Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, November 18, 2016

Quiz Nov 21/22

1. What does Plato prefer to convictions?

2. What is Plato's mathematical explanation of the tides?

3. Why does Plato worry about having undue influence?

4. What does Plato consider one of the great paradoxes of pleasure?

5. What is the elenctic method?

6. What was Blaise Pascal's slogan?

7. How is a just person like a just polis?

8. Where must all explanations stop, for Plato?

9. Goldstein's Plato teaches us what?

DQ

  • Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?
  • Why do some people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, when rational and naturalistic explanations are available?
  • Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?
  • Who do you consider the most influential people in our society, and in your life? Are they suitably concerned about having a bad influence? Do you hope to be an influential person? What kinds of influence do you hope to have, in your lifetime?
  • Is pleasure one of your life goals? Is it the same as happiness? Is a good life necessarily a pleasurable and happy life? If not, would you rather be pleased and/or happy, or good?
  • Does it bother you to discover that your beliefs are inconsistent? Or do you think you have a right to hold inconsistent and contradictory beliefs? (Walt Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contain multitudes." What do you think of that, or of Dostoevsky's Underground Man, who asserted his right to believe that 2+2=5?)
  • Should reason respect feelings as much as (or more than) intellect? Is "emotional intelligence" a function of reason? Is it reasonable to follow your heart and not your head? What do you think of Pascal's Wager, and his slogan? 372
  • Is there such a thing as "good possession"? 375 
  • Do you agree with Plato that objective reality is "out there, the same for each of us"? 375 Do you try to close the gap between your subjective thoughts and feelings and objective reality? How?
  • Do you ever hear "the call of the kinky"? think Is William James's "Phaedrus frame of mind" right? Is it possible that neurotics and others considered mentally eccentric might have the inside track on objective reality? 377
  • Are our society and government rationally structured? Do you agree with Churchill that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others? Does that view support or oppose Plato's plans for an ideal state?
  • Is the universe a brute fact, or is it explainable (in principle)? Is it explained (on Plato's view, and on yours) by saying that it was created by an omnipotent being?
  • How can we practically apply Plato's teaching in our lives?

Plato On Book Tour (@platobooktour)
Philosopphy lacks practical value? Irish president on disastrous fallout of philosophically challenged citizens bit.ly/2fbGewX
In this book, “Achieving Our Country,” Richard Rorty predicted an electoral shift that would leave an opening for a Trump-like figure to emerge as a savior.



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Credit

Three days after the presidential election, an astute law professor tweeted a picture of three paragraphs, very slightly condensed, from Richard Rorty’s “Achieving Our Country,” published in 1998. It was retweeted thousands of times, generating a run on the book — its ranking soared on Amazon and by day’s end it was no longer available. (Harvard University Press is reprinting the book for the first time since 2010, a spokeswoman for the publisher said.)

It’s worth rereading those tweeted paragraphs:
[M]embers of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.
At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots. …
One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past 40 years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. … All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

Mr. Rorty, an American pragmatist philosopher, died in 2007. Were he still alive, he’d likely be deluged with phone calls from strangers, begging him to pick their stocks.

When “Achieving Our Country” came out, it received a mixed critical reception. Writing for this newspaper, the critic Christopher Lehmann-Haupt called the book “philosophically rigorous” but took umbrage at Mr. Rorty’s warnings about the country’s vulnerability to the charms of a strongman, calling this prophesy “a form of intellectual bullying.”

Donald J. Drumpf enthusiasts might dispute the word strongman. But the essence of Mr. Rorty’s argument holds up surprisingly well. Where others saw positive trends — say, a full-throated dawn chorus praising the nation’s diversity — Mr. Rorty saw dead canaries in a coal mine.

His basic contention is that the left once upon a time believed that our country, for all its flaws, was both perfectible and worth perfecting. Hope was part of its core philosophy. But during the 1960s, shame — over Vietnam, over the serial humiliation of African-Americans — transformed a good portion of the left, at least the academic left, into a disaffected gang of spectators, rather than agitators for change. A formalized despair became its philosophy. The system was beyond reform. The best one could do was focus on its victims.

The result was disastrous. The alliance between the unions and intellectuals, so vital to passing legislation in the Progressive Era, broke down. In universities, cultural and identity politics replaced the politics of change and economic justice. By 1997, when Mr. Rorty gave three lectures that make up the spine of “Achieving Our Country,” few of his academic colleagues, he insisted, were talking about reducing poverty at all.

“Nobody is setting up a program in unemployed studies, homeless studies, or trailer-park studies,” he wrote, “because the unemployed, the homeless, and the residents of trailer parks are not ‘other’ in the relevant sense.”

The author Richard Rorty in 2004.

Does this overlooked category sound familiar?

