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Feminist theory, it should be mentioned from the beginning of the paper, is not a unified theory. As women experience the social world differently according to class, age or "race", there exist different feminist standpoints within the feminist tradition "“ i.e. Marxist or Postmodernist feminists and this explains the need to talk of Feminisms "“ in plural. In general though, feminist theorists in order to explain the marginal position women's issues hold in the social sciences "“ and why they are merely "added on" in the academic discourse, focus their critique upon traditional scientific approaches existing in the social sciences, offering alternative theories of knowledge. In addition, they attack concepts that originate from the founding fathers of each discipline i.e. Durkheim in Sociology, and which still hold an exceptional position in the social sciences. For example, feminists believe that the concepts of scientific neutrality, or objectivity, or the belief that we can achieve "pure" knowledge of the social world, have all contributed to the androcentric status of the social sciences. In this essay we will attempt to define what is meant by "conventional epistemologies" focussing primarily upon Sociology, suggesting also that different feminist epistemologies offer different approaches regarding conventional epistemologies. Thus, it is going to be discussed why feminists view as problematic the "scientific" approach that permeates and influences traditional explanations of the social world. Moreover, we will attempt to explain how feminists, with the introduction of new ways of investigating society "“ that is, the introduction of new subject-areas in social research, the placing of the researcher along with the research in the centre of research analysis, or the emphasis of the importance of locating experience and emotions in the research, challenge conventional epistemologies. Finally, in the end we will suggest that feminist epistemologies strongly challenge not only the theoretical basis of conventional epistemologies, but its application to the methods of investigating the social world as well, offering feminist versions of traditional theories. Feminists criticised traditional social science, suggesting that it offers a distorted picture of social reality, as it predominantly focuses its attention upon men's experiences. But before taking this point further, it is pertinent to briefly explain what is meant by "epistemology". As L. Stanley and S. Wise suggest 1993, the question of epistemology is fundamental for feminism. They state that an "epistemology" is a framework or theory for specifying the constitution and generation of knowledge about the social world; that is it concerns how to understand the nature of reality: A given epistemological framework specifies not only what "knowledge" is and how to recognise it, but who are "knowers" and by what means someone becomes one, and also the means by which competing knowledge-claims are adjudicated and some rejected in favour of another/others. page 188. However, conventional epistemologies and for the purpose of this paper we will limit our discussion of conventional epistemologies referring to the positivist tradition, exclude in their discussion women. As S. Harding puts forward 1987, "epistemology" answers questions about who can be a "knower" and what tests beliefs must pass in order to be legitimated as knowledge. Yet, Traditional epistemologies systematically exclude the possibility that women could be "knowers" or agents of knowledge; they claim that the voice of science is a masculine one"¦ page 3. She goes on to suggest that traditional philosophy of science suggest that the origin of scientific problems or hypotheses is irrelevant to the "goodness" of the results of the research. However, feminist challenges reveal that the questions that are asked in social research, and most significantly those that are not asked, are at least as determinative of the adequacy of our total picture as are any answers we can discover: Defining what is in need of scientific explanation only from the perspective of bourgeois, white men's experiences leads to partial and ever perverse understandings of social life. page 7 Sociology's role in the exclusion and silencing of women from this discourse has also been the object of feminist criticism. D. Smith 1987 states Sociology has been based upon men's social universe. This renders problematic the attempt to think how women experience the world from their place, given the limited concepts and theoretical schemes available to employ. In addition, Smith repudiates the idea that Sociology can be a science challenging therefore directly positivist ideas concerning the status of this discipline within the social sciences. She argues that The Sociology I conceive is much more than ideology and at the same time much less than "science". The governing of our kind of society is done in concepts and symbols. The contribution of Sociology to this is that of working up the conceptual procedures, models and methods by which the immediate and concrete features of experience can be read into the conceptual mode in which the governing is done. page 87. Similarly, M. Millman and R. Kanter 1987 argue that Sociology focuses only on the formal, official action and actors. Thus, it explains the status quo and does not explore much needed social transformations; neither does it encourage a more just humane society. It is also relevant to mention here that the sociological subject in language has been male -"he" and that language which is used describes experiences purportedly universal, although they are exclusively male. Before turning our attention to the different feminist epistemologies mainly the "feminist empiricist" and the "feminist standpoint" we should explicate how feminists take concepts, as well as research practices dominant in conventional epistemology such as "empiricism" "objectivity" "positivism" and "scientific methodology", and deconstruct them in order to challenge the hegemony of such epistemologies. As far as 'objectivity' is concerned, positivist methodological approaches claim that 'objectivity' is an ideal that is attainable, as we can actually stand "outside" of our social world, and observe it without any preconceptions. As a result, the aim of the social scientist is to be detached from the research subject, excluding from the research analysis any discussion of "feelings" or "experiences". Stanley and Wise 1993 state that it is the inductivist research methodology which claims that pure, unbiased, objective knowledge can be produced from the scientific mind's experience of the world. Sydie also suggests that in traditional social science there exists a dichotomy in the sexes where 'objectivity' is given as a male attribute and 'subjectivity' therefore as a female one: The attributes of science are the attributes of males; the objectivity said to be characteristic of the production of scientific knowledge is specifically identified as a male way of relating to the world"¦women by contrast, are 'subjective'. Page 207. Sydie also discusses Weber and Durkheim ideas in relation to the issue of "objectivity" in the social sciences, as their ideas still hold an eminent position in modern social theory. Weber, she argues page 214 sustains that "objectivity" in the social sciences is secured by the fact that once the object of the sociological interest has been selected in terms of values, then values cease to enter into the causal explanations offered regarding the behaviour and events. If we turn to Durkheim now, we can see that he believed that it is possible for social facts to become visible to the sociologist, as they exist "independent of the individual forms" and can be "recognised by the power of external coercion it exercises over individuals Sydie, page 43. Thus, for Durkheim as Sydie argues the independence of social facts from particular individuals meant also that social facts had to be explained in terms of other social facts and therefore the "objectivity of the observation would be secured in the same manner as the natural sciences" page 43. However, according to many