Paper Manufacturer Urges Everyone to Print More; Declares Printers Great For Kids

Paper Manufacturer Urges Everyone to Print More; Declares Printers Great For Kids

According to John Williams, CEO and president of Domtar (self-billing as "The Sustainable Paper Company,") the major problem with kids today isn't drinking, sex, bad manners, or the rampant use of txtspeak—it's their printing habits. More accurately, it's their lack of printing habits, which Domtar blames on those darn tree-loving eco hippies and their crazy propaganda. According to Williams, anti-printing claims or concerns about the environment are "just bull," and there's no need to "think before you print."


Take that hippies!

"There is an appropriate use for paper. You should feel comfortable to use it appropriately and you shouldn’t be feeling there is some environmental negative when you use it," Mr. Williams said at a conference on Monday. The Domtar CEO is targeting Facebook and YouTube users in an attempt to reach more young people. "Young people really are not printers," Domtar said. "When was the last time your children demanded a printer? They want the electronic device."

We dug around on Domtar's website for more information on the PR campaign and instead found the latest issue of "Paper Matters," the company's trade publication. Williams' comments were actually drawn from a piece written by Lewis Fix, the VP of brand management and sustainable development. Based on his article, Fix has something of a love affair with paper and he's all-too-willing to share it.

People love paper because it "connects them to the important things in life." Material printed on paper is more "meaningful and lasting." It's also responsible for the existence of every good thing ever. Fix writes:
Great ideas are started on paper. The world is educated on paper. Businesses are founded on paper. Love is declared on paper. Important news is spread on paper. Justice is rendered on paper. Rights are guaranteed on paper. Freedoms are declared on paper."     
Confusing Medium And Message:

Williams' remarks and faux indignation could win the company an award for "Most Obvious Display of Corporate Greed Masqueraded As A Public Virtue," but Fix's comments indicate a fundamental confusion between a message and the medium used to convey it. As mediums go, paper has had a long run and a good life, but you don't need paper to guarantee rights—you can actually do it on stage, interspersed with pithy song and dance numbers.

We at Hot Hardware like books and use paper, but you don't need to be a conservationist to see how the stuff is outdated. You can't search an index of 50,000 paper documents in seconds from a thousand miles away, you can't distribute printed material to a dozen people scattered across the globe in an instant, and you can't collaborate with someone on a real time project using two identical sheets of paper. Paper rots, mildews, molds, burns, fades, and is occasionally peed on by the dog. The only way to preserve printed documents in pristine condition for any period of time is to seal them inside enclosures filled with inert gas and carefully control the ambient light.

We submit to the fine folk at Domtar that great ideas, education, justice, rights, and freedoms all spring from the mind. Paper is the messenger, not the message. And Mr. Williams, with all due respect, a printer is one of the worst presents one person can give to another. In the world of computing hardware and electronic gadgetry, giving your significant other a printer is akin to presenting them with a vacuum, "Cooking For Dummies," and a coupon for Weight Watchers simultaneously. In many civilizations, the gift of a cheap printer is a veiled insult unless it's accompanied by several dozen ink cartridges.


They offered him a printer. He liked the bike more.

The reason kids don't ask for printers is because, on the Universal Scale Of Awesome Presents, printers rank between "Dead Hamster" and "Pet Rock." And if you're one of the six people who either really wanted a printer instead of a Nintendo growing up, we feel sorry for you. Please seek counseling.
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Ha! I always wished for a printer as a child! :P lol j/k

But of course a paper company would want you to print more -.-

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I get about 2000 pages allocated to me to print at my university each semester.  I barely use any of it.  I do use paper when necessary, but that's just it - when necessary.  It's not that I'm a tree hugger, but I just send everything in some form of email or distribute it electronically since it's easier than sending something in paper form.

I think the company here could have a better impact if they decide to use or offer recycled paper instead of telling people they should buy paper because it makes the world go round.  With the way businesses are becoming more sustainable and promoting that fact, defending a non-sustainable thing isn't going to help you. So good luck, Domtar.

