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  1. #76
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    I find this thread interesting, depressing, concerning and slightly funny! I am probably one of the people that many of you would consider an amateur. I am fairly new to web design and development and I still have a lot to learn, but I am doing it because I love it and I can see the power that the internet has to connect people.

    I am from a business background and have held fairly senior positions, including one at a very successful British internet business. At this business I was on the commerical side of the fence and made many of the decisions that the developers had to act on. I have nothing but the highest respect for the developers.

    Why? Partly because at the time I did not have much understanding of how these guys actually coded the site to make it work in a way that I and the usablity team wanted. So I was fascinated by what they could do. Partly because they were a professional bunch of people who knew what they were doing. Partly they took their work very seriously and almost always delivered what I needed for the business to make money. If it wasn't for them, we would have made no money.

    Understanding html and css does not make you a web designer. I can run but I am no athelte. I can write, but I am not a novelist or a journalist. I can cook, but I am not a chef.
    A web designer is someone who can transform a business internet pressence into a real and valuable part of their marketing and/or sales function. A web designer needs to understand graphic design, marketing, usablity, customer experiance and branding. And the branding part if probably one of the most important. A web designer has to create a site that not only adheres to, but enhances the clients brand.
    Can a high school kid be a real web designer? No. From my experiance in the business world, I would never consider working with anyone who could not prove that they can deliver results for my business and lift its online pressence to the next level.


    And I haven't even started on the skills required to be a good web developer yet!

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    They might care a lot more if web designers bothered to inform them.



    It isn't just about Firefox or performance. There are other good browsers. There are various servers, server side languages and databases to choose from. And security is an issue that many businesses care about.

    For years, I thought Microsoft was the only act in town - because none of the "experts" I consulted informed me otherwise. I use Dreamweaver, and the Dreamweaver forum might as well have been a Microsoft subsidiary. Only after I discovered open source software did I realize the "salesmanship" that was occurring on the Dreamweaver forum and others. Yet when someone suggests an alternative, they turn the tables, claiming WE'RE the ones who are engaging in salesmanship or "zealotry."

    There's nothing wrong with informing one's clients. And the excuse that "they don't care" is totally lame - and unprofessional.

    I think you have got it wrong here. A business person cares about his/her business and making money. A business person wants you to care about the techincal side and give him/her the best solution for his project. If you said to me (when I was in the business persons shoes) - we have to use a table less layout using CSS because it adheres to W3C's latest standards, I would say " Will it make me more money? Will it make my brand more powerful? Will I get more sales? If the answer is no, then I don't care. If you believe that that is way to do it, then do it that way. But I only care about the things that really matter to my business"

    In terms of this whole internet explorer /firefox debate. Yes I agree firefox is 100 times better than internet explorer and I would never use internet explorer myself. But the fact of the matter is, c85% of the public use Internet Explorer. Thats 85% of the clients market. If I were a client and you came to be talking about the value of firefox over internet explorer, I would think you are wasting my time. I would want you to develop the product that is going to be right for the 85% of the public, not the 15%. Frankly, if the product did not work as well in Firefox as it did in Internet Explorer, I probably wouldn't lose any sleep.

    There is nothing wrong with wed designers/developers lifting the profile of firefox or other alternatives, and in fact you should. But please don't bother clients with this because they do not have the time to care.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    They might care a lot more if web designers bothered to inform them....
    There's nothing wrong with informing one's clients. And the excuse that "they don't care" is totally lame - and unprofessional.
    You're once again missing the point (yet proving it at the same time). You seem to be focused on matters that you care about while you should be focusing on what your clients care about. Clients do not care about the technicalities of how you perform your job, they only care that the resulting web site meets the objectives and goals required of it. Sure, if you bring up the subject of browser compatibility, of course they'll suddenly care about it (for all of 10 seconds), but you shouldn't need to bring this up; as a professional web developer it's just par of the course that you should create a standards adhering site that works well in all modern browsers - you don't need to keep congratulating yourself about this.

    If I spoke to two web developers and one was bleating on a W3C and web 2.0, while the other sat me down and talked through my existing business problems and explained how the web could solve them, which one do you think will get the project? Is it any wonder people have such lack of respect for web developers when so many seem to completely miss the point as to why these clients are contacting them in the first place?

