048 :: Observation

As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones. – Chatwin

This week I’ve been enjoying the observation phase of gardening. I’m growing a couple of the same things in different places in the garden in pots and seeing how they go this year. I know already a few things about what I’ll change/do differently for next year.

Observation is one of the most important elements in permaculture. But really watching how things, other people and you yourself change day by day, month by month and year by year is really important in normal life in general. Having this much time off  having ‘a real job’ has allowed me time and space to reflect on my life and how I am approaching the world. All this thinking feels like its beginning to reach the spillway of a dam, not sure when or wear it will bust but the resulting waters will chart the course for the next few years of my life thats for sure.

One of the other things I need to do is stop laying/working on the sofa. It’s fucking my back up.

Went on the march yesterday, was really fun to be with friends. Got drunk. Had a great day.

Permanently Moved

Episode 14

No overall theme this week. Just a quick update and shilling a few things I’ve been up-to. I talk about saying good by to my friend who’s moving to the USA, how the podcast is going, I bought scrivener recently, recommend the book Songlines by Bruce Chatwin and also do the ‘Don’t forget to like and subscribe’ thing for the first time.

Dipping the stacks

Clemency for Ross Ulbricht, Serving Double Life for a Website

The Ministry

As I said in the show this week, I’m really enjoying this weekly podcast. It’s a lot of fun.

So it looks like I might be speaking twice in Amsterdam in September – details soon.

I bought scrivener finally with the 50% discount code you get for winning NaNoWriMo. Its kind of confusing at first when you first boot into it, but I’m getting the hang of the way I want to use it.

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Reading

Closing in on the last 50 pages of retrosuburbia. It’s a tome.

I spent most of this week catching up on podcasts. Listened to a lot of Howsound, Rogan, THC, and AeonByte

Music

I’ve been listening to a lot of Bossa Nova recently. Track below is a banger. The Guy has released like 30 albums or something. There is a lot to catch up on.

 

 

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037 :: Who Else Wants To Enjoy The Sunshine?

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Narrative

Been the best weather ever this week. Been on some mega long walks with with friend Ben who’s also funemployed. I’ve basically spent four days outside away from the computer and today will also be no exception.

Eve went to Scotland and back this week and mentioned to me this morning that she’s spent over 24 hours on trains in the last week which is a lot.

I’m typing this out quickly as possible as I want to get out in the garden before the sun moves round the trees and makes it to hot to shift all the ivy/crap I cut down out there that was coming though from next door.

Permanently Moved

This weeks episode is me being super honest about how I experience the world. I try but sometimes find it really had to talk to people at this deep integrative/experiential level. An ex colleague messaged me to say “I should probably go see a neurologist”. LOL

In Episode 5 I talk about my experience of the world. I hope you find it interesting. It was my first attempt at drafting a script before recording which meant I was only left with about 20 mins to read and record what I wrote down. I’m not sure if I like it. It sound better towards the end but the opening few minutes just sound flat to my ear, and not what I’m going for. You live and learn I suppose.

Website permanentlymoved.online
Subscribe on itunes: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/perma…ved/id1370546022

Dipping the stacks

  • There’s a palpable sense of an oncoming storm here in the UK.
  • Everyone’s on edge but can’t explain why
  • Its amazing that May is still in office

The Ministry

I wrote almost all of my peer to peer web Berlin talk in my head this week whilst walking along with Ben not saying anything to each other (we’ve been friends for longer than a decade so long silences are totally expected and normal and he’s not exactly chatty at the best of times)  pleased about that. should have the slides done by Tuesday.

Offer to write for a magazine about stacktivism and smart cities. I accepted.

I (re)wrote about 3k of a solarpunk novella over the mornings this week and i’m feeling pretty good about it.

I’m thinking of writing a separate talk once the two I’m working on are finished to explain why I hate the term The Anthropocene beyond it being a fractal rant of a discourse in the humanities with seeming no objective beyond critique for critique’s sake.

