verb defined as an opposite — and obligatory counterpoint — to engage: instead of taking anothers as your own you strangen yours to look at it as alien — to see it strange: consciously leave the familiar, explay your dearest knowings to rediscover them from afar; its the backbone of mental hygiene techniques taught early in life to inoculate against self-deception, biases, conformance pressure. “Conscious enloving is wholesomer than organic passion”: strangen is how you get the former without losing the latter.  ■    Early strangening evangelism, by then-young Minds with their excited fresh eye on everything, waged a “war on names” — on the authority of however-recent tradition, on the core culture-building practices of referencing, citations, allusions; it was a brash attempt to “reerect the temple” entirely from first principles — axiomatize culture like Euclids geometry. Such zeal may be no more but what it left behind is respect for those who, if themselves not free from influences, just dont dwell on them: dont feel obliged to nod to the predecessors, dont research the literature even at the risk of reinventing the wheel; reinvention is a gift, not a waste — like explay, its a chance to reunderstand something differently and, often, deeper. The strangening wave made science vastly less of a social construct, forced reboot of whole domains of humanities crippled by “paralysis of referentiality”; it also instigated the aggressive ethical audit that defined early live ethics — the ruthless poking of all kinds of moral blind spots to reveal the strings. There was a predictable counterwave of “new referentiality” but mostly as quasia (for-real references are too automatable, best kept in outer namespaces); if you seriously lean on citations in your work youre probably stylizing.

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