Life Online, à la Carte©
Sociological Examination of Internet Life
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First, I must say that I agree with every post on this thread. I'm wishy washy that way.
Years before my son was born I fretted over whether I was cut out for parenthood because I value my freedom. I worked up in my head a schedule of what I considered to be the bare minimum free time that I would require to preserve my sanity. It was something close to this: five minutes per day to catch my breath, a half hour every other day to soak in the tub, a half day every month to wander off, and one weekend per year to visit my college roommate or a spa. As things turned out for 3-4 years running, I didn't get any of that. The point is, that life has a way of not turning out as we expect.
In a quick mental review of the last half-decade, I note that you spend a LOT of time here. You probably don't know *me* but I certainly do remember you from way back. This assessment comes from someone who has been known to spend here not just hours a day, but tens of hours. That's not to say you can't quit. Of course you can. Would it be worth it for a good marriage. Yeck, yeah. But...
Watch out. It's not that she thinks you're wasting your time. It's that she doesn't like the way you are when you're being the way you want to be. I'm reminded of an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show. Lou says to Ted, "Ted, you know the way you always are?" Ted says, "Yeah, Lou?" Lou says, "Well, don't BE that way!" --- '05-Jun-20th
Would somebody please explain weblogs to me? As someone who occasionally gets caught up in expressing opinions online I can certainly understand the diary-like appeal to the writer. But I don't understand the tradition of including the names of other bloggers in a long list down the side of the main page in a so-called 'blogroll'.
To me, blogger's pages seem like a disorganized mess. Even my own pages, which I at least categorize, somewhat, into topic areas, can come across as haphazzard. Why encourage the generation of more content when there's already a problem of information overload?
Isn't the blogroll merely a reciprocal linking, which will supposedly be punished by the more sophisticated search engines, or at least by Google? But, apparently it's not. What gives?
Sometimes I wonder about the value of including outgoing links at all, considering that folks on a serious info hunt will be focusing upon keeping close to their search engine. It seems that by including links I may be only punishing my own pages by upping the popularity scores of the 'competition.'
So, what's to keep folks from including my page in their blogrolls? Is it my breath? I mean... (no offense, but) what are people thinking when they link to the vast majority of drivel?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my traffic. I'm still blown away by knowing that over three hundred visitors per day are contemplating at least a sentence or so of my ramblings before moving along.
CB draws an analogy: it takes two to tango
I disagree that this is necessarily a good representation of how these events unfold. I'm not speaking specifically about what happened on Wise Owl's thread, since I didn't see it before the deletions. But quite often a flame war is less like a food fight and more like a judo encounter, in which an uncivilized barbarian repeatedly rushes an intended victim and the target merely helps them to make a fool of theirself.
I always like to imagine myself in the role of the Aikido master, but I suppose my attackers see themselves as some kind of hero, too. There are some participants that I wouldn't mind provoking into a character revealing loss of their temper, but usually I'm satisfied with my self if I can just keep from losing mine. --- '02-Sep-17th
Do you know her real name? (If so, don't say it here, of course.) Zach seems like it could be an abbreviated last name. Has she talked of bugging out? A stormy relationship?
If I were to just disappear I'd like to think folks would look for me, but I've taken some steps that would make that hard for people who don't already know me IRL to do.
I'd very much like to think that my web site would continue on after I'm gone, but at this point it would last at most about 2.5 years, until my domain fee comes due again. I need to fix that. ~~Timothy Leary's dead, but at least he still has his website.~~ That could be a catchy tune.
In case anything should ever happen to me, I've trained my son how to get here and to my website to inform folks. I could get morbid and write my own obit.
I've always rolled my eyes at melodramatic goodbye's but it's much preferred to this kind. If somebody were going to snatch you they should stage a snit and a goodbye huff if they don't want us to look for you. But, now that I've explained that we'll have to suspect those, too. --- '02-Aug-22nd
Dorothy, thanks for taking the time to drop by my site. You're right. Almost everything I've presented, there, has been inspired by something that I've read here at TimeBomb2000. I hope to continue being able to write so long as the folks will have me, and so long as I continue to be inspired. I love it here.
