One member's opinion: A look at the adversarial dialog

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posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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We are the avatars of our objective life experiance. We all cast out our staves and turn them into snakes. We all know that only one leaves should the fangs meet flesh. I personaly find a great deal of information in the emotion contained in a post.

Many of the things to come are not about information, but emotion. Fighting for our version of reality, past and future. There is alot at stake...sure try to controll the vitrol... But all this and more are inevitible.




posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 04:31 PM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 


I admire your perspective.

You bring up a very important word around here.

Debate.

If more people would accept the notion that debate exists only on a level playing field, they might realize that 'tilting' that field by ridicule, derision, hyperbole, and other such theatrics will not bring them victory.

We used to debate formally a lot around here. There were rules and constraints - applied equally through the debate.... when things got heated anywhere you could defuse it by challenging someone to a debate.... that often separated the wheat from the chaff.

More members should look into that as a means to 'carry the day' on a topic; and should not expect a conversation to take that place. But as per most everything I say; it's just my opinion....



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 


You have centered on the heart of the matter. What we express will inevitably contain what we feel. Our challenge is not, in my opinion, so much to control emotion as a hindrance, but to channel it as a force.

Very nicely said - by the way!



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 



We used to debate formally a lot around here. There were rules and constraints - applied equally through the debate.... when things got heated anywhere you could defuse it by challenging someone to a debate.... that often separated the wheat from the chaff.


Why does this not happen anymore?



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


I'll admit, the writing style is a bit flowery for a "nonfiction" account of his alleged experience. I am on the fence.



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Bigfoot12714
reply to post by Maxmars
 



We used to debate formally a lot around here. There were rules and constraints - applied equally through the debate.... when things got heated anywhere you could defuse it by challenging someone to a debate.... that often separated the wheat from the chaff.


Why does this not happen anymore?


Or this:




posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by Bigfoot12714
reply to post by Maxmars
 

Why does this not happen anymore?


Mainly, ignorance (not the negative connotation, but lack of knowing.)

Debates are the answer to the hubris that infects many of the kinds of posters who irritate and annoy as a matter of habit. There is no room for it. You have limited time and latitude to spend on irrelevant poo flinging and personal attacks.

In a formal debate, you have no time to characterize your opponent for kicks and frankly, you are expected to actually 'achieve' a goal in defending or refuting a random position on a random topic. The participants don't get to choose pro or con.

In a challenge debate you must call out and or accept a challenge... then contact the staff.... the rules are the same except you get to agree with your opponent on a topic and your position....

It's not a game for the meek... the judges don't "fool around." Many have had to back out once they discovered it was "work" ....



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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There is one fundamental flaw in your observation. Rules, laws, protocols, common decency, ethical behavior, integrity, etc have no effect on outlaws. Until such time that a mechanism is created to identify such individuals, you, my friend, are wasting your time.

To answer your question directly, I am not immune to trolls. Although I became certain that paid trolls began to populate this site in September 2009, and I could spot their tactics, I would take the bait from time to time.

My intent was not to make myself feel better or to put the offender down but to give the less informed member a truer perspective.

With the admission of the "Paid Shill," a fact was confirmed that many of us knew. There are tools available to identify these individuals. Why not use them? Better yet, why not encourage the use of our real names and faces? If this is supposed to be a community, let's act accordingly.

I would never put on a mask and ask the neighbor for a cup of sugar. They'd think I was a criminal. How'd we come to accept anonymity so quickly on the Net?



posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 

Thank you for a well written and considerate thread Maxmars. The egos, yes we each deal with them online, a wide variety of sorts, and some are quickly defensive, whereas others seem to be able to endure most affliction without harm. It plays out in both writer and reader, but awareness of it and how it behaves helps, and is a good beginning to identify problems.

One thing that came to mind was the consideration for word choice. I use a lot of - "maybe, perhaps,
sometimes, in my opinion, one could consider, how do you feel about, agree to disagree, what do you think about" - and some other neutralistic words/phrases that seem to help keep an even keel to the corresponding, by accommodating more options for response, and preventing a matter of fact attitude being rubbed in someones face. I don't mean one should not argue/defend facts, I think they are just better served cordially sometimes. Some could consider these words flakey, but in moderation I think they serve a good purpose.

Peace,
spec

ETA: These buffer words may not be good for formal debates, but sometimes they help minimize potential animosity.
edit on 4-4-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by zarp3333
There is one fundamental flaw in your observation. Rules, laws, protocols, common decency, ethical behavior, integrity, etc have no effect on outlaws. Until such time that a mechanism is created to identify such individuals, you, my friend, are wasting your time.


