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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Cyclist Inferiority - discussion

    Given that "cyclist inferiority" refers to the notion that cyclists are inferior to drivers of motor vehicles in terms of rights to be on the road...

    Do you agree we have a policy of "cyclist inferiority" in the U.S.?
    Do you agree we have a culture of "cyclist inferiority"?

    Does one produce the other? Or is it a chicken egg situation where they feed off each other? How do we break out of the cycle?

    My thoughts:

    I think we definitely have both the policy and the culture. I'm not sure which came first, but I don't think it matters.

    I was talking to a traffic engineer today, whose specialty is bike facilities, and his cyclist inferiority attitude was blatant. So much of what he said was based on the notion that cyclists are "vulnerable" out there. He was careful to state that bike lanes are not for safety, but his other statements revealed a contrary belief. For example, he said that painting new bike lanes should get street services priority because cyclists need the most protection. When I said I didn't necesarily agree with that, he replied: "yeah, I know some cyclists like to 'take the lane', but most cyclists don't, and we have to design for the lowest common denominator, and I mean the lowest".

    When I suggested sharrows instead of door zone bike lanes, he said he needed the bike lanes to keep motor traffic out of the door zones: the purpose of them was to create a buffer to keep cars 4-5' from parked cars and had nothing to do with bicycling! When I pointed out that he was saying the very space that he wanted demarcated because it was dangerous to drive a car in, he was requiring cyclists to ride in, by law, he replied that he didn't agree with all design standards. Anyway, the more I learn, the more I see John Forester was spot on about this cyclist inferiority stuff, and how prevalent it is.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you think you're invulnerable?

    you think vulnerable equates to inferiority?
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  3. #3
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Removing "Syndrome" from "Cyclist Inferiority Syndrome" doesn't change a false diagnosis. Smoke, mirrors, and horsepuckey.

    I will give you the same sentences I gave to your master. They are as follow:

    "YOU AREN'T A ****ING CLINICIAN. YOU AREN'T A ****ING DOCTOR. YOU CANNOT MAKE UP DISEASES AND MENTAL AILMENTS.

    Get it in your head, man. Crimony."
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    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Given that "cyclist inferiority" refers to the notion that cyclists are inferior to drivers of motor vehicles in terms of rights to be on the road...

    Do you agree we have a policy of "cyclist inferiority" in the U.S.?
    Do you agree we have a culture of "cyclist inferiority"?
    How can anyone keep a straight face and claim cyclists are viewed as equal to motorists in the US?

    Please...

    EDIT: (1:52 a.m.) Right after posting this, my son called to tell me he had been robbed at gunpoint!
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 04-28-07 at 12:49 AM.
    No worries

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    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    I used to work on a farm with lots of cows and bulls. Never felt inferior - I knew I was smarter then them, but if I decided to Run With The Bulls In Pamplona I sure as hell would feel vulnerable about it - big difference from inferior.
    You guys still blow me away with your stupid inferiority argument....but again, you'll never change, you even end again with a shout out to JF and his mass diagnoisis of the american public - you think you or him could prescribe me some Prozac for it? Oh wait, nope, you guys aren't doctors....

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    I was talking to a traffic engineer today
    Pssst, that guy, the one in the mirror, he's not REALLY a traffic engineer, he just plays one on the intraweb.

  7. #7
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Let's say for the sake of argument that there is a culture of inferiority around bicycling. Is the way to combat it to ridicule people with taunting comments about their intelligence and mental health?

    The true problem is the culture of automobile dominance. It's all built around the automobile. This is what has to change. Fix the problem, not the symptom. Not feeling comfortable riding a bicycle on freeway-like roads with distracted, speeding drivers texting on their phones, smacking their kids in the back seat, sipping lattes in their tinted glass SUVs is not a syndrom or condition. It's simply the natural outcome of automobile-dominated development.
    ~Diane
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  8. #8
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    There is no policy of cyclist inferiority....this is a term adopted by zealots to sell their wacky theories and political viewpoints.

    The simple realities are:

    1. Motor vehicles are the primary users of our roadways, as well as the primary method of transportation in this country - like it or not.
    2. While bicycles have a right to use the roadways, that right does not make them EQUAL users of the roadways - bicycles are not the majority users, nor do they share the same characteristics as majority users (motor vehicles).

    That is just plain reality...trying to claim it is some kind of inferiority thing is the same as claiming we have a policy of inferiority towards the handicapped, race, religion, gender, etc. Do you consider the physically handicapped, other races, other religions, other genders, etc. 'inferior' HH? Do you consider efforts to ensure that the differences between those groups and the majority are mitigated in some way to be policies of inferiority?

