Ed Lake's web page
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If you want my opinion ......
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A Crime Unlike Any Other book
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My interests are writing, books, movies, science, psychology, conspiracy theorists,
photography, photographic analysis, TV, travel, mysteries, jazz, blues, and ...

just trying to figure things out.


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Available to read on Kindle.  Click HERE for details.                                   I have a fascination with Time and Time Dilation.         Other interests: Movies and Science Podcasts Click on the above image to view a larger version.

My Latest Comments


Comments for Sunday, May 22, 2022, thru Sat., May 28, 2022:

May 25, 2022 -  I'm beginning to regret that I started reading Lee Smolin's latest book, "Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum."  He poses a lot of questions, with no indication that he is going to provide any answers anywhere.  One of the questions that Quantum Mechanics poses that always puts my teeth on edge is: "Is a photon a particle or a wave?"  The question should be "How can a photon act like both a particle and a wave?"  Obviously a photon has both properties.  So, it's just a matter of visualizing how that is possible.  People have been writing about the answer for years.  A photon is a particle that consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields.  Those oscillating fields give the photon its wave-like properties.  I visualize a photon this way:

photon

And when it is coming toward you, the oscillating fields would appear this way:

oscillating photon
But, so far, Prof. Smolin's book just discusses the question, without any hint that he is going to mention or propose an answer.  Here's a quote from the book:
Quantum physics describes a world in which nothing has a stable existence: an atom or an electron may be a wave or a particle, depending on how you look at it; cats are both alive and dead. This is great for popular culture, which has made “quantum” a buzzword for cool, geek mystification. But it’s terrible for those of us who want to understand the world we live in, for there seems to be no easy answer to the simple question, “What is a rock?”
Another quote from the book:
What is so crazily fabulous about this is that waves and particles are quite different. A particle always has a definite position, localized somewhere in space. Its motion traces out a path through space, what we call its trajectory. Moreover, according to Newtonian physics, at each moment a particle also has a definite velocity and, consequently, a definite momentum. A wave is almost the opposite. It is delocalized; it spreads out as it travels, occupying all the space available to it.

But now we are learning that waves and particles are different sides of a duality, that is, different ways of visualizing one reality. A single reality with a dual nature: a duality of waves and particles.

Photons spread out, but a single photon does not!  Prof. Smolin seems to mix up masses of light photons spreading out as they move away from the emitter with individual photons which cannot spread out.  Generally, when discussing light, you do not see "waves of photons."  You see individual photons as they arrive.  The more photons you see, the brighter and clearer the image you see.  But radio signals are transmitted as "waves" of photons.  The artificial differences in the wave patterns are transformed into different sounds by the receiver. 

But, so far, Prof. Smolin gives no indication he is going to resolve any of the Quantum Mechanics mysteries, other than why Quantum Mechanics only works when describing atoms and particles we are made from and does not work when describing the Universe around us. 

I really hate reading about unsolved mysteries when we know the mystery results from not having enough information - or from not knowing how to put the information we have together correctly. 
I want to read about how such mysteries were solved. 

May 25, 2022
-  Yesterday, as I've done many many times before, I did a Google search for "Relativity vs Quantum Mechanics," and I found a long list of articles about the conflict.  It seems, however, that each article is a different view on the subject, some siding with Quantum Mechanics, others trying to be neutral. 

One of the first articles on the list was from the November 4, 2015, issue of the British newspaper The Guardian, titled "Relativity versus quantum mechanics: the battle for the universe."  It's a fairly long article, but definitely worth reading.  About half way through the article it mentions Lee Smolin.   Professor Smolin teaches physics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and he's the author of several books.  I've encountered his name many many times while doing research, and it seemed we tended to agree on most things.  Here is some of what the article says about him (with my highlighting):
Smolin thinks the small-scale approach to physics is inherently incomplete. Current versions of quantum field theory do a fine job explaining how individual particles or small systems of particles behave, but they fail to take into account what is needed to have a sensible theory of the cosmos as a whole. They don’t explain why reality is like this, and not like something else. In Smolin’s terms, quantum mechanics is merely “a theory of subsystems of the universe”.

A more fruitful path forward, he suggests, is to consider the universe as a single enormous system, and to build a new kind of theory that can apply to the whole thing. And we already have a theory that provides a framework for that approach: general relativity.
I also checked to see what books he had written, and I found that his most recent book is titled "Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum."  I browsed through it and found it was definitely a book I wanted to read.  So, I obtained a Kindle copy and began to read it.  I underlined passage after passage.  I'm only about 8% done reading it, but here are two quotes from early in the book:
In the first quarter of the twentieth century a theory called quantum mechanics was developed to explain quantum physics. This theory has been, ever since its inception, the golden child of science. It is the basis of our understanding of atoms, radiation, and so much else, from the elementary particles and basic forces to the behavior of materials. It also has been, for just as long, a troubled child. From the beginning, its inventors were deeply split over what to make of it. Some expressed shock and misgivings, even outrage. Others declared it a revolutionary new kind of science, which shattered the metaphysical assumptions about nature and our relationship to it that previous generations had thought essential for the success of science.
and
In these chapters I hope to convince you that the conceptual problems and raging disagreements that have bedeviled quantum mechanics since its inception are unsolved and unsolvable, for the simple reason that the theory is wrong. It is highly successful, but incomplete.
And the reason it is incomplete, as I see it, is because it involves looking down into the atomic structure of things, where only objects exist, with space between objects, and the mathematics involves how one object interacts with another.  As Prof. Smolin says, "quantum mechanics is merely 'a theory of subsystems of the universe.'” 

Yes, Quantum Mechanics may work just fine when looking down at the sub-atomic world, but the problem is not that the sub-atomic world is just a sub-system of the universe, the problem is that w
hen you look upwards into outer space and the entire universe, you encounter infinity.  And Quantum Mechanics cannot cope with infinity.  "Quantum" is defined as "a specific amount or quantity."  "Infinite" is defined as "limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate." 

That is the crux of the problem. "Crux" is defined as "the decisive or most important point at issue."  Quantum Mechanics cannot deal with a fundamental fact about the universe: it is apparently infinite. 
  

