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Everything posted by avampirist

  1. If there are any Oists in this city interested in getting together to discuss philosophy, I am willing to initiate a Club. I'm not certain where would be the best place to look, but I thought there'd probably be others, and I figured this place was one of my best bets. Send me a message if you exist.
  2. Well, all Socialists are necessarily Statists, and all Statist politicians necessarily institute Socialist practices. So Obama isn't merely a Statist for the same reason that he's not merely a Socialist: he's both. You listed the definitions of Socialism and then deduced that Obama isn't one because he doesn't fit the definition of a person who thinks the government should own "all" of the means of production. But owning "all" the means of production isn't part of any of the definitions you provided. And I found another definition of Socialism: procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. Taxation is a Socialist policy. In my view the government owns the means of production insofar as it owns those who actually own the means of production, despite not having direct control over the operations. You don't own anything if there's 100% taxation. 99% taxation is going to be some form of Socialism, so is 20% taxation -- but we call that a mixed economy. So at what percentage of taxation is it acceptable to start calling someone a Socialist? Obama should be compared to Stalin, because if there is ever going to be another Stalin, it's people like Obama who will be an intermediary to that happening. You can say that someone like Stalin is the standard of Socialism, but he's not the minimum requirement. People take excessive use of the word Socalism as a shock term, meant to scare people, and I'm frequently admonished to not use it becaues it's not "technically true". Well, is it? It's probably better to call a moderate a "Socialist" if it scares people, before you get a real one.
  3. I saw Megadeth, In Flames and Children of Bodom on Wednesday, and I sort of regret it. I feel guilty about it. There is no doubt that metal predominantly exudes a malevolent sense of life, with exceptions that are few and far between. If music is "metal" enough to be classified as such, then I don't think it's unreasonable to also lump the entire genre into one category and label it immoral in general, which, yes, would make it anti-Objectivist. I know a lot of you are saying "there's no such thing as Objectivist music", but I wouldn't say that's true. Anything that's moral would be Objectivist. And no, science doesn't know enough on the subject to make absolute claims about the goodness or badness of music, but that doesn't mean we can't judge it for ourselves, and that doesn't mean that the negative affects of music aren't glaringly obvious. Anyone who's made any real attempt to analyze music for its sense of life, would see the philosophical abstractions songs represent. That doesn't even take into account the obviously primitive beats that work towards disintegrating your mind, the repetitive thumping and banging that is characteristic of metal. Metal music measurably fits a certain category rhythmically, which is how we know to label it "metal". So if we can say that a certain category of rhythms are simple and degenerative for most people, then we can say that Metal, too, is degenerative for most people. Doesn't music either works towards integrating or disintegrating your mind or, at best, have no effect? And if metal generally works towards disintegrating your mind, then it's immoral. Let's be serious here. Look at it this way, we can say that Rand was the most "Objectivistic" Objectivist who's ever lived. She created the damn philosophy. So how would she react to metal? She'd hate it. it's anti-Objectivist. For those who say that they listen to metal because they appreciate the technicality of the song, or skill of the musician, or the composition in general without taking heed of the lyrics, I'd say these are all rationalizations. Nobody listens to music at any great length unless it appeals to their sense of life. You wouldn't be able to. You'd get bored. Music tends to be a very personal thing for people and nobody spends great amounts of time listening to stuff they don't truly agree with subconsciously. For the same reasons, not too many people are going to decorate their house with technically masterful paintings of vaginas or dead people, if the abstraction doesn't appeal to them. For the same reasons, not too many people will make a habit of reading well written books on subjects they have no interest in. Anyone who says otherwise, in my opinion, is just rationalizing the fact that they like it, because they're afraid of the consequences of owning up to it. You hear this often from people who are not confident in claiming what music they enjoy. They'll say, "Uh, I like it for the beat only". No you don't. You like the songs! I appreciate fancy woodworking, but I don't go to wood sculpture shows regularly or sculpt anything, because it's not something I value. I may claim to disagree with the message in the songs I like, but my subconscious agrees. it would be too annoying to listen to if it didn't affirm your sense of life. People are very selective about music and are quick to discard of anything that doesn't appeal to them. One other thing to keep in mind, there cannot be a great discrepancy between the sense of life and the composition. The composition is what it is because of the composers sense of life. The parallels are consistent. So you're not going to have someone screaming angrily that life is great and they're happy with life. Such a thing would be a joke and you'd burst out laughiing. Similarly, you don't get musicians singing jubilantly about the hopelessness of life. The composition and SOL evoked are intrinsically related, and have to be in order for the song to be successful, I think. So I don't think anyone can claim to have an emotional connection to a song without agreeing with its SOL. I do not think just a trivial matter of taste, like preference of clothing style, or decorating your house; it can have a profound affect on your life. Ask Kurt Cobain or Jimi Hendrix, or Lain Staley, or Jim Morrison. People need to own up to the fact that they like metal for being metal. Not all metal is bad. And in fact, a lot of it is very uplifting and romantic, but most of it is not. And until people own up, they can't make the right decision to stop listening. I've made the decision, because I now am certain that it is unhealthy. If that's something you need to do, do it.
