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Thread: Sun's impact on climate change quantified for first time

  1. #1
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    Sun's impact on climate change quantified for first time

    http://www.snf.ch/en/researchinFocus...irst-time.aspx

    "Studies funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation expect human-induced global warming to tail off slightly over the next few decades. A weaker sun could reduce temperatures by half a degree."

    "[...] it is highly likely that we will experience another low point in 50 to 100 years' time. It could be every bit as intense as the Maunder Minimum, which brought particularly cold weather during the 17th century."

  2. #2
    Fake.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Fake.
    ^

    Basically all the researchers did was guess what might happen if the sun suddenly got a lot dimmer. There's no evidence saying that the sun will get a lot dimmer, or that it won't get a lot brighter for that matter. All they're asking is whether a period of extraordinary solar activity might save us from global warming, and even their highly optimistic and unlikely scenario wouldn't help much.

    The best way of thinking about this is, it's like you've bought a lottery ticket and start thinking about quitting your job. It's a perfectly nice thing to daydream about, but you probably shouldn't count on winning.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-02-2017 at 12:21 AM.

  4. #4
    That's amusing--my post was only satirical, but I guess a broken clock is right twice a day? There's hope yet for the president; eventually he'll strike gold (or maybe he already has).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Basically all the researchers did was guess what might happen if the sun suddenly got a lot dimmer.
    No, that is not what they did. They quantified the impact that the Sun has on the Earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon'C View Post
    There's no evidence saying that the sun will get a lot dimmer, or that it won't get a lot brighter for that matter.
    Nasa solar forcast:
    https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/predict.shtml

    Reduction in upper atmosphere, increased solar radiation:
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/16/nas...ere.shrinking/

    Clouds aren't forming as high:
    http://www.livescience.com/18604-clo...declining.html

    More on the shrinking of the ionosphere and how it's connected to solar activity:
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015...-is-shrinking/

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon'C View Post
    All they're asking is whether a period of extraordinary solar activity might save us from global warming, and even their highly optimistic and unlikely scenario wouldn't help much.
    That is not what this research was about or even what they did. It was merely to prove (by quantifying) that changes in solar activity has an impact on climate on the planets. Yes, they may have scaled the data points to coincide with the predicted models to indicate that, but it still proves the interaction and is what researchers do to predicts the effects.

    This research was done in part because of this 2013 NASA workshop which was missing quantified data as the next step in understanding the solar-earth climate relationship:
    https://science.nasa.gov/science-new...jan_sunclimate
    Last edited by Alco; 04-02-2017 at 10:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Make America f=mv Again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alco View Post
    No, that is not what they did. They quantified the impact that the Sun has on the Earth.
    Their work is based on the following assumption:

    'The Swiss researchers assumed a greater fluctuation in the radiation striking the Earth than previous models had done. Schmutz is convinced that "this is the only way that we can understand the natural fluctuations in our climate over the last few millennia." He says that other hypotheses, such as the effect of major volcanic eruptions, are less conclusive.'

    This model is an interesting hypothesis for a greater solar contribution to the Little Ice Age, but it's based on an open question. Before you can call this a done deal, you need evidence for much higher variance in UV output during grand solar extrema than currently expected.

    The solar cycle isn't regular or easy to predict. The sun's approaching a local minimum according to observations, but that doesn't mean it will be a grand (prolonged and acute) minimum, like the kind they specifically studied in this research. It could be a very short minimum followed by a grand maximum. Nobody really knows.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-02-2017 at 11:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Their work is based on the following assumption:

