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Monday, July 20, 2009

Reader Mail #104

This article, via Hacker News, was an interesting bit of pro-State trolling. It's a chart on "How Americans spend their money." The flaw is that taxes are not listed.

I liked this article on "50 things you can do now to achieve greater freedom".

I liked this article in Rolling Stone, via the Dignity of Struggle. It's about how executives at Goldman Sachs manipulate the financial/regulatory system for their own personal benefit.

It's nice to see some cracks forming in the Matrix. I'm seeing more mainstream articles critical of the State and financial industry.

That article still was pro-State trolling. It was proposing more government regulation of the financial industry, rather than "Who needs a government anyway?"

Via "captured regulators", more government regulation of the market provides *MORE* incentive for people to profit from lobbying the State for favors.

That article falls short of the correct conclusions, which are:
  1. The USA has a corrupt monetary system!
  2. Via the Compound Interest Paradox, fiat debt-based money causes boom/bust cycles. Negative real interest rates provide an incentive for inflating speculative bubbles.
  3. It's silly to talk about "failure of the free market banking system" when there's a central bank credit monopoly. The Federal Reserve is a humongous price-fixing cartel.
  4. Inflation is theft! Taxation is theft! Inflation is a tax on savings.
  5. The State itself is corrupt. Even if executives at Goldman Sachs were not manipulating the government for their personal benefit, someone else would be doing it.
  6. Who needs a government anyway?
  7. If you're offended by financial industry excess, your only recourse is to boycott the Federal Reserve and financial industry.
There were some interesting bits:

After the oil bubble collapsed last fall, there was no new bubble to keep things humming — this time, the money seems to be really gone, like worldwide-depression gone. So the financial safari has moved elsewhere, and the big game in the hunt has become the only remaining pool of dumb, unguarded capital left to feed upon: taxpayer money. Here, in the biggest bailout in history, is where Goldman Sachs really started to flex its muscle.

That is the virtuous positive feedback cycle of complete economic collapse. It is more profitable to lobby the State for favors, than to produce something useful.

Based on the rules of the monetary system and the Compound Interest Paradox, another bubble is guaranteed to occur. You won't know exactly until it's substantially inflated. Financial industry insiders get first dibs on printing and spending new money, buying assets before the bubble inflates.

I liked this bit:

By the end of March, the Fed will have lent or guaranteed at least $8.7 trillion under a series of new bailout programs — and thanks to an obscure law allowing the Fed to block most congressional audits, both the amounts and the recipients of the monies remain almost entirely secret.

The Federal Reserve, via its "monetizing the debt" trick, can buy any assets it chooses. This allows Federal Reserve insiders to play favorites, giving some banks more favorable loans than others.

Goldman Sachs received an undisclosed amount of loans directly from the Federal Reserve. This is no obligation for public disclosure of this subsidy. Because real interest rates are negative, "loaning someone money at the Discount Rate" is the functional equivalent to "giving them money outright". When the Federal Reserve lends money to a bank, it's lending brand new money printed out of thin air (usually electronic credits). The cost is paid by everyone else as inflation.

It is more accurate to say that the Federal government is a division of Goldman Sachs, rather than that the bank is a government-regulated organization.

It also was interesting that the author of that article was the subject of a lot of criticism. Even so, he still was pro-State trolling. He fell short of the correct conclusion, which is "The USA has a corrupt monetary system!" and "Who needs a government anyway?"

The financial industry and Federal Reserve are politically untouchable subjects. I'm surprised the author hasn't been fired for partially telling the truth. Such articles help raise awareness, while simultaneously pro-State trolling.

No Gods Required has left a new comment on your post "State Licensing Requirements Externalize Monopoly ...":

Due to this comment:

"I considered writing a longer response, but your connection to reality has timed out. It suffices to say that you are pro-State trolling (based also on your previous comment on the same post)."

After which you proceeded to agree with me that morality is not based on opinion, I can only conclude that the insulted I quoted was only aimed at hurting another person. Consider my readership removed. You don't have to worry about me "trolling" any longer.

Goodbye! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

The specific bit of pro-State trolling was "I have an obligation to prevent women from murdering their unborn children!", a previous comment on the same post by you. You were correct that there's an absolute universal standard of truth. However, your reasoning after that was wrong.

