The best part of our lives we pass in counting on what is to come. William Hazlitt
We smile as we read text describing the difference between the use of “a” and “the.” It happened to me as I read a four-page paper by Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, entitled, “Mature Information Societies – A Matter of Expectations.” Mature_Information_Societies_a_Matter_of
Floridi’s premise is that “a” is more appropriate when discussing the digital information society because it refers to groups as opposed to “the,” that references one. Digital bandwidth itself, all over the world doesn’t provide a basis to judge the benefit of information to society. Rather, it is the expectation of information that drives education, understanding and innovation for each country’s philosophy of life. Expectations are viewed as mature when balanced by an acknowledgement that all people in the society may not be able to share your specific expectations. In other words, the right to expect more is coupled with knowing everyone may not equally be able to share in the output of digital information.
From a business prospective, companies work daily through expectations they have for their customers, their employees and stakeholders. Mature societal expectations point to three avenues, according to Floridi, as follows:
a) Education – Creates awareness of your own assumptions and expectations; Allows for justification, reasonableness and historical determination of your expectations.
b) Understanding – When society implements a particular right of use it recognizes deficiencies associated with the right of use.
c) Innovation – Mature expectations assist in creating informative actions, ordinary vs. extraordinary, normal vs. abnormal.
The philosophy of digital information results in mature expectations for the common good. Haven’t we all asked one or more of the following questions: How will this benefit the customer? Why are we moving foward on this project when the risk evaluations are not yet completed?
It’s time to recognize we all have a philosophy for the common good developed on the back of digital infrastructure. As you Choose who YOU want to be Known As in whatever societies you participate in, consider your Expectations for what you give, what the other person gets and what benefit is provided. Enjoy the upcoming weekend!
“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive and Career Management Coach
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