Mr. Rorty did not deny that identity politics reduced the suffering of minorities. But it just so happened that at the very moment “socially accepted sadism” — good phrase, that — was diminishing, economic instability and inequality were increasing, thanks to globalization.

“This world economy will soon be owned by a cosmopolitan upper class which has no more sense of community with any workers anywhere than the great American capitalists of the year 1900.”

Again: Ring any bells?

This group included intellectuals, by the way, who, he wrote, are “ourselves quite well insulated, at least in the short run, from the effects of globalization.”

Which left the white working-class guy and gal up for grabs — open to right-wing populists, maybe even strongmen. In Mr. Rorty’s view, no one within academia was thinking creatively about how to relieve white working-class anxiety. This was a problem. “Outside the academy,” he wrote, “Americans still want to feel patriotic. They still want to feel part of a nation which can take control of its destiny and make itself a better place.”

Sounds an awful lot like Make Donald Drumpf Again.

At the time, Mr. Rorty was staring at a slightly different political landscape. But it wasn’t that different, ultimately. Today’s just has more mature trees.

In “Achieving Our Country,” he wrote about the perils of the North American Free Trade Agreement; today, he’d probably have cautioned against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In “Achieving Our Country,” Mr. Rorty railed against the “scurrilous demagogue” Pat Buchanan, who in 1991 talked about building a fence at the Mexican border; today Mr. Rorty would have railed against Mr. Drumpf and his proposed wall.

“Why could not the left,” he asked, “channel the mounting rage of the newly dispossessed?”
(continues)
==
Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

I’m a millennial computer scientist who also writes books and runs a blog. Demographically speaking I should be a heavy social media user, but that is not the case. I’ve never had a social media account.

At the moment, this makes me an outlier, but I think many more people should follow my lead and quit these services. There are many issues with social media, from its corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness, but the argument I want to make here is more pragmatic: You should quit social media because it can hurt your career.

This claim, of course, runs counter to our current understanding of social media’s role in the professional sphere. We’ve been told that it’s important to tend to your so-called social media brand, as this provides you access to opportunities you might otherwise miss and supports the diverse contact network you need to get ahead. Many people in my generation fear that without a social media presence, they would be invisible to the job market.

In a recent New York magazine essay, Andrew Sullivan recalled when he started to feel obligated to update his blog every half-hour or so. It seemed as if everyone with a Facebook account and a smartphone now felt pressured to run their own high-stress, one-person media operation, and “the once-unimaginable pace of the professional blogger was now the default for everyone,” he wrote.

I think this behavior is misguided. In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable. Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable. Any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article. The idea that if you engage in enough of this low-value activity, it will somehow add up to something of high value in your career is the same dubious alchemy that forms the core of most snake oil and flimflam in business.

...the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom.

Once this Pavlovian connection is solidified, it becomes hard to give difficult tasks the unbroken concentration they require, and your brain simply won’t tolerate such a long period without a fix. Indeed, part of my own rejection of social media comes from this fear that these services will diminish my ability to concentrate — the skill on which I make my living.

The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter.

Perhaps more important, however, than my specific objections to the idea that social media is a harmless lift to your career, is my general unease with the mind-set this belief fosters. A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement. It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that youmatter. The latter activity is seductive, especially for many members of my generation who were raised on this message, but it can be disastrously counterproductive.

Most social media is best described as a collection of somewhat trivial entertainment services that are currently having a good run. These networks are fun, but you’re deluding yourself if you think that Twitter messages, posts and likes are a productive use of your time.

If you’re serious about making an impact in the world, power down your smartphone, close your browser tabs, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

-Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University and the author of “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” (Grand Central).
==
Obama Reckons With a Drumpf Presidency

...The new media ecosystem “means everything is true and nothing is true,” Obama told me later. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate and make it very difficult to have a common conversation.”

That marked a decisive change from previous political eras, he maintained. “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach. So you’d argue about means, but there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that.”

106 comments:

  1. (H3) I think the reason rude, opinionated uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones is because people like confrontation. It's not "interesting" to hear a polite debate between two well-informed individuals. All they do is state the facts and give you reputiable and trustworthy information and a logical, controlled debate. People like the sarcastic, snarky comments. They sit on the edge of their seats for the next joke or pun. Confrontation is good television. It is action-filled entertainment and the issues take the sideline to the circus on stage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H1
      I think you're right. Even shows that pretend to be intellectual are designed for entertainment, not edification.

      Delete
  2. (H3) I think people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, rather than adhere to rational and naturalistic explanations, because people like a good mystery. They like not knowing, to believe that there is some otherworldly explanation. People like to believe there are other things out there, bigger than them, and unexplained. Perhaps they also would like to give credit to their specific deity. Like when people say Hurricane Katrina was an act of God, washing away sin. A rational explanation would be that rising warm, moist air displaces colder air high in the atmosphere. Either way a good mystery always trumps a boring, logical explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. (H3) I don't think money, fame, and power are necessary for my happiness. Whether other people need those things to be happy is a different story. I believe when you find something that transcends those "necessities", that is when you find true happiness. I think sometimes money, fame, and power can lead you to find true happiness. However, by themselves, I don't think they last. When they run out, you are left with nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. For most, money, fame, and power have no hold over their happiness although it can lead them to it in one way or another.

