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Mr Ares

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Everything posted by Mr Ares

  1. So why would I bother going back and re-reading? It is specifically stated by people who don't know. Mashadar was in Shadar Logoth, it was destroyed. Fain survived, with a portion of SL's power. That took over and killed Fain. The result was something which resembles Mashadar, and so might well be called such. But just because a son resembles a father doesn't mean they are the same thing.
  2. Shaisam was something Fain grew into. It is neither Mashadar nor Machin Shin (although it grew from the same root as Mashadar). As for the taint, as was stated in the books, the Ways were made with tainted saidin. Therefore the taint was always there, it simply took time to corrupt the Ways enough for Machin Shin to arise.
  3. Compelled, not Compulsed. As for what would happen, nothing. Or at least the Compusion would be unaffected - if you mind rape people to the extent Graendal did then I doubt her no longer being around would be good for you. But for Compulsion itself, it's a weave. Tied off weaves have no further connection to the weaver, and thus their death would have no effect. If I shot you, the bullet does damage. If the bullet is removed, the damage is still there. It's really not unreasonable to believe that Turning someone creates a change but that change is not something requiring the ongoing influence of either Shai'tan or Shadowspawn to remain in place. It is simply something that has happened. The people who passed through the Ways would only have spent a short amount of time in them. The Ways were corrupted over a lengthy period. You're saying that rivers can't erode rock because you can paddle in them without losing your legs. As for what happened to Machin Shin, we don't know if it left or if it was destroyed. We only know of an unexplained absence. Also, you mean Machin Shin, not Mashadar. Mashadar was in Shadar Logoth, Machin Shin was in the Ways. Mashadar was destroyed with Shadar Logoth. The Black Ajah was an organisation created to infiltrate and corrupt the White Tower. Thus, BA would be a subset of Dreadlords, if Dreadlords are considered any Channelers sworn to the Shadow who aren't Chosen.
  4. Why would it? Unless Shai'tan's influence is active and ongoing then it's not at all unreasonable that people who were turned would continue to be turned. We see an example of this in RJ's comments on the Ways - the Taint caused the corruption, but just because the Taint is gone doesn't mean the corruption will go away, because the Taint was just a cause, not an ongoing component of the corruption of the Ways.
  5. There's no indication in the text that Slayer or T'a'r were involved, and every indication that it was Graendal acting alone - she killed him as a crime of opportunity, she didn't go out of her way to do it.
  6. The thing that amuses me about the BS conversation is the tendency to make excuse after excuse for Brandon. Yes, he was dealing with a very difficult task. That doesn't mean we should refrain from pointing out the flaws of his work, any more than we refrain from pointing out the flaws of RJ's. The problems with thousands of channelers disappearing for the Last Battle and the timeline going all Steven Erikson on us (OK, Brandon didn't screw it up that badly) exist - saying "only hardcore fans will pick up on them" is not a defence. It's a problem, and it's one Team Jordan should have picked up on. "Brandon didn't screw it up deliberately". OK, but no-one was saying he did - he has far more to lose from such a thing than he does to gain. It's surely in his interest to make the ending as good as it possibly could be, in order to help encourage people to pick up his books afterwards. Some of the problems were a result of the conditions BS was working under - but some of them were problems that crop up again and again in Brandon's work. Trying to shoo away all criticism by saying rubbish like "he did the best he could", or worse still "he did the best anyone could" is to abandon critical thinking for fear of what, hurting his feelings? Leaving aside that he probably won't be reading this, he's a grown man, and a professional author - so people being critical of his work is something he should be used to, and he should be capable of dealing with. He may have done the best he could - but that does not mean we shouldn't say that his best was not always good enough. He may have done the best anyone could under the circumstances, but that argument is so laughably unprovable that one can't really give it any credit. It may well be, but there is no evidence you can provide to support that assertion, and so asking anyone to believe that this is the case is ludicrous. I don't see a reason to make endless excuses for Brandon's failures - but I also give him credit for his successes. It cuts both ways, you see. The difficulties Brandon faced with the finishing of WOT are not shields to protect him from any and all criticism, which is how they are all too often used. At times he did succeed despite the difficulties of the situation, at others he failed. Judge the work on its own merits. I don't see any excuses given. I pointed out facts. BS did not know or have any insights beyond a reader until AFTER RJ had passed. There was no direct transfer of knowledge for him to have a great chance of success. Yes notes were left behind as well as knowledgeable assistants. That's no where near enough