Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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NoGuitars
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by NoGuitars »

Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 9:51 am Never by supermarket own-brand corn flakes for your kids. It always ends in tears and recrimination.
There's a hack: I took the "awful tasting Cornflakes" (never to be bought again!) put them in a Brand box, and magically these awful flakes became good.

True story, only a few weeks ago.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by luchog »

KSS wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 8:50 amSeriously, don't take my word for it! Do your own side-by-side test from your local store. You don't even have to be a foodie to see the quite obvious differences. But it has to be a fair test. One can* of each might not -but often does- show the differences.
I don't need to spend my time and money doing what others have already done far more extensively and definitively than I ever could. There are even industry white papers out there describing the practice.

And the point you missed that Blairio was making is that you do have to be a foodie to detect and appreciate the difference. They asserted that a highly skilled expert would be able to tell the difference between various items that the average practitioner could not, and could therefore use them at a higher level than a less skilled practitioner. That, as previously noted, has been demonstrated false in study after study. Or that, in much less common instances, the functional difference indicated by a higher price does exist, and is similarly useful to experts. But in those cases, that function's existence is effectively meaningless in the typical use of the product, due to the context of said use (eg, supercars which never see a racetrack, or 4x4 trucks which never leave the pavement).

As for your example of guitars; that's both a good and bad example. There are certainly numerous changes to the components which can dramatically alter the functionality, and therefore the cost. But there are many which have only minor effects, or in many cases no effect at all, on functionality; but still raise the price due to the buyer's subjective perception of a difference.
Luchog wrote: It's not the sound quality that determines the cost of the antiques, it's the provenance, rarity, and most importantly, the mythology that has grown up around them.
Yes. This again is part of the very real higher cost of *branded* things. Provenance -AKA a brand's value to the buyer/owner- and 'mythology' cost money to maintain.
The point that you again seem to have missed, is that there is no functional difference; which is what Blairio was asserting and I was refuting. In fact, you're effectively just restating my point, it's the mythology (which is all a "brand" is), not the actual quality, which is the cause for the elevated price. A $20,000 modern master-crafted violin is indistinguishable -- by the self-same experts Blairio invoked -- from a $20,000,000 Stradavarius. The three-orders-of-magnitude higher price for the latter does not indicate functional superiority over the former, merely the existence of a popular mythology around the latter, or other non-functional subjective factors.

Blairio insisted that the higher prices inherently indicate superior quality or superior functioning products; which experts would detect and make use of when less-expert users couldn't. That's very often patently false, as has been repeatedly demonstrated by study after study; and higher prices more often indicate psychological manipulation and/or popular mythology than any actual functional differences -- subjective factors rather than actual differences in quality and functionality -- or the addition of secondary features not essential to the functionality of a product ("bells and whistles'); or, considerably less common, actual functional improvements which will never see use in practical, day-to-day operation.

Branding has little or nothing to do with functioning and quality; only with perception, which can be, and often is, substantially divorced from reality.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by SynthBaron »

Who wants the anxiety of carrying around and playing a real Strad? They are collectors items, like most high-end vintage synths.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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Headlands wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 8:31 pm
devinw1 wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:08 pm Yeah, I mean...who the f**k cares about social media though? If a person wants to stack $10k in synth gear in his living room and make music that almost nobody will hear, who cares? If they enjoy it and it increases their quality of life, that's what matters. IMO.
Yep. It's hard to not get caught up in this aspect of social media and the world, for me at least (and I would guess for many others). In the end it's about the process itself for me. When I've posted videos on social media (as well as the work I've done as a composer that gets heard and seen by many), it's fine and good to get heard and maybe praised, but in the end it's just a fleeting hit of dopamine whereas the joy of actually creating it is where the long-lasting hits live for me. We all die one day anyway, so that part is more where it's at if you ask me.
Yep...short attention span theater! Kids love this TikTok I'm told... just refreshing a new feed of 15 second videos all. day. long. I feel old...I don't mind concentrating and focusing on one thing for multiple hours, days, or even weeks. :despair:
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by thevegasnerve »

so fun…
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Blairio »

luchog wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 10:41 am
KSS wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 8:50 amSeriously, don't take my word for it! Do your own side-by-side test from your local store. You don't even have to be a foodie to see the quite obvious differences. But it has to be a fair test. One can* of each might not -but often does- show the differences.
I don't need to spend my time and money doing what others have already done far more extensively and definitively than I ever could. There are even industry white papers out there describing the practice.

