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Direct Democracy

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Wed, 2006-04-26 00:17

I had an interesting chat with a friend on AIM this morning... Here is the log:

Friend: morning
Julian: Morning! Smiling
Friend: ever heard of Direct Democracy?
Julian: Yup.

Recent Comments:
Rough-enough figures are — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-07-10 14:29
Rick — by Fraser Stephen-Smith on Tue, 2007-07-10 13:58
Oh come on now — by Rick Giles on Thu, 2007-07-05 14:57

( categories: )

War. What Is it Good for?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-04-25 23:05

Yesterday's Anzac Day commemorations here in New Zealand and Australia brought many reflections on the nature of war. Here very briefly, is mine.

War is immensely brutal, intensely destructive, utterly brutal and heart-breakingly tragic for all involved. War is horrific. Wars very rarely have winners, only those who have lost the least. War, as The Age said yesterday, "is a dangerous and terrible thing, which should only ever be seen as a last resort."

Recent Comments:
Rick, I got a question for you — by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-27 13:39
Adults are trying to talk, — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-04-27 10:50
Phew — by Rick Giles on Thu, 2006-04-27 08:38

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The Two LPs

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Tue, 2006-04-25 00:28
The Two LPs

Leonard Peikoff and Lindsay Perigo

Recent Comments:
You gotta start asking — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-05-29 04:36
Wow! — by 0 on Mon, 2007-05-28 06:54
Inquiring Minds Want to Know — by PhilipC on Tue, 2006-04-25 19:06

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FDA: American Research Prohibited, Foreign Research Ignored

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-04-24 20:24

Bush's FDA justifies its prohibition against medical applications of marijuana by declaring that "no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States..." It appears that the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, which concluded that marijuana was "moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting," was based on research in other countries, where the FDA has no authority to prohibit scientists from studying it:

Recent Comments:
Another example — by Phil on Wed, 2006-09-13 08:07

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The Great Symphonies -- Anton Bruckner

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Mon, 2006-04-24 19:41

Anton Bruckner was a strange figure in late 19th century music.  In stark contrast to the other great composers of his time who were cosmopolitan city dwellers, Bruckner came from a modest small town German background.  His biggest influences were Richard Wagner and Franz Schubert, and while these influences can be detected Bruckner’s symphonic music is so original that one cannot find any close comparisons to it among his contemporaries.   He was a deeply superstitious and religious man and using these inspirations and his immense talent he succeeded in creating grand symphonic cathedrals.  While I don’t share any of Bruckner’s superstitions his sense of grandeur greatly appeals to me.  He was also a virtuoso organist who used the symphony orchestra to create bold organ like sounds. 

Recent Comments:
Iain, I think I know what — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2009-01-29 03:03
Bruckner and Ralph Vaughn Williams — by Iain Benson on Wed, 2009-01-28 18:34
Bruckner related tidbit — by Pete L on Fri, 2006-05-12 00:12

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Alida Valli -- Kira Argounova

Marnee's picture
Submitted by Marnee on Mon, 2006-04-24 18:17

Alida Valli, the actress who played Kira Argounova in We the Living, died today at the age of 84, in Rome.

If you haven’t seen We the Living I highly recommend it especially to see how perfectly Alida Valli portrayed Kira. She had a wonderful talent. Also interesting is that this role must have been especially important to Valli in that she too was living under a totalitarian regime.

"With the Nazi push into Italy, she briefly left filmmaking to avoid recruitment into propaganda efforts, she said.

For a time during the war, Ms. Valli hid in a friend's apartment." (from the Washington Times article)

Valli later made her way to America and went on to star in more than 100 films.

More at the Washington Times:

We the Living at IMDB:

Recent Comments:
O, Cuore Mio! — by Ted Keer on Mon, 2006-11-20 00:52
Me too — by Marnee on Wed, 2006-04-26 22:49
if you've seen... — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 23:02

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Conundrum - A Poem

Laure Chipman's picture
Submitted by Laure Chipman on Mon, 2006-04-24 15:41

Brant suggested on another thread that James submit a poem to JARS for publication.  Inspired me to write one.  (Please note, I am a software engineer and have never written a poem before.  If I can do it, so can you; if you reply to this blog entry, it's gotta rhyme, OK?)

