Bolonkin Explores Ultimate Uploading and Technology

One of the main speculations about future technology is uploading. This is where our minds are copied in exact detail from our biological physical bodies and then created in artificial bodies. Alexander Bolonkin has posited many kinds of technology over the decades. He has a recent work which is summarized here where he considers that future uploading will mean that we can then use super-technology (nanotechnology, nuclear fusion etc…) to make people into literal gods and supermen. We can use control of matter, energy and information to make what he calls the E-man. Bolonkin then indicates that uploading and creation of minds could be used for the resurrection of long-dead people. This would be where we create the very close approximation of dead people. This would be like using gene editing to turn an African Elephant into a Whooly Mammoth. The vast technological capability would let us actualize what would be a simulation into living entities.

Bolonkin’s Case for E-Man and Resurrection

Alexander Bolonkin looks at methods and possibilities for electronic resurrection of long-dead outstanding personalities. He also considers the principles and organization of the new E-society, its goals and conditions of existence.

Today when a completely destroyed historical building is being restored, designers are not looking for the stones and bricks from which it was built. They are looking for pictures, drawings, photographs that will restore its historical appearance. It can even be built from new, more durable, long-lived materials.

Bolonkin has made the case that the purpose of Nature is to create Super Intelligence (SI). With its ability to understand the Universe, advanced entities with SI Power will be able to survive major cataclysms.

Bolonkin’s Concept of the E-Man, the Ultimate Supertech Person

An immortal person made of chips and super-solid material (the E-man, as was called by Bolonkin) will have incredible advantages in comparison to conventional people. The E-man will need no air, no food, no dwelling, no sleep, no rest, and no good environment. His brain will work from radio-isotopic batteries and muscles that will work on small nuclear engines. Such a being will be able to travel into space and walk on the sea floor with no aqualungs. He will change his face and figure. He will have super-human strength and communicate over long distances to gain vast amounts of knowledge in
seconds (by re-writing his brain). His mental abilities and capacities will increase millions of times. It will be possible for such a person to travel huge distances at the speed of light. The information of one person like this could be transported to
space, to other planets with a laser beam and then placed in a new body.

The artificial E-person will have the opportunity to choose his or her face and body. It will also be possible for them to reproduce himself in any amount. It will be impossible to destroy this entity with any kind of weapons, since it will be possible to copy the information of their minds and then keep such information backed up in separate distant
locations. To support the brain and body, humans spend about 99% of their time and energy, and eventually what knowledge is gained is taken to the grave in death.

Resurrection of humanity?

Most normal people are very worried about the death of their loved ones, their parents, children and friends. Some people, despite the high costs, even order clones of their domestic dogs and cats after their death.

But why resurrect people who lived a hundred years or more ago? They seem easier to clone. Cloning techniques were being improved and would be reliable in 10 to 20 years.

However, the clone of the creature producing only an appearance. Years of childhood, upbringing, education, surrounding reality, can create a completely different person, the opposite of the image that you want to get. And not every surrogate mother will agree, even for a large fee, to bear nine months of someone else’s child and endure the pain of childbirth.

Everything we use now is created by mankind, by people who lived hundreds and thousands years before us. Many of them made important discoveries, inventions, promoted their own or new ideas, fought for human rights, a better life and technological progress. For this they were persecuted, suffered torment and death. So is humanity will refuse, using modern technology, at least partially resurrect them and give them the opportunity to benefit and now?

Resurrection method

Bolonkin says that a person consists of two main components:

knowledge (information or “soul” as Bolonkin sometimes calls this information), located in the head, and the body (shell), serving the Head. The head has sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin) through which it receives information, and executive organs (hands, feet) through which it acts and changes the environment. All these organs are biological, i.e. mortal. Trying to make their existence endless is a dead end.

Only the replacement of biological organs with electronic and electromechanical ones can solve the problem of immortality.

The main difficulty here is to rewrite the contents of the biological human brain into micro-chips, Scientists are introducing micro-needles into brain cells (neurons) trying to understand and record their work. Or create artificial neural networks. It is a dead end. Bolonkin proposed another way, easily feasible at the present time: to intercept and record all the information coming to the brain from the senses and human actions.

