Dilbert - C or D?

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Sharp truths about the modern workplace? The same old jokes done by someone who can't draw? Both? Neither?

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:06 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't read it religously, but it's got a true quality to it. Probably what The Office and Office Space are based upon...

Vermont Girl (Vermont Girl), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:09 (seventeen years ago) link

The jokes and writing: classic.
The artwork: dud.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:18 (seventeen years ago) link

It's funny because it's true etc.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I can sort of see a kind of funny in it that I just can't appreciate, which I think is because I've never had anything remotely like an office job. I think it's definitely in that category of "stuff you need to be able to relate to to like."

Tep (ktepi), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, very very dud. I sorta blame them for the continuation of office culture, if only we could break free*

*I may be being a little melodramatic.

jel -- (jel), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:29 (seventeen years ago) link

C: occasional strains of rampant surrealism i.e. Hammerhead Bob, Floyd Remora, the Meeting Moth.

D: Elbonia. "It's a meeting - ABOUT MEETINGS!!!!!!! Do you see?"

Vic Fluro, Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:30 (seventeen years ago) link

I think it was more accurate a few years ago than it is now - office culture is a lot less process-oriented and more, uh, Brentian.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 16:31 (seventeen years ago) link

I blame Adams' shitty artwork on the proliferation of the auteur theory in types of art over the past few decades. It's not enough to be good at one thing anymore (ie, writing jokes), you have to do everything yourself to be considered an artist. In popular music, this is largely the fault of the Beatles (after which, it wasn't cool for bands to play songs by nonbandmember songwriters anymore, the bands had to write the songs themselves); I'm not sure who is to blame in terms of comics.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Has the non-auteur model ever applied in newspaper strips though?

I read someone (Bill Watterson?) arguing that the rise of non-artist Adams types was down to the space available for a strip shrinking and a (linked) lack of editorial concern/respect for drawing and storytelling in cartoons.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 17:54 (seventeen years ago) link

I like the really offensive Dilbert knock-offs. Set sail for Dick!

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 18:31 (seventeen years ago) link

With something like Dilbert I don't think it matters at all whether the art's pretty or not. It's just the medium through which the gags reach us, and it serves that purpose fine.

Wooden (Wooden), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 19:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Is that what n/a stands for? "Non/autership"? Wild.
ANyway, uh, out of the 260 strips a year, there are some good ones, a lot of ones I wonder why I wasted 3 seconds reading, and a few I wish I had died before I noticed.

Huk-L, Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm not anti-auteur, I just with that there wasn't so much shame in hiring someone to write songs for you if you're a good singer but a bad songwriter, or hiring someone to draw your comics if you're good at writing jokes but a bad artist. But I really have to emphasize that I know little to nothing about comics, so this whole auteur thing is just a theory I tossed up here, not really sure if it really applies to comics.

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I think in alternative comics writer/artists are the norm, and in newspaper strips. In mainstream (i.e. Marvel, DC, publishers who want to be either of those) comics division of labour still applies.

Obviously I agree with the pop stuff - outsource stuff you can't do well!

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link

One of the few division-of-labor comic strips I can think of is Penny Arcade. Maybe it's more common in webcomics, for some reason?

I just with that there wasn't so much shame in hiring someone to write songs for you if you're a good singer but a bad songwriter

It's true, you have to form a band with a good songwriter to make it socially acceptable. It would be kind of cool to be the Frank Sinatra of rock bands, though, like a cover band except you'd be playing songs no one has heard yet.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:39 (seventeen years ago) link

There are a lot of the same jokes done over and over but fortunately I still find them funny.

"No way, I've gotta bring this sucker in for a landing! (Can I do that in Excel?)"

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Dilbert jokes we still get mileage out of, #1 of ???:

The boss's laptop needs to be shaken to reboot it, because it is in fact an etch-a-sketch.

(I think it captured in detail that weird period when you had to have non-high-tech managers in high-tech companies, because that's all there was.)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:49 (seventeen years ago) link

#2 of ???

"I was just wondering, if you died, would the coffee cup walk around by itself?"

(this is more universal, I suspect)

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 20:50 (seventeen years ago) link

#3 of ???

