Critics have noted Schwarzenegger's only previous government experience was serving under President Bush senior as Chairman of the Council of Physical Fitness, a largely symbolic office, where Schwarzenegger's only responsibility was doing hundreds of jumping jacks he was going to do anyway.
No one really understood music unless he was a scientist, her father had declared, and not just a scientist, either, oh, no, only the real ones, the theoreticians, whose language was mathematics. She had not understood mathematics until he had explained to her that it was the symbolic language of relationships. "And relationships," he had told her, "contained the essential meaning of life."
It is quite exciting, incidentally, to know that the Genesis account of the creation of mankind through its first parentage in Adam and Eve bears the marks of derivation from the primary Egyptian symbolic depiction.
When my dad founded our church, he used either a globe or a map of the world behind him. It was symbolic of what Christ said: to go forth and preach hope to the world. We believe in the cross, but we just continued with the globe.
Machines will never be able to give the thinking process a model of thought itself, since machines are not mortal. What gives humans access to the symbolic domain of value and meaning is the fact that we die.
Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic - purely symbolic - move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.