to pick up a project as large as the conclusion of the WOT and be perfect, which is what fans always want. That's not making an excuse, or giving him a pass. That's accepting the truth of the situation of it being ALL that we are ever going to get. Whining and Bitching about this or that is pointless. Everyone knows he wasn RJ, and BS even said he wasn't trying to be RJ. He finished the story in the best way he knew how and it definitely had flaws and it's almost definitely not what RJ had produced. There is also the fact that TOR/Team Jordan were unlikely to get an established author to fill in. Do you thing GRRM would stop ASOIAF to finish it knowing that #1 he would have to stop his own project and #2 that no matter what he did it would be compared and picked apart. TOR/Team Jordan had to go with a new lesser known Author that was willing to use the completion of WOT as an opportunity. Given that, I thought BS was a good choice and the end product did close things out, tied up most of the loose ends, and for the most part was entertaining. Was there a little too much Androl? Yes. Did the tone change from TGS to AMOL as there was less and less RJ manuscript? Yes. Did he get Mat right, no. Lots of flaws. No way to know how RJ would have ended things or if we would still be sitting here waiting for a book had he not passed. And back to the excuses. It's likely that the books would have been improved had more time been spent on rewrites and editing. Brandon's unfamiliarity with the work beyond that of a reader (indeed, less than many readers here) makes the need for this sort of thing greater. If Brandon wasn't willing to put more effort into rewriting (and he admits he's not a big fan of extensive rewrites, preferring to finish a book and move on to the next), then he didn't do his best. He just finished and moved on. "It wasn't going to be perfect". Of course not, but how does that justify the flaws and failures? Why did he get this character wrong, why were the numbers wrong there, why was the prose so shoddy? It might not be perfect, but that's not to say that it can't be criticised for falling short - "less than perfect can cover everything from "... but still very good" to just plain awful. The acceptance that imperfection is inevitable does not excuse every imperfection, and saying it was never going to be perfect excuses nothing when for many it wasn't just imperfect it was outright bad. The line about Tor being unable to get an established author is another excuse - established and good are not the same thing. The problem with GRRM is that he's busy with his own mega-series - if he put it on hold to finish WoT then the "he'll die before he finishes ASoIaF" crowd would be proved correct because he'd get lynched. But there are established authors who are not good and good authors with no profile. A lot of authors prefer to write their own works rather than be tied to someone else's vision, but not all of them. There are any number of authors out there, and the argument you're using is trying to boil it down to "guys like GRRM were busy, so it had to be Brandon". Because there's no-one else. And by the way, just because something is a fact, doesn't mean it's not an excuse.
  7. The thing that amuses me about the BS conversation is the tendency to make excuse after excuse for Brandon. Yes, he was dealing with a very difficult task. That doesn't mean we should refrain from pointing out the flaws of his work, any more than we refrain from pointing out the flaws of RJ's. The problems with thousands of channelers disappearing for the Last Battle and the timeline going all Steven Erikson on us (OK, Brandon didn't screw it up that badly) exist - saying "only hardcore fans will pick up on them" is not a defence. It's a problem, and it's one Team Jordan should have picked up on. "Brandon didn't screw it up deliberately". OK, but no-one was saying he did - he has far more to lose from such a thing than he does to gain. It's surely in his interest to make the ending as good as it possibly could be, in order to help encourage people to pick up his books afterwards. Some of the problems were a result of the conditions BS was working under - but some of them were problems that crop up again and again in Brandon's work. Trying to shoo away all criticism by saying rubbish like "he did the best he could", or worse still "he did the best anyone could" is to abandon critical thinking for fear of what, hurting his feelings? Leaving aside that he probably won't be reading this, he's a grown man, and a professional author - so people being critical of his work is something he should be used to, and he should be capable of dealing with. He may have done the best he could - but that does not mean we shouldn't say that his best was not always good enough. He may have done the best anyone could under the circumstances, but that argument is so laughably unprovable that one can't really give it any credit. It may well be, but there is no evidence you can provide to support that assertion, and so asking anyone to believe that this is the case is ludicrous. I don't see a reason to make endless excuses for Brandon's failures - but I also give him credit for his successes. It cuts both ways, you see. The difficulties Brandon faced with the finishing of WOT are not shields to protect him from any and all criticism, which is how they are all too often used. At times he did succeed despite the difficulties of the situation, at others he failed. Judge the work on its own merits.
