I have a feeling the question I am about to ask, I won't be able to ask it the way I am trying to...but I will try. I will break it up into two questions. 1) What are its real life applications? Much easier for me to get it when I can see a real life application 2) Why is it the way it is? I get that it is reflexive, transitive, and antisymmetric. Why is that an important combo though? Why did the person who create partial orders decide they should be antisymmetric rather than symmetric? Is there something about the combo of reflexive, transitive, and antisymmetric that is good? If you are reading this and thinking "What the hell is this guy asking", then I am sorry, lol.