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.

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

Cover of the special issueSpecial Issue of the International Review of Information Ethics edited by

Christopher Coenen (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Wolfgang Hofkirchner (Vienna University of Technology) and José María Díaz Nafría (Munich University of Applied Sciences; Universidad de León)

This special issue, recently published in the Journal chaired by our colleague Rafael Capurro, compiles among other works the contributions done in the International Event “Social networks: from indignation to change (ethical, political and aesthetical aspects)” held in the summer of 2012 in León, as a result of the cooperation among BITrum, the University of León (Spain), the Munich University of Applied Science and other institutions (hosted within this website). Besides the editorial work of three BITrum members (two acting as guest), the issue collects a good representation of articles authored by BITrum members: Rainer Zimmermann, Peter Fleissner, Julian Marcelo. These contributions delve into relevant aspects of BITrum’s endeavors, in particular regarding philosophical, economic and social dimensions. (more…)

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.

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

Estela MASTROMATTEO (Universidad Central de Venezuela)

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 is extremely important to create conditions for a free access to information, education for everyone and permanently, and a development in science and technology 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. Is crucial in the solution, to rethink the ethics of information and values that underlie it, respect for human rights, the commitment of societies and our leaders. 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.

Article