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Re: [GTh] The Markan Gap in Thomas

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  • Ian Brown
    Hi all, I ve been following Parallelmania (as I think it has very cleverly been dubbed) with some interest, and I have a quick question, probably mostly for
    Message 1 of 19 , May 11, 2010
      Hi all,

      I've been following Parallelmania (as I think it has very cleverly been dubbed) with some interest, and I have a quick question, probably mostly for Mike, but certainly not exclusively: what does the existence of a gap in the "Markan" (and I use scare quotes because I have no interest in giving Mark any priority here) material in Thomas signify? Or perhaps, more realistically: what are we trying to argue in identifying such a gap? For those who argue that Thomas is dependent on the synoptic Gospels I suppose this might be of some interest, but for those like myself who agree with Patterson, DeConcik and the like that Thomas is independent of the New Testament, what are we trying to say? Does the "Markan" material show significant ideological discrepancies from the "Q" material and the distinctly Thomas material? If so this would certainly be of interest, but otherwise I'm not quite sure what our end is. I don't want to discourage this kind of comparison, but it seems to me that unless we're arguing for literary dependence it might be helpful to identify ideological differences in the "Markan" material that may have caused it to be absent from a significant chunk of Thomas.

      I hope this serves to open discussion rather than close it off, and I hope this functions as an occasion for thought rather than an dismissal of what I think could be a very interesting project.

      ian

    • kurt31416
      Hi Mike, Thanks for the spreadsheet, but it s not quite the same thing. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/T5G.pdf I didn t list Q, since it s a such
      Message 2 of 19 , May 11, 2010
        Hi Mike,

        Thanks for the spreadsheet, but it's not quite the same thing.
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/T5G.pdf

        I didn't list Q, since it's a such a matter of opinion, and some even don't think it exists. (I don't think so, as I think the dead even distribution of Matthew/Luke in Thomas demonstrates.) In discussions I have tried to carefully define it objectively as Matthew and Luke, but not Mark.

        And I didn't list their opinion of the source of the parallel, such as #9 coming from Mark. It assumes what you are trying to prove. I could mention it as a footnote that T5G thinks it comes from Mark, certainly valuable information, but my intention is to stay as objective as possible, and show all the parallels and let the reader decide for themselves.

        ----

        In the past, I did the calculation of the probability of that Mark gap for T5G parallels, T5G parallels and Cf's, and the even more loose, "Funk" parallels, and the math came out about the same, like it did by saying vs. by sub-saying. It's really there, and it's really a one in a hundred chance at Las Vegas that it would be there by random luck.

        I have an improved version of the equation, an approximation not an inequality, maybe I'll test it with your chart.

        ----

        "He who has ears, let them hear" is tough, I don't think it should be included, and just pretended it doesn't exit, but I worry about it, because it's a special rule applying to nothing else. Not written in stone it doesn't come from Jesus and the pattern in the Synoptics doesn't tell us something. I don't know if there is a right or wrong.

        Yes, I need to update that chart, but I'm thinking more in terms of Flash, where the parallel pops up when you hover over it or something. And I need to input the data first.

        In the meantime, it has utility, such as 75% of Funk's Jewish/Hebrew parallels being between 5 and 25. And all but one of the 17 Dialog of the Savior parallels also in Matthew and usually Luke. (Except #37 about getting naked.) Where else can you see that at a glance?

        Richard Van Vliet
      • kurt31416
        Hi Bob, Thanks for the suggestion. Very interesting. I don t see why it wouldn t work with sub-sayings too. But as a quick check, using the chart at
        Message 3 of 19 , May 11, 2010
          Hi Bob,

          Thanks for the suggestion. Very interesting. I don't see why it wouldn't work with sub-sayings too. But as a quick check, using the chart at http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/About.html
          I get the following data:
          N1 = 23 Marks
          N2 = 91 non-Marks
          Runs = 33

          And from their calculator, I get:
          Expected Number of Runs: 37.7; sd: 3.4069
          z-value= -1.3852; approx. probability: 0.08299
          z-val= -1.238(continuity correct.); p: 0.10777
          exact probability of 33 or fewer runs= 0.11837

          Between one and two standard deviations. About one in ten.