This will establish the motives of his actions and restore the algorithms of his decisions. The introduction of needles into a working neuron, firstly, destroys it, and secondly, does not allow to judge the work of the system as a whole, because it is impossible to judge the work of the system as a whole by the signals passing in one contact, when millions of such contacts work simultaneously. Artificial neural networks
are extremely complex, have nothing to do with ordinary people, are completely independent and can be dangerous for humanity.

The problem of interception of all information coming to the human brain and recording of his actions is easily solved while the person is alive. Therefore, the problem of immortality is purely technical and will be resolved in the near future.

The problem of resurrection is complicated by the fact that there is no electronic record of the lives of past celebrities, especially people who lived hundreds of years ago. However, analyzing the situation, knowledge of the time, life, documents and actions of these people, [Bolonkin believes] you can roughly restore the thinking algorithms of ancient celebrities. Using new knowledge, history and analyzing their past mistakes, these people can be useful for modern people.

Alexander Bolonkin believes that sooner or later biological civilization will be replaced by a higher electronic civilization. The advantages of E-creatures over humans are enormous and have been described previously. Science fiction scares, that E-beings will destroy biological people. This is alarming for many people living today. Therefore, the transition of living people and outstanding representatives of the
humanity of the past into electronic beings will be gradual and beneficial for humanity.

Alexander Bolonkin proposes to make this transition of existing people through a detailed record of their entire life. It is important for the surviving relatives and friends, but it is expensive and difficult technically. Most people neglect the constant recording of video and acoustics, and even more emotional state in life. And relatives and friends remember them until they are alive. That is why I believe that the proposed method of resurrection will be the main one.

It is important that E-beings remember who created them, from whom they came and how decent and intelligent beings respected their parents. Even if the first time e-creatures will live on Earth, on Earth enough deserted deserts, steppes, polar regions, seas and oceans to put billions of new residents. He is not talking about other
planets, asteroids and space.

An interesting question is how the society of E-beings will be organized? It is clear that it will not be reasonable singles. The main purpose of E-creatures to the knowledge of the World, the Universe and create new Universes. Only such sentient beings will be able to survive and exist virtually forever.

1. Bolonkin A.A., The twenty-first century: the advent of the non-biological civilization and the future of the human race, Journal “Kybernetes”, Vol. 28, No.3, 1999, pp. 325-334, MCB University Press, 0368-492 (English).
2. Bolonkin A.A., Twenty-first century – the beginning of human immortality, Journal “Kybernetes”, Vol. 33, No.9/10, 2004, pp. 1535-1542, Emerald Press, 0368-492X.htm (English).
3. Bolonkin A.A., Human Immortality and Electronic Civilization. Electronic book, 1993. WEB:, (English),

4. Bolonkin A.A., Science, Soul, Heaven and Supreme Mind, Personal site: Bolonkin A.A.,

5. Bibliography (about the author and discussing his ideas) publication in Russian press and Internet in 1994 – 2004 ( , , , etc. Search: Bolonkin).
The above Chapter 4 has been translated from a Russian article, “Proriv v bessmertie” (Breakthrough in Immortality) (1999).

6. Bolonkin A.A., Human Immortality and Electronic Civilization, Lulu, 3-rd Edition, 2007, (English and Russian), 66 pgs, search “Bolonkin”.

7. Bolonkin A.A., Universe and Future of Humanity (v.2), USA, Lulu. 2005, 135 ps., #172,(2012);
Universe, Human Immortality and Future Human Evaluation. Elsevier. 2010г.,
124 pages, 4.8 Mb. ISBN-10: 0124158013, ISBN-13: 978-0124158016

8. Fyodorov N.F.,

9. Pensky O.G., Mathematical Models of Emotional Robots, (English and Russin), Perm State University,2010, 193 ps., ISBN 978-5-7844-1412-7.

10. Wikipedia, Immortality.
11. YouTube Robot humanoid. .
12. 8 Incredible Lifelike HUMANOID ROBOTS You Should See: .


14. Sophia

15. Run robot man and dog

56 thoughts on “Bolonkin Explores Ultimate Uploading and Technology”

  1. That was what I thought of. The multi-mind model of how the human mind works suggests there is room for one more in there. The augmentation element would be a personality of some sort that would record the biological part of the mind and provide access to the electronic reality. You would grow up shifting between RL and VR. Eventually when your body wore out, moving to VR would be very familiar. I’m not sure why you need a RL body anyway. … I took the concept a bit further, but really, I’ve never been very interested in immortality. I can’t understand the appeal.

