Information Cultures in the Digital Age

Editors: Kelly, Matthew, Bielby, Jared (Eds.), Springer Verlag

This publication in honour of our colleague and master Rafael Capurro is for BITrum a remarkable opportunity to celebrate his patient work, dedication, inspiration and always ready friendship. The publication in itself represents a major contribution to the confrontation of problems in which BITrum is engaged since its origins.

Mundo digitalFor several decades Rafael Capurro has been at the forefront of defining the relationship between information and modernity through both phenomenological and ethical formulations -as we can see for instance in our glossariumBITrum-. In exploring both of these themes Capurro has re-vivified the transcultural and intercultural expressions of how we bring an understanding of information to bear on scientific knowledge production and intermediation. Capurro has long stressed the need to look deeply into how we contextualize the information problems that scientific society creates for us and to re-incorporate a pragmatic dimension into our response that provides a balance to the cognitive turn in information science.

With contributions from 35 scholars from 15 countries, Information Cultures in the Digital Age focuses on the culture and philosophy of information, information ethics, the relationship of information to message, the historic and semiotic understanding of information, the relationship of information to power and the future of information education. This Festschrift seeks to celebrate Rafael Capurro’s important contribution to a global dialogue on how information conceptualisation, use and technology impact human culture and the ethical questions that arise from this dynamic relationship.

The Editors

Matthew Kelly is a scholar at Curtin University’s Department of Information Studies and at the International Institute for Hermeneutics.

Jared Bielby currently serves as Co-Chair for the International Center for Information Ethics and Editor for the International Review of Information Ethics.

How to Purchase the Book

The E-Book will be available in July 2016 with print to follow shortly after.

Go to Springer’s site to purchase

http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783658146795

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Cover-Digital WhonessRafael Capurro, Micharl Eldred, Daniel Nagel

DIGITAL WHONESS: IDENTITY, PRIVACY AND FREEDOM IN THE CYBERWORLD

Heusenstamm, Germany, Ontos Verlag (Hardcover: 310 pp., 69€)

The first aim is to provide well-articulated concepts by thinking through elementary phenomena of today’s world, focusing on privacy and the digital, to clarify who we are in the cyberworld — hence a phenomenology of digital whoness. The second aim is to engage critically, hermeneutically with older and current literature on privacy, including in today’s emerging cyberworld. Phenomenological results include concepts of i) self-identity through interplay with the world, ii) personal privacy in contradistinction to the privacy of private property, iii) the cyberworld as an artificial, digital dimension in order to discuss iv) what freedom in the cyberworld can mean, whilst not neglecting v) intercultural aspects and vi) the EU context.

CONTENTS: 0) Introduction, 1) Phenomenology of whoness: identity, privacy, trust and freedom, 2) Digital Ontology, 3) Digital whoness in connection with privacy, publicity and freedom, 4) Intercultural aspects of digitally mediated whoness, privacy and freedom, 5) Cyberworld, privacy and the EU, 6) Brave new cyberworld.

An abridged version of this book was published as “IT and Privacy and Ethical Perspective – Digital Whoness: Identity, Privacy and Freedom in the Cyberworld” in Buchmann, J. (ed.): Internet Privacy – A Multidisciplinary Analysis, Berlin: Springer, 2012, pp. 63-141.  Accessible here

Our colleague and member of the Science Advisory CommitteeLuciano Floridi, held a professorial lecture at the University of Herfordshire on March 23th. It was recorded and can be accessed in the Website of the University.

In the history of human knowing there have been radical changes in the way we conceive our place among other beings in the universe. The way we look at ourselves, what are our expectations, endeavours, responsibilities… depends dramatically on this conception of our place in the realm of beings. The development of IT is “not only changing how we deal with the world and make sense of it, or interact with each other” -which is plenty of practical consequences-; we are also attending (after Copernico, Darwin and Freud) to a forth shift in the human-conciousness affecting what roles and responsibilities we assume.

Our colleague Luciano -in his characteristic clear and sharp style- poses questions and arguments concerning the very Science of Information. In the necessary equilibrium between the technical and natural world -pointed out by Floridi, as an state we should strive for if we decide to life in a decent world-, the Science of Information could play a significant role.

