2012年11月30日金曜日

Ayn Rand's "We the Living" Japanese edition being published

Ayn Rand(1905-1982)'s first novel "We the Living" (1936) Japanese edition ("Warera Ikiru Mono") is being published December 10. The translator is Ayumi Wakizaka, who also translated Rand's last and representative novel "Atlas Shrugged" (1957, Japanese title "Kata Wo Sukumeru Atorasu").

The Japanese editions of Rand's two most important long novels "The Fountainhead" (1943, Japanese title "Suigen", translated by Kayoko Fujimori) and "Atlas Shrugged" was published in 2004. After four years, in 2008, one of Rand's most important essays "The Virtue of Selfishness" (1964, Japanese title "Rikosyugi Toh Yuh Kigai", translated by Kayoko Fujimori) was published. And after another four years, in 2012.

Rand's short but important novel "Anthem" (1937) was already translated into Japanese by Kayoko Fujimori and uploaded to her WEB site (Japanese title "Ansemu").

At last, all Rand's important novels can be read in Japanese.

Probably, among the various language editions of Rand's works which have ever made, the Japanese editions are the most meaningful ones, because Japan is a rare country where most of the ruling elite can't read long essays nor novels in English.

It is almost indispensable for the leaders of a modern societies to understand the thoughts of Ayn Rand, whether for or against her position.

I hope those great translation works by the two Japanese women, Ms. Fujimori and Ms. Wakizaka, help Japanese society overcome the present critical situation and develop soundly.

2012年11月29日木曜日

The opposite effect

It is about four years since I started to work as a writer of advertisement articles made up of interview with customers ("Customer Stories"). Generally, the opening part of a Customer Story consists of an extracted statement of the interviewee as headline, a summary of the customer company, and an outline of the state of usage of the product. One of the things I care most when writing summary of customer companies is to keep the statement as flat as possible. In other words, not to praise -- or to put it more precisely, not to give readers the impression I am attempting to praise -- the interviewee ( = the customer company). The readers of the article are prospect customers of the product. For the readers, what matters is not how great the interviewee is, but how useful the product is for the readers, whether the product is worth the cost, and so on. Sometimes I am required to rewrite the summary part to praise more the customer company, by both the client and the customer company. It is natural for them to want the article to praise the customer company, but that kind of rewriting has the opposite effect. The readers, who are force to read compliments they do not want to read, must be unpleasant. But it is difficult for a freelance writer like me to point out such a thing to clients.

2012年11月28日水曜日

英文エッセイ「About birth control 」

【テーマ】
This time think about birth control. After listening next speech, tell us your opinion.
Melinda Gates: Let's put birth control back on the agenda

【佐々木の回答】
Birth control has two aspects. One is the national or global population control. The other is the improvement of personal welfare. The former is accomplished by governments. The latter is accomplished by businesses. The speaker emphasized the latter rather than the former. If she believes that the spread of birth control improves the personal welfare of people in underdeveloped countries, what she should do is to found business to supply contraceptive devices to them; that is, to develop devices cheap enough, to arouse the wants and needs by marketing, and to establish distribution roots. Philanthropists often try to accomplish politically a goal which should be accomplished by business. I don't like their way.

2012年11月27日火曜日

英文エッセイ「About job choice」

【テーマ】
A man told a young man/woman about job.
"You must first ask yourself what is the kind of work for which you're best fitted."
Do you agree or disagree with the above statement?

【佐々木の回答】
Don't ask me about job hunting.
That's the only advice I can give you about job hunting.
I am a loser in the field of job hunting. I changed my job three times. Almost every time I changed job, my income decreased.
The first time I changed job, I chose to work as a translator who translated product manuals written in English into Japanese. I thought I was best fitted for the work, because I have some skill to write in Japanese, a little skill to read in English, and almost no skill to sell something or communicate with people. In reality, as a manual translator, I was below the average. My English skill was too poor, and the demand for translators was far less than supply.
The second time I changed job, I chose to try to work as an operation manual writer for Japanese small companies. I thought I was best fitted for the work, because English skill was not required, and I had read various operation manuals of various companies as a translator. In reality, as an operation manual writer, I could get almost no clients.
The third time I changed job, I stated to work as an advertising article writer who interviewed with and took photos of customer of the client company. I thought I was never fitted for the work, because I had no skill to induce people to buy something nor skill to take photos. In reality, as an advertising interview-article writer, my income has increased little by little, and orders have kept coming continuously.
From my experience, I do not think it is so important what kind of work you think you're best fitted for.
But anyway you shouldn't believe my advise about job choice.