  2. Its ok. What we will do is go into cryonics while our clones take our place in the world until technology allow us to cheat death without having our mind destroyed, then they will wake us up when the time have come.

  3. The best way to use this technology, would be to create our cyber clones without destroying ourselves or our consciousness. Then when our clones are born, we will go into cryonics until the day technology find a way to grant us immortality and incredible powers too without destroying our actual consciousness. Then, our clones will wake us and we will be able to enjoy this epic future with them.

  4. If you die, you dont mind anything. Your replacement is yourself for itself and everybody else, except you (who dont care anymore).

  5. It depends on the purpose of the reconstruction. If you want an entity that others could interact with as if it was you, then you’re probably right.
    But if you want something that lives and thinks and has emotions and introspective thought, something that legitimately considers itself a valid extension of the original biologic human, then this approach is still far from complete. We need something beyond Machine Learning and silicon chips for that.

  6. I think you missed a key aspect of the proposal: This wouldn’t be “complete” AI; “Complete” AI is capable of motivation and independent thought. It can work stand alone.

    This would be more like a math/logic coprocessor for the brain. Something that would just sit there inert without a brain as part of the system.

    It could no more go its own way than our frontal lobes could ditch the rest of our brains.

  7. I agree that internal state matters, but I think it can be “averaged out” (basically ignored) if you only want the typical representative response. Kind of like your base blood sugar level vs the multitude of ups and down as you go through your daily activities.

    I think the point of the input-output mapping wasn’t to make an accurate reconstruction of someone’s mind, but only an approximation of their thinking process.

    A simple input-output mapping can already be done by today’s neural nets. The complete input-output relationships of the human brain are probably too complex for today’s nets, but they do manage to approximate small subsets of those relationships (like predicting your typing).

  8. That was a hypothetical scenario, built to get my point across.

    Of course I’m not ok with being murdered. But if I die from other reasons, I don’t mind being replaced by a clone, if my mind is copied accurately enough (it’s rather less useful otherwise).

  9. But is that random childhood dream really relevant to who you are? It might have been when it impacted your thoughts and development, but you are not every bit of data that went through your mind, most of which you’ve forgotten. You are the derivative of that data, the mental structure that it built. If the computer can deduce what you’ve become, then do a couple memory holes really matter?

  10. That’s your biased assumption, which you’re refusing to challenge. Try to follow the argument to the end.

    But I’ll grant you this much: another way to look at this is that you have indeed died, but were resurrected (in a new body).

  11. Michio Kaku suggested a way of transferring the mind by gradually replaced each brain cell with an artificial neuron. Then perhaps you could just move the artificial neurons into a computer or create an device to interface with them.

  12. Totally agree. It seems the more intelligent a person is, the more he discounts the effect of his brain. One small example of its overwhelming importance: empathy is not a function of a person’s mind, no matter how much it seems to be, but of the brain. Take the mind out of the brain, no matter how accurately reproduced, and it is as flat and as without care of others’ points of view as are our present-day computers.

  13. Except from their point of view there’s no reason they should always be us. So we then go extinct and they carry on.

  14. I doubt that consciousness (‘Self’) is portable from one physical seat to another.

    From old brain to new clone brain.
    From old brain to biological computer.
    From old brain to singularity.

    I hope it is portable, but I doubt it.

  15. I think uploading will be done with a helmet containing as many overlapping SQUIDS as possible, which will trace the circuitry of individual brains, the location of synapses, and estimate the biasing of individual neutrons by measuring the magnetic field created by electrical(ionic) currents in axons, and across synapses.
    The helmet will need to be worn for long periods during every day life to build up enough data for the precise measurements necessary, to separate signal from noise, and to observe the brain under all sorts of stimulus, and emotional states. It would be a real shame to leave out lust.
    This will have the wonderful side effect of eliminating individuals that are concerned about looking cool from the sentientosphere, while making it easy to identify those who really are cool, as in not caring what others think they look like. I just hope no actors, or other celebrities wear them in public, or it may become trendy.

  16. Not again this logical error. People are not buildings. Minds are processes linked with material substrat. You cannot upload. What you wll do is create AI copy of your mind. A clone. Plz, stop this retardation finally.

