David Thompson
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July 27, 2016

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Alice

Yet when the New York Times invited five feminist philosophers to discuss the gender gap [in philosophy] in 2013, not one even entertained the possibility that women might tend to find other subjects more interesting. Instead, the group talked exclusively about things like male privilege, harassment, and stereotypes

They're feminists *first* so the narrative trumps everything else.

David

They’re feminists *first* so the narrative trumps everything else.

That does seem to be the dynamic. As noted before, the go-to assumption of gender parity as some ‘natural’ default in all spheres* – from which any deviation must be proof of sexism, patriarchy, etc., - is just that, an assumption, an ideological preference. Transparently so.

*I say “all spheres,” but statusful careers in which women outnumber men, even by massive margins, are much less likely to be denounced as problematic or in need of state intervention for the sake of men.

Patrick Brown

The other thing is, nobody tries to explain female-dominated fields by assuming malice on the part of the women involved. When, say, video games are male-dominated, it must be because all the women are being scared off by misogyny and sexual harassment on the part of male gamers. Nobody makes thinks that way about, say, choirs. Choirs struggle to recruit male singers, but nobody has ever suggested it's because sopranos and altos are horrible misandrists who make the basses and tenors feel unsafe.

Tim Newman

On the subject of feminism, did anyone else feel that the US series House of Cards descended into boilerplate feminist shite for the last two seasons?

David

the US series House of Cards

I’ve not seen it. Though I did enjoy the original UK trilogy.

WTP

Moses, Pharaoh, they know none of it.

While I'm sure the overall point is valid, that's probably not the best example to use to prove it.

David

While I’m sure the overall point is valid, that’s probably not the best example to use to prove it.

No, possibly not. Though in fairness, he was in part talking about Christian, Muslim and Jewish students - who, he’d assumed, might have had some familiarity with at least the concept of pre-American slavery via exposure to their own religion’s texts.

Nemo

WTP, I thought the same, but only because there's been such an impetus in the West to degrade the Bible. It's still history after all, whether you trust its accuracy or not.

Turk Turkleton

As noted before, the go-to assumption of gender parity as some ‘natural’ default in all spheres* – from which any deviation must be proof of sexism, patriarchy, etc., - is just that, an assumption, an ideological preference.

"Few unsubstantiated ideas have done as much social damage — sometimes tearing whole societies apart — as the assumption that there is something strange, if not sinister, when racial ethnic or other groups are not evenly or randomly distributed in particular endeavors, institutions, occupations, or income levels. However plausible that assumption might seem when thinking in terms of abstract people in an abstract world, when it comes to real people in the real world, that assumption is not merely unsubstantiated but in defiance of mountains of evidence to the contrary in countries around the world and going back for centuries." (Thomas Sowell, "The Influence of Geography")

virgil xenophon

If what the good professor says about most of his students dearth of knowledge about pre-American slavery is true as a reflection of the avg college students general knowledge of the world around us and our place in it, then we're already doomed--UTTERLY doomed...I was class of '62 in HS, 63 being the year in which avg SAT scores in America peaked, and have been in free-fall ever since. This state of affairs has been a long time coming. When I left the USAF in the mid-70s to return to grad school as a TA it got to the point that on my essay exams I didn't even care if they correctly addressed the question. If they could manage to string together two coherent grammatically correct sentences I would pass them. (I'm only half joking) It was that bad even then 40+ yrs ago. My generation (the pre-baby boomer war years generation, the most highly educated but, unfortunately, the smallest generational cohort) is now starting to die out (I'm 72.) "Apres moi, le deluge."

Mike

Worth watching in full.

It was. Thanks, David.

David

It was. Thanks, David.

Well, it’s fairly brisk and it covers a lot of ground, some of which may be familiar to regulars here. I did like the section (around 18:18) about the policy of hustling mediocre students into higher education (and possibly a lifetime of debt) in the belief that simply being there will dramatically boost their IQs, and thereby make them richer, while simultaneously obliging universities to dramatically lower standards to hide the obvious problem. And the acknowledgement that it’s all but impossible, career-wise, for a professor to fail 40% of his students, even though 40% of his students really shouldn’t be there, even with lowered standards.

R. Sherman

While I'm sure the overall point is valid, that's probably not the best example to use to prove it.

