Unleashing the Power of Disruptive Imagination in Every Citizen to Avoid Linear Thinking

Educators, think tanks, and other social scientists are not the only ones who can ‘backwards map’ from desired individual and social outcomes to the policies that need to be prescribed by law to put them in place. We writers can also use papers on desired New Forms of Governments by 2030 to lay out the new citizen characteristics needed to supposedly get these transformations. As a recent paper from the EU laid out https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/future-government-2030-citizen-centric-perspective-new-government-models the FuturGov game creates a process (bolding in original):

through which participants immerse themselves into the future, take on roles that are not theirs, and strategize the achieve their goals…[This will] Trigger imagination and creativity [and] Immerse people into possible futures…shaking up people’s preconceived ideas about the future. The aim is to avoid linear thinking in order to be more receptive to emergent changes…New literacies will be needed for the future. Futures literacies are needed to enable citizens to participate in anticipatory decision making recognising the context of uncertainty and complexity and building up individual and societal resilience to work collaboratively to address these…Critical thinking should be nurtured, through the education system and beyond in the workplace and civil society, including understanding digital media [media literacy] but also other aspects of people’s lives. Policy literacy is also very important, both for the present and for the future.

[Prescribing and standardizing values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors is simply part of the] “New practices and innovative strategies needed for governments to be able to tackle the emerging challenges. It is essential that governments nurture the culture of innovation, as well as the openness and responsibility for society.” Student-centered learning then, and a 21st century focus on prescribed outcomes on what is to be internalized at the level of the mind and personality. should be seen as simply a necessary component that are “enablers of new forms of government from 2030+ onwards…[part of] Putting citizens at the centre, not only is an opportunity to rethink government formats, and individual relationships with the state and institutional ways of working.”

Apparently an Axemaker, linear thinking, logical mind with a store of factual information is an impediment to an envisioned “‘hard-wiring’ of equality into the economy.” In this other recent, complementary, vision https://media.nesta.org.uk/documents/Imagination_unleashed-_Democratising_the_knowledge_economy_v6.pdf just quoted:

It is not only ‘economic’ institutions that require transformation. The power of disruptive imagination needs to be unleashed in every citizen. Education systems and participative democracy needs to encourage a spirit of experimentation. Critically, these must be accompanied by the protection of vital stakes, safeguards, and endowments, making it possible for people to remain unafraid in the midst of quickened change.

Somehow I can just hear Sean Connery’s voice from The Hunt for Red October, but instead of the accented “One Ping Only”, we get policy planners and politicians all over the globe with these transformational plans for us insisting students now just need “Essential Content Only” and then attributing that to the presence of AI or search engine and Internet availability. Factual knowledge and a logical mind gets in the way of being ‘unafraid’ as the above quote called for. It gets in the way of the supplied conceptual understandings and prescribed categories of thought designed “to realise this cultural change, [which needs] education that fosters an attitude of lifelong questioning.” Going to the title of the previous post, genuine factual knowledge impedes the willing use of:

alternative pictures of how the future world, in which citizens live and governments operate, might look. Narratives do not claim to be unique truths, they are considered as frames that facilitate making sense of the world, frames that usually combine past and future, fact and fiction. Made of hopes, desires and fears, narratives frame people’s understanding of the past, perception of the present and imagination of the future. We took into account assumptions about the situation in 2030+ that related to the following categories: society, technology, economy, policy/legislation of the state, relationships between citizens and the state, new actors in citizen-government relationships, and role of corporations.

It is a vision that claims to be “citizen centric” and responsive to societal needs and it requires an education system where the obligation “requiring citizens to engage in regular and ongoing local policymaking” has been joined with ‘numeracy’ and ‘literacy’ as “the key pillars of the school system from Year 1 of schooling.” Anyone with actual, unrestricted knowledge of history and political theory would read aspirations of a future where “To avoid a divided state and a broken social contract, democracy work needs more resources and extensive engagement from all citizens. Democracy needs to permeate the entire society” and recognize it for the authoritarian, anti-individual, conception it actually is. Therefore we get Essential Content Only because it allows the necessary “shaping and constraining how governments, citizens, businesses and others interact with one another.”

