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The essay “What You Can’t Say” is written by the excessively intelligent and articulate Paul Graham. It discusses conformism and “moral fashion” in society, and turns over some rocks to explore what beliefs our society holds now that will seem archaic in just a few decades. It’s a lengthy read, but interesting throughout.

From the essay:

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.

What You Can’t Say