Since first going online over fifteen years ago I've often noticed that the people who seem to be posting 24/7 are oddly apt to project that behavior onto others that they don't like, for whatever reason. It's so strange to me to think that practically the rudest thing someone can say to another online is "Eeeew, you're an online person!" It reminds me of the time my brother spent the day as an extra on the set of Born on the Fourth of July. He and the stranger next to him were passing time people watching. The other guy said "Everybody here is such losers!"
It's taken me three plus years to write those pages in the time I could scrape together between my travels and adventures. Last year, for example, I calculated that I was away from my computer for one third of the weeks. But, I would really love to spend more time here. Really! I'm only serious.
In the year or so since the housewarming after our move from EZboard I've written over 300 comments. I have a lot more time on my hands than some of those that visit TB2K; more than most lurkers, certainly. But I'm not nearly so prolific as you have been in the past three months since your recent arrival. I do believe there may be only one other person who rivals your quantity of output. I bow to you. --- '02-Feb-7th
All things I write are for use in any way one cares to use them. ... Just my opinion of things. God does not consult me before he schedules events for tomorrow. I also do not dress up in fine linens and gold chains, and fancy hats, or saunter about in black nighties with my collar on backwards, so I cannot claim any credibility due to looking like a well heeled and finely adorned agent of god. I don't even have a high chair to climb upon.
My words must stand unadorned on the ground, and attract only the attention their logic deserves. And that is the beauty of internet forums. The parade is not colored by glitter and pizazz. Words stand naked to be noticed or ignored. --- Dinky, '01-Dec-21st
I have no problem at all with the pre-emptive banning of potentially disruptive people, or even ones who just look like them. Cutting off newcomers for a while is no huge loss, particularly when we have an overabundance of news.
There is one way, though, that I differ with the prevailing wisdom. It takes no esoteric knowledge or expensive equipment to perform the kind of attack for which Laura is well known, here. All it takes is someone with a messed up childhood and entirely too much time on their hands. -- '01-Nov-20th
Except for the random looking strings on the end of the titles of the letters you received, the subjects themselves looked like anyone might receive, to me. I would retrieve some from my recent mail but I just delete them. The object is to get people to open the mail. They're like horoscopes in that they tend to have titles that anyone might think could apply to them.
Your Chemtrails Over America page got some press recently at TimeBomb2000, and so you may have attracted some attention by that route. If your recent "hot ones" included an e-mail address or URL, either one would tend to increase your junque mail immediately and for a while.
[Edited '01-Jul-14th to add:] Here's five spam e-mail titles that appeared
in my mail yesterday, just to illustrate:
Are there any comparable services to PayPal that could be used. I really like the idea of being able to pay people anonymously for things that they can send to my PO Box. I've been using money orders through the post office, because my bank won't issue them without typing the recipient's name onto the check and associating the transaction with my bank account. I'm not comfortable, though, with methods that require me to appear in person. For one, they're inconvenient. It's an hour, round trip for me to go to town. For another, there's the possibility that I could be routinely videotaped at any government facility. I'm also sometimes homebound, so PayPal seemed like a great solution for some of the things I like to buy.
I'm not yet prepared to add PayPal to my boycott page, but I will be replacing them as my own recommended method of choice for these types of transactions. And, yes, I do have an MBNA card (around here someplace). So far I haven't been uncomfortable using my regular cards because I've only used secure connections. However, I have encountered some sites that do not have a secure link and had to use other methods for those businesses. --- '01-Jul-4th
OnebyOne, depending upon what equipment is being used by the shows you're trying to listen to, you may find that some shows are unable to be heard on some (newer) verisons of Real Player, when started via some newer versions of web browsers (particularly Netscape v6.0). If you have it available, you might try trying to listen via earlier versions of your web browser, and particularly trying via Internet Explorer if you haven't tried that.
That worked for me. After upgrading my web browser to Netscape v6.0 I was unable to listen to an Art Bell program that I had earlier been able to hear using Netscape v4.71, or so. By firing up an old Internet Explorer, available on an AOL disk that I had been using as a drink coaster, I was able to hear the show. --- '01-Jun-28th
I'm running Conceal firewall and during the most recent week it has been quite noticably more active that in the past. I had to turn off my speaker because I don't know how to turn off the sound on the program and the warning bongs were driving me CRAZY!
