Memes: Anarcho-capitalism, Mutualism, Self-Ownership
Main Stations: Extropia (Main Belt)
Though a smaller tendency, the Extropians are notable because they ride a line between inner and outer system ideologies. Extropians believe in an economic free market with the absence of a binding legal system, so that all relations and transactions are based on individual contracts agreed on by all parties involved or affected. Contrary to the anarchists, the Extropians very much support private property and personal economic wealth; Extropian-owned corporations actively participate in the solar system’s hypercorp economy. Many of these corporations are worker-owned cooperatives, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. This puts the Extropians in a remarkable position where they interact heavily with both the hypercorps and autonomists but are not fully trusted by either.
In Extropian society, law and security, like everything else, are contracted services. When entering an Extropian habitat, you purchase defense insurance from a local contractor such as Gorgon Defense Systems, who maintains automated drones and freelancers throughout the station who can come to your aid if threatened. Likewise, the only law that exists is what’s put into writing between two contracted parties. In case of disputes, both parties resort to a pre-agreed legal contractor to settle the matter. Some Extropian colonies utilize AGIs for facilitating contracts and legal matters, such as Nomic on Extropia.

Posted by: Mizar Alcor, Firewall Sentinel <Info Msg Rep> Let’s face facts. Most of the other members of the Autonomist Alliance don’t like us much and, honestly, we’re none too fond of y’all either. For the most part you see us as capitalistic sleazebags who’d sell our own mothers for a cut in a high yield mining operation. Yeah, there are certainly some Extropians who are like that. In general, though, we prefer to see ourselves as realists, people who recognize that neither the flawed hypercapitalism of the inner system nor the foolishly optimistic collectives of the anarchists really work. Instead, we like to think of ourselves as exploring a more pure form of capitalism, a truly free market that also has a care for the happiness of people and is not solely built upon the assumption that for some to profit others must suffer. The degree to which happiness, self-determination, and lack of suffering are stressed express themselves in slight differences internal to our faction. The fact of the matter is that we have a long tradition of philosophical debate regarding these matters, so it’s natural that this history expresses itself even internally and despite the advances we’ve made.

The First Transhumanists

While author FM-2030 may have been the first to really identify the concepts behind transhumanism, it was Dr. Max More who defined the term and created an ongoing dialogue with others through his Extropy Institute, mailing list, magazine, and conferences. Dr. More defined “extropy” as the opposite of entropy, or “the extent of a living or organizational system’s intelligence, functional order, vitality, energy, life, experience, and capacity and drive for improvement and growth.” Early extropians developed a futuristic outlook based on the proactionary principle, emphasized rational thinking and optimism, and were acutely interested in the possibilities of life extension, AI, nanotechnology, cryonics, space exploration, robotics, uploading, and more. The vast majority of these early transhumanists held a libertarian or anarcho-capitalist political viewpoint, though the transhumanist movement soon expanded and developed a more technoprogressive agenda.
Among the hypercapitalist CEOs and management who pushed our species’ expansion into space were a number of self-described libertarian transhumanists. A dedicated group of these idealists, including prominent libertarian billionaires Hayek Taggart and Petra Thiel, united forces and established a new corporation, Extropy Now, with the explicit intent of establishing the first independent outpost in the solar system. Diverting many of their personal assets, they staked a homesteading claim on the asteroid 44 Nysa, previously mined and recently abandoned by Triple Peaks Prospecting, one of Taggart’s many Belt resource exploitation ventures. Naming it Extropia, in honor of those early thinkers and activists, they established a society that operated entirely on a free market basis with interactions mediated by social contracts. Over time, numerous other Extropian outposts were founded. Extropia remains the largest, and to this day serves as an ideological neutral zone between the inner and outer system factions.

Extropian Factions

While Extropianism continues to be dominated by libertarian-minded folk, there are a number of smaller factions that are deserving of note.


The dominant libertarian/anarcho-capitalist tendency among Extropians has a few central tenets. First, it is opposed to government intervention (as well as collectivist systems, which they claim defy individual liberties). In their view, the free market is the ultimate self-guiding force. Rather than taxation, social services are provided by voluntarily-funded competitive businesses. Laws are replaced by private legal services that regulate social and economic activity. Anarcho-capitalists embrace the non-aggression principle, which states that any sort of threats or violence against another violates that person’s right to self-determination. Though left-wing on economics and government, many anarcho-capitalists swing to the right on social issues. The prejudices against AGIs and uplifts, for example, are common among libertarians, as are views on forking.