  17. If he had the outputs too, then the input to output mapping approach might indeed work – IF there was a large enough data set.

    Didn’t Chomsky drive a stake though the heart of behaviorism decades ago? The internal state matters, and even if it’s possible to infer it in principle with just the inputs and outputs there’s no reason to think it would be computationally tractable.

    How are the inputs and outputs supposed to reconstruct a childhood dream you remember vividly but never told anyone about, or deeply held opinions you never gave voice to, or secret longings you never confessed?

    If it were really possible for a computer to deduce all of those things just by observing you, it would almost by definition already be unimaginably superior to any human alive. It would literally be able to out-you you, no matter who you are.

  18. Or is it one way that our pseudo science repress knowledge. Refuting without checking what does not agree with the dogma.

  19. “Immortality” is technically impossible in a universe governed by thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. Thermodynamics demands that everything eventually degrades, quantum mechanics gives every possible event, including death, a finite probability.

    The best you can do is “eternal youth”, which is to say, not degrading so long as you have available an energy source and heat sink, and driving the ‘short’ (Billions of years!) term probability of death arbitrarily low, but still finite.

    But that’s a pretty good “best you can do”, relative to being doomed in a space of decades. A lifespan of centuries should be readily achievable with only modest alterations to our biological substrates, just by fixing obvious flaws and incorporating superior solutions from other Earthly lifeforms. Geologic lifespans should be in reach by adopting a more technological approach, or melding technology and biology.

  20. I’ll try one last time. I know it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around, but try to think it through.

    Here’s the hypothetical scenario, in detail:

    First, somebody makes a perfect copy of your body. Next, while you’re sleeping / unconscious, they make a perfect copy of your mind, and copy it into the body clone. Finally, they swap the clone for the original you, and dispose of the original. They’re careful enough to not leave any obvious physical evidence.

    In this scenario, how can the clone tell that they’re a clone?

    If you think about it, if the body is an identical copy, the mind is an identical copy, and there are no obvious physical evidence, then the clone has no way to know. It’ll be sure that it’s the original.

    It follows that you also have no way of knowing whether you’re really the original or not (if such cloning technology exists).

    In that case, both the original and the clone are equivalent. So you could say that they’re both you. I know it’s hard to digest, but think this over step by step, and give it time to sink in.

    Finally, if you accept that both copies are you, then the conclusion is that if your upload copy is accurate enough, then it’s also you.

  21. “Therefore, the problem of immortality is purely technical and will be resolved in the near future.”

    That’s some ballsy optimism, son.

    P.S. And a non-sequitur. A Dyson sphere is purely technical…

  22. Sorry for my bad english:
    When universe will be close to its thermal death, then a powerful megasupercomputer will have all the consciousness thinking billions and billions times faster than real world time, making the real time to be apparently dilated. This will multiply the real existance of those entities till the final thermal death billions of billions times…

  23. > If you have dreams it means your brain still working

    Sleep has different stages. You’re not dreaming through all of them. Your brain may be working, but especially while you’re not dreaming, you’re not conscious. So by definition, your consciousness is turned off.

    > Yes I could damn right tell the difference

    How? If it’s an exact copy (including the body), and the copy was done while you were unconscious, how would you be able to tell?

    > But your original consciousness ( actual you ) is still in yours old biological body

    Or is it? Again, how can you tell (assuming it’s not around)?

  24. These are the sort of things neurotics believe, and make up unknowingly to aid in their repression. But even if they were true, the evidence for actual repressed childhood experiences in one’s own life is far more real, and important, yet ignored!

  25. I’ve long thought that in the end, “AI” will come to stand for “Amplified Intelligence”; We’ll come up with systems that extend our own minds, but rely on us to provide motivation and goals. It’s the most straightforward solution to the “benign AI” problem. AI’s will always be under our control if they are us.

  26. A couple of weeks ago, my 10 year old son was asking me if I’d mind being uploaded when I die, and we had a fun discussion of uploading and identity. So the idea, which was fringe when I was doing a dual major in computer engineering and human biology back in the late 70’s, seems to be penetrating the popular culture. (Apparently one of the characters in the computer game, “Portal”, is an upload.)

    We used to discuss this sort of thing a lot in the cryonics community, when I was active in it. Uploading is considered a possible revival approach for cryonics patients.

