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Old 23rd August 2017, 04:44 PM   #41
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Another aspect is that I think there is evidence that we actually enjoy praising other people more than punishing. But that requires us to stick our neck out a bit, while punishing is not as risky. It has been some time since I took my last training course on it, but positive reinforcement has some pretty strong support for being good for both the trainer and the trainee.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 05:27 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well this is the point I am trying to make. I think there is a pleasure involved in punishing others. Others we dislike mostly. I suspect this may be hard wired into us to some extent but also think it may be re-enforced by religious conditioning, when the god worshiped has an impressive track record of punishing to the extreme directly, and indirectly by getting others to do it for him.

We have some evidence to support this idea when we look at were in the World punishments are most extreme and look at the religiosity in those places. When we look at some of the least religious places such as Scandinavia we see much less harsh punishment and rehabilitation being the primary focus. I have seen some hardliners scoff at this approach as being soft on criminals. This they present as being wrong as a self evident truth.
Stress(repentance) and pleasure(bliss) are two emotions which probably we should be getting due to hard wired some "cause and effect" natural mechanism in us. Either we are removing our inherited or acquired burdens(bliss) or we are adding more burden(stress). However it is subject to unintentional happening not to consciously done with an intention of some selfish interests.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 06:05 PM   #43
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We've seen examples of animals demonstrating an understanding of unfairness (justice). The real difficulty we have with our human ability to weave a few layers of ******** onto things is where is the difference between justice and vengeance. What is fair and what is merely retribution are not the same. We have quite a history, however, of doing some clearly selfish things in the name of this moral standard.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 09:45 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
We've seen examples of animals demonstrating an understanding of unfairness (justice). The real difficulty we have with our human ability to weave a few layers of ******** onto things is where is the difference between justice and vengeance. What is fair and what is merely retribution are not the same. We have quite a history, however, of doing some clearly selfish things in the name of this moral standard.
Good post.

There seems to be a difference between humans living socially and other species living naturally, retribution is long term or short term. I am not considering natural constitutional inimical initiations and selfish and manipulative behaviour i.e whatever happen naturally not done consciously.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 11:17 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
We've seen examples of animals demonstrating an understanding of unfairness (justice).
Can you put forward some example of this? Thank you.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 11:48 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Can you put forward some example of this? Thank you.

Thanks David, I was going to ask the same question.
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Old 24th August 2017, 12:37 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Thanks David, I was going to ask the same question.
Sure.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/eart...rom-wrong.html
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Old 24th August 2017, 03:34 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by MikeGs Progeny
I don't think there is any evidence that animals other than humans have a sense of 'right and wrong'.

This struck me. I have seen lots of dogs, normally standing in a haze of feathers after having attacked the couch or somesuch, that definitely seem to know that they've done wrong.
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Old 24th August 2017, 08:01 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Thank you for the link.

First of all, Bekoff’s book is qualified here as “controversial”. For good reasons!

In the linked article there is a big ambiguity about what we should consider “moral”. Many of the provided examples are explainable with other categories that are not usually considered “moral”. Empathy, reciprocal gifts, social teaching or intergroup aid can be the foundations of moral, but they are not moral properly speaking. Even the sacrifice of the elder members of the herd in benefit of the whole group –the younger specially‒ is not moral.
A characteristic feature of morality is the feeling of guilt. Animals don’t feel guilt. In Good Natured (pp. 105ss –partially available in Google Books) Frans de Waal confirms that there is no evidence that the internalization of the norm in animals causes a feeling of guilt. Much animal behaviour that is too simply called “guilt” or “shame” only is fear to punishment more or less internalized.

This Bekkof’s conclusion reveals the weakness of his statement: "While it is difficult to know for certain that there is cross species empathy, it is hard to argue against it." Is he placing the burden of proof on the camp of sceptics? This is logically inconsistent. Furthermore, while animal empathy is a common assumption of many etiological studies, to find an evidence of moral feelings or disinterested altruism is a more complicated task.

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Old 24th August 2017, 08:06 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This struck me. I have seen lots of dogs, normally standing in a haze of feathers after having attacked the couch or somesuch, that definitely seem to know that they've done wrong.
When you hit your finger with a hammer you know that you have been wrong, but this is not in a moral sense. I assume that MikeGs was meaning "moral wrong".
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Old 24th August 2017, 12:01 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I know you can pick something Jesus said to make you fell all warm and fuzzy, but I know for every quote like the one you give, there are maybe ten others that say the opposite - stoning children is a favourite.

Whether you like it or not we do judge and have judgments made by people who are paid to do just that in our society. Hard to imagine society working without it.

