# Is QT, or any science, actually productive?

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This theory based way of deducting (Science) is of great interest to me. But, being a Buddhist - I must consider how it produces actual, world-considering, productive, end results. In that I mean, does knowing what quanta is actually make the world a better place? If yes, how? If no, how?

I will define productive, for the sake of the conversation:

A series of actions that cost little to no resources that brings about a change that brings about even less consumption of resources and energy for generations to come.

Creating something convenient, like a car in this example; is not productive as in consumes several times the resources and energy needed for a person to actually walk to work, or other places.

Any other definition of productive, is false and should no be mentioned.

So, my challenge to you scientists is this: Is Science productive? If yes, give me an example of when a Scientist came up with a theory or solution that caused a productive end result?

No, the light bulb doesn't count, it's a convenience and is not productive.

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Without science, how would you know that "cars consume several times the resources and energy needed for a person to actually walk to work, or other places," as you say in your post?

I like your approach to defining productivity to reflect efficiency and maximization of good, but I think it could be confounding. You would get more clarity from defining all actions as productive in some way and then evaluating why each form of productivity is good and/or bad.

Buddhism actually has several ideas/values in common with science. Value-freedom in science, for example, resonates with the idea of detachment in Buddhism. Scientists are supposed to be detached from their ego's will to be right. I.e. Scientists are supposed to be more interested in finding the truth than in confirming any dogmatic beliefs they may hold.

I'm not sure, actually, if its Buddhist, Hindu, or both but the idea of (a)himsa may be useful for understanding productivity. Himsa is the idea that all life is unavoidably destructive and therefore violent in some way, yet the ethic of ahimsa is to resist violence and increase compassion amid the violence of life. Productivity must also be a universal effect of all actions, which also must contain some destructiveness. Seeking an ethics of productivity could be like seeking an ethics for (non)violence. I.e. you must produce to live but how to produce in the least destructive and/or resource-deleterious way would be something that science could contribute to. In fact, how would you pursue such an ethic without science as a means of knowing and measuring productivity, resource-inputs, waste, etc. and compare distinct processes in standardized units?

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These symbols that magically appear in front of me on some sort of display, transmitted over some kind of "inter" "net" and generated and stored on some kind of gizmo people call a "computer."

Yeah, examples of productive science are really hard to find, unless you define "productive" in such a way that nothing fits it. Oh, snap.

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Without a knowledge of quantum mechanics the people who designed the computer you used to make that post or even the internet connection you used to send that post around the world would not work.

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A series of actions that cost little to no resources that brings about a change that brings about even less consumption of resources and energy for generations to come.

Creating something convenient, like a car in this example; is not productive as in consumes several times the resources and energy needed for a person to actually walk to work, or other places.[/Quote]

Shadow; I'd sure like to understand, where all this concern is coming from over consumerism, is coming from? Is this some take off from Man Caused Global Warming, political ideology or some made up concern over the survival of humanity?

As for your thread title, I can't think of anything more productive, than science has been for that humanity. We enjoy more things than any generation has ever, not excluding life spans, quality of health and we're no longer born to simply survive. You or those seemingly disturbed, that humans have it TOO soft, are welcome to "walk to work or other places", which would be nothing new historically speaking, but people want more in life than spending their life avoiding all the progress that has been made, allowing for more free time, in turn doing more things.

Earth is not running out of anything that others things can't be produce by science now or in the future. Very few any longer use straw, mud or ice in for there home, now using less and less wood products, more aluminum/steel/plastics and who knows what will be available in years to come between Nanotechnology and all the other advanced technologies being developed. Think about this, if using the 1950's means alone, to transfer information, telephones to computers would have required the total populations of most countries, to enable.

As an occasional poster myself, welcome to the forum and I'll be looking forward to you enlightening me...

Edited by jackson33
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I personally like the actual definition of productive: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/productive

Sorry it doesn't really allow you to make your point, but hey why not make up our own definitions to meet a specific agenda.

