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GREAT ESSAY! "What You Can't Say" by Paul Graham

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posted on Jan, 4 2004 @ 08:48 PM
link This should be required reading for all ATS members.
(Long but well worth it.) What You Can`t Say Paul Graham January 2004 (This essay is about heresy: how to think forbidden thoughts, and what to do with them. The latter was till recently something only a small elite had to think about. Now we all have to, because the Web has made us all publishers.) Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked. It's the nature of fashion to be invisible, in the same way the movement of the earth is invisible to all of us riding on it. What scares me is that there are moral fashions too. They're just as arbitrary, and just as invisible to most people. But they're much more dangerous. Fashion is mistaken for good design; moral fashion is mistaken for good. Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed. more:

posted on Jan, 4 2004 @ 09:37 PM
You are right. This is mandatory reading. Excellent find!!!

posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 03:11 PM
Thanks for posting this. You're right, EVERYONE should have a good look at this.

posted on Jan, 5 2004 @ 04:16 PM
Great article. For all those who have read it one of the topics it focuses on is for instance in 300 years what aspects of our life would look stupid in comparison. For example the world being round was an outragous idea for the time. What breakthroughs in science, changes in governing, changes in the world would make us look so different then in 300 years time for example.

I was thinking possibly

Democracy falling apart
Religion being competely prooved wrong or right
Introduction of Earth into the Alien World

Just a few I thought up quickly

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 12:11 AM
Excellent post SkepticOverlord.

It's brilliant, and I think everyone should read it. (I printed it and will make sure to keep it)

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 12:40 AM
An incredible read. That's all I have to say. Everyone here on ATS should read this. It certainly opened my eyes on a couple of things.

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 12:51 AM
Now, let's turn this post into heresies, shall we? If you come up with something that is "unfashionable" in this time of our history, or is suppressed or causes fear in certain groups, PLEASE post it here! Let's see all the ideas that people have after reading this article. Maybe it'll get some really interesting, open conversation going.
Let's see now I'll start... some things I REALLY want to get off my mind, it'll make me feel better, really!

1. Our president, George W. Bush is a pathological liar.
2. Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.
3. There is nothing wrong with gay people, maybe homophobes just fear something they don't understand, fear, after all, is a natural human reaction to the "unknown".
4. The CIA is sponsoring terrorism, and the Israli "mossad" (their version of secret service) has been caught in the act, yet the info is suppressed and not on American media.
5. American freedom no longer exists, there is now "free speech zones" instead of a free speech country. Our freedoms are illusions. Open your mouth, and get assassinated. We never had freedoms to begin with. The country is a school playground.. the bullies rule.
6. America IS the terrorist of this planet, but most Americans are in denial and others wouldn't even consider the possibility. Patriotism is a dangerous game.

7. My favorite: God, as a separate all-powerful entity doesn't exist. It is an idea, but as all theories/ideas it should have at least SOME basis, even SANTA has a basis. Sadly, it doesn't. You can explain anything you don't understand as "work of God" or anything impressive like atoms and the universe as "work of God" but EVERYTHING was considered "work of God" by early peoples before science proved otherwise. Why do we, in the 21st century, uphold the futile trend? In 100 years, if humanity isn't extinct, most things we claim are miracles today would be common science, but there will still be some religious people finding OTHER miracles and attributing them to God. Get over it

Any other ideas that our society is afraid of publically considering the possibility of?


8. Porn IS good for body/mind. Why all the taboo when it's such a HUGE market. I say advertise it openly on free TV and remove censorship. It makes people happy

9. Why would words like "fu*k", etc be censored on this website and others, including public TV. It is part of the language, WHAT makes the words really SO heretic and bad that someone's mind will explode if they hear them. Does hearing the word "fu*k" often make you shoot babies or something? NO! So why censor obscenities, cuz it's not nice? If you think that's the reason, then you can just go ahead and blow me

k that's it for this post. Plz share ur ideas that otherwise would get u in trouble! The WORSE they are, the better you'll feel after expressing them.

[Edited on 6-1-2004 by lilblam]

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 11:10 AM
This essay was the best food for the mind I've read in a while...

"Cadillac stoped being the cadillac of the cars in 1970."

Lol...So true...

posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 04:57 PM
To say that stating that GWB is a liar or, indeed anything negative against good ole Dubya is in anyway a taboo or unfashionable is quite wrong to be honest.

The biggest taboo still is sex but it isnt about adult sex, is it?

I dont want to go into this now becaus, for a start, I do not want these 2 words put together on this website, especially by me as it could attract a whole lot of very unwelcome attention but you know what I am talking about. And this is why I had some trouble with what he was saying, I feel that the taboos we are left with after the rest have been shaken away are kept because they are indeed very wrong. Would murder be counted here? I dont think so but the other one, the sex one which only involves one adult (not masturbation, Iam NOT typing this phrase on this board!!) is completely abhorrent, should this be anything but thought of as deeply disgusting?

I kind of apologise to you because this was just a long train of thought, I was really concidering this to myself more than the board, sorry about that but I think that some of you may understand.

Drugs, that is a taboo now but not for our generation and in fact, possibly no more than half of my parents generation but this could be part of the class divide.

now, Religion! This is the only real thing that I can think that in years from now will be thought of completely differently than it is today, I think we are on our way there now, thank god!!(thats my god by the way, not yoru god!)

I will be thinking about this all night now and have loads to add to it but fuggit, im off to bed!

posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 05:03 PM
1 thing that has come straight to mind before I have even closed down internet explorer is swear words. The guy above says

Quote Lilblam
"9. Why would words like "fu*k", etc be censored on this website and others, including public TV. It is part of the language, WHAT makes the words really SO heretic and bad that someone's mind will explode if they hear them. Does hearing the word "fu*k" often make you shoot babies or something? NO! So why censor obscenities, cuz it's not nice? If you think that's the reason, then you can just go ahead and blow me

Now, anyone who really knows me here knows that I am totally against the censorship of words! I have argued this case several times on here and I am still left dissapointed that the words I choose because they express most strongly how i feel are not respected here BUT........ I think lilblam is slightly missing the point, the argument about swearwords is not that they enduce violence or make people "shoot babies" but, they are graphic discriptions of things relating to sex, which, even though the very most natural thing on earth, is still considered obscene and a taboo. To clarify, Lilblam, if i was to say "you!", it is not that this seems threatening or aggressive but because it is using slang words for sex and a sexual organ.

ahhh this, im too tired, im off to bed. Goodnight ATS, goodnight everybody

posted on Jan, 7 2004 @ 08:58 PM

I think the writer meant to question all taboos, but not necessarly that all taboos are 'wrong'.

posted on Jan, 8 2004 @ 05:06 AM
NO, I understand that. Its not what I was getting at.

I didnt explain myself properly, sorry bout that. Ill give it another go when i get back in.


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