## Abstraction is falsification?

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Dan~ wrote:
Magnus Anderson wrote:
observer wrote:Isn't an abstraction just a classification reduction? I think it would be a false claim to state that a classification or a category is itself a real entity. In that use an abstraction would be a false claim. I don't know anyone who actually intends it that way. When someone says "that thing is a tree" ("tree" being a classification abstract idea) they are not saying "a tree is that thing". They are not making the claim that the abstraction is a thing. They are saying that there are things that fit into the abstract category or order of namings.

My point exactly.

When someone points at a physical tree and says "This is a tree" they are merely saying "This thing I am pointing at with my finger can be represented by the word tree i.e. it belongs to the category represented by the word tree". They are NOT saying -- unless they are aliens -- that the physical thing is the concept itself.

Also -- and this seems to be even more important -- they aren't saying that the symbolized (physical tree) and the symbol (word "tree") look exactly the same nor are they saying that the word can ONLY represent that particular tree.

I think that people have trouble understanding what it means for a symbol to accurately represent some portion of reality.

Many people miss this important point about abstraction.
It is a common error among the self-called philosophers.

That’s all an abstraction ...

Abstraction doesn’t mean true or false. It is literally concept, whatever it may be.

All of my experience in life shows me that all of this is our collective imagination (we just said, fuck it, I like that idea, let’s try it out and see what happens)

We do get bored sometimes you know, with the forever thing and all.

On multiple levels, all of this is abstraction.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

KT wrote:To me it is not a binary falsification. Like it is utterly true or false.

Don't you think that's a matter of language?

For any given claim, its truth value can be expressed using any kind of classification (e.g. unary, binary, ternary, infinitary, etc.) And the best method of classification to use depends on the task at hand.

Classification has no truth value, it only has use value. There are no true and false methods of classifications but methods of classification that are more or less useful in relation to a goal.

That said, you can, and you should, classify truth value as either true or false if that's what serves your goal the best. And within this particular discussion, I believe that's exactly the case.

The claim put forward is that "Abstraction is falsification" which we interpret to mean "Abstraction produces false claims". That claim is using binary classification.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
I can provide a link to that post, if you want.

Also, the distinction I make here is between "abstraction is falsification?" in the either/or world and "abstraction is falsification?" in the is/ought world.

In other words, falsification regarding entities and relationships that are either one thing or the other pertaining to the laws of nature, mathematics, empirical fact and the logical rules of language; as opposed to moral and political values that can be encompassed in abstractions, but neither judgment seems able to be verified or dismissed as either wholly true or wholly false.

Not so much an actual cat and the word cat written on paper but, say, hunting the big cats around the globe to extinction. When do abstract arguments pro and con here become falsifications? Excluding such things as solipsism or omnipotent Gods, or sim worlds or a wholly determined universe.

Take it to another thread? Sure, I'll go there.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

"The claim put forward is that "Abstraction is falsification" which we interpret to mean "Abstraction produces false claims". That claim is using binary classification."

Such interpretation begs the question, which may use binary classification, but such usage is unwarranted, necessarily

It probably depends on the level of abstraction, to warrant any probable usage

May be another metaphysical classification need to warrant an absolute contradiction

I may be off on this one, but reevaluatlon of Anaelm's proof of god's existence could tie into relatiive abstraction
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Here's the link -- for you and for everyone else. (Though I am pretty sure it would be of no use to you.)

https://beforethelight.forumotion.com/t ... onal-logic

without-music wrote:As abstract notions, as things giving themselves over to definition, circles and clouds come from us.

James S Saint wrote:And yes, I certainly do proclaim that the universe is absolutely inherently logical, else we would recognize logic as whatever the universe really did do and then call that logical. Whatever the universe does is what we dub "logical" so of course the universe is logical to the hilt. The process of logic is merely tracking whatever the universe already obeys.

I can't follow you here. Logic is something we throw over the unquantifiable chaos; abstraction is falsification. "Tracking whatever the universe already obeys" is doubly erroneous. First: the universe obeys no law, it adheres to no rule. Second: we put ourselves into thought; the subject influences, shapes and infects all of his reasoning. Metaphysical realism just doesn't hold. On this note, I will direct you to an older ILP thread I started on the Ontological Tyranny in science. Our attempts to get at the way the world works will always be, and always already are, filtered through human consciousness -- Locke's "veil of ideas."

