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A   perspective to teaching critiques the commonplace teaching “methods” and illuminates alternative approaches to teaching and teacher preparation. Focusing on system growth, the mutual influence of systems on one another, and nonlinear connectedness of systems, this paper defines four important components to teaching: A need for mutual influence among teachers, students, the content being taught and the curriculum; enculturation into a scholarly community; reflection on the part of teachers and students; and a need for teacher improvisation. The implication of these components for teacher preparation is then examined.
A complexity approach to education critiques the commonplace methods of teachingand offers alternatives to teaching and teacher preparation. By considering students and the subjects they study as complex entities, insight into the limitations of commonplace methods – the difficulty of planning without reference to the students in the class and the potential for fragmentation and disconnectedness – can be gained. Approaches to teacher preparation that address these limitations – by recognizing the importance of improvisation, reflection, mutual influence, and enculturation – could be used in education.
A complexivist  perspective to teaching critiques the commonplace teaching "methods" and illuminates alternative approaches to teaching and teacher preparation. Focusing on system growth, the mutua...
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Giorgio Bertini

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The following theses will be elaborated on: (a) The whole is at the same time more and less than its parts; (b) We must abandon the term “object” for systems because all the objects are systems and parts of systems; (c) System and organization are the two faces of the same reality; (d) Eco-systems illustrate self-organization.
You is not written. It is not, as the Islamic saying goes “mektum”. It is not like that. We are in an epoch of great uncertainty, but, I repeat, with the possibility of hope: hope does not mean certainty; hope maintains confidence, because hope opens up possibilities.
Edgar Morin is a Sociologist and a Philosopher, and Emeritus Director of Research at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France.
The following theses will be elaborated on: (a) The whole is at the same time more and less than its parts; (b) We must abandon the term "object" for systems because all the objects are systems and...
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In the last decade the network approach became increasingly popular to study complex systems. Current network representations simplify system complexity to a ‘one-dimensional’ scheme, where the interactions are represented as a connection-weight. However, the simplicity of network structures has enormous benefits. They not only give us a visual image of complex systems providing an instant recognition of network communities, hubs and other key nodes, but also have a number of general topological properties, which are very similar in biological, social and engineered networks. The small-world character, the existence of hubs, appearance of network communities and hierarchical, nested structures, the stabilizing role of weak links are all general network features. This allows us to use the network description as a conceptual framework to guide our creative associations.
The generality of network properties allows the utilization of the ‘wisdom’ of biological systems surviving crisis events for many millions of years. Yeast protein-protein interaction network shows a decrease in community-overlap (an increase in community cohesion) in stress. Community rearrangement seems to be a cost-efficient, general crisis- management response of complex systems. Inter-community bridges, such as the highly dynamic ‘creative nodes’ emerge as crucial determinants helping crisis survival.
In the last decade the network approach became increasingly popular to study complex systems. Current network representations simplify system complexity to a ‘one-dimensional' scheme, where the int...
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George Pór
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I like to watch YouTube vids while working out on my exercise bike. Since YouTube's algorithms are getting as good at suggesting vids for me as Amazon does with books, usually I graze its recommendations page before jumping on my bike. That's how I discovered the "Data, Storytelling and Narratives" conversation between +John Kellden and +David Amerland.

At 5:43 David is talking about the connectivity factor as amplification factor. Doing so, he is brilliantly describing also one of the key insights that happens to drive my research on shared mindfulness. What is obvious is that the more connected a person, a thought, a video is, the broader its reach. What is less obvious is the transpersonal dimension of the  amplification factor.

In the very same act of one's ideas reaching a wider audience, something else is happening, too, at the same time.Through the billions blogs, vids, tweets, likes, and comments that we post every minute, the neurons are forming in the nervous system of our global meta-being. These early-stage neurons are very crude and they will probably not get much smarter before the generalizations of semantic video, semantic search, and the radically disruptive social practices that will be associated with them.

What does all that have to do with shared mindfulness? A lot. First, it provides an analogy and a narrative to talk about the transpersonal dimension of transcending solo  mindfulness, as a need grounded in our tech-enabled, emerging planetary reality. A key feature of that reality is the "innervation" of the social hypercortex, which Teilhard de Chardin talked about half a century ago. More about that, another time, once I finished a new blog about the subject.

