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The Right Don't Need No Education

  
Via:  Bob Nelson  •  last year  •  75 comments

By:   Paul Krugman

The Right Don't Need No Education



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Ron DeSantis, who is currently governor of Florida and wants to become president, has been trying to position himself as America's leading crusader against wokeness. And lately higher education has become his most visible target. He picked a very public fight with the College Board over its new advanced placement course in African American studies, and in the past few days has broadened that attack into a suggestion that Florida might stop offering A.P. classes in any field.

What's going on here? It's easy to get drawn into debating accusations about particular courses or institutions, but that's missing the fundamental context: the extraordinary rise in right-wing hostility to higher education in general.

Is every accusation about left-leaning professors trying to indoctrinate students false? Probably not: America is a big country, and it surely must be happening somewhere — although the specific charges made by right-wing critics are often ludicrous. In a meeting with the College Board, Florida officials asked whether the new A.P. course was "trying to advance Black Panther thinking." Guys, the Black Panthers closed up shop when Ron DeSantis was a little kid; say the words now and most people think you're talking about Wakanda.

It is true that college faculty members are much more likely to identify themselves as liberal and vote Democratic than the public at large. But this needn't be evidence of anti-conservative bias. Much of it surely reflects self-selection: What kind of person decides to pursue academics as a career? To make a comparison: The police skew Republican, but I presume that everyone accepts that this mainly involves who wants to be a police officer.

So what's really driving the attacks on higher education?

Not that long ago most Americans in both parties believed that colleges had a positive effect on the United States. Since the rise of Trumpism, however, Republicans have turned very negative. Recent polling shows an overwhelming majority of Republicans agreeing that both college professors and high schools are trying to "teach liberal propaganda."

But what actually happened here? Did America's colleges — which a large majority of Republicans considered to have a positive influence as recently as 2015 — suddenly become centers of left-wing indoctrination? Did the same thing happen to high schools, run by local boards, across the nation?

Of course not. What happened was that MAGA politicians began peddling scare stories about education — notably, denouncing high schools for teaching critical race theory, even though they don't. And right-wingers also greatly expanded their definition of what counts as "liberal propaganda."

Thus, when one points out that schools don't actually teach critical race theory, the response tends to be that while they may not use the term, they do teach students that racism was long a major force in America, and its effects linger to this day. I don't know how you teach our nation's history honestly without mentioning these facts — but in the eyes of a substantial number of voters, teaching uncomfortable facts is indeed a form of liberal propaganda.

And once that's your mind-set, you see left-wing indoctrination happening everywhere, not just in history and the social sciences. If a biology class explains the theory of evolution, and why almost all scientists accept it — or, for that matter, the theory of how vaccines work — well, that's liberal propaganda. If a physics class explains how greenhouse gas emissions can change the climate — well, that's more liberal propaganda.

And so a large segment of the population — the segment DeSantis is courting — has become hostile to higher education as a whole.

As an aside, it's a familiar fact that U.S. politics is increasingly polarized along educational lines, with the highly educated supporting Democrats and the less-educated supporting Republicans. This polarization is often portrayed as a symptom of Democratic failure — why can't the party win over working-class white voters? But it's equally valid to ask how Republicans have managed to alienate educated voters who might benefit from tax cuts. And the party's growing hostility to education is surely part of the answer.

In any case, one sad thing is that this turn against education is taking place precisely at a time when highly educated workers are becoming ever more crucial to the economy. This is especially obvious when you look at regional data within the United States: The college-educated percentage of a city's population is a powerful predictor of both its current prosperity and its future growth.

That's not to say that U.S. higher education is perfect. In general, we surely fetishize the standard four-year degree, which isn't appropriate for everyone, and grossly neglect forms of education, such as apprenticeships, that might be more useful to many people. But that's a whole other story.

For now, the important thing to understand is that people like DeSantis are attacking education, not because it teaches liberal propaganda, but because it fails to sustain the ignorance they want to preserve.



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Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    last year

By posting to this seed, you are  agreeing  to abide by the  Group's Rules .

Please stay on topic. Your posts should show a clear relation to the seed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
2  seeder  Bob Nelson    last year

Attacking education is a characteristic of... wait for it... fascism!

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    last year

You'll never get the right-wingers on this site to admit that the dumbing down of America is crucial to benefit the Republicans.  But then I formed my opinion about most American education back when I was a high school student spending some summer vacation time at Crystal Beach, Ontario, (which is located on the north shore of Lake Erie just west of the Niagara River and Buffalo, N.Y.) where we Canadian students mixed with the ones from Buffalo.  I will never forget some American kid bitching about the fact that all he got on his finals was 97% while most of his buddies got 100%.  We Canadians, who struggled to achieve an honours mark of 75% or better, were astounded by them.   We used to think that the University of Miami gave a Bachelor's degree to  students who majored in basket weaving. 