Objectivism is not a religion
Despite all the schisms and division,
Used to be TOC was the nice guys,
Now to my surprise
My views align with ARI's.

The people I attempt to classify
as TOC or ARI,
all my attempts defy.
Can't tell whose views are whose,
Can I be independent,
or do I have to choose?

Recent Comments:
Much-needed brevity — by Laure Chipman on Sun, 2006-04-30 15:14
Thanks... — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 06:26
Much-needed levity — by nevin on Sun, 2006-04-30 03:01

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Mario Lanza's Secret, KASS 'Nessun Dorma!'

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-04-24 08:27

Fifty-one years ago, long before Luciano Pavarotti made it a household aria, Mario Lanza had recorded the great and demanding Nessun Dorma for the soundtrack of one of his movies.

Recent Comments:
Welcome aboard, Debbie... — by Jameson on Sat, 2009-03-07 15:20
Nessun Dorma - Mario Lanza — by miesque on Sat, 2009-03-07 14:11
Jerome LoMonaco — by Laure Chipman on Mon, 2008-09-29 21:32

( categories: )

Mr. Perigo Needs to Apologize

Robert Campbell's picture
Submitted by Robert Campbell on Mon, 2006-04-24 03:10

I've called on Barbara Branden to apologize to Lindsay Perigo, for supporting the publication of “Drooling Beast.” If you have ample evidence that someone can't control his anger, and inadequate evidence that his tirades are due to alcoholism, you're best off confining your charges to the former.

But that's only part of the picture.

It's time for Mr. Perigo to apologize...

to everyone he has unfairly slimed, slammed, maligned, flamed, or trashed, formerly on SOLOHQ, or now on SOLOPassion.

Recent Comments:
No apologize — by Rex Wilkinson on Fri, 2006-06-23 13:41
— by Victor Pross on Fri, 2006-06-23 02:22
I believe that Lindsay was — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-22 04:04

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Fractious Factions, Unsteady Coalitions

Robert Campbell's picture
Submitted by Robert Campbell on Mon, 2006-04-24 03:02

Since the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has changed very little during the time that Mr. Valliant has been subscribing to it, and the attitude toward JARS over at the Ayn Rand Institute hasn't even budged glacially, I'm going to suggest a different reason for Mr. Valliant's recent decision not to submit an article to JARS.

I think his choice not to seek publication in JARS is one of many aftershocks from James Kilbourne's ill-advised essay “Drooling Beast,” which appeared on SOLOHQ on July 31, 2005 (see As presumably everyone here knows, Kilbourne interpreted Lindsay Perigo's frequent public outbursts of anger as symptoms of alcoholism. In order to test loyalties and rally support around him, Mr. Perigo decided to make the charge of alcoholism public, by publishing the essay on SOLOHQ instead of rejecting it. Shortly after the essay appeared, Barbara Branden praised it on SOLOHQ.

Recent Comments:
Alrighty Then — by Boaz the Boor on Sun, 2006-05-21 04:32
Hostility to the Person — by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-19 18:51
Nice — by Boaz the Boor on Fri, 2006-05-19 15:59

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Jennathon April chat dates on SOLO

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:59

Sr Gomez, Sr Scherk and Sr Edge invite fans, colleagues and online friends of Senoritas Jen and Jenna to a fireside chat this coming weekend. Stay tuned to this space for details. Marriage proposals are expected, marriages not.


Guignolatry: while you are waiting, here's some eyewash . . .


Recent Comments:
Wes! ... — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:35
Sorry! ... — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:33
"Man is a hero and worthy of — by Ed on Tue, 2006-05-16 05:29

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Getting out the Smoking Gun

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:29

New Zealand MP Hone Harawira wants to stop other people smoking. "Tobacco has to go," he says -- and he wants the Government to pass laws criminalising tobacco producers to do it. In Hone's world, when you want other people to do something, it's time to get the government to pass a law to make them do what you want. To Hone and others like him, there is an automatic jump from "you should do this" to "I'm going to make you do this." Reason, moral persuasion, the recognition of people's right to choose for themselves ... all abandoned in favour of getting out the government's gun to make threats on his behalf.

Whatever the merits of his arguments about tobacco, in simple terms and like every other busybody in the country and right round the world, he wants to get the gun out to impose his own choices on others.

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In Praise of Objectivist Rage!!

