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How Did The Evolution of Consciousness Happen? | by The Human …

Posted: August 10, 2021 at 1:53 am


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Feb 23, 201910 min read

By The Human Origin Project

Consciousness can first be traced back to the Cambrian explosion 520 million years ago. Since then, a fair bit has happened in the evolution of consciousness.

On earth, trillions of organisms have evolved traits to ensure their survival.

None is more mysterious than consciousness.

The brain and neural system is a highly adapted tool that helps organisms interact with the environment. The laws of evolution tell us that traits are adapted to increase the chances of survival of a creature.

Of traits found over the planet, consciousness, is rarely studied in the context of evolution. Human evolution is heavily centered around how our brain enlarged and expanded its function. The origin and very nature of consciousness is a mystery that scientists are yet to truly understand.

In this article, well explore the evolution of consciousness, the human brain, and its associated traits.

Is the tectum the source of the evolution of consciousness?

Consciousness is thought to have evolved during the Cambrian Explosion. This is when vertebrates were tiny wriggling creatures competing with a vast range of invertebrates in the sea.

Fossil and genetic evidence reveal vertebrates evolved around 520 million years ago. Vertebrates are unique from invertebrates due to the presence of a skeleton. The spine or skeletal system is necessary to house a complex immune neural system.

In all vertebrates, the forebrain vesicle initially forms a simple hollow tube. Its the presence of the tectum that separates vertebrates from invertebrates.

All vertebrates fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals have a tectum. Even lampreys have one, which is an ancient, jawless fish.

Tectum means roof in Latin, and it often covers the top of the brain.

It acts as a central controller for attention that coordinates sensory input. Also, it organizes something called overt attention. That helps a creature to aim the satellite dishes of the eyes, ears, and nose toward anything important. It then combines this information together as attention to the environment.

The tectum allowed vertebrates to develop complex neural systems. That then assisted in the evolution of a conscious neural system.

As creatures evolve, brain complexity increases. Evolution has changed the shape and function of the brain.

The reptilian brain compared to mammals lack the outer cerebral cortex. Source

The evolution of consciousness is related to ways that brains become more complex in nature.

The relationship between brain size and body size is highly ordered. In most vertebrates, brain size varies approximately 10-fold. Brain size increases with body size, although this increase is not proportional.

Both birds and mammals have brains that are 610 times larger than the brains of reptiles of the same body size.

An increase in neural centers with an increase in relative brain size allows new functional areas of the brain.

As brains increase their neural centers, they are able to process and transfer far more information.

Its best illustrated in the forebrain, particularly the cerebral hemispheres.

There are more cell classes in the cerebral cortex of a mammal than in the entire neural system of a lamprey. The brain centers where cells classes can be measured with data to include: the cerebellum, the olfactory bulb, and the optic tectum.

Brains use different tools as they evolve and become more complex.

Three evolutionary divisions of the human brain. Human consciousness can be attributed to higher centers in the neocortex.

The neocortex or six-layer cortex appears to be a distinguishing feature of mammals. It is involved in higher functions that are attributed to consciousness. These include sensory perception, generation of motor commands, spatial reasoning, conscious thought, and language.

Variability of brain size and in different animal species. Source

If we look at the human body, the brain is he in relation. According to our body mass, it should be six times smaller than it is. Being this big, it also eats almost 20% of the energy of our body.

Brains also get larger when there is more mental demand. As brains get more complex, stronger mental demand also fuels further growth.

The human brain has a larger and far more expanded neocortex than primate ancestors. As the human brain evolved, it increased in volume from roughly 400cm3 to 1500cm3.

At 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus was able to create the first bifacial tools. It was a measure of cognitive ability above Australopithecus.

Homo heidelbergensis, existed 650,000 years ago and had a larger brain (cranial capacity of 1,350 cm3) than Homo erectus (brain volume between 800 and 1,200 cm3)

However, it doesnt hold true for all measures of brain function.

Studies have looked at whether the brains of people with higher intellectual abilities are bigger or different in any way. The results showed that for historys greatest thinkers, there appeared to be no anatomic pattern or brain size of intelligence.

Human evolution from primates included a tripling in brain volume mainly in the cerebral cortex.

One question scientists are grappling with is how to classify a creature as conscious or not.

Consciousness is a difficult trait to define. Some characteristics line up with what we consider a creature conscious or not.

Awareness and wakefulness represent the two main components of consciousness. Its a state defined by the content of consciousness, and arousal is defined by the level of consciousness.

Awareness contains self-awareness, which perceives the internal world of thoughts, reflection, imagination, emotions, and daydreaming. There is also external awareness, which sees the outside world with the help of the five senses.

Its known that non-human animals have the substrates of conscious states. They can also exhibit intentional behaviors. The weight of evidence indicates that human neural systems are not unique in generating consciousness.

Non-human animals classed to have evolved consciousness include all mammals and birds, and many other creatures. These include octopuses who possess intelligent neural systems.

Evolved consciousness may be attributed to nonhuman primates, social carnivores, cetaceans, rodents, and birds.

Beyond wakefulness and awareness, certain human traits have evolved in the path of consciousness.

Nearly all creatures have language and communication. Human brains, however, have developed areas equipped for complex language. It is perhaps the most recent and big leap in the evolution of consciousness.

Its unknown when human language first evolved. We know that it was present 70 thousand years ago. This was when its thought that people began to disperse around the world. Language began to diversify and spread to the vast amount that we see today.

The relationship between language and consciousness is often debated. One big advance for humans is that when complex language developed. From then, consciousness could be discussed and compared amongst other people.

Consciousness is often associated with intelligence. There is no universally accepted definition of intelligence. One is the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn.

However, intelligence can be argued to have evolved independently among the animal kingdom. In evolutionary terms, its named convergent evolution. Intelligence and consciousness are measured in birds, dolphins, and other mammals.

Intelligence is found in environmental, spatial learning, and foraging strategies in insects. Its also used for social learning in certain fish and remarkable in spatial orientation and navigation in birds.

