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zerinus

Secret Combinations Vs. Conspiracy Theories:

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It started with someone getting the idea that they could exchange someone of no value in itself for something that has some real value. That's the principle behind it, and that's how it started.

Nope, it started as a way to trade commodities of unequal value. If you have a cow and I have wheat and you need a bushel of my wheat you are not going to give me a cow worth ten bushels of my wheat for just one bushel you need. Money or more exactly a monetary system fills in those gaps and makes trade easier or even possible.

Silver and gold have some real value, though, but money, in itself, really doesn't except for someone who thinks it does.

Try thinking of it this way. When people traded somethng for gold or silver, it was more of a barter system where people traded some goods or services with real value for a product that had some real value when they traded for gold or silver. Money, in itslef, though, in todays terms, doesn't really have any real value except for someone who thinks it does.

Nothing has any real value unless sombody thinks it does. In some societies sea shells were used as money. No real value there except in the minds of those exchanging.

My system works for everybody who wants to trade something of some real value for something else of some real value.

In my perspective,people who trade something of real value for money have the wool pulled over their eyes in thinking the money has some real value, when in fact it really doesn't.

Gold and silver have no intrinsic value. Reminds me of the storry of the rich man who found a way to take gold with him when he died. He converted all his holdings to gold and had it buried with him. When he got to heaven he was greeted by Saint Peter and was instructed to report to a certain area. He started to drag his large container of gold behind him. Saint Peter ask him what he had and he proudly replied Gold. Saint Peter the asked. Why did you want to bring pavement with you?

I'm done trying now. Bye bye.

Edited by ERayR

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I have a bushel of wheat, and you have a bushel of gold. You are hungry. Whose "richer"?

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I have a bushel of wheat, and you have a bushel of gold. You are hungry. Whose "richer"?

We've been through this.

If I have a bushel of gold, I am richer, because I can trade that gold for an awful lot of wheat. Wheat, shoes, an automobile, a house, and virtually anything else I desire.

You, with your bushel of wheat are able to trade it for a pair of shoes (maybe, but not really good ones), a gallon of gas, or a sleezy motel room for two hours.

Why? Because there's a lot of wheat in the world, but not much gold and people want it.

Even were we to assume your unstated, and barely implied, premise, that you had the only bushel of wheat in the world (and I the only bushel of gold), you might be richer than me for about a week, then you'd starve, too. But in the real world, wheat "outnumbers" gold by a factor of trillions to one.

Lehi

P.S.: BTW, it's "Who's".

Edited by LeSellers

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Lehi:

Only because of an representative(assumed) value. Take away the assumption and your model falls apart. IE: I have to value your gold more than I value my wheat, and you have to value my wheat more than you value your gold.

In my model I have something you desperately need. You OTOH only have someting of value outside of our negotiations. So the question remains who's "richer"?

BTW IF you really want I can go into school teacher mode. But that won't further the discussion, and makes for a less pleasant time for both of us.

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Only because of an representative(assumed) value. Take away the assumption and your model falls apart. IE: I have to value your gold more than I value my wheat, and you have to value my wheat more than you value your gold.

That's a given. "Value" is invariably idiosyncratic. It's the basis of all trades.

In my model I have something you desperately need. You OTOH only have someting of value outside of our negotiations. So the question remains who's "richer"?

It depends, as you pointed out above, on whether you value the gold I have (or any part of it) more highly than you value the wheat. That will depend largely on how much wheat you have (if it's only the one bushel, and if it's the only bushel of wheat left on the planet, the matter changes dramatically).

Value is not cardinal, it's ordinal. I value one ounce of gold more highly than I value a second ounce because of the praxeological (and thus economic) law of diminishing values. At some point, I will have enough gold that I value an egg more highly than I value the next ounce of gold. I value a car more highly than I value the $29,698 it costs (plus the taxes and fees, not to mention the interest I will pay if I borrow the money to pay for it). The car dealer, obviously values the money more highly than the car. And that's partly because he really cannot drive more than one at time.

