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Linz's New Book
Is Edward Snowden a hero?
Hell yes! His actions were moral.
Hell no! Put him away for treason.
Yes and no. It's a grey area.
Other (please specify)
Total votes: 20
Submitted by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-05-06 21:56
Denunciasaurs (and toadies and flunkies and lapdogs and anonymous pitbulls, hyenas, vultures and friends) are hypocrites.
Not evul immoral folk, and thus irredeemable, no -- the common Denunciasaurus-Rex is a simple, bumbling hypocrite, all too human, alas1 . . . all too human to be roasted on a spit, shredded, marinated in blog-spit, pounded to paste, spread on white toast, chewed, spat out, ground in the sidewalk, napalmed, hosed off with bleach, and finally cast off into the hideous punishing darkness of the inner 0-ring of Heck (Ottawa)2.
No, we must pity them for their un-remarked and un-corrected mistakes. We must be tolerant. We must obey our stern internal moral injunctions (e.g., do NOT act like Miss Nasty while pretending to be Miss Nice: "But she started it, the poo-poo head!! She's a fucking immoral piece of shit."3).
The plangent whinging and whining and high dudgeon are unseemly of any pretender to the throne of scholarship or the throne of Micronesia (which the SOLO archipelago brings to mind for all its truck and trade with the world, being the crossroads of reason and passion and all). The revelation of La Perigo backstage activities4 put all of this posturing and fervour in perspective: hypocrisy comes in varied delicious flavours.
When an author writes "I . . . [he] . . . me . . . digusting lies,"5 we enter a new rhetorical universe. We leave the universe of 'my esteeemed colleague'6 and the planet of, 'my friend and former associate'7 and plunge into the dense atmosphere of 'immoral, contemptible, scum-sucking poo-poo head.'8 There we stagger about deprived of oxygen and cordiality, barking harsh communications at all others we can perceive.
Mertz's routine invocations of her fairness and even-handed objectivity (on her blog here, and here, and here*) are revealed to be a sham. As if a raging Borderline patient9, she turns on her closest bosom buddies, she dares not give real love for fear of melting, she feels anguish at real and imagined betrayals, she denounces what once engendered comradely devotion . . . unbeknownst to her, her ability to navigate the social landscape is significantly impaired10.
What kind of friendship did she imagine she was performing in her mentor/mentee relationship with Sciabarra? How many confidences did she extract from him? How many has she betrayed in public? How much is she holding back in the mountain of archived communications? How much is she not telling? Who opened this Box of Nasty Emails?
Her 400 email trove is then as neutral an object as is Sciabarra's opposing trove (in these two camps, a thumping historical record of their mutual communications; in the massive engorged Inboxes of both, a mountain of material for a future objective historian) -- Mertz's +/-400 vs Sciabarra's +/-400.
What can we see of these troves? Not much more than what is squoze out by one of the interlocutors.
I will reserve judgement on these matters until that future day when the material is open to view. Until then, I consider this a messy internal affair of Rand-followers which is really none of my business . . .
This leaves me with the impression of the world as it is: imperfect, full of imperfect people performing imperfect behaviours. I no more indict Diana Mertz Hsieh for her denunciation of Chris Matthew Sciabarra than I do Sciabarra for his stately, scholarly silence in the aftermath11. The are both human, imperfect and yet valuable.
With my sense of life (in which it is I, Me, Mine own universe, My precious self doing the living among a lot of imperfect Them) there is no option -- I cannot see round every corner, down every rathole or sewer, nor can I see into the hearts of all the men and women who stagger about the earth -- I can only be staggered myself by the rank hypocrisy which stinks up the public sphere from time to time.