For humans, the evolution of hominid intelligence can be traced for the past 10 million years. Its thought specific environment changes allowed the perfect learning environments in primates.

The situation a brain is placed in does seem to matter. For example, not all primates evolve higher intelligence. There are primate species which have not evolved any greater degree of intelligence than they had 10 million years ago. Its thought that their particular environment has not demanded this specific adaptation of them.

Amongst primates, high general intelligence has independently evolved at least four times. These include in capuchins, baboons, macaques, and great apes.

Its unknown exactly why intelligence seems to develop in some species, and not others.

The idea of right and wrong is something that mainly exists within human consciousness. Humans bring together sensations, thoughts, and intentions, which feed to an inner judgment process.

Science has struggled to measure these tools of consciousness. It is improbable that science would ever be able to explain why there are brain events that equate to morality or a conscience.

Regarding the timeline of evolution, conscience develops much later. Its the logical combination of morals and ethics that guide thought process and action. Conscience is not a feeling or an emotion, more like an inner choice which reflects a value system.

Morality does evolve with cultural experience. For example, by observing your elders and people around. Once you get to know the consequences of any action, you make judgments in your head whether something is right or not. The decision can be influenced by observing punishment. If something was punished, it must be wrong. If it was appreciated or rewarded its a good thing to do.

The conscience appears in separate environmental situations. Amongst the global cultural conscience evolutions, it appears that morality has properties that convergently evolve.

For example, in cultures of Eskimos, Japanese, Africans, Asians, Europeans, North Americans there are distinct differences in environmental evolution. However, all cultures know and agree on some basic concepts regarding morality.

Arguably the latest step in the evolution of consciousness was that of human creativity. Imagination appears in the gap between the first appearance of our species some 100,000 years ago. Then a creative explosion some 60 000 years later. This included cultural, technological and artistic change which took place across human populations.

It may be the most striking species-specific feature of consciousness on earth.

Creativity relies on the mental ability to build pretense or to pretend. It seems that its in place from at least the advent of language. The most obvious place its observed is the frequent pretend play in childhood served to practice and enhance creative abilities.

Creativity may have been selected for due to its relationship to problem-solving in adults. Our ancestors with the most creative brains could have solved problems that enhanced this survival.

In childhood, pretend play and imagination is a known human trait. It may be that childhood imagination helps to mimic adult behavior which allows children to develop faster.

Later, in human art and literature, consciousness is attributed to characters in a story. That may be puppets and dolls, storms, rivers, empty spaces, ghosts, and gods.

Justin Barrett explains creativity as the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device or HADD. One speculation is that its better to be safe than sorry. If the wind rustles the grass and you misinterpret it as a lion, no harm done. But if you fail to detect an actual lion, youre taken out of the gene pool.

Many argue that creativity goes way beyond detecting predators. Its a consequence of our hyper-social nature. Evolution turned up the amplitude on our tendency to model others, and now were supremely attuned to each others mental states. It gives us our adaptive edge. One downside could be taking up energy detecting of false positives.

1920th-century philosophy of language described intention as a linguistic function. The bias has been criticized in contemporary philosophy, e.g., in the work of Ruth Millikan relating meaning with proper biological functions.

The idea of intentionality may occur without language or consciousness. It can be unconscious, for instance when we are hungry we pay more attention to what may possibly be food. This is an unconscious mechanism driving conscious attention.

Some have argued that imagination is necessary for consciousness, others argue that its not. Thnk constructing maps of the body and environment that is essential for conscious activity. What may be crucial is the presentational aspect of imagination; it could be involved in the self-consciousness process.

In ancient texts, the idea of higher states or evolved states of consciousness is discussed. Technology has allowed the progression of consciousness and may be what philosophers were discussing.

In the last decades, the advent of computers and technology have allowed us to extend human consciousness.

Today, your smartphone, for example, is an extension of your consciousness. Our school and university courses are stored digitally, as well as ideas and everyday activities.

The internet and connectivity to this human consciousness database is arguably the next step in the evolution of the human mind. The future direction is the understanding between quantum mechanics of the brain and dimensions beyond the three-dimensional world.

Human consciousness has taken a long winding path in its evolutionary path. While answers are yet to be fully clarified, consciousness remains a part of the human origin story.

Where it leads us? Well have to think of that ourselves.

Now its up to you. What do you think about the evolution of consciousness? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Levels Of Consciousness – David R. Hawkins | Awaken

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bySteve Pavlina:In the bookPower vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, theres a hierarchy of levels ofhumanconsciousness

Its an interesting paradigm. If you read the book, its also fairly easy to figure out where you fall on this hierarchy based on your currentlifesituation.

From low to high, thelevels of consciousnessare: shame, guilt, apathy, grief,fear, desire,anger, pride, courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason,love, joy,peace,enlightenment.

While wecanpopin and out of different levels at various times, usually theres a predominant normal state for us. If yourereadingthis blog, chances are youre at least at the level of courage because if you were at alowerlevel, youd likely have noconsciousinterest in personal growth.

Ill go over these levels in order, mostly focusing on the ones between courage and reason, since thats the range where youre most likely toland. The labels are Hawkins. The descriptions of each level are based on Hawkins descriptions but blended with my own thoughts. Hawkins defines this as a logarithmic scale, so there are far fewerpeopleat the higher levels than at the lower ones. An increase from one level to another will result in enormous change in your life.

Shame Just a step abovedeath. Youre probably contemplating suicide at this level. Either that or youre a serial killer. Think of this asself-directed hatred.

Guilt A step above shame, but you still may be having thoughts of suicide. You think of yourself as a sinner, unable to forgive yourself for past transgressions.

Apathy Feeling hopeless or victimized. The state of learned helplessness. Many homeless people are stuck here.

Grief A state of perpetual sadness and loss. You might drop down here after losing a loved one.Depression. Still higher than apathy, since youre beginning to escape the numbness.

