Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | June 2, 2017

Please Follow Me On ReLOVEution NOW!

I’m very pleased to know that this blog, my very first one, still has followers after all these years. Postings have been sparse for the last while, but now I’m getting some steam up once again.

I’ve decided to concentrate my work on my newest blog, ReLOVEution NOW! Please check it out and follow me there.

My thinking and work has taken form and now aims at fomenting a cultural revolution, one that will create a new psycho-social context for working on the issues and problems we typically think of when we hear “revolution”. We can’t successfully address problems of political and economic and spiritual malaise when the cultural context for our efforts works against our efforts. I maintain that authoritarian cultures (and which major culture has not been authoritarian?) not only work against efforts to realize fair, prosperous societies and in turn a world we want to live in as opposed to being forced to survive in it, authoritarian cultures are designed to prevent any such realization. And the principal evidence for this is the deliberate and ardent efforts in every field of human study to eliminate the human factor from our thinking, theories and knowledge, in the name of “objectivity”, instead of becoming intelligent and wise enough to incorporate it.

Thus, ReLOVEution. As long as phrases like honest politician or loving government or generous business or humble nationalism or peace-loving military continue to be more oxymoronic than matter-of-fact, we need to revolutionize our culture. And, as far as I’m concerned, if our work does not contribute to that end, it’s worth very little. When the ship is this critically close to sinking, we need all hands on deck doing everything they can to keep her afloat. Retreating to a higher, drier spot to play intellectual tiddly winks wouldn’t just be stupid, but criminal. There are a lot of rich criminals walking free at this point.

I hope I’ll see you at ReLOVEution NOW!

Viva la ReLOVEution!

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | April 15, 2017

Only Ghosts Want Just a Little Bit More

Rockefeller’s “Just a little bit more…” answer to, “How much money is enough?” gives a peek into the mind of the so-called “rich”.

Hoarders hoard for inordinate fear of loss or scarcity. Excessive, yet still within the realm of the understandable. They want to have stuff because they see value in the stuff itself. We see a problem with that not because it’s hoarding, but because we don’t agree with their sense of what’s valuable. When it comes to things we consider valuable — like money or gold or art — hoarding suddenly doesn’t seem inordinate to us, but instead makes all kinds of sense. Either way, hoarders or those who (naively?) think they’re not hoarders, most people key in on the intrinsic value of the stuff in question.

Not so for the fools we call “rich” — they hoard stuff for a completely different reason. Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | April 10, 2017

Objectivity Is a Myth

Objectivity is a myth because it rests on profoundly fallacious beliefs at multiple levels.

First, the belief that human beings can attain objectivity is a myth. No one has demonstrated that objectivity is more than marginally attainable, so its attainability is mostly a matter of faith. We have shown that we can use rather laborious methods to mitigate the effects of the enemies of objectivity: preferences and passions and preconceptions and drives and predilections and biases and obsessions and the like. Science is one of those methods. But the belief that these methods can achieve objectivity rests on a fallacy that confuses mitigating effects with changing the causes of those effects. None of our methods even attempts to change the causes of the foibles that objectivity aims to neutralize. Reducing effects of subjective tendencies is not the same as becoming objective, but a far cry short of it. And in the case of human beings, the very tendencies that objectivity aims to neutralize are integral to what it means to be human. We distinguish humans from other animals in large part precisely because of our capacity for the very things that objectivity mitigates. What do beings without preferences and passions and preconceptions and drives and predilections and biases and obsessions look like? Zombies or robots. Neutralizing human subjectivity would be to neutralize human nature.

Second, the belief that objectivity is desirable is a myth. Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 13, 2016

This Shit’s Easy

political speech By Medi Belortaja

political speech By Medi Belortaja

Bullshitters aren’t innocent. They bullshit for a reason.

If their purposes were honorable, they would be in possession of facts, of the truth of what’s really going on, and they wouldn’t need bullshit.

Resorting to bullshit proves dishonesty on a level even deeper than lying.

