Comments on “Hippies and Evangelicals: monist and dualist countercultures”

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"Both were non-traditional:

Greg 2016-09-21

“Both were non-traditional: homosexuality was not a significant issue before the 1970s;”

Well, yes, but this elides the fact that it was not a significant issue only because homosexuals were almost completely marginalized and underground before they started to assert themselves societally and politically in the 1970s. It certainly was traditional to consider homosexuality completely unacceptable. There is no need to make a stink about it when mainstream society agrees, only when mainstream society starts to evolve.

Untraditional homosexuality

David Chapman 2016-09-21

Good point!

Do you have any thoughts about what that implies more broadly?

Version control?

Kenny 2016-10-02

I follow this blog/’book’ via RSS (or similar) and, I’m guessing, whenever you edit a post/page an item for it is published in the feed. But if I’ve already read a post it’d be nice if I could see what you’ve changed. You don’t by chance have all of your text in a version control repository to which you could link each post to the relevant version history? That would fantastic. Not only could I see how each post has changed, but anyone could also see how the post, and thus your thinking (or writing), has changed over time too.

Staging: email, RSS, and twitter notifications

David Chapman 2016-10-02

Thank you, that’s a really interesting suggestion! Although it wouldn’t actually help with this.

What’s going on is that pages go through several stages of increasing completion. Adding a one to the RSS feed comes near the end. Email notifications of “new” pages happens at the same time. Drupal, the web software I use, calls this “promoting” a page; vs. “publishing” it, which only makes it visible on-site.

The time of “promotion” usually doesn’t reflect changes in the page itself, but in its context. Some pages don’t make sense without context. I promote a page when it seems like a good time to read it for people who follow the site only via email/RSS, and don’t go off exploring it on their own. For their benefit, I often hold off on promoting a page until the section it is part of is ready to go. Sometimes that is several years after it has been published in final form.

The idea here is that this site is not a blog—in other words, a series of stand-alone essays that could be read in any order. It’s a highly-structured book, in which each part generally depends conceptually on several previous parts. On the other hand, I don’t write the book in the order it’s meant to be read. This causes difficulties!

So, for an email or RSS follower, the two things to know are that

(1) a page only gets promoted once, not every time it changes, and

(2) pages on the site are in final or nearly-final form unless they have the gray box that says they are incomplete (and are marked with the “under construction” icon in the outline).

Usually I tweet about a page a day or so after “promoting” it. I mark the “official” tweet with a “NEW” icon. Often I tweet about a page several times, but it use that icon only once per page.

I’m afraid all this may be obscure and unintuitive. It’s the best way I’ve found so far to deal with writing an enormous, highly-structured book out of order. Any suggestions for a better approach would be welcome!

Re: Staging: email, RSS, and twitter notifications

Kenny 2016-10-04

Thanks for the clarification! Given that I follow via RSS and frequently explore, and revisit, pages, I understand why I was confused before.

All of the info you shared would probably be helpful to others in a ‘how to read this site’ page.

A counter-suggestion that comes to mind would be to setup a second feed with changes. If promoted pages really aren’t subsequently edited, significantly, then this would be superfluous. But if your site evolves like TV Tropes into a densely cross-linked set of pages that are frequently added-to and updated, it’d be nice to follow along, especially if I could spot the new or changed content more easily.

Evolved into its final form

David Chapman 2016-10-04


Once I have removed the gray “incomplete” box from a page, which is always before adding it to the RSS feed, I don’t make any significant changes to it. Those have evolved into what I expect to be their final forms. It’s possible that my thinking will someday change enough that I’d do significant revision to one, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Basically, all the ideas in Meaningness were fully worked out 10+ years ago. I’m just taking an absurdly long time to write them up.

Abortion et al

Sasha 2017-08-24

” It is not credible that tens of millions of Americans who had zero interest in abortion in 1975 discovered deep concern for the well-being of fetuses by 1980.”

Why not? Other issues which were historically considered irrelevant, or even not thought about as issues at all, rose to quite rapid prominence. For example: the environment/ecology; animal rights.

Current political trends

Mason Green 2019-04-15

Evangelicalism is becoming less and less of a political force. The victory of Donald Trump (who is the antithesis of “values” in his personal life) definitely marks a turning point where the Republican Party is no longer the Evangelical Party, even though evangelicals did incongruously support him. Mike Pence was on the bottom of the ticket for a reason.

Instead, the GOP’s new animating principle appears to be right-wing secular populism, with a dash of white nationalism.

Similarly the political left is changing too. With figures like Rashida Tlaib, the Women’s March’s Linda Sarsour, and Ilhan Omar becoming more prominent, and Islam increasing rapidly in both political influence and numbers, it’s quite possible that the left will become more or less “Islamized” before too long. So we could be moving to a future where the left is more religious than the right, just with a different religion this time (Islam vs. Christianity). Trump is helping this happen, with his efforts to make Omar the face of the Democratic Party.


mal 2022-10-13

Saying abortion reduced penalties for sex for members of other social classes isn’t enough. Specifically, lack of abortion access produced penalties for sex before marriage and sex outside marriage. This encouraged people to form monogamous legally-binding marriages before having children, which encouraged long-term family cohesion. Contraception, abortion, easier divorce and greater independence for both women and men really did result in fewer marriages, later marriages, more marital breakdown, fewer children being born and more single-parent households. The social costs of those changes were real and obvious, and the countercultural left either didn’t acknowledge those costs at all, or provided solutions that weren’t appealing to the general public or weren’t effective. Therefore we get anti-pornography feminist arguments and anti-abortion, pro-fanily-values black nationalist arguments

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