"Daddy! Daddy!  I want a printer!"  I would definitely give my kid a game if he/she said that lol.

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Hmmm....their CEO sounds about as idiotic as the fictional Michael Scott from the Office...who also happens to manage a paper company.

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People, Just Say No To Idiots!

Remember, just because they're saying it, doesn't make it so.

While I can appreciate a good working and economical printer as much as anyone else, I also know and understand that Paper comes from trees. Also, I know that once Trees are Paper, they stop producing leaves, and that all important thing called Oxygen that we love them for. They also have much more visual appeal as trees than they do as just paper. (except paper with a picture of Meghan Fox on it, and that, only temporarily)

So this guy is a few bricks short of a full load if he thinks that people with any smarts are listening to him.

If he happens to convince stupid people to consume more Paper than they need to, then he's a menace to society. Angry

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As a 30-something individual who grew up with the internet in the early 90s during the Prodigy days and whose career revolves around technology, I am torn between the two worlds of technology and print. I have a love for both, but am also very concerned about our environment.

And let’s clear the air upfront - Yes, I happen to work for a commercial/digital printing company, but am not here to promote them. I’m here to promote a sustainable environment.

Let’s think about technology and how fast it changes. Take what started out as VCRs and computers and lets just look at their metamorphisis:

VCRs --> DVD players --> On Demand/Cable Boxes/Satellite Dishes --> LCD TVs/Plasma TVs/Flat Screen TVs

Big Huge Computers --> Desktop Computers --> Laptop Computers--> Tablets --> E-Readers

And let’s not even start with cellphones and how rapidly they’ve been changing. I know in my short lifetime, I’ve owned well over 20 cellphones.

Here’s the question I pose: Where does the electronic waste end up?

According to the EPA, in 2007 approximately 18 percent (414,000 short tons) of TVs and computer products ready for end-of-life management were collected for recycling. Cell phones were recycled at a rate of approximately 10 percent. (Visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/faq.htm for more information.)

So where did the other 82% of TVs and computer products end up if not recycled?

What about the other 90% of cell phones not recycled?

They ended up in landfills and one of the largest landfills sits right smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (Don’t believe me – read this http://marine-litter.gpa.unep.org/documents/World's_largest_landfill.pdf or the proof is in the pictures: just go to google images and type in keyphrase “pacific ocean landfill”)

Now, let’s talk paper and why Domtar’s CEO is promoting printing and why it’s important to keep print alive.

Paper is a renewable resource and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is doing a great job of maintaining forests. Just look at Finch Paper’s efforts in maintaining forest grounds - http://finchpaper.com/our-environment/where-we-live/.

Nearly 60% of all paper in the U.S. is recycled and more than 63% of fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. comes from recycled sources.

Paper is biodegradable. Electronic devices are not and chemicals consistently leak out into our environment.

Let’s not even talk about energy waste, but in case you are wondering… It costs an estimated $2.8 billion in energy annually to leave computers sitting idle overnight in the U.S. alone. On a CO2 basis, that’s 20 million tons of carbon dioxide, about the amount produced by 4 million cars on the road. And let’s ignore the fact that electronic data center servers storage facilities are popping up all over the place.

So, I’m all for printing. I prefer a book, newspaper, letter or any other form of paper in my hand any day, where I can crumble/fold/rip the pages. When I’m all done with the paper object, I can choose to pass it on to someone else. And if it gets tossed in the trash, at least it can go into the recyclables and be made into something else. But, if that paper object happens to miss the recycling bin and ends up in the landfill, at least its biodegradable and hopefully printed with vegetable-based inks so when it breaks down, it won’t be harmful to our environment, unlike the nasty chemicals that seep into our water streams from electronic devices.

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Actually I would have to say that Kelly makes a really good point on electronic waste.  This is something to be concerned about.  I don't know how much toxic chemicals are in monitors nowadays but I know it used to be pretty bad.   I guess I could argue that you would print out a crap ton of paper with one device.  Also with the way things are going, there are still a ton of trees being taken down and deforestation despite it being a renewable source.  So really there's a problem on both sides of the aspect. 