But, my fellow NTers, don't be insulted.  I know that universities like Princeton and Stanford  and MIT and for Medicine Johns Hopkins have very high standards.  Also, I have to admit that my son got his Master's degree in the USA and my daughter got both of her Master's degrees in the USA.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year

we will never admit to anything so blatantly false.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
2.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year

Never got married or had kids. If I had, I would have hoped they were like yours.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.3  JBB  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year

The more the hateful pig ignorant far right exposes their ugly underbellies, the better!

They lose more voters with every keystroke.

The DNC should pay them to post online...

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.1.4  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year
the dumbing down of America is crucial to benefit the Republicans

The Republicans understand that is how they dupe so many into believing their fraudulent propaganda.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Sean Treacy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year

Democrats have controlled education policy  for generations.  If America is being "dumbed down", its their fault.  

They don't teach kids to read or write. They teach them to obsess over race,.

Bad education isn't a bug in democratic jurisdictions, it is the feature.  Schools are gold mines to reward Democratic supporters with fat contracts and cushy jobs in the administration. The shitty education that results then creates another generation of voters who can't survive without handouts, which Democrats  deliver in exchange for votes. 

The cycle never ends. The sad part is some democrats are too stupid to even realize what's going on. 

 Areas that spend massive amounts per pupil deliver barely literate students  who then provide the democratic party with its largest margins of votes.   Rinse Repeat. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.5    last year

I would like someone who keeps spouting fascist nonsense to explain Baltimore and its shitty schools since it is a Democratic stronghold.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.6    last year

got quiet in a hurry!

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
2.1.8  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.7    last year

I don't pretend to know anything about Baltimore schools. So I don't Comment.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @2.1.8    last year

you haven't let that stop you before

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
2.1.10  Greg Jones  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.5    last year
"They teach them to obsess over race,".

Or gender

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.11  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    last year
"...we will never admit to anything so blatantly false."

It's a matter of opinion if what I said was false - I did not lie about anything I said, and in fact your comment was proof of what I said. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.12  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  cjcold @2.1.2    last year

I thank you for that compliment cjcold.  It was important to us that our 2 kids get the best education they could.  Although their education up until they got their Bachelor of Arts degrees was in Ontario, the courses for the careers they wanted to follow were in the USA, and now they are both enjoying exceptionally successful careers. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.13  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.11    last year
It's a matter of opinion if what I said was false -

Without verification you are merely speculating.

I did not lie about anything I said, and in fact your comment was proof of what I said. 

No one accused of lying but it seems odd you think so.

My comment was to point out the sheer stupidity in the comment I was responding to.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.14  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.13    last year
"Without verification you are merely speculating."

I don't speculate about what I know from my own personal experience like a lot of the members here, but otherwise why should I be different than anyone else on this site?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.15  Trout Giggles  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year

Damn! Sounds like that student was an entitled ass! I was happy just to get a passing grade in college

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.16  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gsquared @2.1.4    last year

Working class people have swallowed for the social propaganda the right has been spoon feeding them for years. While they are busy swallowing bullshit they don't see the tricky hand behind their back taking away their unions, their pay, and better working conditions.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
2.1.17  Nerm_L  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    last year
But, my fellow NTers, don't be insulted.  I know that universities like Princeton and Stanford  and MIT and for Medicine Johns Hopkins have very high standards.  Also, I have to admit that my son got his Master's degree in the USA and my daughter got both of her Master's degrees in the USA.

Aren't you attempting to claim that an education in medicine, engineering, business and law is the same as an education in African American studies.  African Americans are a very specific subset of both Africans and Black people.  

Based upon the African American studies model, you could not teach Chinese American studies because you are completely ignorant of Chinese living in the United States.  The history and culture of China has nothing to do with the Chinese American experience.  By the same token, the history and culture of Africa has nothing to do with Africans living in the United States.

African American studies are based upon the same model as Critical Race Theory.  CRT is premised upon the theory that African Americans are racially disadvantaged in the law and judicial system.  While the original CRT did only pertain to the law, at its core CRT is a theory of social and institutional racial disadvantage.  And that theory of social and institutional racial disadvantage has been expanded to encompass more than just the law.