Fear Seeing the world as dangerous and unsafe.Paranoia. Usually youll need help to rise above this level, or youll remain trapped for a longtime, such as in an abusiverelationship.

Desire Not to be confused with setting and achieving goals, this is the level ofaddiction, craving, and lust formoney, approval,power, fame, etc. Consumerism. Materialism. This is the level of smoking and drinking and doing drugs.

Anger the level of frustration, often from not having your desires met at the lower level. This level can spur you to action at higher levels, or it can keep you stuck in hatred. In an abusive relationship, youll oftenseean anger person coupled with a fear person.

Pride The first level where you start to feel good, but its a false feeling. Its dependent on external circumstances (money, prestige, etc), so its vulnerable. Pride canleadto nationalism, racism, and religious wars. Think Nazis. A state of irrational denial and defensiveness. Religious fundamentalism is also stuck at this level. You become so closely enmeshed in yourbeliefsthat you see an attack on your beliefs as an attack on you.

Courage The first level of true strength. Ive made a previous post about this level:Courage is the Gateway. This is where you start to see life as challenging and exciting instead of overwhelming. You begin to have an inkling of interest in personal growth, although at this level youll probably call it something else like skill-building, career advancement,education, etc. You start to see your future as an improvement upon your past, rather than a continuation of the same.

Neutrality This level is epitomized by the phrase, live and let live. Its flexible, relaxed, and unattached. Whatever happens, you roll with the punches. You dont have anything to prove. You feel safe and get along well with other people. A lot of self-employed people are at this level. A very comfortable place. The level of complacency and laziness. Youre taking care of your needs, but you dont push yourself too hard.

Willingness Now that youre basically safe and comfortable, you start using yourenergymore effectively. Just getting by isnt good enough anymore. You begin caring about doing a goodjob perhaps even your best. You think about time management andproductivityand getting organized, things that werent so important to you at the level of neutrality. Think of this level as the development of willpower and self-discipline. These people are the troopers of society; they get things done well and dont complain much. If youre inschool, then youre a really good student; you take your studies seriously and put in the time to do a good job. This is the point where your consciousness becomes more organized and disciplined.

Acceptance Now apowerfulshifthappens, and you awaken to the possibilities oflivingproactively. At the level of willingness youve become competent, and now you want to put yourabilitiesto good use. This is the level of setting and achieving goals. I dont like the label acceptance that Hawkins uses here, but it basically meansthat you begin accepting responsibility for your role in the world. If something isnt right about your life (your career, yourhealth, your relationship), you define your desired outcome and change it. You start to see the big picture of your life more clearly. This level drives many people to switch careers, start a new business, or change their diets.

Reason At this level you transcend the emotional aspects of the lower levels and begin to think clearly and rationally. Hawkins defines this as the level ofmedicineandscience. The way I see it, when you reach this level, you become capable of using your reasoning abilities to their fullest extent. You now have the discipline and the proactivity to fully exploit yournaturalabilities. Youve reached the point where you say, Wow. I can do all this stuff, and I know I must put it to good use. Sowhats the best use of my talents? You take a look around the world and start making meaningful contributions. At the very high end, this is the level ofEinstein and Freud. Its probably obvious that most people never reach this level in their entire lives.

Love I dont like Hawkins label love here because this isnt the emotion of love. Its unconditional love, a permanent understanding of your connectedness with all that exists. Think compassion. At the level of reason, you live in service to your head. But that eventually becomes a dead end where you fall into the trap of over-intellectualizing. You see that you need a bigger context than just thinking for its own sake. At the level of love, you now place your head and all your other talents and abilities in service to your heart (not your emotions, but your greater sense of right and wrong your conscience). I see this as the level of awakening to your true purpose. Your motives at this level are pure and uncorrupted by the desires of the ego. This is the level of lifetime service to humanity. Think Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dr. Albert Schweitzer. At this level you also begin to be guided by a force greater than yourself. Its a feeling of letting go. Your intuition becomes extremely strong. Hawkins claims this level is reached only by 1 in 250 people during their entire lifetimes.

Joy A state of pervasive, unshakablehappiness.Eckhart Tolledescribes this state inThe Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. The level of saints and advancedspiritualteachers. Just being around people at this level makes you feel incredible. At this level life is fully guided bysynchronicityand intuition. Theres no more need to set goals and make detailed plans the expansion of your consciousness allows you to operate at a much higher level. A near-death experience can temporarily bump you to this level.

Peace Total transcendence. Hawkins claims this level is reached only by one person in 10 million.

Enlightenment The highest level of human consciousness, where humanity blends with divinity. Extremely rare. The level of Krishna,Buddha, and Jesus. Even just thinking about people at this level canraise your consciousness.

I think youllfindthis model worthy of reflection. Not only people but also objects, events, and whole societies can be ranked at these levels. Within your own life, youll see that some parts of your life are at different levels thanothers, but you should be able to identify your current overall level. You might be at the level of neutrality overall but still be addicted to smoking (level of desire). The lower levels you find within yourself will serve as a drag that holds the rest of youback. But youll also find higher levels in your life. You may be at the level of acceptance and read a book at the level of reason and feel really inspired. Think about the strongest influences in your life right now. Which onesraiseyour consciousness? Which ones lower it?

One thing I like about these levels of consciousness is that I can trace back over my own life and see how Ive been moving through them. I remember being stuck at the level of guilt for a long time as achildI was indoctrinated into a belief system where I was a helpless sinner, being judged according to the standards of someone at the level of love or higher. From there I graduated to the state of apathy, feeling numb to the whole thing. By high school I had reached the level of pride I was a straight-A student, captain of the Academic Decathlon team, showered with accolades and awards, but I became dependent on them. I hit the level of Courage in my late teens, but the courage was very unfocused, and I overdid it and got myself into all sorts of trouble. I then spent about a year in neutrality and moved through willingness and acceptance during my 20s with a lot of conscious effort. At present Im at the level of reason and getting closer and closer to completing the leap to love. I experience the state of love more and more often, and its guiding many of my decisions already, but it hasnt yet stuck as my natural state. Ive also experienced the state of joy for days at a time, but never with any permanence yet. That state is a pervasive feeling of natural euphoria, as if Im exploding on the inside withpositiveenergy. It literally forces me to smile. Ive been in that state for most of this morning, probably because I havent eaten anything yet today (I find it easier to hit that state of consciousness when I eat lightly or not at all).

