Googling Diversity

So should we look a bit at Google’s self-inflicted hangnail? Google is so huge that is about what it amounts to. Still, it is interesting in several ways.

Now mind, I believe that one may run a company one owns as one pleases, and if you choose to promote less competent social justice warriors into posts of responsibility instead of competent software engineers – well on your head be it. The counter argument is that Google is nearly a public utility, but that is not so. The Internet is not necessary (yet, anyway), however desirable it is. And Google does have, in all areas, competitors, some very good.

Ben Domenech lays it out well at The Federalist.

Yesterday, the internet lit up with a flame-war of epic proportions over an internal memo written by James Damore, a Google engineer with a Harvard PhD, who wrote at length about workplace diversity. The memo was the type of statistical analysis one could expect from a dispassionate engineer irritated by a lack of clarity in why fewer women choose to participate in his field, attempting to quantify it beyond the vague assumptions favored by corporate PR. He offered various reasons and explanations for why this could be the case, and offered to discuss the memo further with anyone interested in doing so. For writing this thoughtcrime, he was fired. Google’s CEO claims the memo violated its Code of Conduct. You can read the CEO’s statement here, which stresses that his views were “Not OK”.

These views are consistent with those of Google’s Eric Schmidt, who recently rejected the idea advanced in a Q&A that any right of center views need to be considered part of the bucket of “diversity” favored within Google. As I noted at the time: 

Note the response from Eric Schmidt, who rejects the idea that anyone disagreeing with him politically could be operating from a position of ‘science-based thinking’. The level of diversity and inclusiveness welcomed by Google is precisely as much as is needed to achieve their corporate aims. ‘You’ll also find that all of the other companies in our field agree with us’ – yes, we know.

You see the same tone advanced by Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, who insists the memo’s gender assumptions were “incorrect”.

As always “not consistent” does not mean right or wrong. It means “he doesn’t agree with me, and it’s my company”. As it happens, I believe Damore makes a hell of a lot of sense. But my name isn’t Schmidt, and I’m not CEO of Google, and I do think he can run the company however the shareholders will let him, no matter how stupid. And I note that Google does appear to make money! 🙂

Domenech quotes several of his contributors in his article. As usual David Harsanyi makes a good logical case.

Gizmodo calls a Google engineer’s leaked internal memo about the company’s diversity initiatives an ‘anti-diversity screed.’ Recode calls it ‘sexist.’ Most major news organizations frame it in similar terms. The memo has gone viral. (Update: Google has fired the author for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes.’) In reality, the problem is that a senior software engineer, perhaps unwittingly, admitted to pondering three of the most scandalous thought-crimes of contemporary American society. The first was to propose that a meritocracy might be heathier for a company than bean-counting race, ethnicity, and sex. The second is pointing that ideological diversity matters. The third, and most grievous of all the wrongthinks, is suggesting that men and women are, in general, physiologically and psychologically different from each other, and thus they tend to excel at different things.

And that my friends is the real ‘thoughtcrime’ here. Wouldn’t it be terrible if we promoted people based on their skills instead of their politics?

A Consequential President

Winston Churchill wrote that in Edwardian times (around the First World War) there were “great events and small men”. Seems to me that now, a full century later, it has come around again. I have never seen so many apparatchiks in the Washington establishment. (Note that this applies full force to all of Europe (including Great Britain) as well as Washington. They are so busy trying to blame each other, or especially anybody trying to accomplish anything, that government has pretty much stalled. Except of course, for the social causes that no rational person could ever support.

So much of this reminds me of the death throes of the Soviet Union. The gravy train is off the rails but those living on it are managing to believe it is not, and will continue forever. And they will do their best to destroy anybody who tells any part of the truth. Clarice Feldman brings her talent to bear on this.

Once when my son was about 6 or 7 I took him to the circus with some of his friends. The acrobats, clowns, and lion tamer in the center ring enthralled the other kids. Not him. He turned to me and said, “How do you think they make money producing a circus? I think it’s the concessions.” It struck me then that among the people in the world, there are some — too few, actually — who are not distracted by spectacles, but, instead, keep their eyes on the bottom line.

That’s how I see the President. His stated goals have always been to make us safe, get the economy booming, enable a job-creation economy, and make life better and safer for all Americans.