  4. Am I the only one who hates this format? Is there a way to make a uniform background, to prevent it from looking tacky with colors all over the place? With the two-toned background, you've significantly increased the number of potential clashes that occur. With a wide variety of background schemes, people are more likely to change their font color to better suit whatevre background they chose, whereas people usually kept it black/white in the old chat. The end result is annoying color everywhere. Even if people keep the default font, most of the schemes look bad. Imagine reading the forum where every line has a different background/font color. It would be unreadable. It seems as though the black background gives you best chance of not being annoyed by color, but I don't want a dark background. it's irritating and hard on the eyes. it's dark and depressing and makes all the colored name titles stand out. I feel like a hippie in a cave, with tie die everywhere, not an Objectivist. This is tackier than yahoo. Aside from that, it runs well.
  5. You know you're an Objectivist when... someone looks in the direction of a skyscraper to see just what it is you're staring at. You know you're an Objectivist when... you cringe when someone says " it works in theory, but...". You know you're an Objectivist when... you're not confused when someone says AS, VOS, TRF, TRM, OPAR, ITOE, CTUI, or WTL. You know you're an Objectivist when... you've cited "unwillingness to sanctioning immorality" as a reason for doing anything. You know you're an Objectivist when... You show resentment about the company kept by the lone copy of AS in your local bookstore.
  6. There's at least a couple on the ARI website, along with hours of other audio versions of interviews and speeches. https://secure2.convio.net/ari/site/SPageSe...=reg_ar_library here are the videos. Ayn Rand and the New Intellectual: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...e=reg_ar_newint and Communism vs. Capitalism: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_cvc
  7. The point is that every person on earth is an atheist, including your friend. Evolution is an argument, atheism isn't; it's the negation of a belief in god. It's just bad philosophy and bad metaphysics. The question of god is really a metaphysical one and so the easiest way to refute it is by challenging the metaphysics. The answer is that there is no supernatural. The concept of supernatural is absurd, it's an anti-concept in my opinoin, and it's simply not true. You can't say that something exists outside of what exists, because existence is the sum of everything that exists... if you understand htat, there's no need to pull out any of the more complicated arguments. Argument over. Every other false argument is just an extension of the belief in the supernatural. Attack the root and it all falls down!
  8. Where I live, in Toronto, the Toronto District School Board has just recently voted in approval of opening an "africentric" public highschool, which will be "black-focused" and will try to discourage blacks from dropping out. The dropout rate for blacks in this city is 40%, so the idea is that a school of this type might help black kids' self image to learn about contributions made by blacks in history and society. Many of those in favor of this idea have blamed the public school system for the dropout rate, accusing the system for being discriminatory to blacks. There's been obvious backlash from the community, because many view this as a huge step back from the progress made by the anti-segregation movement, in what is the most culturally diverse city in the world. However, the school will be open to people of all races, but will simply teach in a black oriented way, whatever that entails. At first, I didn't like the idea. I would think that labeling blacks as needing a special school would hurt the self image of the community more than anything. But maybe it's not so bad of an idea. I've always hated the fact that there are not many options for schooling for young children. Perhaps there's no harm in providing more options and letting people judge for themselves. What do you think? http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTV...hub=TorontoHome
  9. That's the problem with eastern philosophy. How do you know you don't know something? Knowledge is positive; not knowing is negative. You can only know what you know. (knowledge is finite) The question is: how do you know what you know. You posted this thread becuase you're trying to argue in favor of the existence of something that you know. If I have no means of knowing it, why would you post it? If existence doesn't exist, why are you acting as though it does? I will add, though, that I do believe that Buddhism, unlike every other religion, understands something about the psychological and spiritualism. (By spiritualism I mean focusing attention in a certain way so as to achieve certain results. That's me paraphrasing Sam Harris) I've meditated before while focusing on the idea that "there is no I" and I experienced drastic psychological changes. When I say "there is no I," I mean that there is no fixed self. I found that that exercise helps remove prejudices about the self, and creates a mindset that is more conducive to acting rationally. I also experienced intense elation.
