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The Implications of Bitcoin: Money Without Government
Coin Desk ^ | 23 January 2014 | Jon Matonis

Posted on 01/23/2014 6:15:21 PM PST by Errant

One of my favorite things about bitcoin is how it’s such an all-inclusive tent.

Bitcoin attracts political idealists from the right, political idealists from the left, Silicon Valley technologists, social science academics, philosophers, capitalists, socialists, and even apolitical speculators.

Alex Payne kicked off this latest round of analysis with his blog piece: “Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology”. A self-described programmer and secular humanist, Payne worked as an early engineer at Twitter building the service’s developer platform and backend infrastructure.

(Excerpt) Read more at coindesk.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bitcoin; cryto; government; money
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Excellent piece with insight on the implications if crytocurrencies go viral.
1 posted on 01/23/2014 6:15:21 PM PST by Errant
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin; nascarnation; TsonicTsunami08; SgtHooper; Ghost of SVR4; Lee N. Field; DTA; ...

Click to be Added / Removed.
2 posted on 01/23/2014 6:16:10 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

Or it will provide an excuse for government to get even more intrusive.


3 posted on 01/23/2014 6:17:20 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Errant; KingOfVagabonds; Berlin_Freeper; UnRuley1; mlizzy; mc5cents; RichInOC; Prince of Space; ...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-21/bitcoin-no-bargain-as-47-of-investors-go-bearish-in-poll.html

Bitcoin No Bargain as 47% of Investors Go Bearish in Poll

4 posted on 01/23/2014 6:17:34 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: Errant

It sounds enticing. But, money without electricity? One desirable property in money is as an anonymous bearer instrument. Does cash fit into the Bitcoin paradigm?


5 posted on 01/23/2014 6:20:07 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Errant
A lot of science fiction operates in this realm. If money is anonymous and untraceable, taxes become impossible. Governments cannot be funded and they cease to exist. The marketplace continues, and violence and coercion (the primary task of government in the past) continues, but not as before.

Bitcoin doesn't take us to that world, but I think we will get there before too long.

I also think that governments may be willing to crash the existing system and impose full-scale tyranny if they think the concept of government may be approaching its expiration date. In fact, I think this is what is currently going on.

6 posted on 01/23/2014 6:21:19 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: dfwgator

You think government had Bitcoin in mind when they ordered a billion bullets, armored vehicles and etc.? At most, they’ll just add Bitcoin to their laundry list of perceive threats to their power or authority. ;)


7 posted on 01/23/2014 6:23:15 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Think thumb drive. Cash on a chip. You need to plug it into a system with electricity, but you walk around with cash in your pocket. If it’s keyed to a phrase only you know, then the cash is yours and no one else’s. It can’t be stolen, but it can be spent.


8 posted on 01/23/2014 6:23:19 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: narses

last January, bitcoin was USD$12 per coin and it’s now trading at USD$800/btc ... an increase of 6600% in a single year.

that level of ‘volatility’ I’ll take any day... especially when the USD has decreased in value during the same time frame


9 posted on 01/23/2014 6:24:34 PM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Cash has its niche. Bicoin creates a new one that has its advantages. Likewise both have disadvantages. A big disadvantage for Bitcoin is it’s the new kid on the block. Anybody remember when we didn’t have credit cards?


10 posted on 01/23/2014 6:28:42 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I tend to agree with you. I do believe we will soon enter a new age or epoch far different from the one we’re living in now.


11 posted on 01/23/2014 6:30:51 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: sten

Madoff went years making people money. Scamsters often do.


12 posted on 01/23/2014 6:31:48 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: Errant; ClearCase_guy

I can see how a thumb drive can be cash-like, if the grid is up. I’m not pooh-poohing the whole thing; just saying that physical cash has some attractions that bitcoin doesn’t seem to fill yet.


13 posted on 01/23/2014 6:32:30 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Errant
I won't even begin to write a full explanation, but for many, many reasons, I think the "Modern" period of history (which has been in place since the 1600s or so) is ending, and we are going to into a wrenching change that will re-invent just about everything. Much of the foundation of our modern age is wearing thin in one way or another.

Or else we'll just go straight to The Rapture and nothing else will matter.

