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Messages - EndIsNigh

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Without having read the book, as I would very much like to, I have this first critique, that the VCP does not adequately explain the current abject denial on the reality of a limited planet among people generally, or the very over-arching "hologram" presented as reality by the military-industrial supported main-stream-media (MSM).  It is one thing to say that tech progress has brought us to this place; it is something different to say that tech progress keeps us here against all apparent evidence of potential collapse. Obtuseness is being reinforced every day by the media, and only a very small few control the media.

The technological aspect is just one dimension of the VCP.  You have to remember that we're dealing with instincts which have developed over many millenia and won't be easily overcome.  Dilworth also points to other instincts such as individual territorial instincts (we often forget we're still animals) which drive individuals to operate in their own perceived best self-interest, as well as something he calls the reaction principle.  These instincts served us well on the Savannah, when it was more important to react to immediate threats than to perceive distant threats, but have since turned against our long-term best interests.  It's this instinct that explains the general apathy toward threats that, in the predominant worldview, are very distant.  As quoted in the article, see below:

According to the VCP the individual territorial instincts of the powerful override whatever other instincts they may have as support the well-being of the species, and it is they who determine the course taken.  And, it seems to me, there's not much we can do about it.  The revealing of the nature of the situation, such as is attempted in this book, is not going to make any noticeable difference.

Dilworth reminds us that some of the instincts that lead to overshoot cause us to behave no differently than other animals in this regard.

The fundamental problem as regards the continuing existence of the human species is that, while we are ‘smarter’ than other species in our ability to develop technology, we, like them, follow the reaction, pioneering and overshoot principles when it comes to dealing with situations of sudden, continuous or great surplus. In keeping with this, and also like other animals, we are not karyotypically built so as to care about coming generations, other than those with which we have direct contact. As Georgescu-Roegen says, the (rat) race of economic development that is the hallmark of modern civilisation leaves no doubt about humans’ lack of foresight. Even if made aware of the entropic problem of the human species, humankind would not be willing to give up its present luxuries in order to ease the life of future generations. When problems arise we turn to the nearest solution to hand, and do not take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. In this regard we act irrationally. We humans, in whatever situation, will gladly use irreplaceable resources to produce a technological fix if it fills an immediate need. The longest we are prepared to put off gratification is perhaps a year, where in certain societies, though people may be dying of starvation, seeds are saved for the next year’s planting.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 393). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

You see, it's quite simple really.  We have deluded ourselves, through our success, that we're above the laws of nature.  That's why it's easy to forget that we're subject to the same rules as every other species.  We can't believe people can be so dumb in light of overshoot, but they're doing what every other species does.  But why do we get it?  Without being too self-congratulatory, I think it's because we are smart enough to see what is happening, or through our circumstances it has been revealed to us, and we were receptive to the message either because we're open minded or it's fulfilled some personal need.  Most of us were already dissatisfied with modern culture and were therefore drawn to an awareness of our predicament.

So at this stage I'm actually calmer and more accepting of the situation given the knowledge that we're mostly just acting as our evolution and biology would dictate.  What's happening can be viewed as horrible, or it can be viewed as the nature of things.  I'm now interested in enjoying what time is left and trying to do what seems fulfilling to me, while appreciating and helping my loved ones.  I am not going to participate in a culture I don't agree with.  I'll try to, as RE says, "save as many as I can," but at the same time, I'm not going to beat myself up any more or feel guilty for not doing more than is realistic, or get angry at other people for not acting as I am.  I think it's a bad idea to cling to any particular outcome.  If our species smartens up and overcomes our instincts I will be delightfully surprised.  I guess this would be good advice even if it weren't the end of the world as we know it.

A bit more from Dilworth:

From the point of view of evolution, to react spontaneously to one’s immediate environment has been the best policy for all species up to now. But now, in our case, in acting spontaneously we are not only worsening the situation for our own species, but for all other complex species as well.

To react directly to our surroundings is how we instinctively react; it is built into our karyotype, just as it is built into the karyotypes of other species. And if it were at all possible to overcome this predilection, it would seem that we, as a species, would have to act on the basis of that very intelligence that has landed us in this situation in the first place. Overcoming our instincts with our intelligence would be a difficult task to say the least however, as is evident from the fact that we haven’t made the least effort to do so despite being well aware of the problem for many years.

