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Book Reviews on Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics

Book Reviews on Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics

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Published by hikaru otsuka

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Published by: hikaru otsuka on Mar 21, 2009
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Otsuka HikaruITETHICBook: The Handbook of Information and Computer EthicsBook Review: PART I: FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES AND METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS:1. Foundation of Information Ethics (Luciano Floridi)Library Reference: N/AInternet Reference: N/AQuote: “Our society is the
information society 
because of the pivotal role played by intellectual,intangible assets (knowledge-based economy), information-intensive services (business andproperty services, communications, finance, and insurance), and public sectors (education, publicadministration, health care).”Learning Expectation: I expect to learn and to understand the “
infosphere
”, which they say thathumanity is and will be flourishing.Book Review:
Infosphere
is a neologism coined years ago (see, e.g., Floridi (1999b) or Wikipedia) based on
Biosphere
, a term referring to that limited region on our planet that supports life. It denotes thewhole informational environment constituted by all informational entities (thus includinginformational agents as well), their properties, interactions, processes, and mutual relations. It isan environment comparable to, but different from, cyberspace (which is only one of itssubregions, as it were), since it also includes offline and analogue spaces of information.”When I first heard the word “infosphere” I automatically think that it means information cycle.Lucky me, I was right. It was a cycle, a cycle of information. When we were all children, westudied about cycles, life cycles, time cycles, etc. In our Science classes, we often hear the word“sphere”. Information sphere or infosphere for me is like the evolution of information. It explainshow information evolves and progress as time goes on. I must admit, I haven’t thought that thiscycle or rather the term “infosphere” exists. I used to think that information will just pop out of theblue when somebody discovers something. But I guess I am wrong. Even before, ages ago, weare all under information. It is where our life cycles. We are not just aware of it. But now, as we allknow, information plays an important role in our lives. Even in an individual being, in our dailylives, we are all surrounded by information. At any places we go, what we will do, we haveinformation. Information can be developed and eventually evolves.In the world we live in, now a day, we are valuing all the information that we have. Well, for me,every fruit of technology is based on information. For if there is no information, we wont haveeverything that we need. Let’s just simply explain this. Information is knowledge for everyone. If we know something, we can do something. We can explain and elaborate things that seemunexplainable before. We can do further studies and come up with a better result or better information.We live in an information society. The environment where we exist is made up of information thatevolves every second in our life. In every corners of the world, we are surrounded by information.We might not be aware at first but when we think about it, we will discover and learn in our ownlittle ways that every here and there, there is information. I believe that every technology that weare experiencing is because of information. For example, we have now, ipods, itouch, iphone,mp3 players, and the like. Have you ever come to think that these are all fruits of technology?
 
And this technology is only made possible by information. Information is a pivotal or the centralaspects of our society today. It is the most crucial aspect in our environment.Citations: Luciano FloridiIntegrative Questions:1. What is infosphere?2. What is an information society?3. What is biosphere?4. Is humanity will be flourished?5. Is our society an information society?
 
Otsuka HikaruITETHICBook: The Handbook of Information and Computer EthicsBook Review: PART I: FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES AND METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS:2. Milestones in the History of Information and Computer Ethics(Terrell Ward Bynum)Library Reference: N/AInternet Reference:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybernetics Quote: “The academic field of information ethics was born—unintentionally and almostaccidentally—in the middle of the Second World War. At that time, philosopher/ scientist NorbertWiener was working with a group of scientists and engineers who were involved with him in theinvention of digital computers and radar, and the creation of a new kind of antiaircraft cannon thatcould (1) perceive the presence of an airplane, (2) gather information about its speed andtrajectory, (3) predict its future position a fewseconds later, (4) decidewhere to aim andwhen tofire the shell, and (5) carry out that decision.”Learning Expectation: I expect to learn the history and every milestone of Information andComputer Ethics. I want to learn how it became possible that information played a very vital rolein every aspect of life, during the early times.Book Review:“Wiener’s cybernetic account of human nature emphasized the physical structure of the human body and the tremendous potential for learning and creative action that humanphysiology makes possible. To explain that potential, he often compared human physiology to thephysiology of less intelligent creatures like insects.”“Cybernetics takes the view that the structure of the machine or of the organism is an index of theperformance that may be expected from it. The fact that the mechanical rigidity of the insect issuch as to limit its intelligence while the mechanical fluidity of the human being provides for hisalmost indefinite intellectual expansion is highly relevant to the point of view of this book . Man’sadvantage over the rest of nature is that he has the physiological and hence the intellectualequipment to adapt himself to radical changes in his environment. The human species is strongonly in so far as it takes advantage of the innate, adaptive, learning faculties that its physiologicalstructure makes possible. (Wiener, 1954, pp. 57–58, italics in the original).”What is cybernetic? Have you already heard about it? Well for me, it was my first time toencounter the word “cybernetic”. I was sort of confused because I thought that if we already haveinformation sphere or “infosphere” how come a new term arises. According to wikipedia,Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics isclosely related to control theory and systems theory. In comparison, if information sphere is thelife cycle of information, cybernetic is the interdisciplinary way of studying the theory of systems.Cybernetic is a wide field of study. As I first understand it, cyber means like technology, and thelike, while ethics means moral or the righteous. But I guess my very own definition of cyberneticsis somewhat true and somewhat false. It is said that it is the interdisciplinary study of systemstheory. In the first part of this reading, it is explained there that the academic field of informationethic was born somewhere in the middle of the second war. Clearly, it was ages ago. It alsostated that it was unexpected.

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