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Thread: The last and final argument about reality.

  1. #13021
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    In this discussion, I am trying to simplify the discussion, by restricting it to the macro world, which we detect without technical aids.
    Yes our senses perceive objects. You think you are just perceiving sights and sound and touches. So how do these originate if not from an object? In the real world, tigers and cars are dangerous.
    .. and no one is arguing against the dangers represented by tigers and cars.
    The interesting problem you have here though, is trying to explain the part of your model you're choosing to ignore .. ie: the micro/quatum 'world'. Is it some other kind reality for you? If so, what is your explanation for the dangers of say, the flu, given that viruses are typically part of that reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu
    You negate the need for a source? So tigers and cars are figments of our imagination, according to you? We perceive sights and sounds and touches without any source behind them? Still do not get it.
    Not necessarily 'negate the need for a source'. More like: it makes sense to concentrate our focus on things which are testable ...

  2. #13022
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Maybe we evolved in a mind independent reality so natural selection chose minds that believed in it, like it chose sense organs to gather information from it.
    Or maybe belief in mind independent reality is a "spandrel" of the evolution process, like most of our intelligence is. No human evolution has been spurred by the ability to do calculus, for example, yet many people have the ability to do calculus all the same. We must beware the tendency to imagine that all that is must be because it offered evolutionary advantage-- much of evolution is explained better by random consequences than by evolutionary advantage.

  3. #13023
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    In this discussion, I am trying to simplify the discussion, by restricting it to the macro world, which we detect without technical aids.
    So you would throw out the last few centuries of discoveries about reality because they require "technical aids"? I call that backward thinking, but it's just an example of mind dependence.
    You think you are just perceiving sights and sound and touches. So how do these originate if not from an object?
    They could originate from wave functions, the way our best theory of reality says they do. I'm not saying I regard that as any kind of final answer, but it is our best-ever theory of reality by quite some margin.
    In the real world, tigers and cars are dangerous.
    We can all agree that having good models is advantageous, that is the core principle of all science, and all good MDR building.
    You negate the need for a source? So tigers and cars are figments of our imagination, according to you?
    Didn't I just several posts ago anticipate and address this false dichotomy argument? Read how that was refuted if you wish to understand what I'm saying about figments of imagination.

  4. #13024
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Aye, more fool me.
    Yet we must not discount the importance of gzhpcu's involvement, as he continues to give us perfect examples of just how different minds generate different MDRs. Most of the MIR believers just took their ball and went home, whereas gzhpcu shows a definite interest in understanding alternative perspectives and is trying to track the logic. The fact that it is difficult to get a closely-held belief system to be self-identified as such is a very important point to take note of, science has run against that problem rather famously on many occasions. What's ironic about MIR belief is that you also find it in the scientists themselves!

  5. #13025
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    I haven't really been following this thread very well, but I just got an email alert from New Scientist about their latest issue, and it has an article that seems to be relevant. Unfortunately it's paywalled.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article...out-the-world/
    As above, so below

  6. #13026
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    Or maybe belief in mind independent reality is a "spandrel" of the evolution process, like most of our intelligence is. No human evolution has been spurred by the ability to do calculus, for example, yet many people have the ability to do calculus all the same. We must beware the tendency to imagine that all that is must be because it offered evolutionary advantage-- much of evolution is explained better by random consequences than by evolutionary advantage.
    You may be right, but at least now we have some evidence for a mind independent world, though it may be weak. We are making progress. Maybe more evidence can be found.

  7. #13027
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    You may be right, but at least now we have some evidence for a mind independent world, though it may be weak. We are making progress. Maybe more evidence can be found.
    People have believed in a mind independent world for thousands of years, it is only quite recently that we have discovered all kinds of things about the nature of reality that came as a complete shock to those old beliefs. I don't see the direction physics is moving as being toward more evidence for the mind independent world that we've believed in for millennia. Quite the opposite, actually. So I think advanced physics in the future will understand how we think better, and we'll understand better why we make sense of our perceptions in the way we do. Just that of what that will do to the naive concept of "objective reality."

  8. #13028
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    You may be right, but at least now we have some evidence for a mind independent world, though it may be weak. We are making progress. Maybe more evidence can be found.
    A false equivalency here.

