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Assumption of Knowledge

BigSpaceMonkeyBigSpaceMonkey Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

All this info...so little time.

BigSpaceMonkey on
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Posts

  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I think that a lot of people expect others to know what they are talking about. This is a debate forum, and if you are joining a discussion, you better know something about the topic.

    muninn on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

    I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

    All this info...so little time.

    On the positive side people are pushed a little harder than normal to present proof and think things through.

    On the negative side sometimes they get called an idiot by an anonymous person on the internet.

    In my opinion the positive outweights the negative.

    Shinto on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

    I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

    All this info...so little time.
    Meh, I'd prefer the approach where everyone's assumed to be at least somewhat up to speed on a topic or issue. If you're not, reading a thread should give you a good idea of where to look, etc.

    Online debate and discussion doesn't get very far (and trust me, I've had the misfortune of being involved in them) if everyone is assumed to be ignorant and you have to deal with every second poster throwing out stuff that everyone already knows.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

    I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

    All this info...so little time.

    On the positive side people are pushed a little harder than normal to present proof and think things through.

    On the negative side sometimes they get called an idiot by an anonymous person on the internet.

    In my opinion the positive outweights the negative.

    Agreed. And honestly, I find myself much less frustrated here than in real life, or on other forums when it comes to the number of people who don't know what they're talking about.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • matt7718matt7718 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Read this messageboard and compare it to the millions of boards with asshats running rampant.

    We are doing something right. Sure asshattery exists sometimes here, but not nearly as bad as anywhere else i have ever seen.

    matt7718 on
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  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I think we've got a half-decent medium running here. It doesn't seem to me that we expect everybody else to be experts, but we expect them to have read the thread and done a little research (or have a little prior knowledge) before jumping into the fray.

    Sounds like all we expect here is common sense. Seriously, do people randomly jump into debates at work without knowing what's being discussed? Not without getting glared at. Only difference is instead of glaring at the willfully ignorant we call them retarded and continue the discussion.

    jclast on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Yeah, what the others have said. It's not that we expect everyone to have solid knowledge of American monetary policy. It's that we expect everyone who wants to opine on the matter to have enough knowledge of it to not sound retarded. If you have no clue what others are talking about, that's perfectly fine, and it doesn't make you stupid or less of a person. But if you want to participate, you should try to rectify that.

    And from what I've seen, people around here are happy to help someone learn more about a topic if asked. If someone walks into a thread on some topic and says, "I have no idea what you're talking about, what's a good resource to learn more about it?" it is exceedingly unlikely that this person will be greeted with hostility. More likely, he'll be greeted with links or helpful info.

    ElJeffe on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    If anything, it makes people think twice before jumping into a discussion, too many times RL discussions or discussions on other forums die because a few idiots decide to blurt something and provide no further knowledge.

    It's all "Yeah! we shouldn't make war with Iran, because war is bad!" and then nothing comes from it. All you have to do is stfu when you know you know nothing about a subject.

    Aldo on
  • nnzqsnnzqs Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Also, it feels good to mock those who don't know something that you know. Arrogance + trivia = e-peen

    nnzqs on
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  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Really though, there's hardly any excuse to give an ignorant opinion these days, more so on these forums. The internet has a tremdous amount of knowledge on it, and it's at your fingertips. 15 years ago, you were in a library looking this shit up. Now you can google instant knowledge, and at least have a decent clue when you step into a discussion here.

    3lwap0 on
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Really though, there's hardly any excuse to give an ignorant opinion these days, more so on these forums. The internet has a tremdous amount of knowledge on it, and it's at your fingertips. 15 years ago, you were in a library looking this shit up. Now you can google instant knowledge, and at least have a decent clue when you step into a discussion here.

    Yeah, there's really no excuse when arguing here, or in other forums, because you're already at your computer, and on the internet...learning things takes nothing more than a few clicks.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    What others have said, basically. Also though, if someone doesn't know about a certain issue, there's nothing wrong with asking questions, and I think the environment here fosters that sort of necessary curiosity (rather than rote acceptance of bold assertions). I enjoy that the "prove it" instinct is so high here.

    Loren Michael on
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  • Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I tend to lurk around here a lot, posting now and again, I but I enjoy reading people's reasoned arguements. When having a debate with people in real life you can't always take in what people say, and you can't sit and think about it. I'll also see something mentioned that sparks my curiosity and I'll go and google it. I think I've gained a lot of my knowledge from seeing something mentioned at school, in a book, or on the internet and I decide to read about it.

    Anarchy Rules! on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Well I think we've established that the people who come here often enjoy it here.

    Shinto on
  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Well I think we've established that the people who come here often enjoy it here.

