2012-C&L-Information a multidimensional reality-p1By: José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Published in: Emilia CURRÁS & Nuria LLORET (eds.) (2012), Systems Science and Collaborative Information Systems: Theories, Practices and New Research, pp. 37-70, Hershey PA: IGI Global publication.

Abstract: Making an incursion in the forest of problems and theories of information, beyond observing a lack of mutual understanding among information theorists, we find out that information can be understood as a multifaceted reality. The variety of theories is in itself a reflection of the complex nature of information. A systematic approach to these theories, looking for common and divergent understandings render– so to speak – a cubist picture of what information really is, showing for instance its multidimensionality. In other words, when we say there is information in cables and organisms, in antennas and societies, in robots and mental states, we do not have to be mistaken: information is considered in each case in different aspects.
Delving into the nature of observation, we will find a solid ground to pose information as a bridge between objects and subjects, therefore providing the possibility to overcome the inveterate segregation of the objectivist and subjectivist understandings. As we will see, such vision also provides the possibility to articulate an understanding of information in its multifaceted reality.


Haeckel’s 1874 version of vertebrate embryonic development

By: José M. Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain;  University of Santa Elena (UPSE), Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Chapter published as: DÍAZ-NAFRÍA, J.M. (2017). eSubsidiarity: An Ethical Approach for Living in Complexity. En W. Hofkirchner, M. Burgin (eds.), The Future Information Society: Social and Technological Problems, Singapour: World Scientific Publishing. DOI: 10.1142/9789813108974_0004.

Abstract: It is needless to insist on the significant increase of the complexity we are living in. Whereas the social order arisen with modernity encompassed – at the level of the nation-states – a reduction of social complexity through cultural normalization, the new social and political order is nowadays, as a consequence of globalization, to be intercultural, multilingual and even multi-national. We may encounter a different way of diminishing the complexity at the level of the human agency, but we have to do it in a different way as modernity did it. The management of information and complexity in biology provides some clues to this endeavor. As we see, living beings through its management of complexity enact the subsidiarity principle that can equally be applied to the organization of decentralized political systems. It enables the decrease of complexity at the level of the heterarchical organized agents, while preserving the complexity at the global level. eSubsidiarity was essayed in Allende’s Chile following Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model and in many other human organizations. Could it become a new ethical paradigm at the information age?

p1-cybersyn etc.jpgBy: Henry Mauricio Ortiz Osorio (University of León, Spain); José María Díaz Nafría (University of Santa Elena, Santa Elena, Ecuador; Universidad de León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Published in: Systema 4(2) : 10-19 (2016)

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.

p1-Ethics at...By: José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany; Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Ecuador)

Published in: Systema: connecting Matter, Life, Culture and Technology, 2(1): 43-52, 2014

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, eveloped 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 emocratic 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.

Galleta-CD-gB-2e-Book – 2. English Edition – 2014/2015

Coordinated by: J.M. Díaz Nafría, F. Salto Alemany, M. Pérez-Montoro Gutiérrez

Developed by: Juan Miguel Aguado, Carlos Aguilar, Basil Al Hadithi, Yorgos Andreadakis, Balu Athreya, Leticia Barrionuevo, Mark Burgin, Sylvia Burset, Søren Brier, Manuel Campos, Rafael Capurro, Eva Carbonero, Emilia Curras, José Maria Díaz, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Peter Fleissner, Anto Florio, Anabel Fraga, Christian Fuchs, Xosé Antón García-Sampedro, Roberto Gejman, Mehrad Golkhosravi, Daniel Gómez, Igor Gurevich, Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Anthony Hoffmann, Agustín Jiménez, Manuel Liz, Rosa Macarro, Alfredo Marcos, Estela Mastromatteo, Jorge Morato, José Antonio Moreiro, Mercedes Osorio , Julio Ostalé, Mario Pérez-Montoro, Carmen Requena, Alexis Rocha, Blanca Rodríguez, Francisco Salto, Lydia Sánchez, Sonia Sánchez-Cuadrado, Carlos Sarmiento, Jérôme Segal, Margarita Vázquez

Published: Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena – ISBN : 978-9942-8548-3-4, with Creative Common License 3.0


“There have always been thinkers to believe that the fields of human knowledge betrays a fundamental unity. In modern times people ready to discuss this unity have come under grave suspicion. Surely, the critics argue, no man is so presumptuous as to imagine that he can comprehend more than a tiny fraction of the scope of contemporary science. […] And yet there are still men prepared to pursue the path of unity, and to discuss problems in an inter-disciplinary fashion: that is, without regard to the specialised viewpoint of any one branch of science.”
Stafford BEER (Cybernetics and Management, 1959)