To subvert a Fahyism, when one farts in public, the only seemly behaviour for other riders on the train is to ignore it (British and French people will allow a moue of distaste to appear on their granite faces, London/Paris often stinking in other ways12; Americans will open a window with a great irrelavant clatter12A; Scots will be stinking drunk and think it their own crepitation -- and giggle13; Brazilians will hardly notice another sewer smell on their grossly-overcrowded Metro14; Russians will imagine that someone has a trove of home-raised mushrooms in a bag somewhere between their legs and will sniff deeply in an attempt to detect its origin15; Chinese will pull up their face-masks and sign inwardly as they watch the stock ticker on the train car -- installed by the Communist Party16; Swedes will not smell the fart, as the train unit has already detected and removed the methane to a collector-tank where it is fed back into the bio-fuel engine17; Norwegians, Icelanders, Faroe Islanders will all think that the party has started and fart themselves. Accordians will appear. Foot-stomping dances will be performed, babies will be conceived18; Canadians will entertain suspicions that it is a secret Yankee** riding the train whose rectal-blurt so befouled the public sphere, and will ask their government to install fart-detector buzzers on every transit seat at an expense of $850 million tax-funded dollars19).
1. [Diana Mertz Hsieh:] "Generally speaking, although I do not take a casual approach to my writings, my basic attitude is that I am perfectly willing to err, even in a spectacular and public fashion. Of course, I would prefer not to do so. Of course, I strive to avoid it. But when it happens, I take it as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a blow to my self-image. In contrast, when I joined Toastmasters back in 2001, I rather disliked being told pretty much anything other than that my speech was wonderful. Although I understood its theoretical function, I was generally averse to criticism. But in that friendly and supportive environment, I quickly realized that improvement required strong and direct criticism. Of course, some forms of criticism are genuinely destructive. Good criticism aims at correcting errors by noting and encouraging some change for next time. My attitude towards the possibility of error and the value of criticism changed for the better, I think."
Disinterested parties — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-17 20:41
By now... — by Jody Gomez on Tue, 2006-05-16 03:32
Stopping Short — by Mark Dow on Tue, 2006-05-16 02:50
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:04
Oh good grief — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:16
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 05:56
I thought Trevor Loudon was being a bit over-cautious about letting the Chinese have part-owership in Port Lyttelton. But now it turns out he thinks any trade with China is a security risk to New Zealand! Now that's going way too far, Trevor.
Now, Jason, *don't* equate — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-05-07 01:07
Americans Are Insane — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2006-05-07 00:23
NZers are nuts — by Jason Quintana on Sat, 2006-05-06 20:40
Submitted by Marcus on Fri, 2006-05-05 18:51
NZer Jamie Whyte strikes back again in the Times.
This time against state health and education.
NHS — by Tim S on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:10
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 16:28
I’m a bit late with this month’s update, and due to end of the semester pressures I haven’t been as active in participating and managing SOLO as I would like. Rest assured that this will be changing soon. One thing I want to make everyone aware of is that I will be traveling to China on May 13, and I will be returning from the trip on May 28. I will probably be speaking to some of you privately about keeping an eye on Lindsay while I’m gone If you have any SOLO related issues during this period please contact the webmasters and of course if there is anything serious you can contact Lindsay.
Due to the recent problems we’ve had with the company hosting the SOLO website we’ve had to disable several site functions including chat. These problems are being worked on and we should have solutions soon.
The first announcement that I want to make is that SOLOC 5 is on hold. Lindsay and I have decided not to have the event on the dates of July 7-9, which was our original plan. Our decision is based on the fact that we just don't have enough pieces of the puzzle in place to move ahead with it on such short notice. Since Lindsay is flying over that weekend it is a shame that this didn’t work out, but as things stand now we believe that it is best to postpone the conference. We tried our best to make this work but unfortunately we came up short. Lindsay will still be in Los Angeles during that weekend and a dinner is in the works for those who will also be in L.A. and would like to meet up with him and others. Look for announcements about this during the next month. I apologize to anyone who may have made plans around a July SOLO Conference.