    The only way Evolution could be invoked in defence of a truly Mind Independent Reality, would be where MDR is viewed as being held as an opinion.

    MDR is not held as a competing opinion.

    This thread has shown that the MDR hypothesis is objectively testable, (true MIR is not), and it generates tonnes of evidence, whereas true MIR does not.

  9. #13029
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    Check out this pure gobbledegook as supposedly being two so-called 'key distinctions' (or necessary principles) of philosophical logic:

    Speculative reason:

    Speculative reason is contemplative, detached, and certain, whereas practical reason is engaged, involved, active, and dependent upon the specifics of the situation. Speculative reason provides the universal, necessary principles of logic, such as the principle of non-contradiction, which must apply everywhere, regardless of the specifics of the situation.
    Practical reason:

    In philosophy, practical reason is the use of reason to decide how to act. It contrasts with theoretical reason, often called speculative reason, the use of reason to decide what to follow. For example, agents use practical reason to decide whether to build a telescope, but theoretical reason to decide which of two theories of light and optics is the best.
    Why not just go out there and find out .. (as opposed to pontificating with useless, so-called 'necessary principles'?)

  10. #13030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    .. and no one is arguing against the dangers represented by tigers and cars.
    The interesting problem you have here though, is trying to explain the part of your model you're choosing to ignore .. ie: the micro/quatum 'world'. Is it some other kind reality for you? If so, what is your explanation for the dangers of say, the flu, given that viruses are typically part of that reality.

    Not necessarily 'negate the need for a source'. More like: it makes sense to concentrate our focus on things which are testable ...
    Just a moment: I am not trying to ignore the quantum world. I was just excluding it from the discussion for the sake of simplicity by first concentrating on the macro world which is easily accessed by us.
    The cars and tigers example is readily understood and presents an immediate danger mind model or no mind model.

  11. #13031
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    So you would throw out the last few centuries of discoveries about reality because they require "technical aids"? I call that backward thinking, but it's just an example of mind dependence.
    Again, I am not ignoring the quantum world, just excluding it at the moment, since the macro world is easier to discuss in this context.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    They could originate from wave functions, the way our best theory of reality says they do. I'm not saying I regard that as any kind of final answer, but it is our best-ever theory of reality by quite some margin.

    We can all agree that having good models is advantageous, that is the core principle of all science, and all good MDR building.
    We might be having a terminology problem here, but a rampant tiger or a speeding car I still do not regard as a model. In our mind, yes, but otherwise no.

  12. #13032
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    People have believed in a mind independent world for thousands of years, it is only quite recently that we have discovered all kinds of things about the nature of reality that came as a complete shock to those old beliefs. I don't see the direction physics is moving as being toward more evidence for the mind independent world that we've believed in for millennia. Quite the opposite, actually. So I think advanced physics in the future will understand how we think better, and we'll understand better why we make sense of our perceptions in the way we do. Just that of what that will do to the naive concept of "objective reality."
    Mind dependent in perception but not mind dependent in existence.

  13. #13033
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    ... We might be having a terminology problem here, but a rampant tiger or a speeding car I still do not regard as a model. In our mind, yes, but otherwise no.
    Do you regard your mind as a model, or is it a thing (like tigers or speeding cars)?
    'Cause if its 'a thing', then how does it avoid being 'in our mind'?

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    An automaton is defined as: 'a machine which performs a range of functions according to a predetermined set of coded instructions'.
    I'm yet to see how any predetermined set of coded instructions can exchange meaning via conversation with a mind that deliberately doesn't follow any set of predetermined set of coded instructions. Meaning arises in conversations between free thinking minds, and we can test for (and track) that meaning.

    There are tests for predetermined sets of coded instructions within a range of functions, which return dissimilar results from those where meaning is produced.

    There is no need for beliefs when conducting those respective tests, and where beliefs happen to be present, they are untestable, (by definition), and are thus ignorable whilst the tests proceed.

  16. #13036
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Do you regard your mind as a model, or is it a thing (like tigers or speeding cars)?
    'Cause if its 'a thing', then how does it avoid being 'in our mind'?
    Could you please define your understanding of mind and brain? Do you consider the mind physical, if not then what? I would consider the mind brain relationship akin to a program executing on a physical computer.

    A tiger is a thing sensed by our organs creating the model of it in our mind.