          --

          But hardly a gospel, just another test. In this case, the probability of the data runs changing that many times, like my calculation of the probability of the longest data run. Easy to demonstrate cases where either would say things are perfectly normal, and they would obviously be bizarre and non-random algorithmically. Both are good tests. I take the difference between the two, around 90% vs. around 95% as telling us that big gap dominates the non-random part. For instance, doing the same calculation for the first 66 sayings...
          N1 = 19 Mark
          N2 = 47 non-Mark
          Runs = 26

          And from their calculator we get:
          Expected Number of Runs: 28.1; sd: 3.2939
          z-value= -0.6255; approx. probability: 0.26579
          z-val= -0.473(continuity correct.); p: 0.31782
          exact probability of 26 or fewer runs= 0.30649

          Which tells it it tends to clump together a bit, as seems obvious by looking at it, but far less than a standard deviation, definitely could be random.

          I'm confident the Matthew, Luke and No parallels will be about the same. Clustered a little more than expected, but could be random.

          Seems to me, something very strange is going on between 67 and 98 inclusive, yet has no impact on the Matthew, Luke and No parallels. Any theory of where Thomas comes from needs to address it.

          Richard Van Vliet
        • kurt31416
          Hi Ian, I see it as demonstrating the opposite. That Thomas is the source of the parallels. One model that explains all the non-random data I m aware of, the
          Message 4 of 19 , May 11, 2010
            Hi Ian,

            I see it as demonstrating the opposite. That Thomas is the source of the parallels.

            One model that explains all the non-random data I'm aware of, the most Occam's Razor that I know of, is that there was a Christianized version of the Gospel of Thomas, in essentially the same order, that Mark, Matthew, Luke, Dialog of the Savior, (Etc.?) used. And Mark didn't use sayings 67-98 for whatever reason. That simple.

            Matthew and Luke are random from beginning to end, because they used all of that Christianized Thomas.

            There is a Matthew in all Mark's except 1 and a Luke in all except 2, because if it was in Mark and Christianized Thomas they took it for sure with two sources saying so.

            The gaps are random, because Matthew and Luke are random, and Mark always sits on top of a Matthew/Luke, not a gap.

            Dialog of the Savior has a Matthew 16 out of 17 times, almost never a gap, because it was using that same Christianized Thomas, perhaps a bit more evolved by then. It picked #37 about getting naked, and Matthew/Luke didn't, because they were prudes.

            The Hebrew/Jewish parallels are overwhelmingly in the first part Mark read, perhaps because it was less secret. The clear offenders of the 10 Commandments are in the second part, not honoring one's father and mother for instance.

            All patterns are true for the Greek version too.

            Richard Van Vliet
          • kurt31416
            Here s a simple example of how the Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test can get randomness flat wrong... http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/RandomnessTest.html (A couple
            Message 5 of 19 , May 11, 2010
              Here's a simple example of how the "Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test" can get randomness flat wrong...
              http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/RandomnessTest.html

              (A couple could be clumped together to make it perfectly random on the "Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test" if desired.)

              But the one with all the black squares in the left half, obviously fails the "Van Vliet Poppycock Test For Probability of Longest Run".

              I suppose there may be equal or greater examples to the contrary, but they elude me at the moment.

              Richard Van Vliet
            • Bob Schacht
              ... I fail to see how this is flat wrong . You don t run the numbers and you don t cite any probabilities of anything. Please clarify. Bob Schacht
              Message 6 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                At 08:27 PM 5/11/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                 

                Here's a simple example of how the "Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test" can get randomness flat wrong...
                http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/RandomnessTest.html

                (A couple could be clumped together to make it perfectly random on the "Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test" if desired.)

                I fail to see how this is "flat wrong". You don't run the numbers and you don't cite any probabilities of anything.

                Please clarify.

                Bob Schacht


                But the one with all the black squares in the left half, obviously fails the "Van Vliet Poppycock Test For Probability of Longest Run".

                I suppose there may be equal or greater examples to the contrary, but they elude me at the moment.