Note!! — by Lindsay Perigo on Mon, 2006-05-22 22:38
Wow. — by Prima Donna on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:45
Hey! Cut it out, already! — by Ross Elliot on Sat, 2006-05-06 00:06
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Fri, 2006-05-05 13:34
Yes, it seems the prestigious English National Opera is doing a "Gaddafi" opera. The lead character is none other then Libyan dictator Maummar Gaddafi. "'Gaddafi,' which opens in September, will feature Asian beats and rap in place of arias and romance, and the title role will be performed by a 39-year-old Irish-Indian nightclub MC called JC-001."
ENO — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:49
Vicious Circle Jerk — by JoeM on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:26
Just a guy named Maummar. — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-05-06 02:17
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56
Another dang post responding to pleasant murmurs when I announced Blog 46 and Concordance on the Objectivist Living list. Excerpt for los guignolardos chicos:
It is telling to me that those who are tone-deaf to other people's emotions and motivations oft try to belittle those they do not comprehend. They do not recall the salient warning of their grandmas: "Don't be small, Missy. Puttin' other people down don't put you up, you is acting nasty. Now you go out on the porch with no pie and you think about it.'
Me, I sat in the star-spangled darkness with no pie, and tried with all my little might to understand what she meant about being small.
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-05-05 00:04
I copied the source from the current Wikipedia entry for
The're HERE...and more COMING! — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-05-08 02:52
Spot on, Mark — by Kenny on Sun, 2006-05-07 09:46
Understatement — by Mark on Fri, 2006-05-05 03:17
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2006-05-04 21:53
I applaud the ends, but are these means worthy of the moral argument against the death sentence?
This method reminds me of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", whereby the winning argument against Shylock is - you can't take your pound of flesh without drawing blood.
"The goal of death-penalty opponents is to get a court order that says that lethal injections can only be administered by licensed professionals, because the ethics of medical professionals prohibit them from participating."
Nature 441, 8-9 (4 May 2006) | doi:10.1038/441008a
Will medics' qualms kill the death penalty?
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-05-04 20:22
Before the DreamHost fiasco, you would see something like this at the end of a story summary:
Now you won't. The comments are still there, and they're still visible when you read the story, and you can still post your own comments. They simply won't be listed on the front page like they used to be.
This functionality will hopefully be restored once the CPU issue has been resolved.
Submitted by George Reisman on Thu, 2006-05-04 15:00
The above headline, “Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions,” appears on page one of the print version of The Times’ National Edition. I can’t find it on the web version of The Times, however. (To wit: “Your search for Energy Crisis: Many Paths but No Solutions in all fields returned 0 results.”) Perhaps it was withdrawn to avoid embarrassment.
The headline should be embarrassing because it suggests either gross dishonesty or gross stupidity. This is because the solution to the energy crisis is so blindingly obvious. The solution is: allow the oil companies to drill for oil—in Alaska, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of California, on all the land mass of the United States now set aside as “wild-life preserves” and “wilderness” areas. Allow the construction of new atomic power plants! Stop interfering with the strip mining of coal! Stop interfering with the construction of refineries, pipelines, and harbor facilities necessary to the supply of oil and natural gas! This will increase the supply and reduce the demand for oil (this last because substitutes for it will be more readily available). All this can be summed up in very few words: Politicians and environmentalists, get the hell out of the way!
Submitted by gone on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:06
None of this is news — by Scott Wilson on Mon, 2006-05-08 11:21
There you go — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 11:24
Ho-hum — by Rick Giles on Sat, 2006-05-06 10:13
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:07
Overnight (NZ time) our site was disabled by our hosts, Dreamhost. I received the following e-mail explaining why:
Unfortunitly being that you have not contacted us to let us know that you are working on lowering the cpu usage We have had to temporarily turn off your site until you contact us to let us know that you will work on it. Sorry for the inconvenience but we can not allow you to impact the performance of other users on this server.