  27. Everytime we wake up, we could be a copy of the version that went to sleep the night before, and we wouldn’t know. I don’t see this as being any different.

  28. Maybe as help for people with demens or alzheimer?

    Then they can have an artificial copy for there relatives to talk to and maybe they then be some what better from listening?

  29. Philosophically, you could consider the “you” of tomorrow as a separate entity from the “you” of today, and that, in turn, as a separate entity from the “you” of yesterday. Our stream of consciousness ends when we fall asleep (and/or loose consciousness), sometimes gets replaced by a different type of consciousness while we dream, and then restarts when we wake up. Subjectively, the only thing connecting your experience of “self” to your past “selves”, is your memories.

    Objectively, there’s also the fact that your consciousness still runs on the same physical medium. But is that really a requirement? Subjectively, can you even tell the difference? Can you be sure your consciousness wasn’t copied to a new body while you were sleeping, and you’re not actually a copy?

    In a way, we are all copies of our past selves, which no longer exist in this world.

  30. What I was saying was if he wanted to reconstruct a brain from just inputs, it wouldn’t work well. Even starting from the same genetics, different non-sensory (let alone sensory) input would produce a differently connected and differently balanced brain, which would produce different output for the same (next) input. In other words, a different person.

    If he had the outputs too, then the input to output mapping approach might indeed work – IF there was a large enough data set. But I think it would be difficult to get a large enough sample to accurately map historical figures, and if the data is incomplete, there could be a lot of biases and other artifacts.

    For a living person it would be easier. Machine learning is already half-decent at predicting the next word you’re going to type, for example.

  31. I don’t think you need to account for non-sensory inputs. That’s supposed to be deduced algorithmically.

    Basically, I think Bolonkin is thinking of this like training a deep neural net, where you don’t try to code it how to think, you just have a lot of labelled input data and a lot of output data and you have the system iterate and grade the iteration by how well it deduces the correct output from the input.

    You have a lifetime of input data (sensory), and a lifetime of output data (behavioral). It’s fairly different from current neural net training though, in that a current system uses a lot of paired data to create one instantiation of an algorithm, where in this case the algorithm (mind) is constantly changing and we have very little paired data for any given instantiation. So it’s weird and I don’t think we’d know how to code it right now even if we had the processing power, but he’s probably right that eventually this would be enough of a training set, if start by filling in some blanks about basic human neurobiology and so on.

  32. If we live in a multiverse then saying that life is mortal is only true of the part of the multiverse we live in. Quantum physics suggests that life is immortal. Because we are self aware then we are either dead or alive and we cannot be both. The reality is that in a multiverse we can be alive and dead at the same time.

  33. Suppose a perfect copy of you has been made – but you don’t know which of you is which. You don’t consider yourself to be the same as the other person? OK, fine.

    But would you agree that you will seem to be essentially the same person as you were the day before the copying was done, regardless of whether you are the copy or the original?

    If you can agree to that, suppose that you will be copied a day from now. Aren’t you essentially the same person as both the original and the copy will have been?

    And if you can agree to that, what if, as part of the copying process, both the original and the copy are improved in some way – say made immune to cancer. Won’t both still essentially have been you, despite that change (which neither can detect in themself)?

    What if the immunity is expensive – might you decide to only have it applied to ‘the original you’, to save some money? Would you do that if you won’t be allowed to know whether you are the copy or the original – i.e. whether you got the immunity or not?

  34. … This is what Janev had to say about reincaration.

    * Rather than evidencing the reality of reincarnation, past-lives regression is “the result of suggestions made by the hypnotist, expectations held by the subjects, and the demand characteristics of the hypnoidal relationship.”[2]
    No therapy was involved in these cases.

    I will just phrase it again one last time very simply. If there is a memory and there is a question if it has taken place or not, the best way to verify or refute it is to take evidence that supports or refute the event remembered. In the second video ample evidence was presented that shows that the past life childhood memories brought describe real events that they were taking part in.