    No way man. This place sucks. Fuck you. Ad-hom.

    VishNub on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    VishNub wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    Well I think we've established that the people who come here often enjoy it here.

    No way man. This place sucks. Fuck you. Ad-hom.

    Help! Police!

    Shinto on
  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    To put a slightly different but equally self-congratulatory spin on what others have said: every online community puts some kind of pressure on users to conform to a certain standard of behavior. You have to be conservative enough, hardcore enough, l33t enough. One nice thing about this place is that the peer-pressure mana is focused on discouraging ignorance rather than diversity of opinion, which is one reason the discourse here is healthier than a lot of other places.

    darthmix on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    I don't know. I think there is a lot of hostility that gets pushed at people who have views outside the norm for PA, even when they back their points up.

    Shinto on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

    I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

    All this info...so little time.

    On the positive side people are pushed a little harder than normal to present proof and think things through.

    On the negative side sometimes they get called an idiot by an anonymous person on the internet.

    In my opinion the positive outweights the negative.

    you've gotten right down to the brass tax.

    On top of that, if you can't handle being told that you are "an idiot" (though I think this is harsher than necessary) you probably shouldn't attempt random debate with strangers... certainly not on a topic you aren't 100% clear on.

    If this place wasn't harsh a lot of time would be spent correcting people rather than having them get a clue before posting.

    edit - What Loren said is very true too. It's much more of a skeptic's environment than other places. Nothing is accepted at face value, and this can be shocking to a lot of people. It's not something you have to do in class, or around friends and family, but it's the only way to ensure fairness and validity in a debate.

    Variable on
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  • ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    It's worth noting that if someone honestly doesn't know something and doesn't spend several pages pretending they do, they tend not to be treated particularly badly.

    Elendil on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I don't know. I think there is a lot of hostility that gets pushed at people who have views outside the norm for PA, even when they back their points up.
    Really, I think pretty much everyone here has some divergent views in some aspect or another. I know the the mods go to some trouble to try to shield new guys who seem to be catching flack for their outre opinions, but so many of them turn out to be fuckwits in other aspects. A case in point would be Mosin. I think mostly what you see here is a self-selection. Basically, we're a forum of foulmouthed, irreverant, pedantic video game nerds with a healthy selection of gays, sexual "deviants" and the like. What would be the draw for a rock-ribbed flag-waving Republican fundamentalist?

    Irond Will on
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  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Yeah, and what views outside the norm for PA? The only common denominator here, as far as I can tell, is a certain affection for video games and digital culture. So, yeah, someone who drops in and makes the case that games lead to violence is going to get a chilly reception, regardless of how informed the argument is, but that's partly because we know that someone who comes here to make that case is looking for trouble anyway.

    darthmix on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    darthmix wrote: »
    Yeah, and what views outside the norm for PA? The only common denominator here, as far as I can tell, is a certain affection for video games and digital culture. So, yeah, someone who drops in and makes the case that games lead to violence is going to get a chilly reception, regardless of how informed the argument is, but that's partly because we know that someone who comes here to make that case is looking for trouble anyway.
    Several of our regs, including Shinto, Yar, and myself, give some sympathy to the case for regulation of video games.

    Irond Will on
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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    darthmix wrote: »
    Yeah, and what views outside the norm for PA? The only common denominator here, as far as I can tell, is a certain affection for video games and digital culture.

    Very few conservatives here.

    Shinto on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited March 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I don't know. I think there is a lot of hostility that gets pushed at people who have views outside the norm for PA, even when they back their points up.

    There is, but compared to most other forums it's not nearly as bad. Or most other social circles, for that matter.

    ElJeffe on
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  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    darthmix wrote: »
    Yeah, and what views outside the norm for PA? The only common denominator here, as far as I can tell, is a certain affection for video games and digital culture. So, yeah, someone who drops in and makes the case that games lead to violence is going to get a chilly reception, regardless of how informed the argument is, but that's partly because we know that someone who comes here to make that case is looking for trouble anyway.

    Religion tends to get shit on on a fairly regular basis.
    Being pro-life does (or did), too. Because apparently thinking babies deserve to live means you're a woman-hater.

    jclast on
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  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Several of our regs, including Shinto, Yar, and myself, give some sympathy to the case for regulation of video games.
    Okay then. So for my future reference, what are these logically-organized, well-researched views that D&D treats with disdain simply because they're outside the norm of this forum?
    Shinto wrote: »
    Very few conservatives here.
    There certainly aren't very many of the rock-ribbed flag-waiving Republican fundamentalists that Irond referred to. Would I be seen as callously dismissive of their positions if I suggested that the reason they don't last very long here is because they're generally not able to build a logical and well-informed case? In the days before the PA forum was split into the boards we have now, when debate threads and social entropy-style chatter took place in the same forum space, I remember encountering a lot of folks who were so married to their ideological worldview that they didn't feel much need to back it up. There was lots more Bible-thumping, lots of arguments that homosexuality was icky and therefore wrong, etc. That sort of thing has only fallen away here since D&D started emphasizing a higher standard of argument.

    darthmix on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    t jclast-- the reason those ideas, and the people representing them, often get shit on is because the ideas are totally insular. You cannot argue for them without adopting their point of view, and adopting that point of view would automatically paint them true. Sacrosanction is sacrosanct; both religion and pro-life viewpoints defer some amount of reason to establish their sacrosanction.