Factual knowledge gets in the way of the transformative need to “generate conversations about what the future may look like by allowing us to displace our understanding of the present.” Provided concepts that can be used to address perceived problems “produce new ways to explore uncertainty and to have dialogues with stakeholders about complex and dynamics issues.” Making so much K-12 and higher education about the use of computers and virtual reality allows the needed “expressing different ideas and stories of the future through tangible objects allows the public to challenge their imagination; to see the possible future more as a multiplicity of ideas rather than separate space and time as well as to address the present critically.” No wonder we have such an emphasis now that all curricula be Relevant to the lives of students and perceived problems.

Let’s go back to that Nesta vision with its desire to create “an inclusive knowledge economy” that “gives expression to our distinctive human ability to reimagine the world around us” to advance ‘human freedom and realisation’  for everyone. That requires “promoting experimental government,” reforming education, and altering the “stories societies–and politicians–tell.” No wonder I keep encountering False Narratives from think tanks on education, data privacy, and how evidence-based policymaking really works if the crucial lever towards these transformations is to create stories to engage “the power and potential of the individual and collective imagination.” Factual knowledge and a logical mind get in the way of Nesta’s story of a reimagined vision for education where (bolding in original):

We must equip citizens not only to participate in the economy and society but to transform it, through a lifelong education system that promotes cooperation and prioritises the power of imagination…[Required Learner Profiles and Portrait of a Graduate come in handy where] the knowledge economy, therefore calls for education, both in youth and throughout life, that develops character, mindset, and non-cognitive as well as cognitive skills. This style of education crosses the divide between general and technical education. Rather than emphasising job-specific and machine specific skills, it requires a new model focusing on generic, flexible, high-order capabilities…they also form part of a larger challenge: how to equip every student with the tools they need not only to flourish within their societies as they currently exist but to transform them for the better. Teachers and students must have the political, legal, and financial means to deal experimentally with the central tension in education under democracy: preparing people to flourish within present arrangements and assumptions while equipping them to defy those assumptions and arrangements.

That flourishing and defiance requires “Essential Content Only” with prescribed beliefs, values, and categories of thought. It requires active learning so the needed Habits of Mind that will motivate the requisite transformational change in the present are embedded at a neural level in each student’s mind and personality. It creates a Marxist Man as a Maker of History which is not a surprise to anyone familiar with the work of its author, Harvard law prof Roberto Unger, which is why he has a tag here at ISC already.

If we have been led to see Marxism though as about the USSR and the Iron Curtain, and to believe socialism is about state ownership of the means of production, we will never recognize in time the little ‘c,’ Human Development Society vision, embedded in both these linked documents. If we only know what the think tanks tell us about education reforms and how standards, competencies, and social emotional learning work, we will not grasp that the requisite education laid out above to fit this sought transformation to ‘democracy’ is precisely the education being imposed by public and private schools right now.

Factual knowledge and a logical mind are viewed now by  institutions, politicians, think tanks, and civil society operators as impediments to this desired “push forward into the realm of the adjacent possible.” It is the only thing that can liberate us from this clearly planned intention to enslave the mind and person in the name of inclusion for all. flourishing, and meeting our needs.

History as a body of knowledge, and not as this planned march to alter and control the future politically, would reveal this will not go as planned. The question becomes though how many of us will recognize in time where these education visions are actually going.

My thanks though to all the promoters of the deceitful narratives. It made the desired Super Collaborative Government, Scenario #3, easy to see because it was full of all the many things I had noticed, that were factually not true, in various published White Papers.

The Future of Government is apparently all-intrusive according to anyone, of every persuasion, involved officially with formulating public policy. Education reforms are their favorite, largely invisible when misexplained, tool.

Good to know now, huh?

18 thoughts on “Unleashing the Power of Disruptive Imagination in Every Citizen to Avoid Linear Thinking

  1. “The power of disruptive imagination needs to be unleashed in every citizen. ”

    “Unleashed” huh? Interesting word choice. So primal. So primitive . So arational.

    In other words, every citizen, in order to participate effectively and with fidelity in their enslavement must be emotionally unstable, even labile, fact free, and disorganized in their cognition and affect. a/k/a virtually schizophrenic.