Ok, but it's hard to see how they would've missed out on learning about Spartacus and the Third Servile War, given than he was considered the proto-prole.

PiperPaul

"policy of hustling mediocre students into higher education (and possibly a lifetime of debt)"

And of course those who don't do well are almost guaranteed to become resentful and angry people who will want to "destroy patriarchy" or "end capitalism" or...

David

those who don’t do well are almost guaranteed to become resentful and angry people who will want to “destroy patriarchy” or “end capitalism”

Heather Mac Donald and others have pointed out how this egalitarian conceit (and denial of human nature) often has disastrous consequences for its supposed beneficiaries, with high drop-out rates and a lot of shifting of majors from, say, engineering to Angry Studies, where standards are much lower. And even then, mediocre students may still struggle and feel alienated and resentful. And of course they’ll be heavily in debt.

[ Added: ]

I think the growth of Angry Studies courses is a pernicious exploitation of this effect. Low-ability students often gravitate to these courses and are then given flattering excuses for their own poor performance and general resentment. They may be led to believe, and want to believe, that the only explanation for their failure and alienation is racism, capitalism, “white privilege,” etc. Which suits the hustlers and mediocrities in Angry Studies departments, but does little for the indebted, disaffected students.

Tim Newman

I think the growth of Angry Studies courses is a pernicious exploitation of this effect. Low-ability students often gravitate to these courses and are then given flattering excuses for their own poor performance and general resentment. They may be led to believe, and want to believe, that the only explanation for their failure and alienation is racism, capitalism, “white privilege,” etc.

Certainly, I find it is unusual to meet one of these Social Justice Warriors who has studied a serious academic discipline and belongs to a serious, recognised profession in the private sector. There are a few, but they are definitely in the minority.

Anon

The vast majority of my students - I’m talking nine out of ten, in every single class, for seven consecutive years – they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States.

That doesn't seem like a failure when teaching American History. That seems like a gross failure on world history as a whole.

whowonWW2

I think the growth of Angry Studies courses is a pernicious exploitation of this effect. Low-ability students often gravitate to these courses and are then given flattering excuses for their own poor performance and general resentment.

Well said and I believe an absolute truth. And it doesn't hurt the that the bottom line for the college/university is significantly enhanced by this exploitation. What's a mother to do? (a line from a very old commercial but it fits).

Fred the Fourth

Even a knowledge of American slavery should include knowledge of the approximately 90% of Africans sold out of Africa who ended up in Brazil and not in the future US. But I suspect it does not.

David

A contender for quote of day:

You don’t get to play the civility card after you’ve praised a group of terrorists who killed cops, firebombed judges’ homes, and bombed the Pentagon.

Well, quite.

Bill Elder

Stephan Molyneux, one of the best sources of logical counter argument on the net, and he's Canadian eh?

The topic of University systems descending into the abyss of intellectually inbred mono culture is really not up fr debate any more because it's so self evident. Many kids headed that way are seeking alternatives in business and trades - essentially our university systems are finishing schools for Marxist activists and career civil service drones. You may escape this left wing radicalization if you stick to Math, Business, true sciences and engineering (as I did) but still some of the campus mono culture will rub off on you.

BTW: Now as an alumnus of a Canadian engineering university, I donate $0.00 and in my business I never hire anyone who has been tainted with the Marxist arts degrees. Let the communist state employ them, it's all they're good for.

Hedgehog

I never hire anyone who has been tainted with the Marxist arts degrees. Let the communist state employ them, it's all they're good for.

True. I definitely wouldn't hire one either, since what I do requires actual knowledge and a degree of skill. But the downside to that is that the government bureaucracy is thus almost exclusively staffed by these losers, which goes a long way toward explaining the subpar performance or downright criminality of the VA, the IRS, the EPA, the Justice Department, the State Department, the FBI, the Secret Service. And I'm probably forgetting some.

Hedgehog

when the New York Times invited five feminist philosophers

That rather gives away the game, doesn't it? As Alice points out, they're feminists first. The way people describe themselves is an indication of where their priorities are. I'm Head of Research in a financial institution. I'm not a male, white, heterosexual, Second Amendment-supporting Head of Research. I mean, I am all those things, but if I felt the need to present myself as such you ought to be rather careful about the financial advice I'm going to give you.