I first thought up the name ten-character 'M i n d D a n c r' when joining AOL almost ten years ago. It was the custom there to not go by a real name. I had earlier participated in various online fora at Compuserve and Delphi where I used my real name.
The ten-character name 'Mind Dancr' was meant to serve several purposes. I had been a psychology major in undergraduate school and have long before that been interested in the workings of the human mind. At the time I chose the name I was also newly dealing with the fact of physical limitations caused by a chronic illness. I've always liked dancing, especially as a kid and had a reputation for that in high school. I consider "mind dancing" to be a pretty good description of how I spend my time online.
'Mind Dancr' is a somewhat long name to type, and as is normal in chat environments, people liked to shorten it. Strangely, they tended to use 'Mind,' which didn't work well for me, so I started going by just 'Dancr' to nip that in the bud. I leave off the 'e' so that I can use my computer to alert me when someone is trying to get my attention, without false hits from people talking about dancers.
I once had a real live stalker that I avoided by moving and not leaving a forwarding address, and by not using my real name online. I'm not ashamed of what I write online. I give the URL for my website to my friends and family. I will probably always post under a pseudonym (backup copy). --- '01-May-23rd
I marked 20-40, and that's just in the account that I read. I have about 15 other accounts that I never even see or open the mailbox for, and I'm sure they're full, too. It's only very rarely that I'm fooled into opening junk mail. If I don't know their e-mail address, then the subject MUST indicate that they know who I am or I'm not opening it. Even with these mountains of mail, I'm lucky if I get even one piece of real e-mail per day that I actually want to see. --- '01-Jan-27th
It is a characteristic of Indo-European language that names ending in the short 'A' sound are assumed to be feminine, just as ones ending in a hard 'C' or 'K', an 'R' or an 'O' are assumed to be masculine.
Obviously, dancers can be either male or female, but in absence of my photograph, the handle Dancr is generally automatically assumed to be male, all the more so because the softening 'E' is missing. The 'er' is perceived to be an active name, as someone who is 'doing' something.
Mistaking the sexual identity of someone online is nothing to be apologetic over. When the reverse happens, as it often does in my own case in chats where my photo is not displayed, there is no profuse apology, but rather a kind of backhanded compliment by which I am told that I speak like a male by using reason instead of emotion, and that that is what had fooled them.
The English language forces us either to make a guess or to totally mangle the flow of our message. There has not evolved any graceful way to handle people of indeterminate gender because this rarely happens offline.
I choose to refer to them in the plural, and I encourage others to do so also. It is no more "incorrect" to get their number wrong then it is to get their sex wrong. I got this idea while talking to Julianne Carlson, a dean at the University of Minnesota, whose doctoral dissertation had been upon the subordinating effect of language bias.
If anybody objects, may they enjoy the struggle that they will certainly have crafting their sentences with the awkward him/her he/she and his/her formulations. Someday we may be even further handicapped in trying to refer to alien beings who probably wouldn't even carry our sexual baggage --- '00-Dec-15th
sedona, on Disinformation 101, '00-Dec-7th
[The fact that viruses can attach themselves to letters from friends] is why it is good practice to not open any attachment, even from someone you know, unless you have agreed in advance to receive it. Some viruses send a note with an attachment to everyone in your address book. I can easily imagine the virus that could get around even this precaution, and if I can imagine it, I'm sure it's not far from being released. Now that's one that could really wreck your day... having everyone in your address book writing to you saying you'd destroyed their favorite computer because you'd obviously purposefully sent them this virus. --- '00-Nov-29th
I wonder, Read This,
Talking about interpersonal problems online, for someone who has a pseudonomous identity, is something like telling a therapist who has a professional obligation to honor our confidence. If there's little chance of your discussion getting back to your husband or anyone he knows, it's just not at all the same thing as recruiting allies in the community.
If you haven't already shared with him the thoughts of the folks on this forum (as you suggested you might do), I don't think it would be a good idea to do so. I can see where seeing the transcript of a discussion such as this one could be quite unnerving, even if most or all of the participants are strangers who he will probably never meet. People who do not themselves participate in online communities view online sharing of private information as an extreme violation, in some cases where it quite simply is not.