The  other way, in which shared mindfulness and increased connectivity relate to each other is this: The first can turn the second into a compelling opportunity to wisen up our communities, organizations, and social institutions. That takes us closer to the Holy Grail of CI research: how to boost of collective wisdom at increasing scale? When we'll have figured that out, then "radically disruptive social practices" will kick in.

Thank you John and David for triggering this comment.
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I'm not sure I understand what you are saying +George Pór , maybe you could rephrase this?... All the different architectures you describe don't have deep meaning with me, and I don't know why a notification system would only work in the way you describe.

I'm curious George, how much does "Shared mindfullness" and "Mindfullness amplification" have to do with "2nd tier We-spaces". I am wondering if you could point out the overlap. Is Shared mindfullness and higher we-spaces the same thing or different? 

+Ferananda Ibarra just shared this http://bit.ly/RMHSKB , so she would likely be interested in this thread. I shared the same thing too here: http://bit.ly/RMI64c
The article discusses invisible social architectures, and suggests that these are key to the evolution of humanity and our collective intelligence. It also touches on a specific social architecture, that of taking a deep breath before entering into social interactions to contribute.... and as far as I know this should be considered crucial to the practice of chaordic chat which George has explained to me. (The breathing technique could be applied either in meatspace or in virtual conversations)

This thread: http://bit.ly/RMJWC9, also from Ferananda, is closely related. It put me in contact with George who shared with me this other piece of writing, also by +Jean-François Noubel , which goes deeper into architectures and their role in allowing individuals and collectives to evolve. http://bit.ly/Puwjpd
It is called:
"Collective Bodhisattvas"
Awakening collective mind and heart

Another related thread, where there was a bunch of energy around our forming communities and what to do with them is here: (From the Conversation Community)
http://bit.ly/RMMrVe

"I would very much like to explore ideas relating to creating low barrier-to-entry, social knowledge games that result in an artifact that can be compounded upon and molded over time to produce something of value to share with the commons."

That's enough pinging and weaving for now I think :P

This should also be filed under the "making things happen" category

How can we play before the grand stadium is built?
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Giorgio Bertini

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This article examines the value of observation data collected by volunteers as they go about their daily activities. Many citizens are already creating digital data archives of their own lives through online activity including via social media communication. Citizens now have the potential to be the default fieldworkers of their own lives. This can be extended to examine the value of citizens systematically collecting data on the world around them for social science research. This pilot observation study required volunteers to follow a protocol and record the number of people seen begging. The study produced important findings on begging which informed a larger research project. However, challenging methodological and ethical issues are raised concerning the observation of public life. Even so, it is clear there is potential for what can be termed ‘citizen social science’, including continuous data collection where volunteers collaborate in social science research and observe and record data as they go about their daily lives. This approach to the way evidence can be collected and integrated into research has implications for the interfaces between being a citizen, knowledge processes and the state and presents an opportunity for a renewed idea of emancipatory social science.
This article examines the value of observation data collected by volunteers as they go about their daily activities. Many citizens are already creating digital data archives of their own lives thro...
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When decision-making power about what happens in a classroom is rarely shared with students, hierarchies are reinforced, knowledge is static, and learning becomes passive. Learning agreements and learning contracts can undercut these dynamics, modeling democracy while promoting cooperation. Analyzing collective learning agreements in undergraduate conflict management courses, this article explores what students perceive to be productive learning methods and argues that collective learning agreements facilitate active learning, self and class governance, and shared responsibility for individual and collective success. Jointly constructing collective learning agreements disrupts traditional power relations while engendering creativity in students and professors alike.
The example demonstrates that collective learning agreements call both students and professors outside their usual comfort zones; they can thus engender creative and constructive pedagogies, sometimes precisely because we are forced out of those familiar zones of practice. If we ask our students to be flexible learners—as we should—we must be flexible learners ourselves. Anything less undercuts the dialogic dimensions of true learning and puts cooperative and transformational education beyond our reach as it risks reducing education to something like the transmission of knowledge rather than the cooperative cocreation of it.
When decision-making power about what happens in a classroom is rarely shared with students, hierarchies are reinforced, knowledge is static, and learning becomes passive. Learning agreements and l...
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Giorgio Bertini

