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2010/09/29-Welcome to Lazlo Karvalics: towards a Social Theory of Information

posted 29 Sep 2010, 02:12 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:59 ]

In the ICTs & Society Network Meeting held in Castelldefels this summer, we had the opportunity to share with Prof. Lazlo Karvalics our respective endeavours in common directions, for instance, our Glossarium BITri and his "Information-whatsoever". 

We are now very pleased to welcome Lazlo as BITrum member, who will be also involved in the domusBITae initiative as part of the consortium. His own skills and the excellence of the team he represents are a sure basis for a fruitful cooperation and the success of our common strives. Thank you, Lazlo for your support, and best wishes for a shared navigation.

Lázló Z. Karvalics: born in Budapest; MA in History, Literature and Linguistics; PhD and Hab. in History, ELTE, Budapest. He is Founding director of the BME-UNESCO Information Society Research Institute; associate professor, Head, Department of Library and Human Information Science, University of Szeged. Fulbright Research Scholar, George Washington UniversityCenter of International Science and Technology Policy (CISTP). Teaching and research on social impacts of information technology, comparative analysis of national information strategies, information history and education in the information age. Invited expert in several EU-projects and events. Has written books, studies and plenty of small articles for the dissemination of the "Information Society thinking" and Internet-culture.

His best-selling books are (in Hungarian): Introduction to Information History (Gondolat, 2004) Information, Society, History (Typotex, 2003) Searching of the Information Society (Aula, Budapest, 2001) Toothpick on the Net (Prím, Budapest, 2000) Information Society (from technology to the human aspects) (Muszaki, 1995). His latest book in English: Information Society Dimensions (JATE Press, 2009).

Paper discussed at the ICTs & Society Network Meeting: How to defend the original, multicriteria theories of Information Society? TripleC, 8(1), 124-129. In this paper Lazlo argues from an historical inquiry for a multi-criteria definition of the information society against Webster's information-density approach.

2010/09/28-Third ICT & Society Network Meeting in Castelldefels

posted 28 Sep 2010, 11:30 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:59 ]

During the stay of our colleague Wolfgang Hofkirchner at the
Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Castelldefels (Barcelona) between April and July 2010, The Unified Theory of Information Research Group (UTI, directed by Wolfgang) organized in IN3 headquarters the third ICT & Society Network Meeting. The Network, integrated by more than 160 researchers, was founded in 2008 by the UTI Group. Its pursues analyzing the impacts of the ICTs in society and promoting the design of these technologies from the society itself, by means of a balanced combination of empirical research, theoretical studies and technological design. The network was founded on the occasion of a first Meeting held at the University Salzburg, Austria, 2008, then followed by a second edition at the University of Trento, Italy, 2009.

In this 3rd edition, a well equilibrated distribution of works in the mentioned 3 poles, including contributions of  researchers in training (PhD Consortium), whose approaches –as Christian pointed out- sometimes overtook amateur ones, in expositive clarity and social interest. The keynotes were held by William Dutton from the Oxford Internet Institute (Oxford Internet Institute) about the impact of research in Internet, particularly the project “World Internet”, and by Juliet Webster (Work and Equality Research, London) about the interrelation of research and politics in ICTs. The rest of the sessions were convened around the following topics: 1) Theorising the Internet; 2) Critical Information Studies (a nascent transdiscipline); 3) A identity crisis: generalism vs specialism in the network society, 4) Social, economical and political Inequalities. In a last plenary session, the future of the ICTs & Society Network was discussed. Here, it was agreed that the direction of the Network will be further held by Wolfgang and Christian will, taking a relevant role the convenor of the following Meeting. For 2012 Singapore was proposed, but there is a vacancy for 2011, open to any proposal.

BITrum contributed to the Meeting –beyond the obvious involvement of Wolfgang and Christian- by means of contributions as well as collaboration in organizing the Meeting. José María with Matthiass Schafranek chaired the session “Theorizing the Internet”, in which Rainer Zimmerman and Lazlo Karvalics took part, who -as previously announced- are BITrum members since then. In the session in which the controversy between generalim and specialism was posed, Carlos Aguilar and José María defended two viewpoints concerning the understanding of information. Whereas Carlos advocated for a multidisciplinar approach exemplified by domusBITae initiative, José María defended a interdisciplinary stance represented by the BITrum project.