  4. #79
    SitePoint Enthusiast Silverhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    Clients do not care about the technicalities of how you perform your job, they only care that the resulting web site meets the objectives and goals required of it.
    Quoted for truth.

    geosite, as a web developer you could recommend a browser to your client. However you can't expect him to recommend it to his customers. So your solution still has to work on what his customer base would be using.

    The client should not need to know the technical details unless it is relevant. I follow the W3C standards as much as i can, but I rarely ever explain it to the clients unless they prompt for an explanation on web standards. Even then I explain only in terms of how it helps their business.

    You do have a point, but remember... "how" you say something is just as important as "what" you want to say. The responses you've gotten in this topic alone should indicante which area you need to work on.

  5. #80
    SitePoint Addict elemental70's Avatar
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    no, most clients don't care about browsers. Infact I had one client want me to code his site so it worked perfectly in netscape 4!. Told him no can do and sold him on the BENEFITS of a more up to date site. Most clients don't understand that to have a site that makes money they need to have a marketing campaign specifically for the web. I had one client once the site was done, tell me they were unhappy that they were not on the search engines, even after I told them they need to regularly update me with new content and we need to work on a marketing strategy.
    Not to down clients, but they seem a) not willing to do the work WITH YOU long term and b) Heaven help you when you tell them that yes its an ongoing expense and yes you need to pay me for my expertise if you want to see your site grow, flourish and make you money long term and NO it won't happen overnight.

    Thats the problem they want get rich quick and no work. Sorry, no go.
    Didn't mean to rant. I just got fed up with this aspect and now have maybe one or two clients that understand these things are seeing growth in their websites and are in a business relationship with me, and we all benefit.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japhi
    Just because I work on my truck or do my own plumbing doesn't make me a mechanic or a plumber. It follow that just because I have 5 websites, I am not a web developer.

    There needs to be a certification process for Web Developers backed by a strong professional association. Good developers should be able to distiguish themselves from hobbyists, apprentices and imposters. Untill there is, clients will continue to get burned, compensation wil continue to soften and the industry will not get respect.
    I think the CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) Certification is a good step in that direction. If more people would make use of it, it could become the standard.
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Holy cow, how in the world would technology advance if everyone just stuck with what they have, never testing other products and ideas??? That's what your ideas all boil down to - just use what your boss or neighbor is using, irregardless of quality or security.
    No, my ideas boil down to doing my job, not jumping up on a soapbox and hijacking forum threads (or my clients' time and websites) to push Firefox.

    Browsers aren't related to web developers??? How about Dreamweaver, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL...do you suppose those programs have anything to do with web development? Sheesh.
    I'm going to assume a low literacy rate. The browser your CLIENT uses is of no importance to you other than testing to make sure your work functions in it.

    To put it another way, most professionals are in a position to recommend SOMETHING. After alll, they're supposed to have an exceptional knowledge of their field. So WHAT could or should web developers recommend? I assume we can recommend a server side language, and I would hope that most web developers recommend their clients embrace CSS. So what's the problem with recommending a browser? Why does it gall you so much?
    I don't recommend anything. I provide my requirements, they fulfill them. Essentially I say "Get me a server from [here] with [this] and [that]". What I choose to use personally is of no bearing to my relationship with a client.

    What about security? Overall netsurfing experience?
    An address bar is an address bar. They're about the same on all 3 browsers. That big white box that displays the page is about the same too.

    It sounds like you're the one with an agenda. Why are you so frightened by the idea of letting the outside world know there are alternatives to Internet Explorer? You sound like another generation that was horrified by the notion that the Earth is round.
    Oh please.

    Have you hijacked the thread enough? Can you spam your spreadfirefox url already and leave so we can resume discussing why people like yourself are such poor representatives of the web dev industry and justifiably result in a general lack of respect?

  8. #83
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    Originally Posted by geosite
    What is there to "possibly get away with"??? I mean, how hard is it to merely SUGGEST using a better browser, a particular server side language or to recommend adhering to web standards?
    Firstly the server side language is probably going to either going to be your choice (for a client who has no idea) or the same one as they are already using (and if you don't know it, then you can reject the job). For most medium size jobs there shouldn't be a need to spend a lot of time deciding which languages should be used.
    As to standards, the designer should be using them, and few clients will know what they are or care.
    Browsers? Sure make a quick suggestion in passing, but you're being paid to make a website, not be their sysadmin. Let them decide what software they use.