"40% of sick days are taken on Friday and Monday; this is unacceptable."

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 21:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I find it pretty funny now and again, and hopeless other times. Yeah, the art is very weak. As for the auteur theory in comic strips, it's more honoured in name than fact, as loads of people have 'assistants' who actually draw the strips. This is generally but not always a good thing.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Tuesday, 19 October 2004 21:55 (seventeen years ago) link


Chriddof (Chriddof), Wednesday, 20 October 2004 02:50 (seventeen years ago) link

The art suits the subject, I think - monotony, focus shifted to the banality of hte conent and so on. Its also standard for the medium and does that understated line art trick of conveying a great deal through very little.

As for the comedy - sometimes stomach creasingly funny, innevitably suffers from massive production targets, of course. And the material, as pointed out above, IS dating, alas.

The books are plenty of the notions formalised and expanded to complete theories, and I'd hazard form a decent insight into employee motivations.

That Slazberg, Tuesday, 26 October 2004 22:05 (seventeen years ago) link

(I think it captured in detail that weird period when you had to have non-high-tech managers in high-tech companies, because that's all there was.)

but there is nothing weird about that... bosses have boss skills, which are entirely different to doing things skills, so small wonder that bosses become head of the World Wide Wicket Corporation when they don't really know what a wicket is and whether you can eat it.

anyway, this is what you should be looking at: http://pied.nu/banned/the_Dilbert_Hole/tn/14.gif.html

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:12 (seventeen years ago) link


(the best part is how Wally is virtually unchanged from the real comic strip)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:24 (seventeen years ago) link


David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:26 (seventeen years ago) link

"I thought he said cake boat."

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 18:28 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm amazed that the rude Dilbert cartoon is still on the web (given that THE MAN made them re-draw Marxbert so that the characters were just square blocks).

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:43 (seventeen years ago) link

more here (for those who can't trace back links): http://pied.nu/banned/the_Dilbert_Hole/

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 19:45 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

this guy is a right wing creationist douche

it's darn and ielle is hot (and what), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:39 (thirteen years ago) link

Isn't he a Satanist?

Britpoppage (The stickman from the hilarious xkcd comics), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:45 (thirteen years ago) link


^^^this is some high-end useful idiocy

Britpoppage (The stickman from the hilarious xkcd comics), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 18:46 (thirteen years ago) link

If you let a guy like that express his views, before long the entire world will want freedom
of speech.

Um, is this sentence a joke?

chap, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:01 (thirteen years ago) link

OK, the whole thing's a joke.

chap, Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:03 (thirteen years ago) link

I was gonna say!

Lots of praying with no breakfast! (HI DERE), Wednesday, 25 February 2009 19:03 (thirteen years ago) link

Doesn't sound like a right wing creatonist here:


Tuomas, Thursday, 26 February 2009 14:35 (thirteen years ago) link

Actuallt, if you read his blog, he sounds more like a science geek with some libertarian leanings rather than a right wing creationist. Where'd you get that idea?

Tuomas, Thursday, 26 February 2009 14:44 (thirteen years ago) link

A cartoon engineer, that's what he is.

M.V., Thursday, 26 February 2009 15:47 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...

Scott Adams, feminist

Ah, Dilbert. For so long, you have lingered there on the comics page, always ready to barrel-shoot the inanity of office culture with your humorously-coiffed characters and beleaguered engineers, locked forever in a corporate development hell that your humor at first mocked, and then later resembled.

Mostly, though, I haven't really paid attention to you at all, at least until today, when the internet discovered a post where Dilbert creator Scott Adams gave us all a piece of his mind in a post (since deleted) about men's rights, and the fact that he thinks men suffer a level of social injustice equal to women.

After all, women might get paid less than men in our society, but men die earlier, teen boys have to pay higher car insurance, and sometimes women want men to open doors for them, so it all comes out in the wash, right? I'm not making those examples up, either; those are his examples.

And then there's this:

"The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It's just easier this way for everyone. You don't argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn't eat candy for dinner. You don't punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don't argue when a women tells you she's only making 80 cents to your dollar. It's the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles." -Scott Adams

Wow. Just wow. To recap: He's comparing women asking for equal pay to the selfishness and unreasonableness of children asking for candy, or mentally handicapped people lashing out violently. He's saying that women's concern for pay equity is a petty desire levied by an irrational group of people, and he's also suggesting a very specific strategy for the men in the audience: Remember not to care.