Value is not an economic issue. Value is a praxeological one. We use money in Economics because it is a convenient way to identify a person's current values. If you are willing to buy a hamburger but not a magazine, we can say that the sandwich is more valuable to you than the rag, assuming they are both the same price. In fact, we can say that of all the options, including keeping the money, the burger was the thing you valued most at that time. Ten minutes later, the burger consumed, and given the same alternatives and a new $5, you would probably not buy another burger, but this time the magazine if had been your second choice earlier.

IF you really want I can go into school teacher mode. But that won't further the discussion, and makes for a less pleasant time for both of us.

Actually, even though I do not respect grtf-welfare school teachers much, it would.

Language is all we have to communicate here, and written language at that.

The reason we have grammar and spelling and so on is to make it easy for others to understand our thoughts. You cannot transmit your ideas directly into our minds, so you must rely on words to do so. Poorly formed sentences, badly spelled words, and other anomalies of written language interfere with that transmission.

In an old Perry Mason book, Erle Stanley Gardner once described Della Street's typing a letter. She did it rapidly and flawlessly. She was a typist. I am not. I am a wordsmith. I make a living by making it easy for people to understand the ideas I am trying to convey. While typing, I make as many typos as anyone else here, probably more. But I respect my audience enough to go back and make a stab at cleaning up my writing so you, the readers, do not have to guess what I mean. I do not always catch each one, but with rare exception, nothing that leaves my keyboard fails to get a second (and often a third and a fourth) look. I freely admit it's partly professional pride, but it's mostly because you matter to me.

I don't ever bet anything more than I can afford to lose, so I'll only put 65¢ on the line to say that I'm in the 94th percentile of contributors here when it comes to percentage of edited messages. I doubt I have written more than a dozen in the past month that don't have an "edited" banner at the bottom,.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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While typing, I make as many typos as anyone else here, probably more. But I respect my audience enough to go back and make a stab at cleaning up my writing so you, the readers, do not have to guess what I mean. I do not always catch each one, but with rare exception, nothing that leaves my keyboard fails to get a second (and often a third and a fourth) look. I freely admit it's partly professional pride, but it's mostly because you matter to me.

I appreciate that about you, Lehi, and I try to make my thoughts as clear to others as I know how to do that, too... while also allowing for my own sense of humor to come out while trying to accomodate for another's own sense of humor.

And do you want to know what else?

I think you and I agree more than you realize, or maybe you do realize it and you just haven't told me that you realize it so I can also realize that you realize it.

I hope that came out clear enough for you to understand while also having some fun while figuring out what I just said.

For example, when I say money has no value at all, in itself, unless someone is willing to accept it in trade for someone of some real value, I mean pretty much the same thing you mean when you say what you say to try to describe what money is and what it is good for... and yet you say I don't understand what money is.

Trying to make your own words clear to another person is only part of the process involved in communications, you know. Try again to understand what I am saying.

Edited by Ahab

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I have a bushel of wheat, and you have a bushel of gold. You are hungry. Whose "richer"?

My answer would depend on several factors, like:

Are you and I on a deserted island (or planet or some other deserted place) with nobody else around for miles and miles and miles?

Is a bushel of gold ALL that I have? You didn't use the word "only", so I could have a bushel of gold AND a bushel of wheat, or maybe a bushel of corn or some other type of food along with the bushel of gold that I have.

How much do you value the gold? If I know you value it higher than you value your wheat, I can pretty much count on the fact that I'm going to be getting some of your wheat even before you give some of it to me, so how much you value the gold makes a big difference.

If I understand what you're really trying to get at though, which is pretty much the same point I was trying to make earlier, a person who has both gold and some kind of food who is hungry is going to like the food a lot more than the gold as something to eat.

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Lehi:

What I am saying is that any system of economics is based on representative value. It could be gold, silver, clam shells, rings made from a Birch twig, or paper money. There is nothing intrinsically of more "value" to any of them.