  10. I'm no authority on punctuation, because my use of grammar isn't excellent, but I don't remember the last time I saw a comma used after the word "But". "My use of grammar isn't excellent but, I don't think your teacher is correct." Similarly, you can't use a comma after "and". " I went to the park and, walked my dog." Nobody ever says "Walked my dog". That's a sentence fragment. Nobody uses a conjunction until they have a clause to join to another clause. Right? That's a bad example, because the sentence is so short you don't need a comma, but perhaps you know hwat I mean. "I put the comma in the front but, I wonder if thats correct." Which sentence sounds more correct? I'll let you decide. "I put the comma in the front but" "But I wonder if that's correct." "But" and "and" are conjunctions. They're used to connect two "independent clauses"? I don't quite remember the terminology, so someone correct me if I'm wrong. Using the comma in that manner breaks the connection.
  11. avampirist

    Beauty by Race

    If, by race, she meant "general set of physiological structure and features," as you proposed, then she did mean that beauty is divided by physiological structure-- according to which "race" is defining beauty. Each "race" has common physiological features -- that's why it's a race. I don't think Rand would have used the word "race" so haphazardly, without defining what she meant. If what nyos says is true, then I think rand did mean that white and black are races, not as individual species, obviously, but as group of people who share common physiological features.
  12. Aside from my ideas, and out of the ones suggested by others, I really like RealityReasonRights.com. It's not imperative that Objectivism be in the URL. People find the site via search engine anyway, so you just need a good tag. You don't need to advertise it. Those who are genuinely interested will find it. Besides, I've always thought that those who don't actively read philosophy are intimidated by "ism" words.
  13. I have a fairly simple question for anyone who's familiar with Objectivist Epistemology. Please correct if I'm wrong. From what I understand, the Objectivist view is that man can only hold "4 or 5" units in his attention at once. Does that mean that he may hold 5 units, but never 6, or 8, or 9? Also, how did Rand reach the conclusion that the number is "4 or 5" ?
  14. I've had a lot of anger towards my parents for the way they raised me. My dad had kids from a previous marriage, and when he decided to drink instead of being a father, his first wife kicked him out of the house, while the kids were still young. Well, I was a product of his second marriage. Unfortunately, nobody kicked him out of the house that time .The result is me, a fucked up person. It's not hard to realize how my parents affected me, because I can literally just look at my two older siblings -the two from my dad's previous marriage - and see how they turned out. They are healthy and happy individuals. My sister is a lawyer. So it's not as if I'm left wondering "what if". One might say that I made the wrong choices, but I think that would be far too disingenuous a thing to say, especially considering the stark contrast between me and my older siblings. I try not to have hard feelings because it's just not productive in any way. Besides, I know that they too were children once, and they probably had bad parents themselves. Although, it's a bit hard for me to accept that they "did the best they could", especially my dad, considering that his favorite book was, and still is, Atlas Shrugged! Yet I was left undisciplined as a child, left to be raised by TV. I was deprived of my mind. this makes me question whether or not he fully understood the book, or if he just didn't understand how to raise me, or both.