Page where the video stream is available: http://web-apps.herts.ac.uk/uhweb/apps/video/prof-luciano-floridi.cfm

We wish to express our gratitude to the University of Herfordshire, to whom we ask for the possibility of making the lecture somehow available.

A conference organized by the European Commission & INTECO

February 10th & 11th 2010 in León, Spain

Report by: José María Díaz Nafría

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The conference Trust in the Information Society, held on the 10th and 11th of Februrary, 2010 in Leon, Spain, aimed at gathering the complete spectrum of stakeholders in the Information Society to address the issue of steering ICTs to be trustworthy. The conference agenda was built around five major topics that emerged out of a survey of the “Advisory Board of Research and Innovation for Security, Privacy and Trustworthiness in the Information Society” (RISEPTIS) supported by the European Commission since 2008 and aimed at providing “visionary guidance on policy and research challenges in the field of security and trust.” The five topics -constituting different sessions- were: 1) Digital life and trust (an industrial view); 2) Trustworthy networking and computing services; 3) An European Framework for digital identity management; 4) Development of the Legal Framework of the EU with regard to the protection of Data and Privacy, 5) International cooperation on trust and security research.

The relevance of this conference is twofold: on the one hand, it provides guidance for European research policies and industrial innovation in the information technology realm; on the other hand, it offers patterns for an Information Society which is envisaged as an European backbone (for instance, in the Lisbon Treaty), therefore as a cultural and political concern.

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From BITagora and the SoII directory board, we are very pleased to announce this conference, wishing it became a turning point in the erection of a new science of information. We wish to express our gratitude to all organisers and especially to Hua-Can He and to our colleagues Pedro, Wolfgang and Zong-Rong.


FlS 2010Towards a New Science of Information

Beijing: 20-23 August, 2010

Conference website: www.fis2010.cn (http://fis2010.sisi2006.cn/fis2010/index.aspx)

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Continuing the series of FIS Conferences (Madrid 1994, Vienna 1996, Paris 2005) a new venue will be held in Beijing 2010.  In our times, an increasing number of disciplines are dealing with information in very different ways: from information society and information technology to communication studies (and related subjects like codes, meaning, knowledge, and intelligence), as well as quantum information, bioinformation, knowledge economy, network science, computer science and Internet, to name but a few. At the same time, an increasing number of scientists in the East and the West have been engaged with the foundational problems underlying this development, to such an extent that the integration of disciplines revolving around information seems an idea whose time has come. A new science of information can be envisaged that explores the possibilities of establishing a common ground around the information concept, of constructing a new scientific perspective that connects the different information-related disciplines and provides a new framework for transdisciplinary research.

The purpose of this conference is thus:

  • to enable the discussion of different concepts, theories and approaches to the information field,
  • to facilitate the exchange between informational disciplines concerning different but complementary tasks, objects of study, and methodologies,
  • to network researchers and research institutions as well as knowledge transfer institutions in the promotion of the new science of information,
  • to create a new community of scholars and to promote a new style of scholarship,
  • to advance a new point of view on global problems.

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Wolfgang HofkirchnerInterviewer
: Francisco Salto & José María Díaz

Interviewee: Wolfgang Hofkirchner

Meet in the pleasant atmosphere of Sierra Pambley’s House (León, Spain), where the Colloquium BITae (around a unifying concept of information) was held in the last months of 2009, we interview Professor Hofkirchner with the goal of grasping some insights into his bold unifying approach to information.

We are very pleased to open this new arena for the furthering of the Science of Information interviewing you -Wolfgang- as a prominent figure in the Science of Information and leader of the Unified Theory of Information Reearch Group (UTI).


One of the main concerns of your work is the SYSTEM approach to information. There is a standard system concept defined as an arbitrary set with relations. How is system thinking to be applied to information? Moreover, which are in your view the limitations and strenghts of the standard concept of system?

In my opinion, the standard definition suffers from severe deficiencies. The most striking problem to me is that it does not account for the emergence of the systemic properties – and this despite the fact that system theory sets out to give a scientific understanding of the old saying “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. By that the standard definition foregoes the necessity to define the essence of a system which is effects of synergy on the level of the system. It is essential to distinguish two different levels in a system: the level of the parts and the level of the whole, or the micro- and the macrolevel, and to point out that on the macrolevel you find these emergent properties but not on the microlevel, and that both levels are coupled together by a certain dynamics that lets these properties emerge.

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