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KellyKirk:
I happen to work for a commercial/digital printing company

I appreciate Kelly's point of view and agree about the large amount of electronic waste generated every day.

That Sucks,.....

But I still prefer to read most of it on a screen and save a friggin' tree whenever I can!  I regard some printed materiel as worthwhile and beautiful too. I have some antique books that are a treasure to me. A finely bound book is a thing of beauty to behold. I have a decent personal library here.

But printing everything you get in your e-mail, every joke, every recipe, all of the flotsam and bullsh*t that comes across your desk, and every thing that comes to mind is not a valid option. Even though we can grow a tree to replace the ones we cut down, we shouldn't do it (printing) indiscriminately or mindlessly either. It may not be too long before the Idiots cutting down all of the Amazon Rain Forest are gonna make saving all the rest of the trees a necessity for continued human existence.

That's MY point of view.

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KellyKirk,

You wrote: "And let’s not even start with cellphones and how rapidly they’ve been changing. I know in my short lifetime, I’ve owned well over 20 cellphones."

Your points about electronic waste and where all these products end up is good and applicable, so I don't want to sound as if I'm ignoring it to focus solely on just the above. With that said, we're both "30-something." I bought my first cell phone 15 years ago. In 15 years, I've owned 4. My current is a refurbed iPhone 3G.

You can't bemoan the problem of electronic waste and not take responsibility for your own rampant consumption at the same time. If you used pads of paper at the same rate you've apparently used cell phones, you'd be cutting down a redwood every six minutes.

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Joel H

You wrote: "You can't bemoan the problem of electronic waste and not take responsibility for your own rampant consumption at the same time. If you used pads of paper at the same rate you've apparently used cell phones, you'd be cutting down a redwood every six minutes."

AGREED. And I am taking responsibility for it. However, what do you do if you drop your cellphone a few times and then the screen blanks out and won't work anymore? And then replacing that screen ends up costing more than the gimmick we are all sucked into of renewing your cellphone contract for another 2 years for a phone upgrade. Or how about the time I accidentally dropped my cellphone into a swimming pool or the few times it was in my backpocket and ended up in the toilet? And because it got wet, it fried the phone, even after attempting to stick it in a bowl of rice for a few days to dry it out. Or how about the time it got left behind at a restaurant and when I went back to get it, unfortunately someone else picked it up and kept it? These are all typical situations that can happen on a day to day basis to anyone.

But, if I drop a book on the ground, I can just pick it up and dust it off. Even if I ran a book over with a car, I could still read the pages. If a book fell in the toilet, chances are I could let it dry out for a few days and could still read it. And for the pads of paper that I use, I am an avid recycler and recycle every bit of paper I possibly can – which means that one redwood tree that I used has more of a lifetime than any piece of technology every will because it keeps getting reused over and over and over again in different forms – from a book to a newspaper to a postcard to whatever else is made with recycled paper.

RealNeil

You wrote: “But I still prefer to read most of it on a screen and save a friggin' tree whenever I can!”

Save a tree? What good is a tree if the soil of our planet is so contaminated from the chemicals and waste that gets thrown into the thousands of landfills? A tree may not even be able to survive if the soil isn’t healthy.

You wrote: “But printing everything you get in your e-mail, every joke, every recipe, all of the flotsam and bullsh*t that comes across your desk, and every thing that comes to mind is not a valid option. Even though we can grow a tree to replace the ones we cut down, we shouldn't do it (printing) indiscriminately or mindlessly either. It may not be too long before the Idiots cutting down all of the Amazon Rain Forest are gonna make saving all the rest of the trees a necessity for continued human existence.”

AGREED. We shouldn’t be cutting down trees as much as we do. We should be recycling every bit of paper that we possibly can so it’s not necessary. But if paper doesn’t get recycled and ends up in that landfill – its biodegradable, it’ll break down and won’t be harmful to the planet.

