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understanding and using correct terminology - Page 3

post #81 of 334
Of course there's no harm in a sticker saying that evolution is a theory. But that isn't the central issue of why it was declared unconstitutional.

From the Cobb County Decision:

Quote:
Adopted by the schoolboard, funded from the money of taxpayers, and inserted by school personnel, the sticker conveys an impermissable message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others that they are political insiders. Regardless of whether teachers comply with the Cobb County School District's regulation on theories of origin and regardless of the discussions that actually take place in the Cobb County Science classrooms, the sticker has already sent a message that the School Board agrees with the beliefs of Christian fundamentals and creationists. The School Board has effectively and improperly entangled itself with religion by appearing to take a position.

This myopic discussion of the "harm" of a sticker is precisely what the original post was addressing; redefining issues and definitions until relavent topics become lost in the rhetoric.
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post #82 of 334
FYI...

There are two types of evolution: micro and macro.

Micro is fact
Macro is theory

Regards!
post #83 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by X X
FYI...

There are two types of evolution: micro and macro.

Micro is fact
Macro is theory

Regards!

I don't think anyone outside of creationist web sites uses those terms. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.
post #84 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I don't think anyone outside of creationist web sites uses those terms. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.

You are
post #85 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I don't think anyone outside of creationist web sites uses those terms. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.

You are.

The concepts however are strongly dependent of the used definition of species, which we should all know is dubious.
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post #86 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by jesperas
Of course there's no harm in a sticker saying that evolution is a theory. But that isn't the central issue of why it was declared unconstitutional.

From the Cobb County Decision:



This myopic discussion of the "harm" of a sticker is precisely what the original post was addressing; redefining issues and definitions until relavent topics become lost in the rhetoric.

You are losing it. The entire decision goes into depth regarding every facit of the test for religious endorsement. It states that in no manner did the sticker meet any of the tests nor did any actions of the school board or the district.

It then moves on into the intent of the people who read the sticker and declares it wrong because of that. It is a nonsense ruling. It is ridiculous to state that you have run every external test to prove something wrong and it passed all of them but is still wrong because deep down, the court knows what is in your heart.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #87 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
You are.

The concepts however are strongly dependent of the used definition of species, which we should all know is dubious.

What is this... first grade?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #88 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
I'll loudly note that it wasn't a comparible analogy because evolution has no self-image concerns. People would shy away from the stickers you suggest for no other reason than it might harm the child mentally to be labeled a certain way, even if the label is truthful. Evolution has nothing comparible. Evolution does not have a self-image or feelings to hurt.

This looks like an admission that selectively applied truth can cause harm -- all you're arguing is that you consider one target (children) to be more vulnerable than another target (a concept like evolution) to such a form of attack.

Since I think it's clear that selectively applied truth (especially when that selectivity is based on a specific (oh, please, look the other way!) intent) can be just as harmful as a lie, consider a counter-example with an outright lie: teaching children that George Washington discovered America.

Where's the harm in this? Surely history itself can't be harmed! History has no self-image or feelings which can be hurt! And what does it hurt the children to believe something that isn't true? They'll still be able to get on with their lives normally with this belief, without a moment's pain or distress. Their grades won't even be harmed so long as you grade them based on the false version of history that they are taught.

And of course, if history is really important to these kids, they'll find out the truth of their own, and get it all straightened out before any of them grow up to be the next generation of historians and history professors. Since any serious problems caused by the lie will fix themselves before it really matters, why bother opposing the lie?

Isn't this exactly what you're saying about evolution?

What's the harm in singling out evolution so as to subject it to a special degree of suspicion, and to distort children's understanding of what a scientific theory is in the process? Surely evolution and science themselves can't be harmed! They have no self-image or feelings which can be hurt! And what does it hurt the children to believe something which has been deliberately distorted? They'll still be able to get on with their lives normally with this belief, without a moment's pain or distress. Their grades won't even be harmed so long as you grade them based on the distorted version of science that they are taught.

And of course, if science is really important to these kids, they'll find out the truth of their own, and get it all straightened out before any of them grow up to be the next generation of scientists and science professors. Since any serious problems caused by the distortion will fix themselves before it really matters, why bother opposing the distortion?
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post #89 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
This looks like an admission that selectively applied truth can cause harm -- all you're arguing is that you consider one target (children) to be more vulnerable than another target (a concept like evolution) to such a form of attack.

No I'm arguing that you should compare apples to apples and not to oranges. You are comparing a theory to a person. They are not the same.

This might help.

Evolution = theory that might be true.

Child /= human that might be true.

You say I am "selectively" applying truth. You can say evolution is the truth. You cannot say a child is the truth. You are asking me to apply judgements to the child.

The rest of your rant is just totally off-base in a rather odd way. I can't really address it effectively because you seem obsessed about comparing two things that are not the same. A child is not an ideal. A child is not a fact. A child is a person.

