Entries in the 'Society' Category

“No Point And No Sincerity In Remorse” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “No Point and No Sincerity in Remorse

It seems as though we are in the age of remorse. Police officers in America are kneeling before black Americans; Emmanuel Macron acknowledged “his country’s use of torture in the Algerian War,” and more recently, admitted France’s “Guilt For Rwanda’s Genocide.” Also recently, “Germany officially recognises colonial-era Namibia genocide,” and a few years ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized “for Abuse and ‘Profound Cultural Loss’ at Indigenous Schools.”

These apologies pamper people’s egos but yield no positive results. If anything, it will, and is already creating a distortion toward the other extreme. Even worse, the financial compensation that is offered as recompense will only exacerbate the problems of the victim nations. It will ruin their way of life without giving them a sustainable alternative. If we want to help struggling countries, and we should want it because they are part of the family of nations, we should invest in education for humanism, for solidarity, for mutual responsibility. This is the way to build prosperous nations, and not by simply inundating them in money.

The Apartheid regime in South Africa was wrong, unjust, and racist, and should have been revoked, as it finally was. However, because it happened without first educating the liberated people, the results were horrendous. At the end of the Apartheid, the rand, South Africa’s currency, was just over 3.5 per 1 US dollar. By 2018, the exchange rate was 13.2 rands per dollar. Likewise, the GDP per capita plummeted from $13,000 US at the end of the Apartheid regime to $4,100 US in 2018.

Even for the oppressors, an apology is no solution. It can never be a sincere apology since the ego will never admit that it did something wrong, so if people are offering apologies for past wrongs, they are insincere, and insincerity prevents real correction. Also, when countries seek money as recompense, and nothing more, it is not a request with the benefit of the population in mind.

The only way to raise people from their current level to a higher one is education. And by education, I mean first and foremost education to humanism, to solidarity and mutual responsibility. Once a country achieves this, everything else will fall into place.

How Do We Protect Our Children

586Question: The International Day for Protection of Children has been held since 1925 “in order to draw the attention of adults to the observance of children’s rights, education, protection from violence, and the right for life.”

What does it mean to you to protect children?

Answer: First of all, from parents. So that parents understand how to raise them. I also knew very little about it, although they tried to instill it all in me. I can feel how insufficient it is. How can you make a young couple who knows nothing and does not understand anything into people who know and understand everything when they have a child?

This is a big problem. This is where we really have to do something with ourselves. Otherwise, our society, our humanity, will remain as miserable as it looks now.

Parents need to know how to make a person out of this baby. First, you need to understand from the very first day what you want to give him, what he needs, and what he wants from you. This is a nonverbal connection—mental, spiritual, neural. The one that should be between the couple and the newborn.

And then you need to give parents the necessary education, the nurturing they need to bring them up correctly. Everything that is necessary for two people who have a baby in their arms.

Question: So it is actually a whole science to be a parent?

Answer: Of course! And we do not prepare people for this. Therefore, we cannot say that we see among our babies, children, teenagers, girls, and boys as they grow, the people we could potentially see.

It is all our fault. And then we start blaming them, scolding them, demanding from them, pushing them. This is not the way to do it. Then it is too late.

We also need to make relations in the family, at school, on the street, everywhere a little closer. A child should not feel that these are completely opposite different societies. It should all be homogeneous. Here it is necessary to change society as well.

Comment: This is already the “Day of a Unified Society” and not the “Day for Protection of Children.”

My Response: This is the protection of children. From society.

This is actually our job, because otherwise our education will lead us to disaster. Everything you see in adults is everything done at an age when they were maybe a few months old or a few years old at most.

International Day for Protection of Children is a good day if we agree to create an atmosphere for them, an environment, that supports them and correctly formats them, turns them into a person, a good person, a kind, caring, and helpful person, a person who wants to help and accepts help from others.

There should just be an even kind attitude toward everyone.

Question: And this is the merit of parents and society only?

Answer: Yes. And then we will be able to see how everything really changes.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 5/27/21

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Will The End Of The World Come?