    As to security, mind explaining how it's relevant? If you've designed your backend securly then it won't matter what browser they use.
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
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    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  9. #84
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elemental70
    no, most clients don't care about browsers. Infact I had one client want me to code his site so it worked perfectly in netscape 4!. Told him no can do and sold him on the BENEFITS of a more up to date site. Most clients don't understand that to have a site that makes money they need to have a marketing campaign specifically for the web. I had one client once the site was done, tell me they were unhappy that they were not on the search engines, even after I told them they need to regularly update me with new content and we need to work on a marketing strategy.
    Not to down clients, but they seem a) not willing to do the work WITH YOU long term and b) Heaven help you when you tell them that yes its an ongoing expense and yes you need to pay me for my expertise if you want to see your site grow, flourish and make you money long term and NO it won't happen overnight.

    Thats the problem they want get rich quick and no work. Sorry, no go.
    Didn't mean to rant. I just got fed up with this aspect and now have maybe one or two clients that understand these things are seeing growth in their websites and are in a business relationship with me, and we all benefit.
    Why apologize? You didn't do anything wrong. In fact, you hit the nail right on the head.

    One of the problems with the Web design industry today is that it is over-populated by people who put coding practices before their clients' needs. I'm all for adherence to Web standards (in fact I recently debated with a client over the use of them, but that client was building a Web application, and had sub-contracted the front-end development to me), but we have to put our clients' needs first.

    Adherence to Web standards (usability, accessibility, etc) is the means to that end. Clients want a site that will enhance their brand awareness, draw people to their sites and spend their money (either directly by purchasing something online, going to the physical outlet--you really think a dentist can fill that cavity for you on his Web site?--or indirectly, by clicking on advertisments that are placed on the site). Ensuring that the site is usable, functional, and accessible is how we ensure that the clients can serve the maximum number of people possible.

    It doesn't matter if the visitor (or the client) uses Internet Explorer or not. It is OUR job to design, develop, and implement a site that will work correctly on browsers ranging from Amaya to Safari (sorry, tried to pull a "from A to Z" here, but S was as far as I could go).

    So, let's recap what our jobs really are, shall we?

    It is our job to (this list is by no means complete):
    * Create sites that establish or enhance our client's brand and presence.
    * Create sites that will generate more leads or sales (make the client money) or, in the case of informational sites, get the word out (inform, educate, etc). If the site is a community, it is our job to create the interface for the community (and I don't mean simply slapping SMF or vBulletin on a Web server and calling it a day either).
    * Create sites that will keep the clients' customers (or clients) at their site (or to go to their physical location, if a doctor, lawyer, dentist, therapist, etc) rather than their competition.
    * Create and help maintain the sites we create so they will rank well in the search engines and traditional media outlets (it's called marketing, people) and make people want to come to the Web site and or physical outlet (store, office).
    * Help the clients maintain their sites so they are updated regularly with new content (whether that content is articles, features, products, services, your dog Larry - ok, that last one was a joke).

    We do this by (again, this list is by no means complete):
    * Adhering to established Web standards (HTML/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, cross-browser/operating system/version compatibility, usability, accessibility for all, not just the disabled) and best practices.
    * Properly formatting and commenting our code.
    * Optimizing our graphics.
    * Ensuring that the products we deliver work just as well on dialup connections and broadband (DSL or better).
    * Working with the client to ensure that throughout the course of the job they hired us to do that we are meeting their needs - afterall, the customer is (almost) always right.
    * Degrades gracefully in older and alternative user agents (Internet Explorer 4, Netscape 4, Lynx, Web enabled cell phones, PDAs, you get the idea), as well as those modern user agents that have images and/or client-side scripting disabled (I wrote this to emphasize point #1 in this list).
    * Thoroughly testing our work product with as many people as possible prior to launch. I don't just mean sitting someone in front of a computer and watch how they try to navigate through your site, either. Web copy (the actual content) is just as important to test as well. Journalists aim for a fifth grade reading level in their work - Web copy should aim to this level as well - not because it's easier to read by the largest segement of the target population (those that can read the language that the content is published in), but also because it's best to write the content in plain English (or French, or Russian, or Japanese - I'm sure you get the idea now).

