Inter-Opinions: On Cyber Transparency and E-Learning

Inter-Opinions: On Cyber Transparency and E-Learning

Simber Atay (Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8844-5.ch001
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Transparency is a cultural problematic; But at the first step, transparency is an ideal that represents healthy and free systems on institutional or individual level. Sometimes, transparency means also knowledge of truth or information about truth. Digital technologies and Internet have created an efficient model of transparency that is cyber transparency. In this chapter I would like to re-define transparency and cyber transparency concepts according to some related explanations of Thomas Metzinger and Slavoj Žižek. Transparency is also a utopic idea that has been inspiration source for many art works like Lewis Carroll's Through of Looking Glass, Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass, Michelangelo Antonioni's Profession: Reporter, René Magritte's The Human Condition paintings…By the way, the learning act in itself is always a transparent act. E-Learning could be an efficient way to reach knowledge within cyber-transparency.
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Introduction Borgesiana

In our Fine Arts College Library, dictionaries, lexicons and encyclopedias’ section—it could happen the same in anywhere—between the volumes, there is a jewel—once upon a time, it had belonged to my Distinguished Professor, Poet, Excellent Intellectual, Generous Fellow Mr. Suat Taşer; Nearly half of the library books is his donation- that is Webster’s New International Dictionary Second Edition Unabridged, G& C. Merriam Company, Publishers Springfield, Mass. U. S. A. 1957 and with a stamp: Suat Taşer Armağanıdır/Donation of Suat Taşer. Let’s find ‘transparency’ article and its related articles, ‘transparence’, ‘transparent’. Voilà: p. 2693:


  • 1.

    Quality or state of being transparent; transparence.

  • 2.

    That which is transparent.

  • 3.

    A burlesque title of honor, as His Transparency, the Duke! Transparence: Transparent quality, state, or character.


  • 1.

    Having the property of transmitting rays of light, so that bodies can be seen through; pervious to light; diaphanous, pellucid…opposed to opaque, and usually distinguished from translucent.

  • 2.

    Pervious, as to any specified form of radiant energy.

  • 3.

    Luminous; bright; shining.

  • 4.

    So loose or fine in texture or open in mesh as not to conceal what lies beyond; sheer; gauzy.

  • 5.


    • a.

      Readily understood; perspicuous; clear,

    • b.

      Easily seen through; perfectly evident; unconcealed; detected, as such without effort;

    • c.

      Guideless; open; free from pretense.

Syn. Transparent, translucent, lucent, lucid, pellucid…limpid, luminous…Ant. Opaque, dull, murky, clouded, obscured…And use examples from Poets like Hawthorne, Milton, and Keats…”

On the other hand, the article of ‘cyber’ does not exist in our Wunderkammer/I mean Library of Faculty; such a historical experience! Therefore, I have had to find a cyber-dictionary: “cyber- function: adjective, date: 1991: of, relating to, or involving computers or computer networks (as the Internet) “(i. dictionary/ cyber; 2014 Merriam- Webster, Inc.).Cyber prefix comes from cybernetics. Norbert Wiener, one of the principal pioneers of cybernetics (1948), explains the denomination process of this new discipline: “…After much consideration, we have come to the conclusion that all the existing terminology has too heavy a bias to one side or another to serve the future development of the field as well as it should; and as happens so often to scientists, we have been forced to coin at least one artificial neo-Greek expression to fill the gap. We have decided to call the entire field of control and communication theory, whether in the machine or in the animal, by the name Cybernetics, which we form from the Greek χνβϵρνήτης or steersman .In choosing this term, we wish to recognize that the first significant paper on feedback mechanisms in an article on governors, which was published by Clerk Maxwell in 1868, and that governor is derived from a Latin corruption of χνβϵρνήτης. We also wish to refer to the fact that the steering engines of a ship are indeed one of the earliest and best-developed forms of feedback mechanisms” (1961, pp.11-12).

Thus, cyber-transparency means cyber- transparency! It’s a feature of post- modernism since 1990’s -as we learned from dictionary- until now and seems to be continued (!) In this point, if we would like to make a flash- back: Gianni Vattimo determines and critics the postmodern society as ‘transparent society’: “…What I am proposing is:

  • 1.

    That the mass- media play a decisive role in the birth of a postmodern society;

  • 2.

    That they do not make this postmodern society more ‘transparent’ but more complex, even chaotic; and finally

  • 3.

    That it is in precisely this relative ‘chaos’ that our hopes of emancipation lie,” (1992, p.4).

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