Of course the qualifiers that people give about themselves (feminist, gender-queer, non-binary, etc. See David's typical targets for a far from exhaustive list) tend to be rather on one side of the spectrum. So at least you always know what you get. Truth in advertising.

David

the qualifiers that people give about themselves

I generally think of compulsive self-labelling as a warning sign. At best, it suggests self-preoccupation and an insufferable neediness.

Hedgehog

Re Duke Pesta and his ostensible pet peeve: indeed. I know more about American (US) history than all of the people working in my department put together. And I'm not even American. And, too, as I said above, I don't hire any of the Marxist-infected morons that mostly seem to graduate from US institutions of higher learning, so the sample I'm talking about is quite a bit better than average. The appalling state of US education is something to behold.

PiperPaul

At some point, "knowing things" became unfashionable I think, as if it's some kind of badge of accomplishment or indicator of "not being elitist". Now it's been made worse because of Google: "Why should I learn all this crap when I can just look it up?"

Or maybe it's, "Why should I learn all this crap when I can just look up and cite webpages that confirm my biases?"

Hedgehog

I generally think of compulsive self-labelling as a warning sign. At best, it suggests self-preoccupation and an insufferable neediness.

At best, indeed. It is the BPD equivalent of aposematism. Basically, why a skunk's markings are highly visible.

Although of course there is some argumentation in the case of the skunk.

David

At best, indeed.

Well, it’s something you might expect of an insecure fourteen-year-old with a Twitter bio to write. When grown adults feel a need to show you their extensive, often baffling collection of identity badges, it’s rarely a good sign.

R. Sherman

I generally think of compulsive self-labelling as a warning sign.

Consider it proof of natural selection. Nature's way of telling us, "Don't mate with that one; the future of the species depends on it."

Daniel Ream

At best, indeed. It is the BPD equivalent of aposematism. Basically, why a skunk's markings are highly visible.

I thought that was the blue hair.

R. Sherman

Oops. I see Hedge beat me to the punch with "aposematism."

Took

they have no idea that slavery existed anywhere in the world before the United States.

Conservatives share a lot of the blame for letting the left take over education.

In truth, not only did slavery exist virtually EVERYWHERE until the 18th/19th centuries, but white Europeans were being captured and enslaved by Muslim Barbary Pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries...

You can be angry at the left, but the right bears just as much blame for letting this happen..

Pabarge

Slavery was invented in America - by native Americans. Tribes regularly attacked other tribes and enslaved their captives.

Also, slavery was introduced into America by Europeans.

Finally, in the slavery "work flow" African slaves were sold to European slavers by ... wait for it ... African tribes who attacked and sold their captives.

Ken

WTP,

"While I'm sure the overall point is valid, that's probably not the best example to use to prove it."

I disagree. Lack of knowledge of the Bible means you CANNOT understand Western civilization or culture. Not knowing Pharaoh or Moses and not knowing their relation is probably the BEST example ot prove this point.

Hedgehog

I see Hedge beat me to the punch with "aposematism."

That's the beauty of the internet. You can find big words to throw around at a moment's notice.

Connor

'There are tens of millions of people in slavery today. Researchers estimate 21 million people are enslaved worldwide.'

http://www.freetheslaves.net/

dicentra

You can be angry at the left, but the right bears just as much blame for letting this happen.

Just as much?

I wouldn't say that. Battles are won by the side who's most willing to play nasty. If one side always plays by the rules and the other side is the Mafia, you have to put the Mafia's aggression and intimidation at the top of the list for Why They Won.

The Left captured Education mostly by incrementalism: no hill was important enough for the Right to die on (OK, OK, we'll leave out Huck Finn and his N-word), but the accumulation of Tiny Hills lead to them being alone atop the mountain.

The one good thing about Repressed History is that those from whom the history was hidden tend to get really pissed at their teachers for leaving out the good stuff.

dicentra

"Why should I learn all this crap when I can just look it up?"

Death by GPS: http://arstechnica.com/cars/2016/05/death-by-gps/

Chilling article. You'll never trust one of those jumped-up Etch-a-Sketches again.

rxc

... the belief that simply being there will dramatically boost their IQs, and thereby make them richer...