feminist theorists objectivity should not be the primary aim of a social investigation. Rather, researchers should take into consideration their age class and "race" and consider how these will effect the research process. In addition, it should be recognised that feminist researchers shape the results of their analyses no less than do those of sexist and androcentric researchers. The "objectivist" stance should be avoided as it attempts to make the researcher's cultural beliefs and practices invisible, while simultaneously skewering the research objects, beliefs and practices to the display board Harding, 1987:9. From the above discussion it is evident that feminist theories do not advocate the positivist methodology which exists in conventional theories of knowledge. However, we should be cautious here about how we use the term "positivist". And that because there are various schools of positivism i.e. the new realists, and also because the word "positive" can take different ontological, epistemological and practical forms Bryant, 1985. Johnson et al 1984 offer us a general definition of the term, stating that it refers to the extension of empiricist models of natural science, to the field of human action, by arguing for either a methodological or substantive unity of the two page 32. Its main methodological approaches of research are inductivism and deductivism. The former refers to the idea that knowledge "“ theory, can be produced by the researcher according to her experience of the world. By the latter term it is meant that theory pre-exists the actual research. Feminist thinkers have fiercely challenged those concepts found in traditional epistemologies, offering new approaches towards the research praxis. As it has already been mentioned, they place particular emphasis upon the location of the researcher in the research process. In addition, as we shall see, they introduce new subject areas for research, stressing the importance of conducting research on the subject of everyday life experiences. But let us see first how feminist theorists have rejected positivist attitudes. Stanley and Wise 1990 put forward that all knowledge is partial, results from the conditions of its production, is contextually located and originate from the minds and intellectual practices of theorists and researchers who give voice to it page 39. Therefore, this feminist standpoint dismisses claims of objective knowledge. Stanley and Wise 1993 also attack the method of ethnography in social research, claiming that it is an approach, which is positivist in nature: "Scientific detachment", "truth", "non-involvement" all exist as the aims of an ethnography. And despite all the controversies and debates about the place of "values" in ethnographic research, "scientific detachment", "truth" and "non-involvement""¦are still alive and well and frequently to be met. page 159 But what is the alternative approach of the feminist standpoint? First of all, as it has already been mentioned it is the location of women within research. And this is crucial to our understanding of women's place in the social world. Smith 1987, argues that in order to increase our understanding as women, we need a method from where women are, as subjects, located in the everyday world, not in imaginary spaces constituted by the objectified forms of sociological knowledge. Similarly, for Millman and Kanter 1987 there is the need for research in "local" settings, which are largely populated by women in their daily rounds of life and which have received no serious sociological attention. Thus, for them the importance of ordinary aspects of our social life becomes more prominent in a feminist perspective, as "women have traditionally been chained to an existence of cleaning up and caring for others" page 33. Another way of challenging conventional methodologies in social research is to encompass "emotions" and "experience" in the research analysis. And that because the employment of emotions in the social investigation challenges dominant notions of the inferior status of emotions as a reliable source of data. Thus, the use of emotion in research does not somewhat fit with the conventional image of the detached, objective social researcher. Stanley and Wise 1993 state that their own feminist epistemology does include emotionality. They view emotionality as the product of a culture and therefore open to "rational" analysis as much as any other culturally inscribed behavioural forms. Moreover, they argue that emotions are vital to systematic knowledge of the social world and that "any epistemology which fails to recognise this is deeply flawed" page 193. As mentioned before, feminist criticism is not unified and consists of different epistemologies "“ some more marginal than others i.e. black feminist or lesbian epistemologies. One thing that has in common though, is the belief that social sciences should have a new purpose. That is, to use women and their experiences as new empirical and theoretical resources. If we are to look at feminist empiricist, we can see that this epistemology advocates a stricter adherence to the existing methodological norms of the scientific inquiry, in order to eliminate sexist and androcentric biases. What is responsible therefore for biases in social research according to this standpoint, is the misuse of existing research methods Harding, 1987. Also, what we can deduce is that feminist empiricists do not see anything fundamentally wrong with dominant, conventional methodologies in social science. It is merely the case of conducting the research better. The "feminist standpoint" position on the other hand, claim that their research findings offer a more complete and less distorted picture of social life. And this because knowledge is supposed to be based on experience and feminist standpoint theorists argue that their experience is more complete because it originates from the struggles against their male oppressors Harding, 1987. Yet, Stanley and Wise 1990 are against both these feminist epistemologies, as "they still accept the existence of a "true reality" and the methods of science as a means to establish it" page 42. Considering now another feminist epistemology "“ the lesbian one we can see how diverge feminist epistemologies are. The starting point of this epistemology is that "women" is a social category defined in terms of economic, physical or other dependency on men Stanley and Wise, 1990. As a result, they view women as a politically and socially constructed class. It is evident therefore how this epistemology challenges conventional theorising on women, in the social sciences. What is ambiguous about feminist epistemologies is whether they wish not only to challenge conventional ones but also lose their marginal status and substitute conventional epistemologies with feminist ones as well. For some feminists feminist theories of knowledge are best kept in the margins in order to avoid temptations of assimilation Stanley and Wise, 1990. Thus, according to Miles quoted in Sydie feminism is not simply about substituting a female understanding for the current male viewpoint. In addition, feminism is the viewpoint of outsiders to power, who have therefore a more accurate view of reality because they have no stake in mystifying that reality page 214. On the other hand, it can be argued that feminism is primarily a political movement for the emancipation of women, and as such, the predominance of its theory in the social sciences could ameliorate women's position in society mainly through social research. Smith quoted in Sydie is in fact in favour of creating a Sociology for women, instead of women. This will result in initiating a discourse among women that "transcends the traditional academic and knowledge boundaries" page 216. As a result, what has been argued in this paper is that there exists a twofold challenge of traditional epistemologies of the social sciences. That is, feminists challenge dominant ideologies located in the social world i.e. sexism as well as dominant methods of investigating it. Finally, despite the tensions within feminist epistemology feminism has managed to expose what dominant models of viewing and researching the world have overlooked.
