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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The obvious answer is castration.

However, I am not looking for obvious answers, and the question should in fact be reformulated to reflect that, such as "What can change the nature of a person?"

As some of you might be aware as soon as you see the title, this is inspired by the game Planescape: Torment, one of the greatest artistic and philosophical masterpieces in gaming to date.

That being said, I'd like to take the time to focus the question: I would ask you to focus primarily on psychological and individual development (or regression), with or without the use of personality theory as it would suit you. I'm assuming it would be a given for NTs to focus naturally on the intellectual side of personal development.

It would be particularly helpful if any ideas you might have about significant answers as to the factors influencing this could be backed up by examples, preferably personal, significant cathartic experiences, but theoretical situations might also work (if they're constructed well). It goes without saying that you should expect debate on the latter.

Witty one-liners are also welcome and very appreciated. *subtle glance at ENTPs*

One-liner statements or opinions without further elaboration to back them up, while simultaneously lacking N humo(u)r, as expanded upon at length by @gingertonic and @LeaT of the Biker Gang & Co. here,
are not. *subtle glance at sensors posing as NTs*

Here it is, then, another attempt at a distraction from the unbearable, miserable tedium of daily life and first-world problems, a bone to chew on, and hopefully see what can change the nature of an NT...
 

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I think the first question we must ask is: what is the nature of a person? Second question is: what does change mean? Third question: what is person? Although it is partially already explained and defined in the OP.

I'd define the nature of a person and person as the same. The core values of an individual represents the individual. This makes sense given the phenomology that we know, where people tend to attach and latch themselves onto the physical world in various ways to explain them as people, whether we like to or not. While I am not my computer, I cannot deny the freedom of intellectuality the computer provides me with, while satisfying my need for introversion. It indeed helps to reduce anxiety.

What would thus instill change within an individual? Remove whatever phenomenological element that is a part of that person's core and you will force that person to adapt to the situation in various ways. This may be both positive or negative.

So given this context, how can we change the nature of an NT?

Then we run into another problem of definition. What is an NT? Do we stick to the Keirsey elements description or what Jung wrote about the two functions?

With that said, I think there is indeed a common ground for all NTs to require some kind of abstract intellectual stimulation due to the nature of NiTe and NeTi. The change of an NT would thus require to change something that phenomenologically relates to the NT's desires for intellectualism. A few examples are books, abstract theories, TV documentaries or perhaps an intellectual hobby such as studying philosophy or learning mathematics. One such thing could for instance be an NT to find out that the theory s/he was supporting and thought there was a good basis for was in fact just recently proven false. This would indeed force the NT to re-evaluate him/herself in the light of new science, especially if said theory was highly relevant to his/her core values of being. The proof for the existence of god would definitely be such an example which would create a sense of deep existential angst among many NTs I think.

On the other hand, burning an NT's book collection might also yield a similar effect (or in my case I dare say more my music collection) where the NT is forced to re-evaluate the connection between the material and the metaphysical (ideas are metaphysical).

I can't provide with any personal experiences in relation to the thread's title that incurred personal growth, but at least I think this is a start.
 

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Ooh this is a good thread. This spot is reserved for when I can think of more than just witty one-liners.

EDIT: Ok, I'm going to go in a different direction from @LeaT.

What could change the nature of an NT? Well, I think we've made a good start in the intellectual direction. As systems analysts, anything that forces us to drastically re-evaluated our model is going to be significant. However, since the nature of the NT is to be a systems analyst, there isn't much of a change in nature if we're just fixing our models and updating our databases.

I would argue that heavy doses of emotion in stressful situations over long periods of time would not only change the nature of the NT, but more so than any of the other clusters..

I do have personal experience, but I'll stay abstract for now. At best, an NT will have a feeling function as the tertiary, so at best, the feeling function is going to be a slight check on the often quite strong thinking function. At worst, it is inferior and completely distrusted. Forcing an NT to deal with stressful situations that the thinking function can't handle will bring out F, and often in a very unhealthy way. As an ENTP, when I don't handle these stressful situations well, not only does my Fe direct my anger outwards during the conflict, the damage this does to my relationships also makes me quite sad and angry because of my empathetic Fe. Continued F damage to the psyche will truly change an NT.

