Meta Post I

For the second time in a week, I have written a post that I have deleted in an act of self-censorship.

A little while ago, Paul Graham had an essay about all those things that you are not allowed to say.

The Conformist Test

Let’s start with a test: Do you have any opinions that you would be reluctant to express in front of a group of your peers?

If the answer is no, you might want to stop and think about that. If everything you believe is something you’re supposed to believe, could that possibly be a coincidence? Odds are it isn’t. Odds are you just think whatever you’re told.

To be clear – the opinions that I censored are things that I often talk about with my peers. We had such a good time discussing one of those topics at the pub last week that I rushed home to blog about it but then, in an act of cowardice, found myself unable to push the publish button. It’s not my peers that I am afraid of. It’s liberal orthodoxy (it would probably offend conservative othodoxy too, but I don’t care so much about offending that).

Paul Graham goes on…

Like every other era in history, our moral map almost certainly contains a few mistakes. And anyone who makes the same mistakes probably didn’t do it by accident. It would be like someone claiming they had independently decided in 1972 that bell-bottom jeans were a good idea.

If you believe everything you’re supposed to now, how can you be sure you wouldn’t also have believed everything you were supposed to if you had grown up among the plantation owners of the pre-Civil War South, or in Germany in the 1930s– or among the Mongols in 1200, for that matter? Odds are you would have.

How does an opinion rise to the level of orthodoxy when it is so obviously wrong? More to the point – how to we bring it down again?

It’s not easy being a blogger when all the best topics are forbidden.

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

5 thoughts on “Meta Post I”

  1. As a liberal, on vacation, particularly, I think the liberal orthodoxy is often more abhorrent than the conservative orthodoxy because of the fact that I am a liberal. Who are these stinkers to be taking my ideology and polluting it with their ignorantly adopted rules and mores. The snootiness that many self-satisfied liberals apply liberally in their bon-mots and boring monologues-parading-as-conversations do a great disservice to our cause. We could convince a lot more people if we weren’t perceived as meddling goody twoshoes with no sense of humor.

    These particular fellows, exemplars, that I have in mind are like neo-victorian wankers. Also, they kept you from writing. Boo hiss on the orthodoxy.

    So, what were you going to write? :-)

  2. The first one was about a seventeen-year old XXXXXXX who was completelyXXXXX. The second one was about a XXXXXX who XXXXXX on a XXXXXXX with a XXXXXX and then XXX with a spaniel.

  3. In the past I have also censored myself, but then I woke up and realized that “The meek shall inherit the Earth” is total crap. Nobody ever became famous for saying nothing. I am also confident that my peers are only my peers because they can handle it.

    Here is the post I held off the longest before posting:

    I just ordered the plush orca by the way. I am VERY disappointed that nobody got me one for my birthday.

    I might be writing a post about the Hitler/social censorship issue we discussed recently as well.

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