Well naturally fluctuate between multiple states throughout the course of any given week, so youll probably see a range of3-4levels where you spend most of your time. One way to figure out your natural state is to think about how you perform under pressure. If you squeeze anorange, you get orange juice because thats whats inside. What comes out of you when you get squeezed by external events? Do you become paranoid and shut down (fear)? Do you start yelling at people (anger)? Do you become defensive (pride)? What happens to me under pressure is that I become hyper-analytical, but recently I just had a pressure situation where I handled it mostly by intuition, which was a big change for me. This tells me Im getting close to the unconditional love state because in that state, intuition can be effectively accessed even under pressure.

Everything in your environment will have aneffecton your level of consciousness.TV. Movies.Books. Web sites. People. Places. Objects.Food. If youre at the level of reason, watching TV news (which is predominantly at the levels of fear and desire) will temporarily lower your consciousness. If youre at the level of guilt, TV news will actually raise it up.

Progressing from one level to the next requires an enormous amount of energy. I wrote about this previously when discussingquantum leaps. Without conscious effort or the help of others, youll likely just stay at your current level until some outside force comes into your life.

Notice the natural progression of levels, and consider what happens when you try to short-cut the process. If you try to reach the level of reason before mastering self-discipline (willingness) and goal-setting (acceptance), youll be too disorganized and unfocused to use yourmindto its full extent. If you try to push yourself to the level of love before youve mastered reason, youll suffer from gullibility and may end up in a cult.

Going up even one level can be extremely hard; most people dont do so in their entire lives. A change in just one level can radically alter everything in your life. This iswhypeople below the level of courage arent likely to progress without external help. Courage is required toworkon this consciously; it comes down to repeatedly betting your wholerealityfor the chance to become more conscious and aware. But whenever you reach that next level, you realize clearly that it was a good bet. For example, when you hit the level of courage, all your past fears and false pride seem silly to you now. When you reach the level of acceptance (setting and achieving goals), you look back on the level of willingness and see you were like a mouse running on a treadmill you were a good runner, but you didnt pick a direction.

I think the most important work we can do as human beings is to raise our individual level of consciousness. When we do this, we spread higher levels of consciousness to everyone around us. Imagine what an incredible world this would be if we could at least get everyone to the level of acceptance. According to Hawkins 85% of the people onearthlive below the level of courage.

When you temporarily experience the higher levels, you can see where you must go next. You have one of those moments of clarity where you understand that things have to change. But when you sink into the lower levels, that memory becomes clouded.

We have to keep consciously taking ourselves back to the sources that can help us complete the next leap. Each step requires different solutions. I recall when making the shift from neutrality to willingness, I listened to time management tapes almost everyday. I immersed myself in sources created by people at the level of willingness until I eventually shifted. But a book on time management will be of little use to someone whos at the level of pride; theyll reject the very notion with a lot of defensiveness. And time management is meaningless to someone at the level of peace. But you cant hit the higher levels if you havent mastered the basics first. Jesus was a carpenter. Gandhi was a lawyer. Buddha was a prince. We all have to start somewhere.

Look at this hierarchy with an open mind and see if it leads you to new insights that may help you take the next leap in your own life. No levels are any more right or wrong than others. Try not to get your ego wrapped up in the idea of being at any particular level, unless youre currently at the level of pride of course.

Source: Body Mind Soul Spirit

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Levels Of Consciousness - David R. Hawkins | Awaken

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Home – Center for Quantum Activism

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Karl Marx: Theory of Class Consciousness and False …

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Marx is one of the most important of all Socialist thinkers. One of his greatest sociological insights centered on the thought that social class was the deciding principle of social life. Much of his work focused on the plight of the working class, and he felt it imperative that the class structure of society be changed. In Marx's view, the relationship between people was determined primarily through who controlled the mode of economic production, such as land or factories. The land, resources, and factories were controlled and owned by the wealthy citizens; thus, the working class had little choice but to work according to the terms dictated by the upper, controlling class. For this reason, Marx detested the concept and practice of capitalism; he felt that it only allowed the rich to become richer and the poor to become poorer.

Marx saw the exploitation of the working class as a catalyst for change. He felt that the capitalistic system of the time could and should be destroyed, and Marx called for a revolution by the working-class members. However, before the revolution could occur, Marx felt that the working class first needed to develop what is known as class consciousness. This is a subjective awareness of common vested interests and the need for collective political action to bring about social change. Simply put, the workers needed to see themselves as one unit and, together, could revolt and change their working conditions.

There was one stumbling block to Marx's hope of a working-class revolution, and that was the fact that the working class did not see themselves as one unit, but individually, in terms of 'I' and 'me.' This is known as false consciousness. A false consciousness is an attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect their objective position. Basically, workers would see themselves as 'I,' as in 'I am being exploited by my boss,' rather than 'we:' 'We are being exploited by our boss.' Marx's revolution to end capitalism and bring down the wealthy controlling class would not come to light as long as the working class was viewing life through a false consciousness.

While Marx hoped for revolutions in large industrial countries, such as Britain and Germany, smaller ones occurred in Russia and China. Many factors that Marx did not foresee may be the very reason the revolutions did not occur - factors such as the development of labor unions and political ideologies teaching people that they controlled their destinies within their circumstances. Nor did Marx see the rise of Communism, which gave government complete control. To date, Marx's political vision has not been seen; however, his economic theory of the gap between the wealthy and the poor growing larger has never been truer than today.