As Harry Frankfurt concludes in his wonderful little treatise On Bullshit, lying contradicts the truth — which means it pays attention to the truth — but bullshit is worse, because it is nothing else but disregard for all truth. The liar knows what happened and says otherwise. The bullshitter doesn’t give a fuck what happened and says whatever the hell he wants to. Frankfurt considers this a far worse problem, and he only sees it proliferating. (Full text online at http://www.stoa.org.uk/topics/bullshit/pdf/on-bullshit.pdf)

But there’s good news: There’s an easy way to expose and foil bullshit in a single move.

Bullshitters set up tar babies. Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | November 8, 2015

You’re All Wrong

Your beliefs are all wrong, all of yours and mine too.

Not just off. Not just some. Statistically speaking, all of them and all of us.

That’s not a slam. It’s a fact.

Buckminster Fuller created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”; he noticed that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today things are not as simple as different types of knowledge have different rates of growth. For example, nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years and clinical knowledge every 18 months. But on average human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.

— David Russell Schilling, Knowledge Doubling Every 12 Months

So by the time knowledge doubles every 12 hours, and then every 6 hours, and then every 3 hours, so much new knowledge will pile up so fast that everything you or I “know” will become statistically negligible — not even significant enough to be either right or wrong in the overall scheme.

The belief that somehow, magically or accidentally, most of what you now think you know will agree with what will be known then is about as reasonable as “knowing” that your next lottery ticket will certainly be the winner. Actually, your chances of being right about the lottery ticket are much higher.

Consider the following chart (click to enlarge)…

12107904_825373337582972_4146190903278875018_n

Most computational neuroscientists estimate human storage capacity somewhere between 10 terabytes and 100 terabytes. That’s the MOST you can know. Some even stretch it to 2.5 petabytes. Let’s split the difference and call human brain capacity an even 1 petabyte (New Zealand on the chart). That’s the most you can EVER know, because yo’ po’ li’l noggin just cain’ts hold n’more…

The annual production of information stands at 1500 petabytes. That’s 1.5 suns to your puny New Zealand. And the information/knowledge sun is entering supernova. Your brain is not. Soon the comparative metaphor will be the orbit of Pluto compared to New Zealand. You can’t even see Earth from Pluto, let alone tiny NZ.

But yet you’re willing to argue, fight, lose friends, alienate, disparage, demonize, or do other irreparable harm to your fellow human beings for the sake of a belief or an ideal?

Well then, you’re a fucking idiot (but there’s hope!) 🙂

I’d rather just be honestly wrong.

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | November 1, 2015

Musing On Rights

I don’t regard rights. By that I in no way mean that intend to or in fact violate rights, but rather that I think talking about human affairs in terms of rights is an inferior way to deal with human relations.

First, rights presume that resistance already exists to our desires, which we codify into rights, otherwise we wouldn’t need to establish rights at all. The sequence is:

  1. People do awful shit to other people.
  2. So, we establish rights to give us a basis from which to argue and/or force those people to stop.

So existentially and logically, rights are the consequences of violations. I think that’s backwards.

Second, Instead of eliminating violations, which would obviate the need for any rights at all, we chose to establish rights, which signals our expectation that violations will continue unless they’re checked, creating the need for rights to check them, which is a backhanded way of resigning ourselves to tolerating violations over the long term. I think that’s defeatist and a cop-out — as if there’s nothing we can do to eliminate violations, so the best we can expect to do is mitigation and damage control.

This article thinks through a bit of the fact that establishing rights is a diversionary move, a kind of misdirect not unlike the fiery visage of the Wizard on the grand stage of Oz projected there because no one would listen to the little guy if he came out from behind the curtain. The real people are us. The projection is our rights. This is a weak posture from which to deal with other people, primarily because it is illusionary, and so it’s largely false.

Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | September 16, 2015

ReLOVEution NOW!

ReLOVEution4

 

You’ve never heard of a revolution like this: a revolution FOR, not a fight against.

ReLOVEution is a revolution of love. Why? Because love is more powerful. More powerful than what? Everything. You might not think so, but we’re not talking about the weak faker they called “love” that you learned about at home, church, school, and elsewhere.

One ancient writer who knew what was really going on with love called it “terrible as an army with banners.”

In other words, ReLOVEution.

