Published on August 20th, 20131
The Daily Opium: A New Social Science Site
It’s been a frantic flurry of message threads, late night emails, and artistic touchups since we first came together just a very, very short while ago (that might be the understatement of the century), but it’s finally here: The Daily Opium—your social science fix.
The social sciences have historically been accorded lower esteem than other fields of knowledge such as the “hard” sciences and business, among others. This is especially true in the case of Philippine society where the academic and practical fields of engineering, business, hard sciences and the likes are perpetually in the limelight of public interest leaving little or no room for social scientific progress.
As such, the burden falls on us, advocates for social science to spark public conversation and promote the discipline itself not by talking down to people, but by talking to them. The communicative impetus of bringing the social science closer to the people became the driving force and the core of The Daily Opium – an experiment with the transformative potentials of the social sciences…with a little help from the Internet.
As a new medium, the Internet and its associated technologies present both challenges and opportunities for Filipino social scientists. The idea of publishing content without the fraught process of mediation involved in traditional channels and with the potential for direct engagement with its intended audience is at least worth exploring.
In laying out the objectives of this site we owe a substantial debt to others who have made a mark blogging about their own social scientific pursuits. We were, and still are, inspired by such social science blogs and sites as The Monkey Cage, Sociological Images, Popular Social Science and Freakonomics, to name a few. You may find echoes – likely intentional ones – of their mission statements and goals in ours:
1) To promote the social sciences.
2) To provide diverse, dynamic, informed, and intelligible commentary on current events and issues by Filipino social scientists and students of social science.
3) To think aloud.
4) To create a social science resource for everyone interested.
5) To speak to our idiosyncratic interests as social scientists.
This site will always be a work in progress. As the body of content grows and our interests change, we expect the blog to take on a different character over time. Your feedback – whether through comments or our mailbox – will be very much important in determining our future direction.
From the team at The Daily Opium, thank you, and we hope you join us for years to come!