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Freedom of Speech or restrainment from knowing the whole truth?

April 10, 2013

In lecture 4 and in the readings of Derrida, the idea of archives is explored – that is the provenance and structure of data. Archives are comprised of memories, experience and perspectives of the truth. They are structured in such a manner that they reflect our DESIRES (from personal to governmental) – and Derrida highlights the basic need for humans to record their experiences. I studied ‘The Fiftieth Gate’ authored by Mark Raphael Baker (for the HSC) which highlights the importance of distinct correlation and twining of facts and memory to acquire an accurate representation of the past and of truth. (Here is a link to an archive, where people comments their personal reviews of the book

Another interesting aspect in the lecture, correlating with the idea of publishing, is that nearly everything we do is archived. Taking photographs and arranging them in folders, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog – they are all examples of archives we use everyday and are our own personal archive of our life and its experiences. This leads to archives within archives – you may have a folder for all the photos you took in 2012. From there you might have other folders that categorize the months, then important occasions, friends and selfies! Everything is archived the way we desire, because we are ingrained to leave our mark behind, to make a name for ourselves and to show that our life was meaningful and should be remembered.

In any form of archives, there are high magnitudes of influence and power – this power ultimately controls what is being made public, who can access the data and the capability to locate shifts in power. Those in power have influence over the people – they choose and deliberate what they want the public to know and what they want to be kept hidden. Wikileaks is a [paradigm shift in archival organisation; archives are stripped of their protection and barriers to be made generally known. This raises alarm in retrospect to our own individual privacy – if someone can hack into government archives and retrive top secret documents to distribute to the public…imagine what they can do with your personal information.

Our world has, and always will be, controlled by a specific individual or group – we believe we have freedom, yet it is a mystery to me that we can even breathe. It forces me to question why we are so constricted and confined by rules and regulations. Is there really a risk if the public knew everything there was to know?

It is not the structure of society that is of concern, nor is it really about who is in power, but rather the hidden structure of archives and and the unaccessibiilty of some archives.


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