629.4Comment:  Igor wrote a comment about one of your videos about the last generation: “You have come up with a terrible name, the last generation. But I like this name. Yes, we are the last generation because the end of the world is approaching. And I am glad about it.”

My Response: I do not know what he imagines as the end of the world. I do depict the end of our world.

The last generation is the last generation of egoism, the last that exists in this egoism, in this terrible relationship between people, etc. And then the next generation will come. It is not the last; it is the first generation of the new world.

We are still the last generation. We must recognize the evil of all of our past states and simply swear that we will never use it again.

Question: This generation should realize the evil of egoism?

Answer: Yes. So much so that it will never return to it so that this impression from the recognition of evil will remain in it and serve as the correct support, the soil for germination of a new generation.

Question: What is your job? To make people understand and accept this?

Answer: To inform them that we are egoists, that we must rise above it, that we must take the positive force of nature as the basis of our existence and not the evil, not the negative force of nature. And thus move forward.

Question: When such people ask questions, it is clear where they are leading to, that there will be an apocalypse, the end of the world, it is written in many holy books. What does it mean? What is the end of the world?

Answer: The end of the world means the end of our egoistic existence.

Nature is eternal, nothing ends, we will not disappear. We will still grow over and over again. So, nothing threatens us. On the contrary, we will be forced to return to these states again and again in order to draw the right conclusion and live correctly.
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From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 3/15/21

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“Why Preserve Earth?” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why Preserve Earth?

As the climate crisis escalates and extreme weather is growing increasingly frequent, experts are seriously pondering how close we are to the point of no return. CBS News reported on April 26 that according to Professor Timothy Lenton, a global leader on the climate crisis, “the West Antarctic ice sheet may have already passed a tipping point.” CBS News also spoke to other experts and reported that “their message was unanimous: Changes are happening faster than what was expected and the chance of hitting tipping points in the climate system, which just a decade ago appeared remote and far off, now seems much more likely and more immediate. ‘This is why I have been raising the alarm,’ Lenton said. ‘In just a decade the risk level has gone up markedly — that should be triggering urgent action.’”

Over the past several decades, we’ve tried countless tactics and ploys to curb emissions, decrease pollution, and diminish our exploitation of the planet. None of them worked. Moreover, we are not only exploiting our planet, we are exploiting all of life on the planet, and we are exploiting each other. The mistreatment of others that characterizes us is evident on all fronts, which means that the problem is far more systemic and deeply rooted than switching to renewable energy, for example, or curbing deforestation.

In my view, however, the question is not whether or not we hit, or are close to hitting the tipping point. I believe that the question we should ask is not whether Earth is doomed and we’re doomed with it, but rather why are we here in the first place. The universe we live in has been around for fourteen billion years or so. Earth has existed for approximately 4.5 billion years, and life on Earth began a few hundred million years after Earth was formed. We have evolved from atoms into molecules, from molecules into unicellular creatures, and from unicellular creatures to the countless forms of life on Earth in the water, on land, and in the sky. Finally, in the last few hundred thousand years, humankind has emerged. Gradually, we have become the rulers of the planet, exploiting its soil, flora, and fauna, polluting the air, the soil, and the water, and depleting Earth’s resources as fast as we can in order to gain power and wealth. Is this why we are here, to do all this harm? Perhaps, if we knew the answer, we wouldn’t be doing the inconceivable damage we are inflicting on the planet every second. The question of our purpose in being here is therefore the key question we must answer. If we know the answer to it, we will resolve all our problems and save the planet.

Over the past several decades, we’ve tried countless tactics and ploys to curb emissions, decrease pollution, and diminish our exploitation of the planet. None of them worked. Moreover, we are not only exploiting our planet, we are exploiting all of life on the planet, and we are exploiting each other. The mistreatment of others that characterizes us is evident on all fronts, which means that the problem is far more systemic and deeply rooted than switching to renewable energy, for example, or curbing deforestation. The problem that causes all our plights is us, or more accurately our nature—human nature. Unlike any other being on this planet, we are exploitative, mean, and abusive to each other, to all living creatures, and to the planet we call home. In fact, we are so heartless that we cannot restrain our greed even when we know that our doing will ruin the future of our children and grandchildren. Instead of a home to live in, we are handing down to them a planet-size pile of trash. What good parent would do that? None, of course, but we are not good parents.