    If bicycles ever become the primary mode of transportation and the majority users of the roadways, policy will be designed to accomodate them, rather than motor vehicles. Until then, our reality is what it is and not some nefarious, discriminatory plot by the infamous 'them'.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Given that "cyclist inferiority" refers to the notion that cyclists are inferior to drivers of motor vehicles in terms of rights to be on the road...

    Do you agree we have a policy of "cyclist inferiority" in the U.S.?
    Do you agree we have a culture of "cyclist inferiority"?

    Does one produce the other? Or is it a chicken egg situation where they feed off each other? How do we break out of the cycle?
    obviously, it's not a formal policy.
    it might be in the culture simply because people are ignorant of the law AND they rarely see a cyclist on the road.

    It's extremely unpleasant and even dangerous to cycle on many high-speed arterials, due to the fact that they are designed and engineered for the task of moving cars and trucks as fast and efficiently as possible. what works great for those vehicles is not always what works great for bikes.

    also the uncomfortable fact is that bikes ARE inferior to other road users in construction, size, weight, and speed. so we ARE vulnerable out there. Like it or not.


    so it's in the culture. and the road designs and speed limits reinforce it, whether that's the purpose of them or not (I tend to think not). and until we start re-designing spaces and streets on a human scale, for humans and not machines, we'll have this idea firmly embedded. The car is the quickest and easiest way to get around, so I think they will continue to be popular in the absence of fast and easy transit alternatives, but I disagree with the practice of building cities around them. I don't think it's good for people, physically, psychologically, socially, or spiritually.
    Last edited by rando; 04-28-07 at 12:51 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  10. #10
    JRA
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    There's a grain of truth in it but cyclist inferiority theory, as presented by John Forester, is mostly a figment of John Forester's rather vivid imagination (as are the conspiracies that Forester imagines). The government is neither as monolythic nor as organized a Forester portrays it to be.

    'Cyclist inferiority' is a perjorative term Forester and his followers use to discredit those with the audacity to oppose their 'let's go back to the way things were in England in the 1930s' political agenda.

    Cyclist inferiority theory has more to do with John Forester's biases than anything else.

    Cyclist inferiority theory is one of the things that distinguishes Foresterites from cyclists who simply ride according to the rules of the road (as I have been doing for half a century).

    Cyclist inferiority theory is one of the primary reasons VC-ism (a.k.a 'VC-lunacy') needs and belongs in a separate forum. VC-ism deserves nothing less. Foresterites apparently want to turn a deaf ear to what vehicular cyclists have to say - so giving them their own forum is appropriate. The Foresterites can't even convince lifelong vehicular cyclist like myself. Something must be wrong.

    Cyclist inferiority, presented as the primary reason anyone might disagee with Forester, is pure lunacy.
    Last edited by JRA; 04-28-07 at 01:53 PM.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

  11. #11
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Basically I think that this country’s news coverage has totally distorted what is safe and what is not safe. I have collected some stories and links here:
    http://www.baltimorespokes.org/artic...70402075825416

    And I think stories like I collected are the key of breaking out of worrying about the wrong things.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    INferiority. I am proud of my bikes and my cycling ability. In how many forms might we tell ourselves, I dont' give a dam what the rest of us think. I am also one who stands up for my rights.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRA
    There's a grain of truth in it but cyclist inferiority theory, as presented by John Forester, is mostly a figment of John Forester's rather vivid imagination (as are the conspiracies that Forester imagines). The government is neither as monolythic nor as organized a Forester portrays it to be.

    'Cyclist inferiority' is a perjorative term Forester and his followers use to discredit those with the audacity to oppose their 'let's go back to the way things were in England in the 1930s' political agenda.

    Cyclist inferiority theory has more to do with John Forester's biases than anything else.

    Cyclist inferiority theory is one of the things that distinguishes Foresterites from cyclists who simply ride according to the rules of the road (as I have been doing for half a century).

    Cyclist inferiority theory is one of the primary reasons VC-ism (a.k.a 'VC-lunacy') needs and belongs in a separate forum. VC-ism deserves nothing less. Foresterites apparently want to turn a deaf ear to what vehicular cyclists have to say - so giving them their own forum is appropriate. The Foresterites can't even convince lifelong vehicular cyclist like myself. Something must be wrong.

    Cyclist inferiority, presented as the primary reason anyone might disagee with Forester, is pure lunacy.
    You seem to not have the cyclist-inferiority feeling, for which I congratulate you. But, have you not noticed that most other people in our society do not agree with vehicular cycling? What explanation, other than a societal view of the inferiority of cyclists, do you advance for the discrimination against cyclists as evidenced by the side-of-the-road law, the mandatory-bike-lane law, and the mandatory side-path law? How do you explain the nation's bikeway program that is based on pushing cyclists to the side of the road with the excuse that most cyclists are incompetent?

