With the influx of new visitors to this site we have decided to put up a clear and easily discovered explanation of this siteís motives, creators, and goals.
Symbolic Order tries to follow its slightly facetious tag line, ìPolitics and Culture for Smart People.î What is supremely different about SO is our desire to encourage productive, meaningful debate about controversial topics. This desire is, in fact, the paramount concern of SO.
Aaron and I met while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. The class was an exciting, interesting English course centering on applying literary criticism to works of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I was a Philosophy major who had spent all my life as a philosopher. Aaron was an English major who had grown up in an intellectually stimulating environment with a PhD holder for a father and a younger, mathematically gifted brother.
However, when we first met we disagreed sharply on many, if not most, issues. What ensued were many solid months of pure discussion. Essentially, we found that, although we disagreed vehemently on the matters we discussed we did not disagree that meaningful, productive debate was possible, desirable, and fun.
Soon this website was developed. It has seen many looks and formats. It has seen many stories and authors. However, throughout its existence its purpose has remained the same ñ to engender productive, respectful and fun discussion. As Aaron and I disagreed, and disagree, on many issues we found that our respective opinions were inconsequential to sharing a like-minded view of the nature, and enjoyment, of productive, positive discussion. Therefore, towards this site, your opinions are not important but your attitude is. If you donít want to seriously discuss and defend your positions then this site isnít for you.
In the coming months expect to see a few things. First a slight design change. Second, hopefully, more authors (if you are interested and feel you meet the criteria email Aaron or me with a sample). Third, I am starting an ongoing series of critical analysis of thinkers with whom I disagree. First will be Noam Chomsky and my reading and commentary on his book ìProfit Over People.î Others will follow. Also, the SO book club is an attempt to engender interesting discussion on a provocative book chosen each month. This discussion will be carried out in the forums and hopefully will yield some positive results. Furthermore, both Aaron and I are attempting to use feedback from the users of SO to build upon theories/ideas that we are individually working out. There will be periodic postings on the main page with special forums set aside to continue the discussion. Aaron’s section is called “Natural Theory” whereas mine, which will soon be up, is called “The Philosophy of Belief and Ideology.” Of course, expect new essays and posts on many topics from Aaron and me, and from our collection of very intelligent denizens.
Thank you very much for dropping by. The commentary on the stories is active and we always have our discussion forums to talk about whatever you like. If you like what you see stick around and maybe we can all get smarter because of itÖ