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Topic: A question about straight lines
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GS Chandy

Posts: 6,946
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: A question about straight lines
Posted: Feb 2, 2014 6:57 AM
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Robert Hansen (RH) posted Feb 1, 2014 10:52 PM (http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=9377416) - GSC's remarks interspersed:
> On Feb 1, 2014, at 12:03 AM, GS Chandy
> <gs_chandy@yahoo.com> wrote:
>

> > "Children must be PUSHED (or GOADED) to learn
> math!" (and presumably everything else).
>
> Because most children would rather play with their
> friends than do times tables, solve problems or
> practice the piano.
>

Not necessarily true. It really depends, I'm fairly certain, on just *how* and *why* whatever activity is presented to those children. This is true for ALL 'learning' not just the 'learning of math'.
>
> As parents we have the valuable
> ability to make them to do these things, while they
> are young, before they become adults.
>

As parents, we also have the greater experience and physical strength to FORCE them to do a great many things that may not be the best or the right things to do: this was the 'Victorian approach', one might say, to teaching.

And a great many parents DO indeed use their greater strength and experience as adults in exactly such invidious ways.

(However, 'child rearing' has since developed and progressed a fair bit beyond such antediluvian attitudes - though obviously such development is not universal. You might have heard of one Dr Benjamin Spock, who helped to educate many parents in the US of A and elsewhere out of those antediluvian attitudes - obviously he did not succeed with all parents. In case you are interested, there is a fair bit of quite useful information about Spock here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Spock. However, as you have I believe suggested elsewhere in regard to the 'learning of math', one has actually to *feel it and experience it* in order to grow out of those antediluvian attitudes to child rearing. I observe that the worthy lessons that Dr Spock taught about child rearing have enjoyed a fair success in the US of A and elsewhere around the world - though his wisdom has obviously not been universally accepted. Some US parents still seem to feel PUSHING and GOADING are the p!
rimary means available to them to teach children).

As an analogy (metaphor?) of sorts, I note that precisely such antediluvian ideas also used to translate to whole nations and societies as well.

For example, look at the British Empire at the height of its colonial hubris. The "colonies" were believed to be incapable of ruling themselves, they were 'children' that had to be 'looked after' by the great and wise British Empire, the 'father' and 'mother' of all those colonies.

As I understand, people in the colonies of what later became the "US of A" (not "America"!) believed these fairy stories to be false and threw the great and wise 'father-mother Gt. Britain' out on their, pardon my French, royal 'arses' ('asses', in 'US speak').

Much later, the Indian colony (in those days described as the 'Jewel of the British Empire') did just that - and many other colonies also followed suit. The erstwhile colony that later became the US of A developed, as you may be aware, to become the most powerful 'nominally democratic' nation in the world. (Note: It's only 'nominal' democracy; not true democracy).

These 'children of Gt. Britain' - US of A; India; others - are still 'learning' (sometimes not very well; in fact, successful 'societal learning' has been rather rare - most such learning has been just fortuitous and happenstance).

Anyway, these erstwhile colonies have grown a fair bit in the world - without a great deal of 'parental assistance' from 'father-mother Great Britain' (whose motives were never quite as pure as claimed by 'imperialist' supporters).

But why has 'societal learning' been so rare? I claim that it is because of a lack of widespread understanding of 'systems' and how we may cope with them.
>
> And that
> discipline usually wears off on them. Making them
> more productive and accomplished adults.
>
> It?s parenting 101.
>

Ah, so THAT's where you got yourself stuck!

Check out 'parenting 401', which goes approximately as tollows:

"Children should be ENCOURAGED to learn. Should such ENCOURAGEMENT be done *effectively*, those children will also learn (teach themselves) how to PUSH themselves (and even to GOAD themselves when needed) to overcome the great many difficulties and barriers that they will encounter while learning".

I observe that:

PUSHING is done mainly 'from the rear', so to speak. (It may turn out to be a bit smelly for the PUSHER, if the PUSHEE is afflicted by borborygmy and flatulence).

ENCOURAGEMENT is done mainly 'from the front', so to speak. (To me, it appears to be entirely 'commonsensical' that parents should use their greater strength and experience to 'lead from the front' rather than to PUSH from the rear).

