Regulating distance is universally done by “expressing Yes or No”, an aspect
of culture that is strongly coded in every society but which is very differently implemented from culture to culture.
Recognizing people’s “Yes or No” is a central key to Information Philosophy.
From an Information Science perspective Information Philosophy complements the technical Information
Retrieval based Internet services. It also complements today’s Web 2.0 social networking services because these dominantly
emphasize cultural or professional similarity; insufficiently addressing the issue of cultural differences.
Information Philosophy and its mapping system intend to widen people’s scope and
give them access to new cultural territories. Contacting or exploring the unknown is the challenge here. With Internet
penetration on a high level everywhere and with automatic translation tools getting more and more sophisticated, this is from a
technical point of view meanwhile a feasible option.
Information Philosophy does not stop where Internet access ends however. Its Internet
presence mainly addresses the lack of awareness of cultural issues and differences. The impact should go beyond this and bridge
people in daily life.
Almost everyone meets new people with a different cultural background. Improved communication
skills should reduce the fear for misunderstanding and therefore lead to a more positive attitude towards them. This
way Information Philosophy becomes catalyst in discovering local flavors, in exploring the non-common instead of the common.
At the same time does Information Philosophy not target any forced change of behavior.
Since its mapping system is universal, objective and fully neutral, it rather accepts and stimulates cultural diversity than
it has any intention to homogenize culture. The communication skills acquired are additional to one’s own cultural background;
they do not replace it.
The Internet globalization of information services, including social networking services,
has widened the culture dependent information gap between people. On one side do not all people have equal
access to Internet because of economical reasons, but next and maybe even more important is the fundamental issue that
the way people process information strongly differs from culture to culture.
It means that besides of technical access problems there are Information Philosophical
issues to be addressed. The concepts people use to exchange information must be better, preferably fully, understood.
Only this way can cultural differences be taken into account and can local flavor resist or diversify “monoculture”
based globalization forces. Not doing so means culturally excluding people from participation, it however equally means
excluding “cosmopolitans” from available local cultural richness.
The Information Philosophy mapping approach addresses this topic by giving tools
to analyze culture to its users; enabling them to bridge both technical as well as non-technical cultural gaps