Thus far we have ripped into the core functions of money and highlighted some of the Mistakes that Monetary Reformers have made, many of them flowing from the primary error – perceiving money to be a commodity rather than as simply a measurement, which is all money is. I’ve shown how this deception affects many different factors.
I now move into some more philosophical matters. I address here ownership, credit management and confidentiality matters.
I also throw in my take at WHY deceptions occur, show how zero-cost money is a pipe-dream, and challenge people to go further and think bigger . . . we’re getting heavier now, but it’s all easy enough to read.
“They’ve all fallen to the power of the people . . . except one. The financial industry is the only big one left to fall.”
12. Open Source vs TPTB – but not yet!
Open Source thinking (defined crudely as “People Power”), enabled by the Internet, has barged into every industry on the planet except the financial sector.
It all started with the oldest profession known to man [boy-meets-girl sort of thing if you’re wondering aka pornography] moving through the entire range of commercial, religious, political, scientific and all manner of social endeavours. From its start in the mid 1990s it hammered the advertising and marketing industries with the arrival of Google’s paradigm-changing business model. Simultaneously FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) tackled the Microsoft juggernaut and it hit the big-time with most industries having to cope with this challenge of people-power at the end of the naughties. Blame Facebook if you really want to be silly about it! FB is the evil monster that changed the way things used to be.
But strangely enough, joking aside, the financial sector has to date remained essentially unchanged. Sure, trading has moved from cash, cheques and a zip-zap credit card voucher to online fulfilment systems but the essence of our monetary systems has not yet changed a bit. We’re still seemingly stuck with the top-down, hierarchical, pyramid form that has defined corporate structure from the outset. We still ‘get our money’ from the people who ‘get their money’ from those who ‘get’ theirs from those who issue it out of thin air!
That is the traditional monetary model – and for some strange reason it hasn’t changed one little bit!
Monetary Reformers want it changed, in some cases desperately, but I can assure you, those within the current system do NOT want any change, and they will do everything they can to resist that change.
The description I use to describe what the many of the Monetary Reformers want and that I associate with “Open Source thinking” or “People Power” is that an OWN & CONTROL business model is being challenged by a BRAND & INFLUENCE business model. Google created a strong brand and influenced the world (with the best technology and a smart new business model) so that they now do effectively control the world’s information without owning it. People drive Google but Google runs the system through a BRAND and INFLUENCE business model.
This is opposed to an OWN & CONTROL model where a country or company has a President, Vice-President etc down to the blue-collar workers and the ‘plebs’.
The Mistakes that Monetary Reformers make in this area are two-fold . . . the first is structural and the second is strategic. I’ve mentioned them before but we’ll apply them here in a philosophical sense and talk specifically about the future with Open Source money.
The structural one is that TPTB, the incumbents, have the power. Newcomers don’t. TPTB can buy the media, enforce their money through Legal Tender laws and pretty much determine who, what, how, where and when anything happens*.
The strategic one is that TPTB have a compelling USP. The Monetary Reformers don’t. Cash (or the credit equivalents) which is Legal Tender is ubiquitous. That’s the name of the game and it’s a slam dunk. Use it for everything, anywhere, anytime and get what you want, make a profit and all will be well. It’s a VERY compelling message for the vast majority of punters out there.
People Power, paraphrased by the description ‘Open Source thinking’, is basically about bringing the power (essentially the capacity to generate credit) away from TPTB and back into the hands of the people, thus the excellent description of bringing credit back into the commons**.
So let’s recap . . . TPTB have consolidated their power and wealth consistently for hundreds of years; they generate their wealth through the mechanism of charging interest; they reinforce and defend their position of power (a monopoly) through the complicit politicians (governments) who have created and enforce that monopoly through Legal Tender laws; the perceptive amongst us consider the current economic system with compounding interest to be unsustainable and destined for failure; Monetary Reformers make serious errors that will ensure that they continue to [putting it politely] pee in the wind, probably more akin to a hurricane than a wind.
I told you that we were going to be in for ‘a ‘wild ride’ in this post!
To all this I say GREAT! Bring it on! Let the crash happen for this will be not only the biggest disaster to afflict mankind since the Garden of Eden and the ‘Fall’, it will also create the biggest opportunity for change that mankind has ever had too.
