Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Terrapin Station »

-0+ wrote: May 4th, 2021, 8:00 am What does an objective left/right relation or property amount to?
YOU already detailed this above, didn't you?
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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-0+ wrote: May 4th, 2021, 8:00 am What does an objective left/right relation or property amount to?
Just to reiterate, from a given a spatiotemporal point of reference/situatedness/orientation, where via asymmetries there is what for sake of expression in a venue like this could be labeled a "front" and a "top", there can be objects on one side versus the other of that spatiotemporal point of reference. Those spatial relations are leftness and rightness. Again, this isn't anything at all difficult to get a grasp on.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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(And it's ridiculous--it's basically an embarrassment for the notion of a board like this--that it's taking this much discussion about it)
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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Yes. If we find the center of gravity as one point in each chair it could be represented as (x, y). There is a point of view and it could be represented as (x, y). I might renamed the POV as (0, 0) and the four objects as (-x ,y); (x , y); (-x, -y); ( x, -y) relative to this point and calculated using geometry. The objects by definition are stationary and the POV rotates along with the axis. I could point my shoes 90deg and the relative is (x, y) (x, -y) (-x, y) (-x, -y). The audience is the sun and the POV is the satellite. It could also be argued that: y = f (x). So, if the POV does not move across x then y=0 at all times and the calculated coordinates would be true as x(right) and -x (left).
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 8:17 am
RJG wrote:These X-Y relationships (that we call "left/right - up/down") objectively exist between any and all reference points/axis's.
Scott wrote:No. Three main things illustrate why that is false.

1. Through any reference point, infinite 1D lines could be drawn and any of those infinite drawn lines could be labeled as being an axis. Which of the infinite lines is selected out from the other infinite options to be treated as an axis in the reference frame is not observer-independent and is not reference-frame-independent.

2. Any 1D line drawn through a reference point specially selected out as an axis is equally entitled to be labeled as the Y axis or the X axis. In other words, any 1D line drawn through a reference point is equally able to be considered the leftness-rightness axis as the forwardness-backwardness axis. Whether the axis is assigned as being the leftness-rightness axis or forwardness-backwardness axis is not observer-independent and is not reference-frame-independent. Even if I draw a line on the image in the OP and tell you to treat that line as a reference line or axis for the reference frame, there is no way to say whether that 1D line is an X axis or a Y axis. Whether the line gets labeled as the X-axis or the Y-axis is not observer-independent and is not reference-frame-independent.

3. Even if you imagine a 0D point, and imagine a specific one of the infinite 1D lines through that 0D point as being an axis, and arbitrarily label that 1D axis as being the X-axis versus the Y-axis (and thus the other perpendicular line as being the Y-axis), you still have not created a full reference frame with which to use to determine left and right. In addition to arbitrarily labeling one of the arbitrarily selected 1D lines as the X or Y axis, you then need to also choose the positive direction on that axis (forward, backward, down, right, etc.), not just a line. Then you may have created a full reference frame in a 2D world. To illustrate, even if I draw two perpendicular lines on the image in the OP and tell you one of those two specific lines is the X-axis (the axis of left and right), and the other line is therefore the Y axis, and their intersection is the origin point of the would-be reference frame, I still even with all of that haven't provided a full reference frame from which for you to say whether the blue car is on the left or the right because you won't know which direction on the X-axis itself is left (negatively numbered) and which direction is right (positively numbered). That is not an observer-independent and reference-frame-independent choice. In other words, you need to specify a vector with directional oriental to get directional orientation and thereby have a created reference frame.
The X and Y axis could be drawn and orientated anywhere, just as 0D reference points could be placed anywhere. Since there is no-where where they can't be drawn or placed, there is therefore 'always' a distance and directional reference from each and every object (reference point/axis).

[Emphasis added.]
The fallacy in the above sentence appears to be with the word "a".

When we refer to things that are observer-dependent and/or reference-frame-dependent, it is incorrect to use the singular rather than the plural. For instance, a flavor of ice cream doesn't have a single subjective taste, but rather has infinite possible subjective tastes (plural), one for each subject. There are countless if not infinite observers (and infinite potential observers) and there are--we agree--infinite possible reference frames. Even if we pre-specify a specific singular 0D reference point to act as the specific singular origin point for the yet-to-be-created reference frame(s), there are still infinite reference frames that share that one made-up 0D point as their origin point.

If we want to give directions from one point to another point, there are infinite reference frames (plural) we can create to do that, even if stick to only one single 0D origin point. Some reference frames will have us say the object is to the right; some will have us say that it is to the left; some will have us say it is neither left nor right but solely forward.