A variation on Lysenkoism, which emerged from the USSR. It also shows up in the progressive efforts to move the "less privileged" into better neighborhoods/schools/housing, under the theory that the success of the wealthy will diffuse into the DNA of the less successful. Progressive science.

David

A variation on Lysenkoism, which emerged from the USSR.

Heh. Pretty much. Somewhat related, the Marxist philosophy lecturer Dr Nina Power, who insists that equality of intelligence is “something to be presupposed” because – well, just because - “everyone is equally intelligent.”

Nemo

Dicentra, from that article it's other motorists that I won't be trusting. I'm not unsympathetic, just baffled and wondering if such people really should be trusted with a ton or two of fast-moving metal.

rxc

"...who insists that equality of intelligence is “something to be presupposed” because – well, just because - “everyone is equally intelligent.”"

This is a very important founding belief of identity politics. Without it, the whole ediface comes crashing down. So they have had to re-define "intelligence" to include all sorts of other traits where specified victim-groups excel. There is no discussion whatsoever, regarding the overwhelming success of certain ethnic groups (asian, indians, and Jews) in fields like engineering, science, medicine, or law, or of the over-representation of some groups in sport, the arts, music, and entertainment. I am not allowed to complain about how unfair it is that I cannot sing very well (with a name like Caruso), cannot jump very high or dance like a male ballet star(short Italians don't do this very well), or write volumes of BS prose (I am an engineer).

I sometime wonder whether the attacks on successful businessmen are really subtle surrogates for attacks on Jews, who make up a disproportionate share of this group. The attacks against Israel are becoming more pronounced and open, as the Palestinians have superseded Israeli Jews as a victim-group. Maybe it will soon be time to dust off the attacks on "the dirty Jews".

Hedgehog

Conservatives share a lot of the blame for letting the left take over education.

Well, maybe, although I would still say the fact that the universities are shite is due to the leftists in general. But as a conservative, I would also put the blame on the students. It's one thing to get out of college with but a hazy idea of things, but there comes a point at which you bear the responsibility for your ignorance. I was educated in France. My knowledge of American history, such as it is, comes from my own decision to actually know something about the country in which I live.

And anyway, what we are talking about here is slavery. Which, as pointed out by quite a few commenters, is a topic relevant to world history, not American (meaning US) history. Any individual with a reasonable interest in the world we live in ought to be aware of the prevalence of slavery arrangements throughout the ages. Indeed, I am prepared to argue that the modern, capitalistic world has facilitated the (near) disappearance of slavery by giving us tools that made slaves more trouble than they're worth: things like steam engines and petrol engines and electricity and home appliances and so on.

TimT

The other thing is, nobody tries to explain female-dominated fields by assuming malice on the part of the women involved. When, say, video games are male-dominated, it must be because all the women are being scared off by misogyny and sexual harassment on the part of male gamers. Nobody makes thinks that way about, say, choirs. Choirs struggle to recruit male singers, but nobody has ever suggested it's because sopranos and altos are horrible misandrists who make the basses and tenors feel unsafe.

Perhaps this illustrates the problems of taking an extreme either/or position though, because I feel as if both sides could do with some give and take. Because I read that and I thought, 'but there *is* a problem of male underrepresentation in choirs and it is something choirs talk about (you can't exactly replace those male voices - they're essential for the full choral effect!) Or other examples are the ones Sommers talks about - male underrepresentation in art-focused courses. I think there definitely should be more men willing to do these courses and it is a clear display of double standards that this isn't represented as a scandal by progressive feminists. In many cases with the arts, too, it must be because boys grow up making fun of one another if they get too arty (that's certainly what it was like at my school). When you read literature from different times, too, you see how these assumptions can easily change from place to place and from time to time - they're not immutable.

So I'd say these are discussions worth having because lack of men in the arts/lack of women in the sciences could be caused by any range of factors - cultural assumptions are one, and general characteristics that tend to be associated with the sexes is another. Whether progressives can leave behind beloved assumptions about it all being caused by the patriarchy is another question altogether.

Rjschwarz

Didn't any of these students see the movie Gladiator or the series Sparticus?