That wheat has to be available to you, and reasonably quickly, or the consequences are rather dire. All the food in the world won't help you if you can't get it.

I too do try to find my mistakes and correct them before I respond. I too don't always find them all before hand. My mom taught 5/6 grades for(nearly 40 years before her retirement) more years than she even liked to admit. My dad, after his retirement from the US military, taugh college.

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What I am saying is that any system of economics is based on representative value. It could be gold, silver, clam shells, rings made from a Birch twig, or paper money. There is nothing intrinsically of more "value" to any of them.

The gold and silver actually do have intrinsic value. Even the most primitive cultures can use them if as nothing more than decoration. Value (for anything) is based on desirability and rarity. Gold and silver have both going for them.

You did forget to mention the stone "coins" of Yap. Now there's an interesting monetary system for you. No need for safe deposit boxes: the coins are so heavy that no one can steal them. And, because they are left out in the street, more-or-less, who owns any of them at any given time is common knowledge and the only "proof of ownership". Possession is not nine points of the law.

You are right in general, however. The representation of the concept of money (which is distinct from the concept itself) often has little or no value. On the other hand, this has not always been the case. Cacao beans were money among the Inca and Aztec. Gold, silver, and copper have been money for eons. These forms of money all have non-monetary uses.

However, your statement that any system of economics is based on representative value is wrong. Primitive barter, my fish for your horse, is based on the inherent value of each commodity. Anytime there is an intermediate commodity used in multiple level trades, my fish for your berries for his horse, we run the risk of the intermediary commodity's becoming lost. But it still has value. If I am not certain I can trade your berries for his horse, I will not trade my fish for them in the first place because I don't want or need the berries.

That's why money is so useful. Having all agreed that an ounce of gold is worth one horse or sixteen barrels of fish, or 2,300 pounds of berries, as well as a host of other things, I have no problem accepting something I may not need or want precisely because I can then trade it for things I do want and need. But it does not matter whether that intermediary commodity is fish, berries, gold, or warehouse receipts for fish, berries, or gold. Even though the precise value in fish of an ounce of gold may vary over time does not stop my accepting it as money because it still has some value. As the saying goes, gold has never been worth zero.

It is that last item, warehouse reciepts, that became paper money. You and I are both old enough to remember that a dollar bill used to be a "Silver Certificate" and that the Federal Reserve once promised to redeem it for one dollar's worth of silver. No more. The government and the privately owned central bank (the Federal Reserve—a misnomer specifically designed to mislead us, much like "Social Security": it is neither Federal nor a Reserve) have completely debased our money.

However, because we still have faith in it, paper fiat money still functions like real money, and will for the next little while. Not too long, though, because even the most gullible among us will soon wake up to the fact that paper fiat money really is worthless: not worth the paper it's printed on.

This point, that fiat money is worthless, does not mean that all money is worthless. It does not even mean that all paper money is worthless. As long as the paper money is backed by a valuable commodity, it is just as valuable as the commodity itself.

That fiat money is worthless merely shows how corrupt governments and central banks have become. It is not a new phenomenon. The Romans did it two millennia ago. And they were not the first. The Continental Congress did it two centuries ago, and Roosevelt did it eighty years ago. We, not just USmericans, are fools for allowing a very useful, and extremely important concept to become eroded. Money makes the world go 'round, but not in the way most cynics think it does. However, when the government, whether USmerican, German, Argentinian, Chech, or Zimbabwean, destroys its money, the rich get richer, and the middleclass pay for it. The poor don't notice much difference.

That wheat has to be available to you, and reasonably quickly, or the consequences are rather dire. All the food in the world won't help you if you can't get it.

This is called "place utility". That's what middlemen are for. And it's why they can make a lot of money.

Lehi

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However, because we still have faith in it, paper fiat money still functions like real money, and will for the next little while. Not too long, though, because even the most gullible among us will soon wake up to the fact that paper fiat money really is worthless: not worth the paper it's printed on.

