1. Introduction

The essential role that communication plays – and, by extension, information and knowledge- is, besides evident, essential for the comprehension of contemporary reality in all aspects of life.  It is a vital element, in the same way, for the progress of any type of collective organization (public or private) in today´s society; the unstoppable “information and knowledge” [1].  Effectively, the information process measures and forms the base of all the folds, contours and environments that surround human action. For this reason, communication is considered a common denominator of the diverse and differing fields of social and human sciences [2]; as well as what is communicated – the information – as it crosses the boundary towards the natural and biosocial sciences, condensing the juncture and synthesis points of the wisdom of nature and society.  The social structure becomes an indirect reflection of the communication system [3] and the information, determined by ideals, groups and technological progress in modernity, of social and economic forces. Consequently, it adopts a meaning in society as a system of communication and modernity, a process of change and social differentiation [4] that introduces a new cultural behavior.

The obligation to historically contextualize is made palpable at the moment of reflection on the (today, quasi-sacred) notion of information as an object of analysis. Situating the global information system in time and space inherently describes in detail the sociocultural and economic reality, its production models, evolutionary – perhaps Lampedusan-behaviors of subjects with an industrialized spirit [5], its unusual and novel ways of interaction, or measures of fiction and reality (post truths).

In light of the facts, it is now possible to affirm that the different forms of communication [6] are given at the same time and as never before: on the one hand, as a process of coding and decoding between senders and receivers, provisions of channels and media for the efficient transmission of the information product; and, on the other, as a process of interaction, social practice and meaning construction.  The quantitative measurement that is extracted from the bit and mathematical theory [7], which defines the transmission capacity of communication technologies, is not at odds with the qualitative nature of information (exchange of information, the social paradigm, power structures) [8]. The quantity of information processed in a message has to do with unique symbolic codes, whether of this entropy or not [9]. “Human nature was being translated rapidly into information systems that would produce an enormous global sensibility and no secrets.  As always, mankind was not aware of the transformation¨ [10].  Thus, we arrive to the current moment, in which it is postulated that the “universe is only quantum information; it is not composed of matter or energy but of information “[11], establishing a transdisciplinary bridge between social sciences and nature. The transdisciplinary combination is – and always was – the key idea to address the information system.

The future will be based on the information processing of security data, arranged in two facets: “the quality of information content and identity as a security code” [7] [12] and “Big data, a term proposed by NASA researchers Michael Cox and David Ellsworth, who understood it as an information storage problem,” conveying the contemporary use of technology that changes behavior and outlook; a battle in the hands of distinct actors such as China, NASA and Google [13].

 

2 Above all, information

The Altamira cave paintings, the Inca Quipu record, art in all its forms of expression, books, news products from newspapers, television and radio, DNA, the Big Bang theory, a child´s smile, the graffiti in Medellin, refugees vs. borders, or the staff of a flamenco guitar in Jerez de la Frontera. All of this is information, measurable and significant.

However, to get to these assertions it had to rain a lot.  Academic and theoretic reflections start from a praxis. Thus, all research, such as the present, has its origin in the description and analysis of social change.  Specifically, in regard to information, hypotheses and paradigms began to arise in the beginning of the twentieth century, when media started to develop, mainly in revolutionary American society. The relationships between information, production and consumption are vital to understand the reality of the collective media, which constitute a strategic problem in development and social change; problems of modernity that give way to myths of modern communication: progress, freedom, peace [14], transparency, control and power [15].

In the wake of epistemological advancement, a system of international communication was simultaneously being developed, more specifically, during the Space Race between the two main world powers, after World War II.  The planet and its system of bipolar international organization was based on the surveillance and control of the “other”. Information and communication was involved in all creation and any design of the structures and influences in international relations.  Also, in the task of outlining a chronical, it is important to not forget some international actors that have changed abruptly during the last century – institutions like the Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the European Commission, multinational and nongovernmental organizations that arrived to the international debate lead by the States, their principal characteristics and the study of the information system itself covering distinct areas such as economics, politics, sociology, culture and jurisprudence, always coming from different levels of analysis.

