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Old 04-05-2008, 03:45 AM
Chris Walters
 
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Michael C wrote:
| Chris Walters wrote:
| Michael C wrote:
| | Hal Vaughan wrote:
| |> On Friday 04 April 2008, Michael C wrote:
| |>
| |>> Hal Vaughan wrote:
| |>>
| |>>> On Friday 04 April 2008, Michael C wrote:
| |>>>
| |>>>> Ivan Savcic wrote:
| |>>>>
| |>>>>> On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Andrew Sackville-West
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>> <andrew@farwestbilliards.com> wrote:
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>>> I have a problem with this. Debian, in it's default install is
| |>>>>>> almost assuredly GNU free. And it has the additional freedom of
| |>>>>>> allowing the user to choose to use non-free software within the
| |>>>>>> structure of it's packaging system. IMO that is more free than
| |>>>>>> preventing people from using the software they want.
| |>>>>>>
| |>>>>> I had exactly the same view on that. But RMS is obviously a
| |>>>>> purist, he dreams to banish all closed source from this world.
| |>>>>> Like Hal pointed out, RMS believes that there should be no
| |>>>>> freedom when it comes to choosing freedom itself.
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>> Ivan
| |>>>>>
| |>>>> RMS is more of a hypocrite than anything else. He morally objects
| |>>>> to distros/*BSD variants with non-free applications in their
| |>>>> repositories/ports systems, on the grounds that this implicitly
| |>>>> advocates the use of non-free software, whilst explicitly
| |>>>> advocating GPL-licensed software for use in conjunction with that
| |>>>> ultimate proprietary platform, MS Windows:
| |>>>> http://www.gnu.org/software/for-windows.html
| |>>>>
| |>>> I think what RMS objects to is anything that was not his idea
| |>>> first.
| |>>>
| |>>> Hal
| |>>>
| |>> Honi soit qui mal y pense!
| |>>
| |>
| |> Merde!
| |>
| |> Granted that's just my opinion, based on what I've read and less than
| |> 2 1/2 hours at one of his talks (including some time talking to him
| |> afterwards), so I could be way off base, but I did get the sense that
| |> his world definitely starts and ends with his own views -- and
| |> basically contains only his views.
| |>
| |>
| |>> The FSF's list curiously doesn't mention the GNU Foundation's support
| |>> for the Win32 port of emacs and gcc:
| |>> http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/windows/ntemacs.html
| |>>
| |>
| |> I admire RMS and a lot of what he's done. I'm currently working on
| |> source for controlling an HD radio in C++ so I'm using gcc, based on
| |> his earlier version and he did write emacs (isn't that an OS or
| |> religion?). That doesn't mean that I think he carries things too far.
| |>
| |> But then again, maybe it's that blindness and need of his to go too
| |> far that has achieved what he has.
| |>
| |> Hal
| |>
| |
| | FWIW, I don't have any particular problem with the notion --
| implicit in
| | Stallman's position -- that there's a set of positive political
| freedoms
| | which *morally* override the permissive freedom to install proprietary
| | software.
|
| Ah, but there are many who would disagree with that position. There
| was a
| person who once said words to the effect that someone who will not
| fight for
| freedom does not deserve it. Then there are the UN Conventions on
| Human Rights
| - these state, basically, IIRC that the rights of the individual are
| more
| important than any particular moral or political override.
|
| The idea that using closed source software is morally wrong, it
| problematic, at
| best, since:
| 1. If you drive a car built after a certain point, you are using
| closed source
| software (the computer that controls your engine, and the one that
| monitors
| your acceleration and activates your airbag).
| 2. If you use a cell phone, you are using closed source software (the
| ROM chip
| set that controls the phone - i.e. finds the cell tower signals and
| locks on).
| 3. If you use just about ANY computer, you are using closed source
| software
| (various ROM and EPROM chips on the mainboard, and on any cards that
| you add on).
| 4. If you use a television, you are using closed source software (the
| tuner
| and various ROM chips).
| 5. If you use pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, etc. you are, by
| proxy,
| using closed source software (the software that controls the production
| process, the software that the pharmacy uses to fill you prescription,
| and so on).
|
|> There's the rub. There are practical/political impediments to the
|> exercise of genuine software freedom (the whole panoply of patents, NDAs
|> etc.) which no software license, no matter how "progressive", could ever
|> hope to effectively combat. So it follows that if there's to be real
|> software freedom, it would have to be predicated on new and transformed
|> social, political and economic arrangements.