                Richard Van Vliet

              • kurt31416
                Hi Bob, Sorry for the weak explanation. Perhaps an example would be better. A parable so to speak... Some cases, where all Mark parallels are in the first half
                Message 7 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                  Hi Bob,

                  Sorry for the weak explanation. Perhaps an example would be better. A parable so to speak...

                  Some cases, where all Mark parallels are in the first half of Thomas are considered perfectly random. Example available upon request.

                  Seems reasonable that if one found all parallels to Mark in the first half of Thomas, that's not a random distribution.

                  All it measures is the probability of having that many "Runs" of all blacks or all whites, it doesn't care if they're all in the first half.

                  I was going to derive something like it, since I confess I was ignorant of it before you brought it up. I was going to base it on the probability of the next saying being what it turned out to be, and if there was a disproportionate probability of it being the same thing instead, the probability of small scale clumping I suppose, and run down the list, it may be logically the same thing. Close enough. A fine tool, thanks. If you see someone else, that instead of the number of runs, did the longest run, before I did, please let me know.

                  Best Regards,
                  Richard Van Vliet
                • Michael Grondin
                  Rick - I m going to respond here to both your note to me and your note to Bob. I ll try to be as civil as possible, but I have to admit being steamed, because
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                    Rick -
                    I'm going to respond here to both your note to me and your note
                    to Bob. I'll try to be as civil as possible, but I have to admit being
                    steamed, because I think your purported "response" to me was
                    anything but. You rambled on about several subjects, but nothing
                    about the major concern of my note, which was to reconcile our
                    T5G numbers. Mind you, I'm talking about _basic_ data, not the
                    calculations the numbers are put through. I'm trying to make it
                    so that the data that goes into those calculations isn't garbage,
                    because you know what'll come out if it is. Furthermore, no one
                    is going to trust any result your calculations if they don't trust
                    you to get the basic input data right to begin with.

                    Let's take an example from your note to Bob. You wrote:
                    > ... as a quick check, using the chart at
                    > http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/About.html
                    > I get the following data: N1 = 23 Marks ...

                    You then proceed to plunk the number 23 into a calculation.
                    But the number 23 is wrong. There aren't 23 Markan hits at the
                    sayings level, there's 21. I pointed out that that chart had errors in it,
                    and that it and your other sayings-level chart "need to be fixed if
                    you're going to refer to them again." And yet that is exactly what
                    you didn't do. Instead, you used the erroneous numbers exactly
                    as originally shown. The chart in question shows L6 to be a Markan
                    hit, but it isn't. It shows L24 to be a Markan hit, but it isn't. It shows
                    L63 to be a Markan hit, but it isn't. AND it shows L33 NOT to be a
                    Markan hit, but it is. I'm not going to let you get away with using
                    either of your sayings-level charts, or any numbers based on them,
                    until they're fixed.

                    Your response would be, I take it, that you're not sure what to
                    do with the "ears" subsayings that figure in L6, L24, and L63.
                    You wrote a rambling paragraph about that that I couldn't make
                    much sense of, but nothing you said alters the fact that these
                    subsayings simply cannot be regarded as Markan parallels,
                    hence the sayings within which they occur cannot be regarded
                    as Markan hits (sans other Markan content). So stop doing it.

                    Look, either you're using T5G or you're not. If you're applying
                    your own modifications to their data, then your data is worthless
                    unless you specify exactly how your data differs from theirs and
                    why. If you're interested in other data bases as well, fine, but
                    if someone challenges you on your handling of a particular
                    data base, such as I've done with respect to T5G, you need to
                    meet that challenge head-on. So far, you haven't done so.

                    Mike G.
                  • kurt31416
                    Mike, in a nutshell, the data is the parallels and Cf s listed in the margin of the Five Gospels, by sub-sayings. I believe you used the sources . We both
                    Message 9 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                      Mike, in a nutshell, the data is the parallels and Cf's listed in the margin of the Five Gospels, by sub-sayings. I believe you used the "sources". We both recorded diffent things from the margin.

                      No one is modifying the data as far as I know, certainly not me.