And the point you missed that Blairio was making is that you do have to be a foodie to detect and appreciate the difference. They asserted that a highly skilled expert would be able to tell the difference between various items that the average practitioner could not, and could therefore use them at a higher level than a less skilled practitioner. That, as previously noted, has been demonstrated false in study after study. Or that, in much less common instances, the functional difference indicated by a higher price does exist, and is similarly useful to experts. But in those cases, that function's existence is effectively meaningless in the typical use of the product, due to the context of said use (eg, supercars which never see a racetrack, or 4x4 trucks which never leave the pavement).
Sorry, we are going off track here. I never said anything about food, except that supermarket own brand cornflakes are a poor alternative to their branded cousins. But it is really not about what you can discern as a consumer that matters, it is how as an artist one thing helps you deliver a superior performance over another.

Of course expense doesn't necessarily equate with excellence. You have to choose your Use Cases. A Rolls Royce is no better dynamically than a high end Audi saloon. In fact the Audi wins. However A Porsche Cayman is dynamically (braking, suspension, steering, traction) superior to a Mazda MX5. If you set the bar at "they both take you to the shops and back", then that's a Straw Man argument, and you will draw the wrong conclusion.

In my professional life I have owned / used most of the big beasts of the keyboard world. That came at a price, but the benefit was clear. A korg Polysix is a fine synth, but its not a PPG 2.3, or a DX1, or a Matrix 12. The (non-trivial) cost of these things was recouped because of the value they added to the projects.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by jackshmit »

I’ve gone off the deep end, have way too much, still get excited about more, and love every part of playing with this stuff. It’s the only facet of my life where I get to make all of the decisions, and there’s zero pressure involved. Whether I’m jamming on a funky groove, or just exploring the layers of functionality I still have to, strike that.. GET to learn, it’s the one thing I have going that can melt anxiety away for a few hours at a time. All this to say, I don’t give half a fuck if someone wants to hate on me for not using my shit the way they would, or I have too much for their comfort level, or whatever other judgement they want to make about what I’m doing with my free time and money.. it’s none of my business what the haters hate. Maybe I’m simply missing the point, ‘cuz too much synths & weed & age, but this thread seems kinda like one of those Karens Gone Apeshit vids, where Karen after Karen get all up in other folks’ business for no good reason.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Blairio »

NoGuitars wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 10:06 am
Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 9:51 am Never by supermarket own-brand corn flakes for your kids. It always ends in tears and recrimination.
There's a hack: I took the "awful tasting Cornflakes" (never to be bought again!) put them in a Brand box, and magically these awful flakes became good.

True story, only a few weeks ago.
I have tried a number of my local supermarket's own brand breakfast cereals. The coco pops were a memorable low point. However, my supermarket's bakery section is stellar - they produce some great bread, including my favourite Sourdough with Carroway seeds loaf. Likewise their veg section is pretty admirable. But my goodness me, their breakfast cereals are a sore trial.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Carl A »

Here's a suggestion.

I found myself with way too much gear, gathering dust about 15 years ago. Although I was able to spend at least 20 hours a week in the studio, there were just pieces that would not get used for months. So I decided that I would offer my studio to those without the ability to buy the gear, through teaching connections, gear shops, friends etc. I created some set rules for when people would be using the gear (namely that I was present lol) but generally let folks do what they wanted (under my watchful/guiding eye). Suddenly, all of the gear was being used regularly, even the most obscure pieces and I get to work with a lot of new talent and completely open minds.