This would mean the end of modern economic theory (i.e. capitalism - socialism
spectrum). It would require a completely new paradigm of economics, where
everyone's basic needs are met, and they can work on other pursuits (for what
motivation, I do not know). For the record, I, as a programmer and user of
software signed the petition in opposition to software patents. Back to my
point, we would have to live in a Star Trek like world (i.e. no money) for this
to come true.

|> But Stallman's is a utopian position, because in place of concrete
|> political and economic analyses of capitalism, all he really has to
|> offer politically is vague talk about extending Free Software's moral
|> example into other social spheres.

Utopian visions are nice to look at, but one must remember that every
theoretical application of such visions result in the implicit surrendering, by
the individual of all rights and freedoms for the good of the whole. This
would make the idea of "free" software moot, since the society, as a whole,
would choose which software everyone would use.

If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read it
clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether a person
wants to use pure open source software, closed source software, or a mix of
both. This is freedom.

Chris
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:51 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default

On Friday 04 April 2008, Chris Walters wrote:
...
> If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read
> it clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether
> a person wants to use pure open source software, closed source
> software, or a mix of both. This is freedom.

That is how you and most others would define freedom. It's not how he
defines it. How you define that word makes a big difference.

Hal


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Old 04-05-2008, 04:09 AM
Chris Walters
 
Default

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s. keeling wrote:
| Mark Allums <mark@allums.com>:
|> Hal Vaughan wrote:
|>> stay alive. Some, those generally at the lower levels of Piaget's
|>> Hierarchy of Needs, will say survival is important while those focused
|>> on the higher levels (focused on self actualization) where, since it's
|> Maslow
|
| Thankyou for the redirect. Not that you've offered to defend it but,
| Poppycock! :-) "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to
| lose ..."
|
| "The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called
| "deficiency needs" or "D-needs": the individual does not feel
| anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met."
|
| ... does not feel anything if they are met ...
|
| This man's never been poor. When you're poor, even the meanest of
| pleasures make you feel, momentarily, like a real honest to goodness
| human being again (possibly even more willing to stay that way, as in
| alive), and that's just what he needs most then. In that point of
| one's life, anxious is a constant. Any respite, even an egg mcmuffin
| or a smoke, can produce bliss. I very much doubt he ever was there.
| Good for him.
|
| My guess is he's a typical Ivory Tower researcher with little more to
| go on than his theory based on no first hand evidence. Psycho-
| anything is a primitive science (if that). No, I'm not a
| Scientologist.

Maslow is more on the theoretical side of psychology than on the experimental
side. If you look at his theory more closely, you may find some truth to it -
a homeless person is not going to be worried about "Self-actualization needs",
as this person's main goal will be to survive. Psychology *is* a science, in
that the scientific method is used on the experimental side, at least.

Why is this not so off topic? Well, psychology and economics are two factors
that affect what any person chooses to "buy". I will explain this in a minute.
Everything has costs and benefits associated with it, which we perceive through
our imperfect senses (a big area of research in psychology), and through our
imperfect cognition (again an area much researched by psychology).

Now, how can you "buy" something that is "free" like Debian? Well, it has real
costs associated with it - the price (if you buy it pre-burned, or
pre-installed), the cost of the bandwidth if you download it (plus the cost of
the CD/DVDs - just the bandwidth if you choose a Netinstall. In addition, all
operating systems have different capabilities and different pitfalls (i.e. they
may work very well on some systems, but not so well or not at all on others).

In the end, it is a matter of choice, based on costs (perceived and real) and
benefits (also perceived and real). These perceptions are based upon our
imperfect interpretation of how our brains filter sensory data, and upon our
imperfect cognition. Thus, both psychology and economics (subjects I have
studied) have a place in this discussion. The real question is: How can we
maximize the benefits of Debian, for both current and future users, and get
them to perceive these increased benefits as such?

Chris
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:16 AM
Chris Walters
 
Default

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Hal Vaughan wrote:
| On Friday 04 April 2008, Chris Walters wrote:
| ...
|> If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read
|> it clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether
|> a person wants to use pure open source software, closed source
|> software, or a mix of both. This is freedom.
|
| That is how you and most others would define freedom. It's not how he
| defines it. How you define that word makes a big difference.
|
| Hal

That is true - how is word is defined does make a big difference. For example,
if I define the word "freedom" to mean slavery, and the concept of "human
rights" to mean "the right be be only a slave, or a slave owner", then I am
attacking the language by altering fundamental definitions of word, and concepts.

I know that he doesn't define freedom as I and most others do, but I hope that
he and those others are in the minority fringe.