To use our intelligence in this way would require our manifesting, as a species, social instincts which could override our survival and sexual instincts. But for such instincts to work, first they must be appropriately manifest, and with tremendous force due to the extent of our species’ disequilibrium; second, in order to be effective they must be manifest globally; and third, their being manifest globally presupposes world stability and the creation of population-checking traditions. As regards this last point, for modern hunter-gatherers, the constancy of the life-situation, including the lack of technological development, made it possible to implement adequate population checks through the creation of traditions so as to keep the size of their populations oscillating about a mean. But the present human ecological situation is unstable due to constant technological development, and will continue to be so as long as technological development continues. (Cf. Wynne-Edwards’ comments regarding animals in unstable or transitory environments, cited in Chapter 1.) Change is occurring at a faster rate than ever; and this change not only prevents the creation of new traditions, but means the disappearance of those that are already established. Among other things, this change has meant that the various environmental triggers (epideictic phenomena) for the appropriate social instincts are now lacking, while at the same time our own genetic domestication has made us disinclined to manifest such instincts, or inclined to manifest them in counterproductive ways.

That our survival as a species is in jeopardy, and that we must act with an eye to the long-term future, has been realised by educated people at least since the beginning of the 1970s. At that time we already knew of the greenhouse effect, as mentioned, and of acid rain. And people generally became aware of our dire situation with the publication and wide distribution of such works as Commoner’s The Closing Circle in 1971, the Meadows team’s Limits to Growth, and Edward Goldsmith and others’ Blueprint for Survival – both in 1972, and Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful in 1973, as well as by the holding of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. And the 1972 Peruvian anchoveta collapse coupled with the 1973 oil crisis should have driven the point home.

In A Blueprint for Survival, for example, Goldsmith and his co-authors claim that at that time, i.e. more than 35 years ago, humankind was faced with a total ecological crisis, and that with the chaos to come there would be social disruption and a great likelihood of war. They also claimed that governments at that time either refused to face the ecological facts or played down their seriousness. “A measure of political reality is that government has yet to acknowledge the impending crisis.” This is a situation that has not changed in the ensuing 35 years. And they draw the conclusion that we are on our way to extinction as a species.

Similar views were expressed around the same time and earlier by such authors as Boulding, Schumacher, Hans Palmstierna, Hardin, Commoner, Georgescu-Roegen, Forrester, Donella and Dennis Meadows, and Wilkinson. These are the wise people of what may be the last age of humanity, none of their ever so important warnings being refuted (or acted upon). Rather, they have since been corroborated in the works of Daly, Mishan, Orio Giarini and Henri Loubergé, William Catton, Hazel Henderson, Michael Redclift, Trainer, Lester Milbrath, Mary Clark, Ponting, Douthwaite, Diamond, Abernethy, Anthony McMichael, James O’Connor, J. W. Smith and Sieferle. As Dennis Meadows has recently said, “The message that current growth trends cannot be sustained is now reconfirmed every year by thousands of headlines, hundreds of conferences, and dozens of new scientific studies.”

Furthermore, all computer simulations of humankind’s development into the future since that time, including the original ones of Limits to Growth, show not only that the present system will decline, but that it will crash, and that the longer it continues the greater the crash will be. In terms of Schumacher’s metaphor: we’re stampeding over a cliff. So the fact that our situation is terribly threatening has been known to decision makers for more than 30 years, and this quite independently of an awareness of the operation of the vicious circle principle. What an understanding of the VCP adds is a realisation both of how we have come to this pass, as well as why we in fact have made no serious attempt to remedy the situation despite our being aware of it.