It is really to appreciate the opening of a space of reflexion like this, in which the safeguarding of the social interest is at stake. These endeavours provide a road to substantiate such interest in the technologies, which everyday occupy more space in our lives: liberating them to some extend, but also tying them. We should make balance to make a real benefit for all. Although this is not easy at all, the endeavour has to be taken. Our most cordial thanks to our colleagues of the UTI for persevering in the intent.

2010/07/26-Welcome to Rainer Zimmermann: understanding complexity

posted 26 Jul 2010, 11:15 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:59 ]

We are very pleased to welcome Rainer Zimmerman into BITrum group. His transdiciplinary expertise in philosophy, mathematics, physics, literature, history... will be a sure basis for an undoubted enrichment on the elucidation of the information concept. Let us give just a few strokes on his biography:

Rainer E. Zimmermann received his PhD in Mathematics in 1977 from Frei Universität Berlin and spent the years between 1982-1988 in Studies in Philosophy, History, and Literature at Technische Universität Berlin. He received a PhD in Philosophy in 1988 from TU Berlin.

He has held the following positions: since 1995 Professor of Philosophy at the Polytechnic University of Muenchen; In 1998, Habilitation in Natural Philosophy (University of Kassel) – since then member (Privatdozent) of the department there; 1999/2000 Visiting Scholar at the History and Philosophy of Science Department and Visiting Fellow of Clare Hall, both at Cambridge (UK) – since then Life Member of Clare Hall; 2001 Research Visitor to the University of Bologna, Cooperative Research Project there under the title "Reconstruction of the Historical City Centre"; 2003 Senior Visiting Fellow to the Institute of Advanced Studies, Villa Gandolfi Pallavicini, University of Bologna; 2006 International Visiting Professor at the Information and Communication Technologies and Society program, University of Salzburg; 2010/2011 Visiting Professor, Centre for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin.

Among his broad scientific work it is worth to mention: Die Rekonstruktion von Raum, Zeit und Materie. Frankfurt a.M., 1998; Subjekt und Existenz, Berlin, 2001; Kritik der interkulturellen Vernunft, Paderborn, 2002; System des transzendentalen Materialismus, Paderborn, 2004; Die außerordentlichen Reisen des Jules Verne, Paderborn, 2006; [with S. M. Wiedemann] Reconstructing the Glass Bead Game. On the Philosophy of Information. TripleC 8 (2), 133-135, 2010.

For more information concerning his work, fields of interest, memberships, projects can be found in the private area.

Thank you, Rainer, for your support and your enthusiasm about BITrum.

2010/07/11-An annotation on the General Theory of Information (by Mark Burgin)

posted 11 Jul 2010, 14:50 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:56 ]

The general theory of information has three parts:
  • Philosophical, which gives a new vision of information and its place in the modern world;
  • Methodological, which studies basic principles of information theory and information technology;
  • Theoretical, which is mathematically based making available different mathematical models of information, information processes and information processing systems.
Mathematical models are developed in various domains and employ different mathematical theories. Such an information space can be a logical system (in this model, logicians can contribute) or a Hilbert space, which is used in physics for representing observables (in this model, physicists can contribute). Actually observables (even by their name) are information operators. There are models based on functional analysis, in which information is represented by operators acting on information spaces, which are state spaces of infological systems. Other models use logic (logical models), theory of algorithms (constructive models), theory of categories (categorical models), topology (topological models), and some other mathematical theories.

The general theory of information provides a powerful base for obtaining a relevant solution to a variety of problems encountered by modern society because the vast majority of these problems are related to information (by the way, communication is also exchange of information). 

There are various journal publications on the general theory of information. The most developed exposition of this theory is given in the book Theory of Information: Fundamentality, Diversity and Unification, World Scientific Publishing, 2010.

The general theory of information is the most advanced direction in information theory because it encompasses all (!!!) other directions in information theory. A lot of supporting evidence is given in the book Theory of Information. The majority of popular and not so popular information theories (including Shannon theory of communication, Carnap and Bar-Hillel’s semantic information theory, Kolmogorov, Solomonoff and Chaitin’s algorithmic information theory, Dretske, Barwise and Seligman’s theory of information flow, and many others) are presented in the book and it is explained why all of them are particular cases of the general theory of information. 