But it isn't all bad. The change can also be good. At the depths of such a funk, the weak F can become so overwhelmed that it shuts down almost completely. The repeated torment can snap a depressed NT back into equilibrium. For me, this happened almost overnight. After ~10 years of gradually intensifying mental, emotional, and physical abuse from my dad and a particularly stressful conflict (death threats, attempts, etc), I shut down. I literally could not feel anymore. I had retreated so far into my mind that it was almost impossible to contact me.

That night changed me. Truly changed me. Until then, I would have never questioned anyone's intentions towards me - I assumed the best in people. It was a huge part of my model/system.

Now? Meh. Having been betrayed by someone that I trusted completely and had forgiven time and time again, I now know better. I don't assume people are terrible - though I know a lot are. But I certainly don't assume the best of anyone. I'm a much more distant person. The initial gap between me and other people is much, much larger.


Hmm... that mostly became a rant. I think I did a good job defending my claim, I just got a bit lost.
 

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The Ludovico technique...but used against books instead of people-bashing and Beethoven's Ninth?

Was that witty enough? :sad:
 

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The Ludovico technique...but used against books instead of people-bashing and Beethoven's Ninth?

Was that witty enough? :sad:
Do you think it was witty enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Do you think it was witty enough?
I'm assuming from @Nimbus's rather shy voice and accompanying emoticon that she's quite uncertain of it, seeing as how she was aware that it was a melded repost of Lea's theory and Clockwork Orange, which is why she left it open-ended... Perhaps testing the waters to see if name-dropping "A Clockwork Orange" is enough...
I wonder, is that the tertiary Fe twitching? :tongue:

And perhaps not. ENTP: too many variables.

ginger, you seem to be in the mood for snarky mindgames... then again, I wonder if there's ever a time when you're not.
 

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"What can change the nature of a person?"
This presumes the nature of a person is static and resists change. I am not comfortable with that as a premise from the get-go.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
self preservation instincts and some jimmies rustle.
So this is it, then, huh folks? Billions of years of evolution and thousands of years of civilization. Art, science, philosophy, psychology, etc., and in the end, who we are or may yet be, one of the pinnacles of the human condition, all comes down to the reptilian brain? I would've said "how underwhelming" if I didn't think you were going for a witty one-liner there, and that's generously giving you the benefit of the doubt.

This presumes the nature of a person is static and resists change. I am not comfortable with that as a premise from the get-go.
1) It's an adaptation of a catchy question that weaves its way through one of my favourite storylines. Within said storyline, by the way, the broadness and "assumptions" or premises of the question, whether true or false, flawed or not, are tackled and assaulted much better and at much greater length and depth.

2) Did you even read the rest of the initial post, or just focus on the part in bold, scratching out all relevant context and diving straight into replying to it? If you're going to nitpick, at least take the time to do it properly; the premise I set forth here (not the game's story writers, who came up with the original form of the question), which is perhaps not too evident, since there's only one mention of "significant cathartic experiences", does indeed imply change and not a static nature. Furthermore, note how I mention psychological and individual development specifically. Development should imply evolving, gradual improvement, constant growth towards betterment. I've even, in a flash of brilliance, gone way ahead and accounted for the possibility of the reverse (regression)!
In fact, I myself visualize it as a constantly rolling ball (of let's say, snow, since it's an often-used metaphor and a well known mental image) that picks up more mass and speed as it rolls along. However, the "factors" I'm looking for here are the possible sudden "jolts" and "bumps" which can or conceivably could radically alter the direction and speed of the path of development (or snowball, if you prefer).

So, it's not really a presumption of the static nature of a person, is it? Nothing uncomfortable about it now, I hope. Try again, maybe? That is, unless you're now moved to ponder and discuss free will and determinism, which is also an interesting and perhaps relevant topic, but there's another one for that here :wink:

I had a feeling it would come to this. Still, better than the nothing that's going on over yonder, where the supposedly spiritual brethren of ours dwell.