As P. R. and A. H. Ehrlich also noted even before the first Gulf War, the world might well come to be engaged in nuclear war over the oil resources in the Gulf area. The inclination to acquire (further) power, or the inclination of the powerful to act offensively rather than defensively when possible, inclines leaders to attempt to secure sources of energy rather than make their societies independent of such sources. No laws are enacted to make non-practical use of oil illegal – such use as one sees in motor sports, for example. Again, this is because the powers that be in today’s world are economic, and for power-hungry or greedy capitalists increasing consumption means increasing profits.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 393-395). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

If a person is truly honest in their assessment and analysis of their own psyche, they are well aware that the demons exist not externally as separate non-physical entitities acting upon our physical experience, but internally as a part of what we are.  Of course, those who cannot face and integrate their demons end up allowing their actions to be dictated by them in the physical world.  Furthermore, if we understand there can be no external physical world without participation of the internal psychic world, the distinction becomes less clear.  Of course the universe will appear to contain demons if the consciousness which creates it is composed of such elements.  As such, the internal and external are inseperable.

Ultimately we bring into 'reality' our demons, for without us, they could not exist.

Doomsteading / Re: Doom Goes Mainstream
« on: November 14, 2012, 09:55:04 PM »
Here I am, popping my head in to say "hello diners!"  I hope everyone is doing well and would love to hear what you're all up to.

I'm still alive and well but have been on a hiatus from forum/blog activities.  I've been focusing on my backyard garden, learning as much as I can about permaculture and natural farming.  I've more or less given up on pursuing the business I was working on, for a variety of reasons, most important being that I'd rather live my life at home on the land, providing for my basic needs first and foremost, regardless of 'collapse'.  I'm contemplating taking on some debt slavery, a short term 5 - 7 yr loan, in order to get onto some land.  It's a tough call to be sure, but the idea is my wife would service the loan while I establish the land to produce for ourselves and hopefully some income too.  If we don't pay off the mortgage before TSHTF at least I'll be living mostly on my own terms in the meanwhile.

I think I've gained a lot of useful knowledge about permaculture so if anyone needs a hand or advice, just call out.  I've got a few ideas for Uncle Bob if he's interested.

I guess I've arrived at a similar place as Peter.  I'm done fighting, arguing, and convincing.  I'm just getting on with it and trying to place myself where I'd like to be, doing what I want to do, and with the people I love.  With Obama's declaration today that the economy trumps any action on climate change, any doubt I had that "we" would do something rational is gone.  We're on autopilot now, brace for impact.

Environment / Re: Bill Gates admits to Chemtrails
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:37:24 PM »

I agree with your assessment regarding solutions being problems.  For a detailed analysis of the concept, you might want to read "Too Smart for Our Own Good" by Craig Dilworth.  I posted a brief overview of the book and his theory, you should be able to find it by searching the forum.

Economics / Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:59:12 PM »
If only someone would pay me to make perceptive observations I wouldn't be in the shit I am now.  My business has met with some problems and I'm starting to question the whole venture all over again.  I saw a job listing to do ATM upgrades for one of the big 4 banks that's been advertised locally which is tempting me to pull a WHD and join the dark side.  I'm just not hungry enough (BTW I agree with your sentiment along these lines in the OWS thread) yet to submit an application...

I suppose the beauty of the setup is that it provides someone who has the means to get out in a way that delivers the trigger that takes down the whole system to do exactly that.  Will it be a black swan, or an intentional short circuit that brings the house of cards falling down?

Bugout Plans / Re: Australian Bugout
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:20:03 PM »
Nice work Aeldric.  I'm in Australia as well and wish I could afford some land.  I made the mistake of bailing out of the big city (Sydney) before I had enough cash to grab some land.  I should have stuck it out a little longer, I even had a big bonus waiting for me if I had. Now I'm unemployed without many prospects and feeling very trapped by circumstances.  If land prices weren't so stupid I would have been alright.  Now I'm just praying for the market to keep unwinding, and the China slowdown provides some promise of that, but the irrationality will likely persist longer than I can hang on for. 

Economics / Re: Official Chinese Toast Thread
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:10:50 PM »
Surreality is right.  What the f man?  This market has no shame.  What will it take to bring it down to earth?  Investors must be in so deep they figure there's no way they can pull out now. 

Strange days.

The Kitchen Sink / Why Gardening Makes You Happy and Cures Depression
« on: September 01, 2012, 04:27:13 AM »
I thought this was a really fascinating article, and explains why I am happiest in my garden, usually barefooted and getting my hands into dirt without gloves.