    Yup. Sounds like a plan for Success and Beyond.

    • Remember the psychologists recognized that this method of neural enslavement only works if people are unaware that they are actually not free to choose because all the possible choices, the pathways to them, and the likely outcomes were all prearranged. Both of these papers came out after I was mulling over the prescribed and thus circumscribed cognitive map and also the think tank duplicity. It was the epiphany of the why. I also had a similar insight a few months ago when NAS published Citizen Science. It made it seem like it was about citizens doing science, but the prescribed doing was rearranging at a neural level what the individual citizen knew, believed, and valued. It thus both constrained and served as motivation for what they were likely to do. Skinner’s aims, but definitely not his techniques.

      I am largely stuck inside with our astronomical pollen levels this past week and reading a book Howard Rheingold from 1991 called Virtual Reality: The Revolutionary Technology of Computer-Generated Artificial Worlds-and How It Promises to Transform Society. Since my understanding of GEFF 2030 goes to how I stumbled across its existence in the first place in 2015 instead of simply mining someone else’s blog without attribution, I knew Rheingold had been involved originally with the global board of GEFF. His work then goes to where we are now with this global plans.

      He finished with a quote of Heinz Pagels from The Dreams of Reason about “Our ability to represent and simulate reality implies that we can approximate the order of existence and bring it to serve human purposes. A good simulation, be it a religious myth or scientific theory, gives us a sense of mastery over our experience.” Again, that quote reminds me of the pretend choice. We believe ourselves to be the masters, when we have been standardized through prescribed learning experiences that we are not supposed to actually understand. The False Ed Narrative from think tanks has certainly tried to see to that.

      Rheingold points out that “the first cybernauts realized very soon that the power to create experience is also the power to redefine such basic concepts as identity, community, and reality.” Redefining each of those concepts is precisely what the MH vision needs in order to gain successful implementation. It is what Tranzi OBE aimed at and what competency-based ed seeks now. Politicians want to control how we ‘apprehend the world.

      Rheingold italicized the passage I am about to quote, but ‘we’ don’t get to decide what we are to become. The political class, with the obtuseness of a Theresa May, is deciding for us.

      VR vividly demonstrates that our social contract with our own tools has brought us to a point where we have to decide fairly soon what it is we as humans ought to become, because we are on the brink of having the power of creating any experience we desire.

      Those experiences are being created for us, based on unappreciated criteria laid out in CEDS and Learning Progressions few but me have read. The goals turn out to be subjugation to empower this new vision of all-encompassing government to supposedly ensure everyone’s well-being. No one reading either of those linked documents can be the least bit surprised that May is doing everything she can to avoid a genuine Brexit that might allow the UK to escape these clear plans the EU has for ‘citizens’.

      It is fascinating though at the same time. It’s at the almost invisible level of the mind. Notice in the Scenario 3 how crucial the GDPR is to the transformation plans and how the think tanks and Michelle Malkin have tried to push GDPR as needed to protect student privacy when it is in reality the favorite tool for transformation of consciousness.

  2. I have often wondered if reading literature changes the brains of readers into linear thinking? People who read literature seem different to me. Maybe that is why Common Core wants to kill it off.

    Steve Jobs said that programming teaches you how to think. IMO it teaches you one way of thinking and that it is a good experience. It teaches linear thinking. The program does what you tell it to do not what you wish it to do. BTW I think teaching music is more beneficial to younger students and ‘teaching computers’ (whatever that means) too young is harmful.

    This whole future oriented, wishful thinking is very old. The ‘virtual’ reality (as opposed to physical reality) is a new spin on this. “Comrades, the future is glorious. We will achieve the goals of the 5 year plan in 4 years. ” Even the so called Chinese Communist party no longer believes in this. They want electricity so they build thousands of coal fired plants and build the Three Gorges Dam. Russians threw their hammer and sickle flags in the trash and teach Christianity in public schools.

    The progressives will see to it we have virtual reality including virtual electricity and virtual food. See e.g. Venezuela. Blackouts due to “green’ energy are common.