                      And the math comes out about the same including the "he who has ears" or not, as I previously demonstrated and can again, sayings level or subsayings level. As I said, it was a quick check.

                      Richard Van Vliet.
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... You are leaving a confusion of issues here. Best to keep straight exactly what the hypothesis is for any given test. For the Wald Wolfowitz runs test for
                      Message 10 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                        At 09:38 PM 5/11/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                         

                        Hi Bob,

                        Sorry for the weak explanation. Perhaps an example would be better. A parable so to speak...

                        Some cases, where all Mark parallels are in the first half of Thomas are considered perfectly random. Example available upon request.

                        Seems reasonable that if one found all parallels to Mark in the first half of Thomas, that's not a random distribution. ...

                        You are leaving a confusion of issues here. Best to keep straight exactly what the hypothesis is for any given test.

                        For the Wald Wolfowitz runs test for GTh as a whole, the hypothesis is that the Markan parallels are distributed at random throughout  the document as a whole (and that the "gap" in the middle is a fluke.)

                        But now you want to chop up the document into 3? sections, and you appear to have special hypotheses for each section. It is quite possible that the Markan parallels could be randomly distributed from the first segment, utterly absent in a non-random way from the second segment, and randomly distributed in the third segment. Thus segmentized, you would have to run the statistics separately on each segment, or else use a Chi-Square test for the three segments by presence or absence of Markan Parallels. The hypothesis involved there is that GTh actually consists of three contiguous documents that the scribes treated differently for some reason (e.g., they drew randomly from Mark for segments 1 & 3, and not at all from Mark in segment 2-- Or, that Mark drew at random from segments 1 & 3, but for some reason ignored segment 2 entirely).

                        However, there is a flaw in using the Wald-wolfowitz runs test at all, which I alluded to in previous correspondence: Our situation with GTh and Markan parallels seems to be a "sample without replacement," if it is the case that once a Markan parallel is used, it is no longer available to be used again elsewhere in GTh (is that true?) I believe that the WW runs test assumes sampling *with* replacement, IIRC.

                        Bob Schacht
                      • kurt31416
                        Hi Bob, I ve updated that page to give a specific example, where the Wald-Wolfowitz runs test considers the 21 Mark parallels perfectly random, with them all
                        Message 11 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                          Hi Bob,

                          I've updated that page to give a specific example, where the Wald-Wolfowitz runs test considers the "21" Mark parallels perfectly random, with them all in the first 39 sayings of Thomas. Just do the first three and then every one after that.

                          N1 = 21
                          N2 = 93
                          Expected runs = 35.3

                          It's actually a little over spread out according to Wald-Wolfowitz. Ending it with #37 is equally random.

                          You may need to hit refresh.
                          http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/RandomnessTest.html

                          Surely if all 21 Mark parallels were in the first 39 sayings it's probably not random.

                          Richard Van Vliet
                        • kurt31416
                          Hi Bob, I m not chopping up Thomas when I say all the Mark parallels could be in the first third and it would calculate out as being random. I m considering
                          Message 12 of 19 , May 11, 2010
                            Hi Bob,

                            I'm not chopping up Thomas when I say all the Mark parallels could be in the first third and it would calculate out as being random. I'm considering all 114 sayings and pointing out some of the logical possibilities, where the test fails miserably.

                            Richard Van Vliet
                          • Michael Grondin
                            ... That may account for some of the differences, but also since you haven t provided any detail behind your summary counts, I have to assume that you get your
                            Message 13 of 19 , May 12, 2010
                              Richard V. wrote:
                              > Mike, in a nutshell, the data [I used] is the parallels and Cf's
                              > listed in the margin of the Five Gospels, by sub-sayings. I
                              > believe you used the "sources". We both recorded diffe[re]nt
                              > things from the margin.

                              That may account for some of the differences, but also since
                              you haven't provided any detail behind your summary counts,
                              I have to assume that you get your numbers by manually
                              counting your color-coded items. Such a process is prone to
                              error, both in the counting and in the original color-coding.
                              Indeed, even if the original color-coding is accurate, you might
                              come up with different numbers every time you count. Needless
                              to say, that doesn't instill confidence in your numbers. What's
                              needed is to transform your color-coding into little bitty numbers
                              that the computer can add up, and which you can share with
                              others for verification. And don't say, "Be my guest". You should
                              have done it yourself long ago. It'd be much more helpful than
                              the splashy graphics.

