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“To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” ― Paul Valéry


I think, in terms of truths that "set one free," there is a high probability of being in bondage to some delusion or malformed anxiety, and that the wrenching effect of having to overturn a lot of one's prior beliefs is quite likely to have some anger component, even if only at whatever forces kept one in ignorance previously. In many cases it means coming to terms with the degree to which one had been used and manipulated up until the new perspective arrived. At least this mirrors my experience leaving the church, as well as in some other emotionally loaded topics.


It's been my experience that fashion revivals leave a sort of "residue" of retro coolness that doesn't disappear entirely. My only suit probably dates back to the seventies (I wasn't born until the early eighties), but wearing it gives me occasional points for being "retro" or something to that effect. Since it doesn't stand out glaringly it doesn't attract too much attention (I think there is something to being conservative), and since I'm totally out of phase either with cutting edge fashion or any revival cycles, I don't appear to be behind the curve and struggling to keep up with fashion. I just look like an outlier that could fit into some fashion cycle associated with some subculture somewhere, or who has a strong self-identity (plus in complements my body shape relatively well, so I don't look absurd that way). But then, I only weakly interact with most social groups, and my strongest social ties are with fashion challenged subcultures anyway. In short, being way out of phase in fashion cycles (which gives one a fairly large margin of error) is relatively safe compared to being just slightly behind a fashion cycle.


Hello all.
My name is Alerik. I'm a 29 year old Civil Engineering student and father of one (so far). I'm hoping to graduate within the next year. I've been in school forever, changing schools several times, and majors from naval architecture to physics to applied math and computer science to civil engineering. I've been a terrible student much of the time, and a poor organizer of my time much of the time. I was raised very religious, broke away from my church when my grandfather's death revealed the enormous corruption within the church, and broke with theism and religion in general in my mid twenties after a lot of reading, especially at I came to be introduced to Less Wrong through several links from on topics about artificial intelligence and epistemology.

After my deconversion I found I was able to make my way out of a decade of suicidal depression and constant internal rationalization processes trying to harmonize dogma and science. I was able to engage in functional adult relationships and move forward with reduced fear. Nevertheless, I am still riddled with irrational and self defeating behaviors that I was unable to consistently overcome even when I detected them in operation. Only recently have I been able to make much significant progress, and have only taken beginning steps. I have found the Litany of Gendlin to be of immense help. I have also joined a local freethinker group, but it has not yet become well organized, and the focus is still on the influences of religion and not on how to improve rationality in general. I Wish to Become Stronger; therefore I am here. I must cleanse myself of the cloudy emotions and habits that prevent me from seeing what I need to see or deciding what I wish to decide. I must move forward with choosing the best life possible for myself and my family. And I expect, and even hope, though I admit to occasional fear, that the resulting optimal path in life results in a world very different from what I have come to expect.