  35. There’s some deep Ship of Theseus issues that people need to get to grips with once both the precipitating tech and the actual upload tech come around. The only attractive method seems to be gradual/partial brain replacement with electronic equivalents during a continuous consciousness phase, but that has it’s own issues…

  36. I suspect the concept of true AI will be considered a dead end tech in the not to distant future – once online they will evolve at a massive (dare I say exponential) rate much much faster than anyone realises – the end result may be a kind of disembodied near godlike being – if they are unable to manipulate their external environment (brain in a box) then the effect will look like they go catatonic if they can I suspect they will rapidly move outside human control ie from a powered silicon substrate to Piezo electric to plasma/ion/EM field based – to humans it will look like the system just got wiped. Running a human mind in ‘silico’ may be our next evolutionary step letting us create our own microverses running in the EM fields on the sun.

    but in the mean time we may have to put up with ‘smart narrow systems’ because once it hits AI it’s just not going to care to work for us and a upload will have the same options

  37. I always liked Bolonkin’s stuff, if only to use our imaginations to solve problems, in this case, the existential. It’s why I read Rudy Rucker, even though I am diametrically opposed politically to the guy.

  38. A Primal is exactly the experience of the repressed childhood experience. Thus Primal Science, or just Primal, like Physics for example, is a direct experiment, not an indirect validation. Do it! It is how science progresses.

  39. I had expected the concept of mind copying would be the one pseudo altruistic thing to overcome the pathological selfishness that permeates certain subcultures. After all, your hypothetical mind copy is closest thing to being you while actually being someone else.

    To torch any possibility of potential benefit others might enjoy just because you wont is irredeemable in and of itself, surely some pathology is at work if you would treat a copy of oneself with similar contempt.

  40. Nice, but this does not explain how these experiences can be validated. Again, we need to start exploring consciousness as a building block.

  41. The existence of high amounts of repressed childhood, esp birth, trauma in humans is the missing part of the puzzle for understanding human evolution (why the big brain?) as well as current human behavior (neurotic at best!). The traumas are inflicted as part of our post-chimp ritual system, which reproduces and *lives* outside of our current consciousness, but inside our bodies, and in our civilizations and religions. Don’t cut the cord early!
    See Janov for more.

  42. Agree with you. That said, I think that Dave is sort of on to something, though I assume that the process would be even more complicated than “uploading” would be.

  43. All evidence suggests that consciousness is not a sum up of the work of the brain, and cannot be replicated to a Binary code. It has never been proven and never will. Only people who are unaware enough to rule out that anything exists beyond a reductionist materialistic cause and effect science of the world would bother to believe in this. As the speaker in the first said, this is a high time to concentrate on investigating the nature of consciousness, it will change our science altogether.

  44. I maintain that a biological entity can become as good as a mechanical entity using genetic engineering to create our enhanced intelligence (For adults and everyone) that will enable us to live indefinitely with perfect bodies and health. Perhaps even transcending our bodies somehow beyond what we think of as biological now. And I don’t mean a mear copy into a machine.

    To quote “Advance technology will seem like magic”.
    Pretty much anything is possible.
    And this future is not far in the future. Anyone in good health under 40 will see it. Perhaps hopefully even much older people.

  45. It could work if you start life with an implant that augments your brain from the start, then as the brain functions diminish it takes on more of the processing, until only it’s left.

  46. > All these organs are biological, i.e. mortal. Trying to make their existence endless is a dead end.

    Not necessarily. Routine maintenance and renovation of a car or building can extend its life way past its normal use lifespan. Similarly, routine maintenance and replacement of aging cells can extend the lifespan of biological tissue, perhaps indefinitely. Many of our cells never get older than 20 years, because they get replaced. But the natural repair processes have deficiencies. We can do better.

    > record all the information coming to the brain

    If you present the exact same input to two different people, their reactions will be different, because their brains are wired differently, have different chemical balance, etc. Even if you exactly replay all inputs starting from gestation, you’d still get two different brains, and therefore two different reactions, depending on genetics. Then there’s also diet, temperature, humidity, mechanical stimuli, disease, and so on, all affecting epigenetics, which effect gene expression, which affect brain structure, which will affect the reaction. You’d need to account for all sensory and non-sensory inputs since gestation. And then, the epigenetics are partially heritable, so you’d also need to account for the ancestors’ inputs. Seems like a much deader end to me.

  47. Janov points out the distinction between intellect and intelligence. And the depth of the often called “mind-body” connection. And the experiments to scientifically validate his observations. Will take a lot more than Bolonkin imagines!


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