I understand this is only going to be practical if you have separate access and can provide seating for parents, but as a solution it's been one of my most rewarding. I've seen things happen in my studio that I would never of tried.

P.S. They ALWAYS go for the Jupiter-8 first
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Blairio »

Carl A wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 4:32 pm Here's a suggestion.

I found myself with way too much gear, gathering dust about 15 years ago. Although I was able to spend at least 20 hours a week in the studio, there were just pieces that would not get used for months. So I decided that I would offer my studio to those without the ability to buy the gear, through teaching connections, gear shops, friends etc. I created some set rules for when people would be using the gear (namely that I was present lol) but generally let folks do what they wanted (under my watchful/guiding eye). Suddenly, all of the gear was being used regularly, even the most obscure pieces and I get to work with a lot of new talent and completely open minds.

I understand this is only going to be practical if you have separate access and can provide seating for parents, but as a solution it's been one of my most rewarding. I've seen things happen in my studio that I would never of tried.

P.S. They ALWAYS go for the Jupiter-8 first
This is a great ethos. I wonder, what was it about the JP8 that drew folk to it first? Did anyone say?
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 4:42 pm
This is a great ethos. I wonder, what was it about the JP8 that drew folk to it first? Did anyone say?
I usually ask LOL, I can only conclude that it depends on the age.

I suspect the young go for it because of all of the colours, the youthful because it's so big, the old because they loved TOTP and the geeks, well because they now what it is 8-)
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:00 pmOf course expense doesn't necessarily equate with excellence. You have to choose your Use Cases. A Rolls Royce is no better dynamically than a high end Audi saloon. In fact the Audi wins. However A Porsche Cayman is dynamically (braking, suspension, steering, traction) superior to a Mazda MX5. If you set the bar at "they both take you to the shops and back", then that's a Straw Man argument, and you will draw the wrong conclusion.
No, it's not a straw man, it just proves you failed understand what my point was. It doesn't matter if the Audi, Porsche, MX5, or Rolls is superior in high-end performance in an extremely limited racing context. The overwhelming majority of the time, for the overwhelming majority of users, they will not be used in that context, they will only be used for tooling down to the shops and back.

Their high-end performance is completely irrelevant to the typical use for said vehicles; due to federal, state, and municipal traffic regulations, almost no one owning and operating said vehicles will ever experience it (legally). The context where said performance can be exhibited is limited to a very narrow range of circumstances, such as racetracks, that vanishingly few owners will ever encounter.

That's what makes the ownership of said vehicles overwhelming an example of status-conscious consumerism.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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luchog wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:09 pm
Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:00 pmOf course expense doesn't necessarily equate with excellence. You have to choose your Use Cases. A Rolls Royce is no better dynamically than a high end Audi saloon. In fact the Audi wins. However A Porsche Cayman is dynamically (braking, suspension, steering, traction) superior to a Mazda MX5. If you set the bar at "they both take you to the shops and back", then that's a Straw Man argument, and you will draw the wrong conclusion.
No, it's not a straw man, it just proves you failed understand what my point was. It doesn't matter if the Audi, Porsche, MX5, or Rolls is superior in high-end performance in an extremely limited racing context. The overwhelming majority of the time, for the overwhelming majority of users, they will not be used in that context, they will only be used for tooling down to the shops and back.

Their high-end performance is completely irrelevant to the typical use for said vehicles; due to federal, state, and municipal traffic regulations, almost no one owning and operating said vehicles will ever experience it (legally). The context where said performance can be exhibited is limited to a very narrow range of circumstances, such as racetracks, that vanishingly few owners will ever encounter.

That's what makes the ownership of said vehicles overwhelming an example of status-conscious consumerism.
Yup, you missed the use case. Again.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by luchog »

Carl A wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 4:32 pmI found myself with way too much gear, gathering dust about 15 years ago. Although I was able to spend at least 20 hours a week in the studio, there were just pieces that would not get used for months. So I decided that I would offer my studio to those without the ability to buy the gear, through teaching connections, gear shops, friends etc. I created some set rules for when people would be using the gear (namely that I was present lol) but generally let folks do what they wanted (under my watchful/guiding eye). Suddenly, all of the gear was being used regularly, even the most obscure pieces and I get to work with a lot of new talent and completely open minds.

