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Summary The simulation hypothesis is the hypothesis that we live in a simulation. The simulation hypothesis is a metaphysical hypothesis, not an epistemic hypothesis, but some argue that careful consideration of the metaphysical hypothesis can teach valuable epistemic lessons.  The simulation hypothesis is related to the digital physics hypothesis, i.e., the hypothesis that physical reality (or anyway that portion of it with which we are in causal contact) is ultimately computational or `digital'. But the simulation hypothesis further states that there is some kind of higher reality, presumably including a creator, living outside of the simulation. Moreover, not all simulations are digital.
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  1. The Peer-to-Peer Simulation Hypothesis and a New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2015 - Scientia Salon.
  2. A Unified Explanation of Quantum Phenomena? The Case for the Peer‐to‐Peer Simulation Hypothesis as an Interdisciplinary Research Program.Marcus Arvan - 2014 - Philosophical Forum 45 (4):433-446.
    In my 2013 article, “A New Theory of Free Will”, I argued that several serious hypotheses in philosophy and modern physics jointly entail that our reality is structurally identical to a peer-to-peer (P2P) networked computer simulation. The present paper outlines how quantum phenomena emerge naturally from the computational structure of a P2P simulation. §1 explains the P2P Hypothesis. §2 then sketches how the structure of any P2P simulation realizes quantum superposition and wave-function collapse (§2.1.), quantum indeterminacy (§2.2.), wave-particle duality (§2.3.), (...)
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  3. A New Theory of Free Will.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  4. Introduction to Singularity Edition of JCS.Uziel Awret - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (1-2):7-15.
  5. Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation.Silas Beane, Davoudi Zohreh & Martin J. Savage - manuscript
    Observable consequences of the hypothesis that the observed universe is a numerical simulation performed on a cubic space-time lattice or grid are explored. The simulation scenario is first motivated by extrapolating current trends in computational resource requirements for lattice QCD into the future. Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are (...)
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  6. The Ontology of Digital Physics.Anderson Beraldo-de-Araújo & Lorenzo Baravalle - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Digital physics claims that the entire universe is, at the very bottom, made out of bits; as a result, all physical processes are intrinsically computational. For that reason, many digital physicists go further and affirm that the universe is indeed a giant computer. The aim of this article is to make explicit the ontological assumptions underlying such a view. Our main concern is to clarify what kind of properties the universe must instantiate in order to perform computations. We analyse the (...)
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  7. Mutual Synchronization in a Network of Digital Clocks as the Key Cellular Automation Mechanism of Nature: Computational Model of Fundamental Physics.Simon Y. Berkovich - 1986 - Synopsis.
  8. An Evolutionary Argument for a Self-Explanatory, Benevolent Metaphysics.Ward Blondé - 2015 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 2 (2):143-166.
    In this paper, a metaphysics is proposed that includes everything that can be represented by a well-founded multiset. It is shown that this metaphysics, apart from being self-explanatory, is also benevolent. Paradoxically, it turns out that the probability that we were born in another life than our own is zero. More insights are gained by inducing properties from a metaphysics that is not self-explanatory. In particular, digital metaphysics is analyzed, which claims that only computable things exist. First of all, it (...)
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  9. Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?By Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243–255.
    This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is (...)
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  10. My Big TOE.Thomas Campbell - 2005 - USA: Lightning Strike Books.
    My Big TOE (Theory Of Everything) is a trilogy of books written by Tom Campbell {basically a work on Metaphysics} and is designed to present ideas leading to a Big Picture understanding and paradigm shift by answering many of the unanswered questions existing in science today. My Big TOE is conceived as a work of science, consistent with scientific principles of discovery and exploration of new knowledge, but presented at a level fully accessible to the general reader and without requiring (...)
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  11. Structuralism as a Response to Skepticism.David Chalmers - manuscript
  12. The Matrix as Metaphysics.David J. Chalmers - 2005 - In Christopher Grau (ed.), Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press. pp. 132.
