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Old 13th April 2019, 03:17 PM   #1
Thor 2
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Woo By Gender

Having briefly watched John Edward doing his thing, I've noticed overwhelmingly the audience of smiling, nodding, heads are female. When I go to a fair and pass the stand of a fortune teller, the medium selling the woo is 90% of the time female, and the customer always a woman.

So I think this kind of woo appeals to women much more than men and wonder why. I also wonder if there are other kinds, that have a greater draw for men than women. I know that men dominate the big Abrahamic religions as far as control is concerned but the devotees?
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Old 13th April 2019, 06:21 PM   #2
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The pattern seems to be that women are more likely to go for more personal-level nonsense that would, if true, affect people's lives more or give people more power or information (mediums, psychics, astrology, witchcraft), while men are more likely to go for big external world-altering nonsense that would, if true, either have no effect on people's lives or even emphasize our helplessness & manipulatedness (conspiracy theories, cryptozoology, aliens, Bermuda Triangle).
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:10 AM   #3
dann
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
When I go to a fair and pass the stand of a fortune teller, ...

Why?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:16 AM   #4
dann
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The pattern seems to be that women are more likely to go for more personal-level nonsense that would, if true, affect people's lives more or give people more power or information (mediums, psychics, astrology, witchcraft), while men are more likely to go for big external world-altering nonsense that would, if true, either have no effect on people's lives or even emphasize our helplessness & manipulatedness (conspiracy theories, cryptozoology, aliens, Bermuda Triangle).

Seems to be true:
Scepticism and Gullibitlity: The superstitious and pseudo-scientific beliefs of secondary school students
Students' Ideas Regarding Science and Pseudo-Science in Relation to the Human Body and Health
The Science of Superstition

What to do about it, but ... :
Quote:
This study measured the relationship between student’s religion, gender, and propensity for fantasy thinking with the change in belief for paranormal and pseudoscientific subjects following a science and critical thinking course that directly confronted these subjects. Student pre-course endorsement of religious, paranormal, and pseudoscientific beliefs ranged from 21 to 53%, with religion having the highest endorsement rate.
(...)
Following the critical thinking course, overall beliefs in paranormal and pseudoscientific subcategories lowered 6.8–28.9%, except for superstition, which did not significantly change. Change in belief had both a gender and religion effect with greater reductions among religious students and females.
Reducing Pseudoscientific and Paranormal Beliefs in University Students Through a Course in Science and Critical Thinking

I always stress that you can't really reduce the belief in witchdoctors if people don't have access to proper healthcare, and you can't reduce religion and magical thinking in very poor living conditions or when people's lives are threatened: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...04#post9447804
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 14th April 2019 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:40 AM   #5
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Given how prevalent belief in woo is in many parts of Africa (in both genders), I wonder if the overrepresentation of women susceptible to woo might be a leftover of previously lower-than average education levels.
A separation by age and gender might be able to answer that question.
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Old 14th April 2019, 04:07 AM   #6
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I teach English and German in a Danish high school - in Denmark approximately 16-19-year-olds. To me, belief in astrology seems to be more common among girls, belief in CTs or UFOs more among boys.
But I don't see many signs of either of those beliefs, which seems to be typical for Scandinavia:

Quote:
Compared to the USA, European countries seem to have a lower average rate of paranormal belief; however, these beliefs can still reach high levels for certain subjects. For example, paranormal beliefs among Scandinavian youth are typically low (Harraldsson and Houtkooper 1996) with Finnish college students typically showing a disbelief in paranormal subjects and uncertainty in traditional religious beliefs (Tobacyk and Pirttilä-Backman 1992). However, approximately 15% of Swedish high school students still showed a belief in superstitions and had high (77%) belief in precognition (Sjödin 2002). Similarly, Icelandic students showed disbelief in all paranormal subjects except precognition (Tobacyk and Milford 1983).
Reducing Pseudoscientific and Paranormal Beliefs in University Students Through a Course in Science and Critical Thinking (Springer Link: Science & Education, March, 2018)

I find this paragraph from the same study particularly interesting:

Quote:
Several belief surveys have been developed to measure aspects of how in control a person feels about their life, how willing someone is to incorporate magical thinking, or how open someone is to accepting subjects based purely on belief. For example, how much someone feels in control of their own destiny (internally driven control) versus being at the mercy of external forces (external control; locus of control); whether magical forces influence their life (magical ideation), how completely engrossed someone becomes in fantasy situations (movies, stories, etc.; absorption); and whether a person interprets random events as pertaining directly to them (referential thinking). High scores on any of these tests have been associated with increased paranormal belief and may provide the basis for someone’s natural tendency to believe in these subjects.