14 posted on 01/23/2014 6:34:09 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

So what happens when the government takes down the Internet? (And don’t think they don’t have the capability).


15 posted on 01/23/2014 6:34:40 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

No net, no power—a problem. That’s why I asked about real cash.


16 posted on 01/23/2014 6:35:29 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Errant
What are your thoughts on litecoin? Is mining for them feasible for an individual?
17 posted on 01/23/2014 6:35:44 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Sure, and PMs even more important to have some of, incase of a grid down world. If the grid goes down or even the internet for any length time, it will be a cataclysmic event. It’s why I find it pretty stupid of us to put a internet kill switch into the hands of one person. Worse, one we really don’t know a lot about and from observation, isn’t too wise or even stable.


18 posted on 01/23/2014 6:37:04 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
physical cash has some attractions

Completely off topic, but an old family story. My grandfather graduated from Princeton in 1929 (not good timing, but that's another matter). Some time before graduation he was taking a physics class and the teacher was discussing magnetism. The teacher explained that several metals were magnetically attractive -- nickel and cobalt, for example.

"But," the professor said, "There is no metal more attractive than iron."

My grandfather dug out a $20 gold piece and said, "Here is metal more attractive." He ended up going into banking.

19 posted on 01/23/2014 6:38:57 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: ClearCase_guy
IMO, we'll have a period of major tribulation and even war before the elect are transformed/raptured, if that be the case. Even if this isn't that time, I still look for much turmoil on the horizon as the mistakes of the last few decades come home to roost.

.

20 posted on 01/23/2014 6:44:22 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: dfwgator
So what happens when the government takes down the Internet?

Here, I'll mention "The Matrix". In that movie, humans live as batteries to power "the machines" and the humans live their lives in a virtual world that is controlled by "the machines".

At one point the computer program known as The Architect threatens to extinguish the human race. Neo is not daunted -- "You need us" he tells the computer.

The Architect grimly replies: "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept."

But in a purely human society, if it all comes crashing down, the ruling class will not fare so well. If they crash the system, bitcoin fails, everything else fails, and the rulers end up decorating lamp posts.

21 posted on 01/23/2014 6:44:25 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Anti-Complacency League! Baby!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Bitcoins can disappear into the ethernet in one keystroke. Gold and silver have been money for 5,000 years.


22 posted on 01/23/2014 6:45:37 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Yes, I’m mining them now but the difficulty is increasing rapidly. I’m thinking of switching to mining one of the newer alt coins for the heck of it. A 7970 will do about 600 Kh/s using about 0.250 Kwh. You can calculate your profit at your local electrical costs from there. Another advantage is that I’m using the heat from mining to warm a little grow room I have, so it saves on heating cost too. :)


23 posted on 01/23/2014 6:49:26 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Jet Jaguar
Here is a link to a comparison of others: http://www.wheretomine.com/
24 posted on 01/23/2014 6:55:29 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant

There is also an interesting video at CoinDesk news...

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/bitcoin-investment-outcome-seen-as-binary-TYyZyJ8GS22SWSD9L_9ghw.html


25 posted on 01/23/2014 6:55:56 PM PST by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: PoloSec

Good info and a keeper for future ref., thanks for the link!


26 posted on 01/23/2014 7:02:57 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant
Every time I see an article about Bitcoin I smell tulips..
27 posted on 01/23/2014 7:09:39 PM PST by montanajoe
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To: montanajoe
Tulips don't spend well, Bitcoins do. Tulips were an investment scheme, Bitcoin is a payment scheme. There are a lot of other differences:

http://www.coindesk.com/information/

28 posted on 01/23/2014 7:18:12 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: dfwgator

There are alternatives now emerging to the internet,

The antinet.

The othernet.

The undernet.

With a solar powered battery charger, staying connected can be a perpetual experience.


29 posted on 01/23/2014 7:19:52 PM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

“...Does cash fit into the Bitcoin paradigm?”
*******************************************************************
The dollar and Bitcoin each have their place—and places where maybe they should be avoided. Ever tried to take more than $10,000 in cash with you when leaving the country?


30 posted on 01/23/2014 7:26:48 PM PST by House Atreides
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To: SVTCobra03

Gold is just a yellow metal with some nice properties.