This inevitable collapse of the current economic system will of course devastate many, but implosion (self-destruction) is the ONLY way that TPTB can be taken on. Just like the smaller, nimbler Eastern marital artists who use the bigger man’s power and strength against himself, so too must the Monetary Reformers use what they have (which is a true understanding of money) to affect change when the time is right.
In essence I advise Monetary Reformers to keep tickling the giant and the instant he falls, grab your troops and be ready to help those who need what you have to offer. In the vacuum, you will find people wanting to buy and there will be no need to sell.
It’s all about timing and the time is not yet right. The Mistake that Monetary Reformers make is that they want to take-on TPTB head-on. They can’t and will never be able to. I have already explained why.
But don’t give up guys! When the crash comes***, you will have the answers to what the people need – decentralised true money that is managed by the people for the people etc etc etc, but you have to let the big boy self-destruct FIRST before you can move in and work with the active support of an awakening, alert, aware and attentive people.
This is the fundamental difference between the way that the Open Source community took on Microsoft in the late 1990s and early 2000s – when the people COULD and DID get together and take on the incumbent. They CAN’T ever do that with the big boys in finance.
OK, now that the sound of a thousand popped balloons has stopped ringing in my ears, lets move on to my prescription and advice . . .
Over the last few years I have conceptualised two things:
- What a perfect currency had to be, and
- HOW that perfect currency could come into operation
In October of 2014, somewhat similar to what Martin Luther did to the Catholic Church way back when, I nailed my theses to my door/blog with the post, The Perfect Currency. I gave 19 simple statements of analysis. You can read them easily and quickly sometime if you want, they’re not that complicated.
But the exciting thing however is that I went further than that and conceptualised HOW a pure currency could operate. There are ten key points that I derive from those core assumptions. Again they are easy to read. The significance is profound but the essence of it all is actually quite simple.
Before I charge into a solution and explain how a real currency would work in practice, I continue with the philosophy behind my ideas and advice because I think many in the Monetary Reform and Alternative Currency sectors make errors of judgement in philosophy.
Not all will agree here, and that’s fine for them but in my eyes these are all philosophical mistakes.
Let’s tackle some of them:
13. Bad Attitudes & Motives
There are three different motives I will address here –
i) those of TPTB;
ii) those of the ‘punter’; and
iii) those of the Monetary Reformers.
TPTB are widely vilified in the Alternative Currency space. They are viewed (and probably quite rightly) as selfish, greedy, and everything else right through to utter evil. Creating money out of thin air and lending it back to sovereign countries via their government sponsored puppet-banks at compounding interest is one hell of a business model – do it globally and it truly is a scheme from the pit of hell.
But here’s the rub, and I know because I talk to them (at the lower levels of course) they genuinely believe what they are doing is right. Most of them anyway, certainly openly. The vast majority of people within the system benefit from the system and see no wrong with it. “Making money off others is simply evolution in practice, is it not?” they think. The best man always DOES win, and they make sure that it’s them!
Now this is where I’m going to really p*ss many off when I say this, “I agree with their right to think that and do that!” As far as I am concerned there is no issue with them doing that and they have that very god-given right too.
While I might not like what they do, I cannot see any reason why they can’t do what they are doing – none! It’s a free world and they have done it and have the power. Good on ’em I say! That’s their business. They get that power through people not understanding the way things really work, and through deception but at the end of the day, they still have that power.****
But just as I recognise their right to their business, I’ll reserve my right to blog, comment, tackle their greed-based systems and philosophies however I can.
The Monetary Reformers as far as I can see generally share the same negative opinion about TPTB but they are convinced that they are right and have a right to try and remove them because of their own righteousness. I see different levels of anger and self-righteousness in the Money Reformers but it’s not a clean dividing line between the good-guys and the bad-guys by any stretch of the imagination!
What I do see in this group though is a substantially greater number of people who think outside of the “Me, me, me” greed of TPTB. I see the same level of egos, but not the outright greed.
The Punter however, while a wider cross-section of society is really so very easy to work out. It’s simple . . . WIIFM. What’s In It For Me?
If they can make a buck; pay for their shopping; get through the day, maybe climb a little on the social ladder, where ever that may be, then they will do it. Sadly it’s not a good prognosis but hey, that’s the way I see it.
Let’s move back now to Alternative Currencies in practice . . .