Additionally for whatever reasons, justified or not, we do not apply many of the same things to humans that we to other areas. We think nothing of selectively breeding animals or plants. If we did this with humans it is called eugenics and is considered wrong. We think nothing of euthanizing excessive populations of animals or plants. Again we do not condone this for humans.

You strangely claim I am singling out evoltion by being unwilling to say it is the same as a human child. I'm not singling out anything. I'm just not willing to call an apple an orange.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #90 of 334
So evolution isn't being singled out?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #91 of 334
Both in the original post, and in the 'intent' argument here: the "believe/accept" semantic difference or stickers on books only amount to a litmus test for having the 'right' intentions to speak authoritatively. This only begs the question as to whether materialism is authoritative.

The reason Adams' example was so apropos, was that it made it obvious that even if God did leave, literally, calling cards of his existence, it could still be denied due to materialist presuppositions. Until God can be exhaustively defined by the materialist mind He may not exist. It's essentially Three-card Monte for the uninitiated.

Materialists at large in their various positions in academia are attempting to stop the debate on whether evolution, as such, is workable, and they've begun to do it not on scientific grounds but on dogmatic grounds: no debate unless you have the right intentions -- this is the first tactic for an ideology that is losing its consensus.

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and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #92 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
Both in the original post, and in the 'intent' argument here: the "believe/accept" semantic difference or stickers on books only amount to a litmus test for having the 'right' intentions to speak authoritatively. This only begs the question as to whether materialism is authoritative.

You're arguing that science books shouldn't have the authority to contain, you know, science?

Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
Materialists at large in their various positions in academia are attempting to stop the debate on whether evolution, as such, is workable, and they've begun to do it not on scientific grounds but on dogmatic grounds: no debate unless you have the right intentions -- this is the first tactic for an ideology that is losing its consensus.

There's a debate on the basic workability of evolution among scientists?
Evolution is losing its consensus among scientists?
post #93 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
You strangely claim I am singling out evoltion by being unwilling to say it is the same as a human child.

I compared history to evolution, not a child to evolution. So, you're saying you'd have no problem with teaching that George Washington discovered American because history isn't a child?
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post #94 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by ShawnJ
You're arguing that science books shouldn't have the authority to contain, you know, science?

You've got to let go of the talking points if you are going to be able to address the subtext.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #95 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I compared history to evolution, not a child to evolution. So, you're saying you'd have no problem with teaching that George Washington discovered American because history isn't a child?

No you are not. You were comparing telling an outright lie to clarifying and illuminating the truth that evolution is a theory. More succinctly...you were comparing telling a lie to telling the truth.

So, no, we should not teach "that George Washington discovered America" because it is untrue. But, I think, it is still okay to tell people that evolution is a theory because, well you know it is true. Isn't it?
post #96 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
No you are not. You were comparing telling an outright lie to clarifying and illuminating the truth that evolution is a theory. More succinctly...you were comparing telling a lie to telling the truth.

...and you're doing it dogmatically, shetline.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #97 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
But, I think, it is still okay to tell people that evolution is a theory because, well you know it is true. Isn't it?

My problem with that sticker is that it singles out evolution.
post #98 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
My problem with that sticker is that it singles out evolution.

Well, we should be telling the truth about all things. But we have to start somewhere I guess.

I honestly don't know what everyone is so afraid of. Perhaps that students will begin thinking critically about it?
post #99 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
What is this... first grade?

Nick

Give me a definition of species, Mr trumpt.

And I will give you real examples that don't make sense in that context.
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post #100 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well, we should be telling the truth about all things. But we have to start somewhere I guess.

I honestly don't know what everyone is so afraid of. Perhaps that students will begin thinking critically about it?

Science by its very nature is self-critical.

The type of criticism you would employ is outside of the scope of science.

Non-scientific criticisms are meaningless within science.

You either accept that religion and science operate in two distinct realms or you seek to destroy the human ability to pursue provable truth.
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post #101 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well, we should be telling the truth about all things. But we have to start somewhere I guess.

I honestly don't know what everyone is so afraid of. Perhaps that students will begin thinking critically about it?

There was a history there. I've actually lived in Cobb county GA - Newt Gingrich was my congressman. My parents even voted for him. I instead voted for Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard. Yup that was the choice. Some context is important.

Anyway, the history was that this group was trying to push creationism, and this was their latest attempt. It wasn't a desire to tell the truth about all things, and they just happened to start with this one. They were intentionally politically singling out evolution.
post #102 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
You are losing it. The entire decision goes into depth regarding every facit of the test for religious endorsement. It states that in no manner did the sticker meet any of the tests nor did any actions of the school board or the district.