This thread is about punishment and if/why we find it pleasurable however, not about judgment.
If i understand what you said, you think there is two justice, one easy for you and one severe for others, what a big surprise when you come for your judgement
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Old 24th August 2017, 01:46 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post

Thanks abaddon, an interesting article.

Something of interest I lifted from it:

Quote:
Professor Frans de Waal, a primate behaviourist at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, said: "I don't believe animals are moral in the sense we humans are – with well developed and reasoned sense of right and wrong – rather that human morality incorporates a set of psychological tendencies and capacities such as empathy, reciprocity, a desire for co-operation and harmony that are older than our species.
"Human morality was not formed from scratch, but grew out of our primate psychology. Primate psychology has ancient roots, and I agree that other animals show many of the same tendencies and have an intense sociality."
Some Christians will take issue with the last paragraph I imagine, as there is no mention of God's instruction book because we don't know right from wrong without it. I digress however.
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Old 24th August 2017, 01:50 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Gaetan View Post
If i understand what you said, you think there is two justice, one easy for you and one severe for others, what a big surprise when you come for your judgement

No, you didn't understand what I said at all ....... not even close.

Thanks for the cautionary note about me receiving my judgement - you really have me shacking in my shoes.
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Old 24th August 2017, 02:39 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
No, you didn't understand what I said at all ....... not even close.

Thanks for the cautionary note about me receiving my judgement - you really have me shacking in my shoes.
According to Jesus Christ the rules you apply to others also apply to you. If you judge and condemn your neighbour you'll be judged and condemned as well for your sins, if you don't judge and condemn others you won't be judged or condemned.
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Old 25th August 2017, 02:44 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Gaetan View Post
According to Jesus Christ the rules you apply to others also apply to you. If you judge and condemn your neighbour you'll be judged and condemned as well for your sins, if you don't judge and condemn others you won't be judged or condemned.

I am not all that interested in what Jesus Christ has to say Gaetan.

I would like to hear what people think about punishment, and the gratification we get from seeing others punished. I am also interested to hear if others, like myself, think this is counterproductive in the quest to keep our communities as crime free as we can, and reduce incarceration figures.
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Old 25th August 2017, 03:20 PM   #56
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[/quote]According to Jesus Christ the rules you apply to others also apply to you.[/quote]
At last. Are you not aware that no such person existed ever? Feel free to provide evidence of any such person. Nobody ever has.


Quote:
If you judge and condemn your neighbour you'll be judged and condemned as well for your sins, if you don't judge and condemn others you won't be judged or condemned.
So why do you do it?
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Old 25th August 2017, 07:54 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
This struck me. I have seen lots of dogs, normally standing in a haze of feathers after having attacked the couch or somesuch, that definitely seem to know that they've done wrong.
That one is tricky.

To dogs, their humans are like some kind of god.

They work very hard at interpreting our body language, our tone of voice, and of course can learn specific words (sit and stay being the most obvious examples).

One of my doges, shows contrition, almost as his default behaviour, he also gets the most cuddles, tickles and pats from me.

So... it's hard to tell if a dog shows contrition because it "knows" that it has done something wrong, or if that's just a standard "show respect to avoid aggression" behaviour. (Aggressive behaviour being our body language or tone of voice when we see the dog standing in a cloud of feathers)
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Old 26th August 2017, 02:06 PM   #58
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I sense a reluctance of others here to concede that we do experience gratification in seeing others being punished. Could be I'm wrong in my assumption and if you think so let me hear your arguments.

If I am right however I think we need to acknowledge it, and recognise this as one of the reasons we have such an extraordinary high incarceration rate in some countries, such as the USA , and address the issue.
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Old 28th August 2017, 06:26 AM   #59
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I think there's something there, maybe not gratification, but something akin to it. Revenge, payback, "eye for an eye", and similar themes arose in every human culture I'm aware of, often independent of (or only loosely correlated with) the idea of punishment to change behavior.

Frankly, I'd suspect it's based in evolution. Just about everyone is familiar with games theory and the prisoner's dilemma, and "tit-for-tat" is one of the most effective strategies for that. So it makes sense that this desire to see one get "just desserts" may stem from evolutionary pressures shaping our psychology.

But just like other evolutionary results (like cravings for fats and sugars), they may not be useful (and in fact, may be detrimental) in the modern world.
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Old 28th August 2017, 06:37 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I sense a reluctance of others here to concede that we do experience gratification in seeing others being punished. Could be I'm wrong in my assumption and if you think so let me hear your arguments.
Why do you think so? I frequently see many people expressing their distaste before the suffering of others. Public punishments lasted until the ninetieth century. They were eliminated because many people showed their solidarity and compassion toward the prisoners. (See Foucault, Discipline and Punish)
Do you think that these signs of disapproval toward punishment are hypocritical?