    Most people on here want to actually debate; you cannot effectively debate someone who will adhere to their religious beliefs, or the pro-life belief, because reason is at one point shifted-- in some amount-- in their viewpoint.

    An insular belief system cannot easily or effectively debate a purely reasoned system, in my experience. Most people on here want to actually debate, though, so strawmen and slight leaps of logic give actual grounds for that debate. Most of the threads that degenerate because they involve these issues could honestly be closed, fairly satisfactorily, by admitting the differences of reason that would create disparity.

    Instead, arguments splinter and more legitimate topics emerge-- legitimate, at least, in the sense they can be D&D'd.

    EDIT: And I know that 'sacrosanction' isn't technically a word, but it works well enough for me. :P

    Oboro on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    darthmix wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Several of our regs, including Shinto, Yar, and myself, give some sympathy to the case for regulation of video games.
    Okay then. So for my future reference, what are these logically-organized, well-researched views that D&D treats with disdain simply because they're outside the norm of this forum?
    Mostly I'm guessing they'd fall under "socially conservative" positions. I could be wrong, but we seem to be fairly evenly-split on economic politics. I'm not really sure that socially conservative positions are really well-suited to the kinds of analysis and standards of evidence we roll with here, so yeah you have a point.

    Oh yeah, also, we're not all that hospitable to crazy-ass conspiracy theories. And objectivists can fuck right off.

    Irond Will on
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  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    t jclast-- the reason those ideas, and the people representing them, often get shit on is because the ideas are totally insular. You cannot argue for them without adopting their point of view, and adopting that point of view would automatically paint them true. Sacrosanction is sacrosanct; both religion and pro-life viewpoints defer some amount of reason to establish their sacrosanction.

    Most people on here want to actually debate; you cannot effectively debate someone who will adhere to their religious beliefs, or the pro-life belief, because reason is at one point shifted-- in some amount-- in their viewpoint.

    An insular belief system cannot easily or effectively debate a purely reasoned system, in my experience. Most people on here want to actually debate, though, so strawmen and slight leaps of logic give actual grounds for that debate. Most of the threads that degenerate because they involve these issues could honestly be closed, fairly satisfactorily, by admitting the differences of reason that would create disparity.

    Instead, arguments splinter and more legitimate topics emerge-- legitimate, at least, in the sense they can be D&D'd.

    You're spot on about religion, but it's completely possible to argue and appreciate the points of a pro-life stance without adopting it yourself.

    jclast on
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  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    I don't know. I think there is a lot of hostility that gets pushed at people who have views outside the norm for PA, even when they back their points up.

    There is, but compared to most other forums it's not nearly as bad. Or most other social circles, for that matter.

    You know, you're right.

    Finally the counter argument that can allow me to stop bringing this up.

    Thank you.

    Shinto on
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Some pro-life positions, yes; but unfortunately, the abortion threads often degenerate when someone says, 'Well it's a legitimate person with the right to live!,' and someone then says, 'Well you need to designate this point when it becomes a person!,' and then someone says, 'Well that point is arbitrary, so therefore the entire thing is illogical!,'

    and it becomes a cylical, fallacy-fed logical clusterfuck. I do think it's a valid topic for debate, but it's so rife with popular fallacies and deflections that the forum is too open a format for it.

    EDIT: But yes, jclast, I honor your position. I shouldn'tve just bunched the two together because it was convenient to kill two birds with one stone. ;)

    Oboro on
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  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    jclast wrote: »
    Religion tends to get shit on on a fairly regular basis.
    I think what mostly gets shit on, especially in policy debates, is the notion that religion is an acceptible basis for law that governs people who don't belong to that religion. And the reason that notion gets shit on is because it's very, very hard to build a case for it, given the basic assumption of religious freedom embedded in most western philosophy and law.
    Being pro-life does (or did), too. Because apparently thinking babies deserve to live means you're a woman-hater.
    I've been gone for a bit, but I remember the abortion debates here splitting the forum almost evenly, with the pro-life side being pretty well-represented.

    darthmix on
  • FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Columbia, SCRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Elendil wrote: »
    It's worth noting that if someone honestly doesn't know something and doesn't spend several pages pretending they do, they tend not to be treated particularly badly.