As you know, many things exists today that would not be here without science, especially quantum theory and yes they are productive. Now if you would like to argue about your statement of what you think productive is, then go ahead, it won't lead anywhere. If you think scientists are doing it wrong, what is your solution?

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Quantum Mechanics are very useful when approaching various fields of Chemistry(eg. Computational and Physical Chemistry.) Under your argument for productive I would state that this instance is true in that the medicines that come about as a consequence often save the lives or the functionality of people. This in turn means less reeducation of replacements.

Edited by Xittenn
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I will define productive, for the sake of the conversation:

A series of actions that cost little to no resources that brings about a change that brings about even less consumption of resources and energy for generations to come.

Using your definition, the only thing I can think of that is productive is starving to death.

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I will define productive, for the sake of the conversation:

A series of actions that cost little to no resources that brings about a change that brings about even less consumption of resources and energy for generations to come.

(...)

So, my challenge to you scientists is this: Is Science productive? If yes, give me an example of when a Scientist came up with a theory or solution that caused a productive end result?

Science discovered that keeping ourselves and our surroundings cleaner leads to healthier, longer, bubonic plague-free lives (with little more resources than water, soap and sweeping up dirt and food scraps to keep rats and their fleas away from our living quarters).

Joseph Lister pioneered some early efforts in sanitizing surgical tools (and surgeon's hands) which allowed modern surgery to heal more than hurt. Water, soap, carbolic acid vs. the resources required to burn or bury millions of bodies.

I'm more than half worried that this won't satisfy you, sxShadoWxs, since, even though sanitation and antiseptics help us live longer in order to think of ways to be "productive", your definition is so narrow that I suppose letting everyone die young and filthy would use fewer resources ultimately. Is this what you were after, an admission that science makes it possible for there to be more human life on the planet, and that's a bad thing because it wastes resources?

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None of you saw the paradox here. I'm a buddhist and:

Shadow; I'd sure like to understand, where all this concern is coming from over consumerism, is coming from? Is this some take off from Man Caused Global Warming, political ideology or some made up concern over the survival of humanity?

As for your thread title, I can't think of anything more productive, than science has been for that humanity. We enjoy more things than any generation has ever, not excluding life spans, quality of health and we're no longer born to simply survive. You or those seemingly disturbed, that humans have it TOO soft, are welcome to "walk to work or other places", which would be nothing new historically speaking, but people want more in life than spending their life avoiding all the progress that has been made, allowing for more free time, in turn doing more things.

Earth is not running out of anything that others things can't be produce by science now or in the future. Very few any longer use straw, mud or ice in for there home, now using less and less wood products, more aluminum/steel/plastics and who knows what will be available in years to come between Nanotechnology and all the other advanced technologies being developed. Think about this, if using the 1950's means alone, to transfer information, telephones to computers would have required the total populations of most countries, to enable.

This one wins the cake. It made me laugh. He states, affirmatively that I am concerned when I did not mention that I was or wasn't and bases his entire response on it entirely.

I am not concerned. The basis of science and life in general is prosperity. Consuming resources more than what the end result requires is the basis of this logical way of thinking and coming to conclusions. I am not concerned with it, IT IS IT.