    If society supported the concept that cyclists should operate as drivers of vehicles, none of these things would have occurred. The fact that our society does these things to cyclists requires an explanation, and the best explanation available is the society considers cyclists to be of lower status and of lower skill than motorists, which is the situation that I have spent decades trying to correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Let's say for the sake of argument that there is a culture of inferiority around bicycling. Is the way to combat it to ridicule people with taunting comments about their intelligence and mental health?

    The true problem is the culture of automobile dominance. It's all built around the automobile. This is what has to change. Fix the problem, not the symptom. Not feeling comfortable riding a bicycle on freeway-like roads with distracted, speeding drivers texting on their phones, smacking their kids in the back seat, sipping lattes in their tinted glass SUVs is not a syndrom or condition. It's simply the natural outcome of automobile-dominated development.
    Obviously, taunting those who recognize the problem would be absurd. However, taunting those who are actively encouraging the problem against their own interest is, at least, one recognized way of dealing with such people. Maybe such people should start to think about why they act so much against their own interests as cyclists? Maybe such people should start to learn about bicycle transportation as a practical matter rather than as some pie-in-the-sky dream.

    I admit that it is very difficult to get such people to correct their strong beliefs that are based on almost no evidence and are contrary to what is known; that is one part of the evidence for the psychological situation.

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    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    I admit that it is very difficult to get such people to correct their strong beliefs that are based on almost no evidence and are contrary to what is known; that is one part of the evidence for the psychological situation.
    I find so much irony in the fact that you wrote this statement that I am sporting a little chub right now.

    P.S. You sir, are neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist. And as much as I feel psychology is a soft science, it should still be discussed by those in it, not washed up book authors out to make a buck by spewing politics and F.U.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    I find so much irony in the fact that you wrote this statement that I am sporting a little chub right now.

    P.S. You sir, are neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist. And as much as I feel psychology is a soft science, it should still be discussed by those in it, not washed up book authors out to make a buck by spewing politics and F.U.D.
    You think that I earn money by advocating vehicular cycling? You're out of your mind; there's no money in that, though there is money in planning and building bikeways, and, for some, in doing research in the unsuccessful attempt to show that bikeways reduce car-bike collisions and reduce the level of skill required for safe cycling.

    Certainly, I am not a psychologist, but some explanation has to be tried for the facts that exist. I don't base my position on any psychological theory; I base it on the facts as they are. The psychological theory is only an attempted explanation for why it is that so many bicycle advocates advocate what they do that is against their best interests while also, for the most part, being rather ignorant of the engineering upon which road traffic is based. If people were obviously acting in their own interests, there would be nothing to explain, just as there is no need to explain the support and money that motorists provide for the bikeway system. It is in their interests, as they see those interests, to shove bicycles aside. But when cyclists advocate the same system, then some psychological explanation is required, and I do not see any of the bicycle advocates offering one.

  17. #17
    BF's Level 12 Wizard SingingSabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    You seem to not have the cyclist-inferiority feeling
    That's because it's a load of hot air, you fake.
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    Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.

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    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    Certainly, I am not a psychologist, but some explanation has to be tried for the facts that exist. I don't base my position on any psychological theory; I base it on the facts as they are. The psychological theory is only an attempted explanation for why it is that so many bicycle advocates advocate what they do that is against their best interests while also, for the most part, being rather ignorant of the engineering upon which road traffic is based. If people were obviously acting in their own interests, there would be nothing to explain, just as there is no need to explain the support and money that motorists provide for the bikeway system. It is in their interests, as they see those interests, to shove bicycles aside. But when cyclists advocate the same system, then some psychological explanation is required, and I do not see any of the bicycle advocates offering one.
    So there has to be some psychological thing behind this huh? Well, if there does have to be one, then find someone who is in the field to make the diagnosis? You sir, are not entitled to. And as far as advocating for what is against someones best interests, how do you know what is in someone elses best interest? How in the hell do you know what is good for me and what is bad for me? You don't! You know what youthink I need or want. And I never asked you to play Jim Jones for me.
    There is money to be made in what you are doing. If you try and tell me you are doing this crap out of the good of your heart you sir are more ignorant than you think we poor little masses of cyclists are.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    EDIT: PLEASE IGNORE THIS POST. I RESPONDED TO THIS AFTER MISREADING CHIPCOM'S WORDS, AND WENT OFF ON A TANGENT. SORRY.


    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    There is no policy of cyclist inferiority....this is a term adopted by zealots to sell their wacky theories and political viewpoints.