Also known as free market anarchists, mutualists hold the strange position of being pro-free market but anticapitalist. Ideologically, most mutualists are closer to anarcho-communists than anarcho-capitalists, except that they believe in private property and money. They oppose the monopoly that banking systems have on issuing credit and the way banks profit by charging loan interest on money that never belonged to the bank in the first place. The core of their system relies on mutualist cooperative banks. These banks are owned by their customers, with each person having an equal share and one vote. These banks issue an alternative currency called mutual credits (m-credits). M-credits are created and issued for each transaction—essentially acting as an interest-free loan. Most mutualist banks place a cap on how low a negative balance can go, to ensure that no one runs one up and then leaves; those that leave a negative balance for too long are also likely to suffer a reputation hit. These banks exchange m-credits for regular credits on a 1:1 basis, enabling the mutualists to interact with the larger Extropian economy.
Mutualists tend to act as intermediaries between libertarian Extropians and collectivist anarchists. Mutualist banks often work deals with anarchists who need credit in exchange for rep, favors, or other resources. Likewise, mutualists often broker deals between Extropians and anarchist habitats. As a rule of thumb, they often refuse to work with non-Extropian capitalists. Mutualist collectives often operate free clinics on Extropian habitats for those who are down on their luck.


If there’s one group within the Extropians that even most Extropians don’t like, it’s the objectivists. Taking self-interest to extremes, they often rub most people the wrong way due to the fact that their brand of libertarian philosophy stresses extreme self-interest and seems to encourage the active screwing over of anyone and everyone.
An objectivist will tell you that they’re simply doing whatever makes them happiest; unfortunately, this means their happiness often comes at the expense of others, making them hard to get along with. Perhaps unsurprisingly, objectivists don’t tend to find themselves outside of Extropia or the inner system. The reputation-based habitats do them no favors and they tend to find the very idea of a reputation-based economy that depends upon cooperation and community values to be offensive.
Within Extropia, the objectivists are often pushing for closer ties with the inner system powers and expanded hypercorp involvement on Extropia. They also maintain quite good contacts with the ultimates, seeing them as slightly misguided fellow travelers.


Not to be too biased here, but as someone with utilitarian tendencies I tend to think we get it the most right when it comes to the particular combination of liberty, determination, and happiness. The way we see it is that our natural inclination is towards trade and exchange, barter and competition. We do what we can to maximize our pleasure while limiting pain, making these decisions along rational lines based upon our experiences. Trying to suppress our natural rational interest in pleasure and happiness, whether with talk of collectives and sharing or forcing others to serve our will against their own, violates our natural desires and inclinations.
Utilitarians would never consider forcing our will upon others, so we tend towards a policy of neutrality when it comes to both our anarchist cousins and the hypercorporate robber barons. Our sympathies do tend to ally us more towards the anarchists, however, since we see them as merely deluded in their assumptions about human nature. The hypercapitalists on the other hand are well aware that they are robbing others of their natural rights to self-determination and happiness but seem to care not at all. They are the sorts that give capitalists a bad name, so we hope that by allying ourselves with the Autonomist Alliance we can gently influence others by our example.


The loners of our little crew are happiest when they are left alone and allowed to do what they want. Probably the most libertarian in the traditional sense of the word, all they want is to be left alone to do whatever their little hearts desire. Of course, this can often mean dangerous acts that put others at risk, but that pretty accurately sums up daily life on Extropia. Among the Extropians, they are most often silent on internal matters, preferring to settle business with a minimum of fuss. The one area they do feel strongly about is our membership in the Alliance—they argue that we should abandon it and go on our own. Similarly, many also argue for their own Extropian currency that is separate from the credit of the inner system.

