Who would you bring?

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

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Who would you rely on during the zombie apocalypse?

Scott
9
13%
Geoff
11
15%
Cyril
6
8%
Jordan
2
3%
Push all 4 into the lobby and escape through the back
44
61%
 
Total votes : 72

Who would you bring?

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 5:10 am

You're taking your dream tour of the (nonexistent) central offices of TechReport, when you hear screams in the lobby. The outbreak has begun. The stench of fear is thick, time is short, and panic is setting in. You can only bring one TechReport staffer with you. Who will it be? Post why in the comments!
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Sat May 19, 2012 5:16 am

Based on his avatar on this page, I'd have to take Scott. In reality, I'd probably pick the one that looked like the slowest runner. As they say, you don't have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the slowest guy.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Mon May 21, 2012 12:52 pm

To be honest... I'd have to push them into the lobby. Run to where ever Vrock is and get the hell out of that place. Why Vrock? He's ex-Military. I grew up around firearms and I don't want to have to waste time teaching the other guy how to use and care for a gun.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Mon May 21, 2012 1:22 pm

Jason181 wrote:You're taking your dream tour of the (nonexistent) central offices of TechReport, when you hear screams in the lobby. The outbreak has begun. The stench of fear is thick, time is short, and panic is setting in. You can only bring one TechReport staffer with you. Who will it be? Post why in the comments!


I was reading Goldman about the horror/zombie cultural phenomenon, which he thinks became popular because death is a social thing, and the we-vs-zombies trope mirrors our anxieties about mortality and our need to fight it. What could be more sociable than survivors finding fellowship among the already dead? So I turn over to TR and what do you know, I see this invitation for real living persons to keep away those fantasy undead. The analysis nailed it perfectly!
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Mon May 21, 2012 2:22 pm

This is something I like to make clear to all my friends and loved ones: If, during a zombie apocalypse, I don't know where you are or how you're doing, I'm assuming you're dead and hope you'd do the same.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 10:46 am

Geoff based on the ironman logo in his display picture and cyclinng cred. Also Canadian solidarity or something
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 10:54 am

The poll results are hilarious...

Congrats, Scott, you currently have as many votes as the other three TR staffers!

Of course, 62% of respondents would rather use all of you as zombie bait.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 12:59 pm

trackerben wrote:I was reading Goldman about the horror/zombie cultural phenomenon, which he thinks became popular because death is a social thing, and the we-vs-zombies trope mirrors our anxieties about mortality and our need to fight it. What could be more sociable than survivors finding fellowship among the already dead? So I turn over to TR and what do you know, I see this invitation for real living persons to keep away those fantasy undead. The analysis nailed it perfectly!
That seems inconsistent with the standard plot of horror movies. As a rule of thumb, the zombie apocalypse is not a venue to illustrate the camaraderie of us vs the undead. Rather, it's commonly used as an external device to explore groups under stress and the breakdown of social norms. This explains why in just about any zombie or monster film you have:
  1. a struggle for dominance/leadership over the group,
  2. some member attacks/betrays the other members of the group and
  3. some nitwit refuses to notify everyone that he/she has been infected and will (at some key point in the 2nd reel) attempt to eat the rest of the survivors.
It also explains why you rarely have climactic scenes at the end of the movie where the remaining survivors rally together as a cohesive team to defeat the threat (Think of the finale in movies such as The Avengers, The Transformers, The Expendables, Serentity, etc.) The whole point about a horror movie is survival and how slim the chance of survival becomes as the list of victims narrows. Victory in a horror movie is accomplished by a tiny fraction of the original cast, sometimes only one individual. Sometimes not even that.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Tue May 22, 2012 2:55 pm

There will be no Zombie Apocalypse until Chuck Norris allows it to happen.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 9:31 am

Darkmage wrote:That seems inconsistent with the standard plot of horror movies. As a rule of thumb, the zombie apocalypse is not a venue to illustrate the camaraderie of us vs the undead. Rather, it's commonly used as an external device to explore groups under stress and the breakdown of social norms. This explains why in just about any zombie or monster film you have:
  1. a struggle for dominance/leadership over the group,
  2. some member attacks/betrays the other members of the group and
  3. some nitwit refuses to notify everyone that he/she has been infected and will (at some key point in the 2nd reel) attempt to eat the rest of the survivors.