May 24, 2022
-  I've finally managed to get back to work on my latest book, now tentatively titled "Logical Relativity."  I now say "tentatively" because when I started working on the third draft on Sunday, I also started to think that maybe it should have a different title.

The first draft of the book began with a lengthy introduction about how I got interested in the subject of Relativity.  Then when I started the second draft I realized that I needed to open with information about Relativity, not with information about me.  And I started with a chapter about "Stationary Points in Space." 

Then on Sunday I realized that I needed to provide the reader with a lot of additional information before discussing "Stationary Points in Space," and when I started the third draft I decided I needed to open with a chapter titled "What Einstein Knew," which would describe what scientists knew to be facts in 1905, when Einstein developed his Theory of Special Relativity.  For example, they knew that light did not travel at an infinite speed, it traveled at about 300,000  kilometers per second.  And they had just learned that there was no "luminiferous ether" that filled the universe and conveniently provided mathematicians with something stationary to measure all other speeds against.  They also knew that the earth was rotating at 1,040 miles per hour at the equator and significantly less than that in Berlin and London
, yet measurements of the speed of light always resulted in the same answer in all locations.  And Einstein knew that Quantum Mechanics was being developed.

Einstein's 1905 paper started the battles between proponents of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, battles which have now raged for over 115 years.

And I'm wondering if I shouldn't get into those battles at the front of the book instead of waiting until after I've thoroughly explained Relativity.  The subject of "Stationary Points in Space" exposes the point of conflict.  To Quantum Mechanics mathematicians, there can be no "stationary points in space."  But if you want to understand Relativity, you have to understand "stationary points in space," since it is what Einstein's Second Postulate is all about.  And that is evidently why so few college physics textbooks provide students with Einstein's actual Second Postulate.  Instead, they provide a phony Second Postulate that is compatible with Quantum Mechanics and claim that it is what Einstein meant.

So, this morning I woke up thinking I need to research the conflict between Quantum Mechanics and Relativity to see exactly how it is described in books and papers.  My recollection is that it is generally described as a mathematical problem: no one has developed an equation that fully incorporates both theories.  The reason seems obvious: Quantum Mechanics was developed to describe the actions of atoms and sub-atomic particles.  It's about quantifiable objects.  When you get into the subject of the universe, you encounter something that is not quantifiable: infinity.  The Big Bang Universe is apparently expanding into an infinite universe that appears empty or mostly empty.  Quantum Mechanics cannot deal with that, and thus we have a conflict.

So, I have to decide if I want to get into describing that conflict at the start of my book or at the end.  I'm beginning to think I need to get into it at the beginning.  And that would mean several new chapters at the start of the book before I get into what I've already written.

Sigh.  But changing the order of things is a fairly common problem when writing books.
  


May 22, 2022
-  Ah!  I've  finally completed week my 3-week project to get my computer files and my apartment cleaned up and organized.

So, now I can get back to work on my new book "Logical Relativity." 

But, during lunch on Friday, I also finished reading another book on my Kindle.  So, I first need to write a comment about it. 

The book was "Crime In Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump" by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch.

Crime In Progress

The book made me realize that there were a lot of things about politics that I knew very little about.  It never occurred to me that a company like "Fusion GPS" would or could exist.  According to Wikipedia,
The company conducts open-source investigations and provides research and strategic advice for businesses, law firms and investors, as well as for political inquiries, such as opposition research. The "GPS" initialism is derived from "Global research, Political analysis, Strategic insight".
The company was founded in 2011 by Glenn R. Simpson, a former investigative reporter and journalist for Roll Call and The Wall Street Journal, and Peter Fritsch, a former Wall Street Journal senior editor.  They are also the authors of the book. 

Fusion GPS, the company they founded, is usually called "a consulting firm."  That's a term I've often heard mentioned, but I never thought to research what it actually meant.  I assumed it was some kind of law firm where you "consulted" with lawyer to find out if you had a valid legal case against someone, or if someone had a valid legal case against you.  Instead, "consulting firms" are more like intelligence agencies, collecting information about suspicious activities and controversial subjects.  And customers will then pay them to access the information they collected.  A key character in the book is Christopher Steele, who also co-created such a company.  Here's a quote from the book:
Christopher Steele was back on his heels when he first met Simpson in 2010, at a noisy Italian restaurant called Franco’s in the tony London neighborhood of St. James. The year before, Steele had retired after two decades of government service and set out with a fellow MI6 colleague, Christopher Burrows, to create Orbis, a private consulting firm specializing in the collection of intelligence from a network of sources around the world.
Another quote about Christopher Steele:
Steele’s official government biography described him as a Foreign Office diplomat. But it was well known (at least in investigative circles) that his real employer was the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service—better known as MI6. He’d had prestigious postings in Moscow and Paris and, as head of the Russia desk at HQ, was considered one of Britain’s foremost Russia hands by a shrinking circle of Kremlinologists in the United States and the U.K. who had done battle with the Soviets during the Cold War.
Here are three quotes from the book which show some of what Steele found when researching Donald Trump.  One:
Trump’s reputation as a savvy billionaire was further belied by his creation of Trump University, a for-profit, unaccredited real estate training school that had drawn a raft of lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny before it shut down in 2010 after five years of operation. The school was an obvious scam. Why would a supposed mega-billionaire set up a fake university to con a few thousand strivers out of their meager life savings? There were really only two possible explanations, neither of them comforting: Either Trump wasn’t nearly as rich as he claimed to be and needed the money, or he was a pathological cheat who could not resist preying on the weak.
Two:
The more Fusion dug into Trump, the more he appeared to fit the textbook definition of a charlatan. Here was a supposed business genius whose career was littered with bankruptcies and failures. A purported multibillionaire who was almost certainly worth a fraction of what he claimed. A supposed self-made entrepreneur whose wealth actually sprang from an accident of birth. An immigrant basher who employed countless immigrants—and was even married to one. A “Buy American” proponent whose own clothing line was made in Mexico. A proud straight-talker with a long history of prevarication and outright fabrications—including under oath.
Three:
Trump, who had claimed in his presidential candidate forms that all of his projects were fabulously successful and incredibly valuable, insisted in his tax lawsuits that his properties barely made any profits and were practically worthless.
During Steele's research and investigations, he had also come across mentions of the infamous "pee tapes."  He advised GPS Fusion about them in a memo.  The books says,
The memo went on to recount a bizarre episode that allegedly took place in the presidential suite of Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2013. Steele’s sources said that Trump’s hatred of the Obamas ran so deep that he had asked “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him,” to defile the bed in which the Obamas had slept years earlier. The report said Russian intelligence had it on videotape for potential use as a tool of blackmail. Steele would later point out that one of his sources was a hotel staffer who had been on duty at the time.
And another source GPS Fusion found provided similar information:
It was a report that appeared to be written by some kind of investigator, but it was sloppy and unformatted; it looked like a reporter’s raw notes. Its findings, however, were explosive: They echoed Steele’s own reporting that the Russian FSB spy service had tapes of Trump having sex with prostitutes in Moscow.
Combined with tons of information about Trump's connections to Russian criminals and American mafia types, mostly for purposes of money laundering, it's amazing that Trump hasn't been thrown in jail countless times.  But then you have to realize that this is also politics, which means that Republicans will simply dismiss it all as "nonsense" made up by Democrats to attack Trump.