Karl Marx is one of the greatest socialistic thinkers of all time. His works and his ideas influence those in a variety of arenas, such as historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists and more. His writings were seen by many as radical, and he was expelled from his homeland of Germany and other countries throughout his life. Karl Marx felt that one's social class dictated one's social life and that those who owned the modes of production - land, resources, factories, businesses, etc. - would be the ruling social class, which controlled the lower working class.

Marx focused a great deal on the exploitation of the working class by the wealthier controlling classes of society. He had hoped for the working class to revolt against the ruling class to create an equal collective-type society. However, before this could happen, Marx stated that the workers needed to overcome their false consciousness (their thinking in terms of 'I' and 'me') and reach a thinking of class consciousness (thinking in terms of 'we' and 'us').

Marx's revolutions did not occur on the grand scale that he had hoped for, but many of his economic theories are being proven, even in today's society. He is seen as one of the greatest contributors to the study of sociology.

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Will AI Ever Become Conscious? | Live Science

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One example of a sci-fi struggle to define AI consciousness isAMC's "Humans" (Tues. 10/9c starting June 5). At this point in the series, human-like machines called Synths have become self-aware; as they band together in communities to live independent lives and define who they are, they must also battle for acceptance and survival against the hostile humans who created and used them.

But what exactly might "consciousness" mean for artificial intelligence (AI) in the real world, and how close is AI to reaching that goal? [IntelligentMachines to Space Colonies: 5 Sci-Fi Visions of the Future]

Philosophers have described consciousness as having a unique sense of self coupled with an awareness of what's going on around you. And neuroscientists have offered their own perspective on how consciousness might be quantified, through analysis of a person's brain activity as it integrates and interprets sensory data.

However, applying those rules to AI is tricky. In some ways, the processing abilities of AI are not unlike those that take place in human brains. Sophisticated AI systems use a process called deep learning to solve computational tasks quickly, using networks of layered algorithms that communicate with each other to solve more and more complex problems.

It's a strategy very similar to that of our own brains, where information speeds across connections between neurons. In a neural network, deep learning enables AI to teach itself how to identify disease, win a strategy game against the best human player in the world, or write a pop song.

But to accomplish these feats, any neural network still relies on a human programmer setting the tasks and selecting the data for it to learn from. Consciousness for AI would mean that neural networks could make those initial choices themselves, "deviating from the programmers' intentions and doing their own thing," Edith Elkind, a professor of computing science at the University of Oxford in the U.K., told Live Science in an email.

"Machines will become conscious when they start to set their own goals and act according to these goals rather than do what they were programmed to do," Elkind said.

"This is different from autonomy: Even a fully autonomous car would still drive from A to B as told," she added.

One of the pitfalls for machines becoming self-aware is that consciousness in humans is not well-defined enough, which would make it difficult if not impossible for programmers to replicate such a state in algorithms for AI, researchers reported in a study published in October 2017 in the journal Science.

The scientists defined three levels of human consciousness, based on the computation that happens in the brain. The first, which they labeled "C0," represents calculations that happen without our knowledge, such as during facial recognition, and most AI functions at this level, the scientists wrote in the study.

The second level, "C1," involves a so-called "global" awareness of information in other words, actively sifting and evaluating quantities of data to make an informed, deliberate choice in response to specific circumstances.

Self-awareness emerges in the third level, "C2," in which individuals recognize and correct mistakes and investigate the unknown, the study authors reported.

"Once we can spell out in computational terms what the differences may be in humans between conscious and unconsciousness, coding that into computers may not be that hard," study co-author Hakwan Lau, a UCLA neuroscientist, previously told Live Science.

To a certain extent, some types of AI can evaluate their actions and correct them responsively a component of the C2 level of human consciousness. But don't expect to meet self-aware AI anytime soon, Elkind said in the email.

"While we are quite close to having machines that can operate autonomously (self-driving cars, robots that can explore an unknown terrain, etc.), we are very far from having conscious machines," Elkind said.

So, for now, if you want to see "conscious" AI in action, you can watch the Synths vie for their rights in "Humans." The third season debuts June 5 at 10/9c.

Editor's Note:This feature is the first of a three-part series of articles related to AMC's "Humans."

Original article on Live Science.

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Will AI Ever Become Conscious? | Live Science

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Conference For Consciousness & Human Evolution London 2018

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Reading time: 5 minutes

If you came to this site it is because you are looking for information about the Conference forConsciousness and Human Evolution in London, right?

Here you will find all the information about the next live workshop

Continue reading

And I will explain what this live workshop event is all about, and how you can guarantee your participation and book your ticket, OK?

Every year in the city of London takes place the Conference For Consciousness and Human Evolution.

Where speakers and specialists in science and spirituality are invited, among them the famous scientistGregg Braden.

If you decide to join, the live workshop, here is what you will find

During these fantastic 3 days you will be given the tools and information to develop your consciousness

You will learn how to develop your mind in a way never presented before

You will have access to the research on the new science, you also will be presented to new technologies that will help you to transform your life, literally

This evolution conference event is the only one of its kind

Because of the topics the on science and spirituality are discussed deeply, and you will learn how to apply these universal principles to modern life in a simple, practical and objective way.

The Conference of Human Consciousness and Evolution will take place in London, and start on Friday the 19th of October and will end on Sunday the 21th October of 2018.

To Check the Time Schedule ?CLICK HERE

This event started in 2012

And since than, there was so many great speakers, but this year theConference for Consciousness and Human Evolutionwill be very special.

There will be the presence of several speakers

Each one a specialist in a different area, who together will impact and transform your life from the awakening of your consciousness and mind.

These are some of the confirmed speakers for the consciousness conference until this present moment:

1) Gregg Braden

2) Anita Moorjani

3) Rupert sheldrake

4) Lynne McTaggart.

5) Dr. Joe Dispenza

And many others The list is too big to put here, but for check the full list of speakers? CLICK HERE

Check here a sneak peek of what the live workshop is all about, and see for yourself the positive impact that this evolution conference can bring to your live Watch the vdeo

The live workshop in London it is absolutely incredible, and you`re probably thinking how to participate, where to get the tickets, right?