If the above block of text reminds you of Dave Sim at all, that's because this rhetoric does exactly the same thing as Sim's in terms of infantilizing women and casting them as primarily emotional and irrational beings that men can only deal with by ignoring them most of the time, or sighing bitterly while turning up the volume on their sports game.

Women, amirite? To his credit, he recognizes that this is basically an insane comparison to make, but then not to his credit, makes it anyway. (Note: Saying something and then saying that you're not saying it doesn't magically unsay it.) He continues:

"I realize I might take some heat for lumping women, children and the mentally handicapped in the same group. So I want to be perfectly clear. I'm not saying women are similar to either group. I'm saying that a man's best strategy for dealing with each group is disturbingly similar. If he's smart, he takes the path of least resistance most of the time, which involves considering the emotional realities of other people. A man only digs in for a good fight on the few issues that matter to him, and for which he has some chance of winning. This is a strategy that men are uniquely suited for because, on average, we genuinely don't care about 90% of what is happening around us."

Adams' original blog entry (since deleted): http://tinysprout.tumblr.com/post/3713649989/scott-adams-dilbert-deleted-post

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 19:33 (eleven years ago) link

haha omg

I can never tell when Scott Adams is serious and when he's trolling

whelping at his sandpapery best (DJP), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 19:37 (eleven years ago) link

If the above block of text reminds you of Dave Sim at all,

this was my first thought actually

in my world of loose geirs (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 20:41 (eleven years ago) link

Practically everything Scott Adams writes is dripping with about five levels of bitter, self-hating sarcasm, though, which makes it difficult for me to take this completely at face value.

Like, I would not at all be surprised if he was taking a Neanderthal tone in order to set up and pull the rug out from underneath people, which seems to go along with the shellshocked reactions some of these critiques are posting.

Having said that, I haven't read it yet so maybe the whole piece really is way out of step with his usual steeze, or just an epic failure in conveying appropriate tone, or maybe he is Dave Sim 2.0.

whelping at his sandpapery best (DJP), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 21:09 (eleven years ago) link

A woman had a show about bible secrets on the BBC the other week which was basically Chasing YooWHoo.

I said Omorotic, not homo-erotic (aldo), Thursday, 31 March 2011 18:02 (eleven years ago) link

Adams since reposted the deleted blog entry and a "you are all idiots" followup. Perhaps downgrade from Dave Sim to Lileks territory?

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 1 April 2011 01:20 (eleven years ago) link

what a weird guy

call all destroyer, Friday, 1 April 2011 01:30 (eleven years ago) link

If any of you have a Salon account, could you do me a favor and head over to the articles by these binarian unibators and provide a link to my explanation of the Men's Rights controversy in its proper context?

difficult listening hour, Friday, 1 April 2011 05:30 (eleven years ago) link

I write material for a specific sort of audience. And when the piece on Men's Rights drew too much attention from outside my normal reading circle, it changed the meaning. Communication becomes distorted when you take it out of context, even if you don't change a word of the text. I image that you are dubious about this. It's hard to believe this sort of thing if you don't write for a living and see how often it happens. I'll explain.

(emphasis scott adams')

difficult listening hour, Friday, 1 April 2011 05:32 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dude has not been helping his case lately.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 15 April 2011 20:43 (eleven years ago) link

hoo boy

fat fat fat fat Usher (DJP), Friday, 15 April 2011 20:50 (eleven years ago) link

he's a 64 year old rich white american who would wake up at 4am to draw Dilbert before he finally quit his former day job

this was, supposedly, after several years of waking at that hour every day to brainstorm a business venture and he came up with this comic strip

note that this is according to his own retelling of how dilbert came to be, and it sounds like 90% bullshit

mh, Monday, 2 May 2022 21:18 (five months ago) link

Quite honestly one of the most divorced people I’ve ever seen

― gyac, Monday, May 2, 2022 12:46 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink


flamenco drop (BradNelson), Monday, 2 May 2022 21:41 (five months ago) link

every time people seem astonished that this guy became such a MAGA tool I think about this blog he posted in 2007...this shit would make even Trump blush


frogbs, Monday, 2 May 2022 21:50 (five months ago) link

I was going to make a joke to the effect of "That man's boss? Donald Trump" but there's a 0% chance of that

mh, Monday, 2 May 2022 21:53 (five months ago) link

absolutely loving 'divorced' as a personality trait

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 2 May 2022 21:53 (five months ago) link


assert (matttkkkk), Monday, 2 May 2022 22:51 (five months ago) link

Another banger pic.twitter.com/bkC6zXekur

— Critter Jams (@CritterJams) May 3, 2022

frogbs, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 13:21 (four months ago) link

Too bad Scott Adams can't identify as a worthwhile human.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 3 May 2022 14:04 (four months ago) link

three weeks pass...


what level of hell is this pic.twitter.com/r6ECkFGYvv

— Christian Vanderbrouk 🇺🇸🇺🇦🌻 (@UrbanAchievr) May 26, 2022

frogbs, Friday, 27 May 2022 03:45 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

I thought the dinosaur characters were funny when I was a kid

When a young male (let's say 14 to 19) is a danger to himself and others, society gives the supporting family two options:

1. Watch people die.
2. Kill your own son.

Those are your only options. I chose #1 and watched my stepson die. I was relieved he took no one else with him.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) July 6, 2022

JoeStork, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 17:17 (two months ago) link

"It was out of my hands"

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 17:18 (two months ago) link

new Jordan Peterson just dropped

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 17:19 (two months ago) link


castanuts (DJP), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 17:26 (two months ago) link

Option 3, "Provide a gun and transportation"

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 17:27 (two months ago) link

turns out the guy who made this understood Dilbert better than anyone else


frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 18:11 (two months ago) link

Scott Adams when he sees his step son listening to the drive soundtrack pic.twitter.com/GnCk9mUe3Q

— Smirnoff Ice Defender (@Java_jigga) July 6, 2022

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 18:42 (two months ago) link

btw for those who don't know Scott Adams' stepson had a head injury at 14, got addicted to painkillers, and later overdosed on fentanyl, which is perhaps a more humane fate than getting murdered by Mr. Dilbert's own bare hands

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:34 (two months ago) link

Odd that that somehow translated in Scott Adams's head into "I killed my stepson."

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:36 (two months ago) link

Well no, he’s saying he watched his stepson kill someone, ie himself

And he also seems to be saying “I should have killed him first” which is concerning for those who have to be around him

castanuts (DJP), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:56 (two months ago) link

it seems to follow that Scott Adams must be killed </parody>

maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:58 (two months ago) link

Ah, OK. By "people" I thought he meant people other than the young man in question.

In any event, he seems oddly detached.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:59 (two months ago) link

I agree it's probably a bad idea for any teens to be around him right now, the good news is the one who did just recently divorced him

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 19:59 (two months ago) link

Well this thread took a ghoulish turn

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 20:00 (two months ago) link

Dilbert took a ghoulish turn tbf

Wiggum Dorma (wins), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 20:39 (two months ago) link

I know people were joking for a while that the strip itself would turn fascist and iirc it didn't (because apparently he gets most of his ideas from readers anyway), but I checked some recent strips and, uh:


last week's story arc appears to be about rigged voting machines. it's a hoot!! (by the way, is it just me or do Dilbert strips not really have identifiable punchlines anymore?)

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 July 2022 20:48 (two months ago) link

Painfully unfunny.

I hope they write that on his tombstone.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 20:51 (two months ago) link

just as long as it's something painful

Piven After Midnight (The Yellow Kid), Wednesday, 6 July 2022 23:08 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

is he about to bomb a federal building

I waited two days for my government to justify an FBI raid on a former president's home. I think that was fair-minded of me.

No justification has been offered.

The presumption of innocence (of the government and FBI) can now be removed from the option set.

Phase 2 begins.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 11, 2022

What is Phase 2? That's the part where things gets fixed. One way or another. All options are on the table.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 11, 2022

frogbs, Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:06 (one month ago) link

Is he about to go William Dudley Pelley on us and start a fascist cult?