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Fish travel in schools, birds migrate in flocks, honeybees swarm, and ants build trails. How and why do these collective behaviors occur? Exploring how coordinated group patterns emerge from individual interactions, Collective Animal Behavior reveals why animals produce group behaviors and examine their evolution across a range of species. Providing a synthesis of mathematical modeling, theoretical biology, and experimental work, David Sumpter investigates how animals move and arrive together, how they transfer information, how they make decisions and synchronize their activities, and how they build collective structures. Sumpter constructs a unified appreciation of how different group-living species coordinate their behaviors and why natural selection has produced these groups. For the first time, the book combines traditional approaches to behavioral ecology with ideas about self-organization and complex systems from physics and mathematics. Sumpter offers a guide for working with key models in this area along with case studies of their application, and he shows how ideas about animal behavior can be applied to understanding human social behavior. Containing a wealth of accessible examples as well as qualitative and quantitative features, Collective Animal Behavior will interest behavioral ecologists and all scientists studying complex systems.
Fish travel in schools, birds migrate in flocks, honeybees swarm, and ants build trails. How and why do these collective behaviors occur? Exploring how coordinated group patterns emerge from indivi...
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Giorgio Bertini

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A follow-up study was conducted of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School (SVS), a democratically administered primary and secondary school that has no learning requirements but rather supports students’ self-directed activities. Although these individuals educated themselves in ways that are enormously different from what occurs at traditional schools, they have had no apparent difficulty being admitted to or adjusting to the demands of traditional higher education and have been successful in a wide variety of careers. Graduates reported that for higher education and careers, the school benefited them by allowing them to develop their own interests and by fostering such traits as personal responsibility, initiative, curiosity, ability to communicate well with people regardless of status, and continued appreciation and practice of democratic values.
A follow-up study was conducted of the graduates of the Sudbury Valley School (SVS), a democratically administered primary and secondary school that has no learning requirements but rather supports...
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Samantha Appleseed

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Related community.
Collaborative Commons
Innovation for Common Good
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Giorgio Bertini

General Discussion  - 
 
While sociological conceptualizations of culture span a wide range of metaphors, from codes to elephants to toolkits, they are often insufficiently attuned to the processes through which cultural challenges are advanced by individual and collective actors, and the place of political and institutional power in constraining or nurturing these challenges. Drawing from relevant institutional and cultural theories, this article advances an alternative conceptualization of cultural systems as a vast and interconnected network of  libraries. This new conceptualization offers three strengths over existing cultural approaches. First, libraries are viewed as dynamic repositories for cultural materials, containing vast holdings that may be accessed, used, and interpreted in unpredictable ways. Second, libraries are not neutral collection points but rather are enmeshed in a broad complex of forces that both organize and legitimate cultural resources through processes of selective acquisition, categorization, and preservation. Third, because of their entanglement in political and institutional power relations, libraries are often focal points for cultural contestation over the legitimate interpretations and uses of cultural resources. We focus on processes of cultural revitalization, fabrication, and canonization to illustrate the relationship between libraries and power relations, and provide examples of cultural challenges, from antiquity to the present day, via these contestational processes.
While sociological conceptualizations of culture span a wide range of metaphors, from codes to elephants to toolkits, they are often insufficiently attuned to the processes through which cultural c...
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Giorgio Bertini

General Discussion  - 
 
Some indigenous knowledge is said to be holistic in the way it deals with the environment. Given the of Western science with complex environmental problems, any insights from the holism of indigenous knowledge are of major interest. Based on examples from Inuit and other northern peoples, it appears that indigenous knowledge approaches complex systems by using simple prescriptions consistent with fuzzy logic. Specifically, indigenous knowledge pursues holism through the continued reading of the environment, collection of large amounts of  information, and the construction of collective mental models that can adjust to new information. Such an approach serves the assessment of a large number of variables qualitatively, as opposed to focusing on a small number of variables quantitatively.
Some indigenous knowledge is said to be holistic in the way it deals with the environment. Given the difficulties of Western science with complex environmental problems, any insights from the holism...
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"If we aim at real spiritual progress, we must agree to go beyond likes and dislikes, changing petty emotions and impulses; but this is nothing to be underestimated. It is not simple nor is it easy for us to agree to change, since all our life we have learned to identify ourselves with what we love and hate."