    The Matrix presents a version of an old philosophical fable: the brain in a vat. A disembodied brain is floating in a vat, inside a scientist’s laboratory. The scientist has arranged that the brain will be stimulated with the same sort of inputs that a normal embodied brain receives. To do this, the brain is connected to a giant computer simulation of a world. The simulation determines which inputs the brain receives. When the brain produces outputs, these are fed back (...)
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  13. On Singularities and Simulations.Barry Dainton - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (1):42.
  14. Multiverse Cosmological Models.P. C. W. Davies - unknown
    Recent advances in string theory and inflationary cosmology have led to a surge of interest in the possible existence of an ensemble of cosmic regions, or “universes”, among the members of which key physical parameters, such as the masses of elementary particles and the coupling constants, might assume different values. The observed values in our cosmic region are then attributed to an observer selection effect (the so-called anthropic principle). The assemblage of universes has been dubbed “the multiverse”. In this paper (...)
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  15. Why Neo Was Too Confident That He Had Escaped the Matrix.Adam Elga - unknown
    According to a typical skeptical hypothesis, the evidence of your senses has been massively deceptive. Venerable skeptical hypotheses include the hypotheses that you have been deceived by a powerful evil demon, that you are now having an incredibly detailed dream, and that you are a brain in a vat. It is obviously reasonable for you now to be confident that neither of the above hypotheses is true. Epistemologists have proposed many stories to explain why that is reasonable. One theory is (...)
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  16. Against Digital Ontology.Luciano Floridi - 2009 - Synthese 168 (1):151 - 178.
    The paper argues that digital ontology (the ultimate nature of reality is digital, and the universe is a computational system equivalent to a Turing Machine) should be carefully distinguished from informational ontology (the ultimate nature of reality is structural), in order to abandon the former and retain only the latter as a promising line of research. Digital vs. analogue is a Boolean dichotomy typical of our computational paradigm, but digital and analogue are only “modes of presentation” of Being (to paraphrase (...)
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  17. A Revised Attack on Computational Ontology.Nir Fresco & Phillip J. Staines - 2014 - Minds and Machines 24 (1):101-122.
    There has been an ongoing conflict regarding whether reality is fundamentally digital or analogue. Recently, Floridi has argued that this dichotomy is misapplied. For any attempt to analyse noumenal reality independently of any level of abstraction at which the analysis is conducted is mistaken. In the pars destruens of this paper, we argue that Floridi does not establish that it is only levels of abstraction that are analogue or digital, rather than noumenal reality. In the pars construens of this paper, (...)
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  18. Symbols of Power: Adinkras and the Nature of Reality.James Gates - 2010 - Physics World 23 (6):34-39.
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  19. On the Search For Objective Truths of Reality and Human Society: Part 1.Dale C. Gillman - 2014 - Dissertation, Kennesaw State University
    Abstract Pioneers in the respective field of philosophy have made remarkable progress in the world. Thinkers starting with Plato and more contemporary thinkers such as Descartes and many others have tried pushing the limits of what humans can learn about the world around us. In my paper I am trying to establish probability as a recognized law of our physical reality. I also briefly discuss logic, reason and the need for modern philosophy. My hopes are also to show that though (...)
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  20. Philosophers Explore the Matrix.Christopher Grau (ed.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    The Matrix trilogy is unique among recent popular films in that it is constructed around important philosophical questions--classic questions which have fascinated philosophers and other thinkers for thousands of years. Editor Christopher Grau here presents a collection of new, intriguing essays about some of the powerful and ancient questions broached by The Matrix and its sequels, written by some of the most prominent and reputable philosophers working today. They provide intelligent, accessible, and thought-provoking examinations of the philosophical issues that support (...)
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  21. BIT From BIT (IT).Rowan Grigg - manuscript
    The author suggests the subjugation of physical reality (IT) to a pair of self-supporting virtual realities (BIT from BIT), neither of which exists without the other.
