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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender? (Page 21)

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Author Topic: Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality - What if Harry was smarter than Ender?
Rakeesh
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It's been stated by the author that this is the final arc, and will be updating quickly and finishing within a month I think. Within the story it seems clear that the big reveal on Quirrel, Hermione, and Harry is imminent as well.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I can't wait! I'm more excited for this than Stone Doors (likely because Rothfus is starting to get a little GRRM about due dates).
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Raymond Arnold
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I'm trying to decide how I feel about Harry's inability to *seriously* suspect Quirrel. I think it's a reasonable and important point that it's hardest to be rational about things that matter most to you.

But... still, seriously Harry? It took you this long?

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Stone_Wolf_
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The author wanted to reveal it almost immediately...but then the plot unravels.

I think it is the constrains of -fan- fiction...can't go too off of canon.

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Rakeesh
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I tend to think like Raymond on this. Not only does it fit neatly with one of the ideas key to the story-that rationality and skepticism are most difficult when they're most needed-but bear in mind as well that Harry has spent an uncertain amount of time before Hogwarts and a *lot* of time in Hogwarts under the long planned, expert, very careful psychological and perhaps even magical manipulation of an evil mastermind who seems to reside at least partly right between Harry's ears.

Given these factors, is it really so surprising that Harry has been successfully duped? I almost think it would be more surprising if he hadn't largely thought of Quirrel what Quirrel wished him to.

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Stone_Wolf_
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You seem to change your mind mid post...I'm not clear on the take away.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Also...Quarrel did something no other adult has done for Harry...take him seriously. Right from the get go. He is 11 and away at school for the first time...under pretty abnormal circumstances. All I'm saying is Harry identified Quarrel as the only other not insane person he knows...hard to be objective under those circumstances.
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Rakeesh
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I was agreeing with the first part of Raymond's post-that of it being hardest to be rational when it's most needed. I suspect (though this is just a guess, obviously) that he and I are probably like-minded on the subject really. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredulous too, but that's from my external view of things and especially with the outsider's knowledge of the canon material where we know it's a long shot bet that Quirrel *wasn't* at least directly related to Voldemort, and that one or both weren't seriously dag-nasty evil.

Anyway, it's important to remember I think that Quirrel only appeared to take Harry seriously. Granted he recognizes Harry's importance and his cleverness and determination...but then there is the question of how much of that isn't due directly to Voldemort himself, or his influence. Harry's intial importance was only due to whatever really happened that night when Voldemort attempted (or did he?) to kill Harry. It doesn't seem impossible that his 'cold dark side', which has made possible many of Harry's successes and ability to think and act under pressure, was actually a seed Voldemort himself planted.

In fact the only things at this point I think *couldn't* be put to Voldemort about Harry that are special (that is to say I don't mean other factors must have been Voldemort, but rather that they could have been) is his disciplined commitment to science and rationalism, his knowledge stemming from those things, and an ethical core stemming from his upbringing and exposure to stories and family. The bad news is that Harry appears to have been able to convince Voldemort that there are some really, really useful benefits from a really thorough, Muggle Science-rooted commitment to science and rationalism and had begun to share that with him. Not that this Voldemort ever seems to have suffered from the Villain Tropes business common to the genre, obviously.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Whether or it's true or not, I think Voldamort belives that what is special about Harry is his own holocrox. It makes the "Hello Tom Riddle." comment make sense at least.

And therefore the respect is heartfelt...as it is self respect.

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Rakeesh
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I would be seriously irritated with the trickle pacing of these chapters if they weren't coming so quickly.

One key and potentially disastrous (heh, sort of like a sixth grenade going off in Harry's lap at this point) assumption is that because Harry cannot seem to lie in Parseltongue, that means Voldemort's cannot either. Even if it was true that Salazar put a condition on that speech to compel truth in its speakers, Voldemort apparently acquired and plumbed the knowledge of Salzar's monster the Basilisk. Who's to say he didn't discover this secret himself, and subvert it, assuming its not just a lie that he has tricked or magically compelled Harry into performing?

I'm just a dude and if I were playing an evil villain and was confronted with a secret speech that supposedly compelled honesty, 'learn how to lie in that speech and keep it secret from other speakers' would certainly be handy. That or convince other speakers it was impossible to lie.

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Stone_Wolf_
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While all that makes perfect sense...I believe parsel tounge is SUPER rare...like the only living person who has it is VaderMart (and therefore Harry via horcrux). If it -was- common enough to be useful than I would argee.
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Rakeesh
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Uncommon in the present, apparently, but perhaps not so uncommon once upon a time. In any event, since Harry's ability to speak it was clearly at least expected or perhaps even created, Voldemort creating a plan for effective deception still seems possible. He might simply have used some technique-or used his puppet Snape, for example, to do so-on Harry to compel truth while he is speaking it. To Harry it would appear as though he couldn't lie because he was speaking serpent, but just because he can't utter a lie in that tongue doesn't mean it's the speedh that prevents it.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Maybe a drop of...forget name...virt something.
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Rakeesh
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Latest chapter is up.