Chris
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Old 04-05-2008, 05:08 AM
Hal Vaughan
 
Default

On Saturday 05 April 2008, Chris Walters wrote:
> Hal Vaughan wrote:
> | On Friday 04 April 2008, Chris Walters wrote:
> | ...
> |
> |> If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he
> |> read it clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply
> |> whether a person wants to use pure open source software, closed
> |> source software, or a mix of both. This is freedom.
> |
> | That is how you and most others would define freedom. It's not how
> | he defines it. How you define that word makes a big difference.
> |
> | Hal
>
> That is true - how is word is defined does make a big difference.
> For example, if I define the word "freedom" to mean slavery, and the
> concept of "human rights" to mean "the right be be only a slave, or a
> slave owner", then I am attacking the language by altering
> fundamental definitions of word, and concepts.

Yes, it is an attack on the language, since the other discussion (in
terms of software) is a matter of degree and freedom is slavery is
dealing with exact opposites. (Where have I heard that phrase about
freedom and slavery before?...)

> I know that he doesn't define freedom as I and most others do, but I
> hope that he and those others are in the minority fringe.

I would think so, but I also think this is a minority fringe that has
created benefits for the rest of us.

Hal


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Old 04-05-2008, 07:07 AM
Paul Johnson
 
Default

On Friday 04 April 2008 08:45:14 pm Chris Walters wrote:

> |> There's the rub. There are practical/political impediments to the
> |> exercise of genuine software freedom (the whole panoply of patents, NDAs
> |> etc.) which no software license, no matter how "progressive", could ever
> |> hope to effectively combat. So it follows that if there's to be real
> |> software freedom, it would have to be predicated on new and transformed
> |> social, political and economic arrangements.
>
> This would mean the end of modern economic theory (i.e. capitalism -
> socialism spectrum). It would require a completely new paradigm of
> economics, where everyone's basic needs are met, and they can work on other
> pursuits (for what motivation, I do not know). For the record, I, as a
> programmer and user of software signed the petition in opposition to
> software patents. Back to my point, we would have to live in a Star Trek
> like world (i.e. no money) for this to come true.

I'm a little stunned that we're not even 20 years out since the end of the
Cold War and already we forget Karl Marx and The Communist Manifesto.

> If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read it
> clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether a person
> wants to use pure open source software, closed source software, or a mix of
> both. This is freedom.

You can't choose for the Bill of Rights to not apply to you: You can't choose
not to be free. The GNU ideal works the same way.

--
Paul Johnson
baloo@ursine.ca
 
Old 04-05-2008, 08:37 AM
Chris Walters
 
Default

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Paul Johnson wrote:
| On Friday 04 April 2008 08:45:14 pm Chris Walters wrote:
|
|> This would mean the end of modern economic theory (i.e. capitalism -
|> socialism spectrum). It would require a completely new paradigm of
|> economics, where everyone's basic needs are met, and they can work on other
|> pursuits (for what motivation, I do not know). For the record, I, as a
|> programmer and user of software signed the petition in opposition to
|> software patents. Back to my point, we would have to live in a Star Trek
|> like world (i.e. no money) for this to come true.
|
| I'm a little stunned that we're not even 20 years out since the end of the
| Cold War and already we forget Karl Marx and The Communist Manifesto.

No, I have not forgotten Karl Marx or the Communist Manifesto - they are still
being practiced today. Capitalism and Socialism are not mutually exclusive, if
you'll pardon my little foray into economic theory. One of my economics
professors stated that no country is or was either 100% Capitalist or 100%
Socialist - that all countries have some Capitalism and some Socialism. He
proceeded to point out the socialist programs that exist in the USA (food
stamps, welfare, etc.) He also pointed out that Communism is a POLITICAL
system that applies some level of the economic system of Socialism. (What a
debate that was.) Back to the point. He also pointed out that, Cold War
notwithstanding, Sweden is and has been the most Socialist country in the
world, and is a democracy (I would hope they provided *something* for that 70+%
tax rate).

|> If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read it
|> clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether a person
|> wants to use pure open source software, closed source software, or a mix of
|> both. This is freedom.
|
| You can't choose for the Bill of Rights to not apply to you: You can't choose
| not to be free. The GNU ideal works the same way.

Apples and oranges. I am having a little difficulty understanding your point.
The GNU ideal is not the Bill of Rights and does NOT work the same way. If it
were, it would only apply in the United States, for one thing. For another,
this appears to be a straw man argument. The essence of freedom is the right
to CHOOSE what you want for yourself, without coercion from governments or
others. This means that one would have the freedom to use open source and
non-open source software together. If you are suggesting that such a thing is
wrong, and opposed to freedom, you are using a variation of the same argument
that opponents of open source software use. By making the two mutually
exclusive, you would limit the freedom of choice (a freedom guaranteed in the
Bill of Rights, I may add).