As the news is filled with tittle-tattle about the phony baloney Russian collusion story and moronic punditry, the president keeps plowing on with his agenda. American Digest lists 220 things the President has achieved while in office, despite the vitriolic attacks on him and what appears to be a silent coup by the press, bureaucrats, and entrenched officeholders.

The thing that is most apparent here is that not a single one of the cretins is honorable enough to openly state what they believe. Instead, they sneak around doing their damage to the country, simply to preserve for a few more months their rice bowl, and then they’ll do it again. We’ve always (all countries do) had these useless mouths to feed, so do corporations, in fact. In fact, anytime in my lifetime, at least, when you see court cases or legislation, that favors one group over another, whether it is ‘affirmative action’, the feminist movement, public workers unions, even (since the sixties) the traditional unions, you are seeing the incompetent band together to steal the fruits of the competent. Thing is, it always damages the country, and this time because they are perfectly willing to leak national security material, they damage it more severely and directly than normal. Clarice again.

The stock market is booming although the NYT twists itself into a pretzel to deny the President’s role in this, per Tom Maguire:

Just imagine how different the tone of The Resistance would be if the stock market were in hideous retreat, as per Nobel Laureate Krugman’s infamous early prediction in response to Trump’s election.

But that pesky stock market keeps going up! So the Times explains why, doing their Very Bestest to keep Trump out of it. Spoiler Alert: They nearly succeed.

‘Wall Street, Climbing Sharply, Skips Washington’s ‘Soap Opera’

By Nelson D. Schwartz Aug 2, 2017

Despite the disorder in Washington — with a revolving door at the White House and roadblocks on Capitol Hill — Wall Street and corporate America are booming.

The disconnect was evident Wednesday, as the Dow Jones industrial average passed the 22,000 mark, a new high. At the same time, blue chips like Apple, Caterpillar and U.S. Steel have all reported strong earnings in recent weeks that surpassed analysts’ forecasts.

“None of the soap opera in Washington matters,” said Frank Sullivan, chief executive of RPM International, a Cleveland-based maker of specialty coatings and sealants like Rust-Oleum. “Nobody in business cares about who talked to who in Russia.”’

[snip]

But a market surge based on political hopes has been replaced by one more firmly grounded in the financial realm.

Besides steady economic growth or less regulation, investors also have been encouraged by the loose reins of central banks like the Federal Reserve, which have helped keep interest rates not far above their historic lows. Inflation, too, remains tame, with price increases in recent months actually falling short of the Fed’s targets.’

[snip]

Well. Presidents often get more credit for the economy than they deserve, but I think Trump deserves some credit for being Trump and a lot of credit for not being Hillary.

Then there is the Russian nonsense…

Another longtime investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh in salty language edited out here, claims insider knowledge that Seth Rich downloaded the DNC emails. They were not hacked, but leaked.

He had submitted a series of documents, of emails. Some juicy emails from the DNC, and you know, by the way all this sh*t about the DNC, um, you know, whether it was hacked or wasn’t hacked, whatever happened, the democrats themselves wrote this sh*t, you know what I mean? All I know is that he (Seth) offered a sample, an extensive sample, you know I’m sure dozens of email and said “I want money”. Then later Wikileaks did get the password, he had a Dropbox, a protected Dropbox, which isn’t hard to do, I mean you don’t have to be a wizard IT, you know, he was certainly not a dumb kid. They got access to the Dropbox. He also, and this is also in the FBI report, he also let people know, with whom he was dealing, and I don’t know how he dealt, I’ll tell you about Wikileaks in a second. I don’t know how he dealt with the Wikileaks and the mechanism but he also, the word was passed according to the NSA report, “I’ve also shared this box with a couple of friends so if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problem”. Ok. I don’t know what that means.