To which I replied:
My understanding was that my webmasters were indeed working on this issue with you - they were reporting frustration to me in their efforts to get the necessary information. But please be assured we want to resolve the matter as soon as possible & restore the site immediately.
dummy or idiot? — by PhilipC on Mon, 2006-05-08 01:29
Better Suggestion — by Marnee on Sat, 2006-05-06 23:18
$3.99 / month at GoDaddy — by Rick Pasotto on Fri, 2006-05-05 11:32
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 01:46
From Prof. Reisman's blog:
Read the whole post. Quite funny.
The following paragraph should be memorised and hurled at any of those sniffling, simpering, loopy-lefty, bed-wetting freaksters that you may from time to time encounter:
Thanks for being so ortho-Ed-ic ... — by Ed on Fri, 2006-05-05 04:56
Semantics — by Tim S on Thu, 2006-05-04 08:41
Yeah, 'real wealth,' that's it. But ... — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 18:02
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 23:30
I just (this morning in fact) received two bottles of scotch, sent to me by my brother:
These happen to be my two favourite drinks, ever. I'm actually hoping to convert my wife to the joys of scotch with the Lagavulin, which has a mellow, full-bodied, almost sandalwood-like flavour.
I can now imagine sitting back in my chair, writing up a functional spec (funny the things I do in my leisure time), sipping on a fine scotch ... mmmmmmmmmm ... pity it's only lunchtime, and I've a busy day ahead ... the bottles are sitting on my desk at work, taunting me ...
Have you tried the Laphroaig — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-10-04 19:26
I love beer... — by Greg Mullen on Wed, 2006-10-04 17:15
Ross, — by Duncan Bayne on Thu, 2006-06-08 09:10
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-05-02 21:12
When most people think of the word jihad, they think of a fanatical mujahid with an AK-47, struggling to impose his chosen religion on the rest of the world, by force of arms.
In fact, just one aspect of that definition pertains to jihad - the word struggle:
Holy War — by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Thu, 2006-05-04 07:56
And it all goes to show that — by Richard Wiig on Wed, 2006-05-03 09:02
It always seems ironic to — by Capitalist on Wed, 2006-05-03 07:00
Submitted by George Reisman on Tue, 2006-05-02 15:45
[Editorial Note: The following is a fitting remembrance for John Kenneth Galbraith, whom today's New York Times reports as having died on April 29.]
Material progress and individual liberty have once again been made the targets of a crude, sniper attack. In his book, The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard social commentator, has indicated that he views with grave displeasure the “sense of urgency" which is attached to “the craving for more elegant automobiles, more exotic food, more erotic clothing, more elaborate entertainment—indeed for the entire modern range of sensuous, edifying, and lethal desires [sic].” (p. 140.) He has proclaimed that there are things of greater importance, such as more public schools, public parks, public roads, and anything else which “public authority” may deem to be in “relative need.” (pp. 311f.) And he has let it be known that the liberal should cease being “a co-conspirator with the conservative in reducing taxes." (p. 314.)
Incredible, Professor — by Ross Elliot on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:43
Submitted by AdamReed on Tue, 2006-05-02 07:17
Andre Glucksmann writes: "Our planet is not in the grips of a clash of civilisations or cultures. It is the battleground of a decisive struggle between two ways of thinking. There are those who declare that there are no facts, but only interpretations - so many acts of faith. These either tend toward fanaticism ("I am the truth") or they fall into nihilism ("nothing is true, nothing is false"). Opposing them are those who advocate free discussion with a view to distinguishing between true and false, those for whom political and scientific matters – or simple judgement – can be settled on the basis of worldly facts, independently of arbitrary pre-established opinions."