Precisely because we didn’t hear about fearsome love at home, church, school, or elsewhere, we need to figure it out for ourselves. The biggest problem is not that we’re unfamiliar with it, but that they lied to us about it. Our job is to put the pieces back together and honestly live it.

ReLOVEution disintegrates authority, so don’t expect help from “official” or “expert” sources. On the contrary: People who engaged in loving, dignifying life and communities outside the control of authoritarians were hounded and wiped out by the rulers and officials of their day, and authoritarian experts justified the “cleansings”. Then authoritarians destroyed all the information they could about the terrible danger to civilized order that they had saved the world from.

ReLOVEution is that powerful, and it’s that much of a threat to authoritarianism. But we don’t need authorities and experts. We have each other.

ReLOVEution is new. It has not been attempted before. This is the first time in history that we haven’t just lost faith in authorities and their systems, but we are challenging the authoritarian paradigm itself. ReLOVEution will find out how far we can take that challenge.

That might sound grandiose or arrogant, and I’ll gladly retract as soon as I find others or someone shows me others who have seriously experimented with deauthoritized life and society. (“deauthorized” = not coerced by force or threat of punishment)

So far, my claim stands unrefuted.

If you haven’t yet read the ReLOVEution announcement, the ReLOVEution plan, and the ReLOVEution Manifesto, please do — especially the Manifesto.

These pieces crystallize my work of the last six years. You’ll see how serious I am about ReLOVEution, how ambitious it is, and that you’ve never seen the like before. This is just the beginning. Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 11, 2015

ReLOVEution Breakdown

Please see the lastest post (just above in the list ^^)

 

This post has been mothballed, replaced by an expanded version, the ReLOVEution Manifesto on the ReLOVEution.org website: http://reloveution.org. Please see it for the latest. 🙂

 

——————-

 

Our beliefs and the societies we created with them are upside-down, inside-out, and ass-backwards. Fixing them isn’t nearly enough. Making repairs under the delusion that they are broken, when in fact they weren’t ever intended or designed to do what we want, is profoundly futile. We need to reverse the situation, reinventing it; but first, we need to reverse the basic beliefs that created and made the situation chronic. We haven’t changed the world yet, because we’ve tried to change it without changing what we think about the world — in fact, stubbornly refusing to change our minds while we blame others for failing to change their behavior. Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 4, 2015

Fools

I know. I really do.

I know. I really do.

A couple of Bible verses from long past Christian days keep recurring to me, because I see them played out regularly. It’s really quite revealing.

A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.
— Proverbs 18:2

Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
— Proverbs 27:22

Why would someone be obsessed with revealing his own mind? It’s even more curious when you consider the fools you’ve dealt with: They don’t even seem to know their own minds, but instead blather on about what they believe must be the case given what they managed to learn from other people’s minds. Don’t be fooled by the copiousness of the information they imbibed. Folly has nothing to do with quantity and everything to do with lack of quality.

Three things seem true about fools: Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 3, 2015

Fighting Ghosts

We fight because of the stories we tell — more accurately, because of the stories others told us.

Almost none of the conflict in the world originates from situations themselves or the facts about the people involved in them. Doable ways to avoid and resolve conflicts amply exist in almost every case, but people refuse to consider or try them because of stories they have in their heads — stories that often wildly contradict the facts. The contradictions would be easy to see if anyone bothered to look. But once people get fear in their heads, they close their eyes and refuse to consider options, especially those that imply they got it all wrong.

So conflict and violence are almost never necessary or natural. They are contrived. They aren’t the fault of nature or circumstance, but of paranoid, stubborn humans clinging desperately to stories they think they’ll die without. Then they act on those stories and, see? Sure enough, killing and maiming were unavoidable.

This is insane. More exactly, it’s paranoid delusion: believing that the stories we concoct are more real and true than the facts we belligerently deny, until fiction becomes fact and facts vaporize.

The world isn’t even barely as hostile as we think it is. Delusively paranoid people turn it into a dangerous place.

That’s psychosis, not “realism”.

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | July 31, 2015

Do the Math

In terms of time spent, the math is simple. We’re harried almost all the time about things that almost never actually happen.