By now you`re probably thinking on coming to London and join the event

If so, that is great!

I will explain the whole process, so you can purchase your ticket over the internet, on the official webiste

Dont worry, the process is simple and safe, and I will explain how it works, step-by-step

By ?CLICKING HERE, or on the yellow button below, you will be redirected to the official website where you can guarantee your participation

For the Conference of Human Consciousness and Evolution London 2018.

On the next page you will need to click on the blue button that says Click Here to Book Now, and choose your ticket (there are several modalities).

Choose which ticket you wish to buy, I recommend you to choose Standard Ticket, because this way you will be able to participate for all 3 days of the conference.

Once your choose your prefered ticket, click on Book Tickets Now, on the following page check if your picked the correct ticket and click on Proceed to Checkout.

Fill in all your data (country, name, address, e-mail and phone number) remembering to fill in the address where your credit card is registered. Make sure your e-mail is correct (you will receive the confirmation through there)

You can pay by VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS or PAYPAL, once the form has been filled in, click on Place Order and you will receive confirmation by e-mail, OK?

Told you would be very simple Now I will explain on how to get there

The event takes place inbetweenFriday, the 19th of October and Sunday, the 21th October of 2018, OK?

Check on the map image bellow the exactly location

Now I will show you how to get there

Here are the directions to Consciousness and Human Evolution Conference in London

The address is: Millennium Gloucester Hotel, 4-18 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4LH and whith will be taking place in October 19-21 of 2018

If you are coming BY ROAD The Millennium Gloucester does have limited parking available onsite, there are also no parking restrictions on the Sunday or bank holiday Monday.

If you are coming BY UNDERGROUND The closest tube station to the Conference is Gloucester Road that is 2 minutes walk from the hotel.

Bus routes are available and we advise searching online for Gloucester Road tube subject to your travel destination. London Underground accepts contactless card payment for travel, please check for service disruption prior to travel.

Now you know all about the Consciousness and Human Evolution Conference. You now have only 2 options:

1) Close this page and miss this incredible opportunity, or 2) Click on the link bellow to book your ticket and join in

To Book Your Ticket Now?CLICK HERE

P.S. I want to say that this event really helped me to transform my life, the content taught by each speaker really helped me to walk in the direction of a successful life, and you can also make this change.

P.S. I have participated in this event for more than 4 consecutive years, and every year I learn more and more, because this is the only event in the world that brings together science and spirituality.

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Conference For Consciousness & Human Evolution London 2018

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Jay Richards: God, Carl Sagan, and Word Games – Discovery Institute

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Image: Carl Sagan lectures to school kids, in a scene from Cosmos (screen shot).

On a new episode ofID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards, co-author ofThe Privileged Planet, continues a conversation with host Eric Anderson about Carl Sagan and a short video where Sagan fields questions about God. Sagan points out that there are different conceptions of God, but Richards asks, whats his point? There are different conceptions of nature. That doesnt mean that nature isnt out there and that there arent true and false things that can be said about it. Also, when the vast majority of people speak about God, they have in mind a powerful, conscious Creator of nature. Sagan plays definitional games by redefining the meaning of God. Listen in to learn how, to what purpose, and to hear what Richards thinks would be a better approach for atheists such as Sagan. Download the podcast or listen to it here.

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Jay Richards: God, Carl Sagan, and Word Games - Discovery Institute

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Prevention is Better Than Cure: The Ransomware Evolution – ISBuzz News

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Ransomware tactics have continued to evolve over the years, and remain a prominent threat to both SMBs and larger organisations. Particularly during the peak of COVID-19,research by IBMfound that ransomware incidents exploded in June 2020, which saw twice as many ransomware attacks as the month prior, taking advantage of remote workers being away from the help of IT teams. The same research found that demands by cyber attackers are also increasing to as much as 31 million, which for businesses of any size, is detrimental for survival.

In recent months, ransomware attacks have not left the mainstream media headlines. And with the number and frequency of ransomware attacks increasing, not to mention the innovation in distribution methods, this should be a wakeup call for organisations to strengthen their defences.Jack Garnsey, Product Manager Security Awareness Training and SafeSend, VIPREexplains that by taking a preventative approach, businesses can take the necessary steps to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. This includes a combination of education, processes, hardware and software to detect, combat and recover from such attacks if they were to arise.

Ransomware in the 21st Century

Ransomware is not a new phenomenon, but its use has grownexponentially, and has led to the development of the term Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), which is a subscription-based model that enables affiliates to use already-developed ransomware tools to execute attacks.

As ransomware incidents become more sophisticated and frequent, such as the increase in fileless attacks which exploit tools and features that are already available in the victims environment, the level of potential damage to a business is heightened. These types of attacks can be used in combination with social engineering targeting, such as phishing emails, without having to rely on file-based payloads. And unfortunately, ransomware is extremely difficult to prevent all it takes is one employee clicking on the wrong link in an email or downloading a malicious attachment.

No matter the size of an organisation, the effects of ransomware can be devastating financially, as well as inflicting longer-term damage to business reputation. The Irish Department of Health and Health Service Executive (HSE)were recently attacked by The Conti ransomware group, who reportedly asked the Health Service for $20 million (14 million) to restore access. This attack caused substantial cancellations to outpatient services, part of a system already stretched to the max due to COVID-19. Some ransomware gangs operate by aflimsy code of ethics, stating they dont intend to endanger lives, but even if a minority of ransomware organisations are developing a sense of conscience, businesses are not exemptfrom the damage that can be done from such attacks.