Contract Economics and Security

Similar to anarchist habitats, we Extropians have no government, no police, and no laws. We are not collectivists, however. Central to our philosophy is the sanctity of self-ownership and private property. Everyone owns themselves and what they make. Along with this is the right of original appropriation. You may occupy any place that is not already occupied and in use by another, and you may transform it as you wish.
The foundation of our society is one of free contracts. Individuals are free to enter into any contractual agreements that they see fit, as long as all parties are participating voluntarily and without coercion. Social services that would normally be provided by a government (in capitalist polities) or available to all (in anarchist zones) are instead handled as contractual business arrangements, facilitated by the free market. Insurance, healthcare, education, protection, transportation, backups, and just about everything else are privatized and available at market-determined prices. Many other aspects of life, from social relations to employment, are also handled as contracts.
At the core of this system are free-market legal systems and private courts. Every contract specifies the legal code by which the signatory bodies agree to abide and the courts to which they grant judiciary authority.
This state of affairs is sometimes confusing to non-Extropians, so let me give you a few tips. The first thing anyone should do upon arriving at an Extropian habitat (preferably before you step foot upon it) is subscribe to a private legal service. This policy will protect you from torts (damage claims) and other legal matters. If you dent someone’s bot, steal their maker, shoot their dog, get shot by them, or break a contract, your private court and their private court will get together and pass a judgment settlement that both of you are expected to observe.
Easy, right? Well, that’s just the legal side. You also want to make sure you protect your ass with private security, health emergency, and backup coverage. Our entry portals are bombarded with AR adverts offering all manner of services, but your best bet is to do some online research and contact a provider with a good rep. You also want to score a provider with complete coverage. While most security and emergency services have quick-response drone silos all over a hab, on larger habitats you sometimes find smaller or newer services that only cover a specific neighborhood.

Private Judiciaries

Each Extropian habitat has a number of commercial legal services that may be employed. Each of these private courts has their own legal code, with its own fine interpretations of various aspects of Extropian legal principles, so it’s important to pick one in line with your outlook. They also provide insurance against tort claims and legal damages, which is usually the largest expense—spurious micro-torts are a common and notorious hazard in Extropian spaces.
Almost all judgments handled by a free court are facilitated by an AI (and sometimes AGI or infomorph). Given that most legal proceedings take place via the mesh, micro-torts are typically handled in a matter of seconds with longer criminal charges taking only as much time as evidence acquisition and discovery entails.
Most freelance judiciaries are part of larger legal associations such as the Extropian Legal Guild, the Free Bar Association, or the Mutualist Code. The law firms in these organizations usually adhere to the same legal code, though some participants hold their own distinct judicial viewpoints on certain matters. These groups also have pre-set arrangements with each other for handling common legal disputes and different interpretations. This makes it an easy matter to resolve cases even when two parties subscribe to different free courts.
As always, a few exceptions exist. Some private judges have rather esoteric takes on some legal matters. Though amicable resolutions with other courts are usually made, it sometimes takes longer and may rely more heavily on an individual’s rep. A few outlier law firms exist that refuse to recognize any legal codes but their own. This can be problematic in arbitration, as Extropian custom is that both individuals must voluntarily agree to a court’s authority; and some jerks just refuse to recognize any but their own. The private court Evolutionary Apex, for example, refuses to grant legal recognition to uplifts, and so draws a biochauvinist customer base. Hardliners like this usually find their reps take a hit if they push it too far.
Legal conflicts are typically resolved with financial restitution penalties and an accompanying rep score slap. More serious matters can result in forfeiture of property. Extreme crimes (brainhacking, torture) can result in indentured servitude, exile, or even time in a virtual prison. This latter option is rare, but several private prison concerns have contracts with legal services on the larger Extropian stations.
If one party in a legal arbitration refuses the judgment settlement, all bets are off. Most private courts and security contractors will refuse to protect a client or property that has an outstanding judicial order against it. Legal services will subcontract with a bounty hunter and authorize an arrest or property seizure. Even if the subject flees the habitat, they may find themselves hunted if the penalty is severe enough.

Security Contractors

On Extropian colonies, security services are your private police force. In addition to being on call via the mesh, the better contractors have security bot nests strategically placed around a habitat, able to respond to an emergency within minutes or even seconds. There are no limitations on the firepower these services can deploy, though they are of course liable for collateral damage. If you’re wealthy, can afford the premiums, and don’t mind being buried in post-incident litigation, however, some services offer protection plans that will literally hold nothing back in your defense.
Extropian habs are actually fairly safe—we do follow the non-aggression principle after all—but if you start wreaking havoc, you can bet someone will return fire. We absolutely believe in self-defense. Most security contracts have a provision that enables other customers of that service to come to your aid if you are attacked. Mess with one person, and you might quickly have a whole armed neighborhood after you, on top of the security bots. Sure, you can try to bury any posse interventionists with torts later, but unless you have a god-like judicial AI on your side, you are unlikely to have any luck with that. In addition to reactive protection, most security providers will investigate any harm done to your person or property after the fact. This includes seeking retribution in conjunction with your private court.
Word to the wise: it’s dangerous to go without a security policy. A few criminal gangs are known to scan visitors to Extropian habs and target those who they determine lack protection.