 

2.1 Steps of the international communication and information system

Certainly, the world of information and communication is one of the spheres of reality that has changed and developed most quickly. The scientific and technological revolution has changed everything, from the moment of production (based on constant innovation), to the nature of interpersonal relations, sustained now by globalized information networks, without forgetting daily life of work and play. But, until arriving to hypermodization [16], there was an entire twentieth century in which the international system of communication and information developed in five stages [14]:

 

Historical Optimism: In 1949, engineer and mathematician, Claude Eldwood Shannon, formulated a mathematical theory of communication, converted in a paradigm, followed by the human sciences. It is not surprising, through theoretical and practical realization, that the receptor of the era was subjugated to the emitter around a rupture between communication and culture. In North American society, an obliged paradigmatic representative of this phase, culture was only a fragile and slight term [17], and therefore it was internationalized.  For the moment, theoretical reflections on the arrival of the society of information and knowledge were not perceived.  The emergence of a new world order came about after the Second World War, containing losers and winners. Thus, a search for peace began which, through the international system of communication, seemed easily achievable.  Here lay the vision of jubilant optimism of the role of communication.  Liberalism had won and, by the hand of the United States, would establish an international system of communication based on the principle of free flow of information, “Essential to achieve that longed-for peace and freedom.”  However, information continued in this international system of communication, subject to the State until the 1970s.Public Diplomacy. World order[1] was more than a fact and the United States, a great winner of the barbarism in Europe, aimed to dominate the international communication system in the Space Race with telecommunication satellites.  Likewise, the 1960s presented a period in which the United States wished to participate in the international stage, sharing and dialoguing.  A stage of diplomacy, order and peace in the West where mass media was a key instrument used to achieve, in addition to defending the American way of life, a suitable foreign policy strategy, closely linked to national security. The media began to be conceived as powerful tools that, of course, must be controlled, while still allowing the principle of the free flow of information from the previous period to prevail. In this context, discourse had already begun on the“information age” and the “ information society”, a fundamental fact that later acted as the basis for information economics[2]. ·       New world order of information and communication In the 1970s, world peace after the Second World War, brought about by the  United States and its allies, and through international institutions such as those aforementioned, would began to be questioned by the Third World or peripheral countries, which would also achieve an unprecedented victory in UNESCO[3]. The main problems reported can be summarized as an international system of asymmetric and unidirectional communication (from the north to the south or center to the peripheral) and, as such, there existed an incapacity for the autonomous development of their culture and technology, provoking a profound technological dependence on certain areas of the world. At this point in history, the first intergovernmental conference on international communication was held (San José, Costa Rica, 1975), with the goal of overcoming the weakness of underdeveloped countries against the enormously manifested sovereignty of the United States. This signified the materialization of the first global discussion of communication, today practically missing from the memory of the dependent organism of the United Nations. ·       Liberal Reaction. Since the 1980s, the international system of communication and information has returned to the first period, characterized by an optimistic vision and the principle of free flow of information, possibly because of a global privatization of telecommunication companies and, more than probably, because of the failure of the McBride report.  In summary, this signifies the hegemonic return of the United States, represented notably by the alliance of the Administrations of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Raegan who, undoubtedly, defined the twentieth century.  The new global system of communications came about in part due to this conservative neoliberalism. ·       Program for the Global System of Information. In 1993, the program sanctioned by the United States, promoted by Al Gore[4], defined what would become the new global system of information (GSI), that is, an interdependent and integrated system in which American dominance is overwhelming. There were and are two positions on the globalization of information: those who see an opportunity for openness and connection, democratization and diversity; and those more critical, who understand that behind this exists a process of ideological influence, with the objectives of standardizing  and homogenizing society.

 

3 Methods and Methodology

 

Research processes that generate knowledge imply that the researcher collects, codifies and analyzes data simultaneously, as a methodological, systematic and interpretive process, typical of the qualitative paradigm [19]. The theoretical triangulation has been framed in the method of analysis and specific techniques of the grounded theory to present the data [20] that aim to identify the basic social processes (BSPs) as a focal point of the employed method.

The possibility to observe social events is an arduous task that requires time spent in many dimensions of the social sciences as well as the use of the scientific method.  Efforts by brilliant minds, who have placed exact theories on the world stage, give reason for reflection[5]. This research, with no ambitious claim, subscribes to explain the processes that surround the meaning of the present object of study.