It then moves on into the intent of the people who read the sticker and declares it wrong because of that. It is a nonsense ruling. It is ridiculous to state that you have run every external test to prove something wrong and it passed all of them but is still wrong because deep down, the court knows what is in your heart.

Nick

Again, you're looking at it with a myopic viewpoint. It's the explicit words of the message which passed the court's tests. As you said, there's nothing wrong with saying evolution is a theory. But the central issue isn't the explicit message of the sticker:

Quote:
...the sticker here disavows the endorsement of evolution, a scientific theory, and contains an implicity religious message advanced by Christian fundamentalists and creationists, which is discernable after one considers the historical context of the statement that evolution is a theory and not a fact. The informed, reasonable observer is deemed aware of this historical context.

also

Quote:
...considering all facts and circumstances related to the sticker and its adoption, the court is convinced that the primary effect surpasses accomodation and endorses religion.

Now if you just want to dumb down the issue by focusing on the explicit message, which isn't the central issue, and ignore the context, there's nothing that can be done to change your view of it. But just because you refuse to understand or acknowlege it, doesn't mean that the context doesn't exist, or isn't relevant.
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post #103 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Science by its very nature is self-critical.

The type of criticism you would employ is outside of the scope of science.

Non-scientific criticisms are meaningless within science.

So then you don't want students thinking critically about it?
post #104 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
There was a history there. I've actually lived in Cobb county GA - Newt Gingrich was my congressman. My parents even voted for him. I instead voted for Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard. Yup that was the choice. Some context is important.

Anyway, the history was that this group was trying to push creationism, and this was their latest attempt. It wasn't a desire to tell the truth about all things, and they just happened to start with this one. They were intentionally politically singling out evolution.

So we've circled back to intent again. Which, if they are speaking truth, should be irrelevant.
post #105 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
So then you don't want students thinking critically about it?

I didn't say that. I said that critical thinking is already encouraged and implicit.

That is the strength of science and the weakness of religion.

If you wish to pursue this reasoning any further, you will need to ask your church leader to put a sticker on each and every bible in the church which asks people to look at the text critically.

Otherwise, your entire position is built with straw.
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post #106 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
I didn't say that. I said that critical thinking is already encouraged and implicit.

I wonder then, why the fuss over the stickers?

( right...because they're picking on evolution apart from anything else )
post #107 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I wonder then, why the fuss over the stickers?

( right...because they're picking on evolution apart from anything else )

Yeah, why the fuss over the stickers?

Why put them in in the first place?

Oh, wait, I know, some religious freaks who wouldn't know their ass from the back of their hand, decided that the text book needed to carry a warning about that dangerous theory of evolution... you know, the one that bohemian Atheist wear on there shoulder as a way of proving god doesn't exist. Poor little Tommy wasn't smart enough to learn the first lesson in his science class, so all text books need to carry warnings about the theoretical basis of science...

No one has ever provided an argument for why the stickers needed to be on there in the first place.

Clearly there was no reason for it, which means there was good reason for reversing the decision back to the status quo.
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post #108 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Yeah, why the fuss over the stickers?

Why put them in in the first place?

Possibly because there are a lot of people walking around thinking that evolution is undisputable truth. Maybe that's why. Just guessing.
post #109 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
..religious freaks who wouldn't know their ass from the back of their hand...

I think we're finally starting to get to the bottom of this argument, Chris.

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and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #110 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I wonder then, why the fuss over the stickers?

Indeed. If they're so meaningless, why put them on at all?
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post #111 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
No you are not. You were comparing telling an outright lie to clarifying and illuminating the truth that evolution is a theory.

So, no, we should not teach "that George Washington discovered America" because it is untrue. But, I think, it is still okay to tell people that evolution is a theory because, well you know it is true. Isn't it?

I think it's fair to say that we have established that selectively applied truth can be just as bad as a lie. I'd add beyond this that playing on children's misunderstanding of the word "theory" calls into question any truth value one might claim the disclaimer stickers have in the first place. "Clarifying and illuminating" is hardly what I'd call those stickers.

Regardless, that's actually a separate issue from the direction Nick took off on when he started up with his "Why bother fighting these stickers?" defense.

Nick proposed that, even if one believes the stickers to have a bad effect, that one would be better off just letting it slide and expending one's efforts elsewhere.

Nick then established a metric of "harm to students" as an important distinction between what one might do directly to a student with selectively applied truth, and what one might do indirectly to a student via selectively applied truth.

My hypothetical proposal of teaching that George Washington discovered America is a test of how evenly and objectively one is willing to apply these defenses and metrics used to defend the evolution disclaimer stickers.

I believe that, regardless of the fact that one can claim that the disclaimer stickers are true -- in a very narrow, parsing fashion -- that the effect of the stickers is just as distorting of science as teaching that George Washington discovered America would be distorting of history.