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Mon, 2006-04-24 00:17

Borders Books and Durban House Publishing are proud to present the author of 'The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics,' James Valliant, with Mr. Lindsay Perigo, together for the first time in history, at the following place and time: Borders Books, Orange, California, July 6th, 2006 - Thursday: 6 to 8 p.m.

Join us for an evening of stimulating conversation and tasty treats (served from 6:00 to 6:15 p.m.)

Recent Comments:
Well you know Mean Gene — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-04-24 21:33
Linz, James, you forgot to add... — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-04-24 20:04
Adam — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-04-24 11:42

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Upham upherself!

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-23 21:58
Recent Comments:
Slimey snot indeed! — by Robert on Wed, 2007-12-05 18:19
Rick demonstrating again why — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-12-05 07:50
NZ crown jewels theft — by Rick Giles on Tue, 2007-12-04 22:02

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Feminism, Sensuality and the Kitchen

Prima Donna's picture
Submitted by Prima Donna on Sun, 2006-04-23 06:04

Gents (and lovely ladies!), I'm interested in getting your feedback on this topic. In my latest podcast I'm talking about feminism and sensuality, and the havoc the former has wrought upon the latter, particularly in the kitchen.

I realize that I'm likely preaching to the choir, but in case there is a voice of disagreement I'd like to discuss the idea with all of you, as it's part of my larger vision for getting these thoughts out to the public. (I can only imagine the hate mail that's going to come from this one. Oy.)

Recent Comments:
Oh, Claudia! — by Prima Donna on Mon, 2006-05-15 03:47
Hey Jennifer? — by Olivia on Thu, 2006-05-11 06:47
Amen, sister! — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-05-06 03:49

( categories: )

Australian OE # 01

Rick Giles's picture
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-04-22 13:19

Australian OE # 01: Accent

From living in Australia I have learned that Australians think we are the ones that have an accent.

I know, I know. It's hard to believe. But I mean it.

Last year I lived in Brisbane and this is a picture [click to enlarge] of a billboard I took while I was there.

( categories: )

A Prosecutor's View of PARC

William E. Perry's picture
Submitted by William E. Perry on Fri, 2006-04-21 18:49

I’ve heard a funny criticism of James Valliant’s The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics. That is that he is arguing like a prosecutor. That is funny when it is addressed to me because I was a prosecutor for 21 years. It is also funny when addressed to Valliant because he IS a prosecutor.

That has made me think about the validity of the way prosecutors argue in general, and its application to PARC. This is not intended as a review, but merely as a comment about one aspect of the book.

Various critics have referred to PARC as an “indictment” or a “brief.” It is neither. An indictment is a formal charging document. A brief is an appellate argument. PARC is neither of these in either the literal, or the metaphorical sense. The book is a closing argument on behalf of Ayn Rand against the charges made against her by Barbara and Nathaniel Branden.

Recent Comments:
Willers and Piekoff...or...Frisco and Rearden? — by Rowlf on Tue, 2006-04-25 03:44
more on the arbitrary — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 01:48
Use of the concept of arbitrary — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 01:38

( categories: )

Professor Goebbels would be proud

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:18

Professor Goebbels would be proud, Orwell would be apalled at the doublespeak gobbledegook used by Climate Scientists.

Take from the article below published in the respectable journal science:

"Now two new studies that combine independent lines of evidence agree that "climate sensitivity" is at least "moderately strong"--"moderate enough" so that a really "scorching warming" appears unlikely."

Huh? What?

The bottom line of the article is that "predicted" global warming temperature rises for the end of the century are now less high then previously suspected, from a possible 11°C to a possible 1.5°C.

Recent Comments:
The Apocalyptics — by nevin on Sun, 2006-04-23 20:30
This is justification for industry wrecking! — by Marcus on Sat, 2006-04-22 14:36
Global panic — by nevin on Sat, 2006-04-22 02:10

( categories: )

Essays on Ayn Rand's 'We The Living'

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Fri, 2006-04-21 15:23

Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew.

I liked this book. How much? Let me count the ways. I bought it a while back, read the whole book, made copious notes in the margins and then, hold on to your hats, lost the book. So I bought another copy just so I could write this review. (And I wanted it on my shelf for future reference.) It is a collection of essays edited by Robert Mayhew, who also contributed the preface and two essays. All the essays except one rate at least an “A” or “A+” from this old teacher. I shall not mention the name of the only “B” author.