      Delete
    2. (H3) I agree, the most happiness comes from improvement of yourself and loving others. I've also found the most joy in my relationship with God and pursuing that.

      Delete
  4. (h3) Media? Because more confrontational announcers are more likely to start an argument. Conflict is what the crowed thrives on because it's entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (H3) In today's world, if something doesn't entertain us then we don't want to watch it even if it is vital for our awareness.

      Delete
  5. (H3) unexplainable? Well one reason is that a lot of people don't like to have their perceptions challenged. Also there is a matter of comfort. It is easy to say X causes Y and leave it at that. But if you say X is actually X,N,Z. Then things get complicated.

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  6. (h3) Wealth, fame, power? this is not everything the world has to offer. Although I am sure some people believe these things make them happy. These alone do not absolutely make happiness, and I would argue these alone never truly make happiness. Many people have had these and been miserable. While many people have never had more than a dime to their name and not an ounce of power or fame their whole lives and been happy.

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  7. (H3) Influence? The people I think are most influential in our society are educators. In this context I mean teachers, preachers, ministers, advisors and anyone else who you go to to receive some kind of education from. These are the people who teach us and help us answer questions about the world we live in. They have a personal influence on us. I do hope to be a good influence by being an educator. I hope to be an advisor, someone who will promote understanding and cooperation and prevent the problems that result form misunderstandings and ignorance.

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  8. (h) Pleasure and happiness? Pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. In fact I think they are very different. Pleasure, in my opinion, is a sensory thing. I get pleasure form a beautiful picture by looking at it, from a perfume by smelling it, from good food by eating it, etc. Happiness is something beyond the sensory it is an emotional state, not of gratification or contentment by themselves, but satisfactions and peace of mind. Pleasure cannot bring happiness because it is fleeting, if we can only be happy when we have pleasure we will forever be pursuing pleasure and never be at peace. always going from pleasure, to lack of.

    ReplyDelete
  9. (H3) contradictions? Human beings are contradictory creatures. If we were not than the world would be a very happy place, or a very cruel one. For example, if I say lying is bad most people would agree with me. But if I tell a lie, say hide a man in my house, and a murderer who is after asks me where he is and I say I don't know. Than most people would say I did a good thing by saving this man. but I lied to do it so in this case lying is a good thing. That is a contradiction because we already said that lying is a bad thing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. (H3) government? I do not believe the American system of democratic republic is bad. It is deeply flawed but so does it reflect the deeply flawed nature of humans. I do not think that human being can ever make anything more perfect than themselves inevitably, everything will be flawed in one way or another.

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  11. Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?

    Because they either give opinions one agrees with in a way which few would be brave enough to, or they supply one with easy strawman fodder to use against the other side.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Who do you consider the most influential people in our society, and in your life? Are they suitably concerned about having a bad influence? Do you hope to be an influential person? What kinds of influence do you hope to have, in your lifetime?

    I consider the media at large to be the greatest influence on American society itself, but my family has probably had the greatest influence on me so far in my life. I consider that a good thing, as they are truly concerned about being good influences. Yes, I do hope to have great influence in my little corner of the world throughout my life, and hopefully it is influence that betters the world.

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  13. Is pleasure one of your life goals? Is it the same as happiness? Is a good life necessarily a pleasurable and happy life? If not, would you rather be pleased and/or happy, or good?

    I will say it till I am blue in the face: happiness does NOT equal goodness! For that matter, I also wouldn't necessarily equate pleasure with happiness, but either way, I stand firm that neither deserves to be one's ultimate goal. Unfortunately, they often serve as just that.

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  14. Should reason respect feelings as much as (or more than) intellect? Is "emotional intelligence" a function of reason? Is it reasonable to follow your heart and not your head?

    I admit, I'm rather fond of Blaise Pascal's slogan. I'm all for serious thinkers trusting their gut. Not scientists, but definitely philosophers.

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  15. DQ: If you do not think money, fame, and power are necessary for happiness, then would you go so far as to say those things are capable of actually hindering happiness?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H1
      Just as much as those things can be a boon, I think they can be a hinderance to happiness. It would be difficult to discern who's a sincere friend, and who was a person who only wanted to use you for their personal gain.

      Delete
    2. I think that having those things can take away from happiness because they're not satisfying and you are left empty. So yes they are capable of hindering happiness.

      Delete
    3. (H3) I believe that they have the ability to hurt your happiness if you let them take over your life.