I understand this is only going to be practical if you have separate access and can provide seating for parents, but as a solution it's been one of my most rewarding. I've seen things happen in my studio that I would never of tried.
Now that is a truly brilliant idea if you have the time and space for it. I would love to see more shared workshops and studio spaces like this. Community spaces where anyone who doesn't have access to these sorts of costly tools to share their gear and experience for the purpose of education and encouraging creative pursuits. I know that there are some public libraries that have facilities of this nature, and many more offer spaces where regular meet-ups and workshops could be held.

It's a great counter to the consumerist mindset that pervades the community. But be careful, too much of that sort of thing, and folks might start calling you a socialist. Or worse, an anarchist!
:-O :sstorm:
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by luchog »

Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:17 pm
luchog wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:09 pm
Blairio wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 3:00 pmOf course expense doesn't necessarily equate with excellence. You have to choose your Use Cases. A Rolls Royce is no better dynamically than a high end Audi saloon. In fact the Audi wins. However A Porsche Cayman is dynamically (braking, suspension, steering, traction) superior to a Mazda MX5. If you set the bar at "they both take you to the shops and back", then that's a Straw Man argument, and you will draw the wrong conclusion.
No, it's not a straw man, it just proves you failed understand what my point was. It doesn't matter if the Audi, Porsche, MX5, or Rolls is superior in high-end performance in an extremely limited racing context. The overwhelming majority of the time, for the overwhelming majority of users, they will not be used in that context, they will only be used for tooling down to the shops and back.

Their high-end performance is completely irrelevant to the typical use for said vehicles; due to federal, state, and municipal traffic regulations, almost no one owning and operating said vehicles will ever experience it (legally). The context where said performance can be exhibited is limited to a very narrow range of circumstances, such as racetracks, that vanishingly few owners will ever encounter.

That's what makes the ownership of said vehicles overwhelming an example of status-conscious consumerism.
Yup, you missed the use case. Again.
Then perhaps you're not particularly good at explaining said use case, and how it applies. Try to be more specific in your examples of such use cases, and what general proportion of owners encounter those use cases.
Last edited by luchog on Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Carl A »

luchog wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:18 pm
It's a great counter to the consumerist mindset that pervades the community. But be careful, too much of that sort of thing, and folks might start calling you a socialist. Or worse, an anarchist!
:-O :sstorm:
I must be in some sense. I don't actually believe that I own any of the gear in the studio, it's not going with me so I'm just a caretaker. Actually. come to think of it, I pity the poor sob that will have to disconnect and market this mess when I leave :lol:

Thank you. It actually helps me connect with the outside world as well, keeps me in touch with what the youth are doing so I am the grateful one.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by Multi Grooves »

luchog wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 8:16 pm
submute wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:55 pm Think it's unfair for you guys to be blasting Jeremy, I don't think his channel exists "to sell stuff" as someone claimed upstream. He always seems pretty nuanced, endlessly curious, and seems more eager to share ideas than to promote product. Sure, part of the YT thing always ends up being some of "this company sent me this" but I've gotten a lot out of his channel, and I think barely any of it has been hype or consumerism, and clearly here he's pushing against it. I think his shit's good, basically, but I can appreciate that everyone's mileage varies.
No I actually tend to agree with what he's saying here. Didn't know about his channel before but I think I'm going to have to check out more of it. One of the thing that has kind of driven me away from Eurorack is the consumerism and gear fetishism that pervades the community.