We feel constant pressure from concerns that don’t materialize:

  1. Concern for survival
  2. Concern for safety (war, crime, terrorism, personal violation)
  3. Concern for security (personal, financial, career, relationship, social status)
  4. Concern for social condemnation (moral, ethical, legal, personal reputation)

Actual incidents that threaten those concerns happen only rarely, if ever. Probably none of you reading this have ever nearly starved. I doubt that more than one or two of you have gone even a day living on the street or without food. And any of you that actually faced survival-threatening calamities (war, natural disaster, an attempt on your life, etc.) know how rare they are. Rare even across the collective experience of over 7 billion people living day after 24-hour day. Rare to someone, somewhere, sometime? Maybe not. Rare to you where you are through almost every moment of every day? Very. Well-founded in the case of the persons that you are directly concerned for (mostly yourself)? Practically never.

That means that most of the time you spend worrying about your survival is wasted, just looking at worry time vs. actual threat time or even actual threat risk. When it comes to survival, the risks we imagine far exceed their true potential. And that’s ignoring the glaring irony of all survival concerns: You’re going to die, anyway.

Likewise concern for safety. Even if we are in harm’s way, we only face impending harm Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | July 25, 2015

Towards Clarity on Ownership

We need to think simply and clearly about what ownership truly is.

How is ownership established? We might think that we acquire ownership of property from its current owner — that we offer to buy it or trade something for it, the current owner agrees, the exchange is made, and now we are the new owner. That is not how ownership is established, but rather how it gets transferred.

Ownership is originally established by seizure. Property or the material resources from which we create property were, at some point in the past, not owned by anyone. The origination of ownership of that property was an act of fiat, i.e., an arbitrary decree. Someone, sometime declared himself its owner. Before that there was no owner. After that, he was the owner. No one else declared him owner, because that implies the party making the declaration was the owner, and then we’d have to ask how that party became the owner. The provenance of ownership is always a self-bestowed, arbitrary, unilateral right of confiscation of resources that constitutes them as our property.

Some might think that intellectual property is an exception to this, as if the creator is the de facto owner by virtue of creation and the creation is automatically the creator’s property. Of course this is far from the case. Through the 20th Century, creation did not constitute ownership. Copyright, contract, and patent grants did. Creators invariably signed over any rights to their creations to publishers, record labels, movie producers, or other employer. Over the last few decades creators have asserted their ownership rights citing creator status as an argument, which ipso facto indicates their status as creators was insufficient alone to establish ownership. So, both tangible and intangible property is established by confiscation legitimized by law.

So ownership is in fact indistinguishable from theft, except that theft is a self-bestowed, arbitrary, unilateral right of confiscation of property from a current owner, while the original act establishing ownership was a self-bestowed, arbitrary, unilateral right of confiscate resources that no one had yet laid claim to. The self-entitlement of ownership, the confiscation of the resources, and the consequent deprivation of others who now are denied rights to the newly constituted property are the same in both cases. The only difference is whether or not this was the first rights self-entitlement and confiscation. This demonstrates an intrinsic incoherence in the concept of ownership: We consider the original confiscation as legitimate, but we consider every subsequent confiscation to be illegitimate solely because it wasn’t the first.

This means that we consider the significance of the actual acts of entitling ourselves to resources, confiscating them, the consequences of these actions, and the resources themselves all as secondary to the issue of right of ownership of them as property. Diminishing the realities involved in real actions taken by subordinating them Read More…

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | July 14, 2015

ReLOVEution — This Be the Plan

It’s preliminary, but it’s real. All suggestions and criticisms are heartily welcome.

We’re on our way to a tipping point that has nothing to do with who is in control, but rather who is credible. When those in control lose credibility, they lose any right to control, so their only resort is to force. When their ability to force and impose control loses credibility, they lose actual control; because if no one believes they can, no one believes they will, and no one will cooperate.

So let’s go for the jugular: the credibility of the controlling elite. No laughingstock can wield power long. They’re totally dependent on us taking them seriously. Let’s not.