2012年11月26日月曜日

英文エッセイ「About painful experience」

【テーマ】
Have you had some painful or itchy experiences?
Tell us the most impressive one.

【佐々木の回答】
I was hospitalized at the age of seventeen for a disease in which the lung collapses because of a buildup of air in the chest space ("spontaneous pneumothorax"). To discharge the air in the chest space, the doctor decided to insert a tube into my chest space. The operation to insert a tube into the chest space was slightly terrible one. The doctor stuck a big needle into my chest while I lay on my back, being fully aware of what was going on. To endure the pain and fear, I turned off the switch of consciousness. I kept my face expressionless even at the moment the needle went through the anterior chest wall. I heard that the nurse assisting the operation was moved to tears by my patience.

2012年11月25日日曜日

ラーメン選びと自転車すれ違い時の進行路選び

経済学セミナーで参考書として指定された『ひたすら読むエコノミクス』(伊藤秀史著)を、電車の中でぽつぽつ読んでいる。

まだ読み始めたばかりだが、かなりの良書。

経済学でなぜゲーム理論が登場するのかが、佐々木はこの本を読んで、ようやく納得できた。

われながら遅すぎ。

ゲーム理論については学生の頃からちらほら目にしてはいたが、当時は、よくある知的オモシロ話の一つにしか見えなかった。

政治経済のかなり深刻な問題をゲーム理論で分析した論考を目にしても、唐突感をぬぐえずにいた。

本書の著者による、ラーメン屋でラーメンを選ぶ場合と、歩道を自転車で走っていて向こうからも自転車が来た時に右左のどちらによけるかを選ぶ場合との、本質的な違いの説明を読んで、ようやくゲーム理論の意義がわかった次第。

まさに今さら。

ほんと恥ずかしい。

2012年11月24日土曜日

原因

この歳になるまで気づかなかったことの一つに何か好ましくない事が起きた時にその原因を考える習慣を持つ人とそのような習慣を持たない人の比率は後者の比率の方が圧倒的に大きいということがある。自分自身が原因を考えるということをあまりにもあたりまえにやっていたということもあるし考えるというのは頭の中で行われることで外からは見えないこともあってずっと気づかずにいた。原因を考えることはその好ましくないことの発生を自分の工夫で減らしたりなくそうとしたりする姿勢と不可分である。何か好ましくないことが起きても多くの人はその好ましくないことの再発を減らしたりなくしたりできるような立場にはないわけだから原因を考える習慣を持たない人が多いのも考えてみれば当然のことであった。好ましくないことが起きた時に原因を考える習慣のない人が代わりにやることは悪い奴を特定することである。その人が原因を特定しようとしているのか悪い奴を特定しようとしているのかを見ればその人が社会の中で占めている地位もしくは占めようとしている地位がわかるとも言えるかもしれない。

2012年11月23日金曜日

英文エッセイ「About advertisement and a country (?)」

【テーマ】
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
"Advertising can tell you a lot about a country."

【佐々木の回答】
I can not agree nor disagree with the statement that makes no sense. If the statement says that governments often try to unify people's minds by means of publicity, I guess it is true. I remembered a picture of oiled birds which was spread all over the world at the time of 1991 Gulf War, although the source of that picture may not be the government of U.S.A. If the statement says that we can learn much about a country by observing advertisement conducted there, I think it also is true.

2012年11月22日木曜日

英文エッセイ「"Change before you have to."」

【テーマ】
Jack Welch said, "Change before you have to."
What do you feel about that idea?

【佐々木の回答】
It is so encouraging a remark, especially for one who is trying to change something. I am encouraged too. It was because I thought job options would severely limited without English skills in the near future even in Japan that I restarted to learn English in spite of my Japanese-only language environment. It also is a consoling remark, especially for one who has already changed something and starts to doubt whether his decision was right, with no remarkable outcome in his sight. I am consoled too. I threw away a job with salary more than twice of the average of same age twelve years ago, and now my income is less than half of the average of same age. I want to believe I made the decision that I would have to make sooner or later.