    'The Swiss researchers assumed a greater fluctuation in the radiation striking the Earth than previous models had done. Schmutz is convinced that "this is the only way that we can understand the natural fluctuations in our climate over the last few millennia." He says that other hypotheses, such as the effect of major volcanic eruptions, are less conclusive.'
    From this articles, we don't have enough information to determine which models specifically that they are referring to. My assumption would be that they assumed greater fluctuations because prior models didn't account for the shrinking atmosphere and therefor elevated levels of radiation (that's why I posted the other articles). One of the effects of lower altitude clouds is that it also helps to lower global temperatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    This model is an interesting hypothesis for a greater solar contribution to the Little Ice Age, but it's based on an open question. Before you can call this a done deal, you need evidence for much higher variance in UV output during grand solar extrema than currently expected.
    This isn't presented as a "done deal" put simply that the effects of solar activity on Earth's climate is now quantifiable. No one is saying, based on this, that the Sun is the main driver of climate change or that humans don't play a part in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The solar cycle isn't regular or easy to predict. The sun's approaching a local minimum according to observations, but that doesn't mean it will be a grand (prolonged and acute) minimum, like the kind they specifically studied in this research. It could be a very short minimum followed by a grand maximum. Nobody really knows.
    That's not entirely true. There isn't just one solar cycle. There are many different cycles of slightly variable lengths. Sometimes the cycles line up in such a way that the extremes are magnified. Sometimes they counteract each other. The ~11-yr cycle is one that we have pretty well pegged. We have rough approximations of several others. The unpredictability of the cycles really comes from the limited data set we have. There are strong correlations between solar cycles and temperature. The ice core data only goes back about 400K years, which represents a very small relative data set of the ~4 billion yrs of Earth's history. We don't know if there are other, longer than 400K yr cycles that are also either amplifying or canceling out the smaller cycles. What the models are showing is a return to similar temperatures of the 17th century over the next 50-100 years. Keeping in mind that the prediction models for the next cycle are consistently trending towards a deeper minimum.

    Could it end up swinging unpredictably in the other direction? Sure. But the point is that where once the solar influence was completely dismissed as a contributor to Earth's climate in any way, it is now being actively researched without the resistance that it used to have.
    Last edited by Alco; 04-02-2017 at 12:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    [Double post of above]

  10. #10
    I can assure you though, that this is already being used to finally vindicate blaming any climate change on sunspot cycles.
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    ^

    Basically all the researchers did was guess what might happen if the sun suddenly got a lot dimmer. There's no evidence saying that the sun will get a lot dimmer, or that it won't get a lot brighter for that matter. All they're asking is whether a period of extraordinary solar activity might save us from global warming, and even their highly optimistic and unlikely scenario wouldn't help much.

    The best way of thinking about this is, it's like you've bought a lottery ticket and start thinking about quitting your job. It's a perfectly nice thing to daydream about, but you probably shouldn't count on winning.
    I don't see why it would make a difference anyway. At best it would simply delay any effect.

    The issue with global warming is that it's a very complex system, and there are going to be a lot of unpredictable non-linearities as the system gets too far from their current operating points. The scariest thing isn't if current predictions turn out to be true. It's that they could easily turn out to be wrong in unpredictable ways.

  12. #12
    I heard the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth is coming so that should clear things up a bit.

  13. #13

  14. #14
    america also needs a remake of fahrenheit 9/11

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    I heard the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth is coming so that should clear things up a bit.
    So is Algore going to clear up why we're supposed to either be walking or biking (or maybe driving a prius) while he's flying around the world in private or chartered jets using more fuel in one flight than we use in a year? Is he going to explain why we're supposed to live packed in city high-rises like sardines in a can, sharing body heat to keep warm while he's living in a damn mansion? I think not. He's going to spend the entire video, again, telling us to stop using electricity and gas, go back to the dark ages, and all the while he's going to be laughing his way to the bank. But the "scientists" are all so smart and know what's best for us. Hopefully they aren't the same scientists that invented asbestos. Or told us to eat margarine instead of butter. Or who filled us with artificial sweeteners. Or who invented electro-shock therapy. Or told us not to let our kids eat peanut butter until they were almost teenagers, then a decade later when half the population was allergic to peanuts decided to reverse that and now we're supposed to let kids eat peanut butter again. But I guess climate science is less complicated than peanut butter and belly science.

  16. #16
    Philosophy of science is hard, let's go shopping,

  17. #17
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    Climate science is less complicated than the human immune system, yes.

  18. #18
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    Maybe Algore can take the initiative in creating global cooling.

  19. #19
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    If anybody actually cares, here are the five reasons you don't trust scientists anymore.

    1.) A legitimate reproducibility crisis in the social sciences and elsewhere.

    Modern science relies upon special mathematical techniques (statistical tests) to determine whether the outcome of an experiment happened because your hypothesis is true, or if you just got lucky. Unfortunately, most doctors and scientists don't really understand how to use those techniques correctly, so they do bad things like use the same data to test many different hypotheses, looking for the right one that fits the data (this is called "p-hacking"). This makes it much more likely that the scientist will publish evidence for a false hypothesis. Even in the best of circumstances, though, at least 5% of the time you test a false hypothesis you will find strong (but incorrect) evidence that it's true.