Somehow it had completely slipped my mind that Harry can destroy Dementors, and has access to at least one power that is 100% baffling to Voldemort.

ETA: My prediction for the answer to Harry's last question is a very straightforward one, the answer he arrived at a long time ago when thinking about Voldemort when discussing him with Dumbledore. Why is he like this? Why not?

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Rakeesh
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I will also say that if Dumbledore has magical power roughly equivalent to Voldemort's (which seems possible), and is roughly as intelligent and willing to sacrifice (which is also possible) but is also neck-deep in Story Logic and plots in the way Voldemort described, then I could see how he could've withstood him at all. I don't think it's much of a prediction to think that it makes no sense that if Voldemort has always been this clever and this cleverly ruthless, he should've conquered the world or at least Britain a long time since. Which would mean that there has got to be some reason why he hasn't. Was it all a game, the Voldemort persona? It seems a very great deal of effort.
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TomDavidson
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In the latest chapter, Voldemort speaks of how the "old" him would have ranted and ranged and thrown a violent fit when confronted by a certain obstacle, and notes that he has learned better.
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Rakeesh
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I noticed that, and he *is* supposedly in a truth-telling mode of conversation right now. So what changed, if anything did and the past Voldemort wasn't just an invention?

I wonder if it's possible that Voldemort is in fact dead, that David Munroe killed or otherwise defeated him but then decided to make the same sort of use of him as he advised for Harry after Azkaban. I could see it happening: David Munroe, from what others have said of him in the story, seems to be a sort of rationalist not captured by Story Logic or MegaVillain Thinking like Voldemort or Dumbledore. But perhaps he simply hadn't grown the magical strength to beat Voldemort in a fight and was absorbed?

More nefarious, perhaps he was able to kill Voldemort outright and was always a psychopath and sociopath.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I would say eleven years on the back of someone's head might have something to do with V's new insight & depth.
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Heisenberg
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So knowing what we do of horcruxes, I'm guessing that Voldemort is dead but that both Munroe and Potter came into contact wkth ones that were created at different parts of Voldemort's life. Perhaps the possession by the ghost isn't guaranteed, and there was something about them that allowed a merging instead of outright possession.

Quirrell also made a horcrux out of the Voyager plate he messed with in the hope that thousands of years from now an alien or human will touch it and he will be "reborn."

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm not sure about the Voyager thing...it was implied as a possibility, however I tisn'tll that was confirmed was that he strengthened the plate for the purpose of preservation.

As to being dominated by a horcrux...I think that it is a battle of wills & Qurrel isn't fighting very hard if at sll.

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ricree101
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I made a longish post on reddit about it, but my current speculation is that Quirrell gave Harry an incomplete picture about what Horcruxes did. The contact overwrite might actually be a thing, but I think there's too much evidence that Voldy wanted to protect them here, in ways that don't make sense if they require contact.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Very first time on redit...here goes...
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Rakeesh
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Given that it would be so very useful, and that the only evidence for it is really Voldemort's word, I'm convinced he has told a lie about Parseltongue and truthtelling. Perhaps it's true for *other* speakers, but I don't think it's true for him.
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Stone_Wolf_
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The two plus two equals three test was used to verify...but Veritaserum could replicate that result...assuming that Harry wouldn't notice that he was compelled to tell the truth in English too.(according to an HP wiki, Veritaserum can be resisted by olmancy).

Since the go to answer in the HP for making ppl tell the truth is Veritaserum...if a fan fic author conveniently reinvents the cannn wheel I imagine by my own predicted response that it would be a Bad Idea on his part.

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Rakeesh
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If memory serves, Parseltongue supposedly enforces truthtelling when it is spoken, but only when using Parseltongue itself to speak. Not 'I promissssse the following to be true...'

Given that Voldemort's got such control over Snape, both a gifted Legilimens and an alchemist, that right there is easily enough for a bag of tricks to compel Harry into telling the truth-or potentially persuade him he must, perhaps. It would just be so useful and so like the themes of this story and plotting-and bear in mind too that this chapter had a big element of revision and improvement of amazing ancient Magic (horcruxes) and how they can supposedly be improved upon.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Oh schitte I missed that a new one was up...
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Stone_Wolf_
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Got to say this is my FAVORITE chapter in all of HP...NOT in HPMOR....in ALL HP.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Anybody else get the feeling that Voldermort is nit planning on killing Harry, but instead take over his body?
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Heisenberg
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Nah.

He meant Harry to be a "worthy opponent" for himself in his immortality, someone who could play the great game with him without ruining it for one or both of them. A lot of his interactions and lessons with Harry have been to test if Potter is worthy of this, and to see if he could be guided into changing into that.

I get the feeling that he's given up on that. Potter has morality, and a feeling of right and wrong. Combined with the fact that he does have the sense of rationality that Voldemort's imprint gave him as a baby, it makes him into an opponent that is far too dangerous to allow to live.

I don't think it's likely. Although, if Quirrell's body is really dying, then I guess he could shoot himself in the head and then try to possess Harry. I just don't see it being likely.