2012年11月21日水曜日

英文エッセイ「About curiosity」

【テーマ】
Walt Disney said "when you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do."
What do you think about that opinion?

【佐々木の回答】
I don't agree with him. Curious people, especially people who are curious about other people, rarely have the will to find interesting things for themselves to do. When people are curious about other people, they usually just expect to find the proof that other people are as petty as -- even pettier than -- them, or that people who are exceptionally great are different from them by nature. In short, they just want excuse not to take action to improve themselves and their circumstances by themselves. After this statement, Walt Disney continued, "And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage." He was half right, half wrong. Courage is needed even to have the will to find interesting things for ourselves to do.

2012年11月20日火曜日

英文エッセイ「If I am won to 30-days trip around in the world」

【テーマ】
Imagine you're won to 30-days trip around in the world. Make a plan. Where, with who, how long stay each places, What to do etc.

【佐々木の回答】
I like railway traveling. If I am won to 30-days trip around in the world, I travel around the globe taking various long-distance trains of all over the world. Train travel is one of the best way to get aquatinted with fellow passengers. Although mutual understanding with people of different culture is often difficult, it might easier to understand each other and become friends among the same train travel lovers. So I prefer to travel abroad by train alone.

2012年11月19日月曜日

英文エッセイ「My most favorite book」

【テーマ】
What is your most favorite book? Tell us the title. Why?

【佐々木の回答】
My most favorite book is Ayn Rand(1905-1982)'s long novel "Atlas Shrugged (Kata Wo Sukumeru Atorasu『肩をすくめるアトラス』)." This novel has various aspects, including of a science fiction, a mystery fiction, a romance novel, and a philosophical novel. There are truths that can be expressed by no forms other than story. It could be described by the form of essay how the society as a whole is composed, or how you as individual will live or behave. But it can only be described by the form of story how you can live or behave in the greatest way, from both points of view of the society as a whole and you as individual. "Atlas Shrugged" makes it clear not only how the society as a whole is composed, but also how you can live or behave in the greatest way, from both points of view of the society as a whole and you as individual. This novel always gives me the motive to live or behave in as great a way as possible. The heroin of the novel, Dagny Taggart, the Operating Vice President of a giant railroad company, embodies my image of ideal woman.

2012年11月18日日曜日

クリーム・ミルク

ゆる体操が現在のような形になる前、「基礎ゆる」と現在呼ばれている形しか発表されておらず名称も「ゆる」だった頃、まず「ほゆる」と呼ばれる骨のゆるから始めることや、一つ一つの骨についてまずクリーム・ミルクのようにゆるめて、クリーム・ミルクのようにゆるんだら次にそれらの骨をバラバラにしていく、という順序を守ることに重要性があるというような指導がされていて、そのとおりに取り組もうとしていっこうに骨をクリーム・ミルクのように意識することができず、これではいつまでたっても骨をバラバラにする取り組みに移れないといきなり壁にぶちあたったような気持ちになっていたものだが、現在のようなゆる体操が発表されてからは、そのような指導がされることもなくなり、骨がクリーム・ミルクのように意識できるまでゆるめることを自分の中ですべての大前提のようにまつりあげることもなくなっていた。最近そのことをふと思い出して、骨をクリーム・ミルクのように意識できるように取り組んでみたところ、案外それっぽく、自分の運動に影響がでる程度にまで、骨をクリーム・ミルクのように意識できるようになっていて、軽い感動があった。ここまで長くかかったという感慨を覚えつつ、初期の「ゆる」はなんと高度なメソッドだったのかとも思った。

2012年11月17日土曜日

全身まるごと

身体意識のトレーニングで下半身のセンターが少し通って腰や前腿の力が抜けてきた感覚を手がかりに特に原稿書きの仕事がつっかえつっかえなかなかはかどらない自分の身心のありかたの反省してみるにセンターが通っていない身心というのは全身まるごとリソースとして問題の解決に投入できない身心なのだなという実感があった。問題の解決にいつも全身の内のかなりの部分が参加かできずにいるというかへっぴり腰というかそういう身心のあり方がセンターが通っていない身心なのだなと。そのあたり心がけて改善と応用に取り組むことでもっと仕事がはかどるようになる気がしている。

2012年11月16日金曜日

英文エッセイ「About marriage」

【テーマ】
In your childhood what did you think about marriage?