The data collection is based on academic-scientific experience in university institutions. Since March 2015, there have been endless discussions and debates within the Department of Social Communication of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, on the Ibarra city campus. In order to reflect on the phenomenon of information as unfinished knowledge, it was necessary to rewrite an important point of the discussion, identified within the included phases in the theoretical framework and the argued relevance. Thereby, the exhaustive revision of the concept of interaction that invisibly affects the way to approach certain theories is expressed in detail – not just presented .               In order to arrive at this theoretical documentation, intensive seminars on theories (both previous and present) were given, to identify isolated concepts and ideas.  Five scientific articles were written, which reviewed different literary ideas on emerging information theories in the knowledge society; data was taken from the results of a doctoral thesis on the theories of communication[6]; many meetings were held to compare the concepts on the development of the background attributed by theoretical insight; the systemized information was declassified in printed and digital books, multiple web pages, essays, class preparations, and monographs, bringing meaning to the data; and, lastly, with the creation of a Media, Information Technology and Communication group, researchers in the communication sciences and social sciences came together, discerning the concretization of ideas as methodologically viable and, through interdisciplinary learning, developed the proposed hypothesis. Table 1. Methods used for this research. Prepared by the authors.

Concepts Terms as identified objectives of study, in this case:Interaction: The gap left in the disciplines by mistaking that all orders and processes of interaction communicateInformation: Understood as an isolated concept, distinct from the uniqueness of information in the paradigms and scientific methods.
Category A classification created after comparing the concepts and integrating them into a higher order.
Coding The processing and analysis of the authors´ data, characterized by different schools, thoughts and tendencies.
Hypothesis Interaction is a concept that alters the current international information and communication system, based on the performance of the smallest information exchange of the historic subject
Proposition Interdumbre: For this research this concept is understood as a phenomenon of the structuring of information that behaves in phases and emerges as changes in the New International Information and Communication System.The NSIIC analyzes the social, technological, computational and sociological connections for the creation of different institutions in a society as a kind of information structuring. When society advances from one phase to another, such as the five mentioned in this study, (acknowledging the existence of many others), little is understood by the cognitive confusion of believing and learning in diverse paradigmatic realities that the interaction “communicates” to us. This is what is understood as phase transition [11]

In order to arrive at the theoretical proposal, strategies of collecting, categorizing, coding and data analysis were used simultaneously and, as such, generated the theory referred to as the new phases of the international information system. The technique used through two types of observation – structured and in a team- allowed data to be collated with the chronological systematization of the historical communication paradigms, without reaching a determinant framework of the currents of thought of modern and postmodern social science paradigms.

  1. Geomatics of the new information and communication system

 

Following the above analysis of the five stages that determine the dimensions of the evolution of the international information system, which are subjects of study in this present research, it is fitting to shift focus to the current period, the context of which is identified through complexities and diverse social structures that determine the behavior of the subject.

The current reality is, without a doubt, the result of a sociological phenomenon interfered by globalization, technologies of communication and information, modernity and the survival demands of an information umbrella, the same which drives the thought process in small towns. The so-called parents of communication had to rediscover communicational practices.  As such, Bateson, the inspiration of the Palo Alto school, after the 1950s, proposed the new communication and systemic approximation; Ray Birdwhistell introduced language gestures; Edward T. Hall set the basis for an anthropology of space; and Erving Goffman constructed a species of grammar of interaction that regulates social relations.  They were authors who created private research; however, they were connected by the same goal: to analyze social phenomena, or the new communication [22].

Precisely, to speak of the present means to enter into (post-modern) processes, cultural practices, use of new media and, in this context, constitutes taking on and understanding the new information production, where there are no longer consumers, but interacting parties, who do not conform to being part of data and source symmetries.  On the contrary, they require an integration into the informational correlations.  In such virtue, the introduction of a new interdisciplinary research brings with it a historic-social context, whereby the analysis cannot be isolated from the dimensions of the paradigms of information and communication. This thus makes a further development in the direction of a more comprehensive theory necessary, which sees within the dimensions of reality the possible social interrelations and interactions.   “Mattelart observes that the fascination with theories of hegemonic social control has prevented the Marxist analysis of the processes of popular class-based struggles to change communicative and informative structures” [23].

