Stephen, Michael, or David may have more to add about this but I hope the below is helpful.
Concerning your question if I understand your reference correctly the term: “Higher Order” has to do with respect for others and the proper protocol used in “discourse”. (This has nothing to do with religion.)
The site is still a work in progress as the older version actually had a descriptor concerning this very term. It may give the impression of high brow but actually it has to do with tone and behavior. There were several moderators that usually kept an eye out for problems as discussions could sometimes get rather heated or an occasional “Troll” would drop by and try to create a “dustup”; (slang for trouble maker); and the problems though rare were generally solved with just a word or two of caution.
There was actually a thread that was created to address this distinction called: “The Art of Discourse”; that over the years evolved into a running discussion about what elevated and constituted proper discourse from that of normal discussion. But the idea; (although more nuanced); really boils down to having the proper respect for others and the topic you are engaged in; (along with the idea of what some might call elevating discussion into an art form). The above guidelines section should help give you a sense of this as well.
Make yourself at home and take a look around a bit since this site is a little more complicated than the Salon was; but I think you’ll find things quite comfortable once you get settled in.