That's where I'm at right now, and while someone may argue that the paper has some intrinsic value in itself... and I suppose it does have a little bit like for maybe starting a fire... it's pretty much totally worthless except for its value in the minds of others who for some reason still think it has more value than that, in itself, and are willing to trade something of some real value for it.

This point, that fiat money is worthless, does not mean that all money is worthless. It does not even mean that all paper money is worthless. As long as the paper money is backed by a valuable commodity, it is just as valuable as the commodity itself.

When I think of money I think of the item being used as money as only a "medium" of an exchange, and as the "medium" I don't think it does have any value other than to serve as the "medium". The same item might still have some intrinsic value of it's own, though, but when used as "money" it's not being used for that purpose. It's purpose as a "medium" of exchange is to serve as the medium, and that's it's whole job when it's being used as some money.

That fiat money is worthless merely shows how corrupt governments and central banks have become. It is not a new phenomenon. The Romans did it two millennia ago. And they were not the first. The Continental Congress did it two centuries ago, and Roosevelt did it eighty years ago. We, not just USmericans, are fools for allowing a very useful, and extremely important concept to become eroded.

I think we're fools... if you want to be that extreme about it... for trading ANYthing that has some real value (not money) for something that has no real value (money), like when anyone uses a "medium" of exchange instead of simply trading for a desirable end product. Why trade for something you really don't want in the first place? Why not just trade for something you want, or at least a portion of it, when you trade anything you have for something else? I'm sure you probably have an answer for that, but I would rather just trade either my services or my products for some other services or products that I really want in the first place, rather than trying to get in the middle of some strange trading process involing things I don't really want because they're not useful to me.

Like when Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel's father so that Rachel would eventually be his wife. We could work for a house on the same principle, as well as groceries and everything else that we really want, so I don't see any good reason why "money" or a "medium" of exchange needs to be in the middle of things.

Money makes the world go 'round, but not in the way most cynics think it does. However, when the government, whether USmerican, German, Argentinian, Chech, or Zimbabwean, destroys its money, the rich get richer, and the middleclass pay for it. The poor don't notice much difference.

This is called "place utility". That's what middlemen are for. And it's why they can make a lot of money.

It's all an evil conspiracy started by the people I call money lovers. I know the reasons for it, but that doesn't mean I have to like what they are doing.

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Then I didn't define my terms very clearly. "Conspiracy theory" is a colloquial term that is not defined in quite the same terms as a "scientific theory". "Conspiracy theory" in my vocabulary suggests a baseless belief in a "conspiracy" for which there is no credible evidence. Where there is credible evidence, then it stops being a "conspiracy theory" in my vocabulary, and becomes a plain "conspiracy".

Back once again to the original subject of this thread.

Zerinus, at least you admit that your definition is ‘colloquial’ and conforms to the current corrupted misuse of that term, not conforming to the official 7 dictionary definitions you supplied. But that has been my point all along.

Once again, it is a corrupt misuse because it is almost invariably used to end thinking and discussion about conspiracies. It tags anything labeled as a conspiracy theory as having “no credible evidence’, warranting no further discussion, without really looking at what evidence there may be; and it basiclly tags those trying to talk about such things as nut jobs. It greatly discourages open discussion and theorizing about them.

But its misuse goes even deeper when it is used to denigrate research that has nothing to do with conspiracies, per se. You have used it this way repeatedly in this thread when you label the scientific investigations of David Chandler, Richard Gauge and Dr. Steven Jones and others as simply ‘conspiracy theories’, when they say nothing about possible perpetrators. So far you have refused to justify your use of this label.

Where you say: Where there is credible evidence, then it stops being a "conspiracy theory" in my vocabulary, and becomes a plain "conspiracy", you seem oblivious to the fact that it takes varying degrees of thinking, pondering, experimenting, investigation and research to garner credible evidence for the cause of any event in reality that isn’t immediately obvious. You ignore my bank robbery analogy that explains this.

