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.

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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.

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