The "THIS IS A GAME CHANGER!!!!" posts about brand new modules that are barely a day old, kinda grind on me...
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by mnchrme »

It depends on the user. It's a good and efficient way how to get great circuits that would be otherwise not obtainable or too expensive, to begin with into your entire setup. Some people don't know what they are doing. That's fine. Those marketing clowns trying to sell you stuff (big names as well)... can't even be objective or with added value to the perceived "customer/consumer" and are much worse than someone who does "bad" music from your "point of view" and enjoys what he does truly and with a passion. You can successfully "market" and "sell" or "fuel" consumption of something only when you are not directly tied to that segment to make your livelihood. Sadly that's not the case with 99%. It's also why most artists never truly succeed in creating true craft. They are tied and have to rely on sales to "live" comfy. Great art requires sacrifices. Great art isn't even meant for the masses as a "consumer" narcissistic product that fuels one ego. Art and music is about something else.
Last edited by mnchrme on Mon Nov 07, 2022 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by leftbracket »

“The jack panel is the brain itself, so you got to patch up the brain and make the brain a living man, that the brain can take what you sending into it and live.”

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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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devinw1 wrote: Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:08 pm My only wish with music instruments in general is that people can hopefully keep them as heirlooms to pass down to future generations to enjoy and hopefully reduce some of the rampant throwaway culture that exists.
most of my module purchases have been on the used market for this general reason, including a few with known defects, and a bunch with defects that the seller "forgot" to communicate.

Many modules that use those plastic Cliff jacks, and also a few with Kobiconn jacks, eventually need jack replacements. They don't last forever. The failing Cliffs I can understand — a metal plug sliding in and out of a plastic socket is inevitably going to cause wear. Some of them have got extremely wobbly. Not sure what's going on with the Kobiconns.

Also I recently picked up a Make Noise Function that needs a pot replaced. I admit to being tempted to replace the other pots also ... with pots that aren't cheap wobbly garbage

It's not exactly a fun job but they'll eventually all get repaired, and when I expire I hope to pass it all on to its next destination in fully working order.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by DukeOfPrunes »

Multi Grooves wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 7:39 pm
luchog wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 8:16 pm
submute wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:55 pm Think it's unfair for you guys to be blasting Jeremy, I don't think his channel exists "to sell stuff" as someone claimed upstream. He always seems pretty nuanced, endlessly curious, and seems more eager to share ideas than to promote product. Sure, part of the YT thing always ends up being some of "this company sent me this" but I've gotten a lot out of his channel, and I think barely any of it has been hype or consumerism, and clearly here he's pushing against it. I think his shit's good, basically, but I can appreciate that everyone's mileage varies.
No I actually tend to agree with what he's saying here. Didn't know about his channel before but I think I'm going to have to check out more of it. One of the thing that has kind of driven me away from Eurorack is the consumerism and gear fetishism that pervades the community.

The "THIS IS A GAME CHANGER!!!!" posts about brand new modules that are barely a day old, kinda grind on me...
I've used the that expression just recently, but only after months of getting some Verbos stuff. Realizing that I was going to have a lot fun without ever needing a quantizer and just focusing on rhythmic sequences is a real game changer, as I'm not much of a melody-maker...
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

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thevegasnerve wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 12:16 pm so fun…
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by jsleeio »

DukeOfPrunes wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 9:21 pm The "THIS IS A GAME CHANGER!!!!" posts about brand new modules that are barely a day old, kinda grind on me...
agreed, but sometimes (rarely IMO) it really is true on an individual-human level

like when I got my first VC matrix mixer. Suddenly patching the way I like it got much less complicated, but without requiring any hyper-specific/one trick pony modules
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by DukeOfPrunes »

jsleeio wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 10:47 pm
DukeOfPrunes wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 9:21 pm The "THIS IS A GAME CHANGER!!!!" posts about brand new modules that are barely a day old, kinda grind on me...
agreed, but sometimes (rarely IMO) it really is true on an individual-human level

like when I got my first VC matrix mixer. Suddenly patching the way I like it got much less complicated, but without requiring any hyper-specific/one trick pony modules
I Don't disagree, but you quoted the wrong Dude...Multi Grooves wrote the above.
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Re: Is Eurorack just extreme consumerism?

Post by jsleeio »

ah crap sorry. can't be arsed fixing it now though and your comment makes it perfectly clear :-)
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