Reading

It’s a tome. The Goetia of Holmgren now Mollisons passed. It’s VERY good, but super pricy to get shipped from AUS but what you gonna do.. borrow mine I suppose?

Music

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Mag11 P82

Just perfect.

So is this… Summer – The Blow from their new album Brand New Abyss

Remember Kids:

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035 :: No news is … good news?

“People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath.”

Marshall McLuhan

Narrative

It’s 2018. People don’t actually read newspapers either. Instead they step on/in to social media every morning  like a stinking cesspool.

Last night I tweeted:

1/ Thinking about what the minimum threshold information requires to qualify as news. Working theory is if information doesn’t meet the threshold it stays as information

2/ Working life example: I know a lot of information about celebrities but I wouldn’t qualify it as news.

I tweeted this in response to a piece of information that came across my feed:

Part of me wants to yell .. I mean WHO DOESN’T? But at the same time I find it hard to classify this sort of headline.

I got some interesting replies. One from @crwbot

@Crwbot / initial instinct is to say that threshold should be a combination of novelty & impact. celebs do weird shit like force coffee up their bums all the time, that’s not news. sometimes celebs provoke public health crises by denying shit like the effectiveness of vaccination. impact.

And one from @LondonPrmcultr

@LondonPrmcultr / If we take Bateson’s formulation that the elementary unit of information is a difference that makes a difference – perhaps ‘news’ is a difference that makes a difference to me

My feeling is I kind of end up in the middle of the two points:

‘news’ is a difference that (information) makes a difference to me is @crwbot’s – impact? Certain types of information have a subjective meta quality of impact (on me) which makes it news.

Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision affecting your life, your career, your business – compared to not having swallowed that piece of news.

The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to the forces that really matter in your life. At its best, it is entertaining, but it is still irrelevant.

–  Avoid News Towards a Healthy News Diet by Rolf Dobelli, 2012

Now, I think this might be the 3rd of 4th time I’ve mentioned Dobellis essay on this blog over the years, and it’s certainly the second time this year and probably won’t be the last.

I’ve be wrestling with this for a long time. I think personally its the first step to admission that I have an information … problem. But then I suppose its a questions of what sort of information. When I apply the above to my life there is certainly a lot of truth to it. But at the same time I consume ~12-14 hours of Conspiratainment a month and pay to access a lot of that content. I consider (or at least tell myself) that bingeing on that stuff is like going to an ontological gym. But its not news… it’s – terrain setting?

My RSS is slowly filling up with old and new blogs that I like, but its nowhere near the stream of information I want it to be on every re-fresh like it was in 2012. But I prefer it way more than twitter at this point.

I’ve even perhaps lost a sense of what twitter is for . People I mostly follow I know IRL or are one/two handshakes out. Should I have conversations with those people there? I’d prefer a forum, Slack, DM’s, or signal. Is it posting interesting links? Is it boosting others only even tho I know a lot of the people that follow me have turned off seeing RT’s? I really dunno.

I do know that the longer the amount of time that goes by between each time I look at the intertweetz stream the happier and more productive I am.

News is like opinions. There is too much of it / them and almost all of them don’t matter.

Permanently Moved

There is a rescue mission and a salvage mission.

In this one I have thoughts on my Land As Platform project and Kenneth Olwig’s concept of ‘Landship’.

Also please feedback on the overall audio levels, theres a few jump cuts between takes – are they ok? I AM only recording and editing this whole thing in an hour after all.

I think this is the first episode experimenting with the form of a 5min audio window. Not sure all of ’em are going to be like this, but certainly I’ll do some more. One piece of feedback I got was better show notes linking to the stuff I’m talking about.

Dipping the stacks

The last month or so in politics has been media figures demand other media figures apologise for things they said on Twitter. And when they get one… it’s considered a victory? When in fact absolutely no politics occurred. Anywhere.