Gold’s historical value was backed by the sword of a ruler but now no more. Gold is obsolete as money and it serves only as a pressure relief valve in times of social upheaval. It’s a psychological crutch, an emotional obsession.

What serves as value today is whatever attracts the most people or subscribers. We may not agree that an attractive phenomenon is valuable, but if 300 million people think it is valuable, then it is valuable.


31 posted on 01/23/2014 7:27:59 PM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Errant

Bitcoin is far too vulnerable. EMP? Bitcoin worthless. ISP cancels you? Bitcoin cutoff. Government goes after you? Bitcoin blocked. Rural locale with no internet? Bitcoin useless.


32 posted on 01/23/2014 7:41:25 PM PST by montag813
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To: Errant

bitcoin’s problem ...

an unlimited number of competitors


33 posted on 01/23/2014 7:58:01 PM PST by RockyTx
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To: montag813

You left out comet strikes, massive solar flares, meteor impacts, super volcanos, ice ages, nuclear war, earth shift, plagues, alien attack, supernovas, and the second coming to name a few more instances in which Bitcoin will be useless.


34 posted on 01/23/2014 8:13:14 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: RockyTx

I remember a time in America when competition was considered a good thing.


35 posted on 01/23/2014 8:14:29 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Think thumb drive. Cash on a chip. You need to plug it into a system with electricity, but you walk around with cash in your pocket. If it’s keyed to a phrase only you know, then the cash is yours and no one else’s. It can’t be stolen, but it can be spent.

Of course you must be diligent about making your backups and all that, since all digital media will fail from time to time. That aspect makes it a pain in the neck.

36 posted on 01/23/2014 8:20:16 PM PST by Cementjungle
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To: Errant
Anybody remember when we didn’t have credit cards?

I do not remember when we didn't have credit cards but I got my first one only 51 years ago.

37 posted on 01/23/2014 9:23:25 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58
I got my first one only 51 years ago.

Still trying to pay it off I bet. :D

"The general-purpose credit card was born in 1966, when the Bank of America established the BankAmerica Service Corporation that franchised the BankAmericard brand (later to be known as Visa) to banks nationwide," Sienkiewicz writes."

The history of credit cards

38 posted on 01/23/2014 9:41:57 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Errant
My first card, in 1963 was an "Esso" card, good only for anything sold at their gas station chain, my second card was an American Express, some time in the 60s. The AMEX card may not be considered a credit card because the balance was due in full, every month. Nowadays AMEX has an actual credit card.

I've used credit cards over my adult life time and actually paid interest in the earlier years but it's been many years since I've paid a dime in interest. my current c.c. has a balance of about $2500, by the end of the credit cycle, it will be around $4,000, which I will pay in full. $4,000 is about my usual monthly balance, on which I get a 01.5% cash rebate or about $60 per month. I cash in just before Christmas time for an extra $700-$800 Christmas cash.

I have no idea what any of my cards charge in inrterest nor do I care, I don't pay it, whatever it is.

39 posted on 01/23/2014 10:04:22 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58
Wow, you should spend $40,000 a month and you could then get back $600 a month. Never mind the CC company's take is only about $1200. A well deserved reward for them considering the risk of never seeing their money again. Of course the business just ups the prices on their goods so they're not out much in merchant fees, accounting services, fraud, chargebacks and etc. A perfect example of a win-win-lose if ever there was one. And hey, 1.5% back beats 0.15% interest on a savings account any day. What's that inflation rate again?
40 posted on 01/23/2014 11:00:38 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: Graybeard58

Diners Club was my first card. Not even sure they exist anymore.

Back to BitCoin, I use it to pay for my TorGuard, which makes it even harder to trace my account to anybody, as using BitCoins is anonymous. Sure, they can track who bought bitcoins, but they can’t trace what the bitcoins were used to purchase.

Would I invest in them. Probably not. But for now, it’s a work-around to having your credit card tied to a TorGuard service.


41 posted on 01/24/2014 1:04:41 AM PST by esoxmagnum (Turtles don't win fights. Victory belongs to the aggressor, not the guy hiding in a bunker.)
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To: Errant

The last time I bought a new car I bought it with a check, I tried to put it on the card but the dealer wouldn’t go for it.