I, personally, would not share private information about my friends and family in an open forum such as this under the name Dancr, because I freely tell people my online name and pass out my URLs to friends (not often) when I have something to share that I've already written. People can easily see what all I have said, and I make it easier still by archiving myself. If I anticipated a future need to discuss private things about my friends or family, I would do it in a way that nobody who knows them would put two and two together about who I actually am, or who they are. --- '00-Sep-29th
If any of you should suddenly stop posting, it would probably be a good long while before I would notice it, if ever. Even if you warned in advance that you would be leaving for a while, there would be no way for me to know if it were really you who said so. Even if I had the keys to the castle and could see your IP, I couldn't be sure that some MiB wasn't sitting at your computer making all the right ascii moves.
When I first started chatting online, about six years ago, I had only a 300 baud modem and a maxíd out Macintosh SE with 4 meg of RAM. I had used it just fine, until that time, in online fora on various topics, and was just checking out the latest online craze, AOL. Everybody else had 2400 baud modems, plus my low power machine would only run the very first version of software that AOL had developed a full year earlier, which seriously sucked.
Words cannot tell you how frustrating the experience was, and I didnít even know that I was crippled. My favorite hangout was a certain always-full "room" where I was continually about 20 lines behind the conversation, even when all of my reactions were immediate. So, like Mary Tyler Mooreís Ted Knight or Mashís Major Burns, I was always one conversation behind.
To make matters worse, the software was so lame that every separate private message opened up a whole new window that would cover everything else, including whatever I might be writing somewhere. So, I was always felt out of control and as though everyone was being very intrusive, like MTVís PopUp Video. Many people got angry with me for not responding quickly enough or for not understanding their instructions.
Like many handicapped people, I didnít have the foggiest idea that my own experience was any different from everybody elseís. I lived for weeks, even months with some of these handicaps, completely unaware that I was leaving the impression that I was a complete loser (lamer, they called me), who hadnít been allotted their fair share of marbles.
Now, consider the poor person who tries to use this forum without good settings, especially if they may be somewhat computer illiterate. They may not ever see, or be able to understand your explanations. To tell you the truth, I could not read your post on recommended settings when I first saw it several months ago. Fortunately for me, I had already figured that all out on my own by that time. I saw that it helped many people, and that is good. But this does not mean that everybody is on the same page.
Yes, itís frustrating when somebody just doesnít get it, no matter what 'their problem' is, whether itís about abortion or evolution or chemtrails or Y2K or whatever. But whoever todayís 'idiots' are, they almost always deserve a much larger benefit of doubt than we ever give. --- '00-Aug-11th
I've met about 20 in the 15 years I've been online, most during the past five years.
Last year I went to a local TB2K picnic where I met five people, including Diane & helium. They all seemed like the type of people I could become IRL friends with if they lived any closer or would be willing to stop by from time to time.
Outside the TB2K ones, I've stayed in touch with most of the rest. I only had one negative experience, which was somebody who liked me way too much. But ... who can blame them, eh? hehe
I'm in daily online contact with another several hundred homeschoolers, most of whom I've met in person throughout the past several years since before my 10-year-old was born. I'll probably be seeing them all again many times during the coming 10 years and beyond. The online aspect of our groups only fired up this year.
I also belong to another group of 30 that live near Los Angeles, who I have never met, but who have all met each other. Someday I'll probably travel down to LA to meet most of them.
To me, most interesting of all is that I have turned most of my lifelong friends into cyber friends via e-mail. My family and alma mater friends (high school) are all in contact most weeks including regularly scheduled chat times (IRC).
One time when I was typing at my in-laws' I looked out the window and across the street I could see somebody else typing. I thought, wouldn't it be funny if I were talking to him and didn't even know it? --- '00-Aug-7th
Iím fully aware that my views are 'out there' in many dimensions and so I provide the link to my personal space for the convenience of those who ask themselves "Who in the world could think such a weird thing?" Hopefully, this might lead to understanding and tolerance for my views, especially on the part of anybody who thinks people should be stoned for what I think.
Posting via a fake e-mail address is not evidence that I am ashamed of what I write. I havenít been ashamed to let my friends or my family members visit my webspace. Iím just not eager to allow any poorly socialized people, such as some on this forum who snipe at others without provocation, to pay a personal visit to me and my friends and family.