A bank robbery conducted by two or more people IS a conspiracy. No doubt about it. But it is the investigation that develops the THEORY about who the actual conspirators are; and initially there may be multiple theories, each with varying degrees of evidentiary backing. During this stage they are ‘conspiracy theories’ where the usage of this term conforms very well with your 7 dictionary definitions.

People ‘theorize’ about almost anything. Why zerinus do you insist on handicapping yourself in being able to theorize about conspiracies? And if you DO allow yourself to theorize about conspiracies, what would you call your theory?? Maybe you can supply a good term that we can all use that would end-run your misused definition. Ive sugggested 'secret combination theory', but may be too cumbersome. What would you suggest? LDS could then get about the business of fulfilling God’s commandment about such things, without fear of ridicule, etc.

Also, science is not much more than a formalized, common-sense method of investigating cause-effect events in reality. Theorizing about such events is a part-and-parcel aspect of thinking. You shouldn't have to exclude 'conspiracies' or secret combinations from being objects of this process.

Once again, I wonder if the fact that the topic of this thread has garnered so many readers but so LITTLE comment outside of 3-4 people, simply reflects the secret fascination people have about this issue coupled with the fear of getting involved and deemed out-to-lunch, ridiculous, nut jobs, etc., if they do so. Maybe my bringing up 9/11 is the cause of this.

Anyone else care to comment on this topic?? Am I being unfair to Mr. zerinus? Am I wrong in my assessment? Hep me.

Edited by blarsen

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Back once again to the original subject of this thread.

Zerinus, at least you admit that your definition is ‘colloquial’ and conforms to the current corrupted misuse of that term, not conforming to the official 7 dictionary definitions you supplied. But that has been my point all along.

Once again, it is a corrupt misuse because it is almost invariably used to end thinking and discussion about conspiracies. It tags anything labeled as a conspiracy theory as having “no credible evidence’, warranting no further discussion, without really looking at what evidence there may be; and it tags those trying to talk about such things as basically nut jobs. It greatly discourages open discussion and theorizing about them.

But its misuse goes even deeper when it is used to denigrate research that has nothing to do with conspiracies, per se. You have used it this way repeatedly in this thread when you label the scientific investigations of David Chandler, Richard Gauge and Dr. Steven Jones and others as simply ‘conspiracy theories’, when they say nothing about possible perpetrators. So far you have refused to justify your use of this label.

Where you say: Where there is credible evidence, then it stops being a "conspiracy theory" in my vocabulary, and becomes a plain "conspiracy", you seem oblivious to the fact that it takes varying degrees of thinking, pondering, experimenting, investigation and research to garner credible evidence for the cause of any event in reality that isn’t immediately obvious. You ignore my bank robbery analogy that explains this.

A bank robbery conducted by two or more people IS a conspiracy. No doubt about it. But it is the investigation that develops the THEORY about who the actual conspirators are; and initially there may be multiple theories, each with varying degrees of evidentiary backing. During this stage they are ‘conspiracy theories’ where the usage of this term conforms very well with your 7 dictionary definitions.

People ‘theorize’ about almost anything. Why zerinus do you insist on handicapping yourself in being able to theorize about conspiracies? And if you DO allow yourself to theorize about conspiracies, what would you call your theory?? Maybe you can supply a good term that we can all use that would end-run your misused definition. Ive sugggested 'secret combination theory', but may be too cumbersome. What would you suggest? LDS could then get about the business of fulfilling God’s commandment about such things, without fear of ridicule, etc.

Once again, I wonder if the fact that the topic of this thread has garnered so many readers but so LITTLE comment outside of 3-4 people, simply reflects the secret fascination people have about this issue coupled with the fear of getting involved and deemed out-to-lunch, ridiculous, nut jobs, etc., if they do so. Maybe my bringing up 9/11 is the cause of this.

Anyone else care to comment on this topic?? Am I being unfair to Mr. zerinus? Am I wrong in my assessment? Hep me.