    • I would be careful about saying that the Chinese do not believe in this little ‘c’ vision that controls people through their minds via a new type of education. This is not so much ownership of the means of production as control via required stakeholder consultation among governments, business, and civil society. All these reports I mention quickly get translated into Chinese. Secondly, we know this was quickly imposed on Hong Kong once the lease was up from a required Citizenship Curriculum grounded in Kohlberg’s Moral Development Framework. Kohlberg was Robert Kegan’s mentor and it is Kegan’s work reflected in the Key Competences PISA looks for that the OECD pushes and also in the higher ed revision.

      I ran out of time to go into further detail on the NESTA vision (remember Pearson and Google both work with them on education and social visions). These are among the basic elements ‘demanded’ by an inclusive knowledge economy. Bolding in original.

      Firstly, it must give priority to analytical skills, and more generally to the powers associated with the imagination. Acquiring knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient. Students need to be able to critically evaluate what they learn and imagine ways in which their knowledge could be applied. In developing the requisite skills for participation in the knowledge economy, engagement in depth across disciplines, around themes or projects, counts for more than memorising facts.
      Secondly, curricula should be interdisciplinary and dialectical…a dialectical approach to education would propose more depth and openness, jumbling up disciplines and methods. It would aim to form a different mindset: one that refuses to treat radical doubt and intellectual experimentation as the prerogatives of genius and turns them instead into a common possession.
      Thirdly, education systems should promote cooperation in teaching and learning instead of the authoritarianism and individualism that has often characterised the classroom. There would be a wide range of experiemts in cooperative practices, including the teaching of students by other students. A radically more inclusive form of the knowledge economy requires high levels of trust and collaboration, and how we teach and learn can help this culture to take hold.

      The culture gets changed because it is a collective of individual minds who are to have no choice but develop and act on shared meanings. Somehow in this vision, required cooperation is not authoritarian? China and the USSR never had the requisite technology to enact little ‘c’ communism to create the Human Development Society. It was Robert Tucker, back in 1962, who noted that it is the West that had the requisite wealth and technology. This is the march we are on and I possess an enormous amount of the blueprints at this point.

      • It boils down to imagination and limited knowledge are necessary to create the mindless drone who will disregard his instincts and gut to believe and or accept the TOTAL BS rubbish lil’ marxie is feeding him since day one in preschool, ie, 2 + 2 = whatever you want it to be.

        • Reminiscent of what was laid out in this old post down to what Dewey was really pushing via education. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/producing-docile-instruments-and-captive-souls-putty-at-the-hands-of-the-predator-state/

          No need to wonder why Mind Arson is so needed. It also explains the False Narrative around the Common Core, social emotional learning, competency-based ed, the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks, school choice, student data privacy, and so much more I have documented. It’s not just the desire to have education control the conceptual system. It’s to have think tank narrative be deferred to without scrutiny. We are going to talk about Viable Systems Theory and its resurrection in the next post, but think tanks operate at the future planning Level 4. They are all about creating goals for future change. In other words, they are an essential component of gaining real world change without anyone recognizing the nature of the shift until it’s too late.

          Their False Narratives about the primary transformational tool, education, are a crucial component of the cybernetic vision.

      • Regarding Christianity in Russia, that’s a very broad topic. Here in the US the churches are leaving morality behind and turning Christians into Social Justice Warriors, doing the charity work and community control that helps the government. That’s SJW stuff has to follow the morality dictated by the government. New Age has spread internationally. It is spirituality without morality, and morality isn’t just about homosexuality and the LGBT movement. See Lee Penn’s well documented book False Dawn on the infiltration of the New Age philosophy. It is online. Everything is under the control of the government in Russia.

        • I wouldn’t agree with the last statement if it is about Russia controlling the US, but it is a common theory being implemented all over the world. Its New Age connections come from its ties to Ken Wilber’s work and Integral Theory.

          One of the co-authors of “Developing Minds in the Digital Age” is Dirk van Damme who is also on the Board of GEFF 2030, which had its meeting after Silicon Valley and before Davos in Russia.

          The Russians have made no bones about targeting the human mind for change for political purposes. It is the West that pretends constructivism is about ‘discovery learning’. When I was following up on 3rd Order Cybernetics and IASCYS, it turned out that IASCYS is a member of IFSR–International Society for Systems Research which was founded in about 1980 in the USSR. Looking at the IFSR site, it openly talks about the use of ‘standards’ to create systems because they create the needed common goals or purpose. So CCSSI, CEDS, and ISCED are all ultimately about imposing the cybernetic template to try to accomplish the MH, little ‘c’ template by calling it a matter of public policy and human flourishing.