I've got 20 pages of notes from the book.  But, what they all boil down to is that the "pee tapes" and sex tapes have never been shown in court.  So, all we know about them is what consulting firms like GPS Fusion have found.  The same with most of Trump's criminal connections and the very likely possibility that Putin is blackmailing Trump in some way.  So, as the book's title say, it is a "crime in progress," awaiting the time when solid evidence will be presented in court.

"Crime in Progress" is a very interesting book, and I can certainly recommend it.


Comments for Sunday, May 15, 2022, thru Sat., May 21, 2022:

May 15, 2022
-  Okay, I've  now completed week #2 of my 3-week effort to get my computer files and my apartment cleaned up and organized.

Of course, I spent most of last week just sitting in a chair and wondering what to do next.  Occasionally, I'd move some books around on my bookshelves, trying to decide which I should bag up and give to Goodwill.  Last week I didn't give away any books, but I bagged up a few empty 3-ring binders.  I also found I have nearly a dozen 3-ring binders filled with stuff about the anthrax attacks of 2001, and in one binder I found copies of an unpublished "newspaper" called "Ed Lake's News" that I started creating in June of 1996 and continued with for about a year.  My scanner doesn't seem compatible with any of my current computers, so I had to use my camera to take the photo below.  (It says "Volume 2, Issue 1" at the top of the page, but I can't find any Volume 1.) 


Ed Lake's News

Evidently, I created the "newspaper" as a way of playing around with a new computer, a new color printer, and some new graphics software I'd just bought.  And I was pondering the idea of somehow connecting to the Internet.  The only way I could connect to the Internet at that time was to use a computer in the library at a nearby university.

At that time I had about 30 years of experience working with business computers, programming them and designing systems for them.  But the idea of having a computer at home was a very new idea.  And so was the idea of connecting to other computers around the world via the Internet.

Looking at the main article, I see that it says I spent "thousands" of dollars on a new computer.  I couldn't believe that was true, but then I found an article in the next issue of the newspaper that says I paid $2,207.09 for a Packard Bell computer, another $367.84 for a color monitor, and $420.39 for a Lexmark color printer.  Wow!!!  I also had to buy an 8-foot long table to put the stuff on.  The table is the only thing I still have from those days.
 
In the third issue of the "newspaper" I have an article about connecting to the Internet.  Some of the ways would require long-distance calls, which would be prohibitively expensive.  Other ways were very very slow.  In issue after issue I examined different ways to connect, I try them out for awhile, and I found them all to be too expensive - except for briefly accessing email accounts and certain discussion forums. 

Meanwhile, as all that was going on, I was writing screenplays and submitting them to agents and to contests. 

I didn't "publish" the newspaper anywhere except for producing one copy via my color printer for myself.  Between June of 1996 and December of 1997 I probably produced only about 20 issues, some only 1 page long.  But they show my thinking at the time.  And they show me as bumbling around.  The headline in the image above is "Ed Lake Goes Berserk!!!  Buys New Computer!!!"  The headlines and stories in the other issues were along that same line.  A headline dated August 1, 1996, says "ED LAKE ACCESSES INTERNET CIA FILES."  The story is about me finding a CIA file about Poland.  Another headline in that same issue is "Ed Lake Gets New E-Mail Address!"  The first two paragraphs are:
Ed Lake discontinued his use of American On-Line and Prodigy and signed up with a local on-line service provider, Wisconsin Net.  He can now be e-mailed at his new address: [a wi dot net address that is apparently still valid].

Ed said, "One of the first things I did was to send an e-mail message to the film critic, Roger Ebert, to advise him that I didn't agree with his negative review of 'Independence Day', and Roger Ebert e-mailed me right back saying, in effect, that he didn't give a shit.  So, I knew my e-mail worked!"
According to one source I found, the Internet began operating for the general public on April 30, 1993.  Another source says the same thing.  So, it was only 3 years later that I was prowling around and getting written about in newspapers and magazines for exposing fake photos I was finding on the Internet.  It was just a bit over a quarter-century ago.


Comments for Sunday, May 8, 2022, thru Sat., May 14, 2022:

May 11, 2022 -  While driving around doing some chores this afternoon, I finished listening to CD #18 in the 18-CD audio book version of "Mike Nichols: A Life" by Mark Harris.

Mike Nichols: A Life

I "borrowed" the audio book from my local library on April 14, 2021, back in the days when you could "borrow" a book when it became available and read (or listen to) it when you found the time.

I wasn't totally sure I wanted to listen to it, since I didn't really know that much about Mike Nichols, other than that he was once part of the terrific comedy team of "Nichols and May."  But that was enough to make me want to check it out.