***

Also, RJG, in regard to your answers provided in the this earlier post, I don't understand how your answer to question #1 below is yes but your answer to question #2 is no:

1. Will one observer's right be another observer's left? Can one observer's right be another observer's forward? [RJG's answer: Yes.]

2. Do you agree that directional orientation is not observer-independent? [RJG's answer: No.]

Isn't that a direct contradiction?
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by RJG »

RJG wrote:The X and Y axis could be drawn and orientated anywhere, just as 0D reference points could be placed anywhere. Since there is no-where where they can't be drawn or placed, there is therefore 'always' a distance and directional reference from each and every object (reference point/axis).
Scott wrote:The fallacy in the above sentence appears to be with the word "a".

When we refer to things that are observer-dependent and/or reference-frame-dependent, it is incorrect to use the singular rather than the plural. For instance, a flavor of ice cream doesn't have a single subjective taste, but rather has infinite possible subjective tastes (plural), one for each subject.
I think you miss my point altogether, ...which is just a matter of simple logic. For example:

1. Since there is no-where in the basket where apples can't ever be found, then there is 'always' an apple there to be eaten.
2. Since there is no-where (in the 2D image, or universe) where reference points/axis can't be drawn or placed, then there is 'always' a reference point/axis to be used as a reference point/axis.

Singular/plural is irrelevant to my point. The point being that an infinite number of reference points exist between objects in this 2D world, and just because the amount is 'infinite' does not mean that there are 'none'.

Scott wrote:There are countless if not infinite observers (and infinite potential observers) and there are--we agree--infinite possible reference frames. Even if we pre-specify a specific singular 0D reference point to act as the specific singular origin point for the yet-to-be-created reference frame(s), there are still infinite reference frames that share that one made-up 0D point as their origin point.

If we want to give directions from one point to another point, there are infinite reference frames (plural) we can create to do that, even if stick to only one single 0D origin point. Some reference frames will have us say the object is to the right; some will have us say that it is to the left; some will have us say it is neither left nor right but solely forward.
Correct. And this therefore makes left-right 'relative' to the reference points.

The truth/determiner of left-right is NOT 'subjective' like the taste of differing ice cream flavors.
The truth/determiner of left-right is objectively/logically 'fixed and bound' by the reference points, ...there is no "subjectivity" whatsoever!

Scott wrote:Also, RJG, in regard to your answers provided in the this earlier post, I don't understand how your answer to question #1 below is yes but your answer to question #2 is no:

1. Will one observer's right be another observer's left? Can one observer's right be another observer's forward? [RJG's answer: Yes.]

2. Do you agree that directional orientation is not observer-independent? [RJG's answer: No.]

Isn't that a direct contradiction?
Not at all. "Relative" does not mean "not-objective" ...it means "not-absolute".

Relative contradicts Absolute.
Subjective contradicts Objective.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Sculptor1 »

Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 12:17 pm (And it's ridiculous--it's basically an embarrassment for the notion of a board like this--that it's taking this much discussion about it)
I think people have already staked too much of their reputation on it that there seems to be a lot of straw clutching.

Maybe they never heard of Flemming's "right hand rule"? Of the "Left Hand of the Electron" - a book I have been banned from citing.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Scott »

RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 2:10 pm
RJG wrote:The X and Y axis could be drawn and orientated anywhere, just as 0D reference points could be placed anywhere. Since there is no-where where they can't be drawn or placed, there is therefore 'always' a distance and directional reference from each and every object (reference point/axis).
Scott wrote:The fallacy in the above sentence appears to be with the word "a".

When we refer to things that are observer-dependent and/or reference-frame-dependent, it is incorrect to use the singular rather than the plural. For instance, a flavor of ice cream doesn't have a single subjective taste, but rather has infinite possible subjective tastes (plural), one for each subject.
I think you miss my point altogether, ...which is just a matter of simple logic. For example:

1. Since there is no-where in the basket where apples can't ever be found, then there is 'always' an apple there to be eaten.
For the analogy to fit, I would re-write it as follows: "Since there is no-where in the basket where an imaginary apple cannot be imagined to exist, then there is always the potential to imagine an apple anywhere."

Thus, where an apple happens to be imagined is not observer-independent. If we ask two different observers to imagine an apple in the basket, and ask each observer where the imaginary apple is, the observers may not provide the same answer but neither will be wrong.

Generally speaking, imaginary things are not observer-independent. Rather, imaginary things are, in part, observer-dependent.


RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 2:10 pm 2. Since there is no-where (in the 2D image, or universe) where reference points/axis can't be drawn or placed, then there is 'always' a reference point/axis to be used as a reference point/axis.
I would agree if it's rewritten as follows: Since there is no-where (in the 2D image, or universe) where reference points/axises/frames can't be drawn or placed, then there are 'always' infinite reference points/axises/frames to choose to use as a conceptual reference point/axis/frame.

Thus, making up (or choosing) a reference frame is like imagining an apple being somewhere. There are infinite possibilities, and the imagining is observer-dependent in that different observers will imagine differently.

More fundamentally, we can say that there is one single physical reality but infinite different ways to conceptually model that reality using various imaginary constructs such as but not limited to 0D points, 1D lines, and directional vectors.

RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 2:10 pm The point being that an infinite number of reference points exist between objects in this 2D world, and just because the amount is 'infinite' does not mean that there are 'none'.
Like imaginary apples, the reference points/axises/frames don't actually physically exist, which is why there is infinite number of them. The universe has no observer-independent direction (e.g. there is no observer-independent up-half of the universe versus observer-independent down-half of the universe), and thus there are infinite conflicting imaginary directions that can be conceptually assigned to the universe to create a reference frame. Even within a single penny, there is infinite potential imaginary 0D points or 1D lines that can be conceptually drawn through or imagined as being within the penny, but not any one of those infinite potential imaginary things are actually physically there. The imagination is a sandbox of infinite possibilities.

It's not the case that solely because they are infinite they are imaginary, but rather it is because they are imaginary that they are infinite.

Scott wrote: There are countless if not infinite observers (and infinite potential observers) and there are--we agree--infinite possible reference frames. Even if we pre-specify a specific singular 0D reference point to act as the specific singular origin point for the yet-to-be-created reference frame(s), there are still infinite reference frames that share that one made-up 0D point as their origin point.

If we want to give directions from one point to another point, there are infinite reference frames (plural) we can create to do that, even if stick to only one single 0D origin point. Some reference frames will have us say the object is to the right; some will have us say that it is to the left; some will have us say it is neither left nor right but solely forward.
RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 2:10 pm Correct. And this therefore makes left-right 'relative' to the reference points.
No, that's a non-sequitur. They are relative to reference frames, not merely to 0D points. That is why even if a 0D reference point (the center of the 4-sided box) is specified as the reference point in the 2D image, you are still unable to say whether the blue car is on the left or the right. You do not need merely a reference point, but rather a full reference frame (with specified directional vectors).

It takes more than one 0D point to create a reference frame.

It takes more than one 1D line to create a reference frame.

It takes more than two perpendicular 1D lines (which intersect at a 0D point) to create a reference frame.

A numbered or labeled vector (not just a line) is needed for each dimension. In other words, not only do you need to imagine a 1D x-axis and a 1D y-axis to get a reference frame, but also have to conceptually make-up a direction on each axis as the positive/right/forward direction versus the negative/left/backward direction. In other words, for you to answer whether the blue car is on the left or the right, we would first need to specify which way is forward, right-ward, left-ward, and/or backward in some way, such as by saying which side of the box is the front side. By making up a direction, then we have a reference frame with direction.

Scott wrote:Also, RJG, in regard to your answers provided in the this earlier post, I don't understand how your answer to question #1 below is yes but your answer to question #2 is no:

1. Will one observer's right be another observer's left? Can one observer's right be another observer's forward? [RJG's answer: Yes.]

2. Do you agree that directional orientation is not observer-independent? [RJG's answer: No.]

Isn't that a direct contradiction?
RJG wrote: May 4th, 2021, 2:10 pm Not at all. "Relative" does not mean "not-objective" ...it means "not-absolute".

Relative contradicts Absolute.
Subjective contradicts Objective.
What does "relative" and "absolute" have to do with the two questions above and the apparent contradiction in your answers? I will re-post the two question below to help show that neither the word "absolute" nor "relative" nor "objective" appear in either question:

1. Will one observer's right be another observer's left? Can one observer's right be another observer's forward? [RJG's answer: Yes.]

