Wednesday, September 03, 2008

silence; do not confuse it with any kind of absence

From Cartographies of Silence by Adrienne Rich

The technology of silence
The rituals, etiquette

the blurring of terms
silence not absence

of words or music or even
raw sounds

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed

the blueprint of a life

It is a presence
it has a history a form

Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence

So begins Susan Leigh Star and Geoffrey Bowker writing on
Enacting silence: Residual categories as a challenge for ethics, information systems, and communication
Ethics and Information Technology, Volume 9, Number 4 / December, 2007

I am reminded that silence does not mean absence.
That a story of process is often silenced when up against the story of results.
And that messiness is often overly simplified.
And that master narratives oftentimes reflect dominance.

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