Four years after appearing the first book edition of the glossariumBITri (gB), it faces now a new phase of development, in which this new book version represents a milestone. The first development phase, 2008-2010, was clearly marked by an intensive cooperative work to stand up the clarification enterprise in which the gB is embarked on. Right after such phase, the gB was nurtured through valuable inputs covering essential aspects as semiotics, computation, complexity, etc., by distinguished researchers who have certainly enriched not only this book but the working team who is now before a more ambitious horizon.
p1-gB-2ed.pngBesides some improvements in previous articles, the most important additions to the previous edition, incorporated herewith, corresponds to the articles developed in the areas of algorithmic theory, complexity theory, General Theory of Information and Cybersemiotics that we heartily thank to the cherished contributions of Mark Burgin and Søren Brier. Nevertheless, the flesh of the glossariumBITri has been enriched as well through entries, which do not show up in this book since they are still under review or discussion, but they surely will in the next edition. They are, of course, available in the interactive-gB. For this dressing up the naked bones of the gB, we warmly thank the contributions provided by Balu Athreya, Igor Gurevich, Basil Al-Hadithi, Agustín Jiménez, Alexis Rocha, Daniel Gómez, Carlos Sarmiento. The incorporation of some of the topics which are now available, either in this book or in the interactive-gB was simply a must (as algorithmic information), others represent an initiation into fields we have to deepen (as information in biological sciences). But nonetheless, if we take into account all the concepts we have not weaved yet into the network of clarified concepts, metaphors, theories and problems, then we can clearly state that we are at the very beginning. By simply looking into the interactive-gB’s list of open voices, which are still empty, or into the number of voice proposal we have not open yet, it is easy to conclude we are before a large and of course open enterprise. (more…)

By: José M. Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León / Facultad de Educación, Campus de Vegazana León, Spain;  University of Santa Elena (UPSE), Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Paper presented in: 2015 Summit of the international Society of Information Studies IS4IS-2015, Vienna, Austria (Extended abstract published in Sciforum)

Abstract: Is needless to insist on the significant increase of the complexity we are living in. Whereas the social order arisen with modernity encompassed –at the level of the nation-states– a reduction of social complexity through cultural normalization, the new social and political order is nowadays to be intercultural, multilingual and even multi-national. National life is more and more entangled with international relations, and cannot be conceived anymore with our backs turned to nature. All this makes that the traditional context of posing ethical questions is rather different. The universality paradigm that pervaded many classical approaches in ethics is not so convincing anymore. Anthropology, ethnography, intercultural ethics has shown the fragility of such pretentious positions. As in any other cultural change, it is quite clear that at the age of information we need a new way of addressing the issues of the proper behavior, the deep question of the good live in the complexity that is proper to our society. We may encounter a way of diminishing the complexity at the level of the human agency, as it was the case of cultural normalization in modernity, but we have to do it in another way. The subsidiarity principle represents a way to decrease complexity at the level of the agents while preserving the complexity at the global level. Something that is equally performed in the living organism or in the organization of decentralized political systems. E-subsidiarity was essayed in Allende’s Chile and thereafter in the organization of multinational corporations and successful cooperative organizations, e.g. in the Basque country. Could it become a new ethical paradigm at the information age?

Article-Building up eParticipatory decision making from the local to the global scale-Edited-final-p1By J.M. Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain; University of Santa Elena, Ecuador; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany), J. Alfonso (University of León), L. Panizo (University of León)

Published in: Computers in Human Behavior, 47(2015), 26-41

Abstract: The social systems developed in the context of globalisation are further more complex that those arisen within the rule-of-law of the nation–states. The local, national and international relations impose into these social systems different force fields determining the space of possibilities in which they evolve. In this situation, the decision-making is correspondingly further more complex as to drive democratic participation from the root-level of individual members and stakeholders, all the way through until the global system. eParticipation represents a possibility to make it possible determined by the member perceptions of partaking in relevant decisions.

A paradigmatic example of these globalised social structures is the European Higher Education System, in which very well defined local and national structures coexist with a normative field of globalised relations. Between 2010 and 2013 an eParticipation system was developed under EU support involving a significant number of universities from Europe and abroad. A flexible approach was used to adapt the system to the different contexts, whereas an analytical framework was set up to evaluate the experience in order to find guidance for future eParticipation developments. The socio-technical and analytical frameworks and the corresponding results are discussed aiming to propose a new architecture for eParticipation. This solution targets the challenges of the 21st century University in which the crossroads of learning analytics, eAdministration and eParticipation are deeply re-structuring the academic environment.