The urgent need to identify the new international communication and information system implies the behavioral development of critical thinking that cannot be displaced by the new technologies of information and communication, as societal advancement depends on the productivity of man.  The promotion of the era of ¨management of knowledge ¨should transcend to the ¨construction of knowledge¨, precisely because it has a social dimension and should regain collective and shared knowledge. “The Theory of Cognition says that in order to form critical thinking, human beings must be equipped with intelligent processes; it is, therefore, inevitable that learning cannot be decontextualized from knowledge and in accordance with social interaction” [24].  The connotation of a new concept of social interaction gives rise to a realm of possibilities that signify a nuclei of information, leading man to reinvent himself out of his own worldview. Meanwhile, communication and information cannot remain implicit, nor superfluous definitions of being a response or stimulus, but must be understood as elements of a communication process that lies precisely in cybernetics.  Therefore, they go beyond the limits of one’s own influences because they converge in the new dynamics of systematic and cultural interaction, which signifies a rediscovery of new ways to behave and understand the world.               The new phase proposed, then, enters into a theoretical current of social interactions and deepens into the sociology of actions and human behavior.  ¨From the study of man begins a series of movement in the problem: it is the first step towards the rehabilitation of the subject, a new approach to questions about identity” [25]. From the definition of the term ´paradigm´, which is always set as a pattern or model within a system of rules that establish limits or borders; the traditional societies that, with the industrial revolution, globalization and new technologies of information and communication, position themselves in other cultural and media practices.               Paradigms help to understand the perceptions of the world and drive the tools of social and human development.  Although the information society has been introduced into the thinking of man as the era of great transformations at the level of information and communication development, the cyber age has exclusively conquered science. Without a doubt, it crosses through a millennium in which the culture of paradigms has turned to the thought and desire of freedom of expression.  Thus, the information system has strategized to immerse itself in the new environment of global society. “For Horkheimer, the need for a critical anthropology that reinstates the human being in its historical place transverses the emancipation of the almost autistic subjectivism in which the individual has been confined to consumption and intellectual positions – including metaphysics, art or theology – have propelled human beings towards their liberation “[26].       5 Interdumbre: Non-Communicative Interaction (Reflection) As of today, we can postulate two new phases: from 1993 until 2001, synthetically characterized by a continuation of the globalization process, also informative; and, from the desert of reality[7], which produced an unprecedented, authentic psychological, cultural and communicational shock. In all environments of reality and study, the world changed forever.  It is not a surprise that virtual aspect cognitively reproduce the imaginary meaning of non-communicative actions.                After 1993, a framework of substantial changes in the information processes was created, generating a clear difference between modern and post-modern societies.  It was then when Marshall McLuhan´s ideas brought about different facets that are now studied by various authors.  One aspect is the planetary globalization (the winning ideology) that the world undergoes, analyzing the field of communication from the perspective of material evolution of media and new information technologies.  Precisely, McLuhan predicted modifications of communication and information at the level of interaction; this being an important, but not integral, element that generated response from some societies which, facing overlapping power, will over identify- if the term is permitted- the facts, mixing them into the discourse. From there, the creation of the “Macluhiana” global village is addressed, not only by the implications of man in society and his cultural development, but also by the accumulation of symbolisms that begin to unfold from the new tendencies that mark the media and its reality.

McLuhan’s media ecology was the result of awareness and, therefore, constituted a metaphor in which the message represents the medium [27], as well as the domain itself. It is precisely this theory that led to new perceptions of the information economy and the accelerated pace of technological innovation that contrasted with neocapitalism, where the latter dominated the modes of consumption and the behavior of man. The neocapitalist system forced the creation of more technobureaucratic realities and the people´s participation became a utopia. Likewise, a series of movements in the field of communication was exhibited, which was articulated by a character of the media, with alliances, concentration and absorption by the hands of large conglomerates, maintaining control of the message, up until today.