Consider Nietzsche: "In [logic] reality is not encountered at all, not even as a problem" (TI III, 3). The idea here being that the process of falsification reaches its climax in a totalizing system -- what you've presented as your "definitional logic" -- and thereby abandons entirely the question of the Real. It contents itself with its own auto-fixation.

Earlier in the thread, he said something that might be of relevance:

without-music wrote:Do you presume the potential for us to capture perfectly the Real with the Symbolic? If this is the basis for a metaphysic, count me out...

He thinks that you cannot use symbols to perfectly capture reality.

And The Drive for Truth thread, though not strictly related to this subject, might be of help in trying to understand what "Abstraction is falsification" means.

iambiguous wrote:Or focus instead on any particular abstraction from Nietzsche. What always matters to me is the extent to which what someone like Nietzsche believed in his head that words as abstractions mean are or are not able to be demonstrated given a particular situation relating to things like God or will to power or Übermensch.

Why his definitions and meaning and not others when the words become entangled in conflicting goods such that actual rules of behaviors are enacted resulting in behaviors that are rewarded or punished.

That's not the subject of this thread.

And yes, trying to direct this thread in that particular direction would indeed amount to an attempt to hijack the thread.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Silhouette wrote:Not sure if I can help here, but I'm familiar with Nietzsche.

I can't recall him writing those words from the books I've read by him, but it's been a while and there's still plenty of his books of his that I've not read.
However, the sentiment does resonate with what I understand of his general stance.

I read everything Nietzsche wrote except for The Birth of Tragedy and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. But just like in your case, that was a long time ago.

There's an essay he wrote titled On Truth and Lies in an Extra-moral Sense:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Truth_ ... oral_Sense

The essay itself:

I am pretty sure he believed that truth is a necessary illusion (= a falsity we cannot live without) but I cannot show you how I derived that belief from his writings (it has been a long time.)

Let that be my response for now. I will return to your post at a later point in time.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Here's the link -- for you and for everyone else. (Though I am pretty sure it would be of no use to you.)

https://beforethelight.forumotion.com/t ... onal-logic

Thanks. And, yes, you're right. Both James S. Saint and Fixed Cross have, from my frame of mind, always refused to explore the crucial distinction I make between abstraction and falsification in the either/or world and abstraction and falsification in the is/ought world. The distinction I noted above in regard to cats.

iambiguous wrote:Or focus instead on any particular abstraction from Nietzsche. What always matters to me is the extent to which what someone like Nietzsche believed in his head that words as abstractions mean are or are not able to be demonstrated given a particular situation relating to things like God or will to power or Übermensch.

Why his definitions and meaning and not others when the words become entangled in conflicting goods such that actual rules of behaviors are enacted resulting in behaviors that are rewarded or punished.

Magnus Anderson wrote:That's not the subject of this thread.

And yes, trying to direct this thread in that particular direction would indeed amount to an attempt to hijack the thread.

You made reference to Nietzsche in the OP. And how on earth can one speak of the relationship between abstraction, falsification and the things that Nietzsche wrote and not include human social, political and economic interactions. After all, how are abstractions like God and will to power and supermen not profoundly problematic there?

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

This is not a response to you iambiguous but a continuation of the post that I posted immediately before yours. (I'll respond to you later on.)

Here's a quote straight from that Wikipedia link I posted:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Truth_ ... oral_Sense

Nietzsche wrote:Every word immediately becomes a concept, in as much as it is not intended to serve as a reminder of the unique and wholly individualized original experience to which it owes its birth, but must at the same time fit innumerable, more or less similar cases—which means, strictly speaking, never equal—in other words, a lot of unequal cases. Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal.

And right after it:

According to Paul F. Glenn, Nietzsche is arguing that "concepts are metaphors which do not correspond to reality."[4] Although all concepts are metaphors invented by humans (created by common agreement to facilitate ease of communication), writes Nietzsche, human beings forget this fact after inventing them, and come to believe that they are "true" and do correspond to reality.