The Ministry

Both talks are bubbling up in my head. They are both 25 mins and i want to try and not repeat myself across. Both events should be announced next week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘Blood and soil’ politics and the dangers of saying anything about landscapes in 2018. Last week someone went on a rant about solarpunk being fascist – which was news to me.

Thats partly why this weeks permanently moved came about. Land As Platform feels like the right term from a The Lawrence Doctrine and the Post Industrial Rescue Mission’ point of view. But as Gordon White pointed out to me it’s a bit dissociative from an animist ontology perspective – which is also part of the overall project. I need someway of keeping Land As Platform on a parallel line to the Solarpunk future where Animist Ontology / Enchantment of the materialist west sits in my head. Its something I need to balance and sit with in more detail.

I also learnt a lot about how blockchain oracles work in detail this week.

Reading

I’m still leafing thought Improbable Botany But I have also started  The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf as i’d like to get though it before I write these talks.

On the blood and soil and solarpunk topic mentioned earlier I’ve returned to Barbarians in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction over on Gods and Radicals.

Aesthetic is narrative. Aesthetic tells a story, and Jack Donovan’s story is of anti-modernism. It is not just because he is anti-modern, but he also senses what his increasing fan-base knows and most anti-fascists refuse to admit: the modern is fucking awful. The modern is alienating, full of empty images and promises after which we all chase. Progress brings us a new iPhone each year and more flavors of Doritos, jobs in front of screens and new identities to try on and less and less land in which to play tribe with your friends.

The risk of becoming labelled another Eco-Farage needs to be navigated with care.

Music

Alert! EXID have a new single and it’s the most 90’s revival thing ever! That snare sound!

I also listened to s SHIT LOAD of Enya this week whilst I was walking into town by the old man… perfect backdrop.

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Remember Kids:

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034 :: “Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

I was asked to submit a talk to a big conference over in Berlin in May to talk about Solarpunk and what it’s like to have been involved in the genre from the very beginning as an admin over on solarpunks.net​. I found out last week that it wasn’t accepted, but some other solarpunks were – I posted this to tumblr already but it won’t ever have any google juice there so x-posting here for wider archives as is my tradition.

I’m posting my talk proposal below as it’s the first time that I’ve ever really written something on Solarpunk despite being involved for so long. Some of the wording and phrasing as become important to me especially the lines about not being able to speak for other solarpunks.

“Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

500 Char Public Thesis – ~ 75 Words

Give a short and catchy idea about your main argument. This text will be used publicly once your session is accepted, so it’s worth proofreading it.

Solarpunk is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?”.

The future does not passively ‘arrive’ fully formed  from the aether, we must first meet it the way humanity has always done: though dreams, stories and song. This session will cover the story of the nascent genre of solarpunk and the communities attempts to ‘remake our present and future history’.

2000 Char Description – ~ 300 Words

Please describe what your session is about, how you want to proceed and what methods you are going to use. Be clear and check orthography and grammar. This text will be used publicly once your session is accepted, so it’s worth proofreading it.

The emerging science fictional genre and aesthetic of “solarpunk” begins with ‘Infrastructure as a form of resistance’.

In 2014 the EIA, CIA, & World Bank published a graph charting the falling cost of solar energy and titled it ‘Welcome to the Terrordome’. The upcoming 21st Century shift toward clean energy opens the future to an age of ‘innovative dissent’.

But we don’t see terror in this future. Solarpunk envisions a world where the drastic technological shift towards renewables and decentralisation empowers movements for social justice and economic liberation. It attempts to foster a socio-cultural environment which emphasises individual autonomy, consent, unity-in-diversity, with the free egalitarian distribution of power. It creates a multitude of spaces for indigenous sovereignties, reproductive justice, and radical queer politics. Of course with these principles comes polyphony, one cannot speak for other solarpunks, only be in dialogue and occasional chorus with them. Some solarpunks recognize it was a great tragedy that the alternate historical genre of steampunk was not decolonial to its core from its inception. Others call for the recognition of rights for the ‘non-human’: trees, rivers and mountains. And technologists building decentralised P2P social networks are doing so under a solarpunk banner. The genre provides a rich soil of ideas and action from which our struggles en route to a better world can grow.