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Feminist theory, it should be mentioned from the beginning of the paper, is not a unified theory. As women experience the social world differently according to class, age or "race", there exist different feminist standpoints within the feminist tradition – i.e. Marxist or Postmodernist feminists and this explains the need to talk of Feminisms – in plural. In general though, feminist theorists in order to explain the marginal position women's issues hold in the social sciences – and why they are merely "added on" in the academic discourse, focus their critique upon traditional scientific approaches existing in the social sciences,...
of creating a Sociology for women, instead of women. This will result in initiating a discourse among women that "transcends the traditional academic and knowledge boundaries" page 216.

As a result, what has been argued in this paper is that there exists a twofold challenge of traditional epistemologies of the social sciences. That is, feminists challenge dominant ideologies located in the social world i.e. sexism as well as dominant methods of investigating it. Finally, despite the tensions within feminist epistemology

feminism has managed to expose what dominant models of viewing and researching the world have overlooked.

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He had a dream. Does anything...He had a dream. Does anything else come to mind when you mention the one and only Martin Luther King Jr.? For most people, probably not. The truth is, King was recognized primarily for his dream. And why not? It was a good dream, one that promoted peace and equality. It was the dream that was thought to have united the black and white communities, the dream that made America aware of a problem, and the dream that ultimately led to his demise. Let me ask you a question: Would King be happy to see how far his dream has come? Don't answer so quickly. Instead, let us ponder"¦ Today, there is coracial education. African Americans are in every U.S. school; it's not uncommon. Blacks and whites can dine together at neighboring tables at any restaurant. Anyone to utter the word "nigger" is most definitely punished in the harshest form. Caucasians are not considered to be better than their darker friends in any way, shape, or form. Of the ignorant bigoted percentage of the population, whites consider blacks every bit as strong and honorable as themselves. Our schools even hold assemblies to reprimand racism, targeting these horribly self-emulating whites. For the most part, blacks have surpassed the label of "lower class," or "uneducated," or " secondary citizens." For the most part, African Americans have overcome. But have they surpassed and overcame even equality itself? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for equality goes both ways. Just as it is unthinkable to place a white person above a black person, it should be unthinkable to place a black above a white. Perhaps it is the white community's guilt or regret for years of oppression that accounts for this, but there is a growing amount of reversed racism in our country today. There are more cases where blacks are being treated differently, being treated special, simply because they are a few shades darker. White children have less oppertunities as a result of this. This is discrimination based on skin color. Is this not racism? The very racism King fought against? If we are all to be treated equally, as stated by our own government, then why is our government promoting the defiance of this very law? Colleges all across our country are responsible for practicing reversed racism. Because of their desire to accept students within a minority, they are in fact excluding many more qualified white students from their education services. If two potential students, one Caucasian, one African American, both very active in their communities and straight A students at their previous schools, apply for entrance to a college, the African American student will be accepted. The decisive factor in this continued education course is the color of the student's skin. The same applies to adults entering the work force. Supposed "Equal Opportunity Employers" are not truly equal, for if they were, they would pay no attention to race at all, meaning no special circumstances for the minority. Socially, this standard of special privileges based on race is just as prevalent, especially among the country's youth. African American and Mexicans generally hold a more respected position in the ranks among teenagers, bound together by one common trait: their dislike for whites based on the stereotype that all whites are racist. This is hypocrisy for they themselves are active racists, often denying whites the right to teach their classes, or style their hair, or even work with them on a project, deeming Caucasians incompetent. So think about it: Would the good ol' doc really be happy? Well, if he was hoping for equality, then certainly he wouldn't be. There is no racism until the difference in skin color is made evident. The only problem is that most often, this difference is pointed out vying for equality when they press harder for excessive minority rights. In order for Martin Luther King's dream to finally come true, we should simply stop recognizing that difference all together until we reach a point where skin color becomes as irrelevant as eye color. Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man with a great dream, and though I am merely one of many in our country, I'd like to believe that I have a great dream as well.   

He had a dream. Does anything else come to mind when you mention the one and only Martin Luther King Jr.? For most people, probably not. The truth is, King was recognized primarily for his dream. And why not? It was a good dream, one that promoted peace and equality....

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When the word "terrorists" is heard,...When the word "terrorists" is heard, most people in the west think of relatively the same thing. Long-bearded men with long dresses called "thawb" that dangle to just above the ankle, or veiled women with nothing visible to the public but their eyes "“if they were shown at all, or young men and children dressed in t-shirts and blue jeans, their face and head wrapped with a checkered red and white "shmaagh," throwing rocks. This is the typical image formed when "terrorists" are mentioned. Am I surprised? Hardly. Can I blame them? Only partially. The reason that I can"t completely blame them is because what they see, they believe, and this is what the media is feeding them. Why I can blame them partially, however, is for believing the media submissively without further investigation. Not only has the media made us believe their distortions of reality as if they were concrete facts, TV has also made us insensitive to what we see. Maybe this insensitivity is the reason why most people couldn"t care less about what is going on with the people on the other side of the world; especially those whom they consider "terrorists." In fact, these alleged terrorists are victims of terror. To see this, we must probe beyond the US and allies" double standard"s of "terrorism," and the media"s biased attempt for cover-up. "It is fashionable to denounce Palestinians for encouraging their children to confront the Israeli army. Yet, as one Israeli commentor has pointed out, the Jewish 14-year-old who destroyed a Syrian tank in 1948 is still venerated as a hero," says Gabor Mate, a Jewish writer in the Globe and Mail 1/11/2000. These young rock-throwers are called "terrorists," yet the reasons behind them throwing these rocks in the first place are completely ignored. The Jews in Palestine have caused genocide of the Palestinian people, yet the world stands and watches with folded arms "“if they are not approving and supporting them, that is! Not a single Western country has condemned Israel for its disproportionate use of force against civilians. Using