CRT has been transformed into a theory of racial disadvantage in all aspects of life.  That's the CRT that is being taught in primary and secondary education.  What people (particularly liberal academics) don't seem to understand is that CRT deliberately segregates the Black population by racial disadvantage.  Racial politics has institutionalized the idea of racial disadvantage and has imposed different measures and remedies that deliberately segregate the Black population by racial disadvantage.  African America has been separated from the whole of America by racial disadvantage.

What is so amazing is that the Black population seems to view their segregation by racial disadvantage as an overall advantage.  That's where 'woke' came from.  The purpose of being woke is to reinforce racial disadvantages (real and imagined) to obtain a benefit.  Now wokeness has expanded well beyond racial politics.  Anyone can utilize woke to claim disadvantage and obtain a benefit.  But the cost of the benefit is to become segregated by disadvantage.  Once disadvantaged, always disadvantaged.  And divisive politics can reinforce that disadvantage and establish institutional segregation based upon that disadvantage.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.18  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.14    last year

yeah I am sure you have loads of personal experiences with Republicans who are fascists.

yeah, right.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.19  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.15    last year

He was a high school student.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.20  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.17    last year

Did I even mention CRT or Chinese students?  Who are you addressing?

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.21  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.18    last year
"yeah I am sure you have loads of personal experiences with Republicans who are fascists."

Sure I do.  I've been an active member of NT from its beginning.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.22  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.21    last year

[]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    last year

what isn't to people who don't know any better?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
2.3  Gsquared  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    last year
Attacking education is a characteristic of... wait for it... fascism!

As the Republican Party becomes increasing authoritarian, they are stepping up their attacks on the educational system.  DeSantis is seeking to become the leading culture warrior for the reactionary extremists with his blatant attacks.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3  Drinker of the Wry    last year

Exactly, progressivism celebrates the advances that US education has made in comparison to other modern countries.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3    last year

Why do righties celebrate American failure?

original

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2  Texan1211  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @3    last year

yeah, since the formation if the Dept. of Education, our test scores continue to decline while we outspend almost every country.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
3.2.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2    last year

The country that usually shows up on top is Finland. A few years ago, Finland eliminated private schools, on the logic that the wealthy would have no option but to support public schools.

It worked.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.1    last year

please tell me you aren't blaming private schools for our low scoring public education.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
3.2.3  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.2    last year

I'm just telling the story of Finnish education. Any conclusions you draw are your own.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.3    last year

oh so just random facts spewed.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
3.2.5  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.4    last year

You brought up private schools. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.5    last year

you should read more carefully as it was not me.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
3.2.7  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.6    last year

Gosh...

our test scores continue to decline while we outspend almost every country.

You brought up other countries. I am s-o-o-o sorry... Finland is just so not pertinent.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.8  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.5    last year

is this an example of education gone wrong?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.9  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.7    last year

well there is a pretty damn big difference between private schools and a country and if you don't think it is pertinent why bring it up?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.10  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.7    last year

actually I didn't and reading the posts would have informed you of that fact.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
3.2.11  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @3.2.10    last year

   jrSmiley_81_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.2.12  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @3.2.11    last year

less clapping, more reading!

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
4  cjcold    last year

Earned a few advanced degrees back in the day before Fox decided that I was an elitist.

Screw all Fox lovers who proudly worship their stupidity and ignorance.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  cjcold @4    last year

[]

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
4.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  cjcold @4    last year

Advanced degrees? That's proof that you're an elitist.

    jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
4.2.1  cjcold  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.2    last year
That's proof that you're an elitist.    

OOps Bob. Pretty sure that you might just be an elitist as well.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
4.2.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  cjcold @4.2.1    last year

Yes. It's a compliment.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
4.2.3  cjcold  replied to  cjcold @4.2.1    last year

Bob, do you own a high level watch?

Do you own an expensive fast car?

A multi-million dollar house?

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
4.2.4  cjcold  replied to  cjcold @4.2.3    last year

I'll tell you about my favorite watch if you tell me about yours.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
4.2.5  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  cjcold @4.2.3    last year

No, no, and no. I used to wear a very nice titanium watch that my wife gave me, but I realized that I looked at my phone.

I like cars. When I was younger, I had a couple of zoomy cars, though never costly ones. Now, I value ingress/egress, silence, smooth ride... I'm older.

We have two modest homes, a condo in Yuma, Arizona and a detached in Calais, France. Long-distance snowbirds.

We're comfortable. Everyone should be comfortable.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.3  Sparty On  replied to  cjcold @4    last year

Some of the “dumbest” people I’ve ever met love to tell everyone how smart they are.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
5  Greg Jones    last year

I think the option of school choice is going to become more relevant in the near future as the liberally led American educational system has proven itself to be incompetent and totally out of touch with most mainstream parents and students.