Information is everywhere. So, experts in various fields (philosophers, mathematicians, physicists, biologists, computer scientists, economists, anthropologists, sociologists, etc.) can work in the general theory of information developing it and can use this theory in their studies in physics, biology, economics, anthropology, sociology, system theory, informatics, computer science, etc.
Now it is a good time to work in this area because the general theory of information is at the very beginning. Those who start earlier to work in a new ground-breaking theory have advantages and can easier obtain outstanding results, becoming authorities in information studies. For instance, brothers Bernoulli studied the calculus under Leibniz and became the top mathematicians in Europe developing and applying the calculus (a general mathematical theory for studying functions), which was at the very beginning at their time. German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz discovered electromagnetic waves (namely, radio waves) when he used and expanded Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory (a general physical theory).
Mark Burgin

2010/07/08-domusBITae is proposed for Spanish national support to the Ministry of Science and to the Ministry Industry

posted 6 Jul 2010, 11:09 by   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:56 by José María Díaz Nafría ]

Planned as development at a national level but aimed for its internationalization, domusBITae initiative has been proposed on past 14 June 2010 to a Spanish Research Funding Programme of the Ministry of Industry (Avanza), and on 23 June to the International Infrastructures programme belonging to the National Research Plan of the Ministry of Science (e-Infrastructures). The proposed actions are projected for a short/mid-term internationalization of the virtual community under European Research Area support, thus matching overall domusBITae strategy. 

Into the funding programme AVANZA, the initiative was presented as promotion of the Information Society, whereas in the e-Infrastructures programme, the proposal is focused on development of a International Scientific infrastructure. The proponent team is constituted by the Spanish Members of domusBITae: ULE, BITrum, INTECO, UB and UC3 (see further details in the web created for a collaborative development of domusBITae).

In order to improve the eligibility of the proposal, the initiative is being included in the Spanish e-Science network. We also took part in the e-Infrastructures Reflection Group (e-IRG) workshop, held past 17th June in Madrid, where European delegates informed about the strategies, policy, structure, etc. of the European e-Infrastructure Programmes. From Brussels, we were recently informed about the suitability to our initiative in a FP7 Call which will be shortly convened (deadline: November 23th).

2010/06/27-Welcome to Mark Burgin into BITrum’s Scientific Committee: the search for a General Theory of Information

posted 27 Jun 2010, 11:41 by   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:58 by José María Díaz Nafría ]

We are very glad to communicate the recent incorporation of the distinguished mathematician, logician and philosopher Mark Burgin, who has also driven relevant research in many fields on information concerns.

Professor Burgin as member of the Science of Information Institute knew about our activities. Interested in the Glossarium BITri, and other BITrum collective contributions, he suggested some months ago the constitution of a group within BITrum frame, devoted to the development of a general theory of information (GTI). Posed as a formal and mathematical frame, GTI aims at including any other accepted formal theory of information. Recently, he has published a book providing foundations to this approach (Theory of Information. Fundamentality, Diversity and Unification, World Scientific Publishing, 2010). An incipient group composed by BITrum members in the field of formal and mathematical issues has been gathered ready to further such a research programme. Anyone interested in joining the group should contact project coordinators.

The proposals presented to the European Science Foundation in COST –networking research- and EUROCORES –collaborative research- programmes, include this investigation as one of their constitutive frameworks for conducting interdisciplinary research. 

We cordially welcome his arrival into our scientific committee, and express our cheerfulness concerning the new horizons he is inviting us to go through.

Short biography
(M.A. and Ph.D. in Mathematics from Moscow State University and Doctor of Science in Logic and Philosophy from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) he is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. Previously he was a Professor at the Institute of Education, Kiev; at International Solomon University, Kiev; at Kiev State University, Ukraine; and Director of the Assessment Laboratory, Research Center of Science, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Dr. Burgin is doing research, has publications, and taught courses in mathematics, computer science, information sciences, artificial intelligence, logic, psychology, education, social sciences, and methodology of science. Dr. Burgin has authorized and co-authorized more than 500 papers and 17 books. <>

2010/06/25-Welcome to new BITrum members and Science Advisory seats

posted 25 Jun 2010, 03:58 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:53 ]

Waiting for the collection of short biographies of new members, we had not announced their incorporation into BITrum group. They have been added into the group since the last announcement in June 2009, though their data has been incorporated into members’ list and contact information (in the private area). We hereby warmly welcome these new members and Science Advisor appointments within BITrum group, whose biographies are here collected. 