helicopters and tanks against unarmed civilians breaks all international laws and customs yet not a single Western country has criticized Israel for using these means against the Muslims. The US abstained from a UN Security Council resolution convicting Israel indirectly for its actions against the Muslims of Palestine! The media has done more than its share of distorting the reality of the situation to the general public. They use terms like "fighting," "violence," and "clashes," whereas these are terms used between two adversaries that have some comparable strength against each other. What is happening in Palestine is the extermination of Muslims. They also report that a number of Palestinians "died," whereas a number of Zionists were "killed." Over a hundred young, healthy Palestinians don"t just suddenly "die" as they are walking down the streets: the term is used so as not to implicate that the Israeli"s are murderers. Not only that, but they talk about "violence that has killed over 100 people," giving the impression that equal numbers of Zionists and Muslims have been killed. They fail to mention that over 95% of them are Palestinian"s and it"s not "violence" that killed them: it is armed Israeli soldiers that have murdered them! Palestinians are being killed by the dozens and they are just mentioned as a statistic, yet when one Jew is killed, it becomes headline news. When two Israeli soldiers where killed by a group of Palestinians for coming into "Arab territory," it made first page news. Even Clinton condemned it in a statement. It was called "cold blooded murder." Again, the double standard surfaces. It is well known that the West condemns and looks down upon crimes done against children by adults. As an example, the whole of Britain wept at the massacre of the sixteen school children in Dunblane by Thomas Hamilton in 1996. They shed tears at the murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne a year ago. Yet this same public remains silent at the continued massacre of Palestinian children by armed, trained, Israeli adult soldiers. Does the fact that the Jews suffered during the Holocaust permit them, under international law, to open fire at innocent, unarmed civilians? But the truth will continue to shine for those who want to, and can, see beyond the barriers trying to block it. Jews themselves have seen, and spoken up, about the cruelty behind it all. Judith Stone, in an article she wrote that was published in the Kansas City Jewish Chronical the publisher "“Debbie Ducro- was fired the next day for publishing it, admitted that "taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of others." She also reminds the Jews that they "must not forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispention from abiding to the rules of humanity." Gabor Mate wrote in the Globe and Mail 1/11/2000 that "there is no symmetry here, no parity of killings and loss and torment or even of the mutual atrocities from which both parties have suffered. One side has had all the power all along, has imposed its conditions on the other, and continues to wield overwhelming force "“"excessive use of lethal force," reports Amnesty International, "in circumstances in which neither the lives of security forces nor others were in imminent danger." That side has a greater responsibility not to persist in seeing itself as victimized." Stone concludes with what I began with, "the press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But, the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist." "I"d go a step further perhaps," she says, "rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I"d hurtle a boulder." This situation in Palestine is ongoing as I write, as is the situation in Chechnya. The situation there has been going on for close to two years, yet until now, no one has even attempted to stop it. The American government claims that one country simply invading the other is unacceptable and will be stopped by force, as they did during the Gulf War. Does Chechnya not qualify as a "country?" Do Chechen"s not qualify for human rights? When the Chechen women were raped, the world watched. When Chechen men were sexually abused, elders mutilated, and children became insomniac because of the atrocities their little eyes witnessed, the world watched. When pregnant bellies were slashed open, and the babies thrown to their death while the mother lay there bleeding and motionless, the world watched. When infants were trampled and beheaded in front of their screaming mothers, the world watched. When grown men were tied to tanks and dragged across the rugged terrain, the world watched. Maybe we shed a few tears, but they are shedding blood; and still, two years later the world still watches. One Chechen woman tells her story of how the barbarous Russians treated her and two other ladies. She and two other women returned to Grozny the capital of Chechnya from one of the refugee camps in order to inspect their homes once the fighting there was over. The Russians detained the three women, blindfolded them and forced them to stand against a wall. The three ladies tearfully pleaded with the Russians that their lives be spared, but to no avail. All three women were shot without mercy. The other two women were killed; this woman miraculously survived "“only to endure another horrible ordeal. Not realizing she was alive, the Russian soldiers began stealing the womens" valuables. One Russian soldier pulled at the earring of the surviving woman so hard that her ear was ripped out! Despite the extreme pain, she remained silent so as not to endanger herself any further. Unfortunately, the Russian soldier didn"t stop there. He attempted to cut off her fingers while trying to steal her ring. Frustrated by not finding a knife, he gave up effort. Instead, he covered the three bodies with a mattress and ignited it in a failed attempt to cover up for the crime committed. The badly wounded woman then crawled away until she was discovered by other civilians, and taken to the hospital. Do these women not quality for article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? It states, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." Where is the security of person here? Or does this woman, and many others who have been through similar situations, not qualify for the basic Human Rights standards? Many people who miraculously escaped from the Chernokozovo concentration camps reported things no ordinary human brain can imagine! The Russian guards there have lost all human nature, and are committing "satanic ritual murders" on the prisoners, as eyewitnesses have said. Ibrahim Vakhayov from Urus-Martin, an eyewitness to the bestial crimes of the Kremlin regime, reports that raping the corpses of victims who were tortured to death is a common and regular practice in Chernokozovo! The rape of the corpses, he says, is practiced in full view of the other prisoners, and the next victim is announced right there! He says he saw the murder of a 10-year-old boy, whom his name he didn"t know. Five guards with black masks raped the boy"s corpse; cut it into pieces then put into a plastic sack. Do these people not qualify for human rights? Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Now is the time for the sp-called "World Policeman" US Government to prove itself! Just as is the case in Palestine and Chechnya, the situation is Iraq is ongoing as well "“as it has been for little over ten years. The situation is Iraq is the worst yet, since most of the damage is on the Iraqi children. As Kathy Kelly, a member of Voices in the Wilderness relates, "when you destroy a nation"s infrastructure and then cripple further with punishing sanctions, the victims are always the society"s most vulnerable people "“the poor, the elderly, the sick, and most of all, the children." In just five years after the Gulf War, "as many as 576,000 children have died as a result of sanctions imposed against Iraq by the United Nations Security Council, according to a report by the UN Food and agriculture organization FAO" New York Times, 12/1/95. One million, two hundred thousand people have died in Iraq as a direct result of the economic embargo. The average death toll reaches six thousand per month! The consequences of the economic embargo have been devastating on the health of the Iraqi people "“not the government. Malnutrition has been prevalent, especially among the children. Sanitary water decreased by 300%, while polluted water increased by 600% since the economic sanctions were imposed. John Pilger tells us about the suspected dual use equipment that was kept on hold during his stay in Iraq "“heart and lung machines, water pumps and other agricultural supplies, safety and fire fighting equipment, wheel barrows, and detergent. In fact, hospital floors, and other building areas, are cleaned with gasoline because detergent is on hold. When Iraq asked for five hundred ambulances, which were approved by the WHO as a minimal requirement, they were at first completely blocked, but then released slowly in a period of six to nine months. According to Foreign Affairs, by 1999, the war against the people of Iraq has resulted in "hundreds of thousands of deaths," depriving it of over 140 billion in much needed oil revenue, saddling Iraq with hyperinflation, mass poverty, unemployment and epidemics of diseases including cancers from the use of depleted Uranium shells during the Gulf War, cholera and typhoid from the dumping of raw sewage in waterways. Dennis Halliday was in charge of the UN Oil-For-Food Program, until he resigned in September 1998 because he saw what the sanctions were doing to the Iraqi people. He was asked about using the term "genocide" to refer to the sanctions. In his reply, he said, ""¦It is certainly a valid word in my view. You have a situation where we see thousands of deaths per month, a possible total of 1 million to 1.5 million over the last nine years. If that is not genocide, then I don"t quite know what it is." What I mentioned is merely a fraction of what the Iraqi people are going through. The UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs reports that "public health services are near total collapse "“basic medicines, lifesaving drugs and essential medical supplies are lacking throughout the country. Fifty percent of rural people have no access to potable water and wastewater treatment facilities have stopped functioning in most urban areas." The sanctions are an insidious form of warfare that have claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. Yet what you commonly hear as a cover up for the US barbarous acts is that the sanctions only produce a "temporary" hardship for the people, but are an effective, non-violent way to pressure the Iraqi Government "“the contrary is true. Another common myth regarding the sanctions is that the US government wants to enforce UN resolutions and uphold the rule of law. The US, however, has consistently employed a double standard when it comes to UN resolutions and international law. For decades, the US has vetoed UN resolutions condemning Israel"s occupation of Arab territories. It is also relevant to the current situation that the US is in technical violation of a global treaty to dismantle chemical weapons AP, 2/27/98. UN sanctions against Iraq, which continue to be imposed at the insistence of the US with the UK following suit, are a gross violation of the Geneva Protocol 1, Article 54; "Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited." When the US and Allied forces decided to take on Saddam Hussein in the first place, it was under the pretext of saving Kuwait, and also to punish the Iraqi regime that was committing brutal humanitarian crimes against the Kurdish population in the North of Iraq like the Halabja Massacre. But Washington"s real "humanitarian" concern came out when the then Secretary of State James Baker said that it was over "jobs," and Bush said that it was about "access to energy sources" and "our way of life." Defense Secretary William Perry felt no shame in admitting that the issue had dimension beyond Kuwait and the Kurds: "The issue is not simply the Iraqi attack on the Kurds in Ibril [Aug. 31], it is the clear and present danger Saddam Hussein poses to Iraq"s neighbors, to the security and stability of the region, and to the flow of oil in the world." Yes, the flow of oil in the world. Leslie Stahl went to Iraq for the TV program 60 Minutes. On the program that was aired on May 12, 1996, she asked Madeline Albright, the then US ambassador to the UN, to explain the US policy in the context of the devastation she had seen among the children of Iraq and the five hundred thousand deaths of Iraqi children. Mrs. Albright explained, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." The death of over five hundred thousand children is worth it? Are they not human beings? Are they not children? Apparently, to them all of this is insignificant. When asked about the number of Iraqi"s who died in the war, US general Colin Powell replied, "It"s really not a number I"m terribly interested in." Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist, advocates "bombing Iraq, over and over and over again." In an article entitled "Craziness Pays," he explains that "the US has to make clear to Iraq that "¦ America will use force without negotiation, hesitation, or UN approval." He even offers ideas in his column "Rattling the Rattler" on how to get rid of Saddam Hussein, "Blow up a different power station in Iraq every week, so no-one knows when the light"s will go off or whose in charge." Every power station that is targeted means more food and medicine that will not be refrigerated, hospitals that will be without electricity, water that will remain contaminated, and people who will die as a result. "From previous trips, we know exactly where to find overwhelming evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Inspectors have only to enter the wards of any hospital in Iraq to see that the sanctions themselves are a lethal weapon, destroying the lives of Iraq"s most vulnerable people. In children"s wards, tiny victims writhe in pain, on blood-stained mats, bereft of anesthetics and antibiotics. Thousands of children, poisoned by contaminated water, die from dysentery, cholera, and diarrhea. Others succumb to respiratory infections that become fatal full body infections. Five thousand children, under age five, perish each month" "“Kathy Kelly, 9/3/1998. Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General, said, "There is one crime against humanity in this last decade of the millennium that exceeds all others in its magnitude, cruelty, and potent. It is the US-forced sanctions against the 20 million people of Iraq "¦ If the UN participates in such genocidal sanctions backed by the threat of military violence "“and if the people of the world fail to prevent such conduct "“the violence, terror, and human misery of the new millennium will exceed anything we have known." Despite all the terror and torture they are causing the people of Iraq, the US has no plans for lifting the sanctions. Madeline Albright declared in 1997: "we do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted." Clinton himself went one step further when he said "sanctions will be there until the end if time, or as long as he [Hussein] lasts." This is the so-called "World Policeman." These are the so-called American "humanitarian" morals. This is the country known for its grudge against "terrorists." Yet now we know who the real terrorists are, and who are the victims of this terror. But, as we so often hear Bill Clinton say, "Justice will prevail" "“and it will, sooner or later; with the aid of God, not with the aid of the US.   

When the word "terrorists" is heard, most people in the west think of relatively the same thing. Long-bearded men with long dresses called "thawb" that dangle to just above the ankle, or veiled women with nothing visible to the public but their eyes –if they were shown at all, or...