 DeSantis is doing the right thing for Florida, that's why he so popular down there. I'm sure what he is doing will be spreading nationwide as more and more people will come to reject the broken promises and failures of leftist indoctrination of students, rather than teaching them to excel in subjects that really count

 

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
5.1  evilone  replied to  Greg Jones @5    last year
I think the option of school choice is going to become more relevant in the near future as the liberally led American educational system has proven itself to be incompetent and totally out of touch with most mainstream parents and students.

"School choice" is a red herring thrown to the less educated so populists can syphon off funding that would improve public education. There are 2 groups of people working to the same goal. The first are those getting rich by investing in private education. The other are the Christian Nationalist still pissed they can't convert public schools to Christian churches. For those who claim the government already spends too much money, why are they also supporting sending more tax money on a system with no accountability. If it has accountability then it's no longer private. For the uber-religious... I have no words to describe my utter loathing for religious authoritarians.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  evilone @5.1    last year

Which category are all the Wash DC Black families in as the try their luck in a charter school lottery?

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
5.1.2  evilone  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.1    last year
Which category are all the Wash DC Black families in as the try their luck in a charter school lottery?

Families, in DC or elsewhere, are not the topic of my post. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
5.1.3  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  evilone @5.1    last year

Rich people don't use public education. Their kids go to private schools. So they want as little money as possible spent on public schools.

(To ensure that the rich would support public education, Finland banned private schools. It worked. Finnish schools are often considered the best in the world.)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.3    last year
(To ensure that the rich would support public education, Finland banned private schools. It worked. Finnish schools are often considered the best in the world.)

Finland spends 8, 000 Euros per student ($8,560).

Here in Wash DC we spend ($22,856)

Do you really think that money is the issue?

BTW, Finland has private schools.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.5  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.4    last year

Your number are way off and wildly misleading. What US schools spend per student is in line with other countries, though it varies by state...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.4    last year

thanks for the facts and links.

we spend more than most countries and have shitty results but Democrats insist on throwing more money towards education.

got to keep those teachers unions donating to Democrats

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.7  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @5.1.5    last year
Your number are way off and wildly misleading.

Which numbers are way off.  Your cited chart doesn't have Wash DC costs.

BTW, when combined with local resources and regular federal aid, spending in NYC school year 2022-23 averages $32,757 per pupil.  Are they getting their money's worth?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
5.1.8  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.4    last year

You really should read your own links.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Guide
5.1.9  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.6    last year

Interesting that you don't apply that reasoning to health-care, where the US spend far more, for worse results.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.10  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.7    last year

Judging by the bright talented charming youths that I encounter every day in my building and my neighborhood in The Bronx, I can honestly say YES! Absolutely!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.11  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.7    last year

Tell us, including your pay, benefits, health care, retirement and the office space you seldom use because you are here 24/7, how much do you set American taxpayers back?

Then, ask me again if I believe the taxpayers are getting our moneys worth! SMH...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.9    last year

you don't have clue one about what I think of Healthcare, but I am not surprised any longer over your deflecting

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Junior Quiet
5.1.13  afrayedknot  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.12    last year

“…you don't have clue one about what I think…”

….even given the innumerable posts proffered up daily, you may be correct.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.14  Texan1211  replied to  afrayedknot @5.1.13    last year

[]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.15  Texan1211  replied to  afrayedknot @5.1.13    last year

yeah one would like to think others couldn read and comprehend but it isn't my job to educate or hand- hold people so positive in " knowledge" that is just flat out wrong.

maybe you can help him!

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.17  Texan1211  replied to  afrayedknot @5.1.13    last year

thanks for "editing" your post!

great job!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.18  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @5.1.11    last year

I’ll do my best:

- Federal pay $172,075

- Military Retirement $ 51,83m

- not sure what me health care is worth

- not sure what my Pentagon space costs 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.19  JBB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @5.1.18    last year

Then taxpayers are getting rawdogged!

Yet you begrudge kids their educations?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
5.1.20  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JBB @5.1.19    last year
Then taxpayers are getting rawdogged!

Rawdogged?

Yet you begrudge kids their educations?y

When did I do that?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
5.2  Sparty On  replied to  Greg Jones @5    last year

It already started with Charter schools.    

Teacher union kryptonite.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
6  Sparty On    last year

Never argued against education.    Will always argue against indoctrination.

Teachers and Profs tend to consider that free thinking with hatred and distain  .... which makes it even more spot on.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7  Texan1211    last year

if anyone has a problem understanding what I write they are always free to ask for an explanation if they need help.

do you need help?

 
 

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