible? Could a better information measure be found? Could the societal and practical interest be better preserved in an integrated perspective of information?

The methodological proposal aims at opening a space for the interweaving of different scientific frameworks (characterized by specific paradigms and methodologies) to delve into the very landscape of information, searching for a transdisciplinary treatment of theoretical, technical and practical problems concerning information. It is based on an already active interdisciplinary International community and a critical mass of research groups at the global level. By means of bridging these communities, a new transdisciplinary science of information might emerge as an integrated framework in which information will be considered in all its formal, natural, cognitive, social, technical, ethical and philosophical aspects.

Carlos Aguilar, Lidya Sánchez & Manuel Campos (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

In this article we show how it is possible to use Channel Theory [Barwise and Seligman, 1997] for modeling the process of information extraction realized by audiences of audio-visual contents. To do this, we rely on the concepts proposed by Channel Theory and, especially, its treatment of representational systems. We then show how the information an agent is capable of extracting from a content depends on the number of channels he is able to establish between the content and the set of classifications he is able to discriminate. The agent can endeavor the extraction of information through these channels from the totality of content; however, we discuss the advantages of extracting from its constituents in order to obtain a greater number of informational items that represent it. After showing how the extraction process is endeavored for each channel, we propose a method of representation of all the informative values an agent can obtain from a content using a matrix constituted by the channels the agent is able to establish on the content (source classifications), and the ones he can understand as individual (destination classifications). We finally show how this representation allows reflecting the evolution of the informative items through the evolution of audio-visual content.

  • Full article published in Sciforum (preliminary version), site of the FIS2010 – 4th International Conference on the Foundations of Information Science, Beijin, August 2010.
  • A reviewed version will be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal TripleC 8(2).

José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Based upon the natural limits of observation, we tackle a critical review of Dretske’s approach to information, knowledge and perception. The physics of the manifestation of an arbitrary object –tackled in Part 2 as a separate article– sets forth an informational boundary stating that information cannot be enough to support our cognitive processes. The problems do not rely –as Dretske supposes- on the lacks of the channel, but on the very nature of observation. Furthermore, Dretske’s approach –handcuffed to his maximalist support on information- presents some lacks concerning processual character of information, fuzziness of perception and knowledge, contents de dicto and conventional regularities. The posed limits and problems intend to settle new foundations for a more refined conjunction of information and knowledge.

José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

In this second part of our inquiry into the relation between information and cognition, we delve into the physical limits of the manifestation of an arbitrary object first with independence of any observer, then considering the nature of perception. The analysis of the manifestations of an object in a homogeneous environment by means of wave phenomena shows that the information carried by such manifestations offers a constitutive fuzziness and ambiguity of the observed object. On the one hand, the details that can be specified concerning the object are strictly limited by the wave length; on the other hand, the volumetric details of the object (i.e. its bowls) are outlawed to the observer, not in virtue of the object opacity, but to the very dimension or complexity of the wave phenomenon in the space surrounding the object. The analysis of perception, considering this physical boundary and the specificity of the animal sensitivity, shows the combined role of other concurrent or previous percept and some a priori knowledge in the perception and awareness of reality.

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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