I respectfully disagree, but not completely. There are always those who's nature it is to embrace anything against the established or implicit order. This is a function of society, and it's not limited in anyway to ATS - or any country in particular. Generalizations, are after all, generalizations; and I do not believe that any characterization or suggestion of uniform conformity will stand the test of time. However, I do not believe that fact constitutes a reason to swerve away from the goal, as to me it is not "a waste of time."

Should detractors and socially repugnant stereotypes, like a gang of hooligan misfits, try to lay claim on this environment, I have every confidence that the community itself will identify, isolate, and fairly well put them in their collective place. As a moderator, I can only hope to ensure that whatever happens, the T&C remains the tool which is used to do so.


To answer your question directly, I am not immune to trolls.
None are. Opening oneself up to communications from a dedicated lout by definition exposes anyone to potential friction. How we handle that, should it arise, is the determinant of the outcome... because left to the offender; the outcome is predetermined.


...my intent was not to make myself feel better or to put the offender down but to give the less informed member a truer perspective.


That is an interesting perspective. And demonstrative of how a problem could arise. Unless the member identifies themselves as 'less-informed,' considering them so can be a presumption on our part. Perhaps they disagree with what we consider fact, or find it less than satisfactory, or less than persuasive. Perhaps they actually know what we think they don't. Or, worse still, perhaps they will sense the information as a veiled indicator of our consideration of their ignorance... and will take offense.


With the admission of the "Paid Shill," a fact was confirmed that many of us knew.


I am still not prepared to accept that account as factual. However, this does not mean it is untrue, generally.


There are tools available to identify these individuals. Why not use them?


Were their adequate reason to believe this was the case, that a "shill" were confounding our members forums, why not indeed? Yet, for my part, I have seen no such conclusive evidence of their existence outside allegations that all prove to be about member disagreement than some organized effort to wrangle reality for the shill's overlords.


Better yet, why not encourage the use of our real names and faces?
If this is supposed to be a community, let's act accordingly.


There are a number of reasons, in my opinion.... some flowery and touchy-feely, some more or less vague; This is, the Internet. We are in a 'new' place where much of what we take for granted must be reinvented. In fact what we are doing now could be part of that reinvention.

In what can only, for the sake of argument, be called "your community" do you identify yourself fully in every contact you have? Must you stand for "positive" identification in all you do? Do you know the name of the guy behind the counter who sold you that half-pound of Hormell bologna? Probably not. You are likely more of an "image" of a person to him (or her) than we are here to each other.

True communities develop.. they are not 'forged,' (I believe) .... as lesson which our so-called leaders could stand to relearn themselves.


I would never put on a mask and ask the neighbor for a cup of sugar. They'd think I was a criminal.....


Actually, they would assume you were a criminal - because they have been conditioned to do so. If a masked man were to save your life - would you consider him a criminal?

It's not about not knowing people, it's about the ideal that an unknown person does not automatically indicate bad intent. Of course, we all judge the world by what predominantly guides our hearts.... I think many have been very effectively taught to fear and distrust anyone we don't know.
edit on 5-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by speculativeoptimist
reply to post by Maxmars
 

Thank you for a well written and considerate thread Maxmars. The egos, yes we each deal with them online, a wide variety of sorts, and some are quickly defensive, whereas others seem to be able to endure most affliction without harm. It plays out in both writer and reader, but awareness of it and how it behaves helps, and is a good beginning to identify problems.

One thing that came to mind was the consideration for word choice. I use a lot of - "maybe, perhaps,
sometimes, in my opinion, one could consider, how do you feel about, agree to disagree, what do you think about" - and some other neutralistic words/phrases that seem to help keep an even keel to the corresponding, by accommodating more options for response, and preventing a matter of fact attitude being rubbed in someones face. I don't mean one should not argue/defend facts, I think they are just better served cordially sometimes. Some could consider these words flakey, but in moderation I think they serve a good purpose.

Peace,
spec

ETA: These buffer words may not be good for formal debates, but sometimes they help minimize potential animosity.
edit on 4-4-2012 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)


So very true... word choice is something that comes with experience, I suppose. Softer phrasing can often defuse the most volatile subject matter.... assuming we want to.

I appreciate your catching on to the idea which spawned this thread...


It plays out in both writer and reader, but awareness of it and how it behaves helps, and is a good beginning to identify problems.


This is all I hope for. A beginning, where none seem willing to start, or are disinclined to try.