          All just sales pitches for political control with invisible chains and a controllable rudder in the mind and personality. Remember too that UNESCO based ISTE in Moscow and many of the materials UNESCO uses have never been translated out of Russian.

      • It may have been imposed on HK, but not necessarily on the rest of China, because HK is definitely being steered to a subordinate future once it fully reintegrates in 2047. The Belt and Road ends just south of Shanghai and doesn’t touch what used to be the biggest port in the area or the world, Hong Kong.

        And it’s only fair to note that HK acts hostile to the mainland. They hate it, more or less. So there’s no reason for either side to trust the other.

        So of course, HK is being given a slave curriculum. I wouldn’t necessarily infer that that’s the general curriculum in the rest of China. Although “Social Credit” doesn’t give me much reason for optimism there.

  3. Robin:
    I do not disagree with anything you said above. China is athoritarian but I doubt their teaching stresses imagination, is interdisciplinary and dialectical (jumbled), or stresses cooperation in teaching and learning. They do not stress individualism for sure but the teacher is right, listen and memorize. IMO their education system is not as screwed up as ours is. Their required groupthink is different.

    My background is science and mostly engineering. I always wondered how all this educational BS could or would slop over into the hard sciences and engineering. You can’t build bridges (that work) using some SJW theories. I recently read that time is a racist concept and before that math was racist and white. I don’t think these concepts make headway into engineering or China either. Just my opinion. China is authoritarian for sure.

    Ayn Rand said you can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. E.g. ‘renewable energy’ is expensive and unrealiable. In the EU many believe it is cheap, reliable, and is the future. It is fascinating to me to see their reaction to the reality of brownouts and real high bills. Also in Austrailia.

    The more I learn about China the less I understand. A book, The Party (McGregor, 2012), was educational. There are some long time video bloggers from China that recently left. They have youtube channels; ADVChina, Laowhy86, SerpentZA, and Vivienne. I learned much from watching. They used to teach in China.

    If anyone is interested in China here are a couple links . I am curious about China, not everyone is. The first is very long and says young people are taught nothing about the cultural revolution.
    The second is shorter and touches on indoctrination.
    They previously talked about the education system and the corruption.
    https://youtu.be/DBjdAyVEBTg
    https://youtu.be/ixrqCxmIncw
    https://youtu.be/z05uXZS0r6E

    I thought about you in reading a recent story. You wrote about how even the private schools were not immune to all this BS. A Catholic middle school history teacher was fired for showing his class an Owen Benjamin video from Prager U “Why you can’t argue with a leftist.” So much for ‘crtical thinking’, which does not mean critical thinking.
    https://amgreatness.com/2019/03/23/does-free-speech-have-a-prayer-in-catholic-grade-schools/
    The video shown is below
    https://youtu.be/MuBHJbEEVUA

  4. Robin:
    Thank you. I read the above. I will never understand China. Mao banned teaching Confucius. IMO the Chinese realized they need some morality and now teach Confucius. According to the youtube guys above the morality is weird. Chinese do not help strangers, even if Chinese, even if fallen in the street. Chinese cheat other Chinese all the time. Prostitution is illegal but they are everywhere.

    One guy was teaching English in China. He was hired at a school for a couple days to pretend he was a teacher at the school open house to lure in Chinese parents. The Chinese call it a ‘white monkey’ job. It was a scam. There is a nationwide exam to get into university. The pressure is immense, leading to suicides. Once accepted the students cannot be failed so many barely try or show up.

    I would love to be a fly on wall of a Chinese classroom.

    • This has just come out. https://education-reimagined.org/3-critical-components-for-a-reimagined-education-system/

      Make sure you look at the Portrait of a Graduate graphic from Battele linked to there. Also notice all the references to being a ‘citizen’.