The book, however, is not about the comedy team.  The team is barely mentioned, although Elaine May is frequently mentioned separately in the book as an actress, writer, director and friend of Mike Nichols.  The book, however, is primarily about Mike Nichols' career as a stage and movie director and producer.  And it seems he was one of the greatest, even though, like virtually every actor, director and producer, he did have an occasional flop.  His first try at movie directing was in 1966 with "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf," which won 5 Oscars.  His last picture was "Charlie Wilson's War" in 2007.  While reading the book, I viewed some of the movies he directed, like "Regarding Henry" and "Working Girl," which I have on DVDs.  I also have "The Graduate," "Closer," "Catch 22" and some others, but I didn't have the time to watch those.  (I last watched them about 10 years ago.)

I started by just burning onto CDs the first 8 of the 18 MP3 files that comprise the audio book.  Then I burned 5 more, because I'd gotten interested.  Then I burned the last 5 when I was sure I wanted to hear it through to the end.  Nichols died in 2014.  He was born to Jewish parents in Berlin in 1931 as Igor Mikhail Peschkowsky and immigrated to the U.S. before WWII.   And, according to his biographer, "He had a childhood reaction to a vaccine that resulted in the loss of all of his hair and his inability to grow hair."  I would never have guessed that.  I also didn't know that Mike Nichols was married to broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer for the last 24 years of his life.  She was his 4th wife.

All in all, I can recommend the book.  It was listed as one of the top 10 books of 2021 by NPR, People and Time.
  

May 9, 2022
-  Shortly after lunch yesterday, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight" by Margaret Lazarus Dean.

Leaving Orbit

The book was published in May of 2015 and basically concludes around October of 2012 with the first flight of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, about a year after the last space shuttle flight, which was done by the space shuttle Atlantis in mid-July 2011. 

The author is an associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and she's also a writer, having previously written a science fiction novel in 2007.  That means she's not a scientist, and the book has a lot of extraneous detail that is better suited for a novel.  She is, however, a fan of the space shuttle program and witnessed many launches, plus the final return of Atlantis

The problem I had with the book is all the details about driving from Knoxville to Cocoa Beach, Florida, finding hotel or motel rooms, finding a good place to eat, standing in the crowds watching the launches and how people jockey for better views and bring their kids to see the launches.  And when the author managed to get press credentials because of her sci-fi novel, her Facebook page, and her friendship with a NASA employee, she got to see a lot of things that weren't open to the general public.

While it's an interesting book, it is also filled with the author's personal beliefs and opinions about women's rights, author Norman Mailer, and America's space program.   Here's a quote from the book:
NASA is partnering with private companies to get astronauts and cargo back and forth from the International Space Station, and NASA will now focus on long-range spaceflight. The same story we’ve been hearing all along, yet the Space Launch System is still underfunded and unpopular with many spaceflight advocates. In a best-case scenario, SLS won’t get astronauts back into space before 2021, and won’t get us any farther than we’ve already been until 2025 or later. This is tough to get excited about, especially when so many in Congress are eager to make a name for themselves by killing this relatively unambitious plan altogether.   
Getting astronauts into space via the SLS system has been delayed until August of 2022.  I haven't been paying much attention to the SLS, and I find that the various Mars Rover missions are totally fascinating, so I'm not sure if I should be as concerned as the book's author is or not.  Here's a pessimistic quote:
only twenty-three years after railroads replaced the wagon trains, the Wright brothers flew their first plane at Kitty Hawk. Only fifty-nine years after that, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. Seven years later, Neil and Buzz walked on the moon. Some of us do math in our heads, dismayed. How long will it be until we can add another leap?  
Here's another downbeat quote about using private companies to do our missions into space:
as long as spaceflight is run by a government agency, any American child can reasonably dream of flying in space one day. For many of them, that dream will shape their early lives in important and beneficial ways. If spaceflight belongs to private companies, space travel will be a privilege of the incredibly wealthy, and space-obsessed children will have no particular motivation to do their algebra homework or serve in the military, knowing that their only hope of earning a seat lies in getting rich.
And another:
since the beginning, it has been part of NASA’s mandate to make its projects available to the American public. This means that everything—images, films, discoveries, transcripts of crew chatter—belongs to all of us. Not so with SpaceX. As a private company, SpaceX can keep private whatever they want, and they do. Some of my online space friends have been indignant to learn that they can’t download specs and diagrams for Dragon and Falcon, as we have always been able to do for shuttle and other NASA spacecraft—the SpaceX designs are industry secrets. NASA makes moon rocks available to scientists all over the world for the asking, and they have let scientists send experiments to space on their spacecraft for very negotiable fees, often negotiated down to nothing. SpaceX is under no obligation to do anything of the kind, and I don’t expect they will.
She's probably right.  It gives the reader a lot to think about, but if you pick up her book thinking it will be an enjoyable read about astronauts and space flights, you will be disappointed to read so much about the negative aspects of letting private companies lead the way into space.

I can still recommend the book, even though it can be a depressing read. While depressing, it is also eye-opening.  But these days, "eye-opening" can be just another way of saying "alarming" and "sad."
   

May 8, 2022
Sigh.  I've finished week #1 of my 3-week cleanup project.  I've taken several bags of books to Goodwill, I've gone through my computer to see what files I should get rid of, I've backed up the things I know I need to keep, and I put them onto a flashdrive which I put in my safe deposit box, and I've done a lot of general housecleaning around my apartment.  But there are also a lot of things I postponed to do in weeks 2 and 3.

Going through my computer files, I found a lot of stuff from my days working on the anthrax case that I'd forgotten about.  For example, I found  that I have several CDs I received from the FBI after I filed Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get pictures and documents from them.  I also found the software CDs for Final Draft, the program I used to write screenplays a quarter century ago.  But they're for Windows 95, and I don't have any reason to even try to install the program on my current computer.

I also looked through some non-textbooks about Special Relativity to see if they contained a correct version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  The vast majority of college physics textbooks contain an incorrect version, but it seemed to me that if some author wrote a book about Special Relativity that was meant for the general public, he'd have to use the correct version of Einstein's Second Postulate.  If he didn't, editors, reviewers and readers would point out the error.  Wouldn't they? 