Why Gardening Makes You Happy and Cures Depression

Written by Robyn Francis   
While mental health experts warn about depression as a global epidemic, other researchers are discovering ways we trigger our natural production of happy chemicals that keep depression at bay, with surprising results. All you need to do is get your fingers dirty and harvest your own food.

In recent years I’ve come across two completely independent bits of research that identified key environmental triggers for two important chemicals that boost our immune system and keep us happy - serotonin and dopamine. What fascinated me as a permaculturist and gardener were that the environmental triggers happen in the garden when you handle the soil and harvest your crops.
Getting down and dirty is the best ‘upper’ – Serotonin
Getting your hands dirty in the garden can increase your serotonin levels – contact with soil and a specific soil bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin in our brain according to research. Serotonin is a happy chemical, a natural anti-depressant and strengthens the immune system. Lack of serotonin in the brain causes depression.
Ironically, in the face of our hyper-hygienic, germicidal, protective clothing, obsessive health-and-safety society, there's been a lot of interesting research emerging in recent years regarding how good dirt is for us, and dirt-deficiency in childhood is implicated in contributing to quite a spectrum of illnesses including allergies, asthma and mental disorders.
At least now I have a new insight into why I compulsively garden without gloves and have always loved the feeling of getting my bare hands into the dirt and compost heap.
Harvest 'High' - Dopamine
Another interesting bit of research relates to the release of dopamine in the brain when we harvest products from the garden. The researchers hypothesise that this response evolved over nearly 200,000 years of hunter gathering, that when food was found (gathered or hunted) a flush of dopamine released in the reward centre of brain triggered a state of bliss or mild euphoria. The dopamine release can be triggered by sight (seeing a fruit or berry) and smell as well as by the action of actually plucking the fruit.
The contemporary transference of this brain function and dopamine high has now been recognised as the biological process at play in consumers addiction or compulsive shopping disorder. Of course the big retail corporations are using the findings to increase sales by provoking dopamine triggers in their environments and advertising.
I have often remarked on the great joy I feel when I forage in the garden, especially when I discover and harvest the ‘first of the season’, the first luscious strawberry to ripen or emergence of the first tender asparagus shoot. (and yes, the photo is my hand plucking a deliciously sweet strawberry in my garden) I have also often wondered why I had a degree of inherent immunity to the retail-therapy urges that afflict some of my friends and acquaintances. Maybe as a long-term gardener I’ve been getting a constant base-load dopamine high which has reduced the need to seek other ways to appease this primal instinct. Though, I must admit with the benefit of hindsight, I now have another perspective on my occasional ‘shopping sprees’ at local markets buying plants for the garden.
Of course dopamine responses are triggered by many other things and is linked with addictive and impulsive behaviour. I suppose the trick is to rewire our brains to crave the dopamine hit from the garden and other more sustainable pursuits and activities. As a comment on PlanetDrum stated, “all addiction pathways are the same no matter what the chemical. As long as you feel rewarded you reinforce the behavior to get the reward.”
So in other words it all comes down to the fact that we can’t change our craving nature but we CAN change the nature of what we crave.
Strengthening the Case for Organic
Glyphosate residues deplete your Serotonin and Dopamine levels
Of course, for all of the above to work effectively and maintain those happy levels of serotonin and dopamine, there’s another prerequisite according to another interesting bit of research I found.  It appears it will all work much better with organic soil and crops that haven’t been contaminated with Roundup or Glyphosate-based herbicides. This proviso also extends to what you eat, so ideally you’ll avoid consuming non-organic foods that have been grown in farmland using glyphosates.
A recent study in 2008 discovered that glyphosate, the active ingredient of Roundup, depletes serotonin and dopamine levels in mammals.  Contrary to Monsanto claims, glyphosate and other Roundup ingredients do perpetuate in the environment, in soil, water, plants and in the cells and organs of animals.  One study found glyphosate residues in cotton fabric made from Roundup-ready GM cotton can absorb into the skin and into our nervous and circulatory systems.
No wonder there’s so much depression around, and stress, and all the addictions and compulsive disorders in the pursuit of feeling good. I think back on when I moved to Sydney in 1984 for a few years and was contacting community centres in the inner west to see if there was interest in permaculture or gardening classes. A very terse social worker snapped at me “listen dear, we don’t need gardening classes, we need stress therapy classes”, and promptly hung up on me with a resounding “Huh!” when I replied that gardening was the best stress therapy I knew.
So enjoy the garden, fresh organic food and make sure you have fun playing in the dirt on a regular basis.
Robyn Francis 2010
Robyn Francis is an international permaculture designer, educator, writer and pioneer based at Djanbung Gardens, Nimbin Northern NSW. She is principal of Permaculture College Australia.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Here’s some interesting sites and extracts for further info and reading
Glyphosate Report PDF An in-depth and comprehensive report of independent research on impacts and effects of Glyphosate and Roundup published by Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific, Nov 2009
Soil Bacteria Work In Similar Way To Antidepressants
UK scientists suggest that a type of friendly bacteria found in soil may affect the brain in a similar way to antidepressants. Their findings are published in the early online edition of the journal Neuroscience.
Soil bacteria can boost immune system