Turk Turkleton

If you're white, but not down with social justice, you're apparently the equivalent of wayward cattle:

As the Facebook post explains, "If you are a Person of Color (POC), you have enough on your plate! It's not your job to educate white people about privilege, racism, and what's really going on in the world. If a white person is filling your social media with white nonsense – anything from overt racism to well-intentioned problematic statements – tag us and a white person will come roundup our own."

Basically the White Nonsense Roundup is a roving band of white allies coming to assist people of color when racist people say destructive and terrible things on social media. In an interview with activist and blogger Egberto Willies that was uploaded to YouTube on Monday, Kompton explained, "We feel like there's a need for white people to address our own, like, we need to be out there having difficult conversation about race, about systemic racism, and really calling each other out when that comes up in social media."

Killer Marmot

I bring to your attention this article in the Washington Free Beacon...

Amber Tamblyn Has a Lot to Learn About Trans Women’s Reproductive Rights

... with the line "Tamblyn admitted she has a lot to learn about whether biological men are being denied abortions."

Welcome to another exciting edition of "Spot The Loony".

WTP

But of course, Turk. Just like black people are doing addressing their own gang bangers in Chicago, etc.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

... with the line "Tamblyn admitted she has a lot to learn about whether biological men are being denied abortions."

Tamblyn admitted she has a lot to learn about whether biological men are being denied abortions.

“The fact that I don’t know, the fact that I don’t have an answer should tell you a lot,” she said. “About what I need to learn.”

That is rather a bit of an understatement. Apparently biology is on the list of missing subjects along with history.

Martha

The transgender movement is anti-feminist. It solidifies gender stereotypes. It says a boy who likes traditionally feminine pursuits must actually be female, and vice versa.

Darleen

Leftists love to mock and sneer at the tiny fraction of Christians who subscribe to "young earth creationism".

Yet, this is what passes for 'science' among the SJWs

Following a 30-minute conversation on “intersectionality” and millennial feminism, a reporter asked the panel for its thoughts on reproductive rights and women’s health issues for men who ascribe to a female gender identity.

Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city councilor at-large, said the issue of men who identify as women getting abortions is all about “elevated consciousness.” [...]

When asked if trans women are “being denied their reproductive rights” Pressley was stumped.

“You got me on that one.”

Tamblyn chimed in, arguing that the reproductive rights of trans women are at the forefront of the conversation at Planned Parenthood, where the Grudge 2 star sits on the board of directors.

“I wouldn’t know any statistics on that but I would say that goes again with the same notion of community, and fighting for everyone together,” Tamblyn said. “That for me as a heterosexual white woman to talk about reproductive rights and sit on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood, I have to not just talk about my people. I have to talk about everybody. And that’s a huge thing, and that’s a major part of the discussion.”

Tamblyn admitted she has a lot to learn about whether biological men are being denied abortions.

“The fact that I don’t know, the fact that I don’t have an answer should tell you a lot,” she said. “About what I need to learn.”

It certainly does.

Darleen

Oops... I see Killer Marmot got to the link ahead of me.

Tim Newman

Basically the White Nonsense Roundup is a roving band of white allies coming to assist people of color when racist people say destructive and terrible things on social media.

White knights, in other words. Heh.

David

Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city councillor at-large, said the issue of men who identify as women getting abortions is all about “elevated consciousness.” [...] When asked if trans women are “being denied their reproductive rights” Pressley was stumped.

I wonder, is it possible that the reporter got the labels ass-backwards? I mean, if the question were about trans men – biological women who identify as men – then, while peculiar, it would sort of make sense.

I need more coffee.

David

And then there’s this:

Black Lives Matter segregate reporters by race: Organisers of the Black Lives Matter march screamed at white reporters to adhere to a scheme of racial segregation. “White media get to the back! Black media come to the front!” shouted an organiser with a bullhorn. The organiser, annoyed that people weren’t immediately adhering to her instructions, began hectoring white journalists who hadn’t complied. “Excuse me, sir!” she yelled. “Somebody needs to tell this person to get to the back…. Somebody needs to tell these folks to get to the back!”

Onwards, to the future!

Lancastrian Oik

...(T)he equivalent of wayward cattle...

Holy moly- I can't make my mind up whether Identities.mic is genuine or an over-the-top parody of the cognitive dissonance and fatuousness that typifies the contemporary Left.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...I can't make my mind up whether Identities.mic is genuine or an over-the-top parody...

