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Everything posted by Jackethan

  1. Them: An average person, who may or may not believe in god, but does not particularly follow one specific religion. A person who may have read some books which he counts as 'philosophy' when he or she was younger, such as Emmerson, Dickens, and a few poems. To him, life is kind of a mystery, he spends every day going to work, and coming home, counting each day as a small victory. He may hold some ideological belief, maybe in a form of socialism, maybe in morality, (but to him, morality means the ten commandments. Because while he may or may not be christian, the ten commandments are still the source of morality to him.) He may have some principles, for instance, 'when I'm standing in line and someone cuts in front of me I should get angry at him, on principle.' But it all goes down the drain when times are particularly hard. Nothing even specific has to happen to him, just hearing on the news that people are losing their houses, and that the evil monster of 'capitalism' is leading us on the road to Depression (he is absolutely sure that the depression was caused by the free market, because he saw a history channel documentary on the subject.) and now two different people are offering him things, as presidents. One, offers a sense of loyalty to the state, the promise of religion, which brings with it some bad things like arguing with someone at Starbucks about abortion, but with religion, the knowledge that, in the end, if I say I'm Christian, I'll get some neat bonuses from the government. The other offers a sense of loyalty to other men, and while he does not explicitly believe in Socialism, and may be vehemently against it in various political debates with his mother on the phone, Obama at least promises not to tax the middle class, maybe get some tax breaks, and make health insurance at little less financially worrisome. For him, while socialism may not be the ideal, if it's coming, may as well take advantage of it. This man, is the pragmatist. He doesn't look any further than his own life, he doesn't seek to do -anything- but work at a job and come home, and complain about how his paycheck is just enough to make the bills (though he's not really sure why.) Plans involve the next few months, or 'what I'll buy with my next paycheck.' For him, when the people say 'Socialism will lead us down the path to economic ruin!' He thinks, well hey, I don't think so, it may be bad, but not that bad, and look at what we all get in return! This is the voter, or one type of voter. These are the kinds of people that vote in these candidates, and they are not connected by any explicit ideology, they simply look at the candidate that promises them the most free stuff, or the one that doesn't offend some principle that they have, but that they do not practice.
  2. It is fine to risk or trade value for something that has value to you. To go into a burning building to save somebody you care about is risking your life for something which is valuable to you, or someone, in this case. If you're not a fireman, you don't know or care about the person inside, and you most definitely would die in the process, Altruism says you should sacrifice your life, automatically, without consideration in this case, because in Altruism you must sacrifice yourself completely for no value in return. Firemen perform a needed civic service, but that is not the value they gain, they get lots of money, they are heralded as heroic by their friends and peers, and they are given the tools and training necessary to reduce the risk of harm to them. All of this is trading a value (fighting fires) for a value (Money, respect, or whatever motive he may choose) A fireman might save a complete stranger because he might hold value in the ability to live in a world where fires don't consume lives, he also lives in the community, and the damaged home or business may suffer by the loss of the person inside, or of the property if he does not stop the fire, and that damage may be felt throughout the community, economically. Also, a fair or good trade does not necessarily mean both things must be of -Equal- value, they just morally should not be of -Little or no- value. Numerically, you might pay $3 for a soda that cost the vendor fifty cents. You are not being altruistic or evil in doing so. Similarly, you may not hold the life of the person in the building of equal value to yours, but you might still risk your life on the same principle.
  3. One's own life is the highest value, but life must be defined. Life as an Objectivist includes freedom, rights, and a few luxuries. What these examples are showing is: In the case of risking your life to save a loved one: You value that person, enough that you're willing to risk your life, in order to retain him or her in your life, because not having them in your life, you feel your life would cease to be a life. In the case of putting your life in danger as a career: You find value in living in a world where criminals, or enemies of the state, are caught and punished, you have the skills to do so, and you put your life at risk to catch criminals or fight wars because you find your life were the criminals not caught or the country invaded, would not be a true life. In the case of terminal illness: Perhaps your life for whatever time you have left would be painful, would cause your loved ones to watch you wither slowly, and you would prefer to save yourself that pain, your life at that point has ceased to be a life. Not only do you have to value your life, you have to hold the phrase "My life" at higher value than 'living, breathing, watching TV'.