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:14 (one month ago) link

lmao at “I waited two days”

castanuts (DJP), Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:24 (one month ago) link

wtf. thanks for keeping an eye on him frogs

maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:42 (one month ago) link

lol I don't really (he blocked me years ago) but he does seem to be trending every month and it's never because of Dilbert

frogbs, Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:50 (one month ago) link

is this the table he sits at to brainstorm Dilbert ideas

mh, Thursday, 11 August 2022 15:50 (one month ago) link

love the idea that presumption of innocence precludes gathering evidence on suspects. they're innocent!

dear confusion the catastrophe waitress (ledge), Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:08 (one month ago) link

“I submitted my passport renewal two days ago. I’ve waited patiently for the government to respond. Nothing. IT’S REVOLUTION TIME”

castanuts (DJP), Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:13 (one month ago) link

dying @ "I think that was fair-minded of me"

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:23 (one month ago) link

I can tell that he's really thought this plan through... phase I: wait 2 days, phase II: everything gets fixed one way or another.

BrianB, Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:42 (one month ago) link

sometimes I do wonder if he's doing a bit and it's got out of control. but no.

Today so many of my critics told me I was irrelevant and powerless that “Dilbert” started trending on Twitter.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 11, 2022

link.exposing.politically (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 11 August 2022 16:45 (one month ago) link

Where were you the day that Phase 2 began?

jmm, Thursday, 11 August 2022 17:00 (one month ago) link

Tell it to the judge, Scott.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 11 August 2022 17:02 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Posting this for rare occasion of Scott Adams complaining about something related to his day job for my fellow hater frogsbs

#Dilbert was cancelled in 77 newspapers this week.

— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) September 20, 2022

What great censored works are being withheld from us, I wonder? What mild chuckles are being stifled?



barry sito (gyac), Wednesday, 21 September 2022 00:10 (one week ago) link

yall aren't gonna believe this but it has nothing to do with Dilbert or Scott Adams, just a new owner for one of the newspaper conglomerates. dare I say the man is just trying to draw attention to himself

frogbs, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 14:05 (one week ago) link

he's so close to the correct angle about corporations do the minimum to pay lip service in diversity and inclusion efforts, but then predictably drives right off the rails

mh, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 14:20 (one week ago) link

But but he’s being censored for his edgy views!

(Apparently he has been making the same exact joke about this crap for about a month now)

barry sito (gyac), Wednesday, 21 September 2022 14:26 (one week ago) link

Much longer than a month!

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 21 September 2022 14:59 (one week ago) link

it's so frustrating, like, yes, queer people are being tokenized by huge corporations to cover up for the corporations' monstrous actions! oh no scott adams is blowing the lid off the Secret Gay Agenda no wait we've been yelling this at the top of our lungs for ages

the same way, like, i mean like maybe an artist losing a huge chunk of their income due to a corporate merger is not a good thing? maybe this is a bad thing that people have a shared interest in opposing? but no it's all to do with some sort of, i don't know, sinister queer conspiracy to silence him

scott my man the Queer Agenda doesn't really give a shit about you, you crossed over into Percy Crosby territory long ago. you _aren't a threat_. you're not causing us to suffer, you're not causing us to die.

you want my advice? get the Dilbert logo stolen for a peanut butter brand. that's the only way anybody will remember you.

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 21 September 2022 15:29 (one week ago) link

look come on this is what the benchmark standard is


i grant that it's superior to scott adams but we're still not talking about another will eisner here folks

Kate (rushomancy), Thursday, 22 September 2022 14:10 (one week ago) link

Gizmodo recognizes tediously unfunny Adams.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Friday, 23 September 2022 18:38 (one week ago) link

“It should start to become known that Dilbert thinks it’s ridiculous and then people who also think it’s ridiculous will start retweeting it,” he said. “And then the boss who’s in charge of it will start to get these sent to him by email or printed out and slipped under the office door. Mockery is very powerful and mockery, in theory, could dismantle this.”

mr. adams, i think all of us have, over the past several years, had the opportunity to learn that trying to shame people into changing their behavior just isn't effective.

Kate (rushomancy), Friday, 23 September 2022 21:08 (one week ago) link

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