  15. I think spiritualism could very easily be defined psychologically. The only reason why it hasn't been defined is because of religion. If anyone gave it much thought, I think their conclusions would look something like this: I define "spiritualism" as "focusing your mind in a certain way so as to achieve a certain result. A "spiritual" experience can be defined as an intense elation brought about by chemical reaction in the brain. This experience can brought about naturally or artificially. Drugs would be a means of achieving an artificial spiritual experience. A natural spiritual experience would be brought about by being conscious. When your mind is healthy, when your nervous system is functioning efficiently, your brain naturally produces and secretes serotonin, which results in intense happiness. Notice that during a spiritual experience, no matter who claims to have one, colors appear brighter, images are sharper and more memorable. Nobody ever claimed to have a dull spiritual experience. Also note that "spiritual" experiences are also brought about by intense introspection. Bhuddism is a great example of this. It's clear to me that there are methods and modes of thinking which are more conducive to happiness. Even if you are a bad philosopher, (Christian), there are means of thinking which result in happiness brought about by delusion. To think is to be alive! Right?
  16. Well I'm battling with life-long habits. I'm still have trouble coping with normal daily tasks. My confidence isn't as good as it could be. My life is being drastically transformed, but it will take a while. Despite that fact, I'm trying not to use it as an excuse to procrastinate with life. I hate phrases like, "Rome wasn't built in a day." To that I can respond with, "A big fucking part of Rome was built each day".
  17. I took meds for a brief period about two years ago, and I think it actually played a large part in destroying me, not helping me. The meds made me feel better, but they completely ruined my memory(my ability to think). We all know what not thinking does. That resulted in me screwing up at work. Ultimately I lost my job and that led to further depression, which led to isolation, which led to further depression, etc. I know about serotonin and dopamine. I was/am one of those people who produce less than the desired level. In fact, I was so baron of serotonin for most of my life that when I went through that period of introspection - when I discovered objectivism and realized what I had to do to be happy - the happiness I experienced as a result was revelatory to me. I had a "spiritual" experience (I took steps in my life which were more conducive to increasing my serotonin levels). When, all of a sudden, my serotonin levels were normal, it was a completely revelatory experience to me. "This is feeling described by religious people" I thought. It was as if, for the first time, I realized what "happy" was. I suddenly realized how everyone feels they're thinking normally, clearly, without anxiety. The concept of happiness had alluded me. I realized that depression wasn't my life, just a part of it. And it didn't have to be. I'm not interested in seeing any therapists again. I think the whole process of going to a therapist is negative. It serves to confirm in your mind that you need a therapist. "I'm so fucked, I have to see a therapist" etc. I want to avoid that self-fulfilling prophecy. Besides, I've learned more from psychology from Rand than I feel I will ever learn from a psychiatrist. My problem is that I require an inordinate about of effort in order to maintain a normal level of happiness. since my previous sense of life was as bad as it gets, I'm in danger of slipping into old habits, old patterns of thinking. If I don't get enough sleep, I feel like shit. If I'm not physically healthy, I feel like shit. If I think negatively at all about my life, I fall back into depression. Now more than ever, I know that to win in life I have to base my actions on what my mind knows, not on how I feel. But it is like asking a person not to flinch when their arm is being cut off. It's easy to ignore your mind when you feel that way. It is debilitating. So I will have to make an extreme effort to remember what my mind knows in those instances where I'm more apt to forget. My life depends on it. Today is one of those days where I doubt my ability to survive.
  18. AisA.com. already taken The-root-of-all-knowledge.com Existenceexists.com is taken, but existence.net isn't. When you go there, you'll know it exists =) The best way to name it is to define it. What is it? It's a source for information on Objectivism. Objectivismsource.com I really like themarketplace.net. Makes sense. Simple. "The owners of the domain name oism.com are accepting offers from interested parties willing to obtain ownership rights over the domain name. You can place your offer by filling out the form below. www.oism.com $2,910" What a bother. Let's just rename the philosophy itself. Objexistentialism
  19. Bold Standard + Ender: I know that Rand was very explicit in stating that it's hypothetical, but what did she say about the other arts? Is there a criterion of judgment for the other forms of art? Can we currently claim objective superiority of painting over another? Here's an experiment for you: Sit subject A in a room for 24 hours, with a car alarm playing in the background . Sit subject B in a room, with Bach playing, for 24 hours. Observe their emotional states afterwards. Art integrates or disintegrates the mind, according to Rand. If music doesn't have these affects, then doesn't it cease to be art?
