Achieving Equality of Information
As authors, I don't believe we can ever achieve complete equality of information, that we can ever keep from privileging some information. For instance, using panoptic modes as a means of providing both general and detailed information lets readers choose the level of detail they desire (within the confines of what the author provides), but it doesn't give them equal access to information on a particular subject. Similarly, Beverly Sauer's model attempts to show that many factors contributed to a mining disaster and the dynamic of those factors was not a linear progression of cause and effect. Nonetheless, since the model includes reports from individuals (whose viewpoints are always subjective), those reports privilege information. The model, therefore, silences some information, albeit less so than a strictly linear explanation of how the mining disaster occurred.
But it's not important to achieve equality of information. One of the values of postmodernism is that it makes people aware of how they communicate. Since my first encounter with postmodern ideas, I've become increasingly aware of the ways I privilege information. For example, in this work I don't go into depth with concepts I'm not sure I understand well. In the case of me writing this document, what's hidden might be a discussion of, say, differance. I'm the one who benefits from not dealing with the concept with which I'm not comfortable. I now read, listen, write, and speak always thinking of what the information I'm dealing with might be privileging. I must now own up to whatever I choose to do in a piece of writing. And when it comes to providing the possibilities for an argument, this awareness is of practical use. Certainly, I will continue to privilege information, but perhaps less so than had I not considered the consequences of how my point of view affects my negotiation with the reader.The Shortcomings of Meta-narratives Privileging and the Web