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2010/12/21 | Acknowledging the work of Capurro, Dodig-Crnkovic, Floridi, Hofkirchner, Liz and Pérez-Montoro

posted 20 Dec 2010, 15:07 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 08:02 ]
We are very pleased to disclose the books recently published by our colleagues Mario, Manuel, Wolfgang, Luciano, Gordana and Rafael. To our understanding, these works have a direct impact in our strive for clarifying what information is and referring its problems. It is indeed difficult to follow all publications by BITrum members. We have already spoken about the books published this year by Alfredo Marcos and Mark Burgin. The books below referred cover in deepness a significant diversity of themes and disciplines related to informational studies. 

Following a mere alphabetical order:

CAPURRO, Rafael co-edits with P. GRIMM: Computerspiele. Neue Herausforderungen für die Ethik? [Cyber-games: New ethical challenges?] Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
This is the 8th volumen of a series coordinated from the Stuttgart Media University (Hochshule der Medien, HdM), published by Franz Steiner Verlag and devoted to the ethical reflexion concerning medias, in which highly topical and relevant themes for the information society are being treated (s. "information ethics" in glossarium BITri). Undoubtedly, this is the case of this volume devoted to the analysis of the social-, anthropological- and ethical consequences of the digital games (video-, online- and computer games). Although its usage is concentred in concentrated in childhood and youth, its effects transcend the rest of social fields due to its consequences in behaviours, values, roles, and inter-personal relationships.  The analysis developed in this volume of the ethical implications of the digital games discloses a deep awareness regarding violence, but also covering a number of other issues as cheating, gender construction, identity, etc. <Link to the book review in HdM>

DODIG-CRNKOVIC, Gordana: Information and Computation Nets. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag.
In this book, Gordana develops the info-computationalism approach already posed in her doctoral thesis in computation science (she also holds a PhD in theoretical phisics). As we can see in her synthetical article in Glossarium BITri: "Info-computationalism is the view that the physical universe can be best understood as computational processes operating on informational structure. Classical matter/energy in this model is replaced by information, while the dynamics are identified as computational processes. In this view the universe is a gigantic computer that continuously computes its next states by following physical laws..." (see. article in Glossarium BITri). In this naturalist framework proposed by Gordana, information and computation are two fundamental and inseparable elements necessary for naturalizing meaning, cognition and mind <Link to book page in Amazon catalog>. With a wider scope but a similar title, "Information and Computing", Gordana -together with Mark Burgin- will shortly publish a collection of essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of the Foundations of Information and Computing, in which contributions from our colleagues Søren and Wolfgang (among other renowned authors as Chaitin, Minsky, Collier...) are also present <Link to book webpage in World Scientific Publishing>. 

FLORIDI, Luciano (ed.): The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computing Ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Besides the other books by Luciano published this year (Information. A very short introduction, and Philosophy of Information, both by Oxford University Press) and already annotated in these pages (s. announcement of June 2009), this handbook has been recently published which undoubtedly offers an ambitious and rigorous introduction to this wide and maximally relevant to the information society. The work is articulated in 5 sections: the 1st devoted to a synthetical and historical exposition of the field, the 2nd to the main approaches and trends in the field, the 3rd to the analysis of the ethical issues in the information society, the 4th to the ethical issues in artificial environments, and the 5th some metaethical issues (foundations of computer ethics, and ethics in a globalized world). Among other ethical problems, the following polemical issues are tackled: privacy, authorship, property, expression right, responsibility, digital divide, technological determinism, cyberwar, and online pornography. As well this book of maximal socio-ethical relevance, as the other aforementioned ones of already renowned sound, constitute 3 fundamental references attaining the objectives of our project. <Link to the book webpage in Cambridge University Press

HOFKIRCHNER, Wolfgang: Twenty questions about a unified theory of information. A short exploration into information from a complex system view. Arizona: Emergent Publications.
When Colloquium BITae was organised Turing the stay of Wolfgang in the University of León (autumn 2009), he offered a preliminary version of this book, published under Creative Commons License (s. page of colloquium BITae). However, this book -recently published by Emergent Publications broadens, completes and reviews the previous one, using an agile, and didactical style which allows the reader going through the approach of the Unified Theory of Information (s. article in glossariumBITri) articulated from the point of view of the complex system theory. It is through fundamental questions to the understanding of information how this systemic approach is possed. This theory does not intend to be a cold speculation of scientists; as the authors remarks: “it implies a transgression from the scientists to the stakeholders and those affected by the results of research, and a transformation into a new science that is human-centred, democratic and participatory”, which might contribute to the advent of “a global sustainable information society.” <Link to the book webpage in Emergent Publications>

LIZ, Manuel (ed.): Realidad sin velos [non-veiled reality]. Barcelona: Laertes. 
The problem and reflexion of the reality and its veils (i.e., what is manifested by reality and what remains hidden from it) is as old as philosophy itself –as illustrated by Manuel in the first part of the book-, but, is not this one of the deepest problems of the information philosophy? What we perceive from reality –in other words, what reality informs us-: how much reality conveys? Is it a veil separating us from reality? Or, it is just this portion of reality which allows us to embrace it? In the information age, it is urgent analysing how much world slips through or remains in our fingers mediated by the relationships of the information society and its technologies. These pages (to which also our colleagues Margarita Vázquez and Maria Ponte contribute) –though not expressed in terms of philosophy of information- unveil the tension existing between internalist and externalist position of such philosophy. Questions and arguments are compiled offering an optimal orientation in the inveterate problem of the perception of reality, at the same time, a refined “direct realism” is advocated, from which the conditions of access to reality, and how we keep out from it, are analysed. <Link to the book webpage in Laertes>

PÉREZ-MONTORO, Mario: Arquitectura de la información en entornos web [Informatio Architecture in Web Environments]. Gijón: Trea. 
In the discipline of “information architecture” (i.e., the structuring, organizing, tagging elements of informational environments to facilitate searching and retrieval of the contained information, thus improving the usefulness of information environments by users. See article in Glossarium BITri), this is the first Spanish work sufficiently wide and systematic to cover its thematic, which practical relevance is beyond doubt and rising. Furthermore, it represents with respect to the classical work of Rosenfeld and Morville (which first edition dates from 2002), an advance and update of the state of the art in information architecture. As other works of the author, this is distinguished by his analytical, synthetic and didactical style, relying on abundant and careful graphical material. It contains a useful and methodological guide for the design and development of information systems in Web environments. This is clearly a good probe that the responsibility assumed by Mario in domusBITae concerning its architecture is in the best hands. <Link to the book webpage in Trea>

Once again, our congratulations and thankfulness to Mario, Manolo, Wolfgang, Luciano, Gordana and Rafael for letting on our hands these excellent works.