The people who say "**** you, FSK! I'm leaving!" are the ones who had the least interesting bits to say in the first place. I'm only making $0.16/day via AdBrite, so losing you costs me approximately $0.0003/day. Ironically, when people start getting angry at me, at the same time, my overall readership increases. I may have offended you, but other people may have found that bit interesting.

That is an important mainstream media censorship tactic. Afraid to lose viewers, they resist saying anything controversial. That's an important component of the Matrix.

It's possible that I write something that offends you, but 100 other people find interesting. I shouldn't let the most vocal people distort my content. "Coddle your viewers with the most extreme views!" lets a minority affect the policies of the State. The people with the biggest interest in censorship, are the ones who take such an extreme attitude.

For example, at a local government board meeting, there may be a few people with extreme views lobbying at the meeting. The vast majority of people probably don't care. Seeing the handful of people with extreme views, the State bureaucrats assume that everyone feels that way.

A reasonable person would judge all of my ideas independently. Even if you dislike one thing I write, you should still keep reading if you find my blog overall worth your time.

I've also said several times "If you have a detailed comment, you should put it on your own blog and send me a link."

I liked this article on Techdirt (and many other sources). Someone wrote a sequel to "Catcher in the Rye". The problem is that the author is not the original author, and does not own the copyright. J. D. Salinger sued for copyright violation, and got an injunction banning the publication of the book.

The problem is that intellectual property is not property. There's no valid reason why it should be illegal to use characters that are "owned" by someone else. For works written more than 100 years ago, they have passed into the public domain. Anybody can write a new novel about Sherlock Holmes, Tom Sawyer, or Scrooge. For works written in the past 100 years, they have not passed into the public domain.

Certain characters, such as Batman and Mickey Mouse, are part of the general culture. It's wrong to consider them "owned" by a specific corporation.

I noticed that the upcoming season of "Penn and Teller: Bull****!" has an episode on taxes. I doubt they'll say "Taxation is theft!" They'll probably be ridiculing the people who make arguments such as "The income tax is illegal/unconstitutional." That'll make all people who object to taxes seem like fools.

Penn and Teller don't have full artistic freedom for their show. Executives at the network have veto power, which they sometimes exercise. There's only a small handful of mainstream media corporations, controlled by a handful of insiders. It's very hard to tell the truth on a mainstream media program. The forces of the State and the Matrix cause tremendous backlash against someone who tells the truth.

This article on MSN was interesting. If you operate a meth lab in your house and get caught by State enforcers, they will seize your house. They will then sell it at auction.

The problem is that the meth lab contaminates the house. The future residents will get sick unless they pay for an expensive cleanup.

State enforcers have no obligation to disclose to future buyers that the house formerly contained a meth lab. They are protected by sovereign immunity. The victims can't sue the State for fraud.

The laws banning possession and sale of certain drugs are immoral. That's separate from the issue of this story. When you buy a house, you have a right to know its history, and sue the former owners if there's a serious undisclosed problem.

In this case, the State enforcers are as much to blame as the people who operated the meth lab.

Even though the laws banning certain drugs are immoral, I don't advocate people boycott those laws. Those drugs really are bad for you, for the same reason that anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs are harmful.

I saw a group of people selling furniture out of their truck. I was thinking "Woo-hoo! Agorist furniture salesmen!" Unfortunately, I couldn't buy, because my parents would have objected.

Something like AgoristBay would be desirable. It'd be much better to buy and sell securely, rather than soliciting strangers out of a truck. All it would have taken is one disgruntled person calling the police to complain, and they could have been in trouble. If I owned an on-the-books furniture store, it would be in my best interests to complain about them.

I saw bits of the Supreme Court Nomination Comedy Show. It was amusing.

When speaking, politicians try to say as little as possible. It's even more amusing that the questioner doesn't give them a hard time. Listening to the nominee speak was like listening to "NULL! NULL! NULL!"

There were some amusing bits:

Q: How do you feel about local governments using eminent domain to seize property and then sell it to private developers?
A: It's wrong, except when it's right.
Q: How do you feel about respecting precedent?
A: It's a good idea.