A final note on the straw man. People can choose not to be free, and many do
so. As for choosing for the Bill of Rights not to apply to a person - doing
this is not really hard. All one has to do is move out of the USA. However,
that has nothing to do with the open source vs. closed source debate. Of
course, I could sum it up like this: non sequitur, straw man argument.

Regards,
Chris
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:26 AM
Michael C
 
Default

Chris Walters wrote:

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Michael C wrote:
| Chris Walters wrote:
| Michael C wrote:
| | Hal Vaughan wrote:
| |> On Friday 04 April 2008, Michael C wrote:
| |>
| |>> Hal Vaughan wrote:
| |>>
| |>>> On Friday 04 April 2008, Michael C wrote:
| |>>>
| |>>>> Ivan Savcic wrote:
| |>>>>
| |>>>>> On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Andrew Sackville-West
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>> <andrew@farwestbilliards.com> wrote:
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>>> I have a problem with this. Debian, in it's default install is
| |>>>>>> almost assuredly GNU free. And it has the additional freedom of
| |>>>>>> allowing the user to choose to use non-free software within the
| |>>>>>> structure of it's packaging system. IMO that is more free than
| |>>>>>> preventing people from using the software they want.
| |>>>>>>
| |>>>>> I had exactly the same view on that. But RMS is obviously a
| |>>>>> purist, he dreams to banish all closed source from this world.
| |>>>>> Like Hal pointed out, RMS believes that there should be no
| |>>>>> freedom when it comes to choosing freedom itself.
| |>>>>>
| |>>>>> Ivan
| |>>>>>
| |>>>> RMS is more of a hypocrite than anything else. He morally objects
| |>>>> to distros/*BSD variants with non-free applications in their
| |>>>> repositories/ports systems, on the grounds that this implicitly
| |>>>> advocates the use of non-free software, whilst explicitly
| |>>>> advocating GPL-licensed software for use in conjunction with that
| |>>>> ultimate proprietary platform, MS Windows:
| |>>>> http://www.gnu.org/software/for-windows.html
| |>>>>
| |>>> I think what RMS objects to is anything that was not his idea
| |>>> first.
| |>>>
| |>>> Hal
| |>>>
| |>> Honi soit qui mal y pense!
| |>>
| |>
| |> Merde!
| |>
| |> Granted that's just my opinion, based on what I've read and less
than

| |> 2 1/2 hours at one of his talks (including some time talking to him
| |> afterwards), so I could be way off base, but I did get the sense
that

| |> his world definitely starts and ends with his own views -- and
| |> basically contains only his views.
| |>
| |>
| |>> The FSF's list curiously doesn't mention the GNU Foundation's
support

| |>> for the Win32 port of emacs and gcc:
| |>> http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/windows/ntemacs.html
| |>>
| |>
| |> I admire RMS and a lot of what he's done. I'm currently working on
| |> source for controlling an HD radio in C++ so I'm using gcc, based on
| |> his earlier version and he did write emacs (isn't that an OS or
| |> religion?). That doesn't mean that I think he carries things too
far.

| |>
| |> But then again, maybe it's that blindness and need of his to go too
| |> far that has achieved what he has.
| |>
| |> Hal
| |>
| |
| | FWIW, I don't have any particular problem with the notion --
| implicit in
| | Stallman's position -- that there's a set of positive political
| freedoms
| | which *morally* override the permissive freedom to install
proprietary

| | software.
|
| Ah, but there are many who would disagree with that position. There
| was a
| person who once said words to the effect that someone who will not
| fight for
| freedom does not deserve it. Then there are the UN Conventions on
| Human Rights
| - these state, basically, IIRC that the rights of the individual are
| more
| important than any particular moral or political override.
|
| The idea that using closed source software is morally wrong, it
| problematic, at
| best, since:
| 1. If you drive a car built after a certain point, you are using
| closed source
| software (the computer that controls your engine, and the one that
| monitors
| your acceleration and activates your airbag).
| 2. If you use a cell phone, you are using closed source software (the
| ROM chip
| set that controls the phone - i.e. finds the cell tower signals and
| locks on).
| 3. If you use just about ANY computer, you are using closed source
| software
| (various ROM and EPROM chips on the mainboard, and on any cards that
| you add on).
| 4. If you use a television, you are using closed source software (the
| tuner
| and various ROM chips).
| 5. If you use pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, etc. you are, by
| proxy,
| using closed source software (the software that controls the production
| process, the software that the pharmacy uses to fill you prescription,
| and so on).
|
|> There's the rub. There are practical/political impediments to the
|> exercise of genuine software freedom (the whole panoply of patents,
NDAs
|> etc.) which no software license, no matter how "progressive", could
ever

|> hope to effectively combat. So it follows that if there's to be real
|> software freedom, it would have to be predicated on new and
transformed

|> social, political and economic arrangements.