  8. None of those points explain or excuse the problems with Brandon's prose. He's simply not as good a prose writer as RJ was. No amount of "only hardcore fans will notice the numbers don't add up" really addresses that. RJ was quite capable of going overboard with description and being long-winded. Brandon managed to do the same thing, but without RJ's flair, without RJ's skill with foreshadowing. Thus Brandon was, if anything, even more prone to padding than RJ was.
  9. None of those points explain or excuse the problems with Brandon's prose. He's simply not as good a prose writer as RJ was. No amount of "only hardcore fans will notice the numbers don't add up" really addresses that. RJ was quite capable of going overboard with description and being long-winded. Brandon managed to do the same thing, but without RJ's flair, without RJ's skill with foreshadowing. Thus Brandon was, if anything, even more prone to padding than RJ was.
  10. No, it really, really didn't. RJ's writing was not without its flaws, but Brandon avoided none of those flaws, and added his own. Demandred wouldn't necessarily play fair. And Mat had a more important job. Why should Rand have used the TP more? Given it's addictive, and dangerous, surely using it as little as possible just makes sense? The Brown librarian you've never really heard of was the leading candidate - it's like Who Killed Asmo, we were mostly just at the stage of waiting for a confirmation as we'd worked it out already. The Two Rivers is four villages and a bunch of farms at the outset. By the end, they've expanded a village to a town. It hardly merits being its own country. And of course it didn't end up being Manetheren - why on earth would it? Manetheren died 2,000 years ago, none of the people in the TR had even heard of it 2 years ago (so their attachment to it comes across as an affectation), a new country would be Manetheren in name only, and I don't think any major character really wanted it back or would have backed taking chunks out of Andor and Ghealdan to create it - it's not just Elayne, but Rand, Mat, Perrin, Nynaeve, Lan, Moiraine, Cadsuane, Egwene, none of them would want it back. At the very least, they have no reason to, most of them like Elayne enough that they wouldn't want her to be screwed over for no reason, and even those who don't care about her would probably still object to the political disruption. Elayne was very reasonable about their treason, and offered them a great deal - they get the continued benefits of being part of Andor while maintaining a degree of political independence.
  11. RJ's record is more mixed than you're trying to make out. Even in the later books, known as they are for their sprawl, he shows an ability to handle a plotline with economy. And KoD tied off plots and brought things closer to a conclusion. The mid-books are the ones which sprawl most. Look at the early books as individual works - EotW starts out with one group, they split int multiple groups, things are drawn together for a conclusion. The middle bits have the most sprawl, they are when things are most spread out. The endings draw things together and increase the pace. This is not something unique to RJ either. His stated reason for there only being one more book was structural - he didn't see a way to make two good books. That's actually a prophecy we saw borne out - TGS was structurally strong, ToM and AMoL were quite weak (it's also worth pointing out that this is something BS tends to do well in his own books as well). If someone were to say that his promise of just one more book was a bit much, and it might have taken RJ two or three I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. On the other hand, if we assume that RJ hadn't died, if he was able to keep writing, that he would never have brought the story to a close? I find that extremely unlikely. I don't think you're wrong because RJ would never have broken his "one more book" promise, I think you're wrong because you overplay your hand, because you claim rather more than you can back up. While it's certainly true that publishers would likely have no problem with a big cash cow saying "actually, I do need more books", the point is that he was convincing enough in the first place that he could get in done in one - they didn't need to put "this is the penultimate book" in there, but they did. If anything, because he's a cash cow they should be more reluctant to put that in there - if RJ has to back down from his promise of just one more, he hasn't put it in print in every single copy of the book. I'm sure GRRM probably has some regrets over the note at the end of AFFC saying "ADWD will be out next year". A more vague wording leaves more wiggle room, but they went with the hard promise.