We are sure their expertise in the fields of sociology, philosophy, ICTs, information management and architecture, library science and knowledge organization will enrich significantly BITrum project.

New BITrum Members

Octavio UÑA, 
Paticipant | Field: Sociology

(M.Sc. in Philosophy and literature, M.Sc. in Psycology, M.Sc. in Political and sociological sciences by Universidad Complutense de Madrid; M.Sc. in Pilosophy and human sciences, M.Sc. in Theology by the University of Comillas; PhD. in  Political and sociological sciences) is professor of Sociology at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, dept. of social sciences. His research lines are mainly focused on sociology of knowledge and communication, sociology of culture, literature and art and sociological theory. He has authored over 27 scientific works and numerous publications in journals of scientific impact. His last publishes work is “Nuevos ensayos de sociología y comunicación” (New essays of sociology and communication, Universitas, 2010). He has participated in more than 25 research projects, leading 15. Currently he is in charge of the Turismo de Madrid Chair (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos), and is President of the Institute of Science and Society, and the Association of Sociology of Castilla-La Mancha.

Paticipant | Field: Sociology

(PhD. Sociology, 2004) is associate professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, department of social sciences (sociology). Her research mainly focuses on sociology of communication, information society, gender sociology. She has collaborated in numerous articles on information society, communication sociology, educative techniques and methodology (b-learning, e-learning), gender sociology and feminist theory. She has taken part in more than 15 multidisciplinary and competitive research projects.

Paticipant | Field: Sociology

(PhD in Sociology, studying in several German, Austrian and British Universities) is professor of sociology and environment at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and researcher at the Turismo de Madrid Chair. Recently he has published and approximation to Ernst Troeltsch (2009) and has collaborate in numerous articles on sociological theory, communication, natural environment and society, immigration and educative techniques, as well as in several European research projects on education and culture within the Socrates/Leonardo and Comenius Programmes.

Paticipant | Field: History of science

(PhD. in Philosophy) is professor of history of science since 1999 at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain. His scientific interests are focused on the study of culture of innovation, the relation between practical- and theoretical knowledge and history  of computation. On this last topic he has recently published with Leonor González the work: “La quimera del autómata matemático.
Del calculador medieval a la máquina analítica de Babbage” (The chimera of the mathematical automaton. From the medieval calculator to Babbage’s analytical machine edit. Cátedra).

Paticipant | Field: philosophy, logic

(PhD. in Philosophy by the Universidad de la Laguna; MA. University College London) was postdoctoral researcher granted by the Ministry of Science-Fulbright at Brown University (2006-2007) and currently she is Juan de la Cierva-Investigator at the Institute of Logic, Cognition, Language and Information (ILCLI, Basque Country University). Her scientific interests focuses on philosophy- of logic, of mathematics, and philosophy of language.

Paticipant | Field: ICTs

(Master in Industrial Engineering from the University of Valladolid and MBA from Instituto de Empresas, IE) is responsible of international projects at the Spanish National Institute for Communication Technologies (INTECO). Usually, studying market and user needs, and developing ICT projects from the conceptual phase until commercial success. Collaborating with academic, private organizations, and industry associations finding new opportunities for innovation. With international experience 10 + years in Telecommunication, Information Systems, and Media companies, and having launched several ICT start ups. Currently at his position in INTECO, he is applying his entrepreneurial experience to the public sector, developing the Information Society and ICT competitiveness.

New appointments to the Scientific Board

José Antonio MOREIRO
Field: Library and Information Science, knowledge organization

Dr. Moreiro received his PhD. in History from the National University of Distance Education, Spain. He is currently Professor at the Department of Library and Information Science of Carlos III University of Madrid, where he is chair of the Information Engineering Group, which conducts research on knowledge organization systems. He teaches courses on Knowledge Organization Systems and Indexing Techniques. He is the author of 8 monographs and co-author of another 12. In addition, he has around 64 articles in international and national magazines. Jose Antonio has participated in two European projects and directed or collaborated in 8 national projects. He was a member of 12 publication committees. He has close connections with Latin American universities. Jose Antonio taught courses and organized seminaries in 28 European and Latin American universities, as well as in 20 professional institutions. He was a scientific advisor for 20 doctoral dissertations in the domain of Library and Information Science.