  4. This thread is of particular interest to me, as it is a subject I commonly think about and discuss. In my personal life experience being homosexual in my case was completely by choice. I found porn at a very young age, and tried both kinds. They were both quite appealing, so I tried having relationships with both sexes (not at the same time) and both were equally appealing. Men have prostates, which when stimulated, feel quite good, whether you are hetero or homo. Both sexes are capable of stimulating the prostate, so sexually the satiation of my desires could be fulfilled by either sex. What I do require from a mate is open-mindedness with trying new fetishes and exploring sexuality, which can also come from either sex. I therefore came to the conclusion that I choose to be gay, for romantic reasons, for the reason that I appreciate men's usual personalities. I disagree that bisexuality is some sort of copout, and feel that calling it so is the copout. From my personal experience I can only theorize that sexuality is a personal choice based on reason and values. In this case, neither choice can be immoral, but I agree that going against your nature -is- immoral, which is why I encourage straight men to give rational thought to the idea of homosexuality, and homosexual men to stop shouting that they have no choice, and figure out if they might actually like to date a woman. I think that saying sexuality is not a choice is a form of biological or genetic determinism.
  5. I do find the public today constantly being swayed by the idea of genetic determinism, as you are calling it, which I think is second only to the evil of societal determinism. I think the science of genetics is so new that a lot of people are thinking "Genetics are our building blocks! It's how God programs us! This is what makes our lives personalities and future!" When really they affect mostly chemicals. Can chemicals have an effect on personalities and personal choice? Yeah, but does this equate to being slaves to our genetic code? Nah not really. The proof, as we all know, is in the axioms.
  6. Nothing to win. You're not going to convince that other juror that you're right because that'd mean he is wrong, and 10 other people there is not a wide enough audience to have a real expectation that one of them will go 'Well, this guy's pretty passionate, and I agree with what he said.' If Prosperity was on Television, or before a big audience, I'd say there'd be some use to confronting the confused man.
  7. Jackethan


    I have it, I like it, (here it comes) but, it's not that amazing. It takes aspects of many genres in gaming and simplifies them to the point that a preschool child would beat them, and it's so obvious that the game is built around the fact that it won't really be completely fun until and unless all the expansions they have planned for it come out, and you buy them, much like The Sims franchise. If you bought the 10$ creature creator I'd say that's about as much fun as you'll have in the game at present.
  8. I'd agree that people dispute them, but they also dispute that there is a god, we still count ourselves as knowing the truth in that regard. I'd also like to add that aesthetically Objectivists think that Romantic realism is beautiful and artful, not all of use deny or dislike other genres of art, as they can also be used to get a literary point across.
  9. Seems like you're saying (and I agree) that pity is a sort of sympathy you feel for a person of thing of little or no value to you, and compassion is a sympathy you feel for a person of moderate or high value to you. In other words, you might pity a criminal, (though you should not act on that pity) but you are compassionate for the construction worker, or your friend.
  10. It seems like in this case there is a mixture of lacking principles. The kids kept playing in a place where the ball could get tossed in her yard, she kept enabling the behavior, then she withheld the property. Unfortunately our legal system is so mucked up that neither party would have the money to be able to start a legal suit over the ball, and would probably get laughed at by a judge, so it seems that in this case the children's parents are using the police as a baton in place of legal action. In other words 'Since I can't sue her for the ball back, I'll have the police come down and arrest her on the City's money.' It's a waste of police manpower, a waste of money, and a waste of some children who are now being taught that technicality of law is righteous.
  11. I think Oists would vote for Obama in a sort of attempt to manipulate, as previous posts have cited usually after a democrat president the country swings way right. Not that a swing way right helps much in the 'rights' area, but the economy at least gets a bit better. Also from earlier, if you think it is in your -rational- self interest to vote for someone who will increase taxes, just not on you, then I contend that you're not thinking rationally, and rather shortsightedly. An increase in taxes will affect you, even indirectly. I have considered voting for both candidates for various reasons, but each time I do I come back to my original conclusion. I am tired of choosing the least of two evils, and without my help, the country may go to hell in a handbasket, but I will have the right to say I did not vote for the candidate that wins. As far as the idea that not voting for president = doing nothing, I contend that yes indeed it is doing nothing about the president, but there are other ways to act and speak in defiance of the current trend. Given the choice between religious irrationalism and collectivist irrationalism, I choose neither.