Science, pretends or affirms, that it finds conveniences or simplicities for us. At what cost? Concerned you say? Of course I am concerned, as a scientist I ought to know what the hell these pieces of plastic I am typing cost not only to me but to every step of the logistical ladder they we're produced from. Take a pen, for example, consider the logistics of it all; what did IT take to get into your hands? It did not just cost a little pinprick of wood and some carbon. Several machines, technologies, human resources we're in effect and, beleive it or not, (And I have taken the time to look into it, by the way.) if you take any piece of material you, study analytical thinking, logistics, industrial production, human resources you will realize what everything actually costs. Money is only the tiniest piece of worth attach to it, the other pieces however, like this RG45 cable for example - don't just cost 15.99$per 30'. Concerned? I am concerned you aren't aware what the word concerned actually means. For the record, I am somewhat biased and opinionated about science but I do make an effort to try to step into this worldview of scientists, believe me or not, I am. But no matter how it comes down to it, science, medicine, etc, always seems to try and solve the problems on the wrong end of the stick. For example - cancer. Instead of doctors producing a dependence for the needed help to the public, shouldn't we self-educate our kids to eat healthy and stay away from environments that are a total nuisance to them? Instead of waiting 30-40 years until their bodies are so overwhelmed and their immunity systems are so busy fighting off stress alone and eventually succumb to such disease? Also, not bragging by all means, but, beleive it or not - "Using your definition, the only thing I can think of that is productive is starving to death." I dare anyone to define productive in a more meaningful and representative way. Productive = prosperity at little or not cost. Most modern definitions, especially the version coming out of the mouth of that industrial production manager equals how to consume and make things faster so I can make more money so I can invest in more LEAN ways to rip down all tress on this planet while the mining industries does the same for it's minerals and elements. And no, you can't dispute this, it's true. I am tempted now, for a Buddhist that means, um, woohoo, I guess. I personally like the actual definition of productive: http://dictionary.re...owse/productive Sorry it doesn't really allow you to make your point, but hey why not make up our own definitions to meet a specific agenda. As you know, many things exists today that would not be here without science, especially quantum theory and yes they are productive. Now if you would like to argue about your statement of what you think productive is, then go ahead, it won't lead anywhere. If you think scientists are doing it wrong, what is your solution? I like this response, thank you. I'm a Buddhist, right or wrong is like red and blue to me, they are both colors, both can work or not work. In that effect, the definition of the word I used isn't my own. Prosperity is the goal of science. My definition supports this. Many things would exists without science as well. Why do you think science is the total cause of inventions? Did you not know most inventions have been discovered through accidents and not science? With pure simple human error we have made many of the greatest inventions. Your argument is flawed, heavily. A woman invented the inflated balloon while trying to dry some clothes over a damn fire. There was no objective, no thesis, no science involved. Just a woman being intuitive. Nothing in your argument correlates or corresponds with the topics I put in my OP. Your attempt is to deviate me into your own argument where your own variables are set. For the record, some of you have the impression I am looking down on science, I am not. I want to go further into science and possibly specialize in something. I stupid fitness, psychology, philosophy etc etc and there is a good deal I learned from it all - especially for the Buddhist part. But being an analytical think, meditator of sorts and Buddhist, I must choose carefully what I want to study. But, for the love of me, I can't find a single shred of evidence that supports or enables me to answer to my prologue of study: "Is science capable of productivity and prosperity?" Also, on the dictionary reference; Scientists, Philosophers, etc...define their own words, meanings and intentions before entering a conversation so that there can be a *productive* (pun!) conversation. I define productive as though it was prosperity, I suppose, but, let it remain my definition of productive, please. I am open and waiting more responses. Thank you. Science discovered that keeping ourselves and our surroundings cleaner leads to healthier, longer, bubonic plague-free lives (with little more resources than water, soap and sweeping up dirt and food scraps to keep rats and their fleas away from our living quarters). Joseph Lister pioneered some early efforts in sanitizing surgical tools (and surgeon's hands) which allowed modern surgery to heal more than hurt. Water, soap, carbolic acid vs. the resources required to burn or bury millions of bodies. I'm more than half worried that this won't satisfy you, sxShadoWxs, since, even though sanitation and antiseptics help us live longer in order to think of ways to be "productive", your definition is so narrow that I suppose letting everyone die young and filthy would use fewer resources ultimately. Is this what you were after, an admission that science makes it possible for there to be more human life on the planet, and that's a bad thing because it wastes resources? This is flawed. The truth is science causes us to live longer so we can consume more. You blanketed this by saying we lived longer to find more ways of being productive. My definition is it's true meaning. And then you use an ultimatum-like analogy, which is false, and say that I am saying (through a definition, which I am not.) that it would mean the worse of the worse: let people die young and filthy. Again, false and meant to deviate. My definition is not narrow, it depicts the true nature of the word. Productive (the textbook version) = means to consume more and produce more materials in a more profitable manner. Joseph Lister pioneered some early efforts in sanitizing surgical tools (and surgeon's hands) which allowed modern surgery to heal more than hurt. Water, soap, carbolic acid vs. the resources required to burn or bury millions of bodies. Yes, soap, acid and a justification to enable people to be unhealthy without concern since we can cut them open neatly anyways one or or another. Yeah - that's science. I am starting to wonder if any of you understand the principles of logistics yet. A bar of soap, acid, stainless steel DID, in FACT, cause more health damage to others that this one person who got cut up open. There are people working in the plants where they produce soap, acid, and steel. All these people wear protective equipment, but, even though the wear this gear, some of their health is damaged. This protective equipment has minerals inside them, these are mined and those have the same effect on another lot of human resources. Follow the money my friend, you will understand that this is no longer a concern my friend, it is actual fact. That little stainless steel knife the doctor is using did not just cost 500$. It cost the health of many, many people all of which consume equally unnecessarily in their turn to produce this equipment.