Stare decisis is a corrupt legal principle. Once the Supreme Court makes a bad decision that increases State power, then that increase is permanent. "Don't question previous Supreme Court decisions!" is a principle up there with "Don't contradict the Pope!" and "Don't say the Earth revolves around the Sun when everyone else insists that the Earth is the center of the universe!"

I liked this cartoon on xkcd about the TV Tropes Wiki. The TV Tropes Wiki has a lot of good bits.

I was watching "The Ascent of Money" on the Cartoon Channel (PBS). It was the episode on the Rothschilds. It was an interesting mix of truth an pro-State trolling. They were talking about how the banksters made huge profits.

The cartoon character said "The bankers don't like war, because they might lose their investments." That is exactly wrong. The banksters intentionally fomented wars, because they were great profit opportunities. In times of war, politicians are panicking and will sell bonds even at outrageous prices. By providing more funding to one side of the war than the other, the banksters get to choose who wins. By having branches in multiple countries, the banksters are more powerful than any individual government.

In the US Civil War, President Lincoln frustrated the efforts of the banksters. Instead of borrowing from the banksters at outrageous rates, President Lincoln printed greenbacks to finance the war. Some people say that the Greenbacks were the real reason that President Lincoln was murdered.

On The Daily Show, Barney Frank was a guest. He said something interesting. (paraphrasing) "The policymakers/advisors/campaign managers do focus group testing. They tell us what phrases to use when we talk about things. They said that we should call it 'the economic recovery plan' instead of 'the stimulus plan'. Most Americans now view 'stimulus plan' negatively but 'recovery plan' favorably."

That is interesting. A group of bureaucrats do focus testing on new fnord phrases. Then, they order all Congressmen, politicians/bureaucrats, and mainstream media corporations to use the new fnord phrase. That probably explains how new fnord phrases appear all of a sudden, and then are used everywhere.

It's important to continuously invent new fnord phrases. Eventually, an old phrase becomes too closely identified with evil. Then, a new phrase is invented for the same old evil policies. This allows the same failed policy to be presented to the cattle as something new and clever.

As the collapse of the State draws near, people gain greater resistance to the invention of new evil fnord phrases.

On the same day, Paul Krugman was on The Colbert Report. He jokingly said "I'm wrecking the US economy on purpose!" Even if he meant it as a joke, it's interesting to see the truth occasionally slip through. If you watch carefully, The Colbert Report occasionally has moments where the real truth is spoken, if only as an ad-libbed joke.

Are insiders intentionally orchestrating the collapse of the economic and political system? If they are, they're doing a great job!

I saw a neat quote (paraphrasing). "In hard sciences, like Math and Computers, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a better thinker and more efficient. In soft sciences, like economics, politics, and psychiatry, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a worse thinker. In those fields, in order to learn to think clearly, you need to ignore all the nonsense spewed by 'experts'."

I noticed another weird fnord in the Supreme Court nomination hearings. People who were a party to one of the nominee's prior decisions are testifying in the hearing. (examples: David Cone, the firefighter from the anti-discrimination case) What does that have to do with whether she made a good ruling or not? Be default, the person ruled against in the trial is going to be unhappy. That doesn't automatically mean the decision was wrong.

I saw another interesting comment regarding the Supreme Court nominee. When she was nominated to the appeals court by Bill Clinton, Republicans tried to block it, knowing she would someday be appointed to the Supreme Court. That leads to an interesting conclusion. Politicians don't come out of nowhere to prominence. They're carefully screened for years ahead of time. You have to spend years proving you're thoroughly brainwashed as a pro-State troll, before you can get to a position of fake authority. Obama may have been selected as the next President in 2006 or earlier. He probably was screened and groomed by insiders for years before that.

Sotomayor looks like she has the parasitic personality type, but it's hard to judge from TV. Most politicians have the parsistic personality type, but some have the productive personality type. It's acceptable to have some politicians who are honest with good intentions, as long as they've been thoroughly brainwashed. Government needs some employees with the productive personality type, to keep things working.

I liked this comic on FreakAngels. The whole series is worth reading. That specific strip is about a group of people who have the ability to control other people's minds, and one of them is accused of abusing his power.

People really do have that power! In a productive/parasitic relationship, the parasite literally controls the mind and emotions of the productive worker. The State propaganda engine literally has creating millions/billions of mindless zombies. They are the slave-puppets of the insiders who are pulling the strings.

