It is getting harder and harder to publish speculative ideas or “mere opinions.” We live in a time when expertise is king. True knowledge is supposed to be pushed forward, bit by bit, by an army of accredited scholars, and only their pronouncements are worth listening to. All else is ignorant noise.

Yet if you read Thomas Kuhn’s book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it becomes evident that many important advances in knowledge have come from the noise-makers. They are the people who step outside the prevailing “paradigm” and look at old data in a new way. But they often have a problem getting heard.  
One of the original aims of The Ecphorizer was to give oddball ideas a forgiving forum. It worked well in that role, even if nothing really important emerged. It benefited the contributors as well as the readers, for every thinking person gains from being published. To paraphrase Doctor Johnson, preparing an article for the cold reality of print “concentrates the mind wonderfully.”

Naturally, as editor I took full advantage of the opportunity. I published odd theories and quirky observations with happy abandon. My main problem was that I couldn’t separate the joy of writing from the seriousness of communication. Hence much of what I wrote was tongue-in-cheek. Ideas, set free, went romping through the magazine with never more than one foot on the ground. They had their fun while I had mine, and if the result might impair my reputation as a serious writer, so be it.