I am not looking to get satisfied, either. I want justification for me to enter science. I haven't found it in my own efforts, maybe someone else can.

I like how some people just pick out something at random like the above poster (something stated or done by someone else without evidence) and then try to just get me to swallow it up and accept their preceding statement that I won't get satisfied or that I am narrow in my definitions.

That's like, paradox embodied. I kind of like it.

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To take the side of the OP, I think his point is that science can be very complex and may obfuscate the value of incredibly simple technologies and techniques in some cases. I have found, for example, that everything I know about energy, power, heat, etc. make me appreciate the simplicity of being able to sit in the sun on a cold morning to warm up as an incredibly efficient solar-heating technology that requires no materials or effort except moving my body into the sun (and maybe a dark-colored jacket). I consider this applied science, but maybe the OP would just consider it common sense that is obfuscated by scientific complexity. I guess only the OP can really say for himself, though.

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It's not applied science. Lions do it in Africa. It's called laying down and lowering your air and caloric consumption since you're not out and about hunting for your survival.

Lions, are much smarter than scientists. They have it down to a key. They run solely on what they need to survive, not more and not less.

My objective is to find an application where I can do this, obviously, there is none. No science actually contributes to prosperity. None can prove otherwise to me.

Prosperity is, yet again, another illusion.

Appreciation is a selfish self-gratifying emotion. It is nice to have and it inflates the ego and makes you think you are somehow giving a token of your so-called appreciation to nature or to some external source when you are quite literally just sitting there wasting air relaxing while you could lower your air consumption by laying down instead.

Appreciation isn't a need or a contribution, it's a simple thought up illusion.

Illusions causes further waste of time and resources.

It is productive for your ego and destructive for everything else.

It's not cynicism, it's fact.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate, btw.

Just trying to get a clear picture of what science actually does for humanity is all. No matter how I look at it, more is less and less is more. Therefore I should move out to Africa and get eaten by a Lion.

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It's not applied science. Lions do it in Africa. It's called laying down and lowering your air and caloric consumption since you're not out and about hunting for your survival.

Lions, are much smarter than scientists. They have it down to a key. They run solely on what they need to survive, not more and not less.

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that lions ARE scientists, since they base decisions on empirical logic instead of thinking something like, "if I lie in the shade and take a nap at noon instead of staying active in the sun, people will think I'm lazy so I better get to work and look busy, wear long pants and a tie, etc. because I might lose my job." Lions deal with direct reality instead of social-behavioral rewards, which is more scientific and value-neutral, imo.

My objective is to find an application where I can do this, obviously, there is none. No science actually contributes to prosperity. None can prove otherwise to me.

That's because you reject any science that could a priori.

Prosperity is, yet again, another illusion.

Depending on what you mean by it, it might be.