On the first page of his 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", Einstein clearly states his second postulate as:
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the
emitting body.
So I searched through these 10 books that I hadn't classified as "textbooks" to see if they have correct versions of Einstein's Second Postulate:
1.  "Special Relativity" by A. P. French.
2.  "Special Relativity" by Benjamin Crowell.
3.  "Special Relativity" by Carl Ramirez
4.  "Special Relativity" by N. M. J. Woodhouse
5.  "Special Relativity" by T. M. Helliwell.
6.  "Special Relativity" by Valerio Faraoni.
7.  "Special Relativity - A First Encounter: 100 years since Einstein" by Domenico Giulini.
8.  "Special Relativity and Motions Faster than Light" by Moses Fayngold.
9.  "Special Relativity in General Frames: From Particles to Astrophysics" by Éric Gourgoulhon
10. "Special Theory of Relativity" by C. W. Kilmister.
#1 has this incorrect version of Einstein's Second Postulate on page 72:
The speed of light in empty space always has the same value c.
#2 correctly quotes Einstein on page 48.

#3 has this incorrect version of Einstein's Second Postulate around page 7:
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is the same to all inertial observers, is the same in all directions, and does not depend on the velocity of the object emitting the light. Formally: the speed of light in free space is a constant in all inertial frames of reference.
#4 never uses the word "postulate."  It contains this on page 22 (with my highlighting in red):
Light travelling with speed c in one frame should have speed c + u in a frame moving towards the source of the light with speed uThus it should be possible for light to travel with any speed. Light that travels with speed c in a frame in which its source is at rest should have some other speed in a moving frame; so Galilean invariance would imply dependence of the
velocity of light on the motion of the source.
#5 has a somewhat okay second postulate on page 29:
The velocity of light does not depend upon the velocity of its source.
But it also has this nonsense on page 31:
Sound obeys Einstein's second postulate in only one special frame of reference, in which the observer is at rest in the air.

The crucial difference between sound and light is then immediately clear. Since there is no ether (which would correspond to the air in the case of sound), light has to obey the second postulate in all inertial frames. Without the ether there is no preferred frame to be chosen above any other. The velocity of light cannot depend on the source velocity regardless of the reference frame of the observer.

And it has this nonsense on page 32:
Therefore the velocity of light is independent of the observer's motion. It is the same in every inertial frame of reference. This is a revolutionary idea, unprecedented before Einstein. It took considerable nerve to write down postulates that had as a consequence that light always goes at the same velocity no matter how fast the observer is moving.
#6 has this incorrect version of Einstein's Second Postulate on page 14:
Constancy of the speed of light: The speed of light in vacuo has the same value c ≈ 3 · 108 m/s in all inertial frames, regardless of the velocity of the observer or the source.
#7 quotes Einstein's Second Postulate correctly on page 41, but it has this nonsense on page 3:
the velocity of light measured by an observer is independent of
the state of motion of either the source or the observer.
#8 has no version of Einstein's Second Postulate but discusses the Sagnac experiment on page 133, and says that the speed of light seems different under some circumstances (with my highlighting):
Now, I did perform the experiment and I see that when there is no rotation, the photons that were emitted simultaneously in the two opposite directions return simultaneously. I accordingly
interpret this as another confirmation of Einstein’s postulate about the constancy of the speed of light. However, when I repeat the experiment during rotation of the disk, the photons do not return simultaneously. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the speed of light in a rotating system is different in different directions. And this must be true not only for the average speed, but also for local speed in any location.”
#9 has this nonsense on page 121:
The velocity of light as measured by any observer at a point of his worldline has a norm always equal to the constant c.
#10 quotes Einstein correctly on page 188, but it is very difficult to find anything else about the Second Postulate in the rest of the book.

So, while just 3 of the 10 books contained an "incorrect" version of Einstein's Second Postulate, only 3 have correct versions, 1 is somewhat correct, 2 do not mention Einstein's Second Postulate at all, and the remaining 1 and some of the others require a lot of deciphering to understand.  What this exercise tells me is that I need to get back to work on my book "Logical Relativity" as soon as I can.  It explains Relativity in very simple and easy-to-understand terms.  However, it has also become more clear than ever before that the main reason I'm writing my book is to clarify my thinking about a subject that countless others have already tried to explain in their own terms based upon their own beliefs.  I can't hope to change any minds, but maybe I can generate some interesting discussions.


Comments for Sunday, May 1, 2022, thru Sat., May 7, 2022:

May 1, 2022
- Groan!  I'm really getting bogged down!  For the next three weeks, I may be writing fewer comments here, because I'll be busy on other things which have a higher priority  and need to be done before mid-May.  Plus, that recent discussion I had on the sci.physics.relativity forum about "Stationary Points in Space" posed some questions I needed to research.

That discussion is still going on.  For what may be the first time ever, there are people on that forum who are supporting things I've said. 

Last Wednesday, I had a couple arguments with someone who calls himself "Odds Bodkin."  In the first argument, I had quoted a passage to him from the textbook
"University Physics with Modern Physics - 14th ed." by Hugh D. Young & Roger A. Freedman, which I said was ranked #3 among the top physics textbooks.  Odds Bodkin then claimed:
It might amuse you that Young and Freedman is not one of the top 3 physics textbooks by ANY measure. Whatever gave you the idea that it was?
Whereupon I responded by providing him with links to 3 websites which rank physics textbooks and include that book.  I wrote:
It's number 3 on this list:
https://thecollegeapplication.com/best-physics-textbooks-for-college-today/
It's number 7 on this list:
https://bestbookshub.com/best-physics-texbooks/
It's number 1 on this list:
https://bestgamingpro.com/best-physics-textbooks/
When I combined the various lists, it seems to fit in position #3. 
Odds Bodkin's response was a rant that those were "blog" sites and just one person's opinion, and they didn't mean anything.  So, of course, I asked him to provide a list of the top ten physics textbooks.  And, of course, he just ignored my request. 

As part of another argument, he claimed that all college textbooks disagree with me about everything.  I responded that there were some that agreed with me on certain things.  I told him that I had a collection of over 100 college textbooks, but at that moment I didn't have the time to hunt through them to find the ones that agreed with me.