    I wanted to say this earlier, but I couldn't decide how to word it.

    FunkyWaltDogg on
  • The Muffin ManThe Muffin Man Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    It seems that, at least in this forum, that ignorance is not an excuse and that most people expect that all other people know exactly what they know, and if they don't, they should have the common sense to google it.

    I guess my question is does this assumption of knowledge or with such easy access to facts and studies and papers and other foundations used for debate make us complete wankers for assuming that everyone should know the same facts and are lazy if they don't have the common decency to google every aspect of a debate before posting?

    All this info...so little time.

    Well, the thing is, if you are going to argue something, it's common courtesy to know at least SOMETHING about it.

    Admitting ignorance is no problem. People will be more than happy to teach you. But going into a topic about Legalizing gay marriage and claiming "But don't gay people have a higher divorce rate because it's so wrong?" is gonna get you into a lot of shit, as you clearly did not do research.

    I've been gone for a bit, but I remember the abortion debates here splitting the forum almost evenly, with the pro-life side being pretty well-represented.
    And I recall very few posters resorting to the "Pro-Life/Choice means you're a Woman/Baby hater."

    The Muffin Man on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    darthmix wrote: »
    jclast wrote: »
    Religion tends to get shit on on a fairly regular basis.
    I think what mostly gets shit on, especially in policy debates, is the notion that religion is an acceptible basis for law that governs people who don't belong to that religion. And the reason that notion gets shit on is because it's very, very hard to build a case for it, given the basic assumption of religious freedom embedded in most western philosophy and law.
    Being pro-life does (or did), too. Because apparently thinking babies deserve to live means you're a woman-hater.
    I've been gone for a bit, but I remember the abortion debates here splitting the forum almost evenly, with the pro-life side being pretty well-represented.

    I remember the pro-lifers being shit on, but that may be because the pro-life camp always gets more of the Christians whose argument boils down to "because the church says so."

    EDIT: t Muffin Man: That's what it felt like because I was pretty well told that if I valued the baby over the mother then I obviously have no respect for women. Truth be told, I just have less respect for folks that don't appreciate the consequences of their action regardless of their gender. Nobody may have actually used the term "woman hater" but I was paraphrasing.

    In no way, shape, or form did I mean to imply that all pro-choice folks out there think that pro-life folks are woman haters.

    I'm a little out of practice in D&D and should get back to choosing my words better.

    jclast on
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  • darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Oh yeah, also, we're not all that hospitable to crazy-ass conspiracy theories.
    But again, I'd attribute that to the crazy-ass part and not the conspiracy theorist part. Conspiracies clearly do take place from time to time, and if we were presented with reasonable evidence for one I don't think we'd dismiss it just because someone said the word "conspiracy" out loud.

    darthmix on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    The last place I saw that had something resembling a debate and discourse-esque board was the Something Positive forums, and that was pretty much guys in the Air Force talking about how SF types should be armed with swords, furries who said they weren't like those "other furries" (they were), and people who make threads talking about how stupid people should be euthanized as if they were the judge of what was stupid or not.

    Also: giant fucking sig blocks that took up half the page alone.

    So yeah, I'd say we're more against being ignorant than anything, though of the "I don't know shit about this topic but by God I'm going to have an opinion." Recently I've been noticing that people are starting to be super obtuse when they paint themselves into a corner. See the Rape thread where people were arguing that women shouldn't be taking common sense steps so they don't get into trouble.

    And car analogies. Srsly. If its not about a car could we stop saying shit like "abortion/guns/rape/euthanasia/hot button topic is analagous to something involving cars"?

    siliconenhanced on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I've always seen a pretty abundant amount of ego in this board, but I think that's inevitable considering the community that drew us together (modern gamers fill out the 'idiot' section of humanity pretty well, this community notwithstanding).

    The thing about religion specifically is this board tolerates and in some cases even encourages a kind of intellectual elitism concerning the irrational. The nature of D&D's rules make that pretty much par for the course, and it is likely the best way to conduct a debate, but it amazes me that with the amount of disdain so many here have for religion that the topic keeps coming up. I try to stay out of those threads altogether now. :P

    I think the best thing about this part of the PA forums is the rules are, for the most part, well enforced. There's little mod abuse and little tolerance for those who seek to destabilize the threads. Impressive considering the traffic here.

    Nova_C on
  • VariableVariable Mouth Congress Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    this is going to turn into the third sucking-our-own-dicks thread in about a month.

    Variable on
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