                              > No one is modifying the data as far as I know, certainly not me.

                              Well maybe not intentionally, but that was the effect of what you
                              did with the ears subsayings. Not taking the "Source" line in T5G
                              (which attributes these as "common lore") at face value, you read
                              the line above it (which says "Mk 4.9, etc.") as indicating a Markan
                              parallel - unfortunately ignoring the import of the "etc". In fact, ears
                              subsayings occur all over the NT, notably in Rev (7 times for the
                              7 churches, plus one more for good measure later on).

                              Aside from that, you've implied that your numbers represent
                              T5G parallels, when in fact the inclusion of cf's makes that claim
                              questionable, to say the least. While this may not count as
                              modifying the T5G data, it may count as misrepresenting it.

                              Mike
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... Have you done the calculations to demonstrate this? If so, show us your work. Or is this just a thought experiment? What do you mean by calculate out as
                              Message 14 of 19 , May 12, 2010
                                At 10:44 PM 5/11/2010, kurt31416 wrote:
                                 

                                Hi Bob,

                                I'm not chopping up Thomas when I say all the Mark parallels could be in the first third and it would calculate out as being random.

                                Have you done the calculations to demonstrate this? If so, show us your work.
                                Or is this just a thought experiment?
                                What do you mean by "calculate out as being random"? What p value do you get?

                                Of course there is a possibility that this could happen, but it's not likely.

                                Bob Schacht
                              • kurt31416
                                Hi Bob, Yes, I ll be happy to spell out the calculations explicitly. Might be some skimming this that don t realize how easy it is. The Wald-Wolfowitz Runs
                                Message 15 of 19 , May 12, 2010
                                  Hi Bob,

                                  Yes, I'll be happy to spell out the calculations explicitly. Might be some skimming this that don't realize how easy it is. The Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test is straightforward. Referring to the bottom figure at...
                                  http://www.kingdomofthefather.com/RandomnessTest.html
                                  ...Which refers to one of the many logical possibilities of all Mark parallels being in the first half. In this case, the first 39 sayings.

                                  Only three things to count.

                                  N1 = # of Mark Sayings = 21
                                  N2 = # of non-Mark Sayings = 114-21 = 93

                                  And the only one that might appear complicated, but is straightforward...

                                  Runs = number of all Mark and all non-Mark blocks = 37 (The three black ones at the beginning is 1, and then each black and white after is 1 and the 114-39 sayings after 39 being 1.

                                  Plugging those three into your excellent on-line calculator at...
                                  http://www.quantitativeskills.com/sisa/statistics/ordinal.htm
                                  ...we get...

                                  Expected Number of Runs: 35.3; sd: 3.1758
                                  z-value= 0.54689; approx. probability: 0.70777
                                  z-val= 0.7043(continuity correct.); p: 0.75939
                                  exact probability of 37 or fewer runs= 0.77331

                                  Less than one standard deviation, and very average. I deliberately made it high like that, because I wanted to overestimate the number of sayings I could cram them into. For instance, in your mind, put that black #39 Mark in saying 4 where there's now a non-Mark. In other words, 5 Marks in a row at the beginning and the last Mark at saying 37. In that case...
                                  N1 = 21 like before
                                  N2 = 93 like before
                                  Runs = 34 three less than before

                                  Plugging those into the on-line calculator we get...

                                  Expected Number of Runs: 35.3; sd: 3.1758
                                  z-value= -0.3977; approx. probability: 0.34541
                                  z-val= -0.240(continuity correct.); p: 0.40505
                                  exact probability of 34 or fewer runs= 0.36981

                                  Also very random. If I played with it, and made one with 35 Runs, half way between the two, it would be almost perfectly random as the "Expected Number of Runs: 35.3" told us all along.

                                  ------

                                  Therefore, the Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test fails miserably. It says it's perfectly random to have all 21 Mark sayings located in the first 35 sayings. And we don't need math to know that's false.