PS: then again, perhaps it's just bad marketing.
 

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So this is it, then, huh folks? Billions of years of evolution and thousands of years of civilization. Art, science, philosophy, psychology, etc., and in the end, who we are or may yet be, one of the pinnacles of the human condition, all comes down to the reptilian brain? I would've said "how underwhelming" if I didn't think you were going for a witty one-liner there, and that's generously giving you the benefit of the doubt.



1) It's an adaptation of a catchy question that weaves its way through one of my favourite storylines. Within said storyline, by the way, the broadness and "assumptions" or premises of the question, whether true or false, flawed or not, are tackled and assaulted much better and at much greater length and depth.

2) Did you even read the rest of the initial post, or just focus on the part in bold, scratching out all relevant context and diving straight into replying to it? If you're going to nitpick, at least take the time to do it properly; the premise I set forth here (not the game's story writers, who came up with the original form of the question), which is perhaps not too evident, since there's only one mention of "significant cathartic experiences", does indeed imply change and not a static nature. Furthermore, note how I mention psychological and individual development specifically. Development should imply evolving, gradual improvement, constant growth towards betterment. I've even, in a flash of brilliance, gone way ahead and accounted for the possibility of the reverse (regression)!
In fact, I myself visualize it as a constantly rolling ball (of let's say, snow, since it's an often-used metaphor and a well known mental image) that picks up more mass and speed as it rolls along. However, the "factors" I'm looking for here are the possible sudden "jolts" and "bumps" which can or conceivably could radically alter the direction and speed of the path of development (or snowball, if you prefer).

So, it's not really a presumption of the static nature of a person, is it? Nothing uncomfortable about it now, I hope. Try again, maybe? That is, unless you're now moved to ponder and discuss free will and determinism, which is also an interesting and perhaps relevant topic, but there's another one for that here :wink:

I had a feeling it would come to this. Still, better than the nothing that's going on over yonder, where the supposedly spiritual brethren of ours dwell.

PS: then again, perhaps it's just bad marketing.
Some of my misunderstanding may be grounded in my total ignorance of the game "Planescape."

Given the possibility of change as a premise, then, that opens up lots of possibilities for things that affect the nature of a human being. Millions and millions of possibilities, even if you limit them to "jolts and bumps"! Speaking of storylines, conflict and character development are pretty much the basis for every story ever written. There are so many stories with such a variety of conflict scenarios that have an effect on the nature of humans, most of them solidly within the realm of possibility. My intent is not to nitpick, here, btw, it is just that I find myself overwhelmed with potential scenarios resulting in change in the nature of a human.

It would help my brain some if you could limit the size of the set a bit. What are you most interested in by way of external forces? Interpersonal dynamics (moderate, persistent discord sort of thing)? Extreme physical or psychological abuse (by a caregiver or stranger [i.e. kidnapping])? Random catastrophic in environment (earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.)? Random catastrophic illness or injury (going blind, losing a limb, cancer, etc.) Just to name a few.

Or have I still missed the intent/objective of your original posting?
 

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It would help my brain some if you could limit the size of the set a bit. What are you most interested in by way of external forces? Interpersonal dynamics (moderate, persistent discord sort of thing)? Extreme physical or psychological abuse (by a caregiver or stranger [i.e. kidnapping])? Random catastrophic in environment (earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.)? Random catastrophic illness or injury (going blind, losing a limb, cancer, etc.) Just to name a few.

Or have I still missed the intent/objective of your original posting?
Pick one that hasn't been explored yet, or expand on one already posted. Your choice.
 
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Time, situation, and company.

I don't think I have exactly the same personality today as I had yesterday. It changes subtly over time, as can be detected by how I can change my mind on different topics. It can also change depending on whether the situation is critical or not. I have a noticably different personality if something is an emergency. It can stay in place for a long time. Company is the last one, and I think it comes out of the idea that I like to make people happy, so I reflect back at them.
 