Appreciation is a selfish self-gratifying emotion. It is nice to have and it inflates the ego and makes you think you are somehow giving a token of your so-called appreciation to nature or to some external source when you are quite literally just sitting there wasting air relaxing while you could lower your air consumption by laying down instead.

How is wasting air to "sit there relaxing" when you could be "laying down instead?" They both require about the same level of consumption, don't they?

Appreciation isn't a need or a contribution, it's a simple thought up illusion.

It can be emotionally nurturing, but it can also become a dependency that makes you more susceptible to social control (for bad purposes).

Illusions causes further waste of time and resources.

This is not a direct relationship. They could or not, but that's not the problem with illusions. It is that they mystify existence and disempower people by widening the gap between them and their direct access to a functioning reality.

Just trying to get a clear picture of what science actually does for humanity is all. No matter how I look at it, more is less and less is more. Therefore I should move out to Africa and get eaten by a Lion.

I think you're confusing science with the egoism of modernity. Science develops knowledge and technologies. Politicians, historians, etc. are the ones who claim the progress of science for the egoism of "the west vs. the rest" etc. There could be a politician or writer romanticizing science because it makes them wealthy and thus forgetting that they don't have the first clue how anything works. All they know is that it does because other people make it happen. Their show of appreciation is an ego-massage to divert from their own scientific ignorance.

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Therefore I should move out to Africa and get eaten by a Lion.

I'm rooting for you ;D

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It's not applied science. Lions do it in Africa. It's called laying down and lowering your air and caloric consumption since you're not out and about hunting for your survival.

Lions, are much smarter than scientists. They have it down to a key. They run solely on what they need to survive, not more and not less.

My objective is to find an application where I can do this, obviously, there is none. No science actually contributes to prosperity. None can prove otherwise to me.

Prosperity is, yet again, another illusion.

Appreciation is a selfish self-gratifying emotion. It is nice to have and it inflates the ego and makes you think you are somehow giving a token of your so-called appreciation to nature or to some external source when you are quite literally just sitting there wasting air relaxing while you could lower your air consumption by laying down instead.

Appreciation isn't a need or a contribution, it's a simple thought up illusion.

Illusions causes further waste of time and resources.

It is productive for your ego and destructive for everything else.

It's not cynicism, it's fact.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate, btw.

Just trying to get a clear picture of what science actually does for humanity is all. No matter how I look at it, more is less and less is more. Therefore I should move out to Africa and get eaten by a Lion.

I was fairly certain this was just a soapbox argument and that your mind was already made up. I work with a Buddhist monk and he called your posts "unrealistic and extreme in their censure".

Science provides a way for societies to maintain higher levels of population. You aren't really attacking science; I think your beef is with our civilization, which encourages growth and thus the use of more resources. Ultimately, we will reach a point where we'll need more than one planet has to offer. Since our sun will eventually kill the whole planet anyway, I think it's a good thing science is helping us leave.

We'll wave to you and the lions when we go.

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I was fairly certain this was just a soapbox argument and that your mind was already made up. I work with a Buddhist monk and he called your posts "unrealistic and extreme in their censure".

I know a Buddhist as well, not a monk, but is from southern Asia. I worked with him in a chemical research lab for a semester. He hasn't read this thread, but I think the fact that we worked together in science says enough.

My objective is to find an application where I can do this, obviously, there is none. No science actually contributes to prosperity. None can prove otherwise to me.

Well next time you get the flu make sure not to use any science to make it better. Science saved my grandmother from cancer, and saved my cousin from dying in the womb. Tell me how that doesn't contribute to prosperity. Two hundred years ago my grandmother and cousin would have been dead for sure. Before the scientific modern era, the average human lifespan was a joke. I'm 22 and would be considered middle age. Do you want to live past 40? I know I do.

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Science and technology are two different things. Science is not concerned with productivity in any definition you care to give. Science is a methodology for discovering more about how the world works.