I am fairly sure that ENCOURAGEMENT is better [in practically all 'favorable' circumstances] for practically all human beings than PUSHING or GOADING. It would take us too far afield at this thread to go into the reasoning behind this contention of mine. Check out my OPMS website, which I hope will be up and running during 2014. OPMS is based, one might say, on 'Parenting 401' - see below, for more information about OPMS. (It is possible that people who have grown up in a PUSHING and GOADING regime may never be able to adjust to a regime where 'ENCOURAGEMENT' is the norm [without PUSHING and GOADING]).
>
> I am not sure if you are having a problem grasping
> what parenting is like, or if you just wish there was
> an easier way. I asked you before what your
> experience was raising children and you basically
> responded that it was none of my business.
>

I do recall something of the sort (though I will not now be able to access the specific mail where you asked this or my response to you). As I recall, it was the 'superior - in fact, objectionable and indeed highly offensive - attitude and manner' of your asking that led me to inform you that it was none of your business. I observe that there is a fair bit of such attitude and manner in this post of yours as well. However, be that as it may:

My 'experience' is not large by any means: two children of my own, and my elder son's three adopted grandchildren (the eldest is now around 18 years of age) - all of whom are doing pretty well with their respective lives. In fact, after I fell ill a few years ago, I have been living with my elder son at his organic farm near Bangalore, and he and his wife have been taking very good care of me.
>
> Did you
> have to make your kids study and do their homework or
> not?
>

I certainly ENCOURAGED them to study, and I tried to make the learning as interesting as possible (within my limitations). I consciously tried never to PUSH or GOAD them (though it is possible that my adult weaknesses may have occasionally led me into such unrighteous ways; any instances of PUSHING/ GOADING that may have occurred came about because of the poor 'educational - and other - systems' that are rampant in India. Come to think about it: no, there were NO instances at all of PUSHING or GOADING in regard to their studies).
>
> Did you have to make them practice the piano or
> did they naturally choose it over playing with their
> friends?
>

No. I did not at all make them practice the piano (or their math). If they approached me for help with their math or with any other subject (apart from music), I gave it to them as best I could, or I got them the right books or the right tutors. If they got poor results in their exams, I made my disappointment clear (but NEVER via PUSHING or GOADING).
>
> If there was an easier way, we would be all
> over it. We are intelligent and successful people.
> And parents.
>

There is indeed a better way than PUSHING or GOADING. I believe you may not be in a position to apply it, without a fair bit of preparation. The prerequisite is a mind that is not hermetically sealed to the ingress of new knowledge.

The 'righteous way' would be, for *intelligent* people, to ENCOURAGE instead of to PUSH or to GOAD. That would, I claim, lead to better success. It is not difficult to do - but there is a very little learning required and a fair bit of 'unlearning' before one can successfully use this 'righteous way'.
>
> Maybe it?s the element of
> competitiveness that makes us think differently about
> these things.
>

It isn't. I have 'competed' all my life, quite successfully, by and large.
>
> I have always worked for a living and
> you are aware that I had to climb up from extreme
> poverty to get to where I am. On the other hand, you
> seem to have come from money, travelled freely, and
> attended school whenever and wherever you wanted.
>

Contrary to your falsehoods above, I have competed (fairly well) all through my life.

True, I did indeed come from quite comfortable family circumstances - not from big 'money': my mother was a well-reputed doctor; my father was a very successful engineer. Those comfortable circumstances enabled me to get the books and stuff that I might have wanted or needed with no delay or difficulty at all. These were exceptionally fortunate circumstances that I was born and grew into (with no special effort on my part) - and I never cease to be thankful for these circumstances. I'm pretty sure I'd never have achieved what I've done without those circumstances.

However, after high school, most of my education was through scholarships and fellowships (though I was supported to a sizable extent by my parents particularly in regard to books and stuff that I might have wanted to buy). Yes, my schooling was done at one of the 'top level' schools in South India. After high school, I attended colleges not quite "wherever I wanted", but generally at places that gave me needed financial support via scholarships and fellowships. Later, I won a scholarship + teaching assistantship to a prestigious US university.

(ALL of this was won via fair competition, contrary to the falsehoods that you now appear to be trying to promote).