14. Errors Determining Credit
This is the biggest stumbling block I find within this subject, or discipline.
Decisions of risk (which in monetary sense is usually always relating to credit – how much, who to, under what terms etc) are best determined with the maximum information possible available AND by the parties who carry that risk.
Traditionally this is the prerogative of the banking fraternity (and a trade-exchange owner of Community Currency manager in the Alt. Currency space) – they risk potential ‘loss’ therefore they determine your credit terms – the amount, your repayment terms etc. What Alternative Currency people tend to do is to carry this same faulty paradigm across into Mutual Credit systems and alternatives, and I believe that this is wrong, maybe not an error per se, but certainly not well thought through.
You see when you view the money that the bank is issuing to you as a commodity, then the bank is ‘giving you money’, and the bank stands to ‘lose’ and has every right to ‘control’ your credit. However when you view the transaction in its completeness the bank manager doesn’t own [commodity] money. That’s an impossibility as I’ve explained previously. He is at the end of the day only representing the people who underwrite that liability (this is the other, hidden part of the money he is playing with) so he is only really managing your risk that is shared by the other traders (not him; not his bank). This is technically the Central bank but that is simply a role representing the government of the people which of course represent the individual people of the country.
Put it another way, the bank manager is assuming a proxy role for the government on behalf of the other traders in the currency system we are all forced to use.
The person who should REALLY be making the credit decision (all things being equal) is the person from whom you are buying something with that money – not the bank manager – the credit decisions should really be made by the SELLER and nothing to do with the bank!
In a real world scenario, not a dream world as presented by TPTB, the Bank should be seeking endorsement from the SELLER for the loan.
Don’t panic now, I’m not crazy, you’ll see why I say this in a minute.
This is the total opposite from the usual story presented to us.
The error comes in because we see the money as a commodity, when in fact it is a debt to the rest of society (of course which comes through the bank and the banker).
Now if you get this idea great, but if you don’t then you really need to re-read this description in light of this next scenario . . . please DON’T give up here whatever you do because it’s VITAL to understand this . . .
Imagine that you are on a deserted island with a bunch of others without any traditional money and you want some fish. The fisherman comes in with a load of fish after a day out on the water. Ten families (including yours) line up to BUY some fish. Remember you have no money but you can still trade of course! The fisherman says “OK who’s first? How many do you want? How are you going to pay me?” You step up and say, “Me please – two fish” and you offer him a bunch of bananas later that afternoon delivered by your son to his house. “OK! Fair enough. Sounds good enough to me!” he says, and hands you a couple of fish.
Now stop there . . . that’s a VERY simple common trade, so who made the credit decision and upon what basis did he extend the credit?
The SELLER did. He knew that you were good for it because he knew you had a banana plantation and he knew you would honour your word [he had quality information].
This is how the real world works. Any monetary system that gets away from the real world is open to deception, manipulation and of course benefit to the manipulators and controllers.
Now he goes through another couple of families trading in the same manner and reaches a little old lady with nothing. People could laugh and say she’ll never get a fish off the fisherman, but the daughter steps up and interrupts the gossip. “Trust me fisherman, I’ll make sure you get something worth a couple of fish one day!” she says. The fisherman agrees and now grandma can eat for another day.
This is a like a loan guarantee of course but again, note who made the credit risk assessment – the SELLER. Also note that the value of the trade was not even set before the trade. This is the prerogative of . . . who? . . . the seller of course!
Then comes along a conman and a vagabond, the worst dude on the island who is not worthy of his word. Everyone knows this (or should have known this) but they say nothing and the fisherman trades with the crooked dude fully expecting to get paid.
The bad quality credit decision was again made by the SELLER, BUT I can tell you this, when that bad debt comes up for discussion at the next opportunity, the fisherman (SELLER) could easily be asking the entire community to cover for that bad debt because they should have spoken up but didn’t. At the village meeting he will be saying something like:
Listen up you guys, you knew that he wasn’t ‘good for it’ and didn’t let me know. YOU are going to have to make this up to me or I won’t be extending credit to ANY of you again!
In a real world scenario when people are directly affected, credit reputations are very important and risk should be shared. Quality information is required to assess credit worthiness. The people knew the crook wasn’t ‘good for it’. The fisherman didn’t.