Completing this first period, it should be noted that the registration of a series of approaches towards new production models, and in this dimension, the media, are connected to other economies from the figure of different information companies seeking to harmonize their capital with new transmedia narratives, characterized now by, yes, instantaneity.  However, after the terrorist attack in New York, information has been transferred more than just instantaneously, and what was once understood as interaction; now is versed in the notion of “real time” and a “world without screens”, in which the virtual and real world intertwine.

Citing modernity vs. post-modernity means to study new concepts of objectivity, precisely because postmodernity is constructed in a world “of dark screens”, where information is a labor of world peace. The technique predominates over science and opens, in such, a distinct global vision of understanding information processes and structures.  The scientific expansion becomes a necessity for which a branch of structural changes in formal education originates, and therefore, the era of information in which inevitably man should produce significant knowledge to integrate himself into the new tendencies of understanding. These approaches have led to other debates in which the orientations of the theoretic, scientific and cultural explanations collect new emotional values that also give rise to a new populism, based on post-truths – typical lies -, with the goal of de-globalization.  It is important to not bypass the new evolution towards an artificial intelligence that will, undoubtedly, be able to connote love.

It is time to explain the new phase in which computer interlinking is identified.  Large databases have come onto the scene, with an accumulation of information surrounding social, personal and collective interests. Within this phase, people no longer only seek responses or colloquial dialogs; it is no longer enough to make interaction possible by speaking in similar codes, but rather they must become interactive. In this new society, people want to be informed not only on generalities, but also on specifics and unique topics; they want to overcome levels of information that only serve to make the subject react; and be engaged more than communicate.  They want to, though they cannot, because interference levels do not only lie in understanding the environment, but must reach a self-realization from critical thought. At the same time, this configuration becomes a strategy to confront innovation and the incidence of postmodernism.  It is about the new social interaction that is equivalent to a symbolic interactionism of communication and information, a communication gap, a non-communicative interaction, the phenomenon of interdumbreas a new paradigm that still must be approached and defined by social science researches.  It is not just a consequence of learning, but an implication of the discursive action for the construction of messages and concepts from a shared experience.  In this reality, the storage of data becomes obsolete, as it should overcome the archive stage through the advancement of real-time information.  Thus, other languages can be considered, as referred to by the reality of big data the describes the evolution of structured or semi-structured data for the configuration of new information.

Ultimately, people with more informative and communicational arguments can make decisions, self-educate, demonstrate propositional attitudes towards their own informational nature, and make use of the rights and liberties of humankind.  And yet, however, dangerous tendencies exist for – more than citizens – users, who are (passively) interacted, informed, and communicated – more than are interactors, informants and communicators -, leading to passive and uncritical thinking.  The same idea revolves around the scope of information that booms as available processes, with which the phrase, “everything is on the Internet”, is made absolute.  This meaning is delegitimized because what is not found on the Internet, for the time being, is the power of discernment and the interpellation of ideas for the rational use of content.  This is, therefore, the new stage, called “interdumbre: non-communicative interaction”, which leads us from the void of information towards the construction of value judgments and consensus criteria in dialogical dimensions. This is the “daily bread” of Twitter.


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[1]Permit the notion of the term “order” in substitute of “peace”, as in the majority of studies the latter is used.

[2]The balance signals that, in 1967, information represented 46% of the brute national product of the United States and 53% of wage bills [18].

[3]The McBride Commission (One world, multiple voices: the fight for information),tried to find solutions to information problems of the world, demanding a new international economic order, more than just a new world order of information and communication against the geopolitical and cultural dominance of the West. UNESCO also intervened to democratize communication. It is important to remember that this fact provokes a historical abandonment by the United States and the United Kingdom of the aforementioned international institution

[4]The concrete document was titled Agent for Action.

[5]The brilliant mind referred to John Nash, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 for his theories on games and to Vlacko Vedral, for his enormous contribution Decoding Reality.

[6]Doctoral thesis titled, Study of an organizational model of communication for public and private institutions and NGOs in Imbabura province.

[7]That is the title of the book of the polemic, contemporary philosopher, Slavoj Žižek, founded on a discursive critique following the fall of the Twin Towers. It is also a phrase by Morpheus, a known character of The Matrix, who leads the resistance in a global post-war period.

A translation work by 9h05
©9h05 International, 2017

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