Yet, not all is lost. In the first lockdown that was imposed nearly all over the world at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, multiple examples of nature’s resilience from around the world proved that Earth is much stronger than we thought, and can recover even from prolonged human exploitation. Therefore, if we solve our one problem, human nature, the rest of nature will quickly recover and planetary balance will be restored.

Changing human nature may seem impossible, at first, like pulling oneself out of a swamp by one’s own hair. However, we can learn from nature how to do that. In nature, things change according to their environment. Adaptability is key to the survival of any species. If we create an environment of friendliness, mutual responsibility, and caring, our nature will adapt to its environment and will become likewise. We needn’t change ourselves, but only our superficial behavior. Then, if all of society behaves kindly, people will become genuinely kind. Just as living in a cruel environment forces everyone who lives there to be cruel, even if they are not cruel by nature, the opposite is just as true.

Once we make our social environment friendly and considerate, our nature will become friendly and considerate. Once we become friendly and considerate, we will stop being exploitative. Once we stop being exploitative, we will stop abusing each other, other living beings, and the planet as a whole. It turns out that to save ourselves and our planet, our sole focus should be on changing our social environment from hostile to friendly, from abusive to considerate. Everything else will quickly follow.

Moreover, transcoding our inherent nature will reveal to us realms we cannot conceive right now. As long as we are concentrated only on ourselves, all we see is ourselves. But the purpose of our being here is to grow far beyond ourselves, to grasp all of reality, to understand on the deepest level why we exist, why there are life and death, creation and destruction, and how everything is connected. Only if we start thinking of each other will we stop thinking of ourselves, and only if we stop thinking of ourselves will we start perceiving the world around us as it truly is. This is why the one question we should ask in order to secure our lives, the well-being of the planet, and even our happiness is “Why are we here?”
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Breaking The Information Impasse

962.8Question: Did the Kabbalists predict that an information explosion would take place in the last generation and people would not be able to cope with the processing and use of information? What kind of reboot should society make today for the information use?

Answer: We can say that now we are facing another revolution. The fact is that we quite often encounter such states.

When we felt the need for a million horses to transport something from place to place, we invented the locomotive. When we felt that it was impossible to drag what we needed on the ground with the help of a locomotive, we invented other means of transportation, other possibilities, etc. Nature is constantly pushing us to do this.

Today we are at an information impasse. We dirtied the whole atmosphere with all kinds of “likes.” In the end, this is all emptiness. But we are still sitting in this and cannot get rid of it. It’s like we’re stuck in the mud and unable to get ourselves out of it.

I think this will all lead to orderliness, to the fact that we will stop twitching in our information world and rise to the next level. Essentially, it will be important for us to communicate with each other. This is the solution to today’s technological, informational deadlock.
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From KabTV’s “Integral Course” 3/19/21

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Who Governs Us?

424.01Question: By striving for pleasure and running away from suffering, is it possible to predict your next step?

Answer: You cannot predict the next step because you do not know exactly what desires will awaken in you and what will be needed to realize them. But you will always reflect based on the desires that arise in you how to best realize them: give as little as possible and receive as much as possible in all your actions.

See how you sit, as comfortably as possible in the present condition, how you talk, how you behave, subconsciously or consciously, no matter how.

Question: What is wrong with this behavior? What doesn’t work in it?

Answer: In principle, this model itself could be correct. It is aimed at ensuring that we realize ourselves with maximum profit, and at every moment of time maintain greater confidence, security, fulfillment, and advancement.

But the fact is that I am commanded by the values ​​that I receive from society. And it imposes on me things that I do not at all need.