Now in order for any of them to get credit from that fisherman again, they will have to all contribute something to placate the angry fisherman, get their act together and rebuild the destroyed trust that their irresponsibility caused.
This is one of the core principles that makes Open Source thinking so powerful. When you push the decision-making responsibilities back to the people who have the information, and you force accountability to those who should by rights be accountable, then you can naturally, and without major cost or complexity reproduce the real-world scenario into an economic system.
Achieving this in a digital currency creates an ultra-thin management system that enables high scalability, and in short, will work.
That’s the secret behind true open source money . . . getting a system that reproduces the REAL world and is as thin as conceivable, conceptually.
The same goes for technical matters, you want them as thin as possible too, but technical matters are not the focus of this series.
15. Top Down Credit Management
From this hypothetical trading scenario lets extract then, another fundamental error in many Alt. Currencies – credit management. This concept of top-down, third-party [supposedly neutral] Credit Management is our fifteenth Mistake.
First, as we’ve seen, the traders naturally/normally determine credit arrangements. I’ll now consider this a given.
Secondly, a credit limit, or an overdraft is a superimposed concept that does not match real life scenarios in a trading situation. This is the same in both the banking world AND the Alt. Currency world but the idea of a superimposed limit, or an overdraft is fundamentally flawed. Socially it distances the traders from responsibility and financially it imports stress in several ways.
Let’s go back to the fisherman to see how the real world works, then compare this back to real money for that will teach us the way things SHOULD work.
After the fright they had with the rogue trader, the village meeting decides that from now on there will be a rule. Anybody can buy three fish on credit but no more than three (except for the rogue who has to direct trade with his goods or he doesn’t get any fish).
Now, rules are made to be broken and human nature dictates that if accountability is lax then conduct suffers.
Suddenly everyone realises that they can buy three fish, no matter whether they have things to trade or not. The fisherman is happy because he sells all his fish easily BUT when it comes to collecting, he runs into more and more people who have over-extended themselves; he finds himself having extended a little too much credit in some situations and he is left with quite a bit of bad or dubious debt. He also finds that some people with a big family are not happy that they can only buy three fish but they need more and they would have been good for it whereas others weren’t. Some tried to buy three fish and could only eat one and the others went rotten within two days. Others found that they could buy fish and sell for profit from others less lucky.
All this came about because of a centralised credit management system, supposedly the best way to handle credit situations . . . but the Fisherman knew what worked before.
“I’ve had enough of all your credit management rules! I was lazy and made a big mistake to think that a rule was going to be better than being responsible myself,” he said one day. “I’m going back to making my credit decisions. It’s my money and if I say this man is good for five fish and he can pay me back the next day with bananas, and he’s running late and takes a couple of days to get them for me then that’s on my shoulders.” The people agreed.
Taking back the management of debt to the two traders is the natural way that works in the real world. Anything else is destined to bring strife, encourage irresponsible conduct and defaults will increase as a direct result. Pushing credit management to those directly responsible is the way to create the cleanest currency possible.
Yes, there needs to be systems to match real-life but the principle is to match real-life as closely as possible to achieve sustainability and scalability.
16. Confidentiality is Highly Conditional
While not so much a philosophical issue, handling information from a confidentiality perspective is a tricky matter.
In a nutshell making information public (transparent) is not a binary decision. Many argue about it or end up trying to make an either/or matter out of it. It’s not.
Without going into the whys and wherefores, There is a grid matrix of factors that determine the suitability of sharing information. First you have the authorities who have a right under law to access certain financial information. This right is defined in the laws of each sovereign state but is gradually moving into the arena of international law. Watch as more and more, tentacles of globalisation affect ones’ right to privacy across the globe. Essentially though, the matter of confidentiality has to be addressed within any currency system FIRST and foremost with the authorities.
Then there are different, sometimes conflicting priorities between many parties in regards to confidentiality of information. Opening the entire system to public viewing (the principles of full Open Sourcing) will not facilitate trade from guys who want to pick up a girlie picture-book without their wife’s knowledge. Likewise the boys in blue might want to know what you are doing sending regular payments off to Colombia and you may not want them to know.
One should know or have access to certain information prior to a sale. This should include transaction history of some sort sufficient to assess credit risk and/or capacity to pay but this is not a one-size-fits all where a system of rules works. One needs to know information about another trader’s defaults in order to assess credit issuance but this need not be public or in detail. Sometimes though it should be.