Ego's may be a large part of the problem, but an ego is not a person (even though it sometimes drives us to behave as if it were.) It is up to the developed intellect to navigate the boundaries we face - both in reality and the virtual world. This thread was just an attempt at pushing the clutch down and getting into gear....

Also, by the way, as I tried to indicate about debates earlier, such 'soft' approaches are not germane to the goal which is to defend one's position, not one's ego.

Thanks for posting!
edit on 5-4-2012 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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if you do not respond to misinformation or outright lies strongly and quickly, it is percieved as true...case in point: 52% of gop voters in mississippi believe obama is a muslim

www.theblaze.com...

when something is said over and over again, and there is no strong quick rebuttle, than it is believed as being true.
people adept in the art of propaganda have known this for centuries, and use it for all types of activities.
having a "debate" on something that is patently false or untrue, gives credence to the idea that it is "unsettled"
why i'm saying this is i see this happening more and more on ATS. i have lost points responding crudely to crude remarks, while the poster that initiated the remarks is left alone.

and not only mississippi, but 45% of republican voters in alabama believe obama is a muslim
edit on 5-4-2012 by jimmyx because: add ons
edit on 5-4-2012 by jimmyx because: spell
edit on 5-4-2012 by jimmyx because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx
if you do not respond to misinformation or outright lies strongly and quickly, it is percieved as true...case in point: 52% of gop voters in mississippi believe obama is a muslim

www.theblaze.com...

when something is said over and over again, and there is no strong quick rebuttle, than it is believed as being true.
people adept in the art of propaganda have known this for centuries, and use it for all types of activities.
having a "debate" on something that is patently false or untrue, gives credence to the idea that it is "unsettled"
why i'm saying this is i see this happening more and more on ATS. i have lost points responding crudely to crude remarks, while the poster that initiated the remarks is left alone.

and not only mississippi, but 45% of republican voters in alabama believe obama is a muslim


Where HAVE you been? I have been waiting for an opportunity to respond to such a post. Herein you will find how I personally think we can 'rescue' your point.

You have led with a solid premise:


if you do not respond to misinformation or outright lies strongly and quickly, it is percieved as true...


It is this premise that must be isolated and addressed. Having done so, your example will fall by as one example of many such memes we are fed by presumably trustworthy sources.

Why isolate and address this phrase which represents a maxim "unchallenged information will be accepted as true.?

Because, your example is bitterly political, and actually speaks - not to the OP - but to the intent and context of the point you are making. To get into a civil discourse with you about people's 'reported beliefs' and matters of church and state, would include many diversions into political ideology, stereotypes of ignorance and religious bias. They would have to. They are part of that example in the equation.

So I will simply say that I need to see where this comes from - the idea that anything said will be taken as true unless "strongly and quickly" confronted. Further, "misinformation or outright lie" is a matter of final judgement. Such is not yours to pronounce to me, nor is it anyone's to pronounce to anyone else. (Rest assured - I will be lambasted among my peers for having directly challenged a habit they themselves demonstrate frequently... "pronouncing" something Is or isn't so.)

But let us grant the idea offered and let slip the example for a moment.

Misinformation/outright lies ... unless ... immediate and unequivocal challenge ... "people" will believe it?

I suspect this is a weak position to hold.

How many people believe JFK was shot by a lone would-be government agent who was later assassinated randomly by a mafia under- boss? How many believe we never actually got to see the real moon landing and what we saw was a fraud produced out of cold-war paranoia? How many believe that in both the case of 9/11 and the attacks in London on 7/7 authorities just "happened" to be conducting an exercise scenario exactly identical to the events that occurred - and yet could not respond as they should have to the threats?

What people choose to believe, they do so out of the desire to believe it. All are free to reject.

And how do you challenge what you identify (from your own body of knowledge or faith) as misinformation and outright lies? With scorn and derision, taking for granted it was malicious and evil... or can you operate on the premise that there may be a simple case of error, misunderstanding or ignorance (which is no crime)? Or do you care to distinguish between the two?

These are choices as well. We must understand the choice we make if we are ever to move forward.

I will grant you that in many ways there are exceptions to what I say... but generally speaking, it is a fact that many people think that communicating with one another is "easy".... It isn't - unless you don't care about the communication.

-----
Just to momentarily veer off-topic, because I want to show you some respect in your example I ask you this: Does it make any difference to you that a long time FOX contributor crafted that article you cited; or that you may not be aware of who owns the media company that paid for the publication and determines editorial policy for that source? Would you be surprised to discover that not only are they harshly biased themselves, but that the way the report the statistics is not the only way to report them - just the most inflammatory and sensationalistic way?