Each of us brings our aspirations for wealth, fame, power to society. And it turns out that I want to use society to make money, to impose on it absolutely not the values ​​that it needs, but what I need to get from it. I invent all sorts of things in order to sell and thus gain knowledge, power, fame, and money.

As a result, I impose my values ​​on others, and since this already becomes a legacy of the whole society, it imposes on everyone else in the form of advertising and everything else. It turns out that we advertise to each other absolutely unnecessary things, on which each of us wants to earn something, either fame, or power, or money. Thus, we sell each other completely unnecessary stuff.

Question: But why are we sure that we need it?

Answer: Because society makes us believe it. If society says that this is good, then striving to win recognition and respect in its eyes, I do what it imposes on me.

For example, now I am sitting in a suit. It would be more comfortable for me to sit in my pajamas. Why am I not doing this? Because society forces me to dress like this, and I want to get approval in its eyes so that they will listen to me, respect me. Therefore, we behave this way, whether we understand it or not.

Thus, society forces us to actions that, in principle, are opposite to my natural impulses and desires. In fact, I would not want this, I would just like to exist in peace. Society is constantly developing in its desires and it forces me to desire what I absolutely do not need. But this is how we go.
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From KabTV’s “Close-up” 8/19/09

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“Diversity – The Key To Success” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Diversity – the Key to Success

A few weeks ago, several news outlets published a story that went largely unnoticed by legacy media, but which defies reason. Apparently, the Grace Church School in Lower Manhattan issued a 12-page guide to students and staff explaining the school’s mission of inclusivity. The guide encouraged them to replace some of the most essential words in any language with substitutes that denied them of their meaning. For example, the guide reads, “Instead of ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad,’ at Grace we say ‘grown-ups,’ ‘folks,’ or ‘family.’” Or, “Instead of ‘husband,’ ‘wife,’ ‘boyfriend,’ ‘girlfriend,’ at Grace we say ‘spouse,’ ‘partner,’ ‘significant other.’”

Instead of making everyone the same, we should boldly emphasize our differences and use them for the common good. All of a sudden, we will discover that everyone is beautiful in their own unique way! Building a robust society depends not on making everyone the same, but on embracing everyone’s differences. Diversity is the key to success; uniformity—the road to failure.

The guide does not stop there. It continues its effort to engineer the consciousness of students and teachers by clearly stating its agenda: “We actively try to undo notions of a ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ family structure, each family is unique.” Also, the guide points to a problem it defines as “Heterosexism,” which is “The assumption that heterosexuality is the natural or default form of sexuality, and is inherently good or inevitable.”

Religion, too, is “treated” in the guide. “Instead of [asking] ‘What religion are you?’ say ‘Are any religious/faith traditions important to you?’” Or, “Instead of [saying] ‘Merry Christmas!/Happy Holidays!’ say ‘Have a great break!’” There is much more but you get the point.

The thing is that the blatant attempt at consciousness engineering was largely ignored. The children and parents were afraid for their future, teachers were afraid for their jobs, and legacy media had no interest in protesting the obvious oppression of free thought, so very few outlets reported it.

But one person could not keep quiet. Paul Rossi, a teacher at Grace Church, wrote a piece titled “I Refuse to Stand By While My Students Are Indoctrinated,” and published it on Bari Weiss’ blog Common Sense. In the subtitle, he wrote, “Children are afraid to challenge the repressive ideology that rules our school. That’s why I am.”

Rossi admits that he is afraid for his future, but feels he has no choice since the problem isn’t only with Grace Church, but a widespread issue. “I know that by attaching my name to this I’m risking not only my current job but my career as an educator, since most schools, both public and private, are now captive to this backward ideology,” he admits. “But witnessing the harmful impact it has on children, I can’t stay silent.”

Luckily for Rossi, and for all of us, although it may take a while, and may still spread further, eventually, forced elimination of differences among people will not work. Nature created us different, not the same, and we cannot “undo” our making on a whim. If it contradicts nature, it will not work. It will only torment those who try.