Groups. Stress. Social norms. Struggle. Dominance/Succession. Members. Betrayal. Notification/Communication. Survival. All items highly associated or uniquely descriptive of social behavior, i.e. fellowship, or the lack thereof. Few of us modern folk think it cool to believe and dwell in a society which transcends mortality in ways of life. Naturally, most devolve by default into exploring fictions which embrace mortality in ways of death. In a historical parallel, dead Mesoamerican royalty were maintained fantastically with their pre-death hierarchies and with further powers, just like many fictional armies of the undead today.


...It also explains why you rarely have climactic scenes at the end of the movie where the remaining survivors rally together as a cohesive team to defeat the threat (Think of the finale in movies such as The Avengers, The Transformers, The Expendables, Serentity, etc.) The whole point about a horror movie is survival and how slim the chance of survival becomes as the list of victims narrows. Victory in a horror movie is accomplished by a tiny fraction of the original cast, sometimes only one individual. Sometimes not even that.


Victory is in defying the odds, the gods, and Death itself. The slimmer the chances, the narrower the living outcomes, the greater the merit. But this line is not unique to horror movies. To anthropologists it's a staple of human sacrifice narratives. There are lots of "glorious" brothers-in-death movies in every genre - 300 for ancients, The Edge for adventure, Glory for war, The Thing and Aliens for SF. When fully devolved into the full embrace of death, we get nihilistic stuff like Stalingrad or The Grey or your average undead festival. But the fear of death and the flight-or-fight responses remain.

Horror movies in general invite us from the voyeuristic safety of our seats into considering the irrationality and insanity we perceive surrounding our minds and purposes. It was the norm for peoples of most eras to build their lives in ways which communicate with more people in their past and future - receivers and givers of cultures, of shared meanings and Centers worth knowing and living for as a tribe, city, or nation. Most of us modern humans have given up on our traditions and faiths and have only a fragmentary sense of our collapsing sociocultures, with weak relations to those before or after us. In this civilizational anomie, narratives of horror work by stimulating the might-as-well-be-dead modern viewer into briefly forgetting the underlying rationality and predictability of his life and times, or what is left of it.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 am

superjawes wrote:Of course, 62% of respondents would rather use all of you as zombie bait.
Sorry, but I just don't see much need for tech journalists in the post-zombie apocolyptic world. They generally have poor eyesight and atrophied muscles, which makes them a liability. Add in the fact that they usually have pasty skin, too, and frankly they've got more in common with the zombies than with us.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

Zombies prefer tasty-pasty white meat...or maybe that is just Hollywood type-casting. :roll:
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 2:29 pm

Sorry, but I just don't see much need for tech journalists in the post-zombie apocolyptic world. They generally have poor eyesight and atrophied muscles, which makes them a liability.

Question: What do you do if you and your friend are being chased by zombies?
Answer: Trip your friend.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:39 pm

trackerben wrote:Groups. Stress. Social norms. Struggle. Dominance/Succession. Members. Betrayal. Notification/Communication. Survival. All items highly associated or uniquely descriptive of social behavior, i.e. fellowship, or the lack thereof.
Which to my mind is moving the goalposts from "finding fellowship" (your original paraphrasing of the article) to "or the lack [of fellowship]". Fellowship to my limited vocabulary is not comprised of words like "Dominance/Succession", "Struggle", "Stress" and "Betrayal".

In any case, debating the paraphrasing of a movie genre commentary is abstract enough without a link to the original analysis by Goldman. Hast thou a link for us?
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Wed May 23, 2012 3:52 pm

knowing very little about the staff individually, I'd probably have to go with Geoff because I know he's into cycling so at least he would have the fitness to haul ass when required.

interesting topic :lol:
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 am

Darkmage wrote:
trackerben wrote:Groups. Stress. Social norms. Struggle. Dominance/Succession. Members. Betrayal. Notification/Communication. Survival. All items highly associated or uniquely descriptive of social behavior, i.e. fellowship, or the lack thereof.
Which to my mind is moving the goalposts from "finding fellowship" (your original paraphrasing of the article) to "or the lack [of fellowship]". Fellowship to my limited vocabulary is not comprised of words like "Dominance/Succession", "Struggle", "Stress" and "Betrayal".