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Science provides a way for societies to maintain higher levels of population. You aren't really attacking science; I think your beef is with our civilization, which encourages growth and thus the use of more resources. Ultimately, we will reach a point where we'll need more than one planet has to offer. Since our sun will eventually kill the whole planet anyway, I think it's a good thing science is helping us leave.

The contemporary political standoff between resource-conservationists and growth-lovers is so annoying because both seem to ignore the fact that science has been and can continue to be used to create more efficient technologies that result in simpler lifestyles with less resource used per capita which facilitates expansion of prosperity and thereby population growth. The problem is that science has been subjugated to the whims of a culture that derives pleasure from using as much energy as possible to save human bodies small amounts of effort and discomfort. Buddhism and other techniques for controlling consciousness are as productive as any material science, only because they involve subjectivity, materialists tend to shy away from them. I think the key to further modernization involves not only technological miniaturization and simplification (although complexification will also occur) but also the means to control consciousness in a way that equips people cognitively-emotionally for the types of radical lifestyle changes that science will continue to make possible. It's disturbing to see so many dystopic scifi representations of potential technologies that would do so much to improve resource-utilization and well-being for so many people. People should realize that the global population is expanding in slums and it is not going to be possible for the poor masses to all live like wealthy westerners. So some technological and medical developments need to focus on maximum livability improvements for masses of people with as little material and energy inefficiency as possible. There might not be money in helping the global poor, but it will ultimately be the salvation of the global middle-class as well since their lifestyle is little more than counting down to extinction (or at least gradual exclusion from an increasingly elite minority).

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Well next time you get the flu make sure not to use any science to make it better. Science saved my grandmother from cancer, and saved my cousin from dying in the womb. Tell me how that doesn't contribute to prosperity. Two hundred years ago my grandmother and cousin would have been dead for sure. Before the scientific modern era, the average human lifespan was a joke. I'm 22 and would be considered middle age. Do you want to live past 40? I know I do.

I think this stunted definition of "productive" requires people like your grandmother to die rather than recover "artificially" so they don't use any more resources than necessary. I'm just guessing that this is based on some sort of "natural" guidelines. Perhaps were seeing the advent of a "Budhist/Amish Scientist" sect that spurns modern medicine and technology.

Science and technology are two different things. Science is not concerned with productivity in any definition you care to give. Science is a methodology for discovering more about how the world works.

Quite right, Ophioloite. I'd be interested to know if it was the method or the results that are being spurned.

The contemporary political standoff between resource-conservationists and growth-lovers is so annoying because both seem to ignore the fact that science has been and can continue to be used to create more efficient technologies that result in simpler lifestyles with less resource used per capita which facilitates expansion of prosperity and thereby population growth. The problem is that science has been subjugated to the whims of a culture that derives pleasure from using as much energy as possible to save human bodies small amounts of effort and discomfort. Buddhism and other techniques for controlling consciousness are as productive as any material science, only because they involve subjectivity, materialists tend to shy away from them. I think the key to further modernization involves not only technological miniaturization and simplification (although complexification will also occur) but also the means to control consciousness in a way that equips people cognitively-emotionally for the types of radical lifestyle changes that science will continue to make possible. It's disturbing to see so many dystopic scifi representations of potential technologies that would do so much to improve resource-utilization and well-being for so many people. People should realize that the global population is expanding in slums and it is not going to be possible for the poor masses to all live like wealthy westerners. So some technological and medical developments need to focus on maximum livability improvements for masses of people with as little material and energy inefficiency as possible. There might not be money in helping the global poor, but it will ultimately be the salvation of the global middle-class as well since their lifestyle is little more than counting down to extinction (or at least gradual exclusion from an increasingly elite minority).

Interesting. We do have many biases and inefficiencies with regards to consumption. I think we naturally move towards miniaturization and efficiency, but are too often led astray by promises of personal convenience. Convenience almost always costs someone, somewhere, more than it's really worth.

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!

Moderator Note

It's obvious that this isn't a discussion of quantum theory or even science but is one of philosophy and is here evading a post-count restriction of the OP. Closed.

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