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Rakeesh
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If what he's said about his redundant horcruxes is true (a big if*) why would he need concern himself with taking Harry's body? He's already apparently grown bored with villainous mastery of Britain.

No, it makes much more sense for him to kill or at least somehow extinguish Harry permanently at the soonest possible instant he gains the Permanency Stone (a better name, really).

I wonder if Harry might be able to leverage his partial transfiguration ability with the Stone, since it ties in so neatly with his special skill in that area. I wonder if he ever told Voldemort the secret along that line? Can't recall.

*Aside from the fact that it's Voldemort talking, one reason I am suspicious is because he's gone to great lengths to emphasize his own immortality to Harry, when it seems unnecessary. Possibly just to avoid treachery that leads to him failing to get the Stone, I suppose.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Not just his body...but his persona.

"It was all the defense professor, who was REALLY Voldermolt...who I just defeated single handedly...again!"

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Rakeesh
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Knowing myself , I'll reread the story once it's done at some point, but I think it will still probably be interesting to do even though the likeliest conclusion-Quirrel is Voldemort-will probably be true and was expected the entire time.
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Stone_Wolf_
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The author said the only change from original cannon is Harry I had thought...so isn't Q-is-V a give away?
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Rakeesh
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I'm not sure how he could say that. Perhaps it was intended originally, but Hermione was killed by a troll as Voldemort's tool just for starters. Harry and Hermione both went to Ravenclaw, Azkaban was broken into...I think if he ever said that he changed his mind.
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TomDavidson
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The timeline diverged with Harry's birth, is the idea. So all the things that have changed in the storyline since then changed as a result of that birth and the different person Harry is -- even the difference in what Voldemort did to baby Harry.

That said, yeah, it stretches credulity, but that can hardly be a sore spot for someone who's still reading. [Smile]

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Rakeesh
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I don't see how that could possibly still apply. Voldemort not being in this story a psychotic comic book villain archetype versus the canon Voldemort who was definitely in that mold. Well, I suppose his entire yarn to Harry could be a lie, but I think he's written his way out of that in other ways as well.
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Stone_Wolf_
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That's -exactly- why that chapter is my FAVORITE in all oh hp...it redeems the cannon Voldermolt! He was ALWAYS a caricature...deliberately! Thats what I love most about HPMOR...it rewrote the character in the real books & movies without changing anything else (mostly) because if everything Q/V tells Harry is true it's only because he's gunna kill him. Its a secret. So it can be true for the really real hp
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Rakeesh
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That could be the explanation-that the bad guy wins (I've read a couple other stories he linked as favorites, and in none of them did the standard good guy win) and the truth is kept secret, making in a sense canon Voldemort acceptable as a successful coverup. In a sense it would even be fitting if Harry were killed, since he committed such a fundamental failure of thinking according to his own beliefs: he didn't seriously consider what was so obviously possible: that Quirrel wasn't just bad, or selfishly neutral, or acceptably ruthless, but a mass murderer with no ethical constraints at all who took pleasure in torture and murder in payment for passing slights or even inconveniences. Harry didn't consider that because it hurt to have to think of a peer that way, because of what that would mean he would have to do by his own ethical constraints. That kind of failure is sometimes lethal.
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Rakeesh
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Well I admit it would be nice to get some power parity here!
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Stone_Wolf_
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I didn't mean he succeeds necessarily, just that was why he told Harry the truth, bc he plans on killing/stealing his body. It could still be true in canon, just Gryffindor Harry would NEVER hear about it.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well I admit it would be nice to get some power parity here!

Huh?
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I didn't mean he succeeds necessarily, just that was why he told Harry the truth, bc he plans on killing/stealing his body. It could still be true in canon, just Gryffindor Harry would NEVER hear about it.

How could it be true? The Voldemort from canon remained a psychotic comic book villain both before he killed the Potters to the moment he killed Harry in the last book. How does that jive with there being a secret Tom Riddle with multiple identities he could create and set aside at whim, who was a genius who created Voldemort literally to be the stupidity-prone dry run of bad guys?
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Stone_Wolf_
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The horcrux stuff maybe different or not...I haven't checked to see if there are major inconsistentcies, but the comic book villain part makes sense to me...canon Harry was fighting persona.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I quite enjoyed the Dumbledore/Voldermolt conversation.
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Raymond Arnold
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Wealphchrist.
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Rakeesh
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Well I'll hand it to him-worry over a prophecy (from a source Voldemort has reason to trust, no less) that would completely destroy reality is a very good, and very consistent reason why he would go to these sorts of lengths with Harry. It's in keeping entirely with his motives for taking over Britain and despising Muggles.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Three more days![/whine]
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Raymond Arnold
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If you haven't been reading along and been putting it off, now is the time to read everything, FYI.

We have 60 hours to save Harry.

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ricree101
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The speculation and planning is fun, but I will be extremely irate if we never get the "good" ending.
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Samprimary
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Kill Harry on purpose. It's not like you won't still get the good ending.
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