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  22. Longing for Integration.Rowan Grigg - manuscript
    A lighthearted look at some big themes in metaphysics and epistemology. This paper was written before the author fully appreciated the infinite capacity of the singularity for generating the substrate required to backup and restore the reality it has engendered.
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  23. Pomposo, Ma Non Allegro.Rowan Grigg - manuscript
  24. Is the Universe a Vast, Consciousness-Created Virtual Reality Simulation?Bernard Haisch - 2014 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 10 (1):48-60.
    Two luminaries of 20th century astrophysics were Sir James Jeans and Sir Arthur Eddington. Both took seriously the view that there is more to reality than the physical universe and more to consciousness than simply brain activity. In his Science and the Unseen World Eddington speculated about a spiritual world and that "conscious is not wholly, nor even primarily a device for receiving sense impressions." Jeans also speculated on the existence of a universal mind and a non-mechanical reality, writing in (...)
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  25. Was Cypher Right?: Why We Stay In Our Matrix.Robin Hanson - unknown
    The Matrix is a story of AIs who keep humans as slaves, by keeping them in a dream world, and of rebels who fight to teach people this truth and destroy this dream world. But we humans are today slaves to alien hyper-rational entities who care little about us, and who distract us with a dream world. We do not want to know this truth, and if anything fight to preserve our dream world. Go figure.
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  26. How to Live in a Simulation.Robin Hanson - 2001 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 7 (1).
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  27. Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis.David Kyle Johnson - 2011 - Philo 14 (2):161-175.
    Some theists maintain that they need not answer the threat posed to theistic belief by natural evil; they have reason enough to believe that God exists and it renders impotent any threat that natural evil poses to theism. Explicating how God and natural evil coexist is not necessary since they already know both exist. I will argue that, even granting theists the knowledge they claim, this does not leave them in an agreeable position. It commits the theist to a very (...)
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  28. Silins's Liberalism.Matthew Kotzen - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):61-68.
    Nico Silins has proposed and defended a form of Liberalism about perception that, he thinks, is a good compromise between the Dogmatism of Jim Pryor and others, and the Conservatism of Roger White, Crispin Wright, and others. In particular, Silins argues that his theory can explain why having justification to believe the negation of skeptical hypotheses is a necessary condition for having justification to believe ordinary propositions, even though (contra the Conservative) the latter is not had in virtue of the (...)
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  29. Universe Creation on a Computer.Gordon McCabe - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (4):591-625.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of the epistemology and metaphysics of universe creation on a computer. The paper begins with F.J.Tipler's argument that our experience is indistinguishable from the experience of someone embedded in a perfect computer simulation of our own universe, hence we cannot know whether or not we are part of such a computer program ourselves. Tipler's argument is treated as a special case of epistemological scepticism, in a similar vein to `brain-in-a-vat' arguments. (...)
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  30. The Fine-Tuning Argument and the Simulation Hypothesis.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - Think 46 (16):93-102.
    In this paper, I propose that, in addition to the multiverse hypothesis, which is commonly taken to be an alternative explanation for fine-tuning, other than the design hypothesis, the simulation hypothesis is another explanation for fine-tuning. I then argue that the simulation hypothesis undercuts the alleged evidential connection between ‘designer’ and ‘supernatural designer of immense power and knowledge’ in much the same way that the multiverse hypothesis undercuts the alleged evidential connection between ‘fine-tuning’ and ‘fine-tuner’ (or ‘designer’). If this is (...)
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  31. What Is It Like to Be a Brain Simulation?Eray Özkural - 2012 - LNCS: Artificial General Intelligence 2012 (7716):232-241.