This would mean the end of modern economic theory (i.e. capitalism -
socialism
spectrum). It would require a completely new paradigm of economics,
where
everyone's basic needs are met, and they can work on other pursuits
(for what
motivation, I do not know).
Well it would certainly require an historically unprecedented degree of
democratization in political and economic life.


When I call Stallman a utopian it's intended as a criticism, because he
shirks the hard, detailed work of political analysis that might provide
us with a strategic roadmap in favor of ridiculous moral diatribes
against programmers whose only fault seems to be that they want to earn
a living from their craft.



For the record, I, as a programmer and user of
software signed the petition in opposition to software patents. Back
to my
point, we would have to live in a Star Trek like world (i.e. no money)
for this

to come true.

|> But Stallman's is a utopian position, because in place of concrete
|> political and economic analyses of capitalism, all he really has to
|> offer politically is vague talk about extending Free Software's moral
|> example into other social spheres.

Utopian visions are nice to look at, but one must remember that every
theoretical application of such visions result in the implicit
surrendering, by
the individual of all rights and freedoms for the good of the whole.
This
would make the idea of "free" software moot, since the society, as a
whole,

would choose which software everyone would use.
If RMS is basing his ideals on the GNU charter, I don't think he read it
clearly enough. "Free: As in freedom". This should apply whether a
person
wants to use pure open source software, closed source software, or a
mix of

both. This is freedom.

Chris
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:45 AM
Adam Hardy
 
Default

Chris Walters on 05/04/08 05:09, wrote:

s. keeling wrote:
| Mark Allums <mark@allums.com>:
|> Hal Vaughan wrote:
|>> stay alive. Some, those generally at the lower levels of Piaget's
|>> Hierarchy of Needs, will say survival is important while those focused
|>> on the higher levels (focused on self actualization) where, since it's
|> Maslow
|
| Thankyou for the redirect. Not that you've offered to defend it but,
| Poppycock! :-) "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to
| lose ..."
|
| "The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called
| "deficiency needs" or "D-needs": the individual does not feel
| anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met."
|
| ... does not feel anything if they are met ...
|
| This man's never been poor. When you're poor, even the meanest of
| pleasures make you feel, momentarily, like a real honest to goodness
| human being again (possibly even more willing to stay that way, as in
| alive), and that's just what he needs most then. In that point of
| one's life, anxious is a constant. Any respite, even an egg mcmuffin
| or a smoke, can produce bliss. I very much doubt he ever was there.
| Good for him.
|
| My guess is he's a typical Ivory Tower researcher with little more to
| go on than his theory based on no first hand evidence. Psycho-
| anything is a primitive science (if that). No, I'm not a
| Scientologist.

Maslow is more on the theoretical side of psychology than on the
experimental
side. If you look at his theory more closely, you may find some truth
to it -
a homeless person is not going to be worried about "Self-actualization
needs",
as this person's main goal will be to survive. Psychology *is* a
science, in

that the scientific method is used on the experimental side, at least.

Why is this not so off topic? Well, psychology and economics are two
factors
that affect what any person chooses to "buy". I will explain this in a
minute.
Everything has costs and benefits associated with it, which we perceive
through
our imperfect senses (a big area of research in psychology), and through
our

imperfect cognition (again an area much researched by psychology).

Now, how can you "buy" something that is "free" like Debian? Well, it
has real

costs associated with it - the price (if you buy it pre-burned, or
pre-installed), the cost of the bandwidth if you download it (plus the
cost of
the CD/DVDs - just the bandwidth if you choose a Netinstall. In
addition, all
operating systems have different capabilities and different pitfalls
(i.e. they
may work very well on some systems, but not so well or not at all on
others).


In the end, it is a matter of choice, based on costs (perceived and
real) and

benefits (also perceived and real). These perceptions are based upon our
imperfect interpretation of how our brains filter sensory data, and upon
our

imperfect cognition. Thus, both psychology and economics (subjects I have
studied) have a place in this discussion. The real question is: How
can we

maximize the benefits of Debian, for both current and future users, and get
them to perceive these increased benefits as such?



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Old 04-05-2008, 11:58 AM
Adam Hardy
 
Default

Adam Hardy on 05/04/08 12:45, wrote:

Chris Walters on 05/04/08 05:09, wrote:

[snip]

sorry, sent that by mistake.


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