    Why do we do this? Because whether we are freelancing, work for an in-house Web design team, or own our businesses (by business I mean a legal entity that is licensed by the state, province or country you live in - techncially, at least in Illinois anyway, freelancers are automatically considered to be their own one-person business), we are here to create, develop and maintain relationships. Whether those relationships are with other businesses, or the public at large, we depend on those relationships to get us new leads, which leads to more work for us. If we are professional in our attitudes, dependable and reliable (getting what the client wants when they want it), we will earn their respect, which will help portray us as the experts in our field, which in turn will make it easier on us, since we will be the first person clients usually go to (rather than outsourcing the job to the boss' cousin's ten year old kid who probably knows just enough about Web design to be dangerous) for new design work. Yes, I care about the money I make. I have to. Money pays the bills. But we are in business to create relationships with clients that will allow us to pay the bills, not expand our portfolio.

    I consider "Web designers" who care about only their portfolios and how much money they can get out of a client to be "drive-by" Web designers. They come in, design the site, take your money and leave, never to be heard from again. Just like a marauding street gang who drives down the street, rolls down the window, and shoots a rival gang member's house, hitting little Jimmy and Caroline in the process, these individuals (drive-by designers) hurt and devalue our industry with their practices.

    Others in this thread have said that we need to be regulated by the government. To that, I say not just no, but HELL NO. I say this not just because I'm a person who believes that the best government is small government, but also because I am a strong believer in the principle of "survival of the fittest." It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. We are competing not just against each other, but also against those who seek to increase the size of their bank accounts at the expense of their clients and the people their clients serve.

    So, how do we increae the general levels of respect by the business community? Same way we get respect by our peers. We earn it. We go out there, act like the mature adults we all should strive to be, and get the job done. Clients don't care that we were unable to get their site done on time because we had to take Fluffy to the vet to get her shots, or that we missed that important phone call because we had to take little Diane to her recital, or even pick up little Christopher from soccer practice. We are running businesses, whether we like it or not. We have to act like professionals if we are ever going to be treated with the respect we feel like we deserve.

    Which leads to my final point.

    Leave the ego at home. We deserve two things in life. Jack and, well you know (and please, don't post that four letter word here--even if you self-censor it). And Jack left town. If we want something, we have to work for it. Earn it. Only when others treat us with the respect we worked so hard to achieve, will we finally deserve it.

  10. #85
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    If we want something, we have to work for it. Earn it. Only when others treat us with the respect we worked so hard to achieve, will we finally deserve it.
    My hat off to you, your post pretty much says it all. You are a true proffessional -- Datura
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  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by franzdavid
    There is nothing wrong with wed designers/developers lifting the profile of firefox or other alternatives, and in fact you should. But please don't bother clients with this because they do not have the time to care.
    Please enlighten me - exactly how much time does the average client have to care?

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by fkr
    Have you hijacked the thread enough? Can you spam your spreadfirefox url already and leave so we can resume discussing why people like yourself are such poor representatives of the web dev industry and justifiably result in a general lack of respect?
    After ranting about Firefox (as I've pointed out several times, it's much bigger than Firefox) and dodging my question about security, you suggest that web developers get no respect because of people who think web developers should take charge of their profession. Wow, this thread has become much deeper than many of his realized. It's something Sigmund Freud might have appreciated...

  13. #88
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    The security thing is not an issue. For a page to exploit a vulnerability in any browser, the person creating/managing the page has to ADD the exploit. My work and presumably most sitepoint users' work is no threat to anyone's browser.

    I'm done responding to you. I don't believe you're working as a web developer in any professional capacity and your rhetoric about ms/ms alternatives is both irrelevant and boring.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Please enlighten me - exactly how much time does the average client have to care?
    I would say the average business person (client) has zero time to care about the benefit of firefox over internet explorer. They care about the survival of their business. Therefore they care about their customers and getting new customers. If 85% of their potential customers are using Internet Explorer, why should they care about any alternatives?

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    Quote Originally Posted by franzdavid
    I would say the average business person (client) has zero time to care about the benefit of firefox over internet explorer. They care about the survival of their business. Therefore they care about their customers and getting new customers. If 85% of their potential customers are using Internet Explorer, why should they care about any alternatives?
    FORGET Firefox. How much time do they have to care about the sum total of a web developer's knowledge? Would they like to know if their website could or should somehow be designed to make better use of ANY better browser, or suite of browsers? Might they CARE about security? Might they care about their choice of server side language if they knew one was free, while the other led to more expensive hosting, at the very least?