It looks like I don't even have to reread Nietzsche's essay on truth and lies -- let alone his other writings -- in order to come to conclusion that Nietzsche thinks that the use of the word "cat" to refer to an actual physical cat is a falsification of reality (in the sense that the word "cat" does not correspond to the thing it is used to represent.)
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

iambiguous wrote:You made reference to Nietzsche in the OP. And how on earth can one speak of the relationship between abstraction, falsification and the things that Nietzsche wrote and not include human social, political and economic interactions. After all, how are abstractions like God and will to power and supermen not profoundly problematic there?

There is no doubt in my mind that these issues are relevant, and as you say, problematic. The thing is that this thread is narrowly focused on what people mean when they say "Abstraction is falsification". That's all. I am not saying that's more important than what you want to discuss -- it may in fact be less important -- but this thread right here is meant to be used to discuss only this particular issue and nothing else.

There's a reason why Internet forums categorize discussions instead of doing it the way modern day social networks do it -- stream of posts each of which has its own comment section -- the goal being to make it easier for people to read and to participate.

As for Nietzsche, he's relevant only to the extent that he's one of those who claim that "Abstraction is falsification".
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Deleted for . being presumptionally immature. Not conducive to good faith progressive effort.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
KT wrote:I think in some sense any abstraction is an approximation. And further oversimplifies. Or simplifies which is not pejorative. IOW to some degree a falsification. But I mean even metaphors can be extremely useful and they are clearly not true in a literal sense.

Consider the following scenario.

There is a physical cat in front you and right next to it there is a piece of paper with "CAT" written on it.

That piece of paper is a symbol that completely accurately -- witg zero error -- represents the cat.

This is despite the fact that 1) the piece of paper looks nothing like the cat, 2) the piece of paper is simpler than the actual cat in the sense thst it conveys less information than the cat itself, and 3) the piece of paper can be used to represent other cats.

There is no falsification here.

Ah, it is only without error and completely true if the actual feline is visible next to the paper. Remove the feline and the cat written on the paper may mean a male human who is considered 'cool' or a piece of heavy machinery created by the Caterpillar company and called a cat for short. So, without details and specifics which abstractions lack, what is written on the paper could mean multiple things and be false since we upon reading the word cat could not be certain which cat the paper was referring to. Am I being clear enough? This is one example of what I meant when I said an abstraction can mean many things in my earlier post. The other possible meanings falsify the power or authority of the abstraction, it's connection or representation to the original "thing" being too obscure to decipher correctly without the original "thing" being present.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

WendyDarling wrote:Ah, it is only without error and completely true if the actual feline is visible next to the paper. Remove the feline and the cat written on the paper may mean a male human who is considered 'cool' or a piece of heavy machinery created by the Caterpillar company and called a cat for short. So, without details and specifics which abstractions lack, what is written on the paper could mean multiple things and be false since we upon reading the word cat could not be certain which cat the paper was referring to. Am I being clear enough?

I had to Google search what the word "feline" means. And here I was thinking I am good at English. (In my defense, I used to know what the word means but I forgot. People of the universe, do not judge me too harshly.)

Surely, if you want to figure out what some fellow is referring to by using the word "cat", but without looking at the portion of the universe to which it refers, you'd have quite a bit of difficulty. But I'm somehow inclined to believe that's irrelevant. It misses the point.

Every representation consists of two crucial parts:

1) a reference to the portion of reality to which it refers

2) a symbol that the representation claims can be used to represent what's within the referenced portion of reality

Take as an example the claim that "Donald Trump's face is orange".

"Donald Trump's face" is a portion of reality to which that representation refers.

"Orange" is a symbol that denotes the category to which what's within the referenced portion of reality belongs (according to the representation, that is.)

If you want to determine whether that statement is true (in other words, whether that representation is perfectly accurate), you have to look at Donald Trump's face (the referenced portion of reality) and determine whether what you see there is something that can be represented by the word "orange".

That seems to be the case, so one ca say the statement is completely and perfectly true.

The fact that the word "orange" can also be used to represent other people's faces (and not only faces but also many other physical objects) is completely irrelevant.

Also, the fact that Trump's face radiates light at many different wavelengths is also irrelevant. The statement is that these wavelengths are within certain range -- the range indicated by the word "orange" -- not that they have some specific value.