These are explicitly rhetorical questions... please do not answer them here... I just didn't want you to think I wasn't interested in your example... I am... but it may be a topic for another thread.

By the way - THANK YOU for joining the conversation.



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 03:47 AM
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I used to think that the world would be a truly great place to live if everyone in it would simply just agree...as I matured I began to understand that if a world filled with agreement was the Eden of my mind, then this agreement would necessarily have to be a world that agreed with me. Now I am here in this time span, both gleefully mature and immature, and I have changed my mind on this agreement postulate and have determined that the world is a great place to live for many reasons, and among them because of disagreement!

I grew up the eldest of a eight children in a boisterous Irish-Catholic-American household. My parents, being both Catholic with Irish roots, quite naturally imbibed in liquor, and because of this, quite naturally got loud, domineering, and passionate in their arguments with each other, and with us, their children. It was a household where one had to learn to speak up and to do so pointedly if one expected, not just to be heard, but to even be considered. I am not sure which side of the family most of my siblings inherited this, because neither of my parents seemed to be nearly as quick witted as my siblings. Even the "babies". (I suppose the three little girls who round out my siblings will always be "'the babies" to me as they were born when I was a teen).

There was often emotional turmoil at home and even in public between the Zodeaux's, so I suppose having a quick wit was a necessary defense to all of this, but it was the babies who always impressed me the most with theirs. When MSZ, one of the little babies was only five, she was given her first purse for her birthday. The purse came with a wallet and in the wallet were mock credit-cards and other filler. Now, having seven brothers and sisters meant that perception of property was profoundly subjective, and yet, I still had items I couldn't help but see as mine. Things I had bought with my own hard earned money, and it never failed, things that at one point or another would disappear only to resurface at a later point in the possession of, or in their secret box or place of stuff they called "mine".

After MSZ, my five year old sister, got her purse with this wallet, she spent many weeks scavenging for items she could use to fill her wallet. One day, I went in to my bedroom to get my wallet and saw it on the floor with much of the contents strewn about. I panicked because I feared someone had taken my money, but the money was all there, but other items, such as girlfriends pictures and other stuff, seemed to be missing. I had a pretty good idea this was caused by MSZ, so I went into the den while she sat on the couch wrapped up in organizing her wallet. To this day I will never forget how adorable she looked with her feet sticking straight out because her legs were to short to allow her knees to bend at the couch. MSZ has always been adorable - as have been all my sisters - but still, I was pretty damned annoyed.

I confronted her and asked her if she took things from wallet. At this point MSZ had grown used to the family castigating her about taking items that didn't belong to her. So, with an exasperated sigh she looked up at me in such a way as if to appear like a teacher busy grading papers, or some professional buried in their work, and answered "Yes, I did." and then went back to the business of organizing her wallet. The outrage I had been working so hard to contain was beginning to boil and I was pointed, loud, and insistent that she was going to have to learn how to respect other people's property. She continued to organize her wallet, unimpressed, even seemingly unaware I was still in the room. The more she did this the more I was certain she was ignoring me. Finally, I demanded to know if she was even listening to me, and again she looked up at me - almost in that way that Janet Reno would look at someone with her glasses down on her nose so that half of her gaze was above the glasses, the other half from through her glasses, only MSZ didn't wear glasses, but that kind of condescending look and said:

"Look JP, I can't worry about your problems right now. I've lot my Master Card, do you understand? Have you seen my Master Card?"

What was I supposed to say to that? Was she serious, or playing me? I sighed, told her I had not seen her Master Card, and went back to my bedroom to clean up the mess she left behind. Her non-sequitur argument to my charges still stinging. This is just one example of how it went in the Zodeaux household.

The Zodeaux's all had to learn to accept responsibility for their own feelings if we were to ever survive each other. Such a thing is not easy, but somehow we survived. It is not that I don't get my feelings hurt now. I do. Indeed, sometimes my feelings hurt so much I say and do things I regret, mostly regretting I know better and have at my command more useful methods of response, but the feelings got in the way and consequences abound.



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 




....

The Zodeaux's all had to learn to accept responsibility for their own feelings if we were to ever survive each other. Such a thing is not easy, but somehow we survived. It is not that I don't get my feelings hurt now. I do. Indeed, sometimes my feelings hurt so much I say and do things I regret, mostly regretting I know better and have at my command more useful methods of response, but the feelings got in the way and consequences abound.


