Note — Jul 20, 2021

Obfuscation

“The act of making something less clear and more difficult to understand, usually deliberately.”

We see a lot of obfuscation in various domains, I tend to use the word when describing situations around opaque technology, data, or mapping. Sometimes this work of hiding things is done on purpose, like making documentation or terms of use hard to understand, or hiding the true workings of an algorithm.

In other cases, the obfuscation happens completely unintentionally or through neglect. When something is measured or mapped, what is not measured or mapped gets obfuscated and often relegated to a lower status or priority.

As the world gets more complicated, and as we pay more attention to systems, what gets hidden or forgotten gains importance for those who want those systems to be fair and unbiased.

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