And to be quite pedantic about it, all information should be assessed in realtime, whether someone is in default, or attempting to obtain credit for fraudulent purposes.
My philosophical approach to this issue recognises first that there is a combination of technologies, people, systems and rules (legislative environments) but that it is always best to push decision-making DOWN as far as possible, not UP, as this best reproduces the way the real world works. Of course this is the heart of Open Source thinking.
To recap – confidentiality is NOT a binary situation, which is why both the Bitcoin (at one end of the spectrum) the Legal Tender systems (in the middle requiring information to be controlled by a third-party banker) and Social Media voting forms of credit-making decisions (the other end of the spectrum) all have issues with confidentiality.
17. Zero-cost money is a pipedream
There is a big mistake in the Monetary Reform community surrounding the concept of interest-free money.
Zero-cost money is a mirage [a fallacy/pipedream] because the costs outlaid to achieve zero-cost money ends with a net loss. Golfers know that you have to putt the golf-ball PAST the hole to get it INTO the hole. Anyone who plays or coaches a sport with a bat and a ball knows that you don’t hit the ball, you have to hit THROUGH the ball. In rugby you don’t stand passively and await a runner with the ball to bowl you over. You don’t even meet an opposing force with like-force. You have to produce a greater force to achieve your purpose and bring another player down. In chess you don’t just defend or protect your pieces, for that simply ends in a stalemate at best, you have to aim to win.
Likewise any efforts to achieve zero-cost money are predestined to failure. The solution is not to try to REMOVE interest from the money equation, it is to INVERT that principle of interest payable to the bankers and actively pay commissions to users on the use of money. We’ll leave the HOW for now – and yes, there IS a simple and natural way to achieve this, of course!
Like anything profound, this is a relatively simple concept at the end of the day but there are too many questions for people stuck in the current paradigm that they often can’t see it. Suffice to say that it is perfectly possible to create a pure Mutual Credit currency that simply inverts the principle of interest payable to bankers and pays commissions on use of Mutual Credit based currencies to those who deserve it. In such a situation the WIIFM issue is addressed, something that has totally confounded and frustrated the industry since its inception.
Keep reading if you don’t believe me, but we’re almost done for now, so I’ll get all patronising and preach on the last Mistake I see . . .
18. Shallow, Partial Thinking
I want to encourage Monetary Reformers to consciously dig deeper and think wider than they have to date. Hopefully these snippets of wisdom have helped you do that already but no matter how far they go, nobody ever gets there . . .
There are many stories in the bible of people climbing a mountain, conquering lands, listening to God and even doing great things and then sitting back thinking that they have made it. Some of them actually got a good growling for not going deeper, or further than they did too!
I see the Monetary Reformers struggling with this issue all the time. Life is a journey and not a destination. I’ll give you examples of how this limited mentality works in specifics from what we’ve already covered thus far and then take a moment to stretch you into the future.
- We work out that something is wrong with the global economic systems so we try to bring ownership of the banks into the Public domain, but we stop researching and fail to realise that even this action will still eventuate with compounding interest!
- We see that there is a problem with fiat currencies and scream for gold backing, yet fail to push through and work out that the same people own the banks AND the gold supply. Even is we learn this, we still don’t truly grasp the significance of this!
- We know that Mutual Credit is the natural and therefore best form of currency but we reproduce Trade Exchanges and Community Currencies that are all proven NOT to work, and fail to push through with solutions to what Traders actually want – NOT another network they have to join!
- We understand that the entire monetary system is flawed, and will crash, but we peg our new Mutual Credit systems to it!
And it goes on an on . . .
There are things that we can do, feel good about, yet not take them far enough because we haven’t stopped and thought them through properly. Here are some for the future.
We’ve established that a Mutual Credit system is best; we have a working system – can you take it international? Was it designed to go international in the first place?
We’ve established that paying commissions is a viable method of rewarding users/members and have done this in our commercial Trade Exchange for introductions (referral fees) but have we gone further to put this into overdrive and paid commissions on turnover? And now to put the whole thing on steroids, what about paying members MOST/ALL of the commissions and turning your learning into REAL progress with a member-owned co-operative business model. Don’t say, “Crazy!” or, “It can’t be done!” because it IS being done and it DOES work for some.