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Old 28th August 2017, 02:16 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Why do you think so? I frequently see many people expressing their distaste before the suffering of others. Public punishments lasted until the ninetieth century. They were eliminated because many people showed their solidarity and compassion toward the prisoners. (See Foucault, Discipline and Punish)
Do you think that these signs of disapproval toward punishment are hypocritical?

We humans are quite variable in our likes and dislikes, so I imagine some would find punishment distasteful although others not so. There may be some hypocrisy also.

The attraction some feel towards executions is intriguing. I have read that some gather outside penitentiaries when an execution is scheduled. Some may be there in protest but others not so?

I wonder also if family and friends of victims of murder, get offered ringside seats at executions today, as portrayed in movies such as "The Green Mile". If so it would be interesting to know how many accept the offer.

Oh, I did look up "Foucault, Discipline and Punish". An interesting work it seems although many seem critical of it.
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Old 29th August 2017, 12:30 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
We humans are quite variable in our likes and dislikes, so I imagine some would find punishment distasteful although others not so. There may be some hypocrisy also.

The attraction some feel towards executions is intriguing. I have read that some gather outside penitentiaries when an execution is scheduled. Some may be there in protest but others not so?

I wonder also if family and friends of victims of murder, get offered ringside seats at executions today, as portrayed in movies such as "The Green Mile". If so it would be interesting to know how many accept the offer.

Oh, I did look up "Foucault, Discipline and Punish". An interesting work it seems although many seem critical of it.
What are the roots of violence in general is an intriguing problem. I have not an answer. Perhaps there is a mix of natural and social causes. Violence is very common among big apes but there are clear social stimuli that incite to be violent.

Yes. Some of Foucault’s theses are polemical. It is normal. You can say the same of every theoretical work, many scientific theories also.
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Old 29th August 2017, 12:41 AM   #63
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Personally, I think there's a very thin line between punishment and vengeance, and our desire to inflict punishment is closely related to our desire to do bad unto those what done bad unto us.
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Old 29th August 2017, 02:41 PM   #64
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It would seem that in Texas at least family members of victims get to witness executions:

Quote:
Andy Kahan, victim advocate for the city of Houston, describes himself as the “architect” of a law passed in Texas that allows family to be present for the death of the person who killed their loved one.
“Seventy-five per cent of victim’s families opt for it…. There’s no such thing as ‘closure.’ But it means closing that chapter in their life book.”
Kahan describes a father who witnessed the execution of his daughter’s murderer.
“Colour returned to (the father’s) face after the execution. I saw humanity return to that man.”

Andy Kahan's positive take on this may be a little biased because he saw himself as the "architect" of the law. Interesting and vague comment about "closure". I have read elsewhere of victims families craving punishment of murderers, because they feel they would achieve closure as a result. To no avail however as I have read.
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Old 29th August 2017, 02:51 PM   #65
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People react very differently to witnessing executions. I have read some accounts where it seems the witnesses get of on the experience to some degree. The Reverent Pickett isn't one of these:


Quote:
The Rev. Carroll L. Pickett
He witnessed 95 executions while he was a prison chaplain in Texas
One time, we had three nights in a row. They’d come in in the morning, and we’d do three executions on consecutive nights. Putting people through that is terrible.
I’ve seen a reporter pass out. He was about 6-foot-4. I’m on the inside in the death chamber itself, but I have a mirror, and I could see him just go collapse on the back row. And the major couldn’t take him out because the law says you can’t open the door until it’s over.
That’s one of the byproducts that people don’t realize. Family members get sick. Witnesses get sick. Some of my best guards who were with them all day long — they got sick. The warden changed it to where I would have the same guys all day long, and those are the ones that just eventually had what they called a nervous breakdown, which I just think is horrible — to see some good-looking captains and lieutenants leave the system because they just can’t do executions. It affects everyone, one way or another.
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Old 29th August 2017, 10:55 PM   #66
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"I saw humanity return to that man.”

I have seen a great documentary (La espalda del mundo, by Javier Corcuera -in Spanish, sorry) when some psychologists said the opposite: seeing the death of the murderer doesn't means the end of the suffering of victims' parents. When I was working in International Amnesty I read some papers on the topic that maintained the same idea. Of course, we were not neutral but we never expressed our ideas in a brutal way as the above sentence. Vengeance is not "the humanity". There is some inhumanity in saying so.
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Old 30th August 2017, 02:10 PM   #67
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Unfortunately there are many who accept this idea, (punishing the criminal gives relief to the victims), as a self evident truth. No argument is necessary to support it. In a similar way the notion that more severe penalties will reduce crime is bandied about, (most often by the political right), as part of election campaigning, without any need to show proof. It is just assumed to be right by the right.