[In this context, do recall your famous false statements about OPMS being "list-making and nothing else"!!! Check out the OPMS documentation to see just how utterly false this famous Robert Hansen claim is - anyone can find out from the attachments to my post heading the thread Democracy: how to achieve it?" - http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536].
>
> Other than your failed venture with OPMS, I am not
> sure that you ever had to work.
>

Question: WHY and HOW is it that Robert Hansen thus lies in his arguments with GSC? Does he believe that his lies will prevail?

The above suggestion from Robert Hansen is one more instance of his well-known falsehoods: for instance, OPMS is an ongoing venture, which has enjoyed some quite remarkable success, though admittedly it has not yet enjoyed the dazzling worldwide success I had hoped for. But it has been entirely successful wherever and whenever it has been tried out.

[I did fail to get my financiers at Interactive LogicWare, ILW, to use it in their work for ILW (which led to the demise of that Company). I have failed in quite a few cases to get various people to check it out in person: it does require a fair bit of 'intellectual discipline' to do that: many people are, by virtue of our incompetent educational systems, unable to put in sustained intellectual effort into the things that they do].

Contrary to your falsehoods, I've been pretty successful in my career:

- -- I have worked, largely (not entirely) supporting myself since the age of 17 or so. Not because I HAD to, but because I ENJOYED working. (True, I generally worked only at jobs I enjoyed doing - I was fortunate that way, too). Anyway, 'working' was the culture I was bred into, by the examples set by both my parents (this is contrary to your falsehoods);

- -- first major, professional job in in advertising where I rapidly rose to be 'Creative Controller' in the leading advertising agency in India at that time. Gave up advertising as a profession because we needed to tell a great many lies in support of our clients. As you may (or may not) be aware, I do strongly object to the lies that rule a great many parts of our society;

- -- some freelance journalism all along (since my schooldays);

- -- set up and very successfully ran a small scale industrial unit, which grew to be one of the largest units of its kind in the South. At one stage, I employed some 65 highly-skilled carpenters;

- -- at this point, I got into 'systems science' primarily because of the very sorry state of individual, organisational and societal systems in India and around the world (INCLUDING your systems in the US of A: elsewhere in your post, you have acknowledged the sorry state of the way things are in the US of A).

My aim in 'systems science was, mainly, "to develop means to enable people create more effective systems for themselves". This became successful after I met the late John N. Warfield in 1979. (I have admittedly not been as successful as I would have liked to be in 'promoting' the OPMS as a concept worldwide. Mainly, this is because I always call a spadeful of crap exactly by that very name - while monied and powerful people would generally prefer to refer to it, perhaps, as 'Chanel No. 5' or something of that nature. Last month, I lost an investor who was looking to invest Rs 20 million in 'some project' - and I told him his ideas were worth less than nothing.

I observe that you have elsewhere in this post of yours acknowledged the sorry state of the US of A - though you've been entirely unable to understand why, how and from where this sorry state arises: it really is because your societal systems are very badly screwed up [as are the societal systems in a great many nations around the world, including India]).

The late Winston Churchill once came out with a saying that could be truly profound: "First, we shape our buildings", said he. "Then, our buildings shape us". (Just substitute the word "systems" for "buildings" and you will have a piece of wisdom that will be true for all time to come).
>
> At least Kirby has a
> resume of odd jobs. I haven?t seen even that much from
> you. I have worked, literally and continuously, since I
> was 14.
>

Robert Hansen appears to be under the mistaken notion that he is the only person in the world who has successful worked!! I might usefully point out that there are quite a few other people in the world who have indeed worked (including GSC), some of them quite successfully; some of them have failed. (Because of mainly 'systemic issues', the number of 'failures' is significantly larger than the number of 'successes').

Question: WHY and HOW is it that Robert Hansen thus lies in his arguments with GSC? Does he believe that his lies will prevail?

It is my belief (and hope) that ultimately the truth must prevail.
>
> I am only pointing this out because that would make a
> huge difference in our experiences and thoughts on
> how to raise children.
>

Question: WHY and HOW is it that Robert Hansen thus lies in his arguments with GSC? Does he believe that his lies will prevail?
>
>I want my son to be the best
> he can be because I feel he will need this as an
> adult in order to make a life for himself.
>

And your underlying 'philosophy' to "make your son the best he can be" is is to PUSH and GOAD him into learning math (and doubtless other stuff)?

His personal interests and wishes have little or no bearing on what he does and how he does it?

Congratulations to you!

OK, that is Robert Hansen's famous 