      Delete
  16. (H3) Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?
    Because people don't want to think, it's easier to just listen to the loudest, most shocking voice, that picks up our attention. Humble thoughts don't play into our passion and obsession with power and influence.

    ReplyDelete
  17. (H3) Why do some people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, when rational and naturalistic explanations are available?
    Because we want to think the world is more fantastical. When we understand the world around us, it bores us. We lose sense of wonder and the adrenaline-pumping uncomfort. That's why so many people love horror movies, we know they aren't real, but well done movies might make us think differently.

    ReplyDelete
  18. (H3) Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?
    Only money. Money provides shelter, food, experience, independence. "Money can't buy happiness" is just a phrase the upper class like to tell the middle and lower class to keep them content. You don't need excessive amounts of money, but enough for what you need and then some for what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  19. (H3) Does it bother you to discover that your beliefs are inconsistent? Or do you think you have a right to hold inconsistent and contradictory beliefs? (Walt Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contain multitudes." What do you think of that, or of Dostoevsky's Underground Man, who asserted his right to believe that 2+2=5?)
    It's perplexing, but it's human. I think some beliefs are too personal to us to just drop when discovered incorrect or different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. H1
      I am always disconcerted when I discover inconsistent beliefs. It puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to change what I believe. I believe it's a person's duty to correct themselves if they discover what they believe is incorrect.

      Delete
  20. (H3) Is the universe a brute fact, or is it explainable (in principle)? Is it explained (on Plato's view, and on yours) by saying that it was created by an omnipotent being?
    Personally I think it was created by some omnipotent being through the most common scientific explanation (Big Bang), but not a physical one. One that has no interest in us as people, one that simply exists.

    ReplyDelete
  21. (H3) The rude media tend to be both more entertaining and more honest. They also tell a certain group what they want to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  22. (H3) Some people want to believe in natural phenomenas as miracles or signs. Even if there are explanations, they want to believe in something almost magical.

    ReplyDelete
  23. (H3) Money, fame, and power are not personally needed for me to have happiness. They all seem to be idolized ideas that really bring more sadness than happiness for most.

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  24. (H3) I think the most influential people are the ones who take the time to invest in you. These people are also individuals who have overcome difficult situations and broken the boundaries they originally had.

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  25. (H3) I believe most people take the time to consider if they are a good influence. Almost everyone has someone looking up to them and you never want to encourage someone to live a lifestyle that would be damaging to them.

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  26. (H3) I hope to be an influential person. I want to inspire people to search for a relationship with God and also inspire people to want to pursue music.

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  27. (H3) Pleasure is a part of life that I enjoy but it's not exactly my goal. I don't do things to just get pleasure out of them.

    ReplyDelete
  28. (H3) Pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. My relationship makes me extremely happy but it is not full of pleasure 100% of the time. My relationship requires work and sometimes uncomfortable conversations but it ultimately makes me so beyond happy.

    ReplyDelete
  29. (H3) Inconsistent beliefs would bother me. I feel as if you aren't true to your words and beliefs and are an unstable person if your beliefs contradict each other.

    ReplyDelete
  30. (H3) It is reasonable to follow your heart instead of your head. It is not logical or typically wise to follow your heart over your head but there are times when it is reasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  31. (H3) I don't believe our government is rationally structured. As we see from the election we just had, our government seems to be quite a mess.

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  32. How can we practically apply Plato's teaching in our lives?
    If our view is not the final world, we can use it as motivation to continue seeking it. Whether that be in the humanities as an eternal discussion or through science, in which new questions always arise.

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  33. Are our society and government rationally structured?
    I think the government is rationally structured as it can be. To prevent one having all power, the government was structured with many checks and balances. The government might be rationally structured, but it does not account for human nature (capable of corruption, discrimination). The gov wanted to protect the minority and make all equal. Although this still is not truly reality, we can be hopeful because scotus can create amendments to the constitution.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?
    Mostly because it is more entertaining. The media has to write startling, shocking headlines for their news to sell. I think most people, unfortunately, don't have a desire to partake in the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, people don't want to partake in discussion especially if they've been at work or school all day. They want something that doesn't take any kind of thought to watch, they want something brainless full of eccentric things that will entertain them and make them laugh.

