Showing posts from May, 2010

Floridi's Open Problems in Philosophy of Information, Ten Years After

Special Issue "What Is Information?" A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). Type of Paper: Article Title: Floridi's Open Problems in Philosophy of Information, Ten Years After Authors: Gordana Dodig Crnkovic and Wolfgang Hofkirchner; E-Mails: ; Abstract: In his article Open Problems in the Philosophy of Information (Metaphilosophy 2004, 35:Issue 4), based on the Herbert A. Simon Lecture in Computing and Philosophy given at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001, Luciano Floridi presented a research programme for the Philosophy of Information in form of the following eighteen open problems: P.1: What is information?; P.2: What are the dynamics of information?; P.3: Is a grand unified theory of information possible?; P.4: How can data acquire their meaning?; P.5: How can meaningful data acquire their truth values?; P.6: Can information explain truth?; P.7: Can information explain meaning?; P.8: Can (f

Philosophy & Technology

Philosophy & Technology ISSN: 2210-5433 website: submission: Description Technologies have been changing the world for a long time, at an increasing pace, with ever expanding scope and unprecedented impact. They profoundly affect human life and are radically modifying not only how we interact with, shape, and make sense of our world, but also how we look at ourselves and understand our position and responsibilities in the universe. Technologies have brought enormous benefits and opportunities, but they have also raised new and pressing challenges, whose complexity and global dimensions are rapidly expanding and evolving. Philosophy & Technology addresses such challenges, in order to improve our critical understanding of the conceptual nature and practical consequences of technologies, and hence provide the conceptual foundations for their fruitful and sustainable developments. The journal aims to

Review of Information - A Very Short Introduction

Groundbreaking and visionary, but very short indeed, May 28, 2010 By Irfan A. Alvi This review is from: Information: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback) Leaving aside the possibility of minds, souls, and the like, people used to think that the ultimate "stuff" of the universe is matter. Then thermodynamics matured during the 19th century, culminating with Einstein's theoretical demonstration that matter can be converted to energy, thus rendering energy apparently even more fundamental than matter. Now, as a result of multiple streams of developments during the 20th century, we live in an age when information is increasingly being viewed as the true ultimate stuff. This is at once both immensely stimulating and perplexing: stimulating because the concept of information has far greater interdisciplinary unifying power than any concept which came before, but perplexing because the concept of information is very abstract and thus elusively s

First human 'infected with computer virus'

Some hype, but still interesting.

Web science institute funding halted by new government

Probably a wise decision. Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Mistakes in silicon chips to help boost computer power Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Web 2.0 contre Web sémantique : un point de vue philosophique

Web 2.0 contre Web sémantique : un point de vue philosophique Patrick Pecatte a traduit l'étonnant article du philosophe de l'information italien Luciano Floridi qui explique pourquoi le web sémantique risque d'être un échec alors que le web 2.0 risque de continuer à être un succès car il s'appui sur les seuls moteurs sémantiques disponibles à ce jour : les hommes !

Kindling for the bonfire of book ownership

Word of Mouse Posted By TPM On May 21, 2010 (7:25 am) In Columns , Podcasts Luciano Floridi gathers kindling for the bonfire of book ownership Luciano Floridi On December 26, Amazon released the following statement: “On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books”. As sceptics have noticed, Christmas is hardly the time when you buy a bestseller online, whereas last December 25 was the D-day when armies of Kindles, which had lain camouflaged under the trees for a while, snapped into action and led their happy owners to purchase some of the 390,000 electronic titles available from Amazon. Further doubts on the actual success of the Kindle are raised by Amazon’s secrecy about how many it has actually sold (1.5 million is a recent estimate). And yet, that press release leaves one wondering whether some symbolic threshold between the analogue and the digital might have been overstepped. Recall that the Kindle is not alone: ther

Google launches smart TV service Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Emerging Ethical Issues of Life in Virtual Worlds, edited by Charles Wankel and Shaun Malleck

An attempt at charting some of the pressing ethical issues that affect our lives online. As the title indicates, the focus is on virtual worlds, especially Second Life and games such as World of Warcraft, not on social environments such as Facebook. Chapter 4 contains an essay by Andrew A. Adams on virtual sex with child avatars. The issue discussed is interesting because it provides a concrete case of what I would call "victimless victimization". The assumption is that the children abused are entirely virtual, that is, they are digital artifacts with no relation to any real individual, not even indirect (e.g. avatars based on photographs). The assumption is reasonable. Besides, it would be pointless to argue that the immorality of the the whole experience lies in the risk that real children might be involved. If they are, as victims, perpetrators or even mere viewers, then we are dealing with a different problem. A consequentialist approach can hardly argue for the i

Interview on the philosophy of information

This is a long interview , in Italian, on the philosophy of information, for Il Sole 24 Ore.