  20. For a period of about 6-8 months this year, I became a complete recluse and did not talk to anybody, with very few exceptions. The situation broke me down psychologically, reducing me to a precarious state of existence, if there ever was one. I'm not quite sure what type of long-term damage, if any, I've caused to my psychological state. Since returning to reality, I've read journals which I wrote during that period, things I have very little recollection of. It was quite scary to open a notepad and see line after line of unintelligible, manic scribble. I don't think it would be unfair to say that I was "insane", to one degree or another. How much so would be something someone else would be better able to judge, a professional maybe (Although I've come to resent all psychiatrists) Our of necessity, or maybe as just a natural result of being alone, I did a great deal of introspection, the kind that you hear about sometimes, and gained from it an immensely greater understanding of myself and of existence. I thought intensely and deeply about concepts, to differentiate and integrate my ideas, more-so than I'd ever done before. It was during that time when I discovered Objectivism. I'm not quite sure if this was good for me overall, or not. I could have mulled through my entire life without gaining the sort of understanding I feel I have now. Right now I feel as though I have the tools necessary to do whatever I want in life. Despite of all of this, there is still a level of apprehension that I will return to my former state. I know I'm capable of it, because I lived it. It could just be that, because I was so deteriorated, now that I think I've improved, it's merely me becoming "normal". And that is a great achievement in and of itself. I like to think I gained something extra from that experience, a perspective and knowledge that most others don't have, but the rational (and negative) voice in my head says otherwise. My road back to society has been slow and arduous. To this very day, I would say that I do not have a single friend. There are people who used to be my friends, but my associations with them have all but vanished. The weird thing thing is, I don't care. I'm not sure if this is a good sign or bad sign. But this thread got me thinking about it. Should I be lonely? Individuality is important and necessary, but so to is friendship, isn't it? Perhaps I've gotten so used to being a loner that I don't remember what I'm missing, or maybe I remember what life was like before, and I prefer the company of my own mind. The more I continue to improve, the more I realize just how deteriorated my mind was. It could be that I'm over-estimating my psychological improvement, and that I'm still in great need of many things that have alluded me.
  21. Ha. Instill in them a sense of subtle longing and melancholy. Make them so depressed they drive into the canal.
  22. More and more I am realizing the implications of Rand's ideas on the psycho-epistemology of music. Not only does a song either integrate or disintegrate your mind, so long as you are in the same room while it's playing, but I think it continues to do so for a period of time afterwards. I don't have a great understanding of how memory functions, but what I've noticed is that, after I listen to a song, it stays in my head for a period of time, occasionally recurring in my conscious -and most like subconscious - thought. I notice it when I tap my foot, or fingers, to the rhythm of the song. The song appears to stay in my memory, until I hear a new song, or until such a period of time has passed that I've simply forgotten. I find similarities between this and drinking. It will depress your consciousness for a period of time, until you replace the intrusion on your body. The implications of this are enormous, as I'm sure many of you already know. Your thought pattern conforms to the math of the music. If the math behind the pitch and rhythm of the song of the music is 2+2=4, your thoughts will run in that pattern. It literally makes you dumber or smarter, to the extent to which you focus on it. If you focus more intensely on it, the affects will be even greater. In the same way that everyone has no choice but to solve the problems of their visual surroundings, to at least a minimal degree, audio perception must affect us in a similar way, probably more-so than any of us realize. I think you can literally gain a sense of life by being exposed to music, like any form of art. Out of every form of art, music is more easily inflicted upon others. Visual art can affect up by means of billboards and such, but you won't see a man running down the street flashing a giant poster depicting death. Music can be more vulgar, or perhaps I'm overlooking the affects of visual art. That is another discussion. For these reasons,and in all seriousness, I've come to resent public music as a form of assault, not just a nuisance. If someone neglects to put salt on an ice patch outside a store, I may or may not slip on it. But I will not slip on it repeatedly all day! I can see this being an issue in an Objectivist society. This must be one of the most overlooked attacks on the mind. Car alarms are just the instances you notice most. Think of all the hidden attacks you're not aware of. Consider those drivers who blast their tunes, almost in some desperate plea for self-validation. It is no less than fear mongering. Subconsciously, they know they are attacking you, and they want to inflict pain upon you. They are saying, "This is the tune of my tribe". It is meant to be a call to arms, simultaneously seeking comraderie and inciting fear in the enemy. Note that I've never pulled up to a red light and had J.S. Bach blasted in my ear.