  12. You may have the "POLYTICS" disease. Politics: n. Poly from the greek word for 'many' and ticks, bloodsucking parasites.
  13. Live Forever or Die Trying your opinion seems to be centered around the idea that sexuality is predetermined by either genetics or raising. That somehow a person who is attracted to both genders implicitly needs to have sex with both genders in order to feel sexually satisfied. This not only indicates a lack of choice when it comes to sexuality, but also a separation between sex and love. Now in Objectivism, at least from what I have studied, it is perfectly acceptable to be polyamorous or polygamous. That is to say, in a free Objectivist society, polygamy and polyamory would not be illegal. One of the best parts about our philosophy is that even if someone else thinks something I do is 'gross' I can still do it all day long, cause other people don't have the right to stop me. I have personally thought hard on whether I would accept a polyamorous relationship, and what I would feel like. I think it would be fun sexually for a period of time, but eventually, if the person I am in love with is truly an expression of my highest value, then I would want to settle down and be monogamous. If the person could not accept that, obviously the person isn't really the expression of my highest value. As far as bisexual people needing to have sex with both genders, I'd like to see some scientific evidence of this. Being bisexual myself in a sense (I am sexually attracted to both genders, but choose one romantically) I see that as an attempt to mask an unwillingness to commit under the guise of 'She just can't help it you know, she has to have the vagina sometimes, it's in her genes(or the way she was raised).'
  14. I've considered Euthenasia, but my post was concerning people with some abnormal fetishes, who wish to be murdered in brutal ways such as being run over, or worse. Would it change the legality of it if there is nothing particularly wrong with the person physically besides that he or she fantasizes and would like to be a murder victim?
  15. No contradiction, it is a logical fallacy to rebut an argument with 'you don't even stand up to X either, so I shouldn't have to' because the character of the person arguing does not discount any of his points. It is perfectly fine to be imperfect and tell others that they are also imperfect and how you see they can improve -if- they ask for such advice (don't go round telling people their faults when they don't ask).
  16. Some people fantasize about being murdered, it's a real fetish. Edit: *should it be* legal to murder someone who wants to be murdered?
  17. Many ages ago the Catholic church had a claim, their claim was that the universe revolves around the Earth, including the Sun. Astronomers agreed with this postulation, and this was widely accepted as the truth. A scientist named Galilieo made the theory that the Earth in fact revolves around the Sun. He dared to challenge the accepted, and the church was quick to try and silence him, as this represented a hole in the dogma. This would mean that it is possible that the Church can be wrong, that man can discover things about the universe on his own, and thus, why would anyone need the church? Now, the Environmentalist church has a claim that it's our fault that the Earth is getting hotter. Some scientists are coming out and saying 'well hold on, the evidence needs to support this theory'. But the wheels are already spinning. People are buying hybrid cars, the government is spending billions on going 'green', people's moral worth is measured inverse to their carbon footprint, and Al Gore tells you 'you don't need to cut back, so long as you buy some trees in a rainforest.' Buy some trees, spend money on environmentalism. The one thing that Manmade Global Warming has accomplished is that the average joe will spend extra money on Environmentalism out of guilt, guilt because he drives his car to work, guilt because he takes a bag full of trash to the dumpster every day. Environmentalism is furthered by propagating this myth, and skeptical scientists threaten this growth. So, we get the same reaction. Anyone who dissents shall be burned, in the name of our New Almighty God, Global Warming. The Earth gets hot sometimes and cold other times, this is proven by Geologic history, 12,000 years ago there was an ice age, and when it ended forests grew in places that had been covered in ice. Since then they have been covered by glaciers once more, and now the ice is melting again, but THIS TIME IT'S OUR FAULT. If the scientists take all this data into account, where is the answer? What do they say to that? Don't tell me, 'go ask a Climatologist' Go ask one yourself, come here, and give me a reasonable response to why we know it's happened before, but this time we're the cause. If you can give me a reasonable response, then maybe I will be curious and find out some more, until then all you have done is prove you're another zealous acolyte of the Global Warming Church.