Recent Comments:
Fred — by TRowland on Tue, 2006-04-25 16:37
Content Change — by seddon on Tue, 2006-04-25 16:16
Content change — by TRowland on Mon, 2006-04-24 13:35

( categories: )

Solo Thrust-The Cover That Changed History(moderately safe for work)

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Fri, 2006-04-21 03:20

So what do you think fellas(and gals)? First time they've ever put a group on the cover. I like it, and besides, who could choose?

The 2006 SI Swimsuit Cover

Recent Comments:
That list doesn't worry me, — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-04-24 23:38
Femme Fatale screen shots — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 17:23
Ms. Romijn — by Chris Cathcart on Mon, 2006-04-24 17:08

( categories: )

The Psychology of Intrinsicism and Subjectivism

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Thu, 2006-04-20 20:54

Posts on various Objectivist forums are very revealing. One thing I notice often is characteristic tendencies toward intrinsicism or subjectivism. There are people who write in a rambling, unfocused manner, just stringing together random thoughts or shiny, glittery pieces of information which strike their fantasy and who don't like to unify their thoughts in a pretty package with a bow attached. And there are those who write utilizing only a very few principles but without giving much in the way of concretes or examples and who drop all qualifications and resent or do not respond to the request for details and fleshing out or to the idea that the principle may be contextual.

Recent Comments:
Abstraction, not intrinsicism — by AdamReed on Fri, 2006-04-21 02:53
Interesting observations, — by Laure Chipman on Thu, 2006-04-20 23:56
Writing vs. Thinking — by James Heaps-Nelson on Thu, 2006-04-20 22:43

( categories: )

Where Would General Motors Be Without the United Automobile Workers Union?

George Reisman's picture
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-04-20 20:50

This is a question that no one seems to be asking. And so I’ve asked it. And here, in essence, is what I think is the answer. (The answer, of course, applies to Ford and Chrysler, as well as to General Motors. I’ve singled out General Motors because it’s still the largest of the three and its problems are the most pronounced.)

1. The company would be without so-called Monday-morning automobiles. That is, automobiles poorly made for no other reason than because they happened to be made on a day when too few workers showed up, or too few showed up sober, to do the jobs they were paid to do. Without the UAW, General Motors would simply have fired such workers and replaced them with ones who would do the jobs they were paid to do. And so, without the UAW, GM would have produced more reliable, higher quality cars, had a better reputation for quality, and correspondingly greater sales volume to go with it. Why didn’t they do this? Because with the UAW, such action by GM would merely have provoked work stoppages and strikes, with no prospect that the UAW would be displaced or that anything would be better after the strikes. Federal Law, specifically, The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, long ago made it illegal for companies simply to get rid of unions.

Recent Comments:
Excellent news Bill. It — by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:31
Rush reads Reisman — by nevin on Fri, 2006-04-21 17:18
"It is hard to get sympathy — by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-04-20 23:49

( categories: )

Angry Music

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-20 00:36

deleted by author

Recent Comments:
I agree that "Mars" is not — by JoeM on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:04
Wonder how Rand would classify 'Hip-Hop's — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-05-01 23:57
Musical 'Anger' ya want? Try 'DOOM' (not the movie) — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-01 03:29

( categories: )

"HOSTEL"ity Towards Romanticism

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Wed, 2006-04-19 23:59

In the "Bootleg Romanticism" chapter of THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO, Ayn Rand writes:
"The composite picture of man that emerges from the art of our time is the gigantic figure of an aborted embryo whose limbs suggest a vaguely anthropoid shape, who twists his upper extremity in a frantic quest for a light that cannot penetrate its empty sockets, who emits inarticulate sounds resembling snarls and moans, who crawls through a bloody muck, red froth dripping from his jaws, and struggles to throw the froth at his own non-existant face, who pauses periodically and, lifting the stumps of his arms, screams in abysmal terror at the universe at large."

Recent Comments:
Very astute — by Landon Erp on Thu, 2006-04-20 21:31
I am a fan of well done — by John M Newnham on Thu, 2006-04-20 14:12
William, the first reference — by JoeM on Thu, 2006-04-20 04:59

( categories: )

Essentializing the History of Philosophy - Kant, etc.