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Animal rights is a catchphrase akin...Animal rights is a catchphrase akin to human rights. It involves, however, a few pitfalls. First, animals exist only as a concept. Otherwise, they are cuddly cats, curly dogs, cute monkeys. A rat and a puppy are both animals but our emotional reaction to them is so different that we cannot really lump them together. Moreover: what rights are we talking about? The right to life? The right to be free of pain? The right to food? Except the right to free speech "“ all the other rights could be relevant to animals. But when we say animals, what we really mean is non-human organism. This is such a wide definition that it easily pertains to potential aliens. Will we witness an Alien Rights movement soon? so, we are forced to narrow our field to non-human organisms which remind us of humans and, thus, provoke empathy in us. Yet, this is a dangerous and not very practical test: too many people love snakes, for instance and deeply empathize with them. Will we agree to the assertion which will, probably, be avidly supported by these people that snakes have rights "“ or should we confine our grace to organisms with nervous systems =which, presumably, can feel pain. Even better is the criterion : whatever we cannot communicate with and is alive is a rights-holder. Historically, philosophers like Kant and Descartes, and Malebranche and even Aquinas did not favour the idea of animal rights. They said that animals are the organic equivalents of machines, moved by coarse instincts, unable to experience pain though their behaviour sometimes might deceive us into erroneously believing that they do. Thus, any moral obligation that we have towards animals is a derivative of a primary obligation towards our fellow humans the morally significant ones and only ones. These are the indirect moral obligations theories. For instance: it is wrong to torture animals because it desensitizes us to human suffering and makes us more prone to using violence towards humans. Malebranche augmented this rational line of thinking by proving that animals cannot suffer pain because they do not descend from Adam and all the pain and suffering in the world are the result of his sins. But how can we say whether another Being is suffering pain or not? The answer is based on empathy. If the other Being is like us "“ than surely he has the same experiences and, therefore, deserves our pity. The Jewish Talmud says: "Do not do unto thy friend that which is hated by you". An analysis of this sentence renders it less altruistic than it first sounds. The reader is encouraged to refrain from doing only things that he himself finds hateful SS men, for instance, did not find killing Jews hateful. In this sense, it is morally relativistic. The individual is the source of moral authority and is allowed to spin his own moral system, independent of others. The emphasis is on action: not to DO. Refraining from doing, inaction, is not censored or advocated against. Finally, the sentence establishes an exclusive moral club very similar to later day social contractarianism of the reader and his friends. It is to his friends that the reader is encouraged not to do evil. He is exempt from applying the same standard, however lax, to others. Even a broader interpretation of the word "friend" would read: "someone like you" and will substantially exclude strangers. Empathy as a differentiating principle is wrong because it is structural: if X looks like me, resembles me, behaves like me "“ than he must be like me in other, more profound and deep set ways. But this is a faulty method used to prove identity. Any novice in mathematics knows that similarity is never identity. Structurally and behaviourally monkeys, dogs and dolphins are very much like us. It is a question of quantity, not quality, that is used to determine the answers to the questions: is this animal worthy of holding rights, is it a morally significant Being. A human resembles us more than a monkey does, and, therefore, passed the critical phase and deserves to live and to do so pain-free and happy. The quantitative test is coupled with an examination of the ability to communicate manipulate vocal-verbal-written symbols within structured symbol systems. But that we use the same symbols "“ does not guarantee that we attach to them the same cognitive interpretation and the same emotional baggage. The symbols could be identical "“ the meanings disparate. This century witnessed an in-depth exposition of the frailty of our assumptions regarding the monovalence of symbol systems and of our ability to exactly map meanings. This is so much dependent upon historical, cultural, personal contexts "“ that there is no saying that two people mean the same when they say a simple word like "red" not to mention more complex ones like "love" or "I". In other words : that another organism looks like us, behaves like us and talks like us is no guarantee that he is like us. This is the subject of the famous Turing-Church Test see one of my next articles for a deeper analysis: there is no effective way to distinguish a machine from a human being because we have to absolutely rely on structural and symbolic clues. To say that something does not experience pain cannot be rigorously defended. Pain is a subjective experience. There is no way to prove or to disprove that someone is or is not in pain. Here, we can rely only on the subject"s reports. Moreover, even if we had an analgometer pain gauge, there would have been no way to show that the phenomenon that activates the meter is one and the same SUBJECTIVELY =that it is experienced in the same way by all the subjects examined. Even more down to earth questions regarding pain are impossible to answer: what is the connection between the piercing needle and the pain REPORTED no way to prove or know that it is really felt by the pierced subject and between these two and the electrochemical patterns of activity in the brain? a correlation between them can be established "“ but is correlation an identity or even indicative of the existence of a causative process? Put differently: can we prove that the brain waves experiences by the subject when he reports pain "“ ARE that pain? Or that they CAUSED the pain or that the pain caused them "“ but then what caused the pain? If we neutralize the pain by administering a non-harmful medication is it moral to stick needles into someone just for the fun of it? Is the very act of sticking needles into someone immoral "“ or is it immoral because of the pain associated with it statistically? Are all the three components needle sticking, a sensation of pain, brain activity morally equivalent? If so, is it as immoral to generate the brain activity without inducing any sensation of pain? If they are not morally equivalent "“ why not? They are, after all, different facets of pain "“ shouldn"t we condemn all pain? Or should one aspect of pain the report of the subject attributing to himself pain be accorded a privileged treatment and position? We have to admit that the subject"s report is the weakest link in the chain. It is not scientifically verifiable. And if we cling to this descriptive-behavioural-phenomenological definition of pain than animals qualify as much as humans do. They also exhibit all the behaviours normally attributable in humans to pain and they also report it though they do tend to use a more limited vocabulary. Pain is a value judgement and the reaction to it is culturally dependent. In some cases, it can be perceived as positive, be sought after. How would we judge animal rights in such historical and cultural contexts? Are there any "universal" values or does it really all depend on interpretation? If we, humans, cannot agree and separate the objective from the subjective, the rational from the cultural "“ what gives us the right to decide for other organisms without getting their approval? We have no way of knowing: maybe pigs prefer to get slaughtered. In the Aztec cultures, being chosen as a sacrifice to the Gods was a high honour and to be chosen was a burning desire. We cannot decide right and wrong, good and evil for those with whom communication is barred. We can direct our questions only at ourselves. Is it UNIVERSALLY and ABSOLUTELY moral to kill, to torture, to pain? The answer seems obvious and it automatically applies to animals. Is it absolutely and universally moral to destroy? No and this answer applies to buildings and to natural treasures. We should clearly define the exceptions: it is permissible to kill and to inflict pain in order to prevent a quantitatively or qualitatively greater evil, to protect life, to enhance them and when no reasonable and feasible alternative is available. The chain of food in nature is morally neutral and so are death and disease. Any act which is intended to sustain life of a higher order and a higher order in life "“ is morally positive or, at least neutral. Nature decreed so. Animals do it animals "“ but they optimize their consumption and avoid waste and unnecessary pains. Waste and pain are morally wrong. This is not a question of hierarchy of more or less important Beings this is the fallacy of anthropomorphesizing Nature. It is just like this. The distinction between what is essentially US "“ and what just looks and behaves like us but is NOT us is false, superfluous and superficial. Sociobiology is blurring the lines and Quantum Mechanics and its main interpretations has taught us that we have to stick to appearances. We can say nothing about what the world really IS. If things look the same and behave the same, we better assume that they are the same. The attempt to say that moral responsibility is reserved to the human species is self defeating: if so, definitely we have a moral obligation towards the weaker and meeker "“ if not so, what right do we have to decide who shall live and who shall die in pain? The "fact" that species do not interbreed which in itself is not true "“ viruses infiltrate our genetic material constantly and we all saw mules "“ "proves" that species are different, say some. This is a false premise mixed with curious blindness: true, interbreeding is rare but who can deny that most of the genetic material is common to us and to mites?   