  18. Objectivism works in any realistic scenario. If an unrealistic scenario became a realistic scenario Objectivism would not suddenly be 'disproven'. In other words, you're not going to find a scenario that doesn't fit into Objectivism because Objectivism reflects reality, if it doesn't fit in with the philosophy, it is not real or possible. If it -is- possible, or real, the philosophy would re-assess itself and induct this new real concept and how it fits in with the philosophy. In effect one of the basic ideas of Objectivism is that we exist in -this- reality, philosophies that do not work in daily life, but can solve unrealistic hypothetical scenarios are in fact invalid because they are based in -some other- reality. If this reality changed somehow, Objectivism would change. However, there is no evidence that this reality has or will change fundamentally in a way that would 'break' Objectivism. To answer your question, if we discovered a species that used reason as its mode of survival, no matter if it also was capable of lifting buildings, spitting acid, and had camoflauge, it would have rights. Another scenario for this would be if we ever found aliens. Take Starcraft. The Protoss are volitional creatures, and have rights. The Zerg are nonvolitional creatures that survive via instinct. They do not have rights.
  19. Freddy, do you know any Climatologists or are you assuming everything you just said is true out of faith in those scientists? Why is it that people who believe in MGW come here and make baseless assertions on things they heard or read without citing them? You can easily try to derail counter-citings but provide few of your own. My favorite argument for MGW is 'Haven't you noticed it getting hotter?' As far as global conspiracies involving people across language barriers, you are assuming that a conspiracy requires contact with other people. Any corrupt scientist worth his unearned salt knows that his money comes from people being interested in his area of work. Since the MGW craze companies across the world have adopted slogans, practices, and commercials to indicate their participation in Al Gore's sham. They can effectively now charge whatever they like for 'cleaner' this 'greener' that, and if McCain's Cap and Trade bill passes, they'll get government breaks for doing it as well. There is more money to be made for the scientists lying and saying it's definitely manmade, than to oppose it. All one must do is follow the money trail. Can millions of people agree on something completely false? That is one of the most basic concepts of Objectivism, my friends. That essentially consensus means nothing, that one man has the ability to discover and learn reality on his own without help, and that most people who are not Objectivists completely refuse to do so.
  20. Most of my friends are liberals. Honestly, sometimes I hate to be around them. Other times it's my greatest pleasure. I have noted in them key pieces of their individual philosophies that is very close to Oism. In many cases people, and I mean a lot of people, are really close to understanding and appreciating Objectivism as the philosophy for living on Earth. They just have some backwards ideas. It's important, when judging your roommate, to identify what specifically he enjoys about thievery. In some cases, people view thievery as the only answer they have to other injustices perpetrated by widely accepted cultural philosophies. Sometimes people burn ants with their magnifying glass, but eventually grow out of it. This does not always lead to some sick nihilistic view, but is simply a means of growth. Maybe your roommate will grow out of it? The art of friendship involves constant judgement of value. If the person has no value to you at all, then he's not a friend, if he does have value then it is up to you to identify whether you can live with that which you don't value, or whether you believe you can change his mind on it. This is particularly important to me in light of the recent lectures from the ARI involving cultural change. I think if we each made it our mission to spread Oism to our friends, when possible, that would be another step toward an Objectivist world. Like I said though, if he has no value to you, or his value is outweighed by his vice, then go for it. Having friends with different values than you is not a compromise, having friends that you hate, is a compromise. It's some of the worst species of sacrifice.
  21. I personally loved EVE online for that capitalist streak. You can sort of tell that the Designers think of the Caldari (the race that focuses most on free market values) as kind of bad guys, though not so bad as the religious fanatics with slaves and such. I think it is a very important theme of a successful video game to include differentiating philosophies between races or factions, which is something WoW completely lacks, and I think also leads to the problems with the game as a whole. As far as Final Fantasy goes, definitely a great series. SPOILER: My favorite is FF8, as the main character Squall seems to have no connection with his reality. He is sad, depressed, and lonely, and he's not entirely sure why. It's not until he realizes that he values someone - Rinoa - that he truly ascends into a developed individual. The conflict at the end is most poignant to me, the villain wishes to compress time, in effect, make all reality exist at once, so that she can rule over it. In order to escape this compression once Ultimecia is defeated, Squall must go back to a place he remembers - a place he values in his past - and find his friends - the people he values. As far as anti objectivist video games go I'm surprised I haven't seen Bioshock in this thread, it's literally anti-objectivist. Though I still found it great fun to play, in most scenes to go 'MAN this is a cooler place than where I live' and in others to go 'That's not Oism, that's just crap.'