Odds Bodkin's response was:
A hundred TEXTBOOKS? I’d like a listing of the first 30 please.
Note that Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos is not a textbook. Hawking’s A Brief History of Time is not a textbook.
So, I provided him with a list of over 70 textbooks that I have.  His response was (with my highlighting):
OK, so let’s have a small moment of truth-telling here, Ed. You have provided a listing of 70 books, but you fell short of claiming that these are actually in your possession. I would have doubts without a link to a photo of your bookshelf showing all of these. I can explain why I have doubts. About 40 of the titles you list below are first-year introductory physics books. None of those are available in PDF except illegally or at costs close to print books, and they do not render at all well on Kindle (and in fact are not available as official Kindle editions). You also cite multiple editions of the same textbook, which is a lot to pay for essentially the same content (what changes from edition to edition is mostly the end-of-chapter problems and worked examples, which you do not care about). The average storefront (online or bricks-and-mortar store) price for each those introductory books ranges from $100 to $125. This means that if indeed you had those 40 first-year textbooks on your shelf, you’d have spent $4000 - $5000 on them, since the onset of your interest in physics a couple years ago.
By the time he posted that comment, I had already quit the thread.  But "The Starmaker" responded to Odds Bodkin with this comment:
It turns out that I have 152 books in .pdf format, 11 books in .epub format (which my computer can read to me, if I want), and 2 books in .mobi format which I can theoretically read on my Kindle. I also see that only 31 of the 152 books in .pdf format are non-searchable (I'll explain later why that is important).
To which Odds Bodkin replied (with my highlighting):
Kindle-native ebooks are trade books, usually, not textbooks. Free PDFs are usually crap books self-published and posted for attention by loons.
I have no doubt he has lots of books that he can listen to in audio format. For obvious reasons, those will not be physics textbooks.
Odds Bodkin continued to argue that textbooks simply cannot be in PDF format. 

Then Paparios posted this:

There are a few legal sites to look for books and articles. One of them is archive.org, which has books for download or borrowing. Using the search word "relativity" there are 26,548 books and articles listed (for instance see https://ia903103.us.archive.org/13/items/arxiv-1601.04996/1601.04996.pdf for Lectures on General Theory of Relativity from Emil T. Akhmedov).

Of course, there are some russian sites that have everything, like the book Gravitation in http://xdel.ru/downloads/lgbooks/Misner%20C.W.%2C%20Thorne%20K.S.%2C%20Wheeler%20J.A.%20Gravitation%20%28Freeman%2C%201973%29%28K%29%28T%29%281304s%29_PGr_.pdf
And "The Starmaker" responded with this:
Here is one of many sites

https://www.pdfdrive.com/search?q=instructor%27s+solution+manual&pagecount=&pubyear=&searchin=&em=
There are seven more messages in the thread after that, but none from Odds Bodkin, of course, and none with additional links to sites where books are available in PDF format.  They are all just arguments over words and terminology.

I was tempted to rejoin the discussion and mention Project Gutenberg where you can find over 60,000 books for which the copyrights have expired, including just about everything by Albert Einstein, Jules Verne and Phillip K. Dick.  But, I had too many other things to do.  One of them turned out to be to look through www.pdf.com, since I didn't recall ever visiting that site before.  I ended up downloading several books about the physics of spaceflight that I didn't have in my collection.  Reading them will be another thing on my "to-do" list.  I only need about thirty or forty years to finish the things that are currently on that list, but, of course, in thirty or forty years the list will probably be much much longer with new stuff. 


Comments for Sunday, April 24, 2022, thru Sat., April 30, 2022:

April 28, 2022 - I just put an end to another discussion I started on the sci.physics.relativity forum.  I started the discussion about "Stationary Points in Space" on April 23rd, just before shutting down my computer for the day.  As of this moment, 11:49 AM on the 28th, the thread contains 160 messages, with probably close to a third of them being my responses to posts to me from others.

This discussion seemed a lot more interesting than virtually every other discussion I've had on that forum.  I didn't change any minds, of course, but explaining things helped me to understand a few things that I had really never thought about before.

One of the most bizarre arguments I had was with several people who seemingly could not understand how research is done.  When I research a subject, I may go through a hundred books to see what they each have to say on that subject.  When I described that process to them, the response from "Paparios" was:
By which you are just acknowledging that you select some parts of those books, which you believe, in your uninformed opinion, support your beliefs.
No, I just look to see if there are different explanations of things, and which explanations seem to make the most sense.

Here is how "Odds Bodkin" responded:
No, that’s a bad program for books. A REALLY bad idea. Books are not like encyclopedias with little independent articles in them. If there is something on page 198, it is implicit that you already understand the material in pages 1-197 and it’s going to USE that implication in presenting what’s on 198. It is IMPOSSIBLE in a book to understand correctly what’s on page 198 unless you already know the stuff in pages 1-197.

If this is how you have modeled your “research”, then it is no wonder you have absolutely no understanding of anything in books and the only things you have absorbed are short web articles you’ve been able to digest as a whole in a sitting.
So, you can't do research on a topic unless you read every book from cover to cover and understand everything in every book?

How can anyone be so far removed from reality?

Years ago, one of the first physics topics I researched was Einstein's Second Postulate.  It is absolutely clear when reading Einstein's 1905 paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" what his Second Postulate is.  On the first page he describes it as "another postulate" following the postulate he just gave as his first postulate.  He then comments on his two postulates, and he never uses the word "postulate" again anywhere in the entire paper.

But in some discussion someone gave something totally different as "Einstein's Second Postulate."  So, I researched where he got that version from.

When I researched what physics textbooks had to say about Einstein's Second Postulate, I found that it was rare to find any two textbooks which used the same wording.  Some authors picked a phrase from elsewhere in the paper and gave that as Einstein's "second postulate," some authors used their own wording, and almost NONE used the second postulate as Einstein gave it.  I was stunned, and I wrote a paper about it.

Reading each of the books in its entirety might have given me a better idea of how each author got his version, but I could do that later if it became important or interesting. 

Probably the most arguments I had on that forum during the past few days were about where the Big Bang occurred.  Mostly they argued that it occurred "everywhere."  But logically that makes no sense.  The universe began as radiation spreading out from some point.  The radiation then formed particles.  Some of those particles then collected to form into the Milky Way galaxy, and within that galaxy some particles formed into the sun and earth.  When people talk about the Big Bang occurring everywhere, they talk about how nearly all the galaxies are moving away from each other.  They do not talk about the time when particles were collecting together to form those galaxies.