[snip]

I have somebody on the inside, you know I’ve been around a long time, and I write a lot of stuff. I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful, he’s a very high-level guy and he’ll do a favor. You’re just going to have to trust me. I have what they call in my business a long-form journalism, I have a narrative of how that whole [%^&$] thing began, it’s a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation and [*(&]ing the [*(&]ing President, at one point when they, they even started telling the press, they were back briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, [%^&]ing c Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the GRU, the Russian Military Intelligence Service, who leaked it. I mean all [nonsense]… I worked at the New York Times for [*(&^]ing years, and the trouble with the f[%^&*]ng New York Times is they have smart guys, but they’re totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (???) to actually believe it. I was actually hired at the time to write, to go after the war in Vietnam War in 72 because they were just locked in. So that’s what the Times did. These guys run the [*(&^]ing Times, and Trump’s not wrong. But I mean I wish he would calm down and had a better a better press secretary, I mean you don’t have to be so. Trump’s not wrong to think they all [*(&)]ing lie about him.

Clarice goes on to deal with Comey and Mueller and you should read it, it’s just as important.

You know, Trump’s swamp meme is quite appropriate, if you’ve ever tried to walk in a swamp, well, it can be done, often more effectively than a boat, but progress is difficult, as you’re walking through waist (or deeper) water while standing in mud, and sometimes sinking knee-deep in that. It’s exhausting and quickly so. I give Trump a lot of credit for keeping on, not many men would. You get to a certain age, rocking chairs have their appeal.

Will he succeed? I don’t know. But I suspect something is moving in that swamp, and it’s ugly. The American people have after about 20 years (or more) of this nonsense had just about all they are going to take. If Trump loses, especially in the wrong way, say to this so-called ‘slow coup’ – well I have a feeling that there could well be a counter coup, which will be neither quiet nor slow.

Interesting times, indeed! I think we’ll give T.S. Elliot the last word today

                   I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer-

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Sunday Pictures and a Bonus Video

Another week to sum up. Dana Loesch brings it – the truth, that is.

Meanwhile, the usual (paid) suspects are rioting in Hamburg at the G20, their old buddy Mayor deBlasio is junketing over there leading them while, as always shirking his duties. The NY Post has had enough.

I think we all can sympathise. A few more from there,  from PowerLine.

 

I’m beginning to think a whiff of grapeshot might well be in order. But I’m old fashioned like that.

Wrapping up the week, from PowerLine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heh!

Headlines of the Week

 

 

 

And, of course,

 

Happy Sunday!

CNNs Doubleplusungood, Really Terrible Week

I don’t give stock tips as a general rule, but I will give you one at the end of this article. Whether you should follow it is your business, I neither know nor care. In any case, have you been reading about CNN this week? Yeah, hard to avoid isn’t it? You know something is very wrong when suddenly the messenger, and that is all the press is, the people who tell us what is going on, becomes the story. From John Hinderaker.

It’s been a tough couple of days for CNN. Yesterday, the network announced the resignation (firing, I assume) of three journalists–Eric Lichtblau, recently hired away from the New York Times, Thomas Frank, and the head of the network’s new investigative unit, Lex Haris. They published a Russia/Trump story that turned out to be false (embarrassingly so, the quality of the reporting was abysmal) and had to be retracted by CNN.

It is no coincidence that CNN’s fake news story had to do with Russia. CNN’s CEO told the network’s reporters that it was nice to cover climate change, but it’s time to get back to Russia. How do we know this?

Because today, an even worse shoe dropped. James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has infiltrated CNN, and he has video of a CNN producer admitting that the network’s Russia fixation is “mostly bullshit,” but they do it because it brings in the money. Paul wrote about O’Keefe’s dynamite video this morning; if you missed it then you should watch it now. The CNN producer says things like “it’s mostly bulls**t right now.” And “I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me.”

Here is the video:

Later in the day, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders let CNN have it:

Notable quotes:

It’s the barrage of fake news directed at the president that has garnered his frustration. … We have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America.
***
There are multiple instances when that outlet [CNN] has been wrong—there’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I’m not sure—but I encourage everyone to take a look at it. If it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism.
***
The media has been going on [the] Russia, Trump-hoax for the better part of a year now, and America is looking for something more.

Indeed. You don’t see a lot about it here because I’m bored with it, the media’s slobbering love affair with Obama cured me for a lifetime of believing anything at all they said. If they tell me it’s raining, I look out the window, usually at the sun.

Then there is this, from the New York Post

The retracted story [about Anthony Saramucci] was based on a single, anonymous source who claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was probing ties between the Trump administration and a Russian government-owned investment fund. The story, posted on CNN.com on Thursday, also claimed the Treasury Department was believed to be investigating Scaramucci over a purported Jan. 16 meeting with the fund’s director general.In an Editor’s Note posted late Friday, CNN said the story had been deleted for not meeting “editorial standards,” with the network later revealing a “breakdown” in pre-publication vetting that typically involves “fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers.”