  22. Also, I don't know where you got that we had economic expansion during the Clinton era. You provided no evidence, no study, no proof. There is however proof that the Clinton presidency pressured the mortgage industry into giving out sub-prime loans which actually -caused- the most alarming economic collapse since the depression. Sub-prime loans could not exist in a lassiez-faire capitalistic system. In a mixed economic regulatory system, however, any disgusting amalgamation of half thought out band aids to social problems can occur. Normal business people would not and could not make money by giving loans to people who simply cannot afford them. The government, however, is highly interested in doing so. For after this, they can blame the business people, get more taxes going, and spend billions of dollars on anything they like, for the bailout bill stipulates no accountability. I argued with a socialist once, who was self admittedly from a rich family, had not had to worry about much his whole life, and planned to be a public school teacher so that he could (also self admittedly) convince more people to be socialists. He assumed by my arguments pro capitalism that I must also have come from a rich family and not had to worry about much. My situation was in fact the opposite. My parents were divorced when I was 10, they didn't have much money before that, and afterwards my dad was unable to pay any child support for several years. All of this was during Clinton's presidency. Now, according to your pragmatic 'balanced' ideal, we should have received enough money through welfare that I would never have to worry about food or a place to live, my education would be sealed, including college. I could then graduate and get some sort of mid level office job in the corporate world, become completely 'disillusioned' with adulthood, and choose to vote and be a liberal. It was through my mother's determination to survive after being -rejected- for welfare that got me a place to sleep and food to eat, it was through the public school system that I received a sub-par education which was unable to teach most of my peers the fundamentals such as reading, writing, and multiplication. And now, I get next to nothing from the government in order to attend a public college which forces me to review all which I learned (on my own) while I was younger, because the other people going to college don't know the difference between there, they're and their. Now, if I can preempt your argument correctly, logically I should support more social programs so that people in my situation can get what they need from the government. The problem is there isn't enough to go around. It is -impossible- for a social program to cover -everybody-. You could tax the bill gates' into poverty, and you would still have poverty. You do not understand the reason behind the poverty. It is the same reason communist systems fail. If I can not work and get money so that I can live, what possible motivation do I have to work? None. Poverty will always rise when you feed it free money, progress will always fall when you take the reward for it away. This is a -law- of reality, it is part of nature, it is inescapably true for every living creature living on Earth. That is the substance of Objectivism, a name for the philosophy for living on -Earth-.
  23. I'd like to offer another hypothetical response. In the situation where your friend gets fired for being gay, he may go to the media, they could publish a story about how company X fired him for being gay, gay people might not buy from that company anymore, heck, maybe even some straight people. You're saying that government protects us from irrational people controlling us by controlling us. We're saying that government control enables irrational people to control. A mix of control and liberty does not actually include any liberty. If you put someone in a box and say 'you can do whatever you want inside that box.' You're still controlling him. He is unable to get out of the box, for his own protection, because outside the box there may be germs, or people wanting to kill him. He is confined to grow inside the box. When he's too big for the box, or he's done everything one possibly can in the box, in your view, well too bad for him. At least he got the chance to grow in his box, at least we've all got boxes. For rational self interest. Irrationally, and pragmatically, it is in my self interest to try and locate you so I can say 'become an Objectivist or I will kill you,' and any other liberals I know of, and any republicans I know of. Then I can finally live in a world of Objectivists. But then, I would have reduced the population by a lot, infrastructure would die from lack of labor, the economy would shrink, and ultimately I would have broken my principle in order to try and maintain the principle. If a man is rationally selfish he must acknowledge and respect that other men are free to exist. It is not in my rational self interest to steal or murder, because I would not tolerate anyone stealing from or attempting to murder me. It is in effect an unsaid trade with all rationally self interested people. "In exchange for you not stealing from me, I will not steal from you." This is illustrated in the oath "I swear that I will never live for the sake of another man, or ask him to live for mine." (Atlas Shrugged) You keep talking about the proletariat as though an average person is incapable of doing for him or herself. In your view, an average person is incapable of making himself happy, and so this -denotes- a fundamental responsibility from a more capable person to make him happy. This is erroneous. Unless the average person is mentally retarded he is fully capable of pursuing his own happiness as designated in his fundamental rights by the Constitution. You might say 'well if the economy is keeping him poor then he is being denied this fundamental right.' This however is a misinterpretation of the right. Firstly because your solution involves me spending my money to help him get happy, and secondly because in a free market any person with a small amount of effort is capable of getting a reasonable job. It is government regulation and taxation that prevents your average homeless person from being able to take part in the free market, barring any mental problems. It is also a lack of understanding of the free market that causes most people to believe in government regulation and taxation. I used to be a utilitarian, but my conversion can be summed up very simply. If all the people in the world -stopped- trying to focus on making everyone else happy, and every single person simply focused on making him or herself happy, then if successful -everyone- would be happy. Utilitarian goal met without any control.