This session will briefly explore the history of the genre, some of its central themes and principles and offer a present that can help us begin to see a future with a human face and dirt behind its ears.

032 :: Permanently Moved

Certainly there had been trouble coming. Anyone who had had any experience of wars would have seen it coming long before the afternoon that Mack ran down Morris the Florist.” 

Chapter 4, The Summer Before the War, The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Narrative

Well, it’s been a cool week. I’ve seen a bunch of friends I haven’t seen in a while.

I’ve also been super productive with writing and working on various projects. The reason I went to Berlin is chooching along too.

On Thursday I went for walk/dinner/drinks with Mr Stephen Fortune I had a great time catching up with him. We talked about: his QS work and the closing months of his PHD ahead, web3 technologies, the crypto bourgeoisie, our respective Crohn’s Disease and health, meditation / fasting, regnerative ag, warring AI’s betting on prediction markets over their climate change models. Land as Platform and the spirit world and rehaunting the west via Christianity. All in a days work to be honest with you. Fun times.

We also went for Japanese food and drank hibiscus cocktails

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Had a bit of a black mirror moment at the end of our meal when our waitress asked us to rate and review her personally on tripadvisor mentioning her by name. Immediately after that, the PDQ Terminal asked me a NPS question – Totally surreal.

The other thing that happened this week:

Warren posted The Short Things over on Morning.Computer . I thought about it over breakfast and decided “challenge excepted”.

So I give you the experiment:

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A podcast in 301 seconds.

I want to get a few more episodes/shows under my belt before I submit the feed to all the podcatchers etc. But the direct RSS can be grabbed here.

Please send feedback though either via DMs or email. I’ve already been told to go in the direction of ‘Crypto-agri Joe Frank’

I think that instead of starting one podcast (solarpunks) why not start two?

Dipping the stacks

  • People are mad at surveillance capitalism
  • Russia is still the boogie man
  • Idiot wing of the tory party made fools of themselves on a fishing boat

The Ministry

I threw for some futures earlier in the year when the space weather was good for me. One of those requests to the universe was to do more live speaking.

I thought I’d hit the Jackpot when I got asked in a back channel to speak at Re:Publica Berlin 18 well after the submission deadline had closed. This week I found out it wasn’t accepted but you can read that talk submission over on tumblr here.

I was pretty down about not being accepted to be honest with you, but within an hour of receiving the bad news the following happened.

I’d been asked to speak at peer to peer web berlin  in May the same weekend that Re:Publica is on, AND received and email to speak at/attend a 2 day workshop in Rotterdam (also) in May.

So yeah, thats how the universe works I suppose.

Reading

I ain’t read shit, don’t @ me.

Music

The new Titus Andronicus album A Productive Cough is absolutely awful. Don’t even bother with it.

What you should bother yourself with however is that Sevdaliza has a new single out called Human Nature I really like it

Her album ISON was a fav from last year. And the video for the single HUMAN is absolutely incredible

Remember kids:

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027 :: Eternity can be found in the minuscule…

….in the place where earthworms, along with billions of unseen soil-dwelling microorganisms, engage in a complex and little-understood dance with the tangle of plant roots that make up their gardens, their cities.”
― Amy Stewart, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

Narrative

Despite all the stuff I’ve been up to so far this year, I still feel that I’m suffering from an inability to be motivated and fully align my life with the direction it needs to head in. There are important things that have been sitting on the todoist for weeks, and other trivial / inconsequential things that get done immediately.

I was stuck on a train the other day and I added up all the total hours of productive work that I have done since Jan, and quite frankly it adds up to fuck all. EVEN if I have pushed a lot of projects forward in various areas. It makes me feel bad.