I hope I've not scattered meanings here. I meant that the full social experience is not just the situation within fellowship, it includes its finding or loss within the experience of some or all of the behaviors and attitudes proposed. But if this sounds confusing, I can limit my terms for fellowship to just the experience within the circle of it.


In any case, debating the paraphrasing of a movie genre commentary is abstract enough without a link to the original analysis by Goldman. Hast thou a link for us?


Of course, and with pleasure:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Eco ... 5Dj02.html

Be a little wary and discerning though, much of what he touches on is best discussed at R&P. Mr. Goldman is not your typical NYC financier-philosopher for he is always supremely confident about his knowledge claims.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 10:18 am

trackerben wrote:I hope I've not scattered meanings here. I meant that the full social experience is not just the situation within fellowship, it includes its finding or loss within the experience of some or all of the behaviors and attitudes proposed. But if this sounds confusing, I can limit my terms for fellowship to just the experience within the circle of it.
Erm. It sounds like you are describing a more rich and complete account of the social experience than just fellowship. Perhaps you were accidentally over specific in your word choice. Zombie movies are definitely a study of social interaction with a lot of room for dynamics along multiple axis (survival, moral, attractiveness, intelligence, etc.). A zombie movie with only ugly plot elements (betrayal, dominance struggles, stupidity and violence) would be a pretty terrible movie. Without at least some move along an axis in a positive direction, the audience won't identify with the characters and won't be invested in their fate.

trackerben wrote:Be a little wary and discerning though, much of what he touches on is best discussed at R&P. Mr. Goldman is not your typical NYC financier-philosopher for he is always supremely confident about his knowledge claims.
You mean he's a journalist? :)

Having read the article... well, he has a new perspective. I think he makes a mistake in reporting on the popularity of horror movies and then narrows his focus to zombie movies without justifying such a switch. I also think he completely ignores the tendency of Hollywood to pounce on an idea and run it into the ground. Horror movies have always had a strong following and their appeal has been explained much better than the weird religious parallelism he indulges in here.

As a rule of thumb, my impression of the symbolism behind horror movies were basically Vampires => Fear of the Predator, Werewolves => Fear of the Sickness and Zombies => Fear of Age. Zombies are analogous to the inexorable march of old age, coming for us all. Sure, you can avoid one or two bits of age. Replace a hip here, get some exercise there. But soon there are more of them. And then still more. They never come faster, they just come in bigger groups. No matter how hard to try to hold off the deterioration of you... eventually, old age/zombies will catch up to you. And then comes that fatal bite - as that doctor's test comes back positive. You can imagine the dawning horror of the victim who realizes their death is working through their bloodstream, their refusal to admit their shortened time, their denial of the inevitable process, the lies they tell to avoid confronting the end. Zombies are just old age creeping up on us all.

The author touches on this at the very end of his article. But I don't think he quite gets it.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:01 am

jordan

podcast an sos
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 11:32 am

Judging by the poll results, it looks like most of us would just shove 'em and run. Note to the TR staff: stock up on shotguns and practice with them daily, you're apparently not going to have much help from us fair-weather fans when Apocalypse-Z breaks loose :o
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 12:16 pm

I just want to point out that Jason seemed to post this for a laugh, just something funny for us to enjoy.

TR Users? Serious Zombie discussion.

I love this place XD
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Thu May 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Darkmage wrote:
trackerben wrote:Be a little wary and discerning though, much of what he touches on is best discussed at R&P. Mr. Goldman is not your typical NYC financier-philosopher for he is always supremely confident about his knowledge claims.
You mean he's a journalist? :)


In the spirit of your characterization, from what I know he also does global monies, national politics, textual-historical studies, and classical music :). Seriously, he is honored as a generalist thinker at many universities.

Having read the article... well, he has a new perspective. I think he makes a mistake in reporting on the popularity of horror movies and then narrows his focus to zombie movies without justifying such a switch. I also think he completely ignores the tendency of Hollywood to pounce on an idea and run it into the ground. Horror movies have always had a strong following and their appeal has been explained much better than the weird religious parallelism he indulges in here.