I find it irksome that we are locked into the idea of punishment being metered out in an amount to "fit the crime", with little thought and effort being expended in the quest to achieve rehabilitation. We then to often see criminals being released after "paying there debt to society" to go on and re-offend.
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Old 30th August 2017, 04:50 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Unfortunately there are many who accept this idea, (punishing the criminal gives relief to the victims), as a self evident truth. No argument is necessary to support it. In a similar way the notion that more severe penalties will reduce crime is bandied about, (most often by the political right), as part of election campaigning, without any need to show proof. It is just assumed to be right by the right.

I find it irksome that we are locked into the idea of punishment being metered out in an amount to "fit the crime", with little thought and effort being expended in the quest to achieve rehabilitation. We then to often see criminals being released after "paying there debt to society" to go on and re-offend.
It's a discussion that is hard to achieve consensus on. First off, it's a largely psycho-social topic and among the 'soft sciences' in that it's hard to call the data entirely empirical. Analysis is even more difficult sense there's cultural folklore, narratives, and perspectives represented in the data. Then in open discussion on the topic, it's hard not to have ones own feelings of unresolved injustices directing ones outlook.

The perspective I latched on to is based on some of Gene Sharp's theories. He observed those instances where a brutal dictator was removed, what was done with them, and how that was taken by the populace. Generally speaking, after a long time had passed, those instances where a new government was created and a deliberative process enacted some kind of publicly-backed judgment were the most approved of. The ones where the former ruler was beheaded in a frenzy or a rushed kangaroo-court trial tended to be viewed through the lens of history as having created more problems for the newly free people than they needed just then. It didn't achieve real emotional resolution, it deepened resentments between people on both sides, it did not advance the interests of there being peace among the people, etc.

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Old 31st August 2017, 06:10 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
It's a discussion that is hard to achieve consensus on. First off, it's a largely psycho-social topic and among the 'soft sciences' in that it's hard to call the data entirely empirical. Analysis is even more difficult sense there's cultural folklore, narratives, and perspectives represented in the data. Then in open discussion on the topic, it's hard not to have ones own feelings of unresolved injustices directing ones outlook.

The perspective I latched on to is based on some of Gene Sharp's theories. He observed those instances where a brutal dictator was removed, what was done with them, and how that was taken by the populace. Generally speaking, after a long time had passed, those instances where a new government was created and a deliberative process enacted some kind of publicly-backed judgment were the most approved of. The ones where the former ruler was beheaded in a frenzy or a rushed kangaroo-court trial tended to be viewed through the lens of history as having created more problems for the newly free people than they needed just then. It didn't achieve real emotional resolution, it deepened resentments between people on both sides, it did not advance the interests of there being peace among the people, etc.
That's interesting, but I wonder if it's a bit of cart of horse.

In other words, maybe cultures that were more open to peaceful solutions already were the ones that avoided beheading frenzies, and those cultures more prone to violence and resentments tended to have beheading frenzies or kangaroo courts.

In other words, did he test the effects of how a ruler was removed/punished, or did he just uncover that different cultures are different? I don't know either way, but wonder how such things were accounted for.
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Old 31st August 2017, 06:16 AM   #70
Delphic Oracle
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
That's interesting, but I wonder if it's a bit of cart of horse.

In other words, maybe cultures that were more open to peaceful solutions already were the ones that avoided beheading frenzies, and those cultures more prone to violence and resentments tended to have beheading frenzies or kangaroo courts.

In other words, did he test the effects of how a ruler was removed/punished, or did he just uncover that different cultures are different? I don't know either way, but wonder how such things were accounted for.
What was telling was polling of attitudes after a decade or more had past. If the swift executions were culturally driven, why would that culture feel more negative about them?

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Old 31st August 2017, 07:28 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
What was telling was polling of attitudes after a decade or more had past. If the swift executions were culturally driven, why would that culture feel more negative about them?

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Don't know.

Although, I could compare it as the culture equivalent of the abusive spouse...who's always really, really sorry after and will make it up to you and it'll never happen again, honest this time...

Not saying he's wrong, understand, just something that popped up as a possible confounding factor. I'd need to dig into the research in more detail to make a better determination, and I don't know that I'm interested enough for that just yet
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