Sometimes, "fiction" portrays the underlying truth the most accurately.

I liked this post, via Hacker News. If you put a "CAPTCHA" test on your website to block out spammers, you also block out legitimate users.

I liked this article, via Hacker News. It's on how combination locks work.

One Angry American has left a new comment on your post "The Myth of Fiat Currency Diversification":

This is completely true. I will add however that a gold-based currency is not the answer either. It needs to be a fiat system, but the money should be created by Congress with no "interest" And the the money supply must be, and this needs to be a constitutional amendment, set as an amount per capita and may only increase or decrease proportionately with changes in population. The currency value should be based on the value of gold, but not gold backed. Why? Because the central banks control two thirds of the worlds gold already.

Nice try, but you are pro-State trolling.

I never said "People should be forced at gunpoint to use gold as money!" I said "People should be free to use whatever they choose as money!" In practice, this would mean a return to a gold/silver standard.

In a true free market, people would probably use gold for large transactions and silver or copper for small transactions. A State bimetallic system fails because the State fixes the exchange rate between gold and silver, rather than letting the exchange rate float. In a free market system, you can have multiple forms of money becuase the exchange rates float. If the price of gold/silver is 75, then I would accept 75 ounces of silver if you owed me an ounce of gold.

With a State-mandated gold standard, this causes gold to be overvalued relative to silver or other forms of money. This problem would not occur in a true free market. In 1933, the world's central banks acquired a gold monopoly as it was declared illegal to own gold. The gold ownership ban was enacted in the USA and most other "industrialized" countries.

In a true free market, there would be no incentive for someone to monopolize the gold supply. With a State-mandated gold standard combined with regulated fractional reserve banking, there is an incentive to monopolize gold. In a true free market, if someone attempts to monopolize gold, then people will switch to other forms of money.

In the present, it's unclear how much gold is actually still owned by the central banks. They have been selling/leasing their gold reserves to keep the price of gold down. I suspect that they have nearly exhausted their gold reserves.

"Insiders are monopolizing gold!" is not a valid reason to remove government regulation of money. In a true free market, people will use whatever they want as money. In a free market, it isn't profitable to attempt to form a monopoly.

The size of the world economy is much greater than the value of all physical gold. Two people can trade without trading physical gold, if they trade goods with equal gold-denominated value. Gold is merely a benchmark for setting prices. Via time-deposit banking or rapid circulation of gold, you can have an economy whose value is greater than that of the physical gold.

Even if the world's central banks had a near monopoly on gold, their economic power would be limited to the value of the gold they currently own. If they merely let the gold stay in their vault, it doesn't affect prices at all. If they spend their gold, then their economic power gets used up. Gold is only evil in the context of a State-mandated gold standard with regulated fractional reserve banking. Under such a system, large banks wield tremendous economic power. However, it is less power than they have under a fiat debt-based monetary system. With a gold standard, people can protect themselves from the manipulations of the banksters by hoarding physical gold. With fiat money, the banksters steal from everyone via inflation.

Fiat money is *ALWAYS* violence backed money. Given the free choice to use paper or gold, a rational person would always choose gold. You can only force people to use paper over gold when there are laws outlawing alternatives.

Removing a central bank doesn't solve the problem of fiat money. Under any fiat monetary system, the people who control the printing presses wield tremendous economic power. This inevitably leads to people lobbying the State for favors.

People go through all sorts of intellectual hoops looking for ways to patch a fundamentally corrupt system. I used to think that way, but I grew out of it quickly. It's a huge brainwashing hurdle to overcome. The correct answer on all questions of politics or economics is "Who needs a government anyway?"

Without a centralized government, money must have intrinsic value. Gold and silver evolved as money because they were the least-common-denominator for barter.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Common False Economic Axioms":

Nice post FSK..!!!

I think you covered a lot of ground with this one. If I had read this list 5 years ago I would have thought you were full of crap. But now its all coming clear to me.

I've noticed that the volume and quality of true free market writing on the Internet is increasing.

It's also cumulative. If you hear "Taxation is theft!" in one place, then you're more receptive if you hear the idea again in another place. People may not notice the first time they hear an idea that contradicts their pro-State brainwashing. If they hear it several times from different sources, then it may stick.