【佐々木の回答】
I noticed from early childhood that men lost their peace of mind by getting married and their honor by being unmarried. As I grew up, both the fear of losing peace of mind by getting married and that of losing honor by being unmarried became stronger in my mind. It may be because the later fear has been overcome more thoroughly than the former fear that I am still unmarried at 41 yeras old.

2012年11月15日木曜日

英文エッセイ「What have changed from then」

【テーマ】
Do you remember your first love?
At that time what you felt every day?
And now what have changed a bit since from your first love?

【佐々木の回答】
When I got to like a girl as the opposite sex for the first time at five years old, every night I dreamed of various fantastic situations in which I was the hero who rescued and was respected by the girl who attended the same kindergarten. What have changed since then is that I have learned from reality that I don't deserve any respect. I no longer want to be respected by women. I guess that to be respected by someone is to deceive her into believing I have something that I do not actually. Fraud is bad and does not pay.

2012年11月14日水曜日

英文エッセイ「About the movie I was moved by」

【テーマ】
What is a most touching movie in your life ? What situations moved you ?

【佐々木の回答】
4 years ago, I saw a Japanese movie titled "Devotion of The Suspect X (Yougisha X no Kenshin)," whichi is directed by Hiroshi Nishinani, and the original author of which was Keigo Higashino. The movie was a detective story, in which a high school male mathematics teacher, extremely unsociable but genius for mathematics, committed murder to protect a woman whom he loved one-sidedly. In this movie, there was a scene in which the mathematics teacher, arrested and held in police cell, looked up the spotted ceiling of the solitary cell, and connected the spots in his brain, thinking of mathematical problem. Strangely, I was moved by this scene. The loneliness of a man whose mind was absorbed in abstract ideas was depicted by picturing how strongly he intercourses with mathematical problems other people can hardly understand, far more vividly than by picturing how little he intercourses with other people. Maybe I also am a man of his kind. I guess that was why I moved by the trifle scene.

2012年11月13日火曜日

英文エッセイ「If I could go to and stay any place for 4 weeks vacation」

【テーマ】
If you could go to and stay any place for 4 weeks vacation, Where would you go? And why?

【佐々木の回答】
I like railway traveling. I have yearning for a travel by long distance train. I like to see mountains scenery. And the main setting of my most favorite novel is an American giant railroad company in the early 20th century. So if I could go to and stay any place for 4 weeks vacation, I would like to go to USA and enjoy traveling by transcontinental railroad.

2012年11月12日月曜日

英文エッセイ「About beautiful customs of Japanese people」

【テーマ】
Describe a custom from Japan that you would like people from other countries to adapt.

【佐々木の回答】
I don't think I am entitled to expect people of other countries to adopt customs of my country. But I guess some of Japanese customs can be regarded beautiful in foreign cultures. In Japan, your wallet lost in public places like streets or railroad stations is often delivered to a police station or the office of the institution by someone who found it. Many Japanese people make it a habit to restore what they found in public space to the owner of it. This custome is, I think, beautiful enough to be respecte by foreign people.

2012年11月11日日曜日

稽古リーダーを務める

昨日、今日と武術仲間で集まり稽古。いつも稽古のリーダーを務めてくれるメンバーが今日は休みで佐々木がリーダーを務めることに。自分より能力・集中力の高いメンバーに引っ張ってもらうことで自分の能力が限界を超えて伸ばされるような稽古はできなかったものの、自分の集中力に応じて適宜休憩的なメニューを入れつつ自分の能力に応じた稽古に取り組むことで、いつもとは違った深みのある稽古ができたのではないかと思った。あと改めてリーダーはフォロワーに育てられるなとも。

2012年11月10日土曜日

なぜ画像

広告記事を書くために取材先にお願いしてあったデータが添付ファイルで届いたので開いてみたらなぜか表をJPEG画像にしたファイルだった。元のスプレッドシート形式で送ってほしい旨のメールをお客さん宛に丁寧に書く手間と画像を見ながら自分で数字を手打ちする手間を比較して前者の方がめんどくさそうだったので後者を選んだ。自分が客側の立場になる時はこういう理不尽な思いをできるだけさせないようにしたいと思った。

