CIRCA:Meeting Summary Feb 14


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Here is a summary of what we are doing and arguments for freedom of information from the Valentines Day meeting, Feb. 14, 2011.

Some of the things that we discussed pursuing include:

a. Charles Ess and ethical pluralism - we want to build on Capurro and see if we can survey the positions on intercultural ethics. I found Capurro's essay "Intercultural Information Ethics" to be useful: (Dorota?)

b. Follow up on different charters from the UN mentioned by Capurro including the World Summit on the Information Society: Declaration of Principles, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, The Charter of Civil Rights for a Sustainable Knowledge Society, and others (Dorota?)

c. Follow up on the fascination with preservation. I mentioned Ann Blair's _Too Much To Know_ as tracking the rhetoric of information overload and the Renaissance desire to preserve. (Geoffrey? Do others have ideas?)

d. Follow up on the oral/literate dichotomy and how that is used to legitimize a view of indigenous knowledge as "oral" and therefore primitive. This can help us understand the significance of the oral to digital shift. The Lyons article on Rhetorical Sovereignty is a starting point. (Chiao-Chun?)

e. We talked about reviewing arguments about the special challenges of the computer in ethics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Computer and Information Ethics has starting points for that. (Dorota? Chiao-Chun?, Geoffrey?)

f. Keavy mentioned arguments that the digital is more conducive to the expression of indigenous knowledge. We should follow up that argument too.

g. Finally, we should be keeping an eye out for "solutions" or metaethical discussion on how to appropriately engage the issues. (Chiao-Chun?)

Here is my list of the arguments for the freedom of information: 1. Freedom of expression - specifically freedom of researcher to do what they want or freedom of individual respondents against community.

2. Preservation of information - that we should be documenting, publishing and archiving because of a higher calling to preserve information and preserve it for all people.

2.2 Preservation and disappearance – there is a stronger claim to the effect that if indigenous culture is not digitized it could be lost entirely.

3. Access to information - that accessible information is a higher good than rights of a community to control their sacred rituals, knowledge or stories.

4. Cultural diversity – that diversity of culture is to be valued and therefore we should digitize and make accessible indigenous cultural materials.

5. Information wants to be free – this could mean:

5.1 Information wants to be available for remixing and recombination (that is what keeps it vital and therefore preserves it – see 2)

5.2 Information infrastructure like the internet is designed to resist censorship and rapidly disseminate information

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