  17. #13037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Check out this pure gobbledegook as supposedly being two so-called 'key distinctions' (or necessary principles) of philosophical logic:

    Speculative reason:



    Practical reason:



    Why not just go out there and find out .. (as opposed to pontificating with useless, so-called 'necessary principles'?)
    Perhaps because hypothesis and theory allow you to avoid wasting your time and mean you can more accurately test for relevant practical results. Plus you can't just go out there and find out when "out there" is unreachable, deep space for instance. Establishing decent parameters is surely the first part of creating a realistic model.

    As a possibly relevant example, take that twitter maths problem currently causing arguments.
    8 ÷ 2(2+2) =?
    I believe the answer is 1
    Many say its 16

    I was always taught to reduce the problem, which leaves the problem looking like
    8 ÷ X =?

    X = 2(2+2)

    That way you can never arrive at 16

    How is this relevant? Unless you establish agreed parameters of thinking, you will always get fundamental conflicts and erroneous outcomes.
    Last edited by headrush; 2019-Aug-02 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Added relevancy

  18. #13038
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu
    Could you please define your understanding of mind and brain? Do you consider the mind physical, if not then what? I would consider the mind brain relationship akin to a program executing on a physical computer.

    A tiger is a thing sensed by our organs creating the model of it in our mind.
    The perception of self awareness, is one of the mind’s fundamental models. Computers running software fail the same tests when intrinsic self-awareness is under scrutiny, however.
    I think we can acknowledge that they are capable of projecting elements of the human programmer’s self awareness but, take the programmer’s human-ness aspects away from the code, and I’d argue that computers do not generate their own recognisably independent perceptions of self-awareness.

    A computer’s code (design) is documented. We can use these to demonstrate (test for) the influence a human mind had over the code’s functions and no computer hardware is necessarily required to perform this test.
    Minds require a brain integrated with a body. We make use of that integration in putting ‘mind’ to objective testing.
    There is no evidence that the human mind inherited some other non-human intelligence. (Beliefs are typically invoked on this point).

    The analogy of mind being ‘an executing program’, breaks down on these significant points of difference.

    Normal minds are self aware, model generating, and also the subject of its own model because of the meanings we give those (first seven) terms, and because we can put such notions to the test, (producing verifying evidence consistent with that notion).

    All of that is my understanding of ‘mind’. In this model, ‘mind’ cannot avoid requiring itself .. unlike the alternative notion where it can exist independently from itself as some ‘thing’ or ‘object’, somwehow acquiring its existence by means of its ‘externality’ to ‘sensory organs’.

  19. #13039
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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Perhaps because hypothesis and theory allow you to avoid wasting your time and mean you can more accurately test for relevant practical results.
    Objective testability isn't really subject to preconditions of practicality (or otherwise), as being a determining factor in science.
    Quote Originally Posted by headrush
    Plus you can't just go out there and find out when "out there" is unreachable, deep space for instance. Establishing decent parameters is surely the first part of creating a realistic model.
    I wouldn't agree that 'decent parameters' is a necessary precondition for objective testability, leading onto consideration as objective reality. What would be the basis of deciding what's 'decent' and what's not? Would that be some arbitrary, wobbly philosophical definition?
    Ken G's view on this (I believe? ..Ken?) appears to be the experimenter's freely chosen choices pertaining to some hypothesis under test. (Mine is slightly different to this, however).

    Quote Originally Posted by headrush
    As a possibly relevant example, take that twitter maths problem currently causing arguments.
    8 ÷ 2(2+2) =?
    I believe the answer is 1
    Many say its 16

    I was always taught to reduce the problem, which leaves the problem looking like
    8 ÷ X =?

    X = 2(2+2)

    That way you can never arrive at 16

    How is this relevant? Unless you establish agreed parameters of thinking, you will always get fundamental conflicts and erroneous outcomes.
    Meh .. mathematics is subject to its clearly defined axioms and operations .. I can't see any particularly big deal about all this when people's knowledge is merely lacking about these(?)