    We frame the question of what kind of subjective experience a brain simulation would have in contrast to a biological brain. We discuss the brain prosthesis thought experiment. Then, we identify finer questions relating to the original inquiry, and set out to answer them moving forward from both a general physicalist perspective, and pan-experientialism. We propose that the brain simulation is likely to have subjective experience, however, it may differ significantly from human experience. Additionally, we discuss the relevance of quantum (...)
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  32. Doomsday, Bishop Ussher and Simulated Worlds.Alasdair M. Richmond - 2008 - Ratio 21 (2):201–217.
    This paper attempts three tasks in relation to Carter and Leslie's Doomsday Argument. First, it criticises Timothy Chambers' 'Ussherian Corollary', a striking but unsuccessful objection to standard Doomsday arguments. Second, it reformulates the Ussherian Corollary as an objection to Bradley Monton's variant Doomsday and Nick Bostrom's Simulation Argument. Finally, it tries to diagnose the epistemic/metaphysical problems facing Doomsday-related arguments.1.
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  33. Correcting Errors in the Bostrom/Kulczycki Simulation Arguments.Wehr Robert Dustin - manuscript
    Both patched versions of the Bostrom/Kulczycki simulation argument contain serious objective errors, discovered while attempting to formalize them in predicate logic. The English glosses of both versions involve badly misleading meanings of vague magnitude terms, which their impressiveness benefits from. We fix the errors, prove optimal versions of the arguments, and argue that both are much less impressive than they originally appeared. Finally, we provide a guide for readers to evaluate the simulation argument for themselves, using well-justified settings of the (...)
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  34. 1% Skepticism.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):271-290.
    A 1% skeptic is someone who has about a 99% credence in non-skeptical realism and about a 1% credence in the disjunction of all radically skeptical scenarios combined. The first half of this essay defends the epistemic rationality of 1% skepticism, appealing to dream skepticism, simulation skepticism, cosmological skepticism, and wildcard skepticism. The second half of the essay explores the practical behavioral consequences of 1% skepticism, arguing that 1% skepticism need not be behaviorally inert.
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  35. The Simulated Universe.Brent Silby - 2009 - Philosophy Now 75 (75):28-30.
    This article explores the Simulated Universe argument with particular reference to Nick Bostrom’s formulation. After providing an exposition of the argument, I address two problems and conclude that we reject the possibility that we exist in a simulation.
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  36. De Broglie Waves And Complexity.Mariusz Stanowski - 2014 - Infinite Energy 2 (116).
    Today, the binary understanding of reality is increasingly significant. It is also the starting point for many theoretical considerations (mainly in the area of digital physics) describing the structure of the universe. What is lacking is an experimental confirmation of the binary nature of reality. This article proposes an idea for an experiment that possibly would confirm the following hypothesis: Electromagnetic waves in the form of binary signals of appropriate complexity and other parameters are capable of creating observable, material objects. (...)
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  37. Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life After Death.Eric Steinhart - 2014 - Palgrave.
    Our digital technologies have inspired new ways of thinking about old religious topics. Digitalists include computer scientists, transhumanists, singularitarians, and futurists. Digitalists have worked out novel and entirely naturalistic ways of thinking about bodies, minds, souls, universes, gods, and life after death. Your Digital Afterlives starts with three digitalist theories of life after death. It examines personality capture, body uploading, and promotion to higher levels of simulation. It then examines the idea that reality itself is ultimately a system of self-surpassing (...)
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  38. Digital Metaphysics.Eric Steinhart - 1998 - In Terrell Ward Bynum & James Moor (eds.), The Digital Phoenix: How Computers Are Changing Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 117--134.
    I discuss the view, increasingly common in physics, that the foundational level of our physical reality is a network of computing machines (so that our universe is ultimately like a cellular automaton). I discuss finitely extended and divided (discrete) space-time and discrete causality. I examine reasons for thinking that the foundational computational complexity of our universe is finite. I discuss the emergence of an ordered complexity hierarchy of levels of objects over the foundational level and I show how the special (...)