  23. "It is the same whether or not you forwarn them [the unbelievers], they will have no faith" (2:6). A fire "whose fuel is men and stones" awaits them (2:24). They will be "rewarded with disgrace in this world and with grievous punishment on the Day of Resurrection" (2:85). "God's curse be upon the infidels!" (2:89). "they have incurred God's most inexorable wrath. An ignominious punishment awaits [them]" (2:90). "God is the enemy of the unbelievers" (2:98). "The unbelievers among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews], and the pagans, resent that any blessing should have been sent down to you from your Lord" (2:105). "[We] shall let them live awhile, and then shall drag them into the scourge of the Fire. Evil shall be their fate" (2:126). "Do not say that those slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, but you are not aware of them" (2:154). "But the infidels who die unbelievers shall incur the curse of God, the angels, and all men. Under it they shall remain for ever; their punishment shall not be lightened, nor shall they be reprieved" (2:162). "The unbelievers are like beasts which, call out to them as one may, can hear nothing but a shout of a cry. Deaf, dumb, and blind, they understand nothing" (2:172)."How steadfastly they seek the Fire! That is because God has revealed the Book with truth; those that disagree about it are in extreme schism" (2:176). "Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage." . . . f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil doers" (2:190-93). "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. But you may hate a thing although it is good for you, and love a thing although it is bad for you. God knows, but you know not" (2:216) "They will not cease to fight against you until they force you to renounce your faith--if they are able. But whoever of you recants and dies and unbeliever, his works shall come to nothing in this world and in the world to come. Such men shall be the tenants of Hell, wherein they shall abide forever. Those that have embraced the faith, and those that have fled their land and fought for the cause of God, may hope for God's mercy" (2:217-18). "Those that deny God's revelations shall be sternly punished; God is might and capable of revenge" (3:5). "Say to the unbelievers: 'You shall be overthrown and driven into Hell--an evil resting place!'" (3:12). "Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people. They will spare no pains to corrupt you. They desire nothing but your ruin. Their hatred is evident from what they utter with their mouths, but greater is the hatred which their breasts conceal" (3:118). "If you have suffered a defeat, so did the enemy. We alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that God may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you (God does not love the evil-doers); and that God may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels" (3:140). "Believers, if you yield to the infidels they will drag you back to unbelief and you will return headlong to perdition.... We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers....The Fire shall be their home" (3:149-51). "Those that suffered persecution for My sake and fought and were slain: I shall forgive them their sins and admit them to gardens watered by running streams, as a reward from God; God holds the richest recompense. Do not be deceived by the fortunes of the unbelievers in the land. Their prosperity is brief. Hell shall be their home, a dismal resting place" (3:195-96). "Such are those that are damned by their own sins. They shall drink scalding water and be sternly punished for their unbelief" (6:70). It seems to me to be less than a trivial problem that this is a tiny fraction of the Quran. I wonder why there's fighting in the Middle East. "I dunno" They must have "complicated socio-political issues or something".
  24. All you need to do is look at the current state of the Middle East. That is Islamic philosophy in action. There is more violent scripture in the Old Testament, but the Quran is worse by percentage. Only (roughly) 7 percent of the Old Testament insights violence, whereas 17 percent of the Quran does. Have you ever read the Quran? It calls for death to apostates on nearly every page (literally). We've reached an age where iron-age beliefs are mixed with 21st century weapons. Islam currently poses the greatest threat humanity has ever been faced with.
  25. To know who I am is to know I'm real To delusional men I have no appeal Experienced by all Known only in part By all involved Of which I am a part. To know who I am you need your senses A bitch to he Who denies my presence. To know who I am One mustn't stall To know who I am For he who does Knows not at all The pain I'll cause To he who breaks My first law. To know who I am One cannot lie For I am the one You must identify To know who I am Who am I?
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