2012年11月9日金曜日

聞けない問い

聞かれた側が不愉快になるような質問はできるだけ避けたいと思っているのでこんな質問を自分からすることはまずないだろうが「自動車の制限速度をすべての道路で20km/h以下に変更すると日本における交通事故死者が年間数千人10年で数万人100年で数十万人1000年で数百万人減少すると見込まれていますがそのような変更にあなたは賛成ですか?それとも反対ですか?その理由は?」と聞いてみたい気持ちにさせられる主張を展開している政治家や文化人や社会活動家は驚くほど多い。

2012年11月8日木曜日

英文エッセイ「About the salary of teachers」

【課題】
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
"Teachers should be paid according to how much their students learn."

【佐々木の回答】
I agree. From payers' point of view, how much you should pay should reflect how much you could get. As of the salary of teachers of municipal schools, the payer is the whole community. By public education, the community expects for the students to learn. So it is natural the teachers be paid according to how much their students learn. But the definition of the words and phrases must be precise. If "teachers" means individual teachers, I don't agree with the statement. Because education is achieved not by individual teachers but the team of teachers. If "how much their students learn" means scores of some paper tests, I don't agree with the statement. Because by the education, the community expects for the students not to get excellent scores in some tests, but to get mature enough to sustain the community.

2012年11月7日水曜日

英文エッセイ「About that election of that country」

【課題】
Bararack Obama won.
He made a big movement "change" last President Election, but anything not change.
So this time he had many hardships.
Next 4 years what will happen between U.S.A., Chaina, Russia, S.Koria and Japan etc.?
What do you hope to new Obama's politics? Why?

【佐々木の回答】
Does the questioner think the policy of Obama Administration will change or not? The sentence 2 says "anything not change," so he doesn't think it does. The sentence 5 says "new Obama's politics," so he thinks it does. Probably there was "change" of the questioners between sentence 2 and 5. I have little idea of the policy of Obama Administration, whether in past nor future. Hoping something to the politics of foreign countries seems to me like hoping someting to the rute of a typhoon or the timing of earthquakes.

2012年11月6日火曜日

英文エッセイ「About "The end of year special lottery tickets"」

【テーマ】
"The end of year special lottery tickets (Nenmatsu Jumbo Takarakuji)" season is coming.
What do you think of buying that trickery tickets?
Many people give not small money to Mizuho Bank etc. and 99.99999999% will be losers.
Of course all gamblings are illegal in Japan.
There is a big difference between the laws and the actualities.
Declare your personal opinion.

【佐々木の提出稿】
Public lottery is a great system.
There are two kinds of people in the world. One is those who want to be given much more than they give. The other is those who want to give much more than they are given, or at least want to give as much as they are given.
Lottery buyers are the former. Because they want to get millions of dollars in exchange for a few dollars.
Lottery sellers are also the former. Because they get dozens of billions of dollars in exchange just for a "dream" that has the probability of coming true as little as 0.00000001%.
Public lottery system provides those want-to-be-given-much-more-than-givers with a harmless activity in which they can appropriately waste their energy.
In addition, a portion of its sales is used for the public welfare.
Fortunately, I have never wanted to buy lottery tickets nor be involved in selling them.

2012年11月5日月曜日

英文エッセイ「About "Animal Testing"」

経済学セミナーの後講師の先生と佐々木を含む参加者3名で焼き肉屋に行きビールを飲んでまだアルコールが抜けないが英語塾の課題は寝る前にやる。

【英文エッセイテーマ】
Are you in favor or against of "Animal Testing"? Why?

【佐々木の提出稿】
I'm in favor of "Animal Testing." Because it reduces the risk of side effects to human being. Of course the victim animals of "Animal Testing" should be as few as possible. But at least "Animal Testing" should not be restricted by law. The protection of the rights(?) of animals is not government's job.

2012年11月4日日曜日

英文エッセイ「My most favorite hobby」

今日から来年2月末まで、メーリングリストを使った“****英語塾”に参加することになった。
これから約4カ月毎日、ディクテーション、英日翻訳、英文エッセイの3つの課題を提出しなければならない。
英語塾の課題を提出したら、もうこの日記を書く余力が残りそうにないので、当分、課題で提出した英文エッセイをそのまま転載して日記の代わりにしようかと思う。
こちらが本日第1回目のテーマと佐々木の提出稿。
書きたいことの十分の一も書けない感じだがまぁしかたない。

【テーマ】
“What your most favorite hobby is ? Why?"