IdentitiesMic documents, investigates and tells dynamic stories at the intersection of identity and experience. We are leaders in reporting and writing on race, class, gender and sexuality, with a critical focus on how these categories impact our lives as millennials.

The one way you can always tell a true leader is by they way he trumpets the fact that he is a leader. Regarding the link, if you are either brave or mad enough (or have sufficient morbid curiosity) to view the video, these people are serious. Totally lost in the sauce, but serious.

Now is the time we engage in puerile humor:

Anna is a staff writer for Mic covering breaking news. She can be reached at aswartz@mic.com.

Whoever came up with the e-mail name conventions should have though this out better.

Min

Onwards, to the future!

"Blue lives ain't real". Can we call BLM a hate group yet?

David

Can we call BLM a hate group yet?

I denounce your WrongThought™.

SumDumGuy

If you are a Person of Color (POC), you have enough on your plate! It's not your job to educate white people about privilege, racism, and what's really going on in the world.

They don't see anything racist in telling black people it isn't their job to tell white people what's racist?

MikeG81

"I need more coffee."

I'll need something stronger than that.

Lancastrian Oik

They don't see anything racist in telling black people it isn't their job to tell white people what's racist?.

Neither is the innate condescension making itself apparent. Maybe they each have the same kind of problem with their force-fields of righteousness. That would explain a lot.

David

[ Jots down force-fields of righteousness. ]

AC1

BLM, the klan with a tan.

SumDumGuy

BLM, Klang with a tan.

That reminds me of a scene from a movie.

SumDumGuy

Klan with a tan.

Dumb phone.

Hedgehog

False dilemma alert:

I can't make my mind up whether Identities.mic is genuine or an over-the-top parody of the cognitive dissonance and fatuousness that typifies the contemporary Left.

Hal

That reminds me of a scene from a movie.

Hmmm. I need to finally get around to seeing that one . . .

Klan with a tan.

Now, with that, I was thinking of a different movie . . . .

Klang with a tan.

Ehn, If you absolutely insist, but I always preferred Kang, Kor, and Koloth, m'self . . .

AC1

Badges, we don't need no steeenkin' badges! Classic.

WTP

My inner nerd insists on the original I don't have to show you any steenking badges

...not to wander totally off topic or anything. It's an OCD thing...

WTP

...unlike my failure to close the tag properly...

David

I wasn’t going to mention it, I swear.

Darleen

Having grown up with Mad Magazine (though, read it at my friend's house as my mom found it too crude to allow in ours)... another icon lost today ... cartoonist Jack Davis has died. He was 91.

Darleen

Dear White People, if you are [rightfully] feeling guilty and depressed over your privilege and the way you everyday continue to oppression people of color everywhere, now you can step up and make reparation payments.

Grab your credit card!

Stefan of Sweden

Speaking of the Black Lives Matters movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpuT7iIcqy8 (strong stomach required)

SumDumGuy

Grab your credit card!

I like that you have to be a person of color to make a demand, but mearly identify as white to kow tow. Makes it easier for all those nonwhites with white guilt.

Re: Kang, Kor, and Koloth

Rich Rostrom

Martha @ July 28, 2016 at 04:33: The transgender movement is anti-feminist. It solidifies gender stereotypes. It says a boy who likes traditionally feminine pursuits must actually be female, and vice versa.

Pretty much rubbish. Gender identity has nothing to do with avocations; it's a neurological condition. There are people who have avocations that are highly untraditional for their physical genders, and yet have no trace of gender confusion; there are transgendered people whose avocations are untraditional for their chosen genders. I have personally known people in both categories.

However - many feminists do attack transgenderism because transsexuals often choose to manifest "stereotypical" aspects of their chosen genders - sometimes aggressively so, to affirm the new identity.

Also, a new form of virtue-signalling is to be all positive about apparent gender confusion in a child - even to the point of treating a non-traditional avocation as evidence of gender confusion. (In fact, childhood gender confusion is fairly rare, and usually goes away spontaneously. Intractable gender dysphoria is not "cute", it is a painful problem for which the best outcome may be mutilation which doesn't produce a passable appearance.)

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