A good point — by Ed on Wed, 2006-05-03 06:33
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:22
On my Sunday radio show I read out an item from that day's Sunday Star-Times quoting Green MP Sue Kedgley, chair-thing of Parliament's Health Select Committee, saying she would welcome a ban on the promotional toys given away by McDonald's in association with their Happy Meals (& by implication, a ban on the meals themselves). I railed about this for four hours, along with most of my callers. I urged them & all listeners to e-mail Kedgley, along with National MP Jackie Blue who said the idea was worth considering, letting her know what they thought of her nutri-nazism. Several listeners forwarded to me the replies they received from Kedgley. I e-mailed her myself. The exchange is below, her reply at the top:
Luxury?! — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2006-05-07 21:31
I corresponded briefly with — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:42
I appreciate Rick Gile's tart and sassy reply — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:20
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-05-02 00:32
Marching yesterday for American military action in Darfur, Sudan, were many people who have previously marched (and voted) against American military action in Iraq including George Clooney, Al Sharpton and three members of the US Congress who voted against the liberation of Iraq.
Hypocrisy? Well, the New York Sun editorial writer is one who thinks so:
Submitted by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 12:41
Here's a link to a post that I dithered on putting on SOLO or RoR. Since I was intruding on a conversation in a thread initiated there, but in reference to events here in the SOLO archipelago, I thought it best to post a note. Lest I be thought of as being silly and not worthwhile . . . sample scrapbook below.
We are none of us as smart as we think we are . . . — by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-05-03 13:40
William — by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-05-03 03:06
Cresswell: 'Save us the bother of reading your nonsense" — by wsscherk on Tue, 2006-05-02 14:34
Submitted by removed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:39
Not even the obituaries can be trusted now. Having been told of the death of John Kenneth Galbraith, the famed socialist economist—who taught at Harvard University for most of his life and was once John Kennedy’s ambassador to India—I read his obituary in The New York Times (both print and on line) and on several Web sites, including MSN.com, via my Hotmail account.
I have been following the works of Galbraith for many years, since the 1960s after his The Affluent Society was published in 1958 in which, among other things, he aired his oft-reprinted attack on advertising. This is the piece that presented the view that ads produce desires in us which we then must satisfy, thus becoming addicted to products and services we do not need and taking resources from important public projects and diverting them into the coffers of greedy corporations. It is also where Lyndon Johnson’s idea of the Great Society, following such previous utopian statist experiments as FDR’s New Deal and JFK’s New Frontier, got its send up.
The dead — by Kenny on Tue, 2006-05-02 20:12
I remember... — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:11
I remember ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-05-02 01:00
Submitted by AdamReed on Mon, 2006-05-01 08:14
The Christianists' false morality is often a screen hiding vile breaches of objective morality. Thanks to a lawsuit against his arbitrary and unjustifiable ban on over-the-counter sale of emergency contraceptive Plan B, we finally learn the real reason why Lester M. Crawford resigned as head of FDA in September, less than three months after the Senate confirmed him: he is under investigation for using his office to profit from the impact of his official decisions on the price of drug company stocks.
Submitted by Antony Reed on Sun, 2006-04-30 13:59
The "Glass" question always gets me thinking. Why would one allow so much unfilled space? Sure, a pessimist may see the glass as half-empty and if one is a pessimist, I could understand the lack of motivation to change the situation...
However, what good is it to merely see the glass as half-full? Many people may hold hope for the future, but never take action to better their situation. Sure, they are still seen as optimists, but feeling things will be better, and MAKING things better, are completely different.
Why should anyone be happy with half of a life? Are there people in your life that drain you? Do you feel you are obligated to certain things in your life that, if you really looked at them, are no good for you? Is guilt a ball and chain you carry around, making your life only half-empty/half-full? Is your true person different than the one you show the world? Then no wonder.
Submitted by seddon on Sun, 2006-04-30 03:38
“President David Palmer: Anne, I have been in this job for nearly four years and I have learned the hard way that there are no absolutes. Sometimes you have to make compromises.
Anne: (President’s Doctor and Romantic interest) Politically, yes. But when it comes to morality, David, you have to draw the line.”
24 – Season Three – 4 p.m. – 5 p. m.