  12. I'm hoping either Mr Ares or Suttree will come and tell you how wrong you are. RJ was on a clear route to the finish-line with KoD and the plot was moving towards the Last Day / Battle just fine. *shrugs* Suttree explained it best in many of his late 2012 / early 2013 posts IIRC. Ask and you shall receive: It's worth noting that RJ issued a lot of qualified statements - "at least three more books", things like that - but then when KoD came out it was billed as the penultimate book, with no qualifiers. He obviously was sufficiently confident in that that he convinced his publishers to put it in the blurb. He was also very much brining plot threads into line for a conclusion - it's not directionless, it's not a series spinning its wheels, it's getting close to being over. So while some posters do like to claim that RJ always would have been x books from the ending, that's simply not borne out by the facts (so those posters are very, very wrong). Whether AMoL would have been one massive volume, or split in two and released close together, the end was coming.
  13. Most likely that was something Brandon was unaware of when he wrote the books. Either that or RJ misspoke or changed his mind before it came to that. In Asmo's case even if he had the means to escape he had nowhere to escape to, as Lanfear spread the word he had gone traitor. Asmo's best bet was to wait it out and look for opportunities - an actual betrayal of Shai'tan to side with Rand, or a betrayal of Rand to get him back in his master's good graces. Escaping and running off wouldn't help. The TP was not handed out willy-nilly, and it was sufficiently dangerous to use that no-one bar Ishy/Moridin was prepared to use it unless they had to. So even if the captives did have access to the TP, waiting it out might be seen as a safer bet. It seems reasonable that the male a'dam would also prevent use of the TP - my reasoning would be the same as Sabio's, that an a'dam is a case of them controlling your ability - and the male a'dam grants greater control than the regular one. So if your ability to channel is controlled, it should be capable of controlling your ability to channel the TP. Perhaps it could have prevented it, but Semi didn't think to block TP (why would she?).
  14. Why did it not make sense to kill off Fain earlier? He was in a sword fight with Rand in WH. Face to face with his nemesis, in a fight that could easily have been to the death. He survives, flees, and doesn't appear again until ToM, four books later, and then only a single scene in the prologue. What was the point in saving his life? People can point out that RJ didn't always give his villains epic deaths, and I don't disagree - but why did he escape a suitably unepic death to do absolutely nothing more than fill up a few more pages? Compare with Sammael - he doesn't escape Shadar Logoth only to show up in KoD and be killed without doing anything more. He just dies in ACoS. You might think my arguments are weak, but yours seem to be non-existent on this point. My point is that he survives a situation where he could easily have been killed off, and then comes back but does't do anything - this despite some fairly dramatic changes, and a reappearance which seems to be setting him up for something. The survival, reappearance, changes and set up all indicate he has a role to fulfill, but then he does nothing. I'm not just saying that he should be killed off because he has nothing to do, I'm saying if he has nothing to do, why artificially prolong his life and then set him up to do something, make sweeping changes to his character, and then kill him off? It is not true that according to my way of thinking 80% of the characters would be dead. According to my way of thinking those characters are often presented in ways that are very different to how Fain is presented, so treating it is not reasonable to conclude that they therefore should be treated in the same way. You even point out the purpose of keeping those characters alive - they therefore serve a purpose, which makes them different to Fain, who does not serve a purpose but is kept around anyway and set up to look like he has a purpose. Fain is different, glaringly so. You seem to be extrapolating rather wildly from my point. I did not suggest that all characters who have fulfilled their role should be immediately killed off.