Harmless bug works as well as antidepressant drugs, study suggests
EXTRACT:  Exposure to friendly soil bacteria could improve mood by boosting the immune system just as effectively as antidepressant drugs, a new study suggests.
The researchers suspect, however, that the microbes are affecting the brain indirectly by causing immune cells to release chemicals called cytokines. “We know that some of these cytokines can activate the nerves that relay signals from the body to the brain,” Lowry said in a telephone interview.
The stimulated nerves cause certain neurons in the brain to release a chemical called serotonin into the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain known to be involved in mood regulation, among other things.
Scientists think the lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to cause depression in people.
Previous studies have linked early childhood exposure to bacteria to protection against allergies and asthma in adulthood. The new finding take this idea, called the “hygiene hypothesis,” a step further, and suggests bacteria-exposure not only boosts our immune systems, but alters our vulnerability to conditions such as depression as well.
“These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health,” Lowry said. “They also leave us wondering if we shouldn’t all be spending more time playing in the dirt.”
-- --------
“Selfish behaviors are reward driven and innate, wired deeply into the survival mechanisms of the primitive brain, and when consistently reinforced, they will run away to greed, with its associated craving for money, food, or power. On the other hand, the self restraint and the empathy for others that are so important in fostering physical and mental health are learned behaviors – largely functions of the new human cortex and thus culturally dependent. These social behaviors are fragile and learned by imitations much as we learn language". Dr. Peter Whybrow - "American Mania"
Some interesting insights and food for thought…
Status and Curiosity – On the Origins of Oil Addiction by Nate Hagens
The various layers and mechanisms of our brain were built on top of each other, via millions and millions of iterations, keeping intact what 'worked' and adding on what changes and mutations helped the pre-human, pre-mammal organism incrementally advance. … We are, all of us, descended from the best of the best at surviving and procreating, which in the environment of privation and danger where we endured the most 'iterations' of our evolution, meant acquiring necessary resources, achieving status, and possessing brains finely tuned to natural dangers and opportunities. In our modern environment, it is the combination of pursuit of social status and the plethora of fun, exciting/novel activities that underlies our large appetite for oil.
research tells us that drugs of abuse activate the brain’s mesolimbic dopamine reward system, the neural network that regulates our ability to feel pleasure and be motivated for “more”. When we have a great experience… our brain experiences a surge in the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine. We feel positively charged, warm, ‘in the zone’ and happy. After a while, the dopamine gets flushed out of our system and returns to it's baseline level. We go about our lives, looking forward to the next pleasurable experience.
Hagens also muses that “There is anecdotal evidence that the typical american diet high in processed starches and sugar robs us of our baseline serotonin - the zen master of brain neurotransmitters. Lack of serotonin makes us more susceptible to cravings/behavioural changes and throws the reward machinery out of whack. Food we buy/eat is available at stores and restaurants because a)it is profitable b)it is convenient and c)it tastes good. I suspect that future changes in diet towards more vegetables and less processed food might improve our collective addictions/impulsivity.

