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<eyebeam><blast> otherness

zonezero wrote:

> 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.

Yes, but this can be a very limited sense of apartness. When I look at
my own life, I am always struck with how much it was absolutely central
for me to define myself as other than my own older brother. we
nonetheless remain brothers, and quite similar. "The narcissism of minor
differences" referred to by Freud does not have to erupt into enmity,
violence or hatred on any permanent basis, if at all.
Suppose a hundred years of universal net culture, with large percentages
of the human population connected, as is certainly technically possible.
"otherness" would certainly survive, but it may not have the bitterness
and separateness of Otherness now. this is not to say that such
homgenization would be an unmitigated blessing.

Michael H. Goldhaber
Visiting Scholar
Institute for the Study of Social Change
Univ of California Berkeley
Ph/FAX 510 -482-9855
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