But wait, there’s more!

They retracted the story all right, they also apologized and fired the three reporters (or should that be fiction writers?) responsible.

The specter of a $100 million libel suit scared CNN into retracting a poorly reported story that slimed an ally of President Trump’s — and forcing out the staffers responsible for it, The Post has learned. CNN immediately caved after Scaramucci, a financier and frequent network guest, cried foul and threatened to take legal action, sources said Tuesday. Sources also said the three journalists responsible for the retracted story — reporter Tom Frank, editor Eric Lichtblau and Lex Harris, who headed the CNN Investigates unit — were urged to resign.

But wait, there is still more!

Well, maybe they were scared, and with cause, or maybe it was something else.

Zucker was afraid of facing a high-profile suit from Scaramucci while the US Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger. At last week’s Cannes Lions festival in France — where Zucker boasted that viewers “trusted CNN even more than ever”— rumors were rife that he’d be out of a job if the AT&T deal goes through. “It’s not just Jeff Zucker, all Time Warner executives are anxious about if they will survive the merger. One thing’s for sure, there will be a re-organization,” one top executive told The Post.

True? False? Fake News, itself? Damned if I know, but it fits the parameters better than anything CNN is pushing in the last year. You see, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and AT&T Entertainment Group CEO John Stankey, both have a very good relationship with the current administration. And that is who is buying Time Warner. Interesting, Huh?

Oh, that stock tip, Buy Kraft, the owner of Orville Redenbacher, we’re gonna need lots of popcorn. The rest of these organizations, you’re on your own.

Seattle Repeals Gravity

From Powerline. Well, not quite, but nearly that silly.

You know how liberals like to attach taxes on cigarettes so we’ll buy fewer of them, and on alcohol so we’ll drink less, etc? Funny, though, how the basic lesson of supply and demand and price sensitivity falls by the wayside when it comes to the minimum wage.

The Washington Post reports today on the results of the mandated minimum wage hikes in Seattle:

A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

By Max Ehrenfreunde

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

Congratulations Seattle—you’ve managed to lower wages by $1,500 a year for the people who can least afford it. But I’m sure you feel good about how you’re fighting again inequality.

About that subtle little dig about peer review (which is mostly nonsense of a different color these days).

“This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people,” said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the research. He called the work “very credible” and “sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds.”

David Autor is one of the leading figures in America in this field. Good enough for me, particularly since NBER itslef is the gold standard in the field. Besided we all said this before it happened.

If I was a retail merchant in the Emerald City, well, I’d be Sleepless in Seattle and not in the good way.


In other related news, Andrew Bolt writes that:

Here in Australia, the Greens Party keep claiming coal is dead, just like they predicted runaway warming, permanent drought and draining dams.

The Greens said coal mining was dead:

The world is moving away from coal. A report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis finds that the global market for Australian thermal coal has entered “structural decline”, with prices falling 70% since 2009.

Wrong. Coal is roaring ahead:

The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions.

Mining data reviewed by The Associated Press show that production through May is up by at least 121 million tons, or 6 percent, for the three countries compared to the same period last year. The change is most dramatic in the U.S., where coal mining rose 19 percent in the first five months of the year, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

Coal’s fortunes had appeared to hit a new low less than two weeks ago, when British energy company BP reported that tonnage mined worldwide fell 6.5 percent in 2016, the largest drop on record. China and the U.S. accounted for almost all the decline, while India showed a slight increase.

The reasons for this year’s turnaround include policy shifts in China, changes in U.S. energy markets and India’s continued push to provide electricity to more of its poor, industry experts said.

The Greens would support providing electricity to the poor, wouldn’t they?

Reader Mark M rounds up the latest evidence for the climate catastrophe we were warned would affect even food supplies:

South Africa: Silos ready for record maize harvest

As farmers in SA get down to harvesting a record maize crop, operators of grain storage facilities say there is enough space to accommodate the bumper haul.

