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In the Washington Post, Nick Gillespie groks R.U. Sirius' new book Counterculture Through the Ages.

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  1. This article made me think of Neal Stephenson’s SF novel The Diamond Age, set roughly a hundred years from now. In reaction against the immmorality and decadence of the late 20th century, and all the social problems this was seen to cause, a “neo-Victorian” culture has come into vogue within Anglo-American civilization.

    The early life of one of the older characters in the book is reviewed, and he was apparently one of the first people to adopt the neo-Victorian outlook when a young man. He recalls being thought odd because he felt that some ways of living were better than others, in contrast to the prevailing cultural relativism and dogmatic egalitarianism of the day. Neo-Victorianism was countercultural in its early days.

    Many, many decades later, this character is an old man, as well as a person of some wealth and social standing. He has seen with his own eyes that neo-Victorianism is an improvement over the horrors he saw in his youth. But it strikes him that within the strait-laced neo-Victorian culture, all the really creative and innovative individuals seem to be immigrants from the outside, or those who are used to thinking in ways that differ from the usual neo-Victorian. He seeks a way to improve his granddaughter’s upbringing, by introducing some element of subversion to her upbringing — but in a constructive way. And that sets the plot in motion.

    And so the pendulum ever swings, I guess…

  2. Am I part of the libertarian dweeb inner sanctum if I start using the term “grok” in casual conversation?

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