Animal rights is a catchphrase akin to human rights. It involves, however, a few pitfalls. First, animals exist only as a concept. Otherwise, they are cuddly cats, curly dogs, cute monkeys. A rat and a puppy are both animals but our emotional reaction to them is so different that we...

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Three years ago I published a...Three years ago I published a book of short stories in Israel. The publishing house belongs to Israel's leading and exceedingly wealthy newspaper. I signed a contract which stated that I am entitled to receive 8% of the income from the sales of the book after commissions payable to distributors, shops, etc. A few months later, I won the coveted Prize of the Ministry of Education for short prose. The prize money a few thousand DMs was snatched by the publishing house on the legal grounds that all the money generated by the book belongs to them because they own the copyright. In the mythology generated by capitalism to pacify the masses, the myth of intellectual property stands out. It goes like this : if the rights to intellectual property were not defined and enforced, commercial entrepreneurs would not have taken on the risks associated with publishing books, recording records and preparing multimedia products. As a result, creative people will have suffered because they will have found no way to make their works accessible to the public. Ultimately, it is the public which pays the price of piracy, goes the refrain. But this is factually untrue. In the USA there is a very limited group of authors who actually live by their pen. Only select musicians eke out a living from their noisy vocation most of them rock stars who own their labels "“ George Michael had to fight Sony to do just that and very few actors come close to deriving subsistence level income from their profession. All these can no longer be thought of as mostly creative people. Forced to defend thie intellectual property rights and the interests of Big Money, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Schwarzenegger and Grisham are businessmen at least as much as they are artists. Economically and rationally, we should expect that the costlier a work of art is to produce and the narrower its market "“ the more its intellectual property rights will be emphasized. Consider a publishing house. A book which costs 50,000 DM to produce with a potential audience of 1000 purchasers certain academic texts are like this "“ would have to be priced at a a minimum of 100 DM to recoup only the direct costs. If illegally copied thereby shrinking the potential market "“ some people will prefer to buy the cheaper illegal copies "“ its price would have to go up prohibitively, thus driving out potential buyers. The story is different if a book costs 10,000 DM to produce and is priced at 20 DM a copy with a potential readership of 1,000,000 readers. Piracy illegal copying will in this case have been more readily tolerated as a marginal phenomenon. This is the theory. But the facts are tellingly different. The less the cost of production brought down by digital technologies "“ the fiercer the battle against piracy. The bigger the market "“ the more pressure is applied to clamp down on the samizdat entrepreneurs. Governments, from China to Macedonia, are introducing intellectual property laws under pressure from rich world countries and enforcing them belatedly. But where one factory is closed on shore as has been the case in mainland China "“ two sprout off shore as is the case in Hong Kong and in Bulgaria. But this defies logic : the market today is huge, the costs of production and lower with the exception of the music and film industries, the marketing channels more numerous half of the income of movie studios emanates from video cassette sales, the speedy recouping of the investment virtually guaranteed. Moreover, piracy thrives in very poor markets in which the population would anyhow not have paid the legal price. The illegal product is inferior to the legal copy it comes with no literature, warranties or support. So why should the big manufacturers, publishing houses, record companies, software companies and fashion houses worry ? The answer lurks in history. Intellectual property is a relatively new notion. In the near past, no one considered knowledge or the fruits of creativity art, design as "patentable", or as someone "property". The artist was but a mere channel through which divine grace flowed. Texts, discoveries, inventions, works of art and music, designs "“ all belonged to the community and could be replicated freely. True, the chosen ones, the conduits, were honoured but were rarely financially rewarded. They were commissioned to produce their works of art and were salaried, in most cases. Only with the advent of the Industrial Revolution were the embryonic precursors of intellectual property introduced but they were still limited to industrial designs and processes, mainly as embedded in machinery. The patent was born. The more massified the market, the more sophisticated the sales and marketing techniques, the bigger the financial stakes "“ the larger loomed the issue of intellectual property. It spread from machinery to designs, processes, books, newspapers, any printed matter, works of art and music, films which, at their beginning were not considered art, software, software embedded in hardware and even unto genetic material. Intellectual property rights "“ despite their noble title "“ are less about the intellect and more about property. This is Big Money : the markets in intellectual property outweigh the total industrial production in the world. The aim is to secure a monopoly on a specific work. This is an especially grave matter in academic publishing where small- circulation magazines do not allow their content to be quoted or published even for non-commercial purposes. The monopolists of knowledge and intellectual products cannot allow competition anywhere in the world "“ because theirs is a world market. A pirate in Skopje is in direct competition will Bill Gates. When selling a pirated Microsoft product "“ he is depriving Microsoft not only of its income, but of a client =future income, of its monopolistic status cheap copies can be smuggled into other markets and of its competition-deterring image a major monopoly preserving asset. This is a threat which Microsoft cannot tolerate. Hence its efforts to eradicate piracy - successful China and an utter failure in legally-relaxed Russia. But what Microsoft fails to understand is that the problem lies with its pricing policy "“ not with the pirates. When faced with a global marketplace, a company can adopt one of two policies: either to adjust the price of its products to a world average of purchasing power "“ or to use discretionary pricing. A Macedonian with an average monthly income of of 160 USD clearly cannot afford to buy the Encyclopaedia Encarta Deluxe. In America, 100 USD is the income generated in average day"s work. In Macedonian terms, therefore, the Encarta is 20 times more expensive. Either the price should be lowered in the Macedonian market "“ or an average world price should be fixed which will reflect an average global purchasing power. Something must be done about it not only from the economic point of view. Intellectual products are very price sensitive and highly elastic. Lower prices will be more than compensated for by a much higher sales volume. There is