      Notice the personalizing is on the input side and not the output because that is where the standardization occurs. I covered Learning Progressions in Credentialed to Destroy but since its publication we now have Literacy Learning Progressions as cited in CCR’s new Artificial Intelligence in Education. https://repository.upenn.edu/cpre_researchreports/97/ came out in 2017. Because CPRE is at U Penn it is tied to AISP there, which in turn ties to CEDS directly.

      The author, Fritz Mosher, was Program Chair of Carnegie’s Avoiding Nuclear War Program during the Cold War. He also worked closely with Michael Cole who brought us CHAT-Cultural Historical Activity Theory. All laid out here http://lchcautobio.ucsd.edu/velham-report/ The acronym stands for Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition.

  5. When reading this piece I was reminded of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, blithely saying the purest nonsense with true conviction, and it doesn’t even bother. She doesn’t skip a beat, never goes back to correct, just plunges on.

    Seems like the desired product of the sort of education being designed.

    • Precisely. It turns out 3rd order cybernetics is all about targeting the human conceptual system and manipulating what it values and believes with insufficient facts to recognize when an analogy is not apt.

      You will appreciate this. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2736210

      Plus, the EU issued this last week https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/ethics-guidelines-trustworthy-ai with global aspirations for implementation. Embedded in a footnote to the November 2018 “AI4People–An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society” is the necessary education vision.

      Sometimes my insights lead to an avalanche of supporting materials, which is where I am now. We are talking about the crucial fulcrum though as we examine how standards function as goals that allow political power to do covertly what it could never successfully do directly. Deceitful commentary from public policy think tanks seems to be a necessary component of the overall hijacking of the conceptual system. It also explains their fondness for letting accreditation be the enforcer. Binding, but indirect. Harder to see it for the governmental instrumentality it actually is.

      Communication and control apparently works best if the control is “implemented with fidelity” but through 3rd parties. Communication can be a Guiding Fiction but if it motivates desired behavior or constrains it the needed function is in place. Silly me. I thought the whole point was to tell the true story accurately.

      • That first link is interesting, as you allude. It seems that “sustainability” is just a power grab i.e. when we implement change “sustainably”, there will be so many dimensions contributing that you’ll never be able to stop it. We’ll sustain it nevertheless, via various levels of feedback.

        • This paper “Addressing the Critical Needs for ‘New Ways of Thinking’ in Managing Complex Issues in a Socially Responsible Way” https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2243101
          has another one of the Chengdu speakers, Ockie Bosch, as a co-author. Take a look at that graphic on Evolutionary Learning Laboratories that once again makes “mental Models’ the basis for all the subsequent transformations. It also has a section on “Starting with the Young’ to begin the “very difficult task to change the way of thinking in a society that mainly operates in silos…’Starting with the Young’ could be regarded as a small rudder that will serve as leverage to influence a big ship that is moving strongly in one direction (as in the past) to change its direction in the long term.”

          https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289361868_Structural_design_for_sustainability_Some_insights_from_organisational_cybernetics also shows how critical “a need for deep paradigmatic change in our thinking” is to sustainability. If the requisite conceptual models are specified in standards and examined via required assessments, then that is how the needed paradigm change occurs. If I wasn;t writing, who else would be pointing this out?

          I can tie all this to K-12 standards and also NSF funding. I also discovered over the weekend that Norbert Wiener was receiving grant money from the Rockefeller Foundation when he wrote both the Cybernetics and the Human Use of Human Beings books. That’s crucially important now that I can trace all these changes towards prescribing conceptual models to their funding as well as their current anticipatory assumptions focus that underlies UNESCO’s current shift to making K-12 education about ‘human decisionmaking’. Remember too that UNESCO in a partner in Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Reform.

          I have also discovered that there is Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition that ties to both the New Standards Project and Higher Order Thinking Skills Mandates in the 90s and the new AI4k12 initiative NSF has begun funding. That “Envisioning AI for K-12: What should every child know about AI?” which is developing more learning standards about requisite thinking patterns also ties to Derek Cabrera via ties of both to the Santa Fe Institute. Santa Fe came up before as well because that is where Gintis and Bowles relocated to. Remember how I wrote about how they hoped the Marxist vision could be realized in the US without violence via Democratic Schooling? They wrote that book in 1976 and now we get DSRP from a Santa Fe fellow and it works like DiaMat.

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