Unconscious filtering of information Pre-logical limitations to the comprehension of international information
Many organizations and individuals use items from the international documentation system to support pre-logical positions which are completely undermined by other documents (which are not cited, even if they have been consulted). This is part of the drama of the political arena and is accepted as such. Many are responsive only to the immediacy of verbal presentations, or to scientifically-backed arguments, or to arguments of a delegation with a strong power-base. Others are affected, or unaffected, by the style of presentation, whether it stresses order/disorder, static/dynamic, continuity/discreteness, spontaneity. On the other hand, and more important, many (at every level of education) are totally indifferent to the whole process which the international documentation system is designed to serve. For them, those documents contain no meaningful information. They are unaffected by efforts for change through the mobilization of public opinion. Although little is known about this pre-logical limit as it affects information, the receptivity to some forms of information only, means that there is a limit to the extent to which an individual or group can learn from information in other styles and modes. It is not simply a question of 'multi-media presentations' but of the pre-logical orientations inherent in any given form of information. The question is how these orientations complement one another and what this limit implies for information systems designed for communication of insights between users of every orientation.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.