Emergency Medical / Repair Services

The last thing you want is to end up bleeding out in some back alley with no medical services on call—though you can usually arrange a contract quickly in an emergency, why take the risk? If you get incapacitated or killed and haven’t arranged for someone to look after you, you better hope a good samaritan comes along, otherwise your corpse will simply get scavenged by whomever finds it. In some cases unclaimed bodies/possessions are remanded to a judiciary service that will hold you for a short period to see if anyone wants to claim your stack/possessions (for a fee, of course), before they simply liquidate you and your stuff or return it back to the finder.

Employment Contracts

In Extropian stations, anyone is free to sell the fruits of their physical or intellectual labor. Everyone is a freelancer. Work services are almost always contracted with specific terms and conditions laid out. Depending on market conditions, employment benefits can range from almost nothing to substantial.
Some contracts are essentially equivalent to indentured servitude. Though rare, these are sometimes embraced by individuals in serious debt or in need of large sums of money. Some indentures result from contract violations, as settled by private courts. Other autonomists—particularly anarchists—are highly critical of these forms of voluntary slavery. Most fail to see that indentures still have legal protections as outlined in their contract. Plus, that whole voluntary part.

Free Banking

Extropian banks—and even individuals and businesses, for that matter—often issue their own currency, backed by whatever standard they choose to put forth (qubit distribution being primary, with the Planetary Exchange, energy credits, antimatter production, and others sometimes used). The amount of different micro-currencies currently active within our habitats can be staggering. Thankfully, our AIs excel at exchange rate calculations, making transactions mostly seamless. Occasionally, however, you may run across a currency that does not exchange well in the local environment or has been suddenly and catastrophically devalued, so be careful what you trade in.

Intellectual Property

Anarcho-capitalists have some stringent disagreements about copyright and patents at times, but the current trend prevalent in most of our habitats opposes them as stifling to innovation. This means that you are unlikely to come across a legal service that attempts to enforce IP controls, though there are some stations that are exceptions to this rule. For businesses, this means they must be on the ball to properly exploit their new developments before some leaner and more eager contender tries to steal their thunder.
The IP issue is one of the main stumbling blocks that keeps many non-Extropian hypercorps from doing business on our habitats. Ventures based on piracy are rampant in our colonies, and the inner system oligarchs fume about our unwillingness to place controls on these activities. Many inner system criminal cartels specifically take advantage of Extropian environments to facilitate their counterfeiting and piracy operations, hosting them where the hypercorps cannot reach them.

Sidebar: Outlaw Economics

The Consortium and inner system polities portray Extropian stations as hotbeds of criminal activity. From their point of view, this is certainly justified. Violation of intellectual property rights is a major concern to transitional economy hypercorps, and they go to great lengths to mitigate piracy and counterfeiting. Extropians not only take the opposite view, but they actively protect and promote IP infringement. Numerous Extropian individuals and corporations cooperate and work with groups that are outlawed in many inner system habitats. Reverse-engineering and counterfeit goods minifacturing are successful business models, as are the smuggling operations that get these products into inner system habs.
The shadiness attributed to the Extropians also extends from their willingness to trade in markets that are considered black or gray. Arms, drugs, narcoalgorithms, hacking software, AGI programming, pod manufacturing, questionable genetic mods—these are commonly produced in Extropian freeholds, far from legal restrictions that would make them economically unfeasible. This alone would not be a problem for the inner system, except that these products have an unnerving way of finding their way into distribution channels across the sunward planets.