I could go on and on, but probably the most interesting argument was about how I shouldn't read books about science and physics, I should only read textbooks.  That made me wonder about the differences I have seen between what science books say versus what physics textbooks say.  Have I ever seen an incorrect version of Einstein's Second Postulate in a science book?  I don't think so.  And I know I've seen descriptions of the Big Bang which say it happened outside of our observable universe.  I just never before thought about comparing what science book authors say versus what textbook authors say.

If I can ever find the time, that might be something interesting to research.
 

April 25, 2022
- During lunch on Saturday, I finished reading another book on my Kindle.  The book was "All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business" by Mel Brooks:

All About Me - Mel Brooks

I started reading it because I was looking for something humorous to read, after reading "Ha!" which I thought would be funnier than it turned out to be.  Reading only during breakfast and lunch, It took me over a month to read "All About Me!", and it too wasn't as funny as I had hoped it would be.  There were lots of parts that were hilarious, and I enjoyed reading about the making of the movies Mel Brooks played in, starred in or directed.  In the evenings, if I hadn't seen them in at least 8 years, I would dig copies out of my DVD collection, and watch them, such as "Blazing Saddles," "Spaceballs" and  "The Producers."

Mel Brooks was born in 1926.  He's still alive today at age 95.  He served in World War II as a radio man for a field artillery unit.  He was married to Anne Bancroft for decades.  Here's a quote from the book:
Later, as the 2000 Year Old Man with Carl Reiner I explained the difference between comedy and tragedy: If I cut my finger, that’s tragedy. Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.
Another:
I was on the very first Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on October 1, 1962, along with Groucho Marx, Joan Crawford, Rudy Vallee, and Tony Bennett. It was the first appearance in a long association with Johnny Carson that really helped me to become a famous comedy name.
The book was published in November of last year, so it even mentions the Covid pandemic.  However, it is also 480 pages long, which means, for me, that it got a bit repetitious, particularly all the "name dropping."  He mentions everyone who he worked with, and he worked with a lot of people over the decades, many of them more than once.

But, overall I enjoyed the book and can recommend it.
  

April 24, 2022
- I can't stop thinking about "stationary points in space." It is just mind-boggling to me that others haven't mentioned how Einstein's Second Postulate basically says that there are stationary points in space. That postulate is:
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
If light is emitted at a "definite velocity" that has nothing to do with the "motion of the emitting body," what is that velocity relative to?  It seems clear that it is relative to a "stationary point in space," since Einstein says that his theory makes the luminiferous ether "superfluous," and the imaginary luminiferous ether was created in order to give mathematicians something stationary against which to measure all other motion.

When I posted my paper on "Stationary Points in Space" to vixra.org, a guy named "Mikko" responded negatively, as he does to just about every paper I write.  ("Mikko" is apparently Finnish for "Michael.")  I then responded to his criticisms, going through his key comments one by one to show that they were either wrong or off topic.  To my surprise, an administrator for the site evidently deleted my response.  That had never happened before. 

I really wanted some place to discuss "Stationary Points in Space," so I tried creating a thread about it on the Astrophysics and Physics Facebook group.  Then something happened that had also never happened before.  My comment simply remained in limbo, awaiting some administrator to approve it.  Here's what I tried to post:
Pending post to Facebook about
                                stationary points

As you can see, I tried posting it on April 3, and it has remained there as "pending" for three weeks.

Yesterday, I tried something else.  There's one place where I can create a discussion thread and there is no "administrator" who can delete it or just sit on it forever without allowing it to be posted.  That place is my own blog "My Thoughts on the Changing World."   So, I created a new thread there which, of course, I titled "Stationary Points in Space."

Because I am the administrator of that blog, nothing gets posted until I approve it.   Otherwise, it would just be filled with personal attacks.

I then went back to vixra.org and typed a response to "Mikko" telling him that if he wanted to discuss the topic with me, he can do so on my blog, and I provided the link.  As of this moment, that message is still there.  And Mikko responded on my blog.  But then he argued further on vixra.org, so I'll copy that argument to my blog and respond there.

And, since I had never discussed "stationary points in space" on the sci.physics.relativity discussion forum, I started a thread about it there.  This morning I see there are four new posts there.  But one simply says "no" and one other is a response to someone else.  Responding to the two others might prove interesting.

Meanwhile, it was just mind-boggling to me that I had never read anything anywhere that mentions how Einstein's Second Postulate implies that there are "stationary points in space."  Yesterday, I did a Google search for "stationary points in space" and got a whole list of places where that term is used.  But they are all just theories related to how there can be a point in space that is stationary relative to another point in space (even though neither point is truly "stationary," they're just keeping the same distance from each other).  The only exceptions seem to be links to my paper.

So, now I have to respond to the posts on sci.physics.relativity and on my blog.  It could be interesting.  I really find the subject fascinating.  I wish there were others who do also.


Comments for Sunday, April 17, 2022, thru Sat., April 23, 2022:

April 21, 2022 - Hmm.  When I sit at my computer, I have a bunch of 3-ring binders holding screenplays atop a bookcase right in front of me.  For some reason I recently started to wonder if those screenplays, which I wrote back in the 1990s, were typed on a typewriter, or if I wrote them on a computer using Microsoft WORD.  So, this morning I dug into my backup computer files to see if I had a folder for screenplays somewhere.  I turned out I did, but it didn't contain all eleven.

My screenplays

And NONE of them are in a format that is fully compatible with Microsoft WORD, not even the .DOC files. 

Sometimes when I open a .DOC file, it doesn't use my current version of WORD, it gets another version from somewhere and the screenplay is presented in "protected mode," which means I cannot change it or even print it.  I can, however, copy and paste it into WORD as a .DOCX file, but the screenplay will need at least an hour of work to get it into a readable format, and even then it will not be in true screenplay format because WORD doesn't seem to have any way of putting both the screenplay name and the page number at the top of each page.