PhilipC's picture
Submitted by PhilipC on Wed, 2006-04-19 20:59

The question was raised (on a thread about JARS, and in many other places on many occasions) whether Peikoff in "The Ominous Parallels", Rand in "For the New Intellectual", and Objectivist intellectuals oversimplify the history of ideas, oversimplify Kant in terms of his central ideas or his influence, etc. Or are they essentializing and stripping away side issues in seeing the main lines of philosophical development and philosophy as the motive power behind all history?

I will start out by contesting a point Jeff Riggenbach just raised on another thread:

> Denying that we can "have knowledge of the thing in itself" is NOT the same thing as denying that "we can get to reality." Right there is the main locus of the absurd Objectivist oversimplification of Kant. [Jeff]

Recent Comments:
Inscrutable motives and Kant's style — by Robert Campbell on Sat, 2006-04-22 18:48
Kant exegesis vs. Kant defense — by Chris Cathcart on Sat, 2006-04-22 18:38
Chris — by Fred Weiss on Sat, 2006-04-22 14:25

( categories: )

Wish Me Luck

Dan Edge's picture
Submitted by Dan Edge on Wed, 2006-04-19 01:10

Hello Everyone,

I just applied to the Objectivist Academic Center for the Fall semester. I take their online essay test on Wednesday, so wish me luck! Hopefully I will not be automatically disqualified for associating with people like you Sticking out tongue

Recent Comments:
Congratulations! — by Martin on Mon, 2006-10-02 12:01
Reassuring ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-10-01 22:46
Yeah . . . — by User hidden on Sun, 2006-10-01 20:44

( categories: )

Appaling things

Joe Idoni's picture
Submitted by Joe Idoni on Wed, 2006-04-19 00:42

This is posted in the links section of TOC's website.

SOLOPassion -- The other part of the former SOLOHQ, run by Lindsay Perigo. Not friendly to The Atlas Society/Objectivist Center, but they still link to us.

For a group who has taken the liberal face of Objectivism, is this really appropriate?

Recent Comments:
Ergh — by Joe Idoni on Sun, 2006-05-07 23:26
Joe ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-04-19 01:03
Old news. — by Landon Erp on Wed, 2006-04-19 00:45

( categories: )

Censoring a Dead Man

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-04-18 16:07

The late Jack Anderson "wrote about Watergate, CIA assassination schemes, and countless scandals. ... His archive, some 200 boxes now being held by George Washington University's library, could be a trove of information about state secrets, dirty dealings, political maneuverings, and old-fashioned investigative journalism, open for historians and up-and-coming reporters to see. But the government wants to see the documents before anyone else. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have told university officials and members of the Anderson family that they want to go through the archive, and that agents will remove any item they deem confidential or top secret." Chronicle of Higher Education.

Recent Comments:
Are you saying that only if — by Charles Henrikson on Tue, 2006-04-25 17:19
Knowledge of facts cannot be owned — by AdamReed on Sat, 2006-04-22 07:01
re:"Not Intelectual Property" — by Charles Henrikson on Fri, 2006-04-21 22:53

( categories: )

Name That Novel #1

Lanza Morio's picture
Submitted by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-04-17 07:47

Name that novel:

Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister's miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence: "Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!"

Recent Comments:
Re: "The Scarlet Letter" — by mcohen on Tue, 2006-04-18 02:43
We have a winner! Michelle, — by Lanza Morio on Mon, 2006-04-17 17:20
Re: Name that novel — by mcohen on Mon, 2006-04-17 15:05

( categories: )

The Great Symphonies -- Dvorak and Tchaikovsky

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Sun, 2006-04-16 21:55

This week I am recommending recordings for the symphonies of two outstanding late 19th century composers. Two of the great creators of melody and orchestration, Antonin Dvorak a Czech and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky a Russian composed some of the most beautiful music ever written. I consider all of the symphonies of Tchaikovsky to be masterpieces. Dvorak's great works for this genre were his final three symphonies.

Recent Comments:
Bernstein NY Philharmonic version — by wngreen on Sun, 2006-04-23 02:43
Robert — by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-04-21 21:32
Personal Preferences - — by Robert Malcom on Fri, 2006-04-21 20:26

( categories: )
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