Pragmatics


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

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

Juan Carlos Fernández-Molina (Universidad de Granada, Spain)

Two competing perspectives of information are analyzed. Information may be considered as a human right, meaning all people should have access to it regardless of their economic power, or as a commodity, only accessible for those who are able to pay for it. In the same vein, the dichotomy between private or shared property of information is examined, particularly meaningful in the field of intellectual property and copyright legislation.

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

Peter FLEISSNER (Technical University of Vienna)

With the increasing division of labour and the emergence of markets, useful things have started to become sold and bought. They began a new career as commodities. Since Aristotle the dialectic face of commodities, later on in detail elaborated by Karl Marx, is well known, they carry value in use and value in exchange. Nowadays, where we understand the economy as a social construction and are aware of the relativity of value given to objects, we are still confronted with the same distinction and also with the transition of objects into commodities. The commodification process has not come to an end yet.
The paper gives an overview on the processes of commodification and de-commodification of goods and services as a background for analysing developments in the emerging information society on a global scale.
Possible strategies on how to go on from now are presented, among them the struggle and on-going resistance of the European Parliament on the one hand, against the European Commission and the European Patent Office on the other, also the movements of open source/free software and the ideas of copyleft to create new rules for information goods.

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