Running the Habitats

One question that arises about Extropian holdings is: who handles the essential habitat functions that normally fall under the purview of government authorities or communal control? Specifically, who owns the habitat itself, who runs life support, manages space defense systems, maintains the hull, and so on? Most Extropian habitats follow the model established by Extropy Now when it founded Extropia.
Technically speaking, Extropy Now claims ownership of 44 Nysa and simply rents space and air to those that live there. It manages the habitat itself, charging a moderate rent to any individuals and companies that use space within for housing, business, or other purposes. Visitors are also charged a minor entrance fee, covering 3 months of these services, and repeatedly billed on a monthly basis if they stay longer. To avoid claims of holding government or monopoly control over the habitat, Extropy Now’s charter and rental agreements ensure viable living conditions and habitat security for a century.
Furthermore, the charter places a lien against the company’s other assets should Extropy Now fail to meet its commitments to the habitat denizens. On top of that, the majority of the habitat maintenance and life support services are contracted out to other businesses. This has served to create a stable free market environment with enough trust to draw other anarcho-capitalists to the colony.
Numerous variations on this rental model exist across the solar system, with one or multiple corporations contracting for the necessary services. In a few isolated cases, the habitat is owned outright by a single individual rather than a business entity.

Notable Extropians

Whereas anarchists downplay figureheads and leaders, we Extropians recognize the success and influence of some of our more prominent citizens.

Hayek Taggart

Taggart comes from an old-school industrial dynasty on Earth. His family made billions in oil extraction and refinement operations. They were often vilified for their involvement in environmental damage while they poured money into the coffers of lobbyist groups and think tanks that denied climate change and fought against industry regulations and eco protections. Taggart left these industries—and the world they poisoned—behind, becoming an early entrant in the field of asteroid mining and one of the first of the hyper-elites to own his own private habitat (a small Cole bubble, still operational in Earth orbit). Raising his already massive wealth to staggering levels, Taggart continued to fund libertarian groups and opposition to restrictions of offworld hypercorp operations. After a falling out and protracted legal battle with his brother, Charles, Taggart teamed up with Petra Thiel to fund Extropy Now. Though Taggart has played a prominent financial role in Extropia’s founding, he has left Thiel to take much of the spotlight. Taggart continues to be involved in business affairs throughout the solar system, though he takes care to avoid any public involvement. Both anarcho- and hyper-capitalists criticize Taggart for playing both sides of the fence, while others consider this a wise move. He is believed to reside in a private station elsewhere in the Main Belt.

Petra Thiel

A venture capitalist and hedge fund manager, Thiel invested in numerous hypercorp start-ups and played a key role in expanding transhumanity’s presence in the solar system as well as capitalizing on breakthroughs in various transhumanist technologies. After founding Extropy Now, Thiel brought in other investors and hatched the plan to establish Extropia.
Thiel has infamously claimed that the inner system is a lost cause, pulling most of her investments from non-Extropian corps (burning several bridges with former hyperelite allies) and increasing her stakes in numerous Extropian technology corporations. She has recently taken an active interest in extrasolar exploration, but remains a visible figurehead and active participant in Extropia’s affairs. She has raised some controversy by claiming that the male sex is no longer needed in transhuman society, arguing that male aggression and patriarchal tendencies are a detriment to our continued development as a species. She also regularly criticizes other autonomist tendencies and has had several heated public arguments with Carson Tucker about the uselessness of being part of the Autonomist Alliance.

Carson Tucker

For many decades before the Fall, Carson Tucker was the preeminent mutualist philosopher and economist, laying the intellectual groundwork for how a free market society would work. Seeing an opportunity with the founding of Extropia, Tucker convinced a sizable number of mutualists to emigrate there, establishing free market anarchist enclaves alongside the growing anarcho-capitalist capital. Despite ideological differences, Tucker contributed significantly to the core legal foundation upon which most free courts base their judicial codes. He was also influential in gathering widespread Extropian support for the Autonomist Alliance, despite some vicious public debates with Thiel and other prominent anarcho-capitalists that oppose it. He remains vocal and active in Extropian matters, though he is considered somewhat of a firebrand by his libertarian peers for his continual memetic assault on the shortcomings of capitalism.

Extropian Corporations

Most Extropian legal philosophy is based on the sovereignty of the individual. Corporations are legal entities, but only so far as they are a contractually bound association of individuals that have pooled their capital. Corporations have no legal protections from torts or other special privileges; any damages assigned are applicable to all of the individuals that own/comprise the corporation, according to the terms of their contract.
The lack of legal and IP protection scares off most non-Extropian hypercorps from conducting business on Extropian habs—leaving some markets ripe for expansion. On the other hand, the risks are considered worth it as a trade-off for the lack of taxation and freedom from restrictive legislation found in some other polities.

