Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact
in the Digital Era

an exploratory workshop

2009 February 6-8
“Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava

Cristian Suteanu

The analog-to-digital transition and the change in information dynamics: implications for informational environmentalism

Abstract. We are currently facing something similar to the run-up phase of an information tsunami. At the same time, our information environment is shifting – from the analog to the digital. This is not only a change in form. It is a change in the nature of information. It is affecting our environment on many levels. It is changing the nature of the tsunami; it is changing our world. This paper considers the informational processes involved in the analog-to-digital transition and discusses some of their implications. It shows that technology has been subject to a major transformation from the point of view of its influence on our worldviews; it has produced nothing short of a new type of information dynamics.  The latter has unavoidable consequences for the way we perceive, feel about, and act upon our environment. It also nurtures a novel awareness regarding the importance of developing a different kind of environmentalism: one that would rely on an integrative, multi-scale and multi-perspective approach to the world, having informational environmentalism at its core. The paper shows why the role of the informational environment should be considered with outmost care. It argues that while many environmental problems are crucially important, they all depend, in their turn, on the nature and configuration of our informational environment. It is thus critical to recognize the exceptional pervasiveness of the analog-to-digital transition, as well as the newly emerging relations between people and technology. Many paths still look open. Informational environmentalism may offer a theoretical and practical framework for a more insightful and a safer decision-making process.

The ppt presentation here