no other way to explain the pirate industries : evidently, at the right price a lot of people are willing to buy these products. High prices are an implicit trade-off favouring small, elite, select, rich world clientele. This raises a moral issue : are the children of Macedonia less worthy of education and access to the latest in human knowledge and creation ? Two developments threaten the future of intellectual property rights. One is the Internet. Academics "“ fed up with the monopolistic practices of professional publications - already publish there in big numbers. I published a few book on the Internet and they can be freely downloaded by anyone who has a computer or a modem. There are electronic magazines, trade journals, billboards, professional publications, thousand of books are available full text. Hackers even made sites available from which it is possible to download whole software and multimedia products. It is very easy and cheap to publish in the Internet, the barriers to entry are virtually nil, pardon the pun. Web addresses are provided free of charge, authoring and publishing software tools are incorporated in most word processors and browser applications. As the Internet acquires more impressive sound and video capabilities it will proceed to threaten the monopoly of the record companies, the movie studios and so on. The second development is also technological. The oft-vindicated Moore's law predicted the doubling of computer memory capacity every 18 months. But memory is only one aspect. Another is the rapid simultaneous advance on all technological fronts. Miniaturization and concurrent empowerment of the tools available has made it possible for individuals to emulate much larger scale organizations successfully. A single person, sitting at home with 5000 USD worth of equipment can fully compete with the best products of the best printing houses anywhere. CD-ROMs can be written on, stamped and copied in house. A complete music studio with the latest in digital technology has been condensed to the dimensions of a single software. This will lead to personal publishing, personal music recording and the digitization of plastic art. But this is only one side of the story. The relative advantage of the intellectual property corporation was not to be found exclusively in its technological prowess. Rather it was in its vast pool of capital and its marketing clout, market positioning, sales and distribution. Nowadays, anyone can print an visually impressive book, using the above-mentioned cheap equipment. But in an age of an information glut, it is the marketing, the media campaigns, the distribution and the sales that used to determine the economic outcome. This advantage, however, is also being eroded. First, there is a psychological shift, a reaction to the commercialization of intellect and spirit. Creative people are repelled by what they regard as an oligarchic establishment of institutionalized, lowest common denominator art and they are fighting back. Secondly, the Internet is a huge 200 million people, truly cosmopolitan market with its own marketing channels freely available to all. Even by default, with a minimum investment, the likelihood of being seen by surprisingly large numbers of consumers is high. I published one book the traditional way "“ and another on the Internet. In 30 months, I have received 2500 written responses regarding my electronic book. This means that well over 75,000 people read it the industry average is a 3% response rate and my Link Exchange meter indicates that 160,000 people visited the site by February 2000, with well over 630,000 impressions in the last 15 months alone. It is a textbook in psychopathology "“ and 75,000 people let alone 160,000 is a lot for this kind of publication. I am so satisfied that I am not sure that I will ever consider a traditional publisher again. Indeed, my next book is being published in the very same way. The demise of intellectual property has lately become abundantly clear. The old intellectual property industries are fighting tooth and nail to preserve their monopolies patents, trademarks, copyright and their cost advantages in manufacturing and marketing. But they are faced with three inexorable processes which are likely to render their efforts vain: The Newspaper Packaging Print newspapers offer package deals of subsidized content sold for a token amount and subsidizing advertising. In other words, the advertisers pay for content formation and generation and the reader has no choice but be exposed to commercial messages as he or she studies the contents. This model - adopted earlier by radio and television - rules the internet now and will rule the wireless internet in the future. Content will be made available free of all pecuniary charges. The consumer will pay by providing his personal data demographic data, consumption patterns and preferences and so on and by being exposed to advertising. Thus, content creators will benefit only by sharing in the advertising cake. They will find it increasingly difficult to implement the old model of royalties paid for access or ownership of intellectual property. The venerable and expensive "Encyclopaedia Britannica" is now fully available on-line, free of charge. Its largesse is supported by advertising. Disintermediation A lot of ink has been spilt regarding this important trend. The removal of layers of brokering and intermediation - mainly on the manufacturing and marketing levels - is a historic development though the continuation of a long term trend. Consider music for instance. Streaming audio on the internet or MP3 files which the consumer can download will render the CD obsolete. The internet also provides a venue for the marketing of niche products and reduces the barriers to entry previously imposed by the need to engage in costly marketing "branding" campaigns and manufacturing activities. This trend is also likely to restore the balance between artist and the commercial exploiters of his product. The very definition of "artist" will expand to include all creative people. Everyone will seek to distinguish oneself, to "brand" himself and to auction her services, ideas, products, designs, experience, etc. This is a return to pre-industrial times when artisans ruled the economic scene. Work stability will vanish and work mobility will increase in a landscape of shifting allegiances, head hunting, remote collaboration and similar labour market trends. Market Fragmentation In a fragmented market with a myriad of mutually exclusive market niches, consumer preferences and marketing and sales channels - economies of scale in manufacturing and distribution are meaningless. Narrowcasting replaces broadcasting, mass customization replaces mass production, a network of shifting affiliations replaces the rigid owned-branch system. The decentralized, intrapreneurship-based corporation is a late response to these trends. The mega-corporation of the future is more likely to act as a collective of start-ups than as a homogeneous, uniform and, to conspiracy theorists, sinister juggernaut it once was.   

Three years ago I published a book of short stories in Israel. The publishing house belongs to Israel's leading and exceedingly wealthy newspaper. I signed a contract which stated that I am entitled to receive 8% of the income from the sales of the book after commissions payable to distributors,...

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