The Procrustean bed to which the “inclusive” ideology is attempting to chain us will create the suffering that all Procrustean beds are made to create, but it will not make us the same or equal; it is totally useless and redundant. Mom and Dad are the two most important figures in our lives, which is why every culture since antiquity has dedicated specific pronouns to designate them. They are not “family” and they are certainly not “folks.” They have given us our very lives, and to a great extent, they are responsible for the people we are. It is almost the same with “husband” and “wife”: “Partner” just doesn’t carry the same weight. “Husband” and “wife” imply commitment, and “partner” implies much less of it, if any. Each person that we meet is unique, and merits a unique name or title. Denying uniqueness deprives all of us of personality.

Diversity is not something to erase; it is something to embrace! It is a source of power, resilience, and beauty! We can only appreciate the qualities of one race when we know how unique it is. However, we will know that it is unique only if we know the qualities of all the other races. Therefore, we cannot appreciate one another unless we know who we are and how different we are from one another. Erase the differences, and you have erased our uniqueness and, even worse, our ability to appreciate one another.

Instead of making everyone the same, we should boldly emphasize our differences and use them for the common good. All of a sudden, we will discover that everyone is beautiful in their own unique way! Building a robust society depends not on making everyone the same, but on embracing everyone’s differences. Diversity is the key to success; uniformity—the road to failure.
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New Life 1089 – Indifference Within Society

New Life 1089 – Indifference Within Society
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Yael Leshed-Harel

The indifference we find in today’s society will advance us toward a new, spiritual world. In ancient times, we required others for survival but today, children are immersed in technology of all sorts and don’t feel a need for people. Eventually, this social dryness and egoism will push us toward change and spirituality. The spiritual world is full of mutual support and connection based on the principle “You shall love your friend as yourself.” In the future, people will get fulfillment from communication with one another and everyone will be filled with a higher power.
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From KabTV’s “New Life 1089 – Indifference Within Society,” 3/5/19

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“World Happiness Report – Perceived Happiness Is Not Happiness” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “World Happiness Report – Perceived Happiness Is Not Happiness

According to the latest World Happiness Report (WHR), the Finnish are the happiest people in the world, and the people of Afghanistan are the most unhappy. Also, the top four countries on the list are from Northern Europe, with the Netherlands at number five. This is interesting because if these countries have the best life on the planet, why are they not flooded with immigrants? Is it because people from poor countries migrate to richer countries as a first step toward the countries that can offer the happiest life? Probably not, since the happiest countries are not that high up on the popularity scale. Apparently, what makes one person happy isn’t what makes another person happy. There is a big difference between what we perceive as happiness and what happiness really is.

There is no miracle here; it’s a psychological shift. Instead of focusing on our own desires, we need to focus on the desires of others, and they on ours. This is all it takes to change the world and make all of us, every person in the world, truly eternally happy. Then, we will not need reports to tell us whether or not we are happy; we would know for ourselves.

The WHR surveyed several factors in order to determine which nation is the happiest. Among them are GDP (a country’s economic output), income inequality, the freedom to make life choices, trust and the ability to count on others, confidence in public institutions, healthy life expectancy, well-being, and generosity. It seems plausible that such factors would play a big part in determining people’s happiness, but in truth, they overlook a key factor without which the whole project is meaningless: people’s expectations, namely what they perceive as happiness, as opposed to what the composers of the survey perceive it.

For example, if people aren’t bothered by income inequality, it will not make them happy if they have more than others, or unhappy if they have less. The same goes for trust: If a person settles for being able to trust his or her family members, and doesn’t expect anything more, then even if a country is ranked among the most corrupt in the world, it will not make the country’s people any more miserable. Apparently, the survey was conceived by Western minds and ranks countries’ happiness by what Western minds consider important for happiness. But Western minds aren’t the objective truth.

The truth is that there is no objective truth; you cannot compare people’s happiness—not between countries or between eras. That said, individually, people can determine if they are happy or not. We can measure our happiness, grade it, compare it to previous stages in our lives, and plan how to make ourselves happier because inside we know what makes us happy: Simply stated, we are happy when we get what we want. When our desires are satisfied, we feel happy. Or, perhaps I should rephrase it: We feel content.