Economics / Re: Financing the Industrial Revolution
« on: September 01, 2012, 04:04:50 AM »
How disappointing that Brandon hasn't even given the courtesy of a reply.  That's shitty man.

You might ask Guy McPherson if he is willing to post some of your writing, because he often posts guest essays in addition to his own.

The Kitchen Sink / Re: 55
« on: August 31, 2012, 05:35:19 PM »
We are social animals and by reading the stories of other people we can relate their experience with ours which helps us feel connected and part of something.  The most relevant and important part of the puzzle you've done well to highlight is money being the root of evil.  Being unemployed as I am, it's become very obvious that all my anxiety stems from thoughts about money.  How will I get it, where from, will it be enough?  This thinking takes me out of the here and now.  My mind is on the future.  When I choose not to think about money I am more present, existing in the moment, having faith that what I need will come as its needed.  This is how the rest of the universe operates, but we have created a world of mind based illusion.  Money is not real unless the giver and receiver agree it has value, rather than seeing te real value that exists independent of our belief.  Daniel Suelo makes these very points, and his bravery in living this philosophy is remarkable   You've rightly identified the root cause of our predicament and I believe this is your most important work.

Fighting this system is not the answer.  Fighting recognizes and strengtens the opponent.  I am now convinced that the solution is to set up and actually live the alternative to the system in parallel.  Don't legitimize this crap any further.  Even if this system remains dominant, at least those few who truly reject the money system will have lived the universal truth of giving without the thought of receiving.  Living as the animals do, in true faith without fear of lack.

The Kitchen Sink / Re: 55
« on: August 31, 2012, 05:43:26 AM »
It seems everyone is about ready to give up.  Guy McPherson claims "I surrender" in his latest article.  Then there's Paul Kingsnorth recently declaring he's done fighting. 

I think this is good.  If things really are as bad as they seem, fighting isn't what's called for any more, and maybe it never was.  Taking care of each other and enjoying what time we have left should be our focus now.  We take for granted how incredible our very existence is, which seemingly exists against all odds. 

Don't do your work injustice by calling it pointless pissing into the wind.  You've undoubtedly helped a lot of people get their heads around the big picture, and you've made me laugh on many occasions while doing so.  Given the subject matter, humour is a much needed rare gift. 

Happy birthday RE...I know you've still got something left in the tank.


Geopolitics / Re: All Roads Lead to WAR: Syria & Iran
« on: August 23, 2012, 03:09:22 AM »
Gerald Celente has been calling this for awhile.  Same old pattern with WAR as the last resort.  It seems so surreal to imagine.  What a horror it will be for so many good people.

I hope I don't get sent to fight, but probably would be if it came to a World War.  Maybe dual Aussie/Canuck citizenship was a bad idea.

Geopolitics / Re: Ecuador Grants Assange Asylum, Defying UK Threats
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:48:46 AM »
Yes it's interesting to think about what evolutionary and societal functions the STUPID characteristic may serve.  As you pointed out, the smart but morally bankrupt folks have made good use of it and continue to select for it through various techniques, not the least of which is public education.

Was the ratio of stupid to smart people always the same throughout history as it is now?  I think I read recently that on average, human brain size is shrinking.  It seems that as a whole, we're getting dumber, an observation not hard to validate with so many great examples often detailed on the DD.

Geopolitics / Re: Ecuador Grants Assange Asylum, Defying UK Threats
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:18:07 AM »
The VAST majority of Homo Sapiens are pretty Dumb Fucks overall.

YES!  Thank you Hard Harry, for telling it like it is  :icon_sunny:
Which begs the question, why? 

Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: August 20, 2012, 04:20:17 AM »
RE, regarding your health problems.  It's never too late to improve your diet to reverse certain health conditions.  Even clogged arteries can be reversed (RE'd?) by going on a short term plant based diet.  Of course big pharm would have you believe you need to buy a pill for that, and they just keep you alive instead of fixing the problem.

But I think you know this and have made your choice?  Did I read correctly that your legs were amputated?

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