                                  -------

                                  I can generate thousands, maybe millions of similar examples of all Mark saying in the first half, and the Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test saying it's perfectly random.

                                  Can anyone state one single case where the Van Vliet Longest Run Test fails even remotely as miserably? I confess, I can't think of one.

                                  The bottom line is that the Wald-Wolfowitz Runs Test is worthless for evaluating large gaps. It only checks the "grainyness", not the big chunks.

                                  Richard Van Vliet
                                • kurt31416
                                  Mike, 1. They don t include Cf s. I included the Cf s on the site, but not in the calculations. it s pure parallels. 2. The He who has ears wasn t counted as
                                  Message 16 of 19 , May 12, 2010
                                    Mike,

                                    1. They don't include Cf's. I included the Cf's on the site, but not in the calculations. it's pure parallels.

                                    2. The "He who has ears" wasn't counted as Mark on the site. It's gray, meaning none. White would be all three, Red would be Mark. (And fine, I agree if one had to pick one, excluding it is probably best, but it's a special exemption, and far from clear it didn't come from Jesus, as far as I know, and far from clear the location of it's parallels is of no merit. And as I've demonstrated, it doesn't dramaticly alter the result.)

                                    3. I'm gonna stick with fancy graphics. I think it's key to making progress in Biblical Scholarship. It's the graphics that tipped me off about that unusual Mark gap, (and the other non-random sortings.) I've reported the results of my experiment, and given the tools where others can do the experiment themselves. Counting those colors is far faster than any other method.

                                    4. Is there a saying where it appears it's not the parallels? (Or actually isn't)?

                                    Richard Van Vliet


                                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Richard V. wrote:
                                    > > Mike, in a nutshell, the data [I used] is the parallels and Cf's
                                    > > listed in the margin of the Five Gospels, by sub-sayings. I
                                    > > believe you used the "sources". We both recorded diffe[re]nt
                                    > > things from the margin.
                                    >
                                    > That may account for some of the differences, but also since
                                    > you haven't provided any detail behind your summary counts,
                                    > I have to assume that you get your numbers by manually
                                    > counting your color-coded items. Such a process is prone to
                                    > error, both in the counting and in the original color-coding.
                                    > Indeed, even if the original color-coding is accurate, you might
                                    > come up with different numbers every time you count. Needless
                                    > to say, that doesn't instill confidence in your numbers. What's
                                    > needed is to transform your color-coding into little bitty numbers
                                    > that the computer can add up, and which you can share with
                                    > others for verification. And don't say, "Be my guest". You should
                                    > have done it yourself long ago. It'd be much more helpful than
                                    > the splashy graphics.
                                    >
                                    > > No one is modifying the data as far as I know, certainly not me.
                                    >
                                    > Well maybe not intentionally, but that was the effect of what you
                                    > did with the ears subsayings. Not taking the "Source" line in T5G
                                    > (which attributes these as "common lore") at face value, you read
                                    > the line above it (which says "Mk 4.9, etc.") as indicating a Markan
                                    > parallel - unfortunately ignoring the import of the "etc". In fact, ears
                                    > subsayings occur all over the NT, notably in Rev (7 times for the
                                    > 7 churches, plus one more for good measure later on).
                                    >
                                    > Aside from that, you've implied that your numbers represent
                                    > T5G parallels, when in fact the inclusion of cf's makes that claim
                                    > questionable, to say the least. While this may not count as
                                    > modifying the T5G data, it may count as misrepresenting it.
                                    >
                                    > Mike
                                    >
                                  • kurt31416
                                    I poorly said: 1. They don t include Cf s. I included the Cf s on the site, but not in the calculations. it s pure parallels. The Cf s are only on the
                                    Message 17 of 19 , May 13, 2010
                                      I poorly said:
                                      " 1. They don't include Cf's. I included the Cf's on the site, but not in the calculations. it's pure parallels."

                                      The Cf's are only on the individual sayings pages, and have nothing to do with the Synoptic Rainbow, the color coding by T5G sub-parallel. The Cf's have never been involved in any math I've done here.
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