Other times when I try to open a .DOC file for a different screenplay, I get a "File Conversion" window which seems to indicate that the file was written on a DOS machine and needs to be converted to OS.  I can do all that, but the screenplay would still need at least a day's work to get it into a readable format.

Some files are in .FDR format.  FDR is the format used by "Final Draft," a program used for writing screenplays.  I don't think I have that program anymore.  It was probably on a CD that you had to insert into your computer when you wanted to use it.  But, if I want to start writing screenplays again, I could buy a new copy from Amazon for $40. 

I'm not going to start writing screenplays again.  I had an agent back then, but he was never able to sell any of my screenplays, even though they got some praise at meetings.  I found a note that says Rivers of Iron "placed in the top 10 percent in the 2000 Nicholl Fellowships screenwriting contest run by AMPAS" (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), and Shook "finished in the top 10 percent in the 2000 Austin Film Festival screenwriting contest."  I remember attending the Austin Film Festival in 2000.  While there, I spent some time wandering around Austin, including going to the top of the tower where some crazy guy had recently positioned himself with a rifle to shoot strangers on the street below.

All this reminiscing, of course, is keeping me from working on my latest book. 


April 20, 2022
- Yesterday, I finished a major revision to my paper "Stationary Points in Space" and I uploaded it to vixra.org. I added an illustration, plus a lot of explanatory details and eight "implications."  Here's the illustration I added:
Spherical light wave from a
                                                      moving light
                                                      source.
It shows a light source moving from the lower left to the upper right.  I used a light bulb because I wasn't sure of the best way to draw a star or sun.  The bulb emits light for an instant at the mid-way point on its path.  That light is emitted from a "stationary point in space."  As the paper explains, we know it's a stationary point because when we look at a galaxy like Andromeda, we see it where it was located 2,537,000 years ago, not where it is today.  Einstein must have realized that when he developed his Second Postulate:
light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body.
Like most people, I interpreted that Second Postulate as meaning that the speed of the emitter does not add to the speed of light, thereby debunking the "Emission Theory" which was widely accepted in 1905 when Einstein wrote his paper about Special Relativity.  It does indeed say that, but it also says a lot more.  As the illustration shows, light photons are emitted at the same speed in all directions, including back in the direction from where the emitter came.  If light is emitted at the same speed in all directions, and if light travels in a straight line from that point of emission to your telescope, that is the same as saying that light must be emitted from a "stationary point in space."  If the emission point wasn't stationary, the light couldn't travel in a straight line from that point, and light could not travel at the same speed in all directions.

One of the eight implications I describe in the paper is #6:
The sixth implication is that, because all light is emitted from stationary points in space, there can be no “red-shifting” or “blue-shifting” due to the emitter’s speed away from or toward an observer on Earth. 
As Einstein's Second Postulate says, the emitter's speed doesn't affect the speed of light, c.  And that leads to Implication #7:
The light will appear to be blue-shifted to a higher frequency if the Earth is moving toward that stationary point in space, and the light will appear to be red-shifted to a lower frequency if the Earth is moving away from that stationary point in space.
How can the Earth be moving away from all those points in space?  The 8th implication is that the universe must be expanding.  That is the only way we can be moving away from all those points.  When the space between galaxies is expanding, the Earth and most galaxies are moving away from each other.  In effect, we are both moving away from some point somewhere between us.  Our motion and only our motion away from that point causes the red-shift we observe.  That is confirmed by the "annual Doppler effect," where we see stars and galaxies as red-shifted when the Earth in its orbit around the sun is moving away from those bodies, and blue-shifted when the Earth is moving toward those bodies.  It also implies that at some point in the distant past, all objects were in the same place, and then there was some kind of "Big Bang" that caused everything to move away from everything else.

It still boggles my mind that people will argue against this.  It appears that the only reason they have for such arguments is that there is no object marking those "stationary points in space."  If there is no object remaining at the point of emission, tracing a photon of light back to its point of origin ends up at a point in empty spaceLogically, that must be where the photon was emitted, but mathematically there is nothing still there to measure distances from.  That evidently makes it incomprehensible to most mathematicians.
 

April 18, 2022
- I'm once again back to work on my new book "Logical Relativity," but it's slow going.  The Introduction I'd previously written for the book was all about how I got interested in Einstein's theories about Relativity.  Looking at that Introduction again, I began to wonder "Who cares?"  So, I moved it to the end of the book and renamed it: "About the Author."  That meant I had to write a new "Introduction."  Yesterday, I
did that, and what I wrote required that I also write a new first chapter.  That's where I am now, writing a chapter about "Stationary Points in Space," using my paper on that topic as a starting point. 

While I was bumbling around trying to figure out the best way to introduce the idea of "Stationary Points in Space," I spent some time downloading podcasts.  I watched some late night talk show last week where Bill Maher was a guest.  On that show Maher talked about the new podcast he had just started.  Curious, the next day I researched it.  It's called "Club Random," and the outlet I found that provides the easiest way to download and save the MP3 files also has a bunch of other podcasts that I had never heard of before.  The one that really caught my eye was "Star Trek: The Pod Directive."  A podcast about Star Trek???  I have every episode of the original series and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on DVD, plus lots of episodes of "Star Trek Voyager."  Although I watched every episode when they were re-aired on BBC America a few years ago, I didn't particularly enjoy "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" or "Star Trek: Enterprise."  And there were several more recent Star Trek series that were on networks I never paid to access. 

Anyway, I had to download a few episodes of the Star Trek: The Pod Directive podcast just to find out what they were all about.  They turned out to be just talk about various people's favorite Star Trek TV shows and movies.  One had Ben Stiller talking about how much he loved the shows and watched nearly every episode.  Another had John Hodgman doing the same thing, only with a lot more detail.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't just a gabfest with people talking about their favorite Star Trek episodes and movies.  The podcast is in its second year, which says something, I suppose.  However, there are a couple dozen other science podcasts, history podcasts and interview podcasts that I want to catch up on first.  Many hundreds of hours of individual shows.  I just need to find the time.
  


April 17, 2022
- I wish everyone a very happy Easter!








Other interests:

fake picture of snow on
                    the pyramids
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