      Delete
  35. Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?
    I do think you need to make at minimum the amount of money you need to survive. Beyond that, money isn't necessary. Being rich isn't necessary. I especially don't believe fame or power is necessary. If anything, they can prevent you from finding happiness

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Should reason respect feelings as much as (or more than) intellect? Is "emotional intelligence" a function of reason? Is it reasonable to follow your heart and not your head? What do you think of Pascal's Wager, and his slogan? 372
    I don't know if emotional intelligence or feelings are a function of reason. They could be two separate entities. But I think it could be reasonable to follow your heart because humans are creatures of reason and emotion. Sometimes we must follow emotion. It is not necessarily bad.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I feel that people don't like their beliefs challenged because we as humans like security and answers. We do not like the unknown because when we do not know an outcome we fear it to be unpleasant, or worse. There is a sense of fear in things we do not understand and we don't want to believe we are wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't believe money, fame and power are necessary for happiness. They may make you more comfortable, but I feel that happiness comes from the relationships you form and the way you choose to view the world. Material things and social influence will not comfort you when you go home alone or are on your deathbed. What matters is the type of life you lived.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Christian Brooks (H3)12:30 PM CST

    --'Media'?
    In our society, gossip and drama are entertainment. When a media channel produces content that is entertaining, we will often value it higher than the information it actually provides. For this reason, the media channel on the opposite end of the spectrum ill remain less popular.


    --'Happiness'?
    I believe that at many peoples' core values, money, fame, and power are not required for happiness, though they often help. In addition to helping one become happier, many people do not recognize that the two aspects are unconnected and therefore strive for what they have decided will make them become happy rather than happiness itself.


    --'Pleasure'?
    Happiness, to me, is a state that can be achieved when certain criteria are met. Pleasure is one of the main criteria, and it has the greatest emotional pull to evaluating my overall happiness. Even with stability (in all its facets), the lack of pleasure can often pull the evaluation away from happiness whereas the other aspects cannot.


    --'Inconsistent'?
    It annoys me more than anything because it means I have yet to determine the exact morals of that part of my belief system. For example, I recently realized that pirating media/goods is okay for me on some levels and wrong on others; while I believe people can have inconsistent morals, I want consistency for myself and will eventually strive to achieve it.

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  41. Do you agree with Churchill that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others? Does that view support or oppose Plato's plans for an ideal state? I agree with Churchill. Our democracy is still certainly not perfect, but it is better than others, and I believe it's slowly progressing. Our democracy opposes Plato's utopia. Plato wanted people in certain classes, having certain jobs. Although everything is orderly and perfect, it is not ideal, especially with our notion of individual freedom. Utopia is not possible in real life. Although we all wish our government was perfect, it's messy. But I think that's what makes democracy good because, again, we are a part of an eternal discussion, trying to decide what function government should have and what kind of country we want to live in.

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  42. Is pleasure one of your life goals? Is it the same as happiness? Is a good life necessarily a pleasurable and happy life? If not, would you rather be pleased and/or happy, or good?
    Pleasure seems short-term and superficial, whereas happiness seems substantial and long-term. Happiness depends upon the person. I don't think a good life is equates being happy/pleased. I would rather have a good life.

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  43. Does it bother you to discover that your beliefs are inconsistent? Or do you think you have a right to hold inconsistent and contradictory beliefs? (Walt Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contain multitudes." What do you think of that, or of Dostoevsky's Underground Man, who asserted his right to believe that 2+2=5?)
    I think it would bother me if my beliefs were inconsistent. It would be difficult to drop your beliefs, especially if you identify them. I do agree with Whitman though. People are complex. We have a right to hold to certain beliefs, although unreasonable.

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  44. Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?
    Human kind is attracted to conflict and the outrageous. Our curiosity gets the best of us. We are also attracted to extremes because they bring out the passion in us, one way or another. H3

    ReplyDelete
  45. Why do some people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, when rational and naturalistic explanations are available?
    Some people have faith in a higher being, and take such phenomena as a "sign". Even though there can be a rational excuse, we want it to mean something more, so we take it that way. H3

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  46. Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?
    I don't think that they are necessary for happiness, though they are necessary for sustained happiness. One can be poor, unknown, and powerless while being happy; however, one cannot continue to be happy if they are so poor that they cannot survive. I suppose one could theoretically still be happy until death, but it is not likely. I think one can be happy without excess of these things, but a certain amount is needed. H3

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  47. Is pleasure one of your life goals? Is it the same as happiness? Is a good life necessarily a pleasurable and happy life? If not, would you rather be pleased and/or happy, or good?
    I'd most want to be good in life. I would like to be all three, really. I think goodness leads to happiness which leads to pleasure. H3

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  48. Are our society and government rationally structured? Do you agree with Churchill that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others? Does that view support or oppose Plato's plans for an ideal state?
    Our society and government is rationally structured for the most part. The founding fathers got a lot right with little to draw from. They were not gods though, so somethings are very imperfect. The electoral college for one is flawed. This is a component of government that hurts democracy, so I would agree with Churchill. Democracy is the best form of government we have. I much prefer it to Plato's Utopia. H3

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  49. How can we practically apply Plato's teaching in our lives?
    We can search for knowledge over validation of our beliefs. We can be more open to listening to any objections and arguments against our beliefs in search of the purest truth. We can be quick to change our minds if there is sufficient evidence to do so. H3