Now if you’ve established a way to pay commissions, why not pay back two levels, or three, or more? Amway does this with their income streams don’t they?
If you have something that works under your brand, have you thought of White Labeling it and giving it to others to use? There’s excellent precedent for doing this in many business sectors. Why not with currencies?
There’s an enormous change afoot in this sector, yet the Monetary Reformers are limited in their thinking largely to the present and current paradigms. Mixing and matching existing technologies, with sound principles to meet real needs however creates the opportunities.
I recommend that Open Source thinkers let the financial system implode and be prepared to move WHEN the trouble happens, for this is the time that the demand will occur.
TPTB believe what they are doing is OK; the Monetary Reformers think they know better but for most of the world they simply don’t care about such matters.
Credit should be issued and managed by the traders who are closest to the realtime information. If they are accountable then this will be a natural situation.
Confidentiality decisions are tricky and conditional; zero-cost money is a mirage, and we should all be looking to push ourselves beyond our current paradigms, stretching our thinking!
Congratulations on getting through this far!
In my last post in this series I summaries everything, taking this list of negatives (Mistakes) and putting it beside my positive prescription for a Perfect Traders’ Currency, the one I shared in October 2014. Little surprises that there is a broad match.
This is important for it dovetails into a practical solution that I developed, Club Credits. It’s one thing to pontificate about the theory; it’s quite another to push that into a practical solution. I’ve done that and you will be able to see how they all dovetail together next.
* I have actually have a few reservations about the last aspect (the when) which comes back to a religious/philosophical belief but the main point I’m making, which is that TPTB have the power to enforce their ways for their own benefit remains [conditionally] valid.
** Thomas Greco, Reclaiming the Credit Commons: Toward a Butterfly Society
*** The basic biblical stance (shared by other religions also to quite an amazing similarity actually) is that there will be a global crash, and that the geo-political/financial/business power structures will implode. The books of Daniel and Revelation detail this if you want more. My take is that when the political leaders scurry off into hiding in disgrace (as predicted) that the people will no longer TRUST in globalisation, big-business, big-government or any centralised power system. This will then be the first real opportunity for true money advocates to speak to a willing audience, as people have to seek alternatives to trade, to survive and to understand. Many will be seeking answers to their problems . . . the global question will change from its current, “How do we get this sinking ship turned around?” to first, “What the hell went so wrong?” and then to, “OK, so what’s the better way, so that this never happens again to our generation or our children’s generation or theirs?” I see precedent of global learning in previous global situations of stress – for example the generation after the Great Depression chose to save instead of spend; the generation after WW2 chose politics and compromise over large-scale open warfare, but there is a distinct possibility that the long-sought-after global consciousness change could occur and be longer-lasting, following the global economic implosion. One of the by-products of this implosion will also likely be removal of the blind, and in my opinion foolish worship of democracy, which in a political sense, is the exact equivalent of paying interest to the bankers. Democracy is the mechanism by which power is obtained and justified in the political sector – interest is the mechanism by which power is obtained and retained. The political provides the authority, enforcement and justification. Interest provides the mechanism for that enslavement.
**** I’m a [non-denominational] Christian and it seems to me that what TPTB have done is totally evil but it is also very clear to me that God hasn’t intervened in the matter yet, so for the moment, they’re it!
The Mistakes in a Nutshell:
- Money is NOT and can never be a commodity. It is simply a record of debt.
- Pegging to a mainstream, manipulated, inflating currency dooms any alternative currency to the same destruction as the one its pegged to.
- It is traders alone who value a currency, at the point of each trade.
- Interest may compound, de-stabilise, be immoral etc but it works, consolidating wealth and power.
- Failing to adequately address the "WIIFM factor" cripples a currency from the outset.
- Ego [self-interest] kills goodwill.
- The backing of a currency is always TRUST, not a commodity itself.
- It is impossible to manage a pure currency.
- Usage doesn't determine the function of a true currency.
- Creating networks solves a non-existent problem.
- Networking currencies introduces more problems than it solves.
- Open Source thinking will only replace current systems when they implode.
- Everyone thinks they're right.
- The seller should be the one determining credit terms.
- Credit management from the top will always fail.
- Confidentiality is conditional - it's not a binary issue.
- Zero-cost money is a pipedream.
- Shallow and partial thinking limits our vision.
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