I also think he underestimates Hollywood's capacity to overexploit its saleable themes. But lets not forget that this is a profit- and entrenchment-seeking industry which is happy to supply a demand which was not there before. As Goldman points out, the more faithful generations of the past were not as cynical as today's decadents and were far less interested in invented horror, and there was far less demand then. They were busy seeking affirmation of their traditions of bountiful living; any concept of supernatural terrors were already provided for and specified elsewhere. Western Moderns who distance themselves from their traditions would naturally reacquire the views of the old peoples, who usually accomodated themes of death in their daily ways instead of holding life themes as superior and separate. The undead meme is simply the latest historical iteration of this worldview. An Inkan or Canaanite from the past would be familiar with the content and meaning of modern zombie movies. I suspect a modern zombie aficionado transported to the Inka past would not be that disturbed by the presence of noble "undead" moving around battlefields and palaces.


As a rule of thumb, my impression of the symbolism behind horror movies were basically Vampires => Fear of the Predator, Werewolves => Fear of the Sickness and Zombies => Fear of Age. Zombies are analogous to the inexorable march of old age, coming for us all. Sure, you can avoid one or two bits of age. Replace a hip here, get some exercise there. But soon there are more of them. And then still more. They never come faster, they just come in bigger groups. No matter how hard to try to hold off the deterioration of you... eventually, old age/zombies will catch up to you. And then comes that fatal bite - as that doctor's test comes back positive. You can imagine the dawning horror of the victim who realizes their death is working through their bloodstream, their refusal to admit their shortened time, their denial of the inevitable process, the lies they tell to avoid confronting the end. Zombies are just old age creeping up on us all.

The author touches on this at the very end of his article. But I don't think he quite gets it.


Goldman points to the Judeo-Christian principle that authentic members of the divine Corpus, or at least clerics ministering openly, must be bodily whole and unblemished as both example and promise of future reconfiguration. The invented narrative of the Undead is in opposition to this concept. The logic is simple if you validate the premises. People who lose sight of their traditional culture will be drawn by consciousness of their own mortality into morbid fascination with the themes of the older, baser general culture of death which celebrates and socializes its events and imagery.

Edit: I've had to cut out many religious/cultural referents, as these are best discussed in the R&P forums.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 8:30 am

trackerben wrote:I also think he underestimates Hollywood's capacity to overexploit its saleable themes.
Which is pretty much what I just said. Cool.

trackerben wrote:But lets not forget that this is a profit- and entrenchment-seeking industry which is happy to supply a demand which was not there before. As Goldman points out, the more faithful generations of the past were not as cynical as today's decadents and were far less interested in invented horror, and there was far less demand then.
Faithful generations of the past not liking horror movies doesn't quite explain the explosion in All Things Zombie in the last ten years. If his article was an explanation of the rise of the horror genre itself, I might be more charitable. But he's describing a multi-generational shift in culture and using it to explain a quarter-generation trend in media.

trackerben wrote:Goldman points to the Judeo-Christian principle that authentic members of the divine Corpus, or at least clerics ministering openly, must be bodily whole and unblemished as both example and promise of future reconfiguration. The invented narrative of the Undead is in opposition to this concept. The logic is simple if you validate the premises. People who lose sight of their traditional culture will be drawn by consciousness of their own mortality into morbid fascination with the themes of the older, baser general culture of death which celebrates and socializes its events and imagery.
I don't think it's necessary to go back to priests and burial rituals in order to explain the appeal of The Walking Dead. Goldman's conceit is that he's trying to link ancient cultural trends to a media fad. He can throw up a lot of chaff explaining to us why zombies resonate in our culture, but he fails to explain why we're suddenly swamped in zombies as opposed to ten years ago. Better people than he have explored these themes, surely.

God help us if he attempts to explain why vampires suddenly sparkle.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 9:51 am

vote for best poll of the year. (and its only may!)

(no offense to anyone, guys :) )
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:12 am

Darkmage wrote:Faithful generations of the past not liking horror movies doesn't quite explain the explosion in All Things Zombie in the last ten years. If his article was an explanation of the rise of the horror genre itself, I might be more charitable. But he's describing a multi-generational shift in culture and using it to explain a quarter-generation trend in media.