  20. #13040
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    I still consider principles to be important. Without them, there is no basis for building a body of knowledge. Sure, experimenters can play with different starting points, but the principles you originally dismissed are like accepted theories. They have proven their worth over time. They are not easily dismissed without causing a breakdown in the established order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    I still consider principles to be important. Without them, there is no basis for building a body of knowledge. Sure, experimenters can play with different starting points, but the principles you originally dismissed are like accepted theories. They have proven their worth over time. They are not easily dismissed without causing a breakdown in the established order.
    Ha! A similar issue came up way back in this thread.

    Bertrand Russell restated Aristotle's 'Laws of Thought' as, (Reference: Wiki: Law of Thought):

    i) The law of identity: 'Whatever is, is.'
    ii) The law of non-contradiction (alternately the 'law of contradiction'): 'Nothing can both be and not be.'
    iii) The law of excluded middle: 'Everything must either be or not be.'

    All of which, are built on the same MIR assumed, untestable, undistinguished posit of: 'truth' exists.
    They therefore come across to me as a bunch of worthless word-salad (IMO).

  22. #13042
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    The perception of self awareness, is one of the mind’s fundamental models. Computers running software fail the same tests when intrinsic self-awareness is under scrutiny, however.
    I think we can acknowledge that they are capable of projecting elements of the human programmer’s self awareness but, take the programmer’s human-ness aspects away from the code, and I’d argue that computers do not generate their own recognisably independent perceptions of self-awareness.

    A computer’s code (design) is documented. We can use these to demonstrate (test for) the influence a human mind had over the code’s functions and no computer hardware is necessarily required to perform this test.
    Minds require a brain integrated with a body. We make use of that integration in putting ‘mind’ to objective testing.
    There is no evidence that the human mind inherited some other non-human intelligence. (Beliefs are typically invoked on this point).

    The analogy of mind being ‘an executing program’, breaks down on these significant points of difference.

    Normal minds are self aware, model generating, and also the subject of its own model because of the meanings we give those (first seven) terms, and because we can put such notions to the test, (producing verifying evidence consistent with that notion).

    All of that is my understanding of ‘mind’. In this model, ‘mind’ cannot avoid requiring itself .. unlike the alternative notion where it can exist independently from itself as some ‘thing’ or ‘object’, somwehow acquiring its existence by means of its ‘externality’ to ‘sensory organs’.
    The mind, our thoughts, are nothing tangible, material. Through our body, the senses deliver information to the brain, and mysteriously thoughts arise in what is collectively termed the mind. Tigers are modeled in the mind but exist outside of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Ha! A similar issue came up way back in this thread.

    Bertrand Russell restated Aristotle's 'Laws of Thought' as, (Reference: Wiki: Law of Thought):

    i) The law of identity: 'Whatever is, is.'
    ii) The law of non-contradiction (alternately the 'law of contradiction'): 'Nothing can both be and not be.'
    iii) The law of excluded middle: 'Everything must either be or not be.'

    All of which, are built on the same MIR assumed, untestable, undistinguished posit of: 'truth' exists.
    They therefore come across to me as a bunch of worthless word-salad (IMO).
    Frankly, I would say that those "laws" are classic examples of MDR, given that nothing can be tested under MIR. Truth is a human concept and exemplifies MDR surely. Time tested theories get us closer to truth even if not completely definitive. Depends on your application of the word truth I guess, same as gzhpcu's issue with the word "reality". I think that context is everything where most of the disagreements occur.

  24. #13044
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    The mind, our thoughts, are nothing tangible, material. Through our body, the senses deliver information to the brain, and mysteriously thoughts arise in what is collectively termed the mind. Tigers are modeled in the mind but exist outside of it.
    So for anything to exist (tangible , material), it has to be outside your mind. But you aren't sure about where your mind is .. so how can you be sure that real things only exist 'outside' of it? This is important because that's your criteria for 'tigers existing'.

    I mean you seem pretty clear that sensory information is delivered to the brain (which is presumably material, tangible) and yet you're completely unclear where 'mysterious thoughts', models of tigers and presumably models of minds arise .. except in the collective term 'mind'.

    'Mind' seems to be abstract for you .. in fact, it looks like 'mind' doesn't even really exist for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by headrush View Post
    Frankly, I would say that those "laws" are classic examples of MDR, given that nothing can be tested under MIR. Truth is a human concept and exemplifies MDR surely. Time tested theories get us closer to truth even if not completely definitive. Depends on your application of the word truth I guess, same as gzhpcu's issue with the word "reality". I think that context is everything where most of the disagreements occur.
    'Whatever is, is' is a truism .. or in other words, the phrase proclaims: 'is what it is' equates with (the assumed existence of) truth.