    The simple realities are:

    1. Motor vehicles are the primary users of our roadways, as well as the primary method of transportation in this country - like it or not.
    2. While bicycles have a right to use the roadways, that right does not make them EQUAL users of the roadways - bicycles are not the majority users, nor do they share the same characteristics as majority users (motor vehicles).
    This is a very odd post.

    You say bicyclists do not and should not have an EQUAL right to use the roadways because we are in the minority. You state this not as an explanation, but as a justification, as if minorities should not have equal rights simply because they are in the minority. Be it sex, or race or culture or sexual orientation or mode of transportation, do you not recognize that this denial of equal rights occurs when the minority is seen to be inferior to the majority? After all, Camry drivers are in a minority too (the majority does not drive Camry's), but they are not seen to be inferior, so they have equal rights.

    And then it gets even more strange.

    That is just plain reality...trying to claim it is some kind of inferiority thing is the same as claiming we have a policy of inferiority towards the handicapped, race, religion, gender, etc.
    Do you not agree then we did have (at least in the south) a policy of unequal rights because of race that it was a policy of inferiority?

    Do you consider the physically handicapped, other races, other religions, other genders, etc. 'inferior' HH?
    Of course not.

    Do you consider efforts to ensure that the differences between those groups and the majority are mitigated in some way to be policies of inferiority?
    Yes. I think affirmative action, for example, is a policy of inferiority.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 04-30-07 at 12:01 AM.

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    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    This is a very odd post.

    You say bicyclists do not and should not have an EQUAL right to use the roadways because we are in the minority. ....
    You got to be kidding me, no where in that post does he say should anything. Congratulations on once again putting your holy words in other's mouths. You truely are amazing

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    Cheesmonger Extraordinair natelutkjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    .....After all, Camry drivers are in a minority too (the majority does not drive Camry's), but they are not seen to be inferior, so they have equal rights......
    Uh huh, once again you must love missing points. You ROCK MAN!! I wish I had the power to be so blatantly obvious. But sadly I was not blessed with that power

  22. #22
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    ...trying to claim it is some kind of inferiority thing is the same as claiming we have a policy of inferiority towards the handicapped, race, religion, gender, etc.

    Plenty of that going on Chip. May not be 'official' policy, but I do remember a history lesson about the Nazis.... plenty of them still around in one form or another...

    Then you have religious bigots.... it's really quite common for one group to think of themselves as superior to another.....

  23. #23
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657

    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    ...trying to claim it is some kind of inferiority thing is the same as claiming we have a policy of inferiority towards the handicapped, race, religion, gender, etc.
    Plenty of that going on Chip. May not be 'official' policy, but I do remember a history lesson about the Nazis.... plenty of them still around in one form or another...

    Then you have religious bigots.... it's really quite common for one group to think of themselves as superior to another.....
    The Nazi movement is done and gone. What is left is a group of kids holding to a Neo-Nazi movement, if movement is the word to use since they are about as organized as a street gang would have been in Baabel sometime after Genesis 11:1-9

    But that is not policy, just bigotry of one group towards another. Lots of men perfer blond women, that doesn't mean we have a policy of finding brunettes and redheads unsexual... which really proves nothing as well.
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  24. #24
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    The Nazi movement is done and gone. What is left is a group of kids holding to a Neo-Nazi movement, if movement is the word to use since they are about as organized as a street gang would have been in Baabel sometime after Genesis 11:1-9

    But that is not policy, just bigotry of one group towards another. Lots of men perfer blond women, that doesn't mean we have a policy of finding brunettes and redheads unsexual... which really proves nothing as well.
    The Nazis are alive and well my foolish friend. And just like slavery, the Nazis were capable of making their victims think of themselves as inferior.

  25. #25
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    The Nazis are alive and well my foolish friend. And just like slavery, the Nazis were capable of making their victims think of themselves as inferior.
    Are you serious? The only Nazis still alive are what... at least 85 years old? If they still consider themselves Nazis then they are hiding out somewhere else since Nazism is illegal in Germany. And you call that alive and well?
    Nazism or Naziism, officially called National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers' Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. It also refers to the policies adopted by the government of Germany 1933 to 1945, a period in German history known as Nazi Germany or the "Third Reich".
    The Nazi regime ended with World War II (1945), when the party was declared a criminal organization by the victorious Allied Powers and effectively destroyed.

    Like I said, the kids running around these days are not Nazis, they are a different form of Socialists idiots who usually are referred to as NeoNazis. I had the pleasure of sharing a cell with one for three years. But what do I know about it, aparantly I'm a fool for some reason.

    [EDIT]
    I'm finished with this part of the discussion. It will lead nowhere and has nothing to do with whatever the hell this thread is about, nor does discussing the history of Socialists hold any bearing over my original post to you.
    I am a sig Virus. Please put me in your sig so that I can continue to replicate.

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