Xibolete is the Portuguese form of the English word shibboleth, which comes from the Hebrew שִׁבֹּלֶת, a part of a cultivated plant that contains grain. The Bible tells of the word being used to tell apart native speakers of a language from those who learned it after their mother tongue, by a difficulty of the latter in its pronunciation. It relates, therefore, to daily agricultural parlance in a dead language thousands of years ago, to how humans use language, and also to tribalism and dispute.
This platform, by this name, is not interested in tribalism, but in getting beyond language barriers with the art of translation, no matter the difficulties. It values intellectual dispute, when it leads us closer to truth or at least higher plausibility. Xibolete favours well argued thought, justified belief, and freedom to think and defy taboo. Like the shibboleth’s grain that made settlements possible and enriched human freedom after nomadic subsistence, Xibolete wants to enrich the free market of ideas, especially in the Lusophone World, with intellectual products that sustain and last. It has no patience for censorship and no fear of controversy.
Xibolete was created by Eli Vieira in 2015 while he was a genetics graduate student at the University of Cambridge, UK. He often came across pieces in English that provoked the feeling “I wish this could be read in Portuguese as well, I wish my friends and family knew about it.” Hence, Xibolete started to quench this feeling. This is our team now:
Eli Vieira – Editor in Chief
Ágata Cahill – Senior Editor
Larissa Souza – Senior Editor
And dozens of contributors.
All work done for Xibolete is voluntary and all fruits of our labour are free.