    Academic journals don't like to publish negative results, and they don't like to publish failures to reproduce. That means there are an awful lot of bad science papers out there, and many labs which have failed to reproduce the results in those papers, which you never hear about. Basically, you should ignore any scientific paper that hasn't been independently verified.

    (To be extra super duper clear, this problem doesn't really affect the physical and formal sciences, like geophysics and climatology. It does affect fields like nutrition and sociology.)


    2.) Inept science journalism. Any article you read about science in the mainstream media is complete bunk. Especially when they talk about diet and medicine.

    Remember when scientists told you that drinking a glass of wine every day reduces heart disease? Well, no, you actually don't - you remember reading a news article that said it. What the study actually showed was that people who drink a glass of wine every day are more likely to be French, and that French people are less likely to suffer from heart disease (perhaps because they have less employment related stress, and have greater access to preventative care). The journalist made up the rest.

    Then you have whole cottage industries that seize upon every new medical and nutritional paper, turning it into a mass-market consumable new diet trend, thriving on the fact that people are generally not able to read and understand the original research.


    3.) Fear-driven for-profit journalism.

    News companies are worried about upsetting consumers and losing market share, so any time they write a story about any issue that is even possibly contentious, they always have to bring in someone to talk about the "opposite side". They do this even if the issue doesn't really have a credible opposite side. They find someone, even if literally 100% of informed experts agree with each other, and the opposite side is someone from a different field, whose lab just happens to be funded by a company that would be hurt by action on the issue. Humans are pretty much hard-wired to assign equal weight to unverified information when they're presented as equal alternatives, so by doing this, the media is effectively cutting a controversy that doesn't exist out of whole cloth.

    (To be extra super duper clear, I'm not just talking about global warming. I'm also talking about asbestos, tetraethyl lead, sugar, and tobacco.)


    4.) Corruption, corporate sponsorship of favorable research, and PR.

    Industry pays scientists to write papers that take a specific opinion. Bunch of PhDs have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar on this one, none that really have a reputation that's worth defending. This is only possible because of #3.

    Some people like to say that scientists on the "anti-corporate" side of these issues are the ones who are actually guilty of this, like they just want governments to bow to their agendas and fork over the phat research bucks. But, like, why though? There's way more money to be made writing favorable research for corporations, and it's much easier work too.

    (To be extra super duper clear, I'm not just talking about global warming. I'm also talking about asbestos, tetraethyl lead, sugar, and tobacco. How many times do corporations need to be caught doing this before people catch on??)


    5.) A literal conspiracy by industry to cast scientists in an unfavorable light.

    Yeah, this is another side of #4.

    Companies don't like you talking about science, so they spend PR money amping up issues like the reproducibility crisis, private journal management problems, every minor discretion in climate change research groups, fanning public resentment and accusations of elitism and classism, etc. All blown way, way out of proportion.

    It's like that ****ing McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit. Ever since then, McDonalds has been spending through the nose to convince everyone that Americans are outrageously litigious, that the court systems have been clogged with nuisance lawsuits, that this case in particular (that they lost!) was meritless, and that the government must intervene to protect poor businesses from all of these terrible scams. Almost everybody believes this bull****, but it was complete fiction intended to convince you (the voter) to support McDonalds anti-consumer agenda.

    Just think about this for a second. Really think about it. Check your gut. Who's more of an elitist according to American culture? An associate professor, making $30k a year, or a billionaire landlord who lives in a gilded sky palace in Upper ****ing Manhattan? The professor. Of course. What a ****ing coincidence.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-03-2017 at 07:30 PM.

  20. #20
    Corporate big wigs spreading the FUD around to eek out a few extra stock points just to hit those performance-linked executive compensation packages. God bless publicly traded America.

  21. #21
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    Ok, so you're saying that science in general is bad, but not geophysics and climatology. Got it, that makes total sense.

  22. #22
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    I'm being honest and admitting that academia is partially to blame for the problem. Thank you for rewarding my honesty by ignoring the part of my explanation that doesn't confirm your bias.

  23. #23
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    By the way:

    Different fields use different methods, not all of which are susceptible to the same problems.

    Asbestos wasn't invented. It's a rock.

    ECT is an effective last resort treatment.

    Suffering in darkness is not the only alternative to burning coal.