  24. Your Free Market equation is missing something, JohnS, something I have noticed many liberals assign to free markets. In your view, businessmen don't give a crap about anything but themselves, irrationally. In a hypothetical world where man was causing global warming, no businessman would have the intellect or foresight to think 'Hm, if the world ends, I can't do business anymore.' Okay, I'll give you that, just for the sake of the argument. But your postulation is that while some businesses would be busy producing slightly less efficiently but cleanly, others would produce better products more efficiently and with tons of pollution. Let's say this happens, in our hypothetical Oist universe with manmade global warming. In that case, it is up to the -consumer-. If you feel GW is a big problem, instead of going to the government and whining about it and hoping for regulation, which is guaranteed to make businessmen hate you, organize a speaking campaign for a boycott on specific companies that utilize these methods which you view to be damaging to the environment. Ask others who agree with you to speak out to the consumer to buy 'cleaner' products. The Free Market isn't about a bunch of rich guys dictating how and what everyone else must buy, that stigma is a result of the current mixed economy. In the Objectivist view, it is not by force (AKA government) that one may communicate ideals, but by reasonable persuasion. Fortunately, as previously stated, there is no real scientific evidence to back that the current trend of global warming is manmade, and I'd encourage you to read opposing theories to see why. Final note: I hope I didn't come across as disrespectful to your views, I don't view you as a troll, and I hope you don't view me as one.
  25. How has Objectivism changed the world? It is not the responsibility of an Objectivist to change the world, while it is in our interest to persuade others to follow our philosophy, and try to move the country toward Objectivism, the very core of the philosophy tells us that we are not responsible for doing such. In effect, one of the basic ideas of Atlas Shrugged is that if you leave them alone, the collectivists, nihilists, Kantians, and others will destroy themselves. Saying 'How has the world benefitted from Objectivism' is a non-issue, as the point of Objectivism was not to improve the world, but to improve the modern intellectual. I am improved by it, others here are improved by it. Another of the truths of the philosophy is that you cannot morally force another human being to do something. We believe in causality most definitely, and to be honest, if left to their own machinations, without the power of those willing to produce and sacrifice, the collectivists will fall on their asses in a very real sense, and at that point we may be there to pick up the pieces and forge our world as we see fit. B is B did not ask for a debate on his understanding of Objectivism. But your question implies that you haven't quite made the connection yet. Yes, I am sickened, disheartened, and angry at the amount of people in modern society who reject Objectivism outright, but that does not measure its effectiveness as a philosophy. It is effective in that all day long I can languish happily doing everything I can to remain productive without contributing to the non-productive and have a completely happy conscience about it. It is effective in that I may find myself happy at any time because I have realized that being happy does not include a requirement of feeling guilty. Objectivism would be just as effective if Rand had never happened, and creators, movers, and industrialists continued to progress unknowingly using the philosophy, as many had before, and many still do. In effect what good came out of Objectivism? You, me, this forum, all the people who post in it, and anybody who reads it. Anyone who read and understood the philosophy of Ayn Rand, and there are some. Now, if you are trying to say that Objectivists should take a more active role, form a political party, and attempt to effect widespread change to the U.S. then cool, I'm all for it. Let's talk about it, figure it out, work together, brainstorm. If you have questions about the philosophy, see contradictions in it, bring it to the forums, as Peikoff said it is our moral obligation to eradicate contradiction in our philosophy. Once we find the truth, we can work together to proliferate and disseminate our ideas across the nation. Fighting about this accomplishes nothing.
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