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By nature and italicized person, do you mean boundaries that define a human? That is, the dispositions that a qualify a thing to be a person or do you mean the normative or what a essence of man ought to be? If the former, then its one of perceptual feedback and adaptation. If the latter, we're referring to psychological birth and the forces that drive it towards a state of ubermensch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some of my misunderstanding may be grounded in my total ignorance of the game "Planescape."
Point taken. Though I would still maintain that a lot of this doesn't depend so much on it, except perhaps being related in a very general, conceptual way.

Given the possibility of change as a premise, then, that opens up lots of possibilities for things that affect the nature of a human being. Millions and millions of possibilities, even if you limit them to "jolts and bumps"! Speaking of storylines, conflict and character development are pretty much the basis for every story ever written. There are so many stories with such a variety of conflict scenarios that have an effect on the nature of humans, most of them solidly within the realm of possibility. My intent is not to nitpick, here, btw, it is just that I find myself overwhelmed with potential scenarios resulting in change in the nature of a human.
I know, right? :happy: Thus, my decision to try and work through them via this discussion, and try to work towards an answer (or answerS) to the question.

It would help my brain some if you could limit the size of the set a bit. What are you most interested in by way of external forces? Interpersonal dynamics (moderate, persistent discord sort of thing)? Extreme physical or psychological abuse (by a caregiver or stranger [i.e. kidnapping])? Random catastrophic in environment (earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.)? Random catastrophic illness or injury (going blind, losing a limb, cancer, etc.) Just to name a few.
Pick one that hasn't been explored yet, or expand on one already posted. Your choice.

^ what he said. Grab the first one, or the most interesting one (to you), and go with it; I have a feeling we're on the right track here now.
Or have I still missed the intent/objective of your original posting?
Not at all. In fact, you've moved much, much closer to it, as I noted above. Go with it; I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Time, situation, and company.

I don't think I have exactly the same personality today as I had yesterday. It changes subtly over time, as can be detected by how I can change my mind on different topics. It can also change depending on whether the situation is critical or not. I have a noticably different personality if something is an emergency. It can stay in place for a long time. Company is the last one, and I think it comes out of the idea that I like to make people happy, so I reflect back at them.
A good breakdown; I like how you structured it, especially the part where you establish a gradation.

I find the part about the fluidity of the sense of self quite interesting. Here's a possible direction we could go in, and I fortunately remembered and found a relevant talk that deals with it specifically:

They're long, but worth watching if you have the time. No pressure, though :tongue: In fact, for the moment, the first one may be the most relevant one.

By nature and italicized person, do you mean boundaries that define a human? That is, the dispositions that a qualify a thing to be a person or do you mean the normative or what a essence of man ought to be? If the former, then its one of perceptual feedback and adaptation. If the latter, we're referring to psychological birth and the forces that drive it towards a state of ubermensch.
I deliberately left it broad and generalized, so, both, I guess.

Also, when you say:
what a essence of man ought to be
what do you mean by "ought to be"? According to whom? This is also very important. According to Nietzsche, or according to oneself? Especially taking into consideration the above talks about the self.

That noted, I like this particular "fork" or subdivision as well, and I'll say again, I consider them both worth exploring in a bit more detail.

This is getting interesting. Not sure about you guys, but it is to me. But then of course, I'm biased :laughing: don't mind me.
 

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Asking what can change the nature of an NT is assuming that the nature of an NT can be changed.

You'd best find out if the nature of a person can first be changed before asking such a question.