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  50. Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?
    The truth is, their ratings are only higher because they have more followers. The majority of the population, unfortunately, does fall into the rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate classification, so it's easier for them to identify with views of like-minded people. Those who are polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful do indeed get recognition, but only from the small population of like-minded people who will take the time to interpret their thoughtfulness. Information is much easier to obtain than knowledge, and in the land of lazy, apathetic people, the easier something is, the better. Therefore, they follow those with the views that are easiest to adopt, leaving the small population of intelligible, knowledge-hungry people with little leverage to earn respect for their teachers and the views resulting from them. Higher recognition = higher ratings. But ratings do not dictate the value of knowledge.
    (H2)

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  51. Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?
    Plato, as well as myself, believe that happiness does not center around money, fame and power, but rather virtue and goodness. I think that if you arrive at the end of money, fame and power through the means of virtue and goodness, there is no shame in letting it bring you happiness. However, these things are not necessary for happiness, and even if they do exist, the happiness one has should still stem from goodness and virtue. If money, fame and power are obtained by corrupt means, there should be no happiness resulting from the situation.
    (H2)

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  52. Do you hope to be an influential person? What kinds of influence do you hope to have, in your lifetime?
    I hope to be an influential person like Socrates in my life. This is not to say I want to be executed for being a pestering annoyance who only finds satisfaction in watching people disprove themselves. I do however, want to make people think the way he did. Rather than influencing people with firm assertions that they will immediately want to challenge, I would rather beg questions that make the person arrive at those assertions on their own terms. This way, people cannot blame me for putting ideas in their head, and I will feel confident that I have influenced people to be thoughtful and considerate.
    (H2)

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  53. (H3) Well that's the grand question isn't it. Were does it all come from? In my opinion it must have been created. As I can see no way in which all that there is just came to be without being created.

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    1. (H3) I agree, since everything else that surrounds us has a creator then it seems was if this must also have a creator.

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  54. (H3) WWPD? What would Plato do? practically applying him to our lives? Well, in my mind it is just a matter of consideration and study. immersing yourself in his ideas and through careful consideration, bringing the into your being. SO that you will naturally do what Plato would do.

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  55. (H1) Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?

    I believe the answer for this is fairly easy:people watch rude and opinionated people either because that person is saying things the audience agrees with or because the audience disagrees with them so strongly that they watch so that they can criticize. Either way, neither audience watches to learn or develop their own views, they simply want to either hear someone agree with them or be able to gesture to a figure and say "See! This is what anyone who disagrees with me looks like!"
    Calmer and nicer figures don't garner this type of response in people, and so are often not given as much attention.

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  56. (H1) Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness? What does Plato say about that?

    While Plato agrees that these things are nice, he says that they are not necessary for happiness and that one should rather strive for virtue. I believe that while these things shouldn't be the be all, end all of achieving happiness, I also believe that having these items certainly helps you to your goal of happiness.

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  57. Because the world is obsessed with anything odd or eccentric, things that the majority of the world does not experience on a day-to-day basis making it even more entertaining and exciting.

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  58. Some people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, when rational and naturalistic explanations are available because they want something more than just the explainable. It’s more exciting to think about things as mysterious and inexplicable than as rational. Another reason is they just deny any evidence because they are skeptical about everything.

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  59. I don’t think that money, fame, and power are necessary for my happiness because all of those things will simply fade away at some point and on top of that those things leave you empty and unsatisfied. All I need for happiness is my family and friends who love me because they are going to pick me up when I’m down and comfort me, not money, fame, or power.

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  60. I think I might be lame, but the most influential people in my life are my parents. I think that the most influential people in our society today might be celebrities just because a lot of their fans take their word as if it is scripture.

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  61. I don’t think that pleasure is one of my main goals, but it is a goal. I do not think that pleasure is the same thing as happiness.

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  62. I don’t think my beliefs are inconsistent, but the way I follow my beliefs may be inconsistent and that’s just because I’m human, I’m not perfect.

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  63. Disc 1: These types of individuals get better ratings, becuase sadly more Americans identify with them. Many Americans do not seem to appreciate difference of opinions.

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  64. Last Disc: We can apply Goldstein's Plato to every aspect of out life. We shouldn't be assured that we are correct about any aspect of out life.

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  65. (H3) Should reason respect feelings as much as (or more than) intellect? Is "emotional intelligence" a function of reason? Is it reasonable to follow your heart and not your head? What do you think of Pascal's Wager, and his slogan? 372

    I think to some degree you have to take your feelings into consideration when making decisions, but I don't think that it should be placed over intellect. I think it's important to go with your gut on things, but if your brain is saying something different that your heart I would personally go with the former. I think that there is some merit to what Wager said, but I also think that, at least in my own experience, the heart tends to roam as free as you allow it.

