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Speaking as someone that has been going to a therapist off and on for the past three years I have come to be pretty skeptical of the idea. Pretty much all the progress I have made in coping with and solving my problems has been on my own. I currently see one mainly because it is required of me by my college and because of the entertainment value of talking about myself for an hour or so.

Sounds good to me. I would enjoy being present at a meeting in order to discuss topics from this site.

I am going to be hosting a Less Wrong meeting at East Tennessee State University in the near future, likely within the next two weeks. I thought I would post here first to see if anyone at all is interested and if so when a good time for such a meeting might be. The meeting will be highly informal and the purpose is just to gauge how many people might be in the local area.

So I am back in college and I am trying to use my time to my best advantage. Mainly using college as an easy way to get money to fund room and board while I work on my own education. I am doing this because i was told here among other places that there are many important problems that need to be solved and i wanted to develop skills to help solve them because I have been strongly convinced that it is moral to do so. However beyond this I am completely unsure of what to do. So I have the furious need for action but seem to have no purpose guiding that action and it is causing me serious distress and pain.

So over the next few years that I have left in college I am going to make a desperate effort to find an outlet where I can effectively channel this overwhelming need to do something. Right now though I feel so over my head that I can't even see the surface.

To me cryonics causes a stark panic inducing terror that is only alittle less than death itself and I would never in a million years do it if I used my own judgment on the matter but I decided that Eliezer probably knows more than me on this subject and that I should trust his judgement above my own. So i am in the process of signing up now. Seems much less expensive than I imagined also.

This is at least one skill I have tried to cultivate until I grew more educated myself; the ability to export my judgement consciously to another person. Thinking for yourself is great to learn new things and practice thinking skills but since I am just starting out I am trying to build solid mindset so its kinda silly for me to think I can provide one to myself by myself without tons wasted effort when I could just use one of the good ones that are already available.

I would probably be more likely to try such a thing if I was younger but I am getting started abit late and need a leg up. Though I do guess the idea is abit risky but on an inituitve level it seems less risky than trusting my own judgement which is generally scared of everything. Yep.

I have read pretty much everything more than once. It is pretty difficult to turn reading into action though. Which is why I feel like there is something I am missing. Yep.

This is similar to my experience. Perhaps a better way to express my problem is this. What are the some safe and effective way to construct and dismantle identity? And what sorts of identity are most able to incorporate new information and process them into rational beliefs? One strategy I have used in the past is to simply not claim ownership of any belief so that I might release it more easily but in this I run into a lack of motivation when I try to act on these beliefs. On the other hand if I define my identity based on a set of beliefs then any threat to them is extremely painful.

That was my original question, how can I build an identity or cognitive foundation that motivates me but is not painfully threatened by counter evidence?

Let me see if I can be more clear. In my experience I have an emotional framework with which I hang beliefs from. Each belief has specific emotional reinforcement or structure that allows me to believe it. If I revoke that reinforcement then very soon after I find that I no longer hold that belief. I guess the question I should ask first is that is this emotional framework real? Did I make it up? And it is real then how can I use it to my advantage?

How did I build this framework and how do I revoke emotional support? I have good reason to think that the framework isn't simply natural to me since it has changed so much over time.

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