The Constitution of Selves, by Marya Schechtman

This is an excellent book, especially the second part, where the author concentrates on the characterization of the self. Clear, well-argued, it supports, convincingly, a narrative interpretation of the self. An important problem that remains unsolved, and which affects all narrative approaches, is what gives to the self its unity. Stories are kept together by some plot and a narrator that unfolds it. It we are narrative work in progress, who is doing the story-telling? Not an easy problem to tackle. Kant thought that such unity had to be presupposed to make sense of the coherence of our perception of the world, but could not be subject to any further clarification.

Second International Workshop on the Philosophy of Information

Second International Workshop on the Philosophy of Information May 20-21, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. The annual workshop on the philosophy of information is organized by the research group on Philosophy of Information (GPI) of the University of Hertfordshire and the Information Ethics Research Group (IEG) of the University of Oxford. The first workshop was held in November 2007 at the University of Oxford. The second one will take place May 20-21 in Ankara, Turkey, hosted by the Philosophy Department of Bilkent University. The third will be held in November 2010 at the Center for Logic and Philosophy Science of Brussels Free University. The annual workshop series aims to provide an informal environment in which scholars working on the Philosophy of Information can share their works in progress without any time constraint. The main topic of the second workshop is the formal and

Process Theories: Crossdisciplinary Studies in Dynamic Categories

Much, if not most, ontology is based on objects, entities, things, that is, static structures as primitives. It seems strange, once you realise the crucial importance of processes and events, that is, dynamic structures. Yet dynamic- or process-friendly philosophy has hardly ever been mainstream. If you are looking for an interesting alternative, you might be interested in reading Process Theories . The book, edited by Johanna Seibt, collects papers from the meeting "Processes: Analysis and Applications of Dynamic Categories, 2002). It contains many intersting essays. I would recommend in particular: The introduction J. Seibt, Free Process Theory: Towards a Typology of Occurrings M. H. Bickhard, Process and Emergence: Normative Function and Representation W. Christensen, Self-directedness: a process Approach to Cognition

NYT: The Future of E-Reading With t;jsessionid=940F707A6DEB88B237CF11692C491CF6.w6?a=594467&f=104 Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


Intropy A blog dedicated to the belief that a better understanding of information is needed to understand anything and everything.

BBC News - LHC particle search 'nearing', says physicist Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Review of Information A Very Short Introduction

Information: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback) Review, by Lee J. Whittington Sat in a small office for a seminar on modal logic, my then logic tutor told me that "if you read something once and do not understand, it is your fault. If you read something twice and do not understand, it is the authors fault". This is something to be kept in mind when reading this book. The title should not fool the reader. This is not "Information for Dummies". The book can be technical and difficult requiring occasional reflective breaks. Unlike some of the other VSI series, to understand the book properly will take more than three or four hours. However, this is where Prof. Floridi comes into his own. Using many elegant metaphors, analogies and examples, Floridi provides some of the intuitive first steps required to understand what would be baffling concepts. My favourite metaphor is that used for understanding quantum superposition, whereby we

The Paradox of Inference and the Non-Triviality of Analytic Information

Marie Duží Department of Computer Science FEI, VSB-Technical University Ostrava, Czech Republic Abstract The classical theory of semantic information (ESI), as formulated by Bar-Hillel and Carnap in 1952, does not give a satisfactory account of the problem of what information, if any, analytically and/or logically true sentences have to offer. According to ESI, analytically true sentences lack informational content, and any two analytically equivalent sentences convey the same piece of information. This problem is connected with Cohen and Nagel’s paradox of inference: Since the conclusion of a valid argument is contained in the premises, it fails to provide any novel information. Again, ESI does not give a satisfactory account of the paradox. In this paper I propose a solution based on the distinction between empirical information and analytic information. Declarative sentences are informative due to their meanings. I construe meanings as structured hyperintensions, modelled in Tr

Review of "information - A Very Short Introduction"

Et cetera: Steven Poole's non-fiction choice On information, trade and brands (1) Tweet this (1) Comments (0) Steven Poole The Guardian , Saturday 15 May 2010 Article history Information: A Very Short Introduction, by Luciano Floridi (Oxford, £7.99) We live, or so we are told, in an "information economy", so we had better be sure what we mean when we say "information". Floridi's splendidly pellucid text lays out the meanings of information in the mathematical theory of communication, computing, thermodynamics, biology, and economics, offering thoughtful examples and helpful warnings against loose talk – as when he enumerates a list of commonly used verbs that do not describe what genes do with information (they don't "send", "contain", "describe", "carry", or "encode" it). Having completed his task of scrupulous exegesis, Floridi argues in favour of a global "infor