    The MDR hypothesis (nor any of the process which defines science) ever calls for any prerequisite asssumptions (eg: like 'the existence of truth'). Science attempts to test such things. If it cannot, it labels such things as 'beliefs' where a belief can be defined as: 'Any notion held as being true for any reason'. The so-called 'Laws of Thought' give rise to the logic process .. which is completely different from the scientific process because logical arguments don't necessarily call for objective testing and 'truth' is not a prerequisite for doing science. (I'd go further and say that this is why they need the even sillier 'Speculative and Practical Reason' so-called: 'Principles').

    We, (Ken?), asserted that the closest science comes to holding anything as being 'true' is the last best tested theory .. I wholeheartedly agree with that .. its a testable propostion and many, many scientists frequently talk about 'what is true and isn't true' but when one drills into this by putting what they say to the test, .. we always find that they are only either expressing their personal beliefs or; they are referencing some last best tested theory.

    I'm openly critical of esoteric philosophical notions .. however, they also form the basis of axioms in mathematics .. which science then makes very useful and practical .. Its worthwhile always keeping in mind that math is the formalisation/systematisation of philosophical logic, (so I guess my criticism is only an emotive personal opinion).

    I agree with what you say about context being important for clarity of meaning in communications (and understanding transferrence) in conversations. Its also very important in science because it constrains the respective applicabilities of already tested out theories.

  26. #13046
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    So for anything to exist (tangible , material), it has to be outside your mind. But you aren't sure about where your mind is .. so how can you be sure that real things only exist 'outside' of it? This is important because that's your criteria for 'tigers existing'.

    I mean you seem pretty clear that sensory information is delivered to the brain (which is presumably material, tangible) and yet you're completely unclear where 'mysterious thoughts', models of tigers and presumably models of minds arise .. except in the collective term 'mind'.

    'Mind' seems to be abstract for you .. in fact, it looks like 'mind' doesn't even really exist for you?
    The mind, not being a physical entity, has no location. Anything physical has a location. The mind maps it creating MDR. The physical senses deliver electrical impulses to the physical brain. For me, my thoughts exist, but not physically. Same for my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    Again, I am not ignoring the quantum world, just excluding it at the moment.
    Others are looking at it, however:
    https://www.wired.com/story/quantum-...term=WIR_Daily
    https://news.uci.edu/2019/07/22/the-...ainst-reality/

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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    The mind, not being a physical entity, has no location. Anything physical has a location. The mind maps it creating MDR. The physical senses deliver electrical impulses to the physical brain. For me, my thoughts exist, but not physically. Same for my mind.
    And yet you see no inconsistency in having physical senses delivering physical impulses (electrical) nowhere, which then results in things (thoughts) which exist nowhere?

  29. #13049
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    And yet you see no inconsistency in having physical senses delivering physical impulses (electrical) nowhere, which then results in things (thoughts) which exist nowhere?
    I see physical senses delivering physical impulses to the brain, which fuel the mind. The images are created in the mind and reflect the outside world as picked up by the senses. How the translation occurs (of a particular stream of electrical impulses from a sensory organ) into auditory, visual, tactile, etc impulses is unclear.
    The physical senses are not delivering physical impulses nowhere, they are delivering them to the brain, which creates the corresponding mental images.

  30. #13050
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    the idea that ideas exist nowhere is another model, not the mainstream model where they exist inside the brain, and indeed the idea that ideas exist external to the mind (brain) is another untestable MIR idea, attractive as that might be to some people. The model where ideas are formed externally and invade the mind like radio waves invading a receiver was mainstream for centuries and persists to this day. It is very different from the the rock world that gzhpcu is incapable of escaping from but is in the class, or set, of untestable MIR ideas which our minds play with in MDR. Some mysteries like the illusion of agency fit more easily into an MIR of ideas and many people have more or less dogmatic ideas about MIR interplay between ideas and things. That is the set of creation myths. The generation of creation myths is what evolves from solipsism. The knowledge of science is what has evolved from consensus (or the illusion of consensus). While the latter is often seen as the enemy of the former they arise from trying to work it all out.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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