    Vaccines don't cause autism.

  24. #24

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    Is a general atmosphere of 'disregard or distrust over experts and people who spent a lifetime learning about subject x' fall under 5? Which may stem from inability of seeing the advantage of good science with the results of good science if it takes years to show and often not a tangible product?

    i.e. "why bother with these experts when they still haven't solved X after all these years??"
    SnailIracing:n(500tpostshpereline)pants
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  25. #25
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    Scientists have solved alot, we just don't like the answers. Believe it or not, there's no mystery at all to how people can lose weight, the hard part is getting people to exercise and not eat so many calorie dense foods. People think science is magic, and science should produce a weight loss pill, not that it should tell them weight loss pills are a fantasy. Besides amphetamines.

  26. #26
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    In some respects, scientists have inadvertently become the new soothsayers. Which I want to pump the brakes on any extreme reading of what I just said, because clearly science is the single best source of knowledge we have about the physical world. Just look at what's always being in pop science rags, promising immortality, claiming Elon Musk will have us exploring Jupiter in two days, constant "magic bullet" solutions to ecological problems. When what Jon said is right, we have a real problem with science, not even limited to p-hacking, there is a glut of original research that's probably unreproducable and is never redone. Much of the wacko health studies have never been reproduced.

    That's the ****ty side of competitive funding. If your career might hinge on getting a result, you'd have an easier time justifying p-hacking. And so much funding goes to research that gets original results.

    A good way to see how poorly the general public understands science is to look at a phrase like "the cure for cancer". There is no "the" "cure". Cancer is treated with a collection of various methods that have been slowly developed over painful decades of rigorous science. It's not a thing that can be fixed, in fact, cancer research is pretty phenomenal stuff. But it's not glamorous and doesn't tease the lizard brains of people, and slow research which improves survival rate with better surgical methods, strategies for chemo, better detection, and maybe gives a 2% increase is not nearly as sexy as "the cure."

    But if you really look at science, what it's saying far more often than not is that humans are colossally ****ed. Good climatology, ecological science says we are ****ed as a species. Just like overweight people not wanting to exercise and choose better foods, that's our approach to climate change: yeah, but where is the pill?

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Scientists have solved alot, we just don't like the answers. Believe it or not, there's no mystery at all to how people can lose weight loss, the hard part is getting people to exercise and not eat so many calorie dense foods. People think science is magic, and science should produce a weight loss pill, not that it should tell them weight loss pills are a fantasy. Besides amphetamines.
    Are you sure you aren't propogating myths when you link weight loss and exercise? Everything I've read and heard indicates to me that you'd have to exercise a ridiculous amount to even think about "burning off fat".

    You should exercise because it sets in motion all sorts of healthy changes to your body, but weight loss isn't really one of them AFAIK.

    Moreover, I don't think the density of the calories is of note, but rather the number, quality, and frequency of the calories. Plenty of diets advocate eating very calorie dense foods such as nuts and avocados, in order to decrease the rate in which your meal is metabolized and increase satiety. Whereas sugary foods like bread and soda might just spike your blood sugar and leave you hungry an hour later.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 04-04-2017 at 12:14 PM.

  28. #28
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    Explicitly yes, it's the sum of the calories you eat. You can theorhetically lose weight eating nothing but brownies, but that's not a feasible diet for most people.

    In regards to exercise, yeah, it doesn't burn as many calories as we might presume, but it helps.

  29. #29
    Hmm. I guess you're right. This summary puts energy expenditure from exercise between 10 and 30 percent, which is honestly higher than I would have expected. So I will concede that there is a modest amount of room for people to negate their otherwise excess caloric intake by being more active. However, I would assume the reverse happens--people exercise because they want to lose weight, and then get hungry and use it as an excuse to eat a ton.

    (Which is exactly what I do, but then again I've always been slightly underweight no matter how much I eat.)
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 04-04-2017 at 12:40 PM.

  30. #30
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    Your basal metabolic rate crashes when you reduce caloric intake. The human body is the most complicated machine in the known universe. It's not as simple as ~eat less~.