I already have two — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 23:05
Addictive — by Fred Weiss on Sun, 2006-04-30 21:11
> I love Jack Bauer. My — by PhilipC on Sun, 2006-04-30 20:07
Submitted by Rick Giles on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:46
Weaving played Richard Eastwick in the greatest mini-series I've ever seen, The Dirtwater Dynasty. This is the story of one man, Eastwick, from his life as a homeless urchin in England to the ancient patriarch of a vast Australian empire.
Onya, Rick. — by Ross Elliot on Sun, 2006-04-30 08:12
Submitted by eg on Sat, 2006-04-29 19:39
Posting — by eg on Mon, 2006-05-01 15:09
I'm assuming you sent Dear Barbara this here "Dear Barbara" — by wsscherk on Mon, 2006-05-01 13:08
Submitted by JoeM on Sat, 2006-04-29 06:12
Ayn Rand was a promoter of the Romantic Realism school of literature, but stories such as ANTHEM and ATLAS SHRUGGED contain bits of science fiction and fantasy, genres she both defended as ideally related to Romanticism. Her influence has made its way into STAR TREK, SPIDERMAN, and the works of Terry Goodkind. Her idea of romanticism is well suited to a genre identified with the perennial question “what if?”.
Thanks for the comments, — by JoeM on Mon, 2006-05-01 04:24
Joe -- Very thoughtful — by Ed Hudgins on Sun, 2006-04-30 16:52
SF: its Bright Side...and its Dark-Side — by Rowlf on Sun, 2006-04-30 01:58
Submitted by wsscherk on Fri, 2006-04-28 13:34
Full disclosure: while I empathize with Diana Mertz Hsieh upon the publication of her essay "Dialectical Dishonesty," I enjoy reading and engaging with Jenna Wong. I will happily assert that Jenna Wong deserves reading, not arrogant dismissal as a malicious, morally-occluded worm.
If she's a non-entity and worm, why bother with a simulcast against her from the highest pulpit? That sense of proportion is disturbing to my sense of life.
As I noted in an earlier entry, my blog is off to a rather sad start here. Besides Linz's neutral one-liner, not a single opinion expressed whatso-ever, despite
Anyhow, I did note at the evul RoR that I had opened a blog at SOLO. This was greeted by a fair bit of ho-hum, that's nice, you maniac you . . . but since Miss Mertz has linked to a thread at the dreadful place, I thought I would point my readers to Hong and Jenna's further commentary.
That's right: [Miss Wong:] "The other posts that I have read in the last 3 months, which have disturbed me but I tried to ignore my gut feelings -- RoR as "trailer park"? Oh, no, I hang out there. OL as "the worst"? Well, crap, I pop in there too!"
Not: [Miss Mertz:] "(3) I "insinuated" that Jenna is "the worst" because I made derogatory comments about Objectivist Living that I won't bother to look up, another forum on which she posts.
Jenna's inferences are quite bizarre, to say the least."
This is icky. The commentary leaves the impression that Miss Wong has accused Miss Mertz of calling her trailer trash. She did not. She does feel that Miss Mertz is nuts, but that is another story.
Just plain silly so I've moved it. Not worthwhile — by wsscherk on Sat, 2006-04-29 14:37
Just plain silly ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Fri, 2006-04-28 23:20
Mr. Scherk, — by Casey on Fri, 2006-04-28 21:08
Submitted by Tenyamc on Fri, 2006-04-28 07:00
When: Thursday May 11th, 6:30-?
Why have a purpose in life if you're an atheist? If you don't believe in God, or an afterlife of any kind, where there are no repercussions for your actions here on Earth, why bother to even live another day? What would be the difference between dying now, or dying at 110 years old? Once you're dead, nothing is going to matter to you anyway. What you accomplished, what made you happy, the values that you held, the rights that you respected, your family, your friends, nothing. You'll be dead and you won't even exist to care about the legacy that you leave behind or anything that you did in your lifetime. So why bother doing anything at all? What's the difference between living your life to the fullest or living it to the least?
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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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