I think this list would do great good to the public at large. If it were circulated and read by the many instead of the few.

I would be interested in compiling ideas like this into a more condensed and laymen friendly list. And than put it into the hands of everyone I know with 10 copies. And have them pass it along to everyone they know and so on.

If you think you can make a better version of that post, then go ahead and do it!

Good work FSK,,,keep it rocken!!!

The people will one day realize what is actually happening all around them. Because of the work you are doing and others like you.

I expect it will be gradual. People will recognize the truth one at a time, starting with the most intelligent. With the Internet, "The truth is out there!" If you know where to look, you'll find it.

arbynadeau has left a new comment on your post "Common False Economic Axioms":

Fantastic list, FSK. Number 17 & 18 are great. Thanks and keep it up.

I'll make more detailed posts for those two items.

Bas has left a new comment on your post "Reality Show Fnords":

I think Gordon Ramsay is great. In quite a few of the revisits he does you find that the parasite has been replaced. The dynamics in the restaurants definitely change after his visits, so I guess you could say that Gordon changed the abused productive worker(s) to be more parasitic. Does that mean people can change from being "abused productive" to "parasitic" and vice versa?

Sometimes, someone with the productive personality type learns parasitic behaviors. Your underlying personality normally doesn't change, but it can happen. You'd have to completely crack your pro-State brainwashing as I did to become "sane". A healthy person would have the better aspects of both the productive and parasitic personality type. You should have both a high logical intelligence and a high emotional intelligence.

I respect people with the "abused productive" personality type and not people with the "parasitic" personality type, because productive people are more willing to learn. A parasitic person is accustomed to always being in control. A parasitic person won't accept a situation where they're treated fairly, because they'd see that as a demotion.

Another nice bit of Gordon Ramsay is that he likes to say "There's a universal standard of truth!" Either your kitchen is clean or it isn't. Either your ingredients are fresh or they aren't.

My favorite bit is "There's an objective standard for determining 'Is this restaurant a success!' If you're making a good profit, then it's successful. If you insist that your restaurant is successful when it's losing money, then you are an idiot."

Watching "Kitchen Nightmares" makes me want to buy a restaurant and mess it up on purpose, just so I could be on the show.

I'm surprised how many people start a restaurant business when they know nothing about it. Of course, the people presented on the show aren't a randomly-chosen sample of restaurant owners.

On "Big Brother", the current Head of Household Ronnie is an idiot, even though he's on the "brains" team. Winning HoH early in the game is stupid. You just place a bullseye on yourself. Very frequently, someone wins HoH one week and gets evicted the next week.

It should be obvious to anyone who watches Big Brother that winning HoH early in the game is a penalty more than a bonus. You just wind up making enemies.

The producers of the show probably picked a stupid intelligent person on purpose. "Intelligent people are actually stupid" is a common evil fnord. When you consider that "abused productive" people let parasites manipulate them, they really are stupid.

I noticed another weird thing about "Big Brother". Most of the contestants are amateur actors. They all have the "productive" personality type. The contestants don't seem to have the "parasitic" personality type, bu that's hard to tell on TV.

Most actors have the productive personality type. You won't notice productive/parasitic relationships by watching TV. That's an important component of preserving the Matrix. Its operations are mostly invisible when you watch TV, unless you can really see the fnords.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Why Can't I Pick Winning Lottery Numbers?":

At a large brokerage, like Goldman Sachs, their internal trading desk gets to see an order before it is sent to the market.
Do you have actual evidence of this, because it's a scandal that's building on Wall Street right now?

If it's just conjecture, I certainly agree, but say that it's conjecture. GS has colocation at the NYSE and with shitty network security, I wouldn't be surprise if GS could sniff the line and disrupt trading flow.
This is "payment for order flow". It's a well-known practice. It's obviously unethical, but I thought it's totally legal. The customer doesn't have a valid complaint, because they're always getting at least the quoted market price. The disadvantaged people are other market makers who are at a competitive disadvantage. In turn, this leads to worse prices for customers.