    Business people who don't care about fundamental business decisions such as these don't merit much respect as business people. They deserve web developers who have muzzled themselves.

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by franzdavid
    If 85% of their potential customers are using Internet Explorer, why should they care about any alternatives?
    Because 15% of their potential customers are NOT using Internet Explorer, and their numbers are growing?

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    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    If that's the way you feel, then you'll quickly find yourself in an unemployment line asking for a handout with that attitude.

    You may want to read my post on this matter.

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    FORGET Firefox. How much time do they have to care about the sum total of a web developer's knowledge?
    They are paying you because you have the knowledge to create an online pressence that works for their business. That is a given.
    Would they like to know if their website could or should somehow be designed to make better use of ANY better browser, or suite of browsers?
    No. They want you to make a website that works in every single browser. And if there are any cross brower problems, they want the site to work in the most popular browser out there. And whether we like or not, that is Internet Explorer.
    Might they CARE about security?
    Of course. They will expect you to make a site that is as secure as it can be.
    Might they care about their choice of server side language if they knew one was free, while the other led to more expensive hosting, at the very least?
    Yes of course. Surely in your pitch you will say, we can develop a site in php which will cost X over the next 5 years in hosting, or we can develop it in asp.net which will cost Y over the next 5 years in hosting.
    Business people who don't care about fundamental business decisions such as these don't merit much respect as business people. They deserve web developers who have muzzled themselves.
    Some of these factors are fundaments that they should care about, and some are fundamentals that only you as the web developer should care about and the client should have the confidence in your abilites that you will deliver the best product for them.

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Because 15% of their potential customers are NOT using Internet Explorer, and their numbers are growing?
    Your site should work in all browers so that 100% of potental customers can use it properly.

    If, for some reason, it will not work properly in one brower, than the brower that it should definitly work in 100% of the time is Internet Explorer.

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    Based on some of the attitudes we've seen displayed on this page, I'd like to suggest a motto for the web developer community:

    "We know you don't have time to care - and neither do we!"

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    Please enlighten me - exactly how much time does the average client have to care?
    Geosite, If you had a minimal experience in the field, you would know that the client's time is YOUR MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE. He won't have time to listen to your thoughts, to be interested by standards and that sort of stuff and you'll be lucky if he has time to close the deal with you, and sign your cheque.

    And, sorry to be harsh at you, but your sites are the exempla of why we lack people's respect.

    "Begin your political activism by downloading the browser that threatens the Microsoft monopoly!" (and btw give me some change by installing the patriotic Firefox with the Google Toolbar)

  22. #97
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Exactly. Business owners are busy people. They're running around doing the jobs of 20 people at times, and simply don't have the time to sit down and listen to a lecture by a self-styled crusading zealot on why they should be using one browser over another.

    Look at it this way. If you're going to spend your time galavanting about how evil Microsoft is, and your direct competitor, Jim Jones Consulting (I made the name up), is telling the same client how the sites he has designed increased his clients' revenues by an average of forty percent last year, improved the image and reputation of his clients tenfold, led to new business opportunities to his clients to expand into other markets, and (on top of that) invites the client and all of his employees to the company picnic next Saturday, who do you think the prospect is going to award the contract to? You, or the professional? I'll bet the farm the professional gets the contract any day of the week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frox
    And, sorry to be harsh at you, but your sites are the exempla of why we lack people's respect.
    More baloney and red herrings. The bottom line is this: If you want people to respect you, you have to respect yourself. That means taking charge of your profession, not following a bunch of dumb sheep. I saw EXACTLY the same mentality in public education, and that's EXACTLY why today's teachers get no respect.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Exactly. Business owners are busy people. They're running around doing the jobs of 20 people at times, and simply don't have the time to sit down and listen to a lecture by a self-styled crusading zealot on why they should be using one browser over another.
    Can the propaganda. It is NOT just about the superiority of ONE BROWSER over another, and one does not have to be a "crusading zealot" to inform one's customers about the realities of web design. In fact, your continuing propaganda marks you as the zealot.

  25. #100
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Sounds like everyone's been brainwashed except for you, geo.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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