September 29, 2006

More on the Silences of SV

Category: Academic,Tech — Biella @ 8:11 am

There are some good comments on the Borsook piece, that rightly point out that the silences to speak of failure were perhaps more of a function of the moment she was doing the research (it just was too early to uncover it) and not necessarily due to a deep culture of shame that permeates high powered Silicon Valley executives (though I like the idea of the later for some reason :-) )

Josh Greenburg also provided a link to the The dotcom archive, which collects the stories of that time period. Really, we are in the age of the archive, aren’t we? Stilt it seems more than ever worth exploring what silences are built into these archives, especially since everything appears to be so accessible and transparent.

This discussion also raises the interesting point, however, of the importance of time and distance to assess the significance of economic trends, new technologies etc. Recently I did a few media interviews with Canadian journalists on the impact of new technologies on political campaigns and advertising. While I have some thoughts on it and it is possible (and important) to think about these topics, my initial reaction is to be highly qualified and cautious because things are too emergent to really say anything firm. I want to tell them, “so give me a call back in like.. 5 years and I may have something to say…”

It is like one of my advisers at University of Chicago said, now that we have pervasive Internet shopping, it is now the perfect time to really understand the significance of the mall… And by unearthing objects of the past, it will help us ground understandings of the present.

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