Additionally, in the US, Colonial Pipeline paid the cyber-criminal group DarkSide nearly $5m (3.6m) in ransom,following a cyber-attack which took its service down for five days, causing supplies to tighten across the US.Unfortunately when under attack, a majority of businesses, such as the major pipeline, often pay the ransom. Luckily for Colonial Pipeline,some of the money was later recovered by the American Department Of Justices Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force.But if they pay once they will pay multiple times. A successful ransomware attack can be used various times against many organisations, turning an attack into a cash cow for criminal organisations offering Ransomware as a Service. So much so, that there is now anongoing debatearound whether it should be illegal for businesses or an individual to pay a ransom in order to try and deter the attackers, or at the minimum, to at least report it to the necessary regulators.

Contain and Report It

If a ransomware attack were to take place, it is important that the organisation works with local authorities to try to rectify the issue and follow the guidance. Often, many ransomware attacks go unreported and this is where a lot of criminal power lies.

Prevention is always better than cure, and damage limitation and containment are important right from the outset. As the United States President, Joe Biden, highlighted in hisrecent letterto business leaders around ransomware: The most important takeaway from the recent spate of ransomware attacks on U.S., Irish, German and other organizations around the world is that companies that view ransomware as a threat to their core business operations, rather than a simple risk of data theft will react and recover more effectively.

Most organisations should have a detailed disaster recovery plan in place and if they dont, they should rectify this immediately. The key to every disaster recovery plan is backups. Once the breach has been contained, businesses can get back up and running quickly and relatively easily, allowing for maximum business continuity.

As soon as the main threat has passed, it is recommended that all organisations conduct a full retrospective audit, ideally without blame or scapegoats, and share their findings and steps taken with the world. Full disclosure is helpful not only for customer, client or patient reassurances, but also for other organisations to understand how they can prevent an attack of this type being successful again.

The Support of Digital Tools

When it comes to ransomware, the importance of getting security foundations right must be emphasised. These attacks are not likely to stop or slow any time soon, but their success can be prevented with the right security armoury.

Particularly to mitigate the threat of ransomware, it is crucial to have secure endpoint protection in place which protects at the file, application and network layer across a number of devices, and respond to security alerts in real-time. This has never been more important than during the ongoing pandemic, where employees are dispersed and working from home in order to ensure all devices are protected and comply to the same standards.

Additionally, solutions such as email attachment and URL sandboxing are also vital, as these digital tools provide vital protection against malicious emails. They can help prevent dangerous links, attachments or forms of malware from entering the users inbox by examining and quarantining them. By filtering out this traffic and automatically restricting dangerous content, businesses can maintain greater control over email and the access points to the network.

The Human Layer

The users themselves are a key part of any security strategy. Those who are educated about the types of threats they could be vulnerable to, how to spot them and the steps to take in the event of a suspected breach, are a valuable and critical asset to any organisation.

Employees need to be trained to be vigilant, cautious, suspicious and assume their role as the last line of defence when all else fails. The final decision to click send on an email or a link lies with the human, but this one click could mean the entire organisation falls prey to a ransomware attack. The key is to change the mindset from full reliance on IT, to one where everyone is responsible.In order to strengthen a business human layer protection, security awareness training and education must be implemented across the board.

These programmes are designed to support users in understanding the role they play in helping to combat attacks and malware. Using phishing simulations, for example, as part of the wider security strategy, will help to give employees insight into real life situations they may face at any point. The importance of testing your human firewall was also outlinedin Joe Bidens ransomwareletter: Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of unlocked doors.

Conclusion

Cyber security is a multi-faceted, complicated area, and one which must receive investment in each layer, from the technology to the people, to the tools we give to the users. Nevertheless, businesses of all sizes can safeguard their data and themselves from these types of ransomware attacks by investing in their cybersecurity and ensuring their workforces are conscious and informed of the threats they face.

Both detection and prevention play a key role in stopping ransomware, but it shouldnt be one or the other. The essence of a solid cybersecurity strategy is a layered defence that includes endpoint detection and response, email security, advanced threat protection, web security and a business-grade firewall for the security of your network at its most basic. But even with the most sophisticated software in place, hackers make it their mission to stay one step ahead of IT defences. That is why regular training, in addition to complementary security tools which reinforce security best practice, can provide a fortified strategy for users to mitigate the threat of a cyberattack.

Jack Garnsey, Product Manager Security Awareness Training and SafeSend, VIP

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Interview: Midland discuss ‘The Last Resort’, their upcoming new album and their UK tour – Entertainment Focus

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Midland Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson are due in the UK in September for their thrice delayed tour.

Fans can not only look forward to seeing the trio live once again but they can expect to hear songs from the trios recently released collection The Last Resort, a pre-cursor to their upcoming third studio album.

I spoke with the band recently to talk about The Last Resort, discuss their impending return to the UK and to find out about their musical evolution

Its nice to see the three of you. Mark and I spoke last year but its been a while since all of us have been together. How are you feeling about finally getting to the UK for this tour?

Mark: Very, very excited.

Jess: Its incredible to be able to go travel over to a place, that you would travel to otherwise, and be able to play music there. Its incredible. Weve had so much fun going over there and just being tourists (laughs) at the same time as getting to do the shows and seeing people come out and sing along with the songs. You see people wearing cowboy hats and its cool, we love coming over there.

You guys are usually relentless touring. Has it been strange to have to completely stop for the past 18 months?

Cam: Yes. It was a painful relief. We would have kept going and hammering the road, like we had been for the previous two years, and we had a lot to look forward to through the summer of 2020. Some pretty major opportunities and what looked like an accelerated growth pattern for us as a band, but the silver lining really was that we got to come off the road and reassess what we wanted to do with the band. You dont get that opportunity often unless somebody forces you to. We were able to put out The Sonic Ranch. Had we not been stationary, we never would have had the time or the inclination to put together a documentary telling our story and the genesis of Midland. I really do think that The Last Resort would have sounded a lot different, and probably would have been named something different, but because we were sitting still, we were able to get back to the root of the lifeblood of this band, which is telling stories through song and exploring different modes and motifs musically through the writing process. I guarantee we would have been writing album three on the road had we not been forced to go home. Whatever your mental state is typically informs the kind of music that youre writing, so I dont know if it would have been better or worse but I do know that The Last Resort would sound a lot different had we not been at home. Were all really proud of the music that weve evolved into and been able to put out.