You don't have to agree with that. I don't expect you to. But, if you're honest about how others perceive the effects of the disclaimer stickers, then you can not honestly expect those who feel that way to ignore the stickers any more than you could expect someone to quietly and without a fuss accept a school district teaching bad history. You can't honestly expect that saying, "Just ignore the stupid school system. Spend your time and effort to fund a college history department or research program instead" would be viewed as an acceptable solution.
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post #112 of 334
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
No you are not. You were comparing telling an outright lie to clarifying and illuminating the truth that evolution is a theory. More succinctly...you were comparing telling a lie to telling the truth.

So, no, we should not teach "that George Washington discovered America" because it is untrue. But, I think, it is still okay to tell people that evolution is a theory because, well you know it is true. Isn't it?

Oh give me a break it clarifies nothing. It intentionally obfuscates the truth that a scientific theory is more than just a hunch. Quit pretending it's nothing more than a feeble attempt to discredit it.

 

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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
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post #113 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Possibly because there are a lot of people walking around thinking that evolution is undisputable truth. Maybe that's why. Just guessing.

Isn't it just as dangerous having people walking around believing Newton's Law of Gravity is the UNDISPUTABLE truth? Why not start there with the disclaimer stickers then, instead of with evolution? Newton's so-called "Law" is demonstrably wrong under certain circumstances. In fact, it's "wrong" all of them time, even though the degree of error can be hard to measure.

Wouldn't it be good to get students thinking critically about gravity, after all?

Show me a state or school district where there's a major drive to put gravity disclaimer stickers into physics books -- purely on the basis of how important this TRUTH is, and not because, say, they're aiming at evolution and playing a game of going after gravity first as a tactical step -- and I'll be willing to disregard intent and intended effect.
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post #114 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
So evolution isn't being singled out?

Evolution was singled out in a number of manners according to the decision. However singling it out does not constitute a religious endorsement. The court ruled on that matter. The school board singled out evolution when selecting the textbook to insure it would meet with state standards regarding the teaching of it. It singled out evolution when choosing to rewrite a distict policy regarding teaching of evolution and affirmed the policy toward evolution.

Evolution was dealt with in a number of manners. The court decision went through every single action and discussed whether it constituted a religious endorsement. It found none of the actions themselves constituted a religious endorsement. It them moved into the intent of parties and their feelings when reading the sticker. It was on that basis it made a very bad decision.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #115 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I compared history to evolution, not a child to evolution. So, you're saying you'd have no problem with teaching that George Washington discovered American because history isn't a child?

^^^^^^^^

I think you've wrapped yourself up in your own ridiculousness. You are banging your strawmen against each other now and have dropped into incomprehensibility.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #116 of 334
the intent of the sticker's backers is important. it is to undermine the teaching of evolution. if that goal is successful, it could hurt evolutionary science. students may demote it, in their mind, behind other sound scientific theories; and thus in their later years, if they grow an interest in evolution, they are that much further behind.

then country xyz comes up with the next great evolution breakthrough, and ultimately are first to market on the evolutionary product/service. and then the american economy suffers. its quite indisputable that science as a whole has proven very lucrative for society as a whole, and perhaps america in particular. it is incombent apon us to teach science without idiots mucking it up. even if their warnings are factually correct, their goals are dangerous.

we can not allow an evolution-theory gap between us and the ruskies.

please, won't someone think of the children.
post #117 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
My problem with that sticker is that it singles out evolution.

But does singling out something constitute a religious endorsement?

If I question the multiverse does that mean I am endorsing god? If I doubt the theoretical models that predict the gravitino am I endorsing god? If I believe in the Big Bang versus an oscillating universe, am I endorsing god?

When did mentioning the fact that good science is admits to being falsifiable constitute an endorsement of religion?

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #118 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by trumptman
I think you've wrapped yourself up in your own ridiculousness. You are banging your strawmen against each other now and have dropped into incomprehensibility.

Just see what I said back to Chris. I'm trying to make you see if you're willing to apply your metrics of harm and recommendation of appropriate responses consistently.
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post #119 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Give me a definition of species, Mr trumpt.

And I will give you real examples that don't make sense in that context.

I'm not going to waste time arguing with first grade actions.

You are in timeout mister.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #120 of 334
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
There was a history there. I've actually lived in Cobb county GA - Newt Gingrich was my congressman. My parents even voted for him. I instead voted for Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard. Yup that was the choice. Some context is important.

Anyway, the history was that this group was trying to push creationism, and this was their latest attempt. It wasn't a desire to tell the truth about all things, and they just happened to start with this one. They were intentionally politically singling out evolution.

However you can't let objective statements somehow not be objective just because you don't like the intent of the person saying them. If the Pope says that the earth revolves around the sun, I can't suddenly say, "that's not true because it is the pope saying it."

Also Cooter would have won, but Newt kept campaigning in that all white suit while holding a cigar. Cooter never had a chance against that.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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