Four steps to ReLOVEution
  1. Visualize
    Create a vision of the world that we want to live in instead of one we think we’re forced to live in by necessity and the crimes of our exploiters. Asking what’s possible or feasible is the wrong first question. Expecting others to provide us with a vision while we armchair critics vet it is the wrong first move — or should I say second move? Taking a place in the critics’ chair follows a prior move to abdicate authorship to others! Why do we behave like people stripped of rights, shackled in solitary silos of the mind, whose only resort is to choose a lesser evil from a bunch of bad options? We need to stop acting like victims, prisoners, and slaves incapable of dreaming and communicating, and start behaving like sovereigns with minds, hearts, and voices, because that is what we are.
     
    Visualizing is both imaginative and demonstrative. We need to describe and portray what we see. Together, we’ll create a solid picture and feasible ways toward it will start rising into view.
     
    The fact that we want something better is the only reason we need for getting it or, if need be, taking it. Our question will be “How good can we make things?” not “What’s the best we can hope for?” Cynicism is capitulation disguised as realism and will get us nowhere, because the cynical mind swears we’ve already gotten as good as we’re likely to get. Scientific and technical progress? The cynic says, “No problem!” But serious social, interpersonal, and individual progress for all? The cynic says, “What dope you been smokin’?” To hell with that hypocrisy and the myth of human nature it rode in on.

    With sovereign, confident, dignified, and dignifying attitudes, our shared vision will emerge organically (not centrally manipulated/organized) and energetically (not driven by propaganda). The vibrant upgrowth of determined hearts, our vision will be impossible to resist, like life itself. We won’t need saviors, representatives, or talking heads; and we won’t need permission. We will share what’s ours, representing ourselves and each other, luxuriating like our vision, impossible to resist.

    I realize what that sounds like, but I’m not kidding.

  2. Expose
    Create a rationally compelling, strongly empirical case that clearly shows the stupidity of our basic assumptions — such as that we have no choice but to work for survival in an adversarial world; that without authority punitively imposed on us, many of us would degenerate into bestial, dystopian insanity; that doing hard, honest work has anything at all to do with obtaining unconscionably obscene material wealth; or, one of the dumbest, that property and material wealth have anything at all to do with true wealth and prosperity — a case showing not only that ideas like these are wrong, they are incoherent bullshit foisted to deceive us about the way things really work. Upside-down, inside-out and ass-backwards — the assumptions couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, “wrong” takes them too seriously and gives too much credit — they’re ridiculous and laughable. No joke. This will eliminate cogent dissent from the intelligentsia and along with it any defensible basis for the bombastry of the elite.
  3. Subvert
    Ridicule the bullshit: the bogus assumptions, the beliefs founded on them, the systems built on them, everyone who promotes them, and the idiocy of staying stuck when we have far better places to go. This is already going on piecemeal in limited ways, but it needs to go viral. It’s been hamstrung because steps #1 and #2 haven’t happened yet, so we’re still nagged by doubts. We feel threatened under Damoclean swords of privileged, inscrutable, secret competence that will drop from hair-hung hazards and skewer us should we make too bold a move. Inscrutable because it’s not at all clear what constituted the sword lords’ supposed authority over our resources, competence and persons, other than that they yarned a whopper of a tale to justify taking charge both by conniving and force, and having fragmented us, hold us one against the other like fools who can’t tell friends from foes.
     
    In the light of a vision of a much better world instead of just a little less awful one, seeing the authoritarian sword for the pot metal prop it really is will charge our discourse, amping it and emboldening us who before were intimidated into silence. No longer tentative or defensive, no longer afraid of getting threatened or blasted by idiots gorged with elitist nonsense, we’ll each start contributing potent, actionable ideas that pompous blowhards waived off in contempt as unfeasible, naive, dangerous (haha — bullshit!) and unprofitable — fuck that! We need each other and every single one of those contributions. When the ideas start pouring out and we see what we’re each really made of, they will blow us away. Much of it will come from our children, the very persons who feel most stifled and voiceless — and it’s already started happening.
  4. Convert
    We’ll hit credibility tipping points that gel our vision and the ridiculousness of opposition to it — personal ones, at first, then collective ones as our confidence solidifies, culminating in the “shift in consciousness” that so many anticipate. Shifts in consciousness precede shifts in the societies which are expressions of their participants’ individual and collective consciousnesses — that is, when the expressions are genuine and society and its participants aren’t being manipulated. Shifts in our minds and hearts cause shifts in action and circumstance, individually and collectively. So what will shift? Personal sovereignty abdicated will revert to personal sovereignty reclaimed and reinstated.
     