Since men have traditionally been the providers and women have been more dependent on them than the other way round, men have probably felt more in control of their own lives than women - because that it how it actually was.
Having any kind of proper education, i.e. outside the fields of superstition or alternative medicine, will probably also make you feel more in control of your life than not having any or having a good-for-nothing crap education.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th April 2019, 01:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why?

Why what?
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Old 14th April 2019, 01:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Given how prevalent belief in woo is in many parts of Africa (in both genders), I wonder if the overrepresentation of women susceptible to woo might be a leftover of previously lower-than average education levels.
A separation by age and gender might be able to answer that question.

Could be but I am not necessarily suggesting women are more woo susceptible than men just more susceptible to some types. It's interesting that male woo slingers like John Edward cash in on this, and it's interesting that women embrace his BS.
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Old 14th April 2019, 11:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Why what?

Why go to a fair and pass the stand of a fortune teller? You should never do that!
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Old 15th April 2019, 12:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Could be but I am not necessarily suggesting women are more woo susceptible than men just more susceptible to some types.

Probably because there are differences between the sexes. In general men and woman are in some areas attracted to different things.
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Old 15th April 2019, 12:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why?
Better than going to a fair and stopping at the stand of a fortune teller.
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Old 15th April 2019, 09:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why?
Ok this has been addressed already downthreads. Your post generated a LOL with me but then I got to thinking.

Why pass the stand of a fortune teller? Hey dont't insult Uri Geller
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Old 15th April 2019, 09:57 AM   #13
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My totally anecdotal evidence suggests:

Men are more likely than women to believe in:
Conspiracy
UFOs
Cryptids

Women are more likely than men to believe:
Psychics
Astrology
The more Touchy feely alt med; your Reiki, massage therapy, essential oils, etc.

The following don't seem to have any noticeable difference.
Alt med that isn't all touchey feely. Your fake cancer cures, magic diets or magic pills.
GMOs' are bad/organic food is better for you or the environment

I think women are more likely to go to church but it seems more for the community than for the actual belief in a particular religion. Men probably believe as much just the don't seem to go to church as often.

Men seem to believe in ghosts as much or more than women but they don't seem as interested in talking to them.
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:29 AM   #14
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dowsers are all men (well, my anecdotal experience). I guess this is because of the 'tech' touch to it that's dowsing with rods and branches for oil, electricity lines, water lines and those evil underground energy line crossings they make (unfortunately I don't know the name for them in English) that, if you sleep on them, kill you mercilessly. One my mother's friend (woman) galloped around in our apartment (like 30 years ago) and dowsed for those bad energy crossing you cannot sleep on with a gold ring. That looks not as impressive as a guy with a rod, does it
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:26 AM   #15
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It's mild on the woo-scale, but in my experience, "all-natural" seems to appeal mostly to women.
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Old 15th April 2019, 12:35 PM   #16
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I honestly haven't noticed much of a difference in my personal dealings, but I often try to dodge woo topics in conversation these days, so who knows. Just for example, my SO is male and considerably into junk like astrology, crystals, law of attraction, and nutritional fads. He has attended at least one reiki session in the past. He also likes UFOs, but he approaches the topic from more of a "wonders of the universe" angle than a "going to probe me and do something sinister" angle. He has no interest in religion or conspiracies.

On the other anecdotal hand, this gaggle of young-ish women that frequent the bar in my neighborhood are full-blown Alex Jones groupies. I popped in there on Friday, and they were having a shrill little festival about how Trump's military trans-ban is proof that he's beating the deep state. The bartender appeared to be their friend and was loudly agreeing with them and talking about gay conspiracies and all sorts of horse ****. I actually left because they were so annoying, I wasn't even enjoying my beverage. I went straight to having a headache.

Speculating, I kind of think the woo gender split might have been more prominent in past generations, but again, I have no actual idea. I only have a small sample to work with, and I live in a city that's chock-full of kooks of every stripe.
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Old 15th April 2019, 01:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Better than going to a fair and stopping at the stand of a fortune teller.

Perhaps that's his issue. Dann thought I should have stopped maybe. We are not alone in our state of confusion.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Men seem to believe in ghosts as much or more than women but they don't seem as interested in talking to them.

No! (To the first part.) Actually, significantly fewer men than women believe in ghosts, at least according to the polls:

Quote:
Women are more likely to say they believe in ghosts than are men: 56 percent of women believe, while 38 percent of men do.
Poll: Majority Believe In Ghosts (CBS News, Oct. 29, 2005)

But I think that more men than women are into ghost hunting. You get to play with electronic devices and pretend to be very brave.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 15th April 2019 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No! (To the first part.) Actually, significantly fewer men than women believe in ghosts, at least according to the polls:




But I think that more men than women are into ghost hunting. You get to play with electronic devices and pretend to be very brave.
Too be fair, I said "anecdotal evidence". The ghost hunting is probably why I thought men were more likely to believe in them though.
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Old 15th April 2019, 06:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Perhaps that's his issue. Dann thought I should have stopped maybe. We are not alone in our state of confusion.
Maybe Dann does not realise that it's impossible to go to a fair and not pass a fortune teller.
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:00 PM   #21
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No, I didn't actually. I assumed that Thor 2 was talking about the carnival type of fair and not, for instance, trade fairs. In Denmark, we have both, but I don't remember seeing fortune tellers there (or anywhere else) for the past 40-50 years or so.
However, we do have fairs exclusively for all the weirdo new-age crap: psychics, aura readers, cranial sacral therapists etc., but even there, I don't think there are any fortune tellers. They seem to have gone out of fashion. And the last time I went to one, a so-called Mystical Fair, (with C F Larsen) in 2003, we got into an actual fight with some dowsers, astrologists etc., and it served no sensible purpose and was otherwise as boring as watching brain cells die, so I've stayed away ever since.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 15th April 2019, 10:22 PM   #22
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That may be a regional thing. There's several clairvoyants and tarot readers at the weekly market, here. I suppose you're fortunate to have them all contained in their own convention. We have those too, but they spill out.
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
It's mild on the woo-scale, but in my experience, "all-natural" seems to appeal mostly to women.
Until it comes to cosmetics, then they want all the sciency sounding stuff!
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Old 15th April 2019, 11:54 PM   #24
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The area I've noticed a huge gender disbalance is in "free energy/over unity" woo or in old fashion terms perpetual motion machines. That seems very much a male dominated field of woo.
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:09 AM   #25
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Autism & Superstition

Quote:
More men and boys are currently diagnosed as autistic than women and girls.
(...)
In 2015, the ratio of men to women supported by The National Autistic Society’s adult services was approximately 3:1, and the ratio of boys to girls in our charity’s schools was approximately 5:1.
Gender and autism (National Autistic Society)

Quote:
Meanwhile, one of the few true avenues to atheism may be autism. The same lab found that the more autistic traits a person had, the less likely he or she was to believe in God
The Science of Superstition (The Atlantic, March 2015)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 16th April 2019, 06:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
That may be a regional thing. There's several clairvoyants and tarot readers at the weekly market, here. I suppose you're fortunate to have them all contained in their own convention. We have those too, but they spill out.
Probably regional, in the US fortune tellers are usually successful enough to afford a proper office space. I don't think I've ever actually seen one at a fair or farmers market.
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Old 16th April 2019, 09:59 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Until it comes to cosmetics, then they want all the sciency sounding stuff!
Contains retinoids, bismuth oxychloride, AND hydrochloric acid? Sign me up!
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Old 16th April 2019, 10:10 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Contains retinoids, bismuth oxychloride, AND hydrochloric acid? Sign me up!
Just as long as it's gluten-free! Oh, and no parabens. Apparently those are bad, because reasons.
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Old 16th April 2019, 01:55 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The area I've noticed a huge gender disbalance is in "free energy/over unity" woo or in old fashion terms perpetual motion machines. That seems very much a male dominated field of woo.

You might be right there. I knew a guy who dropped a big heap of money into a "free energy" machine thing, promoted by a couple of charlatans in Cairns some years ago. The thing was investigated and exposed as a fraud by the Australian Skeptics, but the promotors just kept on getting money from suckers. Be interesting to know the gender breakdown of the investors.
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Old 17th April 2019, 10:41 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Having briefly watched John Edward doing his thing, I've noticed overwhelmingly the audience of smiling, nodding, heads are female. When I go to a fair and pass the stand of a fortune teller, the medium selling the woo is 90% of the time female, and the customer always a woman.

So I think this kind of woo appeals to women much more than men and wonder why. I also wonder if there are other kinds, that have a greater draw for men than women. I know that men dominate the big Abrahamic religions as far as control is concerned but the devotees?
I think, at most, there may be certain types of superstition that tend to attract certain groups of people (and even that may vary according to each country)

That said, trying to draw a conclusion about which groups are attracted to this type of superstition, based on one or even a few watchings of Jon Edward's audience-shots, is not an accurate way to obtain an accurate demographic on the matter.
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Old 17th April 2019, 01:57 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
I think, at most, there may be certain types of superstition that tend to attract certain groups of people (and even that may vary according to each country)

That said, trying to draw a conclusion about which groups are attracted to this type of superstition, based on one or even a few watchings of Jon Edward's audience-shots, is not an accurate way to obtain an accurate demographic on the matter.

Well that's a big help. You don't have anything to contribute yourself you just dismiss what I have to offer without reasons. You missed the bit about the fortune tellers incidentally.

I'm just asking a question here and would welcome others input.
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Old 17th April 2019, 02:29 PM   #32
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the fortune teller knew you weren't going to stop before you did.
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Old 17th April 2019, 02:37 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
the fortune teller knew you weren't going to stop before you did.
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