What you're doing is you are ignoring the first part of the representation which is the portion of reality to which it refers. When you take that away, you no longer have a representation i.e. you no longer have a truth claim. You're left with a symbol and symbols themselves have no truth value. A symbol is neither true nor false on its own.

And if you take the word "orange" from the above statement and use it to refer to something else (e.g. Joe Biden's face), there's no guarantee you will end up with a true statement. You're only guaranteed to end up with a statement that wasn't put forward by the speaker.

Also, why do I think that the process of going from abstraction to something specific is not the process of abstraction but the opposite process of instantiation? You are actually claiming that instantiation -- not abstraction -- is falsification. (And not even that is true.)
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Nietzsche wrote:Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal.

The above statement appears to be the statement upon which everything else rests.

The idea is that if we use one and the same word (e.g. the word "cat") to represent different things (e.g. different physical cats) we are "equating what is unequal".

"Equating what is unequal" is to be interpreted (or at least, that's how I interpret it) as "believing that what's different is the same".

Thus, when we use the word "cat" to represent different physical cats, it is said that we are claiming that all these different physical cats are in fact the same.

But that's not what happens in reality.

What we do in reality is we claim that all these different physical cats can be represented using one and the same symbol -- the word "cat".

In my mind, this settles the issue.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Nietzsche wrote:Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal.

The above statement appears to be the statement upon which everything else rests.

The idea is that if we use one and the same word (e.g. the word "cat") to represent different things (e.g. different physical cats) we are "equating what is unequal".

"Equating what is unequal" is to be interpreted (or at least, that's how I interpret it) as "believing that what's different is the same".

Thus, when we use the word "cat" to represent different physical cats, it is said that we are claiming that all these different physical cats are in fact the same.

But that's not what happens in reality.

What we do in reality is we claim that all these different physical cats can be represented using one and the same symbol -- the word "cat".

In my mind, this settles the issue.
But it is not a mere symbol. It has connotations and its primary meaning. And when it sits minds, as it only does, in the processes of the mind, it affects the way we perceive and think of specific individuals in the category. We see, literally, what we think a cat is when a cat appears. We have expectations, a kind of set of heuristics of expectations. And these expectations will often hang on despite counter-evidence. In some ideal, non-existent, computer brain abstracting might not cause distortion. The ideas related to cat would be over there somewhere while other parts of the mind directly experienced the specific animal without expectations caused by the word 'cat', without the trimming off of specificities when 'seeing' the cat, without the way we often set aside and in general to some exent think we have experienced and understood something when we categorize it....but in the minds we know of abstraction mingle with and strong affect what we experience and how we think of it and how we remember it.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

You should all know this already, I’ve been teaching this damn thing on the web for 20+ years.

It’s impossible for this A to equal this A.

So we have two things going on here...

The concept of categories. This implies eternal forms.

And a balance of perceptual acuity to make it occur.

Everything is different from everything else... if categories didn’t exist, naming would be impossible.

The category is a property of not too little or too great the perceptual acuity that we have.

Let’s say I use a microscope. All those A are infinitely different from each other. If I step too far away, I can’t even see the A.

So when I say something like 1+1=2 ... those are impossible to reconcile without abstraction. Just looking at them visually tells you they aren’t equal. Conceptually... they are equal. That’s all abstraction is.

It’s not a paradox or a contradiction to state that A=A and A /= A... it just means that there’s more to our minds than vision.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Ecmandu wrote:It’s not a paradox or a contradiction to state that $$A = A$$ and $$A \neq A$$.

If every instance of $$A$$ refers to the same thing and if $$=$$ and $$\neq$$ are defined as polar opposites, then you are necessarily contradicting yourself.

I can accept that there are no two physical objects that are completely equal but I cannot accet that there are no two physical objects that are equal in part.

There may be no physical cats that are equal in every regard but there certainly are physical cats that are equal in color (and in many other ways.)
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

KT wrote:But it is not a mere symbol. It has connotations and its primary meaning. And when it sits minds, as it only does, in the processes of the mind, it affects the way we perceive and think of specific individuals in the category. We see, literally, what we think a cat is when a cat appears. We have expectations, a kind of set of heuristics of expectations. And these expectations will often hang on despite counter-evidence. In some ideal, non-existent, computer brain abstracting might not cause distortion. The ideas related to cat would be over there somewhere while other parts of the mind directly experienced the specific animal without expectations caused by the word 'cat', without the trimming off of specificities when 'seeing' the cat, without the way we often set aside and in general to some exent think we have experienced and understood something when we categorize it....but in the minds we know of abstraction mingle with and strong affect what we experience and how we think of it and how we remember it.