I can appreciate not wanting to hear all the details of some strangerís life, particularly when itís irrelevant to the supposed topic of a thread. Thatís why I try to confine all such information to my own space, and not let it spill out here (except on one 'introduce yourself' thread about a year ago).
I document my essays in my own webspace not so much with the thought that anybody would ever go there and attempt to read it all, but as a protection against people who would misrepresent my position, whether intentionally or not. I have been happy, on a couple of occasions, to have this information conveniently gathered in one place when Iíve needed it to defend myself. As far as I can remember, that hasnít been necessary on this forum, but it has been on a couple others.
By keeping track of what I say, I can also hopefully avoid repeating myself and thus boring people. I can just provide a link to the earlier comments on the same topic, so that anybody whoís already seen them need not plow through them a second time. Anybody else who may be disinterested (for whatever reason) can skip them, too.
Parodies, while perhaps offensive, fall within the bounds of free speech, so long as it is clear that the speaker is not in fact the person being critiqued. Even if what the speaker states about someone is 100% incorrect, people can consider the source, and compare to what they know about the one who is being lampooned. Anonymous attacks would generally get less respect than would pseudononymous ones (to coin a word).
Attacking someone on a thread on which theyíre not yet participating, such as Buddy (whoever that is) has done on this thread, is a low blow, since the victim obviously cannot correct the record (or explain) if theyíre unaware of what has been said. Uninvolved bystanders may tend to view the insult as inconsequential and not worth the trouble to stand up for someone or tracking them down to inform them. When I have commented negatively about someone who is not already involved on a thread, I have done them the courtesy of writing privately to alert them. (That practice tends to cut down on how often Iím willing to make such comments.)
For what itís worth, early on I started automatically putting a tagline at the beginning of all my posts on Greenspun forums because I was annoyed about having to scroll to the end of long posts and back up again if I wanted to know whose writing I was reading. Also, sometimes itís helpful for knowing what posts to just skip! I hoped Philip Greenspun would get a clue and modify the software so that names would appear at the top (as is common in other fora). Better yet, I fantasized that other participants would catch on and sign the tops of their posts instead of the bottoms, too. Mostly, though, once Iíd set up the HTML, I just didnít give it much thought.
As long as I was taking a line for that purpose, it seemed to me to make sense to provide a link to my webspace, since links donít encroach any additional amount on screen real estate. I thought of what I was doing as going the extra mile to 'be considerate of othersí time.' No good turn goes unpunished. Buddyís not the first 'person' to comment negatively about it, or even the second or third (unless theyíre all the same person). I choose to not give that opinion much weight because I know that when somebody doesnít like us, nothing we can do is right. Maybe theyíre just jealous! hahahah --- '00
...though, are outrageous, vile acts for which offenders should be deleted and/or banned. Even when it is obvious to most readers that the post is a fake, there may be some readers that are fooled because they donít know the victim well enough or they donít read carefully enough to detect the fakery. I have no problem with the sharing of IP addresses of such offenders. Identify theft is inexcusable, whether done for the purposes of financial assault or to unfairly discredit someoneís reputation. --- '00-Jun-22nd
As I said earlier, it doesn't make any difference if they're the same person or not. They're both foul mouthed raging peas in a pod. I have not said that these are the same person; only that the evidence presented is not conclusive.
One thing that I have learned after five years on Internet Relay Chat [IRC] is that people who have some driving need to be disruptive will, when banned, find a way to return in a disguise. Sometimes we recognize them for who they are, but let them stay, as a way of letting them get off on another foot. They hardly ever fail to soon make themselves unwelcome, and eventually "lose it" to the point that there is no doubt of their identity. A leopard cannot change its spots. --- '00-Feb-21st
When I first went online over twelve years ago, I was involved in a Compuserve forum (World of Lotus, about Lotus products such as 1-2-3), in which the participants started one upping each other about how much they enjoyed the forum. Someone said "I love y'all more than kittens." Another said "I love y'all more than cookies and ice cream." I said this, and it's still true: "I love y'all more than books and TV!" In my case, that's really saying something.
I greatly appreciate the ready availability of 'alternative' information. A heavy component of my self-image is 'Internet user.' I look forward to a future in which I can walk around and stay connected through my hologram-projected screen, galvanic skin response thought controlled cursor, cell modem combo. Then, I'll look forward to when they make it water proof so I can make it an intellectual enhancement to my daily swim.