In my opinion the nature can't be changed, only an aspect of a person may change.
Finally :/
 

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Character Shift Scenario

O.K., I pick moderate, persistent discord. Here is a classic example (summary copied from Wikepedia) for discussion purposes, which I intend to examine closely in a subsequent post, others also invited to make observations on this example, of course:

Sinclair Lewis has been both criticized and congratulated for his unorthodox writing style in Babbitt. As one reviewer puts it: “There is no plot whatever… Babbitt simply grows two years older as the tale unfolds.”[SUP][15][/SUP] Lewis presents a chronological series of scenes in the life of his title character. After introducing George F. Babbitt as a middle-aged man, "nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay," Lewis presents a meticulously detailed description of Babbitt's morning routine.[SUP][16][/SUP] Each item Babbitt encounters is explained, from the high-tech alarm clock, which Babbitt sees as a marker of social status, to the rough camp blanket, a symbol of the freedom and heroism of the West. As he dresses for the day, Babbitt contemplates each article of his "Solid Citizen" uniform, most important being his Booster's club button, which he wears with pride. The first seven chapters follow Babbitt's life over the course of a single day. Over breakfast Babbitt dotes on his ten-year-old daughter Tinka, tries to dissuade his twenty-two-year-old daughter Verona from her new found socialist leanings, and encourages his seventeen-year-old son Ted to try harder in school. At the office he dictates letters and discusses real estate advertising with his employees.

Babbitt is professionally successful as a realtor. Much of his energy in early chapters is spent on climbing the social ladder through booster functions, real estate sales, and making good with various dignitaries. According to Babbitt, any “decent” man in Zenith belonged to at least two or three “lodges” or booster clubs. They were good for potential business partnerships, getting time away from home and family life, and quite simply because “it was the thing to do.”[SUP][17][/SUP] Babbitt admits that while these clubs “stimulated him like brandy,” he often found work dull and nerve-wracking in comparison. Lewis also paints vivid scenes of Babbitt bartering for liquor (despite being a supporter of Prohibition) and hosting dinner parties. At his college class reunion, Babbitt reconnects with a former classmate, Charles McKelvey, whose success in the construction business made him a millionaire. Seizing the opportunity to hobnob with someone from a wealthier class, Babbitt invites the McKelveys to a dinner party. Although Babbitt hopes the party will help his family rise socially, the McKelveys leave early and do not extend a dinner invitation in return.
Gradually, Babbitt realizes his dissatisfaction with "The American Dream," and attempts to quell these feelings by going camping in Maine with his close friend and old college roommate Paul Reisling. When Babbitt and Paul arrive at the camp they marvel at the beauty and simplicity of nature. Looking out over a lake Babbitt comments: “I’d just like to sit here – the rest of my life – and whittle – and sit. And never hear a typewriter.”[SUP][18][/SUP] Paul is similarly entranced, stating: “Oh it’s darn good, Georgie. There’s something eternal about it.”[SUP][19][/SUP] Although the trip has its ups and downs, the two men consider it an overall success, and leave feeling optimistic about the year ahead.
On the day that Babbitt gets elected vice-president of the Booster’s club, he finds out that Paul shot his wife Zilla. Immediately Babbitt drives to the jail where Paul is being kept. Babbitt is very shaken up by the situation, trying to think of ways to help Paul out. When Paul was sentenced to a three-year jail term, “Babbitt returned to his office to realize that he faced a world which, without Paul, was meaningless.”[SUP][20][/SUP] Shortly after Paul’s arrest, Myra and Tinka go to visit relatives, leaving Babbitt more or less on his own. Alone with his thoughts Babbitt begins to ask himself what it was he really wanted in life. Eventually, “he stumbled upon the admission that he wanted the fairy girl - in the flesh.”[SUP][21][/SUP] Missing Paul, Babbitt decides to return to Maine. He imagines himself as a rugged outdoorsman, and thinks about what it would be like to become a camp guide himself. Ultimately, however, he is disenchanted with the wilderness and leaves “lonelier than he had ever been in his life.”[SUP][22][/SUP]
Eventually Babbitt finds the cure for his loneliness in an attractive new client, Tanis Judique. He opens up to her about everything that happened with Paul and Zilla, and Tanis proves to be a sympathetic listener. In time, Babbitt begins to rebel against all of the standards he formerly held: he jumps into liberal politics with famous socialist litigator Seneca Doane; conducts an extramarital affair with Tanis; goes on various vacations; and cavorts around Zenith with would-be Bohemians and flappers. But each effort ends up disillusioning him to the concept of rebellion. On his excursions with Tanis and her group of friends, "the Bunch," he learns that even the Bohemians have rigid standards for their subculture. When Virgil Gunch and others discover Babbitt's activities with Seneca Doane and Tanis Judique, Virgil tries to convince Babbitt to return to conformity and join their newly founded "Good Citizens' League.” Babbitt refuses. His former friends then ostracize him; boycotting Babbitt's real estate ventures and shunning him publicly in clubs around town.
Babbitt slowly becomes aware that his forays into nonconformity are not only futile but also destructive of the life and the friends he once loved. Yet he continues with them — even after Myra suspects Babbitt's affair, though she has no proof or specific knowledge. Unrelated to these events, Myra falls seriously ill with acute appendicitis. Babbitt, in a near-epiphany, rushes home and relinquishes all rebellion in order to care for his wife. During her long recovery, they spend a lot of time together, rekindling their intimacy. In short time, his old friends and colleagues welcome Babbitt back into the fold. The consequence of his disgruntled philosophical wanderings being met with practical events of life, he reverts into dispassionate conformity by the end; however, Babbitt never quite loses hold of the sentimentality, empathy, and hope for a meaningful life that he has developed. In the final scene, all has been righted in his life and he is back on a traditional track. He is awakened in the night to find that his son Ted and Eunice, the daughter of his neighbor, have not returned from a party. In the morning his wife informs him that the two have been discovered in the house, having been married that night. While an assemblage of friends and family gather to denounce this development, Babbitt excuses himself and Ted to be alone. He offers his approval of the marriage stating that though he does not agree he admires the fact that Ted has chosen to lead his life by his own terms and not that of conformity.