I can only make a guess what you're trying to say here. It may be a pretty good guess, but still, there's a chance I will misinterpret you.

My usual approach is to ask people to clarify their position, but when that doesn't lead to desirable results, I tend to give up and resort to guesswork.

The way I see it, you are making the same mistake that Wendy is making. You are talking about the process of going from what is abstract/general to what is concrete/specific. I am not really sure that's the process of abstraction. Indeed, it looks like precisely the opposite process to me.

There is a huge difference between classifying humans as either male or female and using such classifications to determine how intelligent they are. This is because "male" and "female" are words that say nothing about one's intelligence. So if you correctly identify someone as female, it neither follows that they are intelligent nor that they are unintelligent from that classification alone. It is only when you combine it with a certain type of belief, such as that all females are unintelligent and all males are intelligent, that it follows that that particular human being is either intelligent or unintelligent.
Last edited by Magnus Anderson on Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Ecmandu wrote:It’s impossible for this A to equal this A.

So we have two things going on here...

The concept of categories. This implies eternal forms.

If you are talking about Aristotle's Dialectics principle, A=A, wasn't he just saying that when speaking (dialectics) you are always to use the same name for the same thing? I don't think it had anything at all to do with any equality of things.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:It’s not a paradox or a contradiction to state that $$A = A$$ and $$A \neq A$$.

If every instance of $$A$$ refers to the same thing and if $$=$$ and $$\neq$$ are defined as polar opposites, then you are necessarily contradicting yourself.

I can accept that there are no two physical objects that are completely equal but I cannot accet that there are no two physical objects that are equal in part.

There may be no physical cats that are equal in every regard but there certainly are physical cats that are equal in color (and in many other ways.)

You didn’t understand what I said. A and /A are only VISUAL contradictions... the conceptual mind is greater than the visual mind.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus Anderson wrote:What are "visual contradictions", Ecmandu?

This A visually is not equal to this A.

That’s a fact.

Now, because of a sweet zone of perceptual acuity, they look exactly the same.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

You are making two different but compatible claims.

1) The two images are not equal in every regard.

2) The two images are equal in part.

Consider two bitmaps that are showing one and the same scene where one is in color and the other is black-and-white.

The two bitmaps are not equal in every regard because in order to be equal in every regard every pixel at position $$(x, y)$$ in one image would need to have the same RGB value that the pixel at position $$(x, y)$$ in the other image has.

The two bitmaps are equal in part because they both represent the same scene.

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Did someone miss this post?
obsrvr524 wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:It’s impossible for this A to equal this A.

So we have two things going on here...

The concept of categories. This implies eternal forms.

If you are talking about Aristotle's Dialectics principle, A=A, wasn't he just saying that when speaking (dialectics) you are always to use the same name for the same thing? I don't think it had anything at all to do with any equality of things.
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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

Magnus wrote
Every representation consists of two crucial parts:

1) a reference to the portion of reality to which it refers

2) a symbol that the representation claims can be used to represent what's within the referenced portion of reality

Discerning what an abstraction references is the conundrum, where the falsity lies when assuming what it references. On a piece of paper is written the word, dog. In English, dog means many things. Which dog am I referring to? Most, if not all, abstractions cannot point to one specific reference point when they encapsulate multiple possibilities as do most if not all abstractions.

Donald Trump has an orange face. This is not a typical abstraction because it names multiple specifics/details by a specific male name, part of the body, and color, but even with all those details most abstractions lack, is there only one Donald Trump in existence? No.
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I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

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### Re: Abstraction is falsification?

And magnus, I already delved into this 3 posts back.

Fuck the A=A thing... that’s tangential to the OP.

What the OP is REALLY about is 1+1=2.

The referents in this equality bear no resemblance whatsoever to each other. It’s a visual contradiction.

What I’m saying is that we abstract referents that all know are not equalities on a regular basis, not only visually but with referential language as a whole.
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