Im not sure how others manage it, but for lent I have kinda decided to give up procrastination, and biscuits. I’m not sure which one of those two things is going to be harder to stick too. Im hoping that 40days concerted effort on projects will claw back the dawning sense that I’m wasting my life. Having the freedom to work on independent self directed projects (that tbh aren’t bringing any cash in right now but will over the long term) is a once in a life time opportunity. So quite frankly..

…I really need to pull my finger out. .

That said the objective isn’t making money. Its aligning my life towards a future that i want for my self, my friends and family and ultimately the kind of future I want to live in so it’s also about urgent perspective.

Dipping the stacks

  • Black Panther seems cool (I haven’t seen it)
  • UK media seems to be loosing its collective minds about the popularity of labour
  • Hardcore remainers seem to be loosing its collective minds in general
  • Strikes work
  • The Lympics is on – who knew!?
  • I saw the words “internet is a giant deception machine” – who knew!?

The Ministry

I signed some NDAs this week so maybe I will be making some money soon but who knows. It’s a short (10 days worth of work) project that I think should be quite fulfilling and offer me an ‘In’ to a company I really want to work with/alongside.

Tickets to Berlin are booked for March. There are about 15 weirdos flying in like its some kind of fucking crypto Davos. Looking forward to that immensely. I suppose news about this in Q2 once everything is sorted.

I had a 3 hour call with a sci-fi literature academic that has decided to write a book about Solarpunk & energy futures the other day. Really fascinating conversation, wide raging too. I pulled up an old PDF from wired shit con 2012 to read them some quotes from it. Early doors stuff. That left them a little startled to be quite honest.

I met up with Olivia Rosane yesterday for a few coffees and a sunny but chilly walk round Bloomsbury she is the creator of Canary Island Commons. I haven’t seen her since TTW14 in NYC. That conversation was also excellent, wide ranging about the possibilities of narrative and imaginary. Hoping to see her again next week to get an interview with her for the podcast project. Plus she’ll be dog sitting.

Oh and i already filled in a fucking shit load of forms that produced even that need filling in.

Reading

Im still reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules for life an antidote to chaos. 

I suppose I’m about half way though. Its very interesting so far and im enjoying it. Some of the biological determinism makes me squirm a little but his core message so far seems to be grow the fuck up, be nice to your children and your parents. Stand up straight. Find your purpose.. It’s like all the advice my Nana used to give.

I still stand by my comment from last week “I suspect his popularity is due to the massive amount of people who need therapy in our society.”

The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms arrived this week in hardback. I read it last year on kindle. its that good that I thought I should probably own it. 60p +PP on amazon. Bargain.

Music

Tune-Yards: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life came out in January and I only just got round to listening to it this week. To be quite honest its ok. If you like Tune-Yards its more Tune-Yards.

The track thats been on heavy rotation this week has been Mouse on Mars — Dimensional People Part III. The track features Bon Iver. So you should kinda know what you are getting in to.

 

Remember Kids:

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023 :: A rich palette of ecosystems

It’s frustrating that it costs you well over £10 to step out your front door in London. Hashtag 2018 I suppose.

Narrative

(Solarpunk) attempts to foster a socio-cultural environment which emphasises individual autonomy, consent, unity-in-diversity, with the free egalitarian distribution of power. It creates a multitude of spaces for indigenous sovereignties, reproductive justice, and radical queer politics.

Of course with these principles comes polyphony, one cannot speak for other solarpunks, only be in dialogue and occasional chorus with them.

– “Dirt Behind Our Ears” : On Solarpunk and the Need for New Futures

The metaphor of polyphony has come up a lot recently. Its a key theme in The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing and also frequently used by another anthropologist Tim Ingold (Warning I’m a major fanboy). I’ve become more and more mindful of the need for less oppositional life ways in the last few months, and I think this is my refrain for the year.

This 2015 talk by Ingold on ‘The Correspondence of Lives’ is worth watching in full.

On this same note..