Depictions of Youth in Babbitt


Although Lewis sought to portray the middle-aged American in Babbitt, he includes tidbits of his character’s youthful dreams and ideals. Babbitt often reflects on his failed goal of becoming a lawyer. In college he dreamed of defending the poor against the “Unjust Rich,” and possibly even running for governor. He began practicing real estate in college to earn money for living expenses, but settled into real estate permanently shortly after marriage. Babbitt’s best friend Paul is similarly haunted by unfulfilled dreams. He is a talented violinist and when he was younger he had hoped to study abroad in Europe. When he and Babbitt leave for their trip to Maine they stop off in New York, where Paul looks longingly at ocean liners set to cross the Atlantic. Although Paul still played the violin on occasion, when he did “even Zilla was silent as the lonely man who lost his way… spun out his dark soul in music.”[SUP][23][/SUP] Even though Babbitt and Paul abandoned their former goals and ideals, Babbitt still dreams of a “fairy child.” She is an imaginary woman, full of life and gaiety, who does not see him as a stogy old businessman, but a “gallant youth.”[SUP][24][/SUP] He imagines various women as his fairy child, including his secretary, a manicurist, his son’s girlfriend Eunice Littlefield, and finally Tanis Judique.
Babbitt, having failed in his aspirations to become a lawyer himself, hopes that his son Ted will go to law school. Ted, however, is hardly interested in finishing high school. Rather than focusing on college, Ted clips advertisements for correspondence courses and money-making schemes. In the novel’s dramatic final scene Ted announces that he has eloped with his girlfriend Eunice Littlefield, and intends on forgoing college to become an engineer. Ted’s girlfriend and later fiancé, is described as “movie crazy,” and very modern in appearance, wearing her hair in a short bob and dressing in skirts that showed off her knees.
Babbitt's hopes for his daughter Verona consist mostly of her making a good marriage. Babbitt is concerned with her socialist leaning political views. The books she reads, including poetry by Vachel Lindsay and essays by H.L. Mencken, particularly disturb him. He finds these authors threatening to the virtues of solid-citizenship. Babbitt’s youngest daughter Tinka, only ten at the start of the book, is doted upon and admired
 

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dude can we get a tl;dr, that's a mighty wall o text with no analysis.
 
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