【佐々木の提出稿】
My most favorite hobby is Japanese traditional martial arts "Bu-Jutsu".
I like this hobby mainly for three reasons.
1. KEEPS ME AWAY FROM VIOLENCE
Honestly, martial arts didn't make me so strong like professional fighters.
But in my experience, to defense yourself from violent people, you don't always have to be strong enough to beat them completely.
Violent people attack those who seem not to counterattack.
Martial arts gave me courage to counterattack against attack.
Since I started to learn martial arts, I have never been involved in trouble with violent people.
2. MAKES MY BODY AND SOUL COMFORTABLE
Martial arts require your body and soul to work efficiently to their limit.
The more efficiently your body and soul works, the more comfortable you feel your body and soul are.
3. GIVES ME DEEP INSIGHT INTO THE RELATION AMONG VARIOUS PARTS OF BODY INCLUDING MIND
Martial arts require you to watch carefully the state and movement of all your body parts, including your brain.
Through the practice of martial arts, you get deep insight into the relations among your body parts, and between your body and mind.
This insight make your movement and behavior more rational.
This insight also gives you a clue to understand the relations among people in the society.
[END]

2012年11月3日土曜日

価格メカニズム

全体最適を大まかな像として脳に描くことができているからといって、全体最適が実現される具体的なあり方や構造まで脳に描けているとは限らない。特に全体最適がいかなる“部分犠牲”と引き換えに実現されるのかとか、それでも全体最適の実現が追求されざるをえない理由とかまで含めて脳に描くのは、ほとんどの未成年者にはまず無理なのではないか。ミクロ経済学の教科書で
《アダム・スミスが示唆したように,市場経済が「見えざる手」によって導かれているとするならば,その有名な「見えざる手」が経済というオーケストラを指揮するのに用いる指揮棒が価格システムなのである》
という表現がされる時の「指揮」の比喩が、理解はされ得ても多くの人々に納得され得ずにいるのは、オーケストラの規模では指揮者という実体的な存在が担わなければならない機能が、国民経済とか世界経済とかいう規模では、逆に特定の個人とか組織のような実体的な存在が担おうとするとうまくいかず、価格メカニズムなどという非実体的な存在に担わせるとうまくいってしまうという、規模による逆転が容易に理解され難いだけでなく、そもそも全体最適の概念自体が理解され難いこともあるような気がする。

2012年11月2日金曜日

全体最適

子供のころオーケストラに指揮者が必要な理由がいまひとつわからなかった時期があったがあれはオーケストラにおける指揮者の役割を事実として知らなかったということ以外に全体最適という概念を実感として思い描けるだけの実力がまだ自分の脳になかったり全体最適という概念を実感として思い描く上での素材になり得るだけの社会経験がまだなかったりしたこともあったのではないかという気がする。オーケストラそのものに詳しくなる機会を持つことはほとんどなかったがそれでも自分の脳が成長しまた社会人としての経験を積むに従って全体最適の概念を実感として思い描けるようになればなるほどオーケストラにおける指揮者の役割も実感をもって納得できるようになってきた。こうした自分の体験から推測されることは全体最適の理解度は人によって大幅に異なるということである。これはかなり大事なことだと思う。

2012年11月1日木曜日

世代センス

毎月購読しているマーケティング関係のニュースレターの先月号に
《世代や時代間の価値観というのは、我々が思っているよりも、かなり大きい[‥‥]。世代が変わると「センス」が変わってしまうので、商品企画、広告、サービスのツボなどが全く別物になってしまう》
とのくだりがあるのを目にして自分が書く広告文も自分より10歳以上下の世代や上の世代の人々から自分が想像している以上の違和感をもって読まれているのかもしれないなと思った。その違和感を無理に打ち消そうとすれば違和感は余計に増大してしまうのだろうなとも。違和感なく自分の文章を受け入れてもらえる層の範囲を見定めてより受け入れられてもらえる表現を磨きつつ違和感を与えることを避けられない層に与える違和感をなんとか極小化する方向で努力していくしかないだろう。
 
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