Field: Information- management and architecture

Doctor in Philosophy and Education Sciences by the University of Barcelona, where he has been researcher at the Departamento de Lógica, Historia y Filosofía de la Ciencia. He studied in the Istituto di Discipline della Comunicazione in the  Università di Bologna and was Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) at Stanford University. He has been docent and researcher in several universities: Complutense de Madrid, Autònoma de Barcelona, Oberta de Catalunya and he is currently at the Departamento de Ciencias de la Información at the University of Barcelona. One of his most known works is the book: The Phenomenon of Information (Scarecrow Press, 2007, published in Spanish by Trotta).

Field: Latin-American librarianship 

  (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1961; Master in Communication and Information for Development; and Bachelor in Library Science by the Central University of Venezuela) is Professor and Coordinator for Academic Internships at the School of Librarianship and Archives, Central University of Venezuela since 1997. She is also a consultant in academic libraries and a member in several research groups. Her research interests are on the areas of curriculum for information studies, library and information science epistemology and information ethics in Latin America.

2010/06/18-BITrum has been constituted as legal non-profit association under Spanish law

posted 17 Jun 2010, 16:55 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:52 ]

Aimed at achieving certain autonomy in requesting support for the research activity planed in BITrum project, it has been legally constituted as a non-profit association under Spanish regulation under the name: “BITrum – Grupo de investigación para el estudio interdisciplinar de la información” (i.e., Research group for the interdisciplinary study of information). The objectives declared in the constitution of the association are coincident with those accepted by BITrum community since its beginning (compiled in the foundational memorandum). In order to facilitate the constitution process involving many protocols and signed documents, the association has been first constituted by only three members who adopt the legally required figures of President (José María Díaz Nafría), Vice-president (Francisco Salto) and Secretary (Leticia Barrionuevo), which are eligible. In a general assembly the rest of BITrum members can be added. 

By means of this constitution we could for instance open a bank account for the association through which we can receive financial help from foundations or support agencies.

2010/06/18-Interview to Elisabeth Buchanan published in BITagora: towards a new paradigm in information ethics research

posted 17 Jun 2010, 16:33 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:52 ]

A new interview to our member of the Scientific Board and director of the Center of Information Policy Research (CIPR) at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been recently published in BITagora. Anthony Hoffman, who is actively contributing to the maintenance of BITagora, interviews Professor Buchanan. They pose interesting questions on how Internet and new information technologies are affecting the research paradigm on ethical research, till now grounded on conventions emerged after the World War II (see interview). 

We invite BITrum community to make contributions (interviews or books reviews) in the issues of their interest. BITagora –fruit of the collaboration of the Science of Information Institute with BITrum- aims at bringing at stage fundamental questions and stances concerning groundings of the Science of Information as an effective trans-disciplinary field. As previously informed, contributions to BITagora will be afterwards published in a special section of TripleC.

2010/05/22-Institutional supports to BITrum: publications and network domains

posted 22 May 2010, 09:01 by José María Díaz Nafría   [ updated 22 Oct 2011, 07:51 ]

The Spanish financial institution Caja España has awarded an sponsorship for the forthcoming book edition of the Glossarium BITri
. The most remarkable concerning this support is that following the usual practise of their social mission, it is to expect a further support in BITrum publishing activities for the next years with probably better budgets (in the current financial year the social mission was supported by exiguous benefits). To this purpose our manifold publishing project was presented to the institution in order to find the patronage we need to make them come out, i.e., an anthology of fundamental text on information theories, a set of translations of remarkable books and some original proposals (see editorial proposals).

BITrum sites work since this spring in a private domain provided by the University of León. There are several subdomains: (for Spanish homepage); (English homepage); (for glossary main page); (glossary main page in English).

BITrum coordination is grateful for the supports (of financial character by Caja España, of technical and logistic character by Universidad de León) as in the current economic crisis allows to buoy our boat of endeavors.

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