And as for printing everything that comes across my desk, technology has taken over so much that the art of handwriting and socializing has been lost. What happened to the antiquated manual labor of writing that recipe down on a piece of paper as somebody shares it with you verbally? Or, instead of sending that email, picking up a phone or paying a visit to the person you have something to say to.

Oh, that’s right – people would rather tweet, text, or facebook the world completely uncensored all of their business rather than pick up a phone or visit in person because they’re “too busy” to socialize and interact with humans that they’d rather stare at a screen emitting C02 into the air.

On a final note gentleman, unfortunately this problem extends far beyond our reach here. But if we all take responsibility for what’s happening in our world and bring it back to a more organic environment, this planet might just last that much longer.

Just my thoughts...

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KellyKirk:
Save a tree? What good is a tree if the soil of our planet is so contaminated from the chemicals and waste that gets thrown into the thousands of landfills? A tree may not even be able to survive if the soil isn’t healthy. 

Fact is that trees live just fine in these trying times and if you don't believe it then take a drive through Virginia where I live. You'll see a crap-load of them.  

"What good is a tree" I just can't believe I'm reading this,...........IF IT'S ALIVE AT ALL, IT EXHAUSTS OXYGEN AND WE CAN BREATH THAT. (no matter what the soil it's in is like)

I understand about the rampant contamination of our planet, and I understand that much is now being done to alleviate it too. Even the dumb-ass human race is starting to get a clue to this.

I won't take on the Cell Phone 'waster' mantle because in 17 years I've had just three of them and the two old ones are in the top center drawer of my desk for my grand kids to play with when they're here.       YOU can keep that title for yourself.         I am careful with what I own, so I'm not buying new all of the time.

When I went from 4 Sony 21" CRT Screens to 22" Flat Panel Screens here at the house, I contacted Hazardous Waste personnel here in my county and they disposed of them responsibly for me. (no, I don't know their methods) It's the law here in Virginia.

I understand about, and support recycling too. But I still say that indiscriminate generation of waste paper like what would assuredly occur with children being gifted with unlimited printer use is a bad idea. Just because we CAN recycle used paper doesn't mean we should generate it carte blanche.

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KellyKirk:

And as for printing everything that comes across my desk, technology has taken over so much that the art of handwriting and socializing has been lost. What happened to the antiquated manual labor of writing that recipe down on a piece of paper as somebody shares it with you verbally? Or, instead of sending that email, picking up a phone or paying a visit to the person you have something to say to.

Oh, that’s right – people would rather tweet, text, or facebook the world completely uncensored all of their business rather than pick up a phone or visit in person because they’re “too busy” to socialize and interact with humans that they’d rather stare at a screen emitting C02 into the air.

Whoaaaaaaaa... Who says that deciding to use Facebook or Twitter makes you too busy to socialize and interact with humans?  That is the point of Facebook and Twitter - it's a social network.  It's suppose to be an easier away to get a hold of your friends and family.  You can even create events that are made to organize and get people to meet together.   Even though I use both sites, I still see my friends, meet new people and I enjoy the sunshine.   Thinking that people use these social platforms to get away from seeing humans face to face is ridiculous as you can't apply this to everyone.  You are using a type of social platform (a forum) so keep that in mind.  This does not contribute to your electronic waste argument.  If you're worried about a screen emitting CO2, then you and everyone else might as well not use their computers.

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I think Gibbersome has the right idea. Even from the email synopsis this seemed to be something from an episode of The Office.

 

 

In fact, when Ryan had Michael speak at his business class, Mr. Scott claimed (much as Mr. Williams does) that people trust and feel comfortable with paper. Then, the camera cut to a back view of the room, showing all the students taking notes on their laptops.

Moreover, Dunder Mifflin is now owned by a printer company, Sabre (pronounced "sa BRAY" early on). So maybe Domtar is going to be bought out by Brother, and this is just an attempt to drum up business.