2. Do you agree that directional orientation is not observer-independent? [RJG's answer: No.]


Perhaps the double negative in the wording of question #2 caused confusion. So let me also re-phrase:

2.B. Do you agree that directional orientation (e.g. which way is forward) is (at least partly) observer-dependent?
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Atla »

Maybe it needs to be spelled out to some, what meaning of "objective" people usually default to, when it comes to science-related topics such as the block universe etc.
2. Objectivity as Faithfulness to Facts
The basic idea of this first conception of objectivity is that scientific claims are objective in so far as they faithfully describe facts about the world. The philosophical rationale underlying this conception of objectivity is the view that there are facts “out there” in the world and that it is the task of scientists to discover, analyze, and systematize these facts. “Objective” then becomes a success word: if a claim is objective, it correctly describes some aspect of the world.

In this view, science is objective to the degree that it succeeds at discovering and generalizing facts, abstracting from the perspective of the individual scientist. Although few philosophers have fully endorsed such a conception of scientific objectivity, the idea figures recurrently in the work of prominent twentieth-century philosophers of science such as Carnap, Hempel, Popper, and Reichenbach.

2.1 The View From Nowhere
Humans experience the world from a perspective. The contents of an individual’s experiences vary greatly with his perspective, which is affected by his personal situation, and the details of his perceptual apparatus, language and culture. While the experiences vary, there seems to be something that remains constant. The appearance of a tree will change as one approaches it but—according to common sense and most philosophers—the tree itself doesn’t. A room may feel hot or cold for different persons, but its temperature is independent of their experiences. The object in front of me does not disappear just because the lights are turned off.

These examples motivate a distinction between qualities that vary with one’s perspective, and qualities that remain constant through changes of perspective. The latter are the objective qualities. Thomas Nagel explains that we arrive at the idea of objective qualities in three steps (Nagel 1986: 14). The first step is to realize (or postulate) that our perceptions are caused by the actions of things around us, through their effects on our bodies. The second step is to realize (or postulate) that since the same qualities that cause perceptions in us also have effects on other things and can exist without causing any perceptions at all, their true nature must be detachable from their perspectival appearance and need not resemble it. The final step is to form a conception of that “true nature” independently of any perspective. Nagel calls that conception the “view from nowhere”, Bernard Williams the “absolute conception” (Williams 1985 [2011]). It represents the world as it is, unmediated by human minds and other “distortions”.

This absolute conception lies at the basis of scientific realism (for a detailed discussion, see the entry on scientific realism) and it is attractive in so far as it provides a basis for arbitrating between conflicting viewpoints (e.g., two different observations). Moreover, the absolute conception provides a simple and unified account of the world. Theories of trees will be very hard to come by if they use predicates such as “height as seen by an observer” and a hodgepodge if their predicates track the habits of ordinary language users rather than the properties of the world. To the extent, then, that science aims to provide explanations for natural phenomena, casting them in terms of the absolute conception would help to realize this aim. A scientific account cast in the language of the absolute conception may not only be able to explain why a tree is as tall as it is but also why we see it in one way when viewed from one standpoint and in a different way when viewed from another. As Williams (1985 [2011: 139]) puts it,

[the absolute conception] nonvacuously explain[s] how it itself, and the various perspectival views of the world, are possible.

A third reason to find the view from nowhere attractive is that if the world came in structures as characterized by it and we did have access to it, we could use our knowledge of it to ground predictions (which, to the extent that our theories do track the absolute structures, will be borne out). A fourth and related reason is that attempts to manipulate and control phenomena can similarly be grounded in our knowledge of these structures. To attain any of the four purposes—settling disagreements, explaining the world, predicting phenomena, and manipulation and control—the absolute conception is at best sufficient but not necessary. We can, for instance, settle disagreements by imposing the rule that the person with higher social rank or greater experience is always right. We can explain the world and our image of it by means of theories that do not represent absolute structures and properties, and there is no need to get things (absolutely) right in order to predict successfully. Nevertheless, there is something appealing in the idea that factual disagreements can be settled by the very facts themselves, that explanations and predictions grounded in what’s really there rather than in a distorted image of it.

No matter how desirable, our ability to use scientific claims to represent facts about the world depends on whether these claims can unambiguously be established on the basis of evidence, and of evidence alone. Alas, the relation between evidence and scientific hypothesis is not straightforward. Subsection 2.2 and subsection 2.3 will look at two challenges of the idea that even the best scientific method will yield claims that describe an aperspectival view from nowhere. Section 5.2 will deal with socially motivated criticisms of the view from nowhere.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scie ... /#ViewNowh
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Terrapin Station »

The whole point of "the view from nowhere" is that there is none. It's an incoherent idea.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Sculptor1 »

Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 6:13 pm The whole point of "the view from nowhere" is that there is none. It's an incoherent idea.
Yes, a POV requires a POINT. Points have place. Noplace can not have a point.
A view from nowhere is pointless.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by -0+ »

Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 12:16 pm
-0+ wrote: May 4th, 2021, 8:00 am What does an objective left/right relation or property amount to?
Just to reiterate, from a given a spatiotemporal point of reference/situatedness/orientation, where via asymmetries there is what for sake of expression in a venue like this could be labeled a "front" and a "top", there can be objects on one side versus the other of that spatiotemporal point of reference. Those spatial relations are leftness and rightness.
How to measure objective leftness and rightness, given a "front" and a "top"? What kind of a value might leftness have? Might this value include a direction? Might this value include some kind of magnitude? Can one thing have a higher leftness value than another or are all things left equally left? If this value can have a magnitude, what kind of magnitude: linear, angular, both, other? How to tell the difference between objective left and right? What objective difference does it make if something is left or right (relative to some object)? Objects can still be observed and plotted moving around in "objective" space without needing to know what is left or right relative to them?

John and Mary are arguing about which side of Mary is her objective right. John says "that is your right arm". Mary says, "no, that is my left arm - this is my right arm". John says, "that may subjectively be your right arm from your viewpoint but I have done the calculations and I can tell you that objectively your right arm is that one". Mary says, "I have done the calculations too and I can assure you my right arm is this one over here, both subjectively and objectively" ...

They try to figure out how they got different answers. Initially they suspect they may be using different directions for Mary's top and front. They quickly confirm they both have the same directions in mind, but somehow their calculations are giving them different answers and they can't figure out why. It seems that at least one of them must be using the wrong calculation.

Who can help provide them with a method they can follow that will always lead them both to the same correct answer as to which side of Mary is objectively her right side? (Neither of them are very technical so a method expressed in precise simple English is preferable.)
Again, this isn't anything at all difficult to get a grasp on.
This may not be difficult. Providing a method that can tell objective left from right given both front and top directions without caring how these directions are acquired may be the easiest part. Has anyone provided such a method yet?
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

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Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 12:17 pm (And it's ridiculous--it's basically an embarrassment for the notion of a board like this--that it's taking this much discussion about it)
Subjectively: maybe ... Objectively: is there any room for embarrassment?

If this discussion began by asking, "Does Objective leftness and rightness exist?", and one person replies "Yes", and no else challenges this, how philosophically valuable would this be? A yes or no answer is is just 1 bit of information. It is almost informationally worthless.

If an idea is put forward, one approach is to agree with this and defend it faithfully (or disagree and defend an opposing idea faithfully). Another approach is to test the idea by questioning it without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with it. Any interest in the outcome (eg, whether it is eventually concluded that objective leftness and rightness does exist; it is concluded that this doesn't exist; or this remains inconclusive) may bias the enquiry.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Sculptor1 »

-0+ wrote: May 5th, 2021, 8:02 am
Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 12:17 pm (And it's ridiculous--it's basically an embarrassment for the notion of a board like this--that it's taking this much discussion about it)
Subjectively: maybe ... Objectively: is there any room for embarrassment?

If this discussion began by asking, "Does Objective leftness and rightness exist?", and one person replies "Yes", and no else challenges this, how philosophically valuable would this be? A yes or no answer is is just 1 bit of information. It is almost informationally worthless.
That is all very well if the person saying yes, addresses all of the objections of the challenger, rather than ignores them.
Chemistry would not work without chirality, and the structure of matter would not be coherent. It is a fact of the universe just as much as time and space, and is in fact a consequence of it.
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Re: Objective leftness and rightness do not exist.

Post by Terrapin Station »

-0+ wrote: May 5th, 2021, 8:02 am
Terrapin Station wrote: May 4th, 2021, 12:17 pm (And it's ridiculous--it's basically an embarrassment for the notion of a board like this--that it's taking this much discussion about it)
Subjectively: maybe ... Objectively: is there any room for embarrassment?
"X is ridiculous," "X is embarrassing" are definitely subjective and not objective.

This is not the case with relations like "left" and "right."
If this discussion began by asking, "Does Objective leftness and rightness exist?", and one person replies "Yes", and no else challenges this, how philosophically valuable would this be?
Extremely. Because we wouldn't be wasting our time with stupid $h|^, as if the point of philosophy is to argue about everything for the sake of arguing about it, as if the whole gist of philosophy is to be Monty Python's Argument Clinic. Way too many people online, on message boards like this, seem to believe that the gist of philosophy is (a) playing dumb, and (b) working at the Argument Clinic. That's not what philosophy is about.
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