He isn't timelining the trope within the general analysis which spans centuries of appraisal, and that''s likely because the Zombie movie is a recent "innovation" supposedly introduced in the 1960s (unlike zombie games, which are more conventional). As you say it is likely that this is a smaller generational trend, which I think appears to be only peaking now in popular acceptance, as the traditional Vampire meme plays out profitably for the studios.


Darkmage wrote:I don't think it's necessary to go back to priests and burial rituals in order to explain the appeal of The Walking Dead. Goldman's conceit is that he's trying to link ancient cultural trends to a media fad. He can throw up a lot of chaff explaining to us why zombies resonate in our culture, but he fails to explain why we're suddenly swamped in zombies as opposed to ten years ago. Better people than he have explored these themes, surely.


Goldman isn't usually accused of humility for sure. But consider, the 1960s were the turbulent and disruptive era of nuclear MAD and sexual devolution and "countercultural" madness, inescapable absurdities which conditioned viewers not to dismiss the new/old Undead trope. Which would have otherwise been unrecognizable and even laughable, particularly to the hardier minds of earlier generations. Have you ever seen a roomful of elders watch one of the "cult classics"? The devout types who don't fall asleep are usually the most scathing and mirthful of the idea (but show them a pet personal drama and they get absorbed).

But the people did change, and as they slowly did, so did the sociocultures. Zombies weren't going to happen cinematically until a new mentality, a new audience emerged. The aggregate shift in tastes towards lurid fascination with such fearfully irrational death narratives is no mere invention of Hollywood - it eventually took and spread against the mitigating faiths and traditions of the countries they inhabited. It's a grand phenomenon best explained by the trend of ongoing loss among Westernized peoples of their Judeo-Christian foundations, leading to the opportunistic reintroduction of ancient-origin death narratives into societies which no longer succeed in being apart from such things. It's as if popular urban fads are mimicking what the youth of La Venta and Inkan societies found so cool about human dead - against all observable, rational evidence, the dead can be fantasized triumphing with the living.

His earlier piece on the general trend is illuminating:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Eco ... 8Dj02.html
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:06 pm

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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Zombies are analogous to the inexorable march of old age, coming for us all.

I think that's only a part of it. With zombies there's also the element of recognizing that other people can be a threat to you, that danger can unexpectedly come from within your ranks; this conflicts with the natural human impulse to have social contact. With zombies there's the element of some corrupting force "turning" your friends and loved ones against you; this has friction with our trust and reliance behaviors.

But what really makes zombies such a popular monster is this: Objectively, absolutely no guilt in destroying them. In fact, one kinda has a moral imperative to wipe out the zombies, if one considers the preservation of one's species to have any import. Sure, you can get tugs at your heartstrings when you realize that mom has been turned into the shambling undead, but that's due to a superficial resemblance stirring up emotional memories (make a golem or terminator that looks just like mom and you'll have the same reaction). But the zombie menace itself is one that meets the criteria of a simple, black-and-white, kill-them-before-they-kill-you scenario... the sort of scenario that's extraordinarily rare in real life, so it's no surprise that people fall back on something simpler than real life for entertainment.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:44 pm


Shot with a tricked out .38 Super. The man has good taste in firearms, and if he's shooting a cartridge like .38 Super he probably reloads...I may retract my earlier statement.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Sat May 26, 2012 12:52 am



Ooh, I guess I picked well! Better hope he doesn't have a concealed carry permit if you voted for "push them into the lobby."

Who would have guessed this kind of poll (yes, done for a laugh and for the responses) would spark the deep philosophical and sociological discussion?
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Sat May 26, 2012 1:05 am

I'd take 'em all - that way I have more bait for the zombies when they start chasing me :-?

No really, I'd take 'em all. Never know when it will be handy to have a seasoned hardware guru around.
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Re: Who would you bring?

Postposted on Mon May 28, 2012 12:21 pm


Heh. As an IDPA shooter, I have my own opinions about USPSA and their race guns. Still... I'll take that over Jordan throwing an iMac at them when the zombies come all a-biting.
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