No, it doesn't get the field plowed, but then, I don't have a field, yet. If I did, I think lazer leveled harrowing would go down a lot better with a lightweight solar powered (tinfoil?) hallogram Internet hat and a BAT style keyboard and touchpad mouse built into the handle of the harrow. Somebody, please, beat me to this invention, so I don't have to make it myself.
One of my favorite grade B movies, a cult classic, is Village of the Damned, in which all the women of child bearing age instantaneously become impregnated by some pulse from outer space. All of the children born approximately nine months later share the ability to know the thoughts of the others like themselves, even when they are separated. We've already become somewhat like them, except that we are not yet mobile.
Was it Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (read some 35 years ago), that described a society of people all telepathically connected and controlled by a single brain? Or was that some Star Trek episode, or something? I know it goes way way back. We are organizing into a highly intelligent yet fragile new lifeform. Let's hope it's not like the The Invasion of the Body Snatchers! --- '00-Feb-20th
Thanks, Tom [Atlee], if you come here (I don't remember). That was a hard hitting yet respectful response to an opinion leader. I hope she sees what you have written and I would be most interested to learn if it has any effect on her thinking. Whether she says so or not, you may detect it down the road.
Don't you just love the Internet. It is a testament to the power of intermittent positive reinforcement that curiously, despite a lack of direct positive feedback, I love to pretend that I'm having some impact when I spout some far out notions. These may be on chemtrails, health insurance reform, vaccination, unschooling, fairness (to animals, women, youth, handicapped, wrongpeople, and 'the other'), censorship, privacy, worth of IRC, electro-magneticpulse, weapons of mass destruction, freethinking and blind trust, media bias, powerful professional associations, human nature, recycling, self-sufficiency and cooperation, and a wide variety of other miscellaneous topics.
Why do I persist? It's because sometimes, I catch a quick glimpse of someone more eloquent than I am, espousing my own opinion almost as though they caught it from me, even when they may have never read my words directly. It gives me a feeling of imortality. Thanks! You do that for me. --- '00-Feb-17th
[Edited '02-Sep-18th to add:] It feels great to pretend that great writers such as Noam Chomsky might be visiting my War on Terra website, or that perhaps my thoughts are rippling out as waves do from a stone dropped into a pond.
[Edited '02-Oct-31st to add:] Here's another example where I feel as though I have had some effect. I expressed an opinion in late 1999 for which I took much abuse. Three years later, on the same board, most seem to be expressing what I said. --- '99
Announcement: "Not responsible for content of this banner" (yes, you are)
Web pages that require you to change settings, download anything or read a tutorial
Banner adds made to look like computer operating system alerts or warnings
Staff notices in public places, serving only to alienate the non-staff
The messy look of pages full of underlining. I turn off underlining of links.
Making a grandiose announcement when one decides to quit an online forum
Some think that if you put a million monkeys at keyboards you can create a work such as Shakespeare's. Now that we have the internet, we know that isn't so.
Everybody's Talking About Bagism --- John Lennon
Unix - it's a nice place to live, but you wouldn't want to visit there. --- anonResearch Into the Best Ways to Use the Internet (Philip Greenspun)
Internet Trolls (Timothy Campbell)
Internet Writing Guide (Timothy Campbell)
At MIT, they can put words in our mouths (Gareth Cook)
Electropolis (Elizabeth Reid, 1991)
Avatars: Punching into Life Online (Janelle Brown)
(Weblogs and the) Mass Amateurization of (Nearly) Everything... (Tom Coats)
How to make a customized search box!
Agre (Philip E ) Homepage, Alert Box, Art & the Zen of Websites, Backwash, Cybersociology Magazine, Cyberspace (Bad Subjects), Daily Internet Activities, Debunking & Disinfo, Ego Surfing, Flame Warriers, Interiority, Internet Addiction Disorder, The Mozilla Organization, Not Annoying Visitors, Online Poets, Pandia's 17 Recommendations for Net Searching, Profusion, Psychological Operations Field Manual No.33-1, Pew Internet & American Life, Search Engine Colossus, The Tao of Web Sites, U.S. News Life Online vBulletin, Virtual Death Threats, Web Hoster Uses Solar-Powered Server, W3 Search Engines,
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