Or maybe it's just blowing a puff-piece in an industry newsletter all out of proportion.

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Realneil:

Thanks for taking half of my complete thought completely out of context - "What good is a tree" You left off the other half which is “if the soil of our planet is so contaminated from the chemicals and waste that gets thrown into the thousands of landfills? A tree may not even be able to survive if the soil isn’t healthy.” (On a side note….Now, I know how the stars feel when they’re published in the tabloids – strategic marketing of half of a statement on record.)

And as for the cellphone title… Hanging onto a cellphone that is many years old is the “old school” of thought because people today, especially the younger generation, are utilizing them as mini-computers these days. It’s like saying I still have a desktop computer that is 10 years old; it works great and is fast. (You’re not still using dial up, are you? Probably not – I’m sure you upgraded to a faster internet connection.)

It is now the norm for children typically age 10 years old and older to own a cellphone. This is a global issue of cellphone ownership/usage that needs to be taken into consideration, not just my personal usage nor yours. And as rapid as technology is changing, especially with cellphones, people are upgrading to the “latest and greatest” pretty quickly these days. Not to mention the lack of brand loyalty, as people change from one cellphone provider to the next (and of course the same phone won’t work for the different providers – you have to buy a new cellphone from that provider – it’s really an ingenious marketing scheme).

This is the new generation of technology users and the whole who, what, where, when, why and how needs to be looked at. Don’t believe me? Morgan Stanley claims the following on a Global view of mobile technology: “Ramping Faster than Desktop Internet, the Mobile Internet Will Be Bigger than Most Think.” Read the full report by Morgan Stanley “The Mobile Internet Market” (visit http://www.morganstanley.com/institutional/techresearch/pdfs/mobile_internet_report.pdf for more specific details) Be sure to pay particular attention to page 17 – Slide “New Computing Cycle Characteristics” and page 25 – Slide “Mobile Internet Outpaces Desktop Internet Adoption”.

And instead of gifting children with a printer, let’s just gift them with an old cellphone we have lying around with a battery that contains harmful chemicals, because we don’t know what else it’s good for or how to get rid of it, because it is basically useless junk? But, you could give the gift of knowledge by putting a printed book in your grandchildren’s hands and that book can be a year old, 10 years old, or even 50 years old and it still serves its purpose.

(This would be so much more fun to debate in person, rather than online.)

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You're all over the place talking allot of crap about someone you don't know. You have no Idea how my grandchildren are educated and you know jack about me miss techno ditz.  I've only responded to your air headed comments about drowning cellphones in the toilet, leaving them places, (apple wants you to test out their new iPhone by the way) and other irresponsible crap you're doing.

You don't have to tell me about technology either because I helped for years to bring it along into your world working and retiring from the space program.

It remains that pushing paper instead of screens to read with is an irresponsible approach but totally believable considering the line of work you are in.I choose not to waste paper. I choose to cherish the paper I do have in the form of my favorite books. I want to save the trees no matter your justifications that say otherwise.

You just go ahead and bubble and percolate a little more, but I won't be answering you anymore because you've become tedious and boring to me.

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I don't use paper much, but when I feel the need to print, I don't hesitate to do so. Paper is a renewable resource, one that is usually created as a waste product from the lumber industry (tops, branches and saw dust) or come from paper farms specifically planted for paper harvest.

Paper is sustainable and it even biodegrades well when it does end up in landfills. Nothing to be afraid of.

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Wow. Glad to see everyone is having fun. KellyK, you wrote:

"what do you do if you drop your cellphone a few times and then the screen blanks out and won't work anymore? And then replacing that screen ends up costing more than the gimmick we are all sucked into of renewing your cellphone contract for another 2 years for a phone upgrade. Or how about the time I accidentally dropped my cellphone into a swimming pool or the few times it was in my backpocket and ended up in the toilet? And because it got wet, it fried the phone, even after attempting to stick it in a bowl of rice for a few days to dry it out. Or how about the time it got left behind at a restaurant and when I went back to get it, unfortunately someone else picked it up and kept it?"

