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Olu Oguibe wrote on 3/7/98 12:29 PM

>my point is that i am--we are--
>central. why? because irrespective of my nationality or indeed that
>of any participant in these discussions or any netizen in calcutta or
>kampala, we all are contributors to the making of this medium and the
>epoch that it defines. i am as central to the fashioning of the
>discourses of communication and cultural interaction at the end of the
>century as anybody else. a subscriber in capetown is just as important
>as one in chicago. so, what is it that makes one the One and the next
>the Other? why would anyone willy-nilly grant preeminence to a software
>writer in seattle over one in tokyo other than the fact that one has
>been designated the Other in real-space discourses and therefore, quite
>uncritically and dangerously, we condemn her to perpetual Otherness
>irrespective of her significance in, and contributions to, the creation
>of these media? 

No problem with what you write as far as an individual perception of
yourself. I share those/your sentiments  100%. But you must admit that
such a point of view, is only a psychological perception of the self. 
Yes it would be wonderful if everyone could see themselves in such a
light. I would think our civilization would then be a totally different
place to be. The real world is unfortunately less enlightened and such a
fair view of how it ought to be bears little resemblance with what
actually goes on.

One has to separate what is desirable with what is possible. This is not
a defeatist attitude, although I can imagine one could build an argument
that it is. I rather think that the "other" is also part of human
nature. Other wise how to explain the need of all kinds of
peoples/nations to invent themselves always, some sort of enemy to have
in common. This is true even at the smallest group level, where people
use it to define themselves, to see themselves as being "different" (
better) to the other. 

Jut look at the tradition in what is a so called a professional
journalistic attitude. To be "unbiased" implies to get "both" sides of
the issue. Isn't that already a build in "otherness" in every single
story ? If we are all "central", where is the "other" of that story. 

But having said this, I still believe that indeed we are all "central"
while at the same time recognizing that this is solely an individual
perspective which is good for ones' mental health and existential
approach even though the world twists and turns in an opposite

With my best personal regards
Pedro Meyer

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