Extropianism and Nudism

Robin Hanson (hanson@hss.caltech.edu)
Fri, 9 May 1997 11:03:15 -0700 (PDT)

"Perry E. Metzger" writes:
>> I'm not sure why you think people's preferences regarding nudity would
>> be very different in the comon areas of a gated private development,
>... common areas are extremely restrictive, largely to prevent residents
>from disturbing each other's quiet enjoyment of their homes.
>A park, on the other hand, is not directly near someone's home.

Nudity is noisy then?

>To the Victorians, who rarely saw a naked ankle, even the sight of an
>ankle was a charged experience. To those who see the naked form
>repeatedly, it becomes uninteresting or even banal. Indeed, one might
>note that the degree of bodily exposure considered "uninteresting" in
>our society has dropped radically over the last century. ...
>It is not unreasonable to assume that the existance of places
>open to the general public at which large numbers of people were
>"routinely" unclothed would lead to further erosion of current
>societal norms on body modesty as fewer and fewer people noticed or
>eroticized nudity qua nudity.

The question is whether recent historical trends are a one-time
historical transition, or whether it is more a matter of cycles,
multiple equilibria, and other contextual effects. Maybe both the very
prudish and the routinely nude cultures are self-consistent equilibria
in certain contexts. But most of human history has been between these
extremes, and so absent a reason to expect some fundamentally new
development, I'd expect future culture to also lie within historical

Robin D. Hanson hanson@hss.caltech.edu http://hss.caltech.edu/~hanson/