A friend asked on Tiny Twitter the other day:

1. Is the culture all wrong to start blogging again? Is it too experimental or contingent a form for career to survive intact?
2. Do I have a coherent enough perspective to bring to regular blogging above anger and reaction?
3. What would be the best platform to use

1. No. The culture is not wrong at all. 2. Yes everyone has interests. 3. WordPress obviously.

I think the resistance others feel to (re)starting a blog during the encouraging conversations I’ve been having is around fear of the Instant Rage Machine – Twitter. But things move slower in the blogosphere. True, you might say something that stir up the hornets nest and you get linked to and chewed out in 240chars. But really the only appropriate place for any criticism to come from and be responded to is in the long form. From/to other blog posts – healthy discussion.

As usual here’s my impression of the world from dipping the stacks this week:

  • Cryptocurrency markets collapsed. I wonder idly how many of the people who were cheering along will be doing the same during the upcoming currency crisis expected during 2018.
  • One of the Royals got a much better hair cut.
  • A newspaper I stopped reading ages ago has rebranded with lots of strange lines and UX choices.
  • The sexual lives of public figures is still being used as an attempt at control. Maybe they have *affects french accent*  an arrangement , they are both adults it’s none of our business.
  • Fed up with drug companies, hospitals in the USA have decided to start their own – this is extremely good.

The Ministry

I have been rushed off my feet this week which is a weird thing to say for someone without a full time job. I’ve lots of calls with various individuals around the world some at odd hours just for 30mins of someones time: but that is what “Real” social networking is all about I suppose. Every single person I have spoken to however has been so nice and kind.

This week I spent nearly three days helping an organisation hire a new technical person. It’s one of their first major hires. I find it gratifying to be able to step people through unfamiliar territory and offer help and support when people are unsure (the point person had never run an interview process before). Though at the same time always being mindful that it’s not my decision – it’s theirs.

I also had an expert interview for a strategy company on HR Tech and emerging trends in the sector. Which involved me going on a long rant about the surveillance workplace, data passporting, and the realities and dangers of relying too heavily on APIS linking software purchased to meet immediate business needs in startups. I also had an absolutely amazing long conversation with Ruth from Furtherfield.org in Carnaby Street.

I also submitted at the last minute talk about Solarpunk to a major conference in Berlin – see the quote above.

Reading

I finished both The Hidden Half of Nature and A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind this week.

I have now read all of David Montgomery’s books with the completion of this one. And quite frankly recommend all of them. The Hidden Half of Nature is also co-authored by his wife Anne Biklé, a biologist and environmental planner.

Its a fascinating romp tough soil science, the history of microbiological studies and then smoothly segues in to gut bacteria and the human microbiome and takes a brief look at the discoveries this century could possibly bring now that the ‘Kill them all’ knee jerk reaction of antibiotic use is being reassessed. The sections on Crohn’s Disease and inflammation was of great interest to me (obviously). If you have read and enjoyed I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong then this is a must read as its a gateway book to soil science.

A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind is a delightful short book (I read it over two evenings) full of pithy zen sayings and practical advice. I’ve taken two things away from the book. The first i’ve instituted a ‘conscious’ face washing ritual every morning (even if I immediately get in the shower) and i’m already finding the mental space that it opens up is providing returns. The other is that I looked up in my flat.. and we really need to dust/clean the light fixtures.

I’ve started reading Altered Carbon (again) perhaps for the 5th? time in my life. I’d like to get though it before the TV show starts on Netflix in Febuary. I’m also finishing up a book called The Margate Tales which has been half read on my night stand now for ages. It’s a well researched collection that attempts to cover all the references to Margate in print pre-railway age. There are some fantastic quotes!

A friend pressed Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship by Rachel Armstrong into my hands last night – so i think that’ll be up next. But Hyperion by Dan Simmons also arrived in my life second hand for 50p this week. We’ll see.

Music

Not much time for new tunes this week. But we’ve been listening to an old household favourite, it hasn’t left the turntable in a week.

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Remember kids:

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