I suggest taking care of it though it was something precious to you, as opposed to something you sling around, drop, and toss. You say you've owned over 20 cell phones. Charting your reasons, we come out at 5 drops, 5 dunkings in a pool, 5 lost cell phones, 5 renewals.

Keep in mind, I'm not arguing that the fact that you go through cell phones like tuberculosis went through 19th century London is something you should feel bad about. I'm only pointing out that it's very silly to talk up the need to recycle on the one hand while gobbling electronic devices like a fat kid on cake.

The next time you dunk a cell phone don't stick it in a bowl of rice--blast it with a hair dryer and let it sit in the hot sun for a few days. If you lose one, don't jump out and buy another--go back to an old handset and wait for an upgrade cycle. When said upgrade cycle rolls around, don't automatically upgrade--wait until your current phone dies.

That's if you actually care. If you don't, that's fine too.

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That's fine if everyone wants to personally bash me for my cellphone usage (which, by the way, has greatly declined in the last 5 years - I don't carry the latest and greatest cellphone anymore- no Apple iPhone for me).

The point I was making is that we are all human and humans are prone to mistakes. This is a global epidemic that needs to be considered. If you think I'm the only person who's ever dropped a phone in a toilet, pool, on the ground or left it behind somewhere, then that's very unrealistic. Pardon my French, but *** happens!

Look at Apple -- they recently lost their iPhone prototype in a bar.... http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63J4M820100420

But yes, everyone has greatly ignored the facts that I've backed up with reputable resources in my statements about the sustainability of paper, the fast growth of the mobile industry, and how electronic devices don’t even come close to being a sustainable resource. Who can even keep up with technology as fast as it is changing? As soon as you get the latest electronic gizmo, the next version comes out and then you’re onto the next without even using the other one until it dies out. (And you know it's true--- I'm sure you're not still using a 10 year old desktop through a dialup phone line connection, are you?) The fact is that the rate at which technology is changing is not sustainable.

Look at what people are doing with their electronics:

In 2007, 140.3 million cellphones were disposed. Of those, 126.3 million were thrown away in the trash. Only 14 million cellphones were recycled. See other electronic statistics here: http://www.computertakeback.com/Tools/Facts_and_Figures.pdf

But nearly 60% of all paper in the U.S. is recycled and more than 63% of fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. comes from recycled sources. And again, to my point about paper, if the other 40% of paper ends up in a landfill, it’s biodegradable, unlike electronics.

This is the point Domtar, Finch Paper, and all of these other paper companies are trying to make. It is more sustainable to print on paper instead of reading from your cellphone internet connection or maybe from your e-reader or your laptop computer or whatever other electronic device you want to use. The life of a book, a piece of paper, a brochure, a magazine, or whatever other paper item you choose goes much farther than the electronics. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but facts are facts. We can’t hide from them.

Fact: Paper is biodegradable. Electronics are not.

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*patpat* It'll be ok, Kelly. If you don't want to be part of the solution, there's a lot of money to be made as part of the problem. :)

Your argument tries to draw a comparison between reading a handful of documents  electronically vs paper printing, rather than comparing paper to the sum total of documents I can read on a single device within its lifetime. Is one sheet of paper greener than a cell phone? Sure. What about one cell phone vs. 10,000 sheets of paper? What about the non-green equipment used to cut, transport, and process the lumber that eventually ends up as paper? Even once paper is created it has to be transported again and bound/wrapped/cut/packaged before being shipped to a retail sales point.

Finally, biodegradable doesn't mean degradation actually takes place--only that it can. If you dig around online--Nat'l Geo did a story on this maybe 15 years ago--it's possible to dive into landfills and unearth newspapers that are 30-50 years old and still legible. Paper is more earth-friendly than consumer electronics, no argument there, but it still qualifies as needless junk cluttering up a landfill. Better than cell phones? Sure. Does it need to be there? No.

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