Extropy Now

The hypercorp behind the formation of Extropia and the de facto owner of 44 Nysa, EN’s primary purpose is to maintain, protect, and profit from the habitat. Rumors indicate that EN is currently looking toward establishing a new major Extropian settlement on an extrasolar world, though it remains unclear what gate would be used to connect or if a location has already been chosen.

Gorgon Defense Systems

Gorgon began as an Israeli-South African arms venture that later profited heavily from providing “collision defense” systems to other hypercorps for spacecraft and habitats, allegedly to protect against meteors. One of the initial businesses to assume residence on Extropia, the corporation quickly moved their headquarters there (and made sure to arm it well). Before the Fall was even over, Gorgon was offering service contracts to suddenly leaderless military units and quickly snapping up physical military assets on the cheap. They have since established arms factories, shipyards, storage depots, and training facilities across the solar system. While their gear and personnel are solid, their pricing is often undercut by sleeker competitors.
Gorgon’s Medusan Shield subsidiary is likely the most widespread private security contractor across the far-flung Extropian stations.


Despite a low public profile, InSec has a notorious reputation as one of the most productive zero-day exploit vendors. InSec contracts with several teams of highly skilled hackers—many of them infomorphs—to research and find previously unknown and unpatched software vulnerabilities, which it then sells off to governments and corporations at premium rates (currently starting at 100,000 credits and going up, depending on the particular exploit). Critics decry this service as helping authoritarian regimes oppress their populations, not to mention increasing overall mesh insecurity by not reporting software flaws to be patched.

Mutual Credit

Mutual Credit is the largest mutualist bank, with over 150,000 customer-owners. This bank recently suffered a massive and nearly-devastating assault on its computer systems that would have crippled it had they not had top-notch backup and security practices. Though no one has claimed responsibility for the assault, some claim it was an attempt to undermine support for mutualist practices. If true, the attack has had the opposite result, as the mutualist movement has rallied support behind one of their most important institutions.

Privateer Print

Privateer is brazenly open about their business model: breaking the encryption on trademarked blueprints sold by Consortium corps and reselling them for cheap to everyone else. Sporting the jolly roger in their logo, Privateer contracts several top-notch cryptographers, codebreakers, and programmers. Some cracked designs are sold publicly, others are sold direct to other hypercorps or criminal cartels to minifacture counterfeit goods. Several inner system corporations and business associations have singled out Privateer as the flagship for pirate and counterfeiting activities, declaring war on the Extropian corp. Privateer offices have regularly suffered viral mesh attacks, direct physical sabotage, and even two cases of cognitive nanoviruses targeting their core staff.


This software-driven data intelligence firm is a descendant of one of Thiel’s earlier corporate ventures in integrating and analyzing massive data sets. That particular project, contracted by several governments and corporations for data mining and intelligence purposes, was co-opted by the TITANs during the Fall, who used its resources against Earth’s population. According to some insider accounts, Scrye makes use of numerous breakthrough techniques copied from the TITANs, particularly in the way of predictive analytics, though the hypercorp publicly denies this. Scrye is currently contracted with a number of Extropian corps to keep a close eye on the finances, resources, and activities of their inner system hypercorp rivals.


Skinthetic is known for their cutting-edge and unusual morph designs, particularly those that push the boundaries of taste and utility. Lesser known is the fact that Skinthetic employment contracts are harsh even by Extropian standards—their genehackers are typically bound to lengthy employment periods, virtually isolated working conditions, and strict non-disclosure and no compete clauses. On the other hand, Skinthetic design labs are considered one of the most creative and intense places a biogenetecist can work, and the genetic archives at their disposal are massive, so the trade-off is often considered worth it.

Extropian Views on Others

Extropians believe that both the hypercapitalists and the other autonomists restrict freedom. In our view, the hypercapitalists do not practice true free trade, and their governments are based on force and lies. The collectivists, however, also impinge on individual freedom by abolishing property and requiring everyone to make sacrifices to the collective. The exception to these views are the mutualists, who are more akin to anarchists in their perceptions of others.

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