    Our growing confidence will make new possibilities worth proving, and our experience with them will inform and encourage us and others, snowballing from proof possible to proofs accomplished. Massive latent power and wisdom resident in every person quashed under abuse and oppression will begin erupting. We’ll start describing and developing and Read More…
Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | July 9, 2015

Authority and Sovereignty

Epistemic Authority and Sovereignty 2015 academia.edu thumbnail

(Click above to read it! 🙂 )

I’ve been spending my time lately working through some philosophical stuff on the subject of authority — “epistemic authority” no less. Not as daunting as it seems, it’s just academic lingo for “authority to tell you what to believe”. Yup, I agree. Why didn’t they just say that?

As bad as it sounds, understood correctly there are good reasons for someone to tell us what to believe, like when good parents, teachers, mentors, honest scientists, or experts we trust tell us it’s this way, not that way.

(Yes, the time has come for me to differentiate honest scientists from the rest. Climate change put a serious dent in my trust of the scientific community. It shouldn’t have taken decades to reach consensus on that one.)

Think about it — we want others to tell us what to believe all the time, from what the hottest new apps are, to the most effective diet, to what they think about us, to the nature of God, the universe, and everything. We reserve final judgment, but we by no means provide all the judgment, and by the time we weigh in we’ve already been heavily influenced. Here’s a great example: cigarettes. I can’t believe people still smoke ’em despite what everyone knows. Someone done told somebody wrong, and they believed it anyway against what should have been their better judgment.

We don’t want to look like others dictate our beliefs, but when it comes to people we trust, (if you’re still young enough to have any,) we’re like belief sponges soaking up every little drop of potentially advantageous smarts, especially if it reinforces our hopes. Besides, if we were so good at making up our own minds about what to believe, con artists and hucksters and politicians would have no one left to fleece, but I haven’t heard about a lack of easy marks lately.

So, yeah — it’s an issue.

Well, I want to stir up that pot. There’s an aspect of it that almost no one but anarchists talk about, and even they hardly go far enough: individual sovereignty. As far as beliefs go, this basically means writing your own Bible and then living by it. Yeah, radical self-authorship like that. Guess who’s absolutely certain that it will lead to delusions, psychosis, and insanity? That’s right: people who never dared try it. What do they know? They rely on others to write their Bibles for them — authorities and experts eager to claim that only they are qualified to do it; but they have vested interests in promoting that malarkey. Why rely on hypocrites?

So, I wrote this paper to see if I can provoke some constructive controversy among the philosophical set. I’ll start there. Eventually I’ll get it into nice, concise language for the rest of us. For now, it stands at 45 pages of semi-technical and, for the casual reader, overly convoluted prose. I can’t help it — that’s just how it comes out of my head. Best I can do at this point.

The merit is in the meaning, even if the medium leaves a lot to be desired. But who knows? Maybe my insolence will compensate. How dare this layman criticize what issues forth from ivy-covered halls? Well, yeah, he dares alright. 🙂

Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | May 23, 2015

Get In It — But It’s Not a Game

Giving our governmental and corporate leaders a big fail might seem like going too far.

Giving our governmental system and our economic system huge fails might seem like going way too far.

But what if the leaders had no intention of passing and didn’t intend their systems to pass? Failing those who have no interest in complying, let alone complying successfully, misses the more important point: they have no regard for the rules and don’t care about the outcome. When they disregard the very rules that they created as if to be binding on all of us, it’s even worse.

But this is worse than that.

When rules aren’t designed to be followed — not by the rule-makers, anyway — but rather to blind the rest of us to the rule-makers’ true agenda while we busily, desperately, futilely struggle to comply, then Read More…

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