Home Page
"The Philosophy of Knowledge"
Principles of Constructionism
About The Ecphorizer
Printed Issues
Online Issues
Index & Search

website metrics
The Ecphorizer
About the Ecphorizer
by George Towner

In the summer of 1981, while driving to a camping weekend with my friend, Tod Wicks, I decided to start a magazine.

We had both been Mensa members for some time, and had enjoyed the odd arguments and off-the-wall articles that traditionally appeared in the San Francisco Mensa newsletter.*  But with the local membership hitting 3,000, the newsletter had been forced to restrict itself to business and activity notices. The good parts—the palindromic limericks, discussions of human cloning, proposals to convert redwood trees into condominiums, and so on—were gone forever. The main purpose of the new magazine was to give this essential literary flotsam a permanent home.

Tod suggested we call the new magazine The Ecphorizer. The verb “ecphorize” occupies an honored place in the mythology of San Francisco Mensa. A truly obscure term, it had been lovingly dredged from the depths of the Oxford English Dictionary and inserted in the local by-laws, where the nominations committee was instructed to “ecphorize candidacy.” When the by-laws went to National Mensa for approval, they accused San Francisco Mensa of deliberate obfuscation. The local group stuck to its guns, and the battle raged for years.

The Ecphorizer started publishing monthly in September, 1981, with 152 subscribers. Its readership ultimately peaked at about 700. I edited it, off and on, through issue 70, which came out at the end of 1987.

*The San Francisco Regional Mensa Intelligencer, edited by Tod Wicks 1978-1981

The References to Mensa

Editorial Note

Newcomers to this site will notice the sudden explosion in the number of references to Mensa in general, and the activities of SFRM San Francisco Regional Mensa (of the 1975-1985 period) within the articles published on this site.

The really short explanation is that in order to obtain a 2nd Class mailing permit in those days, we needed a "sponsor" that already had such a permit. George and I originally set up the business of The Ecphorizer as a Special Interest Group (SIG) of SFRM in order to take advantage of the mail permit. We were an activity of the SFRM and could indeed use that mail permit.

The Online version of The Ecphorizer has no such need and my own philosophy is to publish articles of merit from anyone. You can readily see this in our online originals. However, with the reprinting of the original Ecphorizer print issues, you will notice that many articles, by their very context, often refer to people, places, and activities within the context of SFRM of that period.

I hope that the new reader will not be put off by these references, but rather enjoy the articles on their own merit.