42 posted on 01/24/2014 4:47:17 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Errant; Jet Jaguar
Another advantage is that I’m using the heat from mining to warm a little grow room I have, so it saves on heating cost too. :)

lol...that's pretty creative. Heat is a problem I'm dealing with. I wanted to add a third gpu to my rig (using standard cooling), but the gpu on top was reaching over 100C. So I had to dump gpu #3 on a spare motherboard I had sitting around.

I have two R9 270X's (450 kHash each) and one HD7950 (610 khash) which are making me between .4 to .5 LTC per day.

I've been thinking about looking at using these "riser card cables" to better space out my gpus and get back to one rig, but I'm not sure how I'd securely mount the gpus in a normal case.

One thing I've learned and a piece of advice I'd share is to not get sucked into trading on the exchanges if you don't know what you're doing. I'm done trying that (who am I kidding?). I have a tendency to buy at the top, panic, and sell at the bottom. No matter how much discipline I try to maintain. Yesterday was a friggin bloodbath (I lost $8.00).

So I've moved recently from the r&d phase to the mining phase. But I still don't really know what the heck I'm doing.
43 posted on 01/24/2014 6:06:17 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: Cementjungle; ClearCase_guy
Of course you must be diligent about making your backups and all that, since all digital media will fail from time to time. That aspect makes it a pain in the neck.

A good point. But I'm thinking that possibility that we CAN backup our "cash" is intriguing. Imagine if you left the house with a $20 bill and it blew out of your pocket. However, the guy who found your $20 bill would have a very difficult time spending it if he couldn't crack your password. Meanwhile, you could return home an grab your backup $20 bill from your underwear drawer.

You can probably poke a bunch of holes in the idea, but I find that even the remote possibility of it is very interesting.
44 posted on 01/24/2014 6:12:45 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: mmichaels1970; TsonicTsunami08; Jet Jaguar
lol...that's pretty creative.

I've got 3.2 Kwh solar panel setup too. The state and fed paid for 85% of the cost from energy credits. :) Right now it's under 3" of snow though. The grow room stayed at 55 F last night with 25 F outside temps with just one miner going. I heard on the local news this morning that many of the nurseries south of here were up all night trying to save their plants and green houses from snow accumulation and freezing temps.

Maybe TsonicTsunami08 will send you a link to an image of his miner using riser cables for the GPUs. It's pretty cool!

You're doing very good getting that many hashes out. Mine are nowhere near that but I've got the temps set at 75C.

I've traded commodities and stocks in the past. Lots of time, research, headache, stress and luck needed to make any real "take home" money. Might try trading coins one of these days. The exchanges make it pretty easy to do anyway. You have to keep emotion out and go with a system.

Sounds like you're doing well, learning and having some fun in the process. Thanks for sharing! :)

45 posted on 01/24/2014 7:16:45 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Cash on a chip, a chip in the hand (or forehead), no one buys or sells otherwise...

I’m suspicious of this.


46 posted on 01/24/2014 7:19:21 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Graybeard58

Yeah, people don’t think much about the 3+% CC service charges until big ticket items. CCs are a limitless gold mine for the big banks.


47 posted on 01/24/2014 7:19:27 AM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: dfwgator

What about a government takeover of bitcoin?


48 posted on 01/24/2014 7:19:52 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Go Gramps!


49 posted on 01/24/2014 7:38:45 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: mmichaels1970
A good point. But I'm thinking that possibility that we CAN backup our "cash" is intriguing. Imagine if you left the house with a $20 bill and it blew out of your pocket. However, the guy who found your $20 bill would have a very difficult time spending it if he couldn't crack your password. Meanwhile, you could return home an grab your backup $20 bill from your underwear drawer.

You can probably poke a bunch of holes in the idea, but I find that even the remote possibility of it is very interesting.

I was thinking more of larger sums of money... like retirement accounts. These at least have some sort of coverage (FDIC, SIPC, etc.) in the event of some sort of problem. If we keep large sums of money in Bitcoin electronic "wallets" and our computer dies, and we don't have a proper backup, we would be totally out of luck.

A lot of people don't want to be computer technicians just to manage their cash assets.

50 posted on 01/24/2014 9:22:52 AM PST by Cementjungle
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