The NYSE does have lousy software. I doubt that someone would be specifically exploiting it. There'd be too much at risk if you got caught. Goldman Sachs would much rather rake in their massive State subsidies instead of making an extra pittance hacking computers. The NYSE does log everything, so there's be an audit trail if there were problems.

On the other hand, it'd probably be profitable to take a job at one of these financial companies and intentionally plant trojan horses in their software. Then, people at other firms could exploit the flaws and give you a cut. The only fallacy is that an intelligent dishonest person can easily steal a fortune through easier means. The Federal Reserve itself is a massive trojan horse that allows massive theft.

By E-Mail, someone said:

This discussion of Rorsach images on Wikipedia is interesting.

That's a good example of Wikipedia silliness.

I don't take Wikipedia seriously anymore. After my experience with censorship on drug pages, I'm convinced that censorship on Wikipedia is a serious problem.

Wikipedia should not be considered a reliable source for controversial topics. Of course, you cannot tell that a subject is controversial just by looking at Wikipedia!

I still look up basic facts on Wikipedia. I have an editing boycott now. If I see a mistake, I don't bother correcting it. For controversial topics, I know to look elsewhere.

"Write my own wiki engine that fixes the obvious flaws with Wikipedia" is on my list of things to do.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "The Mandatory Arbitration Clause Scam":

Its my understanding that if a person under a contract like this receives a benefit of the contracted agreement. any single benefit no matter how small. The contract thus becomes binding.

According to insane state law, such contracts are valid. According to natural law, they are not valid.

In order to reserve your common law rights under these types of contracts. One must write " With out prejudice U.C.C. 1-207" above or below your signature.

The only fallacy is that, if you did this, then the person reviewing the contract would not accept it.

This remedy will reserve your right under common law to have mutually fulfilled obligations of contracted parties.

This is uniform commercial code article 1, section 207, reserving common law rights for persons entering into contracts.

Yes, but you are in an unequal bargaining position. If the person refuses the document with your extra words added, you are SOL.

In practice, it's better to avoid doing business with people who will **** you over.

fritz has left a new comment on your post "Reader Mail #103":

Fsk, I would just like to thank you for your complete and lengthy response to my question about how we got away from the gold standard and on to federal reserve slave notes.

I think you could just cut and paste that article and title it " the history of American currency " and get lots of hits from people searching the subject. Thank you again....Fritz

I did that on "What Caused the Gold Standard to Fail?"

Frequently, reader comments lead to more post ideas.

bobsala has left a new comment on your post "An Example Free Market Justice Calculation":

While I do see the point you are trying to make about calculating free market justice, I don't think your example of a baseball fan running on the field quite holds up. These days, fans running on to the field are dealt with swiftly. I would estimate no more than 2 or 3 minutes of game time is lost in most cases. Baseball players and stadium workers are not paid hourly, so any time spent by security pursuing fans on the field wouldn't add to a team's operating costs.

Having said that, keep up the good work on your blog. I especially like the fnords.

You're disagreeing with the details of the calculation, and not the overall idea.

Due to the necessity for punitive damages, such calculations should be rounded in favor of the victims. Futher, teams employ extra secutiry staff due to the risk of a fan running onto the field. That cost should be factored into the calculation.

It is wrong to say "X is working on salary and not hourly. Therefore, it's free to make them work overtime." If I'm working in a job where I'm demanded to work unpaid overtime, I expect to get paid more to compensate. You're a fool if you don't calculate your salary on an hourly basis in addition to a monthly basis.

My employer might think it's free to demand "FSK, work 5 more hours a week!" That is false, because there still is a cost associated. If they're being unreasonable, I might comply with the demand while seeking a new job.

Of course, a lot of the workers in a baseball stadium get their jobs due to connections. I doubt that such job openings are advertised on Craigslist.


Anonymous said...

"In hard sciences, like Math and Computers, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a better thinker and more efficient. In soft sciences, like economics, politics, and psychiatry, learning the techniques and jargon makes you a worse thinker."

This assumes 'hard science' when it is being done by whoever leaves political,economic and social ideas outside. Is this even possible? All scientists earn a living, they hold beliefs about the political economic world, they are unlikely to bite the hand that feeds them.

Anonymous said...

You should read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, if you have not already. They supposedly create chaos and mistrust of governments so that people are dialectically driven into one world government.

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