Making information transparent as a means to close the global digital divide

Minds and Machines 14 (1):85-99 (2004)
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. Floridis 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.
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