Regrettably, we are never content, nor can we be. Our sages already said in the Midrash (Kohelet Rabbah): “One does not leave the world with half of one’s wishes in one’s hand, for one who has one hundred wants two hundred; one who has two hundred wants four hundred.” In other words, human nature itself denies our contentment. If we were content with what we had, we would not have had civilization because we would feel no urge to improve our lives. As a result, we wouldn’t have technology, and we wouldn’t have noble social ideals about what makes people happy. So by the WHR’s own standards, we wouldn’t be happy. But then, if we didn’t want those things that are said to make us happy in the first place, why would not having them make us unhappy?

The apparent catch is resolved if we understand not what makes us content, but what makes us truly happy. If you’ve ever observed a mother to a newborn baby, you know what it is: the pleasure of pleasing others! Even when the baby is sound asleep, tucked in her blanket and her belly full, her mother still watches her, needlessly fixes her blanket and smiles. No person is happier than a mother satisfying her baby’s needs.

If we strove to please the desires of others the way mothers strive to please their babies, and others strove to do the same for us, everyone would be happy. We would have a never ending pool of desires to please, everyone’s personal needs would always be met to the fullest, and everyone would always be happily pleasing others. There is truly no end to the happiness that such a state of mind can induce.

There is no miracle here; it’s a psychological shift. Instead of focusing on our own desires, we need to focus on the desires of others, and they on ours. This is all it takes to change the world and make all of us, every person in the world, truly eternally happy. Then, we will not need reports to tell us whether or not we are happy; we would know for ourselves.
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“Envy – How To Rein In The Monster” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Envy – How to Rein In the Monster

As Israel is opening up malls and commerce is returning to full speed, the ailments of Western society are reappearing as though we’ve never had Covid. High-end stores are so crammed that people are standing in long lines outside of them hoping to spend a lot of money on posh accessories. You’d think that the coronavirus would have cured us of these ills, but it has done nothing of the kind. On the contrary, it seems as though people are shopping with vengeance.

People value what they see that others value. They buy things that others appreciate because it makes other people jealous. If we promote other values, people will naturally shift to showing off that they excel in those other values, for the exact same purpose of arousing other people’s envy. If we showed admiration to people who contribute to unity, solidarity, and cohesion in society, many people would want to be that way.

But why are they shopping in the first place? Do they really need new accessories? Probably not. In most cases, they are shopping to show that they shopped; that is the only reason they need. People are shopping, especially when it comes to elite fashion, in order to show that they have lots of money and make other people jealous. Were it not for jealousy, they wouldn’t bother spending hours in crammed lines and crowded shops for the questionable fun of blowing their salaries of high-end status symbols they don’t need, and possibly don’t even like.

Nevertheless, I’m happy that they’re so eager to buy. The more intensely they spend, the quicker they’ll understand that there is no real satisfaction in buying stuff that they don’t need, and the impression they make on others doesn’t make them really happy, unless you consider glee at having what others don’t a real form of happiness.

There is something more that we can do to accelerate the transition to more lasting happiness: People value what they see that others value. They buy things that others appreciate because it makes other people jealous. If we promote other values, people will naturally shift to showing off that they excel in those other values, for the exact same purpose of arousing other people’s envy. If we showed admiration to people who contribute to unity, solidarity, and cohesion in society, many people would want to be that way. They would act as if they’re kind and caring even if they aren’t, simply in order to arouse envy or not to feel inferior because they are uncaring. Other people wouldn’t know who is genuinely caring and who is not, and the impression they would get would be that everyone is like that. This would make them behave similarly, and very quickly, all of society will transform itself.

We mustn’t underestimate the power of envy; it is the most powerful force in human nature. We only need to rein it in, to direct it toward a positive direction, and our way to mending the ills of society is paved. And the sooner we start working on it, the better.
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