  31. #31
    That's certainly an interesting dynamic I hadn't given too much thought. I would nevertheless be highly surprised if long-term, average caloric restriction isn't at least a necessary condition for weight loss (if not a sufficient one). At best we would need to look at other variables which might stop this crash you speak of from screwing up the diet plan too much so that it defeats the purpose of restriction (although arguably, slowing down metabolism is its own goal for longevity purposes, if we are to extrapolate from studies on non-humans). Exercise is the obvious one that comes to mind (beyond the quality of the diet, apart from quantity), which I'll concede means Reid was right all along to mention it (but not because it "burns calories", which of course he never said anyway).
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 04-04-2017 at 12:54 PM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Your basal metabolic rate crashes when you reduce caloric intake. The human body is the most complicated machine in the known universe. It's not as simple as ~eat less~.
    I don't think this really happens if you eat at a small deficit, like 50-100 calories a day.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    There is no "the" "cure". Cancer is treated with a collection of various methods that have been slowly developed over painful decades of rigorous science. It's not a thing that can be fixed, in fact, cancer research is pretty phenomenal stuff. But it's not glamorous and doesn't tease the lizard brains of people, and slow research which improves survival rate with better surgical methods, strategies for chemo, better detection, and maybe gives a 2% increase is not nearly as sexy as "the cure."
    You make good points about science in general, but regarding cancer research, I've been hearing a lot about the prospect of harnessing the immune system in much more systematically targeting cancer. Chemotherapy, from what I gather, is a more blunt tool, but in the future we could well be on the road toward something more akin to what penicillin was for bacterial diseases. Look at Jimmy Carter, who was spectacularly cured using immunotherapy, or the prospect of CRISPR enabled cancer treatments that harness the immune system by removing the brakes from the immune cells in the neighborhood of the cancer.

    It may not be a complete cure, but compared to the multipronged approach we inevitably take now to helping a complex dynamical system like the human body shake off a systemic problem like cancer, a more systematic approach that can universally be applied on a molecular level would be a massive breakthrough.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I'm being honest and admitting that academia is partially to blame for the problem. Thank you for rewarding my honesty by ignoring the part of my explanation that doesn't confirm your bias.
    Sucks when you take the time to write something and someone just ignores it, eh?

  35. #35
    And if you'd like even less attention minded to your writing, you could do much worse than publish it in a (prestigious) scientific journal.

    If it's too much work to earn a PhD, a shorter route is to go on Twitter.

  36. #36
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    Scientific research is only worth attention if it was funded with nazi gold.

  37. #37
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    Charles and David Koch went to college. But you shouldn't, oh no. College isn't for people like you. You should become a skilled laborer, instead, and help flood the skilled trades markets and drive down the cost of building oil rigs rebuild America and mend the totally fictional skills gap!

  38. #38
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    (Aside: The skills gap actually exists, at least as far as the markets are concerned. Statistics for candidate success rates, number of open requisitions, and average tenure of requisitions, all clearly show that employers are having trouble finding qualified candidates to fill many positions. Dig an inch deeper, though, and you strike bull****.

    Over the past decade, keyword-based automated resume screening, of the sort previously reserved for highly specialized professional work, has swept low- and mid-skill recruiting. This has had a devastating effect on how those employers identify high-potential and trainable candidates. Those automated screening systems also encourage resume bombing, where candidates simultaneously apply for hundreds or thousands of jobs to find the few that don't automatically reject them. Surveys have shown that this artificially high volume of submitted applications has distorted the way hiring managers think about hiring; buoyed by an apparent crush of candidates, managers have grown unreasonably selective. They are holding requisitions open for abnormally long times, waiting for the "perfect" candidate to apply rather than hiring the best available candidate at the time the job needs doing. For similar reasons, employers believe they can afford to pay qualified workers less. 10% of employers actually volunteered that they are knowingly paying well below market rates, and seemed quite whiny about confused by how few of their successful candidates accept job offers.

    This has all had predictably stupid effects on labor productivity, worker well-being, wage growth, income inequality, and the [capital-dominated] public discourse on talent acquisition.

    I love this subject because it combines two of my favorite things: computers and capitalism, working together to ruin everyones lives.)
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-04-2017 at 08:47 PM.

  39. #39
    This sounds like the kind of thing you'd expect to be a joke, but I've heard of such a thing as a "resume oriented start-up", in which the founders choose their software stack to maximize the amount of trending keywords their employees can expect to add to their resumes by having worked there.

  40. #40
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    Yup! Apparently labor / trades employers have decided that software companies really have that hiring thing licked, so now they're all trying to do hiring our way.

    RIP civilization.

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