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  66. The human race is one that is deprived of pleasure. We always seem to be seeking out pleasure, love, appreciation. We seek things that satisfy that whether drugs, relationship, sports, religion. We don't care how we get it, but pleasure is the human condition. Sometimes good sometimes bad, but we don't always care if it is healthy because as long as we are happy it is good right?

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    1. (H3) At least in America we put our own pleasure so highly. We see so many take things such as sex, alcohol, drugs, internet, etc. that bring them pleasure and they turn it into their own god. Pleasure is most definitely not always good.

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  67. I believe life is explainable. There is just to much evidence pointing to God for their not to be an omnipotent explanation. Science has done little for the explanation of life. The intricacy of life is to intricate for life to have just evolved from a single cell organism and to create that single cell organism. DNA is a language we haven't even been able to read yet, but we already know of its complexities of creation that it had to be handwritten.

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  68. If my beliefs are inconsistent I am either not following them, which I should be called out on, or do not hold them as my beliefs. Beliefs are the central pillar of who we are so if you don't follow them then do you really know who you are. Beliefs have causes and should have logic behind them so if you cant follow the logical correct path. Then you are forgetting the logic, or denying the logic.

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  69. (H3) Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?

    People love a good show, and in general, what makes a good show is conflict. Two people having a polite discussion is overall not as interesting as to people fighting an flipping tables. Another reason is that some people just need a reason to get angry, though they may not realize it. Take the crowd that surrounded the man with the loudspeaker that was on campus a few weeks back. Generally the people who stuck around were either there for the show or they were so furious they felt the need to argue with someone who wasn't listening anyway.

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  70. I think in some circumstances it is right to follow your heart, but not always reason has to play its part too. We have two sides of a brain for a reason. If you are trying to pick between two jobs and can see into the future. You have a job that pays very well and has good benefits, but you have a career with less pay and average benefits. The job you will quit in a couple of years because you are not satisfied, but the career you are satisfied with and keep going even past hardships. Which chose the better option? Choice of God is a logical one. You look at scientific, philosophical, historical, and archeological evidence and can see which Religion you should believe in and then the heart and mind is line

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  71. (H3) Is the universe a brute fact, or is it explainable (in principle)? Is it explained (on Plato's view, and on yours) by saying that it was created by an omnipotent being?

    I think that the universe is explainable- it's just that we are not at a position to explain it. We don't understand enough to try to begin to explain it, and we may never understand enough. I don't think that by saying "the universe was created by god" explains anything though. That's simply a believed cause of how the universe got here. It doesn't explain anything about the universe itself or how it works.

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  72. (H3) DQ: Regarding why rude opinions seem to get more appeal, how is it that Donald Trump got more appeal than Hillary Clinton did considering his character?

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  73. (H3) DQ: What would the world be like if money did not exist?

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  74. (H3) I aim to have an influence of self love. I want each person to see that I love and accept myself and it is important for each person to truly love who they are.

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  75. (H3) I think reason may respect feelings less than intellect does. Reason comes down to pure logic but intellect has the capacity to consider feelings.

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  76. (H3) DQ: Do you make your choices more off of reason or off of feelings?

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  77. (H3) I would say I hear the "call of the kinky" in that I am not afraid to be different. My thoughts have seemed to always go more in depth than most and I perceive the world differently but I like that about myself.

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  78. (H3) We can apply Plato's teaching by never thinking we are 100% correct on something and never stop searching. We should always ask questions.

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  79. I feel that rude and opinionated media pundits get better ratings than the polite ones because people find what they have to say to be more interesting. It is almost as if they say what some people are really thinking, but are too afraid to say. I personally watch rude and opinionated media pundits to laugh and marvel at some of their stupidity. It is always good to see the illogical side of any argument (:

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  80. I do not feel like money, fame and power are necessary to happiness. In many cases they can be the opposite. Those things are nice ofcourse, but once you let the idea of having them consume you it then becomes detrimental to happiness. We constantly watch the demise of celebrities who have cracked due to the stress money, fame and power cause. I personally don't have to have these things to be happy.

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  81. I do hope to be an influential person. I want to leave a legacy and have someone look at me and aspire to do what I have done. I hope to influence research in the medical field on non conventional forms of sports medicine and rehabilitation as well as marijuana's benefits on the body's immune system and healing processes.

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  82. Pleasure and happiness are synonymous, but I feel like happiness is the ultimate goal and pleasure is a means to get there. A good life is not necessarily a pleasurable or happy life. You can go through trials and tribulations and still have a good life. The pain is not happy or pleasurable though. However, I feel like it is definitely possible to live a pleasurable, happy and good life.

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  83. It does not bother me that my beliefs are inconsistent. I feel like inconsistent beliefs are a sign of growth in a person. For your ideas and beliefs to change, you have had to be influenced by or taught something new that you felt needed to be apart of who you are.