Maize is, of course, to us Americans, corn. Good on them although I must say if we ever had a corn harvest where we had enough space to store it – well, it would be a very poor year, indeed. We’re lucky if we have enough to store the food grade corn. Also:

Australia: “Australian farmers’ record breaking season confirmed at $62.8 billion: ABARES

ABARES said even with the dip, the figure is still 9 per cent higher than the five-year average to 2015-16.

USA: California sets cherry record; big Washington crop rolling

Exactly where is this catastrophe the Greens keep seeing?

Not a lot of point in adding much to any of these, people that read around here tend to be common sense types, who understand that if one (especially one’s government) gets out of the way, amazing things will happen. And so they are.

Amazon – Whole Foods

So Amazon has agreed to buy Whole Foods. It’s an interesting agreement. Amazon is for the early 21st century rather what Sears and/or Montgomery Ward was to the old west. The purveyor of everything that you can’t find in the old general store. If you remember the old ‘wish book’ (the Christmas catalog) you’ll know what I mean. Man, when I was a kid, there were things in that catalog that I never knew they made, and that was the toy section! 🙂

You and I know that Amazon is like that too. They got stuff there that I never dreamed of, and it may be the best bookstore short of robbing the British Library. Yes, my friends who write books are not fond of them, but for me, sitting out here on the prairie, they are a boon.

Strangely enough, even in food. A few months ago my local grocery store was bought. That saddened me, I’ve liked it for years, pretty good quality and not bad pricing. A dream for a small town. Anyway, since the new owner took over the quality is reducing (in fact, a couple weeks ago, I had one of the worst steaks I ever had, from there for $10/pound. Not worth it was an understatement. Canned goods are another example, established, OK quality brands gone, replaced by cheap stuff, at high prices.

Anyway, there is a Wal-Mart about 15 miles away, that can solve the canned goods, without too much hassle, but I don’t much care for their meat. Well, as always planning helps. 60 miles away are other stores, good ones. There are also the friends of mine that raise cattle, a quarter or half of a cow custom-packed is always an option. And there is Amazon.

Funny thing is that for what I pay for a steak here, if I watch the sales I can buy from Omaha Steaks, either their website or Amazon. Yeah, surprised the dickens out of me too. Not on Amazon but there is a site I stumbled across where I can get English bacon for the same money I pay for (not very good, too much fat) American bacon.

Stuff, I haven’t seen in years, like B&M Beans (and Boston brown bread). Didn’t know they were still made. In my cart, hope they’re as good as I remember. Branson Pickle from the UK, same with Mincemeat tarts, hardly buyable in the US anymore. In some ways, I’m spending the same to a bit more money, but buying much higher quality.

Prices are basically from 15% below what I pay here to 20% or so higher, and the UPS guy puts them on my front porch. Doesn’t get much more convenient than that.

So, how does Whole Foods fit into that? Well, we’ve all heard the jokes about Whole Paycheck stores. My closest one is about 300 miles, so I’ve never been. Who knows? Kristin Wong has some thoughts.

It’s too soon to say what Amazon officially plans to do with Whole Foods, but rumors have been circling and experts have a few predictions. For one, it’s likely that Whole Foods will actually drop its notoriously high prices. Believe it or not, Whole Foods has already been testing price reductions on certain products due to competition from Walmart and Trader Joe’s. This could be good news even if you don’t shop at Whole Foods. Analysts say other grocery stores will probably lower their prices and improve their loyalty programs to keep up with the acquisition. CNBC reported:

“This transaction is going to change the landscape of how you buy food,” Mickey Chadha, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer who covers Whole Foods, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday morning. He expects Amazon to put pressure on grocery stores to lower prices.

They add that the merger is probably even better news for Amazon Prime and Fresh customers, who usually get Amazon’s best deals. Moneyish reported:

“Coincidentally, Whole Foods is slated to roll out a loyalty program of its own later this year and those enrolled will likely get direct discounts on select products. “They will push pretty heavily to integrate Whole Foods with Amazon, I’m sure there’ll be Prime rewards for shopping at Whole Foods,” Barnett says.”

Guess we’ll see. Given a rational price structure, it might be a godsend for people like me. Several Whole Foods are well within overnight delivery range. And if there is one thing Amazon (especially Prime) is good at, it’s delivery logistics.

Interesting world, ain’t it?

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