Advertisement

Minds and Machines

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 85–99 | Cite as

Making Information Transparent as a Means to Close the Global Digital Divide

  • Soraj Hongladarom
Article

Abstract

This paper argues that information should be made transparent as a means to close the global digital divide problem. The usual conception of the digital divide as a bifurcation between the information ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in fact does a poor job at describing the reality of the situation, which is characterized by multiple dimensions of digital divides in many contexts. Taking the lead from Albert Borgmann, it is recognized that the so-called information poor do possess a rich resource of information which needs to be fully accounted for in order to solve the global digital divide problem. In addition, making information transparent means, following the theory of development of Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, that information should be made available and accessible through a system of representation. Floridi’s account of information ethics thus needs to be supplemented by the realization that members of infosphere, which in his view consist of information objects, should be made transparent in order that the global digital divide be ameliorated. In other words there should be a system of information about information, namely semantic representation of objective information which enables the locals to make full use of their available informational resources.

Keywords

Artificial Intelligence System Theory Multiple Dimension Semantic Representation Information Object 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arquette, T.J. (2002), ‘Social Discourse, Scientific Method, and the Digital Divide: Using the Information Intelligence Quotient (IIQ) to Generate a Multi-Layered Empirical Analysis of Digital Division’, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Northwestern University, p. 9. Available at http://www.sla.purdue.edu/people/comm/arquette/dissertation.htm (retrieved January 27, 2003).Google Scholar
  2. Borgmann, A. (1999), Holding on to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Courtright, C. and Robbin A. (2002), ‘Deconstructing the Digital Divide in the United States: An Interpretive Policy Analytic Perspective’, paper prepared for International Association of Media and Communication Research and International Communication Association "symposium on the Digital Divide,’ 15–17 November, 2001, Austin, TX, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Floridi, L. (1999), ‘Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics’, Ethics and Information Technology 1, pp. 37–56.Google Scholar
  5. Floridi, L. (2001), ‘Ethics in the Infosphere’, The Philosophers' Magazine 6, pp. 18–19.Google Scholar
  6. Floridi, L. (2002a), ‘What is the Philosophy of Information?’ Metaphilosophy 33, pp. 123–145.Google Scholar
  7. Floridi, L. (2002b), ‘Information Ethics: An Environmental Approach to the Digital Divide’, Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9, pp. 39–45.Google Scholar
  8. Floridi, L. (2003), ‘On the Intrinsic Value of Information Objects and the Infosphere’, Ethics and Information Technology 4, pp. 287–304.Google Scholar
  9. epolitica/1999_2/floridi/e3.html.Google Scholar
  10. Floridi, L. and J. W. S. (2002), ‘Computer Ethics: Mapping the Foundationalist Debate’, Ethics and Information Technology 4, pp. 1–9.Google Scholar
  11. Giese, K. (2002), ‘Wer hat Zugang zum Internet? www-Nutzung und digital divide in China’, in Günter Schucher (Hrsg.), Asien und das Internet, Hamburg: Mitteilungen des Instituts für Asienkunde, Nr. 351, pp. 35–62.Google Scholar
  12. Hargittai, E. (2002), 'Second-Level Digital Divide: Differences in People's Online Skills', First Monday, 7, available at http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_4/hargittai/index.htmlGoogle Scholar
  13. Hongladarom, S. (2001), ‘Cultures and Global Justice’, Polylog: Forum for Intercultural Philosophizing, 2, pp. 1–34, available at http://www.polylog.org/them/2/fcs2-en.htm.Google Scholar
  14. Mephokee, C. (2002), ‘Information Technology: Some Implications for Thailand’, in Mitsuhiro Kagami and Masatsugu Tsuji, eds., Digital Divide or Digital Jump: Beyond ‘IT’ Revolution, Chiba: Institute of Developing Economies, JETRO, pp. 140–167.Google Scholar
  15. Moss, J. (2002), ‘Power and the Digital Divide’, Ethics and Information Technology 4, pp. 159–165Google Scholar
  16. NUA Internet How Many Online (2003), available at http://www.nua.ie/surveys/how_many_online/asia.html (retrieved on February 12, 2003).Google Scholar
  17. O'Neill, O. (2000), Bounds of Justice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Searle, J.R. (1995), The Construction of Social Reality, Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  19. Smith, M.M. (2001), ‘Global Information Justice’, Library Trends 49, pp. 519–537.Google Scholar
  20. Soto, H. de (2000), The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2002), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Development Indices, International Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation: Emerging International Policy Issues, Harvard, 23–24 September 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soraj Hongladarom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of ArtsChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

Personalised recommendations