The Last Resort is definitely an evolution. Its unmistakably Midland but its very different from what weve heard before with more of a Laurel Canyon/Eagles vibe to it. Did those influences come to the surface more because you had time to really put these songs together?

Mark: I think its difficult for us to pinpoint a narrative for that evolution. I dont think its intentional or conscious. I think those types of things happen as a result of the work that were doing. When you were playing music all the time, when youre writing all the time and when youre living all the time, you catch yourself evolving. You catch yourself growing, you catch yourself maturing, and you also catch yourself in different phases. Jess, Cam and I are are music fans as well. We are listening to different things all the time, we are going through phases just ike our fans are and like anybody else is. Its also one of those things where if youre around somebody all the time, you dont necessarily notice it change. If you dont see a friend for six months, you notice theyve changed their haircut and maybe theyve got a couple more wrinkles under their eyes, its kind of the same thing with us. We dont really notice those things until we go back to listen to the recordings when were doing the mixing. Thats when we recognise the evolution.

The fans are really keen to know if The Last Resort is a standalone project or if it will eventually be rolled into a longer album?

Jess: The Last Resort will be a full-length album. This is what we did with the very first music that we released. We released five songs and that became the full On The Rocks album. Its the same philosophy with it. I think the models changing for everybody. It used to be people didnt really release music before the full album, it was just a lot of build up and then here came 15 songs. Now its a lot of teasing new music and releasing stuff. We just chose to release this block of songs, which will be part of the full length album.

Mark: Its going to be a continuation of this world as well. The Last Resort is going to continue and were going to be in this world for a while. If the fans are enjoying this peek into it, I think theyre going to be incredibly pleased when we release the full length album.

When you guys are over here next month, will we hear any of the other new songs that havent been released yet?

Cam: Im pretty sure we didnt get a real chance to tour Let It Roll, over there, our second album. Musically were always trying to make the show interesting so youll never hear the songs in the same way. We cant possibly play this music the same way that we recorded it and we try.

Mark: I cant remember it!

Cam: I mean I cant remember it. Theres always covers. Because we dont play to tracks theres always that opportunity to create a happy accident. Come to the show and see Midland and you just may see us play an interpretation of our own music.

Midlands The Last Resort is available to download and stream now. Watch the video for Sunrise Tells The Story below:

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Interview: Midland discuss 'The Last Resort', their upcoming new album and their UK tour - Entertainment Focus

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August 10th, 2021 at 1:53 am

Where to play golf in Pinehurst, N.C.: Pinehurst Resort, Pine Needles, Mid Pines, Tobacco Road and more – usatoday.com

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Weve established there is plenty of great public-access golf around Pinehurst. Classic courses. Modern courses. Subtle layouts. Big and bold tracks. Its all there in the Sandhills.

And theres plenty of private layouts too, if thats your thing. On this trip, I sampled two such clubs: Dormie Club and Country Club of North Carolina. These two provide a great opportunity to compare and contrast the private offerings in the area.

Dormie Club, which ranks No. 10 among Golfweeks Best Private Courses in North Carolina, was designed by Coore and Crenshaw and opened in 2010. The club struggled financially for several years following the market crash that barely preceded Dormies opening, and the property was purchased by Dormie Network in 2017 as the eponymous flagship for a nationwide club network that allows members to play any of the networks courses. The new owners have lavishly improved course conditions while adding cottages, a clubhouse and a pro shop. The club became entirely private this year.

The course sticks nicely to Coore and Crenshaws well-established minimalist approach to architecture. On the opposite end of the architecture scale of Tobacco Road, Dormie Club lies relatively flat on the ground, making use of subtle native features wherever possible. The bunkers appear as naturally rugged scrapes in the ground, and the wide fairways are frequently dotted with exposed sand.

The Dogwood Course at Country Club of North Carolina, by contrast, is much more lush in its approach. Built in 1963 by Ellis Maples and Willard Byrd, the Dogwood was renovated by Kris Spence in 2016 and provides exceptional playing conditions for its thriving membership.

The Dogwoods relatively wide fairways are flanked by rough as opposed to the exposed sand at Dormie and several other Pinehurst-area courses. The layout navigates several ponds and lakes amid high-end homes, providing a relaxed and comfortable setting. Its a layout that can play as hard or easy as you prefer, depending on the tee boxes chosen.

The Country Club of North Carolina has been a favored Pinehurst destination for elite tournaments, including USGA championships. Hal Sutton won the 1980 U.S. Amateur here, and Doris Chen won the 2010 U.S. Girls Junior. The USGA came back in 2021, with Nicholas Dunlap winning the U.S. Junior Amateur. The Country Club of North Carolina also has hosted numerous iterations of the prestigious Southern Amateur, with winners ranging from Crenshaw to Webb Simpson, who grew up playing the club.

The recent Junior Amateur also featured the Country Club of North Carolinas Cardinal Course in the stroke-play portion of the championship. Designed by Willard Byrd and Robert Trent Jones, nine holes opened in 1970 with the second nine completed in 1981. The presence of 36 holes at the club gives the large membership plenty of opportunities to find a game.

The Dormie Club and the Country Club of North Carolina share some similarities: tall pines, rolling topography, clever use of water hazards. But they are very different in other considerations, with Dormie an intentionally rugged, bare-bones layout that encourages a bit of the ground game, while CCNC is extremely well-manicured and plush. Both are absolutely beautiful, just in different ways.

And thats one of the joys of the Pinehurst area as a whole. Theres variety, more than a first-timer can imagine. Public-access golf. Private golf. History meets modernity. Time marches on with plenty of upgraded amenities, but always with a nod to the past. Its the Home of American Golf, and theres no place quite like it.

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Where to play golf in Pinehurst, N.C.: Pinehurst Resort, Pine Needles, Mid Pines, Tobacco Road and more - usatoday.com

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