The impact of the research on my personal behaviour and professional acting was tremendous. Where I used to have a lot of different topics to focus on, during my Master Thesis, I could focus on a single subject, create one enormous thesis, instead of small parts of a thesis. I had to decide everything myself, although I enjoyed a great amount help from a lot of people, on reflecting on the subject. For which I must once again express my gratitude.
11.1 Personal issues
I did get to know myself better during the research. That I could easily get lost in the information that was provided, while I should be watching the quality of the
Also, while writing my research, doing everything from writing to reflecting and talking to other people, I stumbled upon a most lovely girlfriend, which impacted my personal life even further. As it is difficult to tell which part impacted me in which way, it is needed to mention the fact in this reflection.
Becoming a good person
When I started studying, I had several goals. The first goal was not graduating, not making it in time, not having a good time. It was ‘becoming a good person’. And at the time I probably had no idea what the depth of that philosophy was. For people do not become good people by chance. It requires a constant ethical reflection on what you do, on the results and on the motivation why you do it. And now, at the end of my studies at the university, I have to reflect. Did I indeed become a good person? I am not really sure. I think so, at least that I have become an acceptable person; someone who has high moral standards, so that he is accepted by society. And perhaps I did venture even beyond that, developed skills and habits which are more than society could expect from me. Yet, I do not think the development towards a good person ends here, it is an endless journey. ‘Acceptable’ is a certain minimum level, ‘good’ is a direction, not a point at which you can arrive. The word ‘love’ needs a mention in this context, in the meaning of ‘agape’ and ‘caritas’, and complete love for the world and its inhabitants is not something to be achieved in this lifetime. On the other hand, I think I did the good things, the right and honourable things at times, in a way that I wouldn’t have done when I started studying.
11.2 Ethical issues
The ethical issues involved in this research are limited. But they are limited within a very broad spectrum; truth finding. While concerning yourself with information quality, you also get to the point where you can see that information quality criteria obstruct each other. Everybody agrees that you can lose some information quality on the criterion of completeness, to gain a lot on the criterion of conciseness. However, can you lose a bit on the criterion of accuracy, to gain a lot on the criterion of
believability? Not all criteria of information quality are created equal, nor should they be.
Somewhere during the research I was notified that there was a certain subsidy which I could apply for. Although the subsidy was not exactly intended for the use for master students who are writing there thesis, we could probably get some funding out of it. The ethical issue was here: Should I take the money, get the additional motivation out of it, and become a bit wealthier? However, I decided against it, since it was not intended for this purpose. This is of course a pity, since I definitely could use the money. But I simply cannot enjoy money that I shouldn’t have. It is against my believe that you have to excel, you have to be exalted in your ethical issues.
Otherwise, you will just be one of the grey mass, not one of the shining stars, which stand out in a dark and broken world.
Free information for everyone.
The philosophy behind Wikipedia is ‘Free information for everyone’. It is more a philosophical principle than that it is a slogan or working business principle. It is a belief, and I must say that I started to believe in the communist approach to
information and information objects. Since the first copy of an information object is expensive, but each copy afterwards is nearly free, I started to believe that it should be done by the government and not by information companies. Copyrights are exit, free information for everyone. As such I believe that the creation of information for the masses should be nationalized, that means that enjoyable information, like music, video and the like should be done by the government, at least a part of it. Then we can get rid of copyrights and legal issues, and take another step towards free information for everyone.