"Responsibility for our feelings" is - to some of us - a foreign concept.

We often let anger flare, and acerbic biting comments fly when someone 'offends our sensibilities" ... but it is striking how many don't truly reflect on the mechanism of that offense, and why it was "accepted."

In fact, some of us become so enamored of the opportunity to express "righteous indignation" that we jump at the chance to loudly proclaim and identify our momentary adversary as consistent with a plethora of foul characterizations... without ever really even trying to make peace out of a hostile situation, especially if we expect a sympathetic audience.

When limited to verbal exchanges, consequences for 'overreacting' or being 'overly sensitive' or simply misunderstanding become all the more regrettable. Hurting someone is fairly easy... "unhurting" then is almost impossible... especially if your target shares the same approach to "being offended."

Thanks for joining the discussion.

MM



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


A little while after the MSZ credit card incident, her older brother and my younger brother, BBZ, had found ourselves in an argument. I cannot even remember what the disagreement was over, to this day, all I, and all he really remembers about that incident is that it culminated in he saying to me: "The problem with you is that you think you're the only child." I quickly responded without thinking: "The problem with you is that you don't!"

My brother interpreted this to mean that he and the rest of the family should just go away, or not exist. It was not what I meant, and what I meant was that perhaps he should adopt the same attitude and view himself as the only child. Regardless, it was a snap of wit blurted out in response to an unkind remark. How could I possibly truly think I was the only child if I was so willing to engage in argument with my siblings? It was an argument long forgotten and all that is remembered is the offense I took at his accusation and the offense he took at the glib response I made.

One could surmise that my brother was leveling this accusation out of "righteous indignation", or would might be kinder to simply acknowledge that at that moment his sense of "being offended" was genuine righteous indignation instead of the type of righteous indignation that one places quotation marks around and he was genuinely being offended as opposed to the type of being offended that generates quotations marks being placed around the term. Indeed, I could have instead replied to him by pointing out that he was enamored in his own (and at this point put my hands up in the air and do those air quotes) "righteous indignation", but my experience has shown that such an attitude is even more dismissive than my own glib remark was.

"Accepting responsibility for our feelings" will not get us any closer to accepting responsibility for our feelings. It is all too often calamitous to suggest to someone that they are being "offended" because of this or that. It is always important to recognize when someone is being offended, but what good does it do to take their sensibilities and place quotation marks around them as if they are somehow removed from our own reality and only a thing that we can quote?

Why someone takes offense at something can only truly be determined by the one who took offense. That they took offense should be clear that they believed they were under attack by the person of whom they took offense. When this happens - and if they react to their own sense of being offended - they generally respond in one of two ways, which are both arguably a defensive mechanism. There is the strategy of fortifying their defense and firmly entrenching themselves in their own sensibilities, or there is the strategy that a strong defense is a strong offense. Regardless, devising a strategy built around a feeling is problematic at best.

Feelings betray us all. Feelings have no where near the permanency of thought. Indeed, for those who believe that Love is nothing more than a feeling, it is easily predictable that at some point their love for another will fade. Imagine how this works out when two people make a contract of marriage because they feel as if they love each other. Imagine the myriad of feelings that abound when one, or the other, or even both determine they no longer feel love for each other. What a tragic mess that becomes!

Even more tragically is that accepting responsibility for our feelings is - at one time or another - a foreign concept for all of us. After all, our feelings are very real at the time we are feeling them, and feelings can have a much more recognizable effect on our physical selves than thought can. However, this strange phenomenon, that feelings have a more powerful effect on our physical senses than thoughts do, misunderstands that it was thought that led to feeling.

Our feelings are remarkably complex, and have such variance in degree that it can seem overwhelmingly impossible to identify them all. When we are happy - not in my opinion a feeling - we are more inclined to experience feelings such as joy, but we do not at all have to be happy in order to experience joy. Conversely, we can be consistently happy and still feel sadness, but we are more inclined to feel sadness when we are not happy. Ultimately, we can decide to be the effect of our feelings or we can decide to be cause over them. The former comes easier than the latter, but the consequences of each choice determine how easy our future will be.

If we are to have adversaries - instead of allies - we can view these adversaries by how they make us feel, or we can view them by the thoughts they advocate. In the end, it remains a struggle, and this is the deal with life...life is hard and that's not such a bad thing.



posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 08:52 PM
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Now this is an interesting thread

People seem to hold their ideologies and beliefs as sacred, immovable and indestructible. When they see an opposing view, they interpret that as an attack on their beliefs and go into attack back mode.





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