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If we spend the hour before the shelf cleaning talking down the process of cleaning the shelf, complaining about it, dreading it, investigating the moral niceties of cleaning the shelf, whatever, then what happens is, we make the process of cleaning the shelf more difficult than it really is. 

For the past to become history, many of the details that can be known must be subsumed in a larger story, and most of the available information must be turned into knowledge. The resulting larger story or paradigm can account for extraneous, unknown, and invisible aspects of reality precisely by declaring them to be irrelevant to what really happened. The organization of past evidence into history does not mean that everything must be accounted for. Michel Foucault showed that powerful historical accounts are by no means simply tales of control and domina-tion, but that historical accounts can accommodate difference and otherness by inventing new categories, the way a city zones some sites to be off-limits, reserved for refuse or to house mar­ginalized human life which is thus at once excluded and contained.