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  84. For the same reason that the news consists mostly of crime and evil doings. It is simply what the people want to see for no particular reason human beings want to see bad things its appealing to us.

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  85. It gives people the opportunity to wonder to have something unexplainable. This reminds me specifically of the show ghost hunters where they try and find rational explanations to the paranormal.

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  86. not at all I don't think plato would say that it is necessary nor do I happiness is what you make of it. I know that some of the happiest people I know don't have anything but there much happier then some of the most wealthy I know.

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  87. The most influential people in my life are the people in the classroom with me in the workplace with me and the people that I choose to surround myself with.

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  88. pleasure is physical happiness is mental for instance I could spend my last five dollars on a big mac and that big mac will give me pleasure but I will be unhappy that I had to spend my last five dollars on it.

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  89. I think that you can have contradictory views for instance I am very conservative when it comes to abortion however I am very liberal when it comes to the subject of evolution so all though I am conservative and liberal on different subjects just makes me who I am.

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  90. I believe that we should think with our head however we have no choice as humans to channeled our emotions on occasion an example for me specifically Is I am very analytical constantly thinking about money but I will take off to Florida with nothing but the hundred dollars in my pocket for the right girl.

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  91. there is defiantly something like good possession you could be possessed with a good spirit the same as with a bad people are influenced by good everyday just like they are influenced by bad every day.

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  92. It is out there for all of us however most of us will never even attempt to tap into it we will just continue in our lives not even thinking beyond what we are doing in the moment.

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  93. No, just because your kinky does not mean that you have an inside track it just means that your perception of good and pleasure is different then societal norms to those that are kinky the average person seems kinky.

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  94. I do believe that a democratic government is the worst kind of government setup however the reason it is successful is because it gives the occupants of the governed sector the feeling of power when someone tells you that your vote matters it makes you feel empowered that's why the government is not overthrown.

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  95. Why do rude, opinionated, uninformed, ideological, vainglorious, and intemperate media pundits get better ratings than polite, circumspect, courteous, humble, pragmatic, and thoughtful ones?

    I feel like these types of things generate more thought and emotions, so they are more interesting. We seek out things to invoke our emotions and spark a light in our brains and I think that is why we seek these things out.

    Why do some people prefer to see natural phenomena as mysterious and inexplicable, when rational and naturalistic explanations are available?

    I think we like to believe these things are like this because it instills a sense of wonder and mystery. The Grand Canyon, for example, was scientifically made by a river running over thousands of years. Many people though like to talk about how the Grand Canyon is where God scraped his hands through the ground to carve it. Explanations like this add sense of wonder and therefore a new layer of beauty.

    Do you think money, fame, and power are necessary for your happiness?

    I don't necessarily believe so, but at the same time I do. My goal in life, at the current time, is a sense of comfortability(I'm making that a word for the moment.) But my life right now lacks that as I stress so much to make money to not worry about bills and so on. In this case, money would make me very very happy as it would allow me time to do things that truly make me happy. So I guess the question in this case is if the money is what makes me happy or the time it would allow me.

    Who do you consider the most influential people in our society, and in your life? Are they suitably concerned about having a bad influence? Do you hope to be an influential person? What kinds of influence do you hope to have, in your lifetime?

    I hope to have influence in people's lives to do great things. I want children or people to look at me one day and say I want to do that, I want to do those great things. I hope to become that eventually.

    Is pleasure one of your life goals? Is it the same as happiness? Is a good life necessarily a pleasurable and happy life? If not, would you rather be pleased and/or happy, or good?

    I think pleasure and happy are sort of the same thing in my opinion, as I don't see a difference really between the two. I hope to attain those in my life and be happy and pleased with the life I have. I hope to also be pleasing to others rather than just myself.

    Does it bother you to discover that your beliefs are inconsistent? Or do you think you have a right to hold inconsistent and contradictory beliefs? (Walt Whitman said "Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contain multitudes." What do you think of that, or of Dostoevsky's Underground Man, who asserted his right to believe that 2+2=5?)

    I don't think it bothers me that much, because I cannot explain why I believe what I do. I think it is this way for a lot of people who cannot explain what they believe. I also think that we all have inconsistencies in our beliefs anyway so why be bothered?

    Should reason respect feelings as much as (or more than) intellect? Is "emotional intelligence" a function of reason?

    I think it should, emotional intelligence is something that is truly important. I have known people that are absolutely entirely intelligent when it comes to fact and knowledge, but they often come to me for advice on what to do about happiness and love. It is something that is just truly lacking and causes his entire life to lack.

    Is it reasonable to follow your heart and not your head? What do you think of Pascal's Wager, and his slogan? 372

    I do believe it is reasonable. Your heart and your feelings are just as important as reasoning. Sometimes things cannot be explained and that is where your feeling and emotions come in to decide whether you should believe or not. This is vital to many of our decisions in life, so I think it should be valued.

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