South America Flow-bn-m-marco

Digital communication flow in 2016 for Latin America, whose digital communications are practically spinning around a unique hub outside Latin America. It therefore exhibits an structural lack of self-organisation capacity.

By: José María Díaz-Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain | Munich University of Applied Sciences), Teresa Guarda (Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Ecuador)

Published in: K. Von Helmolt, D. Ittstein (eds.), Interkulturalität digital – Digitalisierung interkulturell?!, Hannover: Ibidem Verlag.

Abstract:

Intercultural life requires, first of all, a dense net of connections among people belonging to the same culture and with the components of the context in which this culture exists; secondly, a weaker but nevertheless effective network where interactions among different cultures take place. The former is a necessary condition for the very existence of cultural life and its capacity to evolve; the latter is necessary for communication and cooperation between different cultures, therefore, it creates the intercultural space where intercultural life properly exists.

The current digital networks, backed up by big-data technologies, connect people, processes, data, and things, turning information into actions, creating new capabilities and extraordinary opportunities. These digital networks allegedly enable a perfect symbiosis in the interaction between people and machines anywhere, at any time, using any device. In principle, as it is commonly stated, they seem to provide linkage between virtually everybody and everything, thus far exceeding the aforementioned basic requirements for intercultural life. Yet, what is the actual control we really have regarding this connectedness for individuals and cultures? How pervasive is this connectedness really? Is it accessible for everybody and every culture in the same way? What are the filtering mechanisms that make the signalling effective at different levels, and particularly among cultural and intercultural levels? …

fig-3-free-scale-network-globe-e1561219795639.png

Network topology similar to Internet.

By: J.M. Díaz-Nafría (Faculty of Systems & Telecommunications, Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, La Libertad, Santa Elena, Ecuador | Universidad de León, Leon, Spain | Department of General and Interdisciplinary Studies, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)

Published in: Elias G. CARAYANNIS, David F. J. CAMPBELL and Marios P. EFTHYMIOPOULOS (eds.) (2018). Handbook of Cyber‐Development, Cyber‐Democracy and Cyber‐Defense, Berlin: Springer.

Abstract: Most attempts to use the potentials of information technologies in benefit of the fulfillment of the democratic requirements from the local to the global levels are
based on the power of social networks and the utilization of big-data approaches.
However, both the network itself and the portliness of data processing have fundamental limitations that need to be overcome when the size of the population is larger than a reduced group. As to cope with the related complexity, the network provides in certain conditions a characteristic structure which facilitates the emergence of new functional features and consequently a system. It is this structure – the fibers of the systemic relations – and new functionalities concerning the circulation of data what change the portliness of data processing into an appropriate percolation and management of relevant information. By these means, complexity and the corresponding information flow are managed at the lowest possible level, while cooperation and higher-level management is ready to cope just with the excess of complexity the lower level cannot manage properly by itself. But this is the very idea of subsidiarity whose application to the organization of heterogeneous societies has been a foundation of decentralized government since the sixteenth century in many different contexts.

At the age of the global information society, the necessary management of global issues (environment, geopolitics, inequality, etc.) requires both proper levelism and information management from the peoples to communities, to national authorities, and to international institutions. Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model provides a suitable approach to deploy subsidiarity with the backbone of an information and communication infrastructure based on the acquisition, circulation, and processing of relevant information to enable decentralized, democratic decision-making.

Acknowledgement: This work was carried out in 2016-2017 within the framework of Prometeo project supported by Senescyt, Ecuador.

 

Hackels

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?

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?