  15. Fain undergoing "some kind" of transformation does not preclude him showing up at the Last Battle as Fain. It just makes him a Fain who is some way through some kind of transformation. Abruptly changing things to the extent that Fain actually dies off-screen between books, to be replaced by Shaisam - who is then killed off almost immediately - is guaranteed to leave people less satisfied than just having an increasingly unstable Fain show up at SG, do his thing, and be killed. Saying it's futile to argue because nothing can be proved either way is silly. Just because something cannot be proved beyond all doubt doesn't mean that possibilities cannot be discussed, and some can be shown as more likely than others. For example, an author makes extensive plans for future plot and character arcs and events in his books; is it more likely that he had plans for a given character that went unrealised, or more likely that he had no further plans, and kept the character alive on a whim after that character had completed everything he was supposed to do? In fact, if we took your advice we'd never debate anything here, because so much of what we discuss is actually unprovable. Discussing things serves a useful purpose even if we cannot prove our arguments conclusively - aside from the enjoyment we get from it, there's also the fact that by discussing the various possibilities, weighing up the evidence, we can create better theories and refine our understanding of the series. So no, it is not meaningless to argue. All of Fain's appearances prior to the end had relevance to the plot. ToM sets up Fain's appearance in AMoL. Then AMoL has Shaisam show up, indicating fairly significant developments off-screen that are promptly rendered irrelevant by his immediate death. Prior to the release of the last book there were theories regarding Fain and his role in the last book - theories that went beyond just "he shows up and dies, having accomplished nothing". Him killing Shaidar Haran was a fairly common one. Him taking actions that don't take up much page space but have fairly significant repercussions would be in keeping with how he is generally used. He wants to kill Rand. While it's virtually a given that he will fail at this, he can still have a significant impact. Saying it wouldn't make much sense for him to do anything remotely relevant is the very opposite of true - if he was not going to do anything relevant, he should not be there. He should have been killed off in WH. Granted, that's not something BS can change, but it therefore falls on him to find something for Fain to do, if nothing was specified in the notes. As for where and when, the location is fine, and the timeline is pretty screwed by the last books so you can have him show up any time. He could be there before Rand arrives, or not arrive until Rand is stumbling out of the cave. It doesn't matter. What matters is function - prior to the last book he always had one when he appeared, in his last appearance he is without one. That's not in keeping with how he's been used before. So give him something to do.
  16. Just because it cannot be conclusively proved either way does not mean it is reasonable to suggest that both sides are equal. If you want to say that, you have to put forward an argument - because I can put forward an argument as to why I think RJ had further plans for Fain. RJ killed quite a few characters, especially minor ones. If he had no further purpose after WH, why didn't RJ kill him in WH? Consider that RJ made a lot of plans for the series. He foreshadowed things in some cases over a dozen books in advance. So do you really think it likely that a guy who made so many plans for his series, so many notes, who had such strong ideas about where it was going, you think that guy would keep Fain around on a whim, with no idea what to do with him? At the very least, RJ thought he might need Fain again, and so kept him around to be on the safe side. Also, let's not overlook the fairly significant developments in the Fain storyline in Brandon's books - Fain appears in ToM, setting up his appearance in the last book by heading for SG. By the time he appears in AMoL, he's no longer Fain, he's Shaisam. A new character, with a new name, new abilities, new plans, all out of nowhere. Either that's a lot of invention on Brandon's part, or it's a lot of developments from the notes that Brandon has rushed into the book without giving them time. If there was no further plan for Fain he could have just shown up as Fain and been killed. Instead we get fairly significant developments to the character taking place off screen before he is abruptly killed off. That, to me, sounds like a character RJ had plans for and those plans were not fully realised in the complete work.
  17. It would not be unreasonable for him to vanish for long periods when there's nothing for him to do then, and then reappear later to fulfil his role in the conclusion. Consider that even major characters like Mat and Perrin sat out an entire book each, simply because there wasn't much for them to do at the time. Fain was important, but only intermittently - therefore, he's exactly the sort of person you want to drop when there's nothing for him to do and bring back when he's relevant. His appearance in ToM sets up his having a role in AMoL, which then proves to be so utterly underwhelming - and it would be underwhelming precisely because he's been set up to be more significant than he ended up being. If RJ really had no further plans for him, he would probably have killed him off in WH, rather than just putting him to one side.