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  39. Structural Idealism.Eric Steinhart - 1994 - Idealistic Studies 24 (1):77-105.
    Structural idealism uses formal and computational techniques to describe an idealist ontology composed of God and a set of finite minds. A finite mind is a system of private intentional worlds. An intentional world is a connectionist hierarchy of intentional objects (propositions, concepts, sensible things, sensations). Intentional objects, similar to Leibnizian monads, are computing machines. To escape the egocentric predicament, Leibnizian relations of (in)compossibility exist between finite minds, linking them together into a constraint-satisfaction network, thereby coordinating their private intentional worlds.
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  40. Cosmological Artificial Selection: Creation Out of Something? [REVIEW]Rüdiger Vaas - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):25-28.
    According to the scenario of cosmological artificial selection and artificial cosmogenesis, our universe was created and possibly even fine-tuned by cosmic engineers in another universe. This approach shall be compared to other explanations, and some far-reaching problems of it shall be discussed.
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  41. Fine-Tuning, Quantum Mechanics and Cosmological Artificial Selection.Clément Vidal - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (1):29-38.
    Jan Greben criticized fine-tuning by taking seriously the idea that “nature is quantum mechanical”. I argue that this quantum view is limited, and that fine-tuning is real, in the sense that our current physical models require fine-tuning. Second, I examine and clarify many difficult and fundamental issues raised by Rüdiger Vaas’ comments on Cosmological Artificial Selection.
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  42. Finite Approximation of Measure and Integration.Julian Webster - 2006 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 137 (1):439-449.
    Digital topology is an extreme approach to constructive spatial representation in that a classical space is replaced or represented by a finite combinatorial space. This has led to a popular research area in which theory and applications are very closely related, but the question remains as to ultimately how mathematically viable this approach is, and what the formal relationship between a space and its finite representations is. Several researchers have attempted to answer this by showing that a space can be (...)
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  43. Reality: A Very Short Introduction.Jan Westerhoff - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Is matter real? Are persons real? Is time real? This Very Short Introduction discusses what, if anything, is "real" by looking at a variety of arguments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. The book shows that the question "what is real?" is not some esoteric puzzle that only philosophers ponder. Scientists also ask this question when they investigate whether candidates for the fundamental constituents of matter are actually "out there" or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory and cognitive (...)
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  44. Simulation, Self-Extinction, and Philosophy in the Service of Human Civilization.Jeffrey White - forthcoming - AI and Society.
  45. The Emergence of the Physical World From Information Processing.Brian Whitworth - 2010 - Quantum Biosystems 2 (1):221-249.
    This paper links the conjecture that the physical world is a virtual reality to the findings of modern physics. What is usually the subject of science fiction is here proposed as a scientific theory open to empirical evaluation. We know from physics how the world behaves, and from computing how information behaves, so whether the physical world arises from ongoing information processing is a question science can evaluate. A prima facie case for the virtual reality conjecture is presented. If a (...)
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  46. A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation.Hector Zenil - unknown
    A Computable Universe is a collection of papers discussing computation in nature and the nature of computation, a compilation of the views of the pioneers in the contemporary area of intellectual inquiry focused on computational and informational theories of the world. This volume is the definitive source of informational/computational views of the world, and of cutting-edge models of the universe, both digital and quantum, discussed from a philosophical perspective as well as in the greatest technical detail. The book discusses the (...)
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  47. Rechnender Raum (Calculating Space).Konrad Zuse - 1969 - Schriften Zur Dataverarbeitung 1.
    Zuse proposed that the universe is being computed by some sort of cellular automaton or other discrete computing machinery, challenging the long-held view that some physical laws are continuous by nature. Calculating Space is the title of MIT's English translation of Konrad Zuse's 1969 Rechnender Raum, the first work on digital physics. This is the LaTeX edition by A. German and H. Zenil based on the MIT's English translation with permission from the MIT and Konrad Zuse's son Horst Zuse. Followed (...)
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