The problem with your arguments is that most of the time you are dealing with generalities, which don't mean a lot. Getting down to the specifics, however, I believe that your idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US Government is a false claim, and probably a red herring introduced by the real "conspirators" to divert the attention of gullible folks like you from probing and recognizing the real conspiracies, which we know do exist. And it is no good sending me to Chandler's videos, because I have already determined that they are deliberate falsehoods designed to deceive and mislead.

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The problem with your arguments is that most of the time you are dealing with generalities, which don't mean a lot. Getting down to the specifics, however, I believe that your idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US Government is a false claim, and probably a red herring introduced by the real "conspirators" to divert the attention of gullible folks like you from probing and recognizing the real conspiracies, which we know do exist. And it is no good sending me to Chandler's videos, because I have already determined that they are deliberate falsehoods designed to deceive and mislead.

Once again you generalize in accusing me of generalizing, providing no examples showing what you are talking about. Accusations backed up by nothing is cheap rhetoric, zerinus. You should know that.

And once more, accusing me of the idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US Government without providing proof that I’ve said that or hold that idea, which I don’t. Strange performance; but at least consistent.

The only ‘proof’ I think you have that Chandler’s videos “are deliberate falsehoods designed to deceive and mislead”, is your pre-conception that they are, which is simply your opinion and doesn’t constitute real proof.

However, I welcome you to show the proof if you think you have any. But I highly suspect it will be circular. Regardless, go for it. Let’s see what you can do. But will you? You seem very reluctant to answer my challenges and questions, resorting instead to what basically amounts to unsupported accusations (above) and name calling (e.g., "gullible folks like you", "conspiracy theorist', etc.).

Edited by blarsen

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Once again you generalize in accusing me of generalizing, providing no examples showing what you are talking about. Accusations backed up by nothing is cheap rhetoric, zerinus. You should know that.

And once more, accusing me of the idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy of the US Government without providing proof that I’ve said that or hold that idea, which I don’t. Strange performance; but at least consistent.

The only ‘proof’ I think you have that Chandler’s videos “are deliberate falsehoods designed to deceive and mislead”, is your pre-conception that they are, which is simply your opinion and doesn’t constitute real proof.

However, I welcome you to show the proof if you think you have any. But I highly suspect it will be circular. Regardless, go for it. Let’s see what you can do. But will you? You seem very reluctant to answer my challenges and questions, resorting instead to what basically amounts to unsupported accusations (above) and name calling (e.g., "gullible folks like you", "conspiracy theorist', etc.).

I think I would be wasting my time if I did that. Suffice it to say that is an obvious point of disagreement.

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I think I would be wasting my time if I did that. Suffice it to say that is an obvious point of disagreement.

Actually, I agree with you. It would be a waste of your time, because any attempt you made to answer my challenges or questions would be unsuccessful and probably so circular and off-the-mark, they would be easily shown to be so.

In other words, I take your refusal to answer these things as tacit admission that you can't answer them; and I think anyone who has read our interchanges would agree. Of course I would welcome to hear from anyone who disagrees, but please show why.

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Actually, I agree with you. It would be a waste of your time, because any attempt you made to answer my challenges or questions would be unsuccessful and probably so circular and off-the-mark, they would be easily shown to be so.

In other words, I take your refusal to answer these things as tacit admission that you can't answer them; and I think anyone who has read our interchanges would agree. Of course I would welcome to hear from anyone who disagrees, but please show why.

Feel free to read that into it if you like.

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Feel free to read that into it if you like.

Its the obvious conclusion. Why would you not want to back up your name-calling and empty accusations with proof and justification? Strange way to leave things . . . . . and doesn't amount to much of a discussion. It's like you simply want to use the thread as a forum for your unsubstantiated opinions.

Which of course, I don't really mind. You've acted as the perfect foil for my desire to show how the terms 'conspiracy theory' or 'theorist' are misused, by actually providing excellent examples of how this is done. Thanks, zerinus. I appreciate it. Just maybe, a few readers will give the subject a second thought, next time they hear these terms thrown around in this manner.

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