  18. The obvious answer would be that RJ had bigger plans for him than were realised.
  19. The difference is that it's there or it isn't. If it's there, then people will still be sparkers, there will still be channeling, but there will belittle widespread knowledge of it, what it is, how it's done, and so forth. Consider that may wilders have tricks - Nynaeve's Healing for example, and variants of Compulsion or Eavesdropping are common. Those tricks would still be around. As would the effects of the OP on longevity, and the mortality rates for channelers who spark but never gain the control needed. Thus, there should still be evidence of it. If it's gone, then there should be no evidence of it currently being possible, because it isn't. I'd say the difference between a world in which people can live for centuries and miraculously cure people but the knowledge of this is not widespread and surrounded but ignorance and superstition, and a world where people cannot live for centuries and miraculously cure people is more than just a semantic difference, but maybe that's just me. But they wouldn't effectively be doing that would they? If 1 out of a billion people live for centuries but no one knows, hears of, or is involved in their shenanigans, the ability is essentially gone. Even in our world you hear tails of random inexplicable crap happening, and no one chalks that up to the OP. So is the OP forgotten in real life or is it just not there? And even if its just forgotten, what really is the difference to the rest of us? One out of a billion could easily go unnoticed. But something along the lines of one in 10,000? Even one in 100,000? That would be a hell of a lot of people running around with these abilities, and these lifespans. And while they might do so in ignorance, and while some of what happens could be hidden there should still be some evidence out there. (I use the one in 10,000 figure because 1% of people at the time of the series can channel, and most of those are learners - if we conservatively say that 1% of channelers are sparkers, that gives us one sparker for every 10,000 people. One in 100,000 is allowing for further drops in channeler percentage and/or a lower rate of sparkers. It would still amount to over 6,000 sparkers in the UK, over 30,000 in the USA, over 600,000 worldwide. And that's based on very conservative numbers.) And the idea that no-one sees, hears or is involved with any of this is a bit of a stretch. And while there are tales of inexplicable crap happening, people still investigate, and try to explain it. There should be evidence out there - certainly as much if not more than for things like ghosts, and plenty of people investigate ghosts, and there are TV shows about investigating it. So the difference between forgotten and not there should be that if it's not there it's not there, but if it's forgotten the evidence should be there - and we should be getting closer and closer to being able to put it together and start remembering. It's possible in much the same way as it's possible for abilities like Min's Viewings or Wolfsiblings to appear and disappear. Any answer has to account for these abilities as well. Maybe the Wheel just turns it on and off.
  20. The difference is that it's there or it isn't. If it's there, then people will still be sparkers, there will still be channeling, but there will belittle widespread knowledge of it, what it is, how it's done, and so forth. Consider that may wilders have tricks - Nynaeve's Healing for example, and variants of Compulsion or Eavesdropping are common. Those tricks would still be around. As would the effects of the OP on longevity, and the mortality rates for channelers who spark but never gain the control needed. Thus, there should still be evidence of it. If it's gone, then there should be no evidence of it currently being possible, because it isn't. I'd say the difference between a world in which people can live for centuries and miraculously cure people but the knowledge of this is not widespread and surrounded but ignorance and superstition, and a world where people cannot live for centuries and miraculously cure people is more than just a semantic difference, but maybe that's just me.
  21. Bear in mind there are other examples of magical things in the series, like Min's Viewings and Wolfsiblings, that are new - they were abilities which did disappear, and came back. And the Wheel is cyclical time. Chances are it will disappear, and will come back, rather than just always being there but forgotten.
  22. The damane aren't breeding, but there's nothing saying the sul'dam aren't, and learners vastly outnumber sparkers. And that's not counting the male learners as well, nor any men who manage to have kids before sparking (or before the spark is noticed), nor any women who have kids before they are collared. While you would be taking away from the potential gene pool, it shouldn't be happening to the extent that channeling dies out. Also, there are cultures outside of Seanchan with different customs regarding channelers (the Sharans, for example). And Seanchan customs can (and likely will) change over time, as the justification for making women damane is hollow and the evidence of that will be evident when you live side by side with cultures with different views of how to treat these women.
  23. How often to Sul'dam have children? Don't many of those who can learn become Sul'dam in Seanchan society? I'm not aware of anything out of the ordinary regarding Sul'dam breeding habits, so I'm working on the assumption that they're about average for having children.
  24. But you would still have sparkers, because you're not removing the learners from the gene pool, so there are still channelers breeding. So it seems doubtful, even if we assume that the Seanchan do still take over the world and nothing changes with regards to their worldview on channelers - and we have good reason to believe that that future will not come to pass, and it seems likely that the Seanchan views on channelers will change over time as well, given that now they'll be sharing a continent with unchained channelers who don't fit with their preconceived notions of what unchained channelers will do. It's hard to really envisage a time when technology has advanced to the point where it can really compete with the OP, considering what it can do. Personal teleporter, advanced medical kit, Swiss army knife, and so much more rolled into one package - and you don't need to carry that package around, because you are the package. Outside of "human conciousness is uploaded into giant computer, physical bodies now irrelevant", how would technology render the OP obsolete?
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