~ Mochita Har-Lev

#Art #Yoga #Spirituality #Meditation
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Giorgio Bertini

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Economic inequality is at historically high levels in the United States and is among the most pressing issues facing society. And yet, predicting the behavior of politicians with respect to their support of economic inequality remains a significant challenge. Given that high status individuals tend to conceive of the current structure of society as fair and just, we expected that high status members of the U.S. House of Representatives would be more likely to support economic inequality in their legislative behavior than would their low status counterparts. Results supported this prediction particularly among Democratic members of Congress: Whereas Republicans tended to support legislation increasing economic inequality regardless of their social status, the social status of Democrats – measured in terms of average wealth, race, or gender – was a significant predictor of support for economic inequality. Policy implications of the observed relationship between social status and support for economic inequality are considered.
Belonging to groups of elevated social status has many direct benefits that include access to material and social resources, avoidance of social threats, increased exposure to social and economic opportunities, and influence over economic policy and wealth distribution. We theorized that explaining such widespread benefits forces high status individuals to engage in justifying behavior in favor of the status quo. Thus, we predicted that, relative to lower status individuals, high status individuals would favor legislative behaviors that reinforce their elite status in society – including sponsoring legislation that supports economic inequality.
Economic inequality is at historically high levels in the United States and is among the most pressing issues facing society. And yet, predicting the behavior of politicians with respect to their s...
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Giorgio Bertini

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We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity. Those cultural–linguistic innovative practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of both general and language-specific aspects of cognition. We focus on the affective facet of this culture-driven cognitive evolution, and argue that the evolution of human emotions coevolved with that of language. We suggest that complex tool manufacture and alloparenting played an important role in the evolution of emotions, by leading to increased executive control and intersubjective sensitivity. This process, which can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitated information sharing. Once in place, language enhanced the inhibitory control of emotions, enabled the development of novel emotions and emotional capacities, and led to a human mentality that departs in fundamental ways from that of other apes. We end by suggesting experimental approaches that can help in evaluating some of these proposals and hence lead to a better understanding of the evolutionary biology of language and emotions.
We argue that language evolution started like the evolution of reading and writing, through cultural evolutionary processes. Genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory p...
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Giorgio Bertini

General Discussion  - 
 
Decades-long field research has flowered into integrative studies that, together with experimental evidence for the requisite social learning capacities, have indicated a reliance on multiple traditions (‘cultures’) in a small number of species. It is increasingly evident that there is great variation in manifestations of social learning, tradition and culture among species, offering much scope for evolutionary analysis. Social learning has been identified in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate species, yet sustained traditions appear rarer, and the multiple traditions we call cultures are rarer still. Here, we examine relationships between this variation and both social intelligence—sophisticated information processing adapted to the social domain—and encephalization. First, we consider whether culture offers one particular confirmation of the social (‘Machiavellian’) intelligence hypothesis that certain kinds of social life (here, culture) select for intelligence: ‘you need to be smart to sustainculture’. Phylogenetic comparisons, particularly focusing on our own study animals, the great apes, support this, but we also highlight some paradoxes in a broader taxonomic survey. Second, we use intraspecific variation to address the converse hypothesis that ‘culture makes you smart’, concluding that recent evidence for both chimpanzees and orangutans support this proposition.
Decades-long field research has flowered into integrative studies that, together with experimental evidence for the requisite social learning capacities, have indicated a reliance on multiple tradi...
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Giorgio Bertini

General Discussion  - 
 
Successful decision making in a social setting depends on our ability to understand the intentions, emotions and beliefs of others. The mirror system (neurons) allows us to understand other people’s motor actions and action intentions. ‘Empathy’ allows us to understand and share emotions and sensations with others. ‘Theory of mind’ allows us to understand more abstract concepts such as beliefs or wishes in others. In all these cases, evidence has accumulated that we use the specific neural networks engaged in processing mental states in ourselves to understand the same mental states in others. However, the magnitude of the brain activity in these shared networks is modulated by contextual appraisal of the situation or the other person. An important feature of decision making in a social setting concerns the interaction of reason and emotion. We consider four domains where such interactions occurour sense of fairness, altruistic punishment, trust and framing effects. In these cases, social motivations and emotions compete with each other, while higher-level control processes modulate the interactions of these low-level biases.
This conclusion implies a need to revise the idea that emotion/intuition is the enemy of reason. It is not in dispute that these two systems may often be in conflict. Rather, the data suggest that decisions dictated by reason are not always good, while decisions dictated by emotion are not always bad. Indecision-making, we ignore our intuitions and emotions at our peril.
Successful decision making in a social setting depends on our ability to understand the intentions, emotions and beliefs of others. The mirror system (neurons) allows us to understand other people’...
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Giorgio Bertini

General Discussion  - 
 
How is movement of individuals coordinated as a group? This is a fundamental question of social behaviour, encompassing phenomena such as bird flocking, fish schooling, and the innumerable activities in human groups that require people to synchronise their actions. We have developed an experimental paradigm, the HoneyComb computer-based multi-client game, to empirically investigate human movement coordination and leadership. Using economic games as a model, we set monetary incentives to motivate players on a virtual playfield to reach goals via players’ movements. We asked whether I) humans coordinate their movements when information is limited to an individual group member’s observation of adjacent group member motion, II) whether an informed group minority can lead an uninformed group majority to the minority’s goal, and if so, III) how this minority exerts its influence. We showed that in a human group – on the basis of movement alone – a minority can successfully lead a majority. Minorities lead successfully when a) their members choose similar initial steps towards their goal field and b) they are among the first in the whole group to make a move. Using our approach, we empirically demonstrate that the rules of swarming behaviour apply to humans. Even complex human behaviour, such as leadership and directed group movement, follow simple rules that are based on visual perception of local movement.
How is movement of individuals coordinated as a group? This is a fundamental question of social behaviour, encompassing phenomena such as bird flocking, fish schooling, and the innumerable activiti...
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very interesting conclusions. Minority rules !!!
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We humans have inherited the basic youthful play characteristics of our animal ancestors, but in the course of our biological and cultural evolution we have elaborated upon them and created new functions. Playfulness in humans does not end when adulthood begins and it serves many functions beyond the learning of species-specific skills. Social play in all animals requires that all tendencies toward aggression and dominance be suppressed. This is especially true in playful fighting, which is one of the most common forms of animal play. The fundamental difference between a play fight and a real fight is that the former involves no intention to hurt, drive away, or dominate the other animal. A play fight between two young animals can only occur if both are willing partners. Anything that smacks of true aggression or tendency to dominate would cause the threatened animal to run away, and the play, with all its fun and opportunity for learning, would end. And so, in the course of natural selection, animals developed signals to let each other know that their playful attacks are not real attacks, and they developed, for purposes of play, self-restraints and means of self-handicapping to operate against any tendencies to dominate or hurt one another in play.
We humans have inherited the basic youthful play characteristics of our animal ancestors, but in the course of our biological and cultural evolution we have elaborated upon them and created new fun...
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Giorgio Bertini

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Listening to jazz musicians improvise, how the piano player’s chords toy with the sax player’s runs and the standup bass player’s beats, it may seem like their music-making process is simply magic.  But research of jazz musicians’ brain activity as they improvise is helping shed light on the neuroscience behind creativity, and it turns out creating that magic is not as serendipitous a process as we might think. When musicians go to an improvisation, the brain switches, and the lateral prefrontal lobes responsible for conscious self monitoring became less engaged.  “Musicians were turning off the self-censoring in the brain so they could generate novel ideas without restrictions,” he said. Interestingly, the improvising brain activates many of the same brain centers as language, reinforcing the idea that the back and forth of improvisation between musicians is akin to its own language.
Listening to jazz musicians improvise, how the piano player’s chords toy with the sax player’s runs and the standup bass player’s beats, it may seem like their music-making process is simply magic....
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Giorgio Bertini

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Harvard academic Robert Putnam – ‘America is moving toward a caste society’ -  Basically all parts of American society are failing these kids. Poor kids in America now, compared to 30 years ago, have been ignored and isolated by every major social institution. They’re no longer as connected to their family.  They’re no longer as connected to the schools. They’re no longer as connected to the community institutions, the churches, the Scouts. They have fewer mentors and friends. You can see the number of people they say that they trust and they can talk to is declining. It’s not that this is an adolescent epidemic of paranoia. If you talk to these kids it’s perfectly clear that it would be nuts for them to say that you could trust other people because everybody in their lives has failed them.There used to be a whole dense civil society who worried about all the kids in the neighbourhood. Most parts of that fabric have disappeared over the last 20 years. So if a chick falls from a nest in a working-class neighbourhood it used to be there was a net there to catch them. Now if a chick falls out of the nest—real people in real neighbourhoods that we’ve talked to—there is just nothing down there to catch the kids except gangs. I’m not talking about just ethnic minorities; I’m talking about white kids.
Harvard academic Robert Putnam - ‘America is moving toward a caste society’ -  Basically all parts of American society are failing these kids. Poor kids in America now, compared to 30 years ago, ha...
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Thanks +Claude Emond I am following your Homo Agilis Scoop-it, very nice. It looks we share many interests and passions. Let us keep in touch. Regards.
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