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The "Concise Glossary of Feminist Theory" defines the term 'other' as follows:
"The concept of 'the other' cannot be disentangled from that of 'the self'. Both feminist and post-colonial theories have used this concept to identify ... how the various 'others' to the white Western heterosexual male are denied selfhood ... in the interest of securing the centred subject's own soaring ego."
In his article "Thinking the Border and the Boundary" on the subversive potentials of the Internet, Siegfried Zielinski explores the concept of the other in an hypertextual environment like the Net. He points out that, etymologically, the prefix hyper- means something in excess of what it is connected with. As such, the Internet is a place that is 'impossible' for any stable intentionally acting subject to stay in because it constantly defies the notion of fixed border.
The excess that is in some sense always present in the Net is therefore necessarily bound up with the continuous presence of the other. In this way, a hypertextual environment has the potential to break the boundaries between self and other, but, as Zielinski importantly stresses, this potential only gets enacted when there is an intentional activity constructed that implies a movement on these borders and thus a subsequent decentering of the self. Crucial for this diffusion of self and other to take place is "to take seriously the social/cultural/geographic places, the places of identity, from which we act, and to use the Net to facilitate their expansion." In other words, crucial starting points should be the process of situating oneself. To think that the Net in itself has the promise of some unifying one-for-all order is a postmodern and cyberutopian dream; instead, it requires that we conceive of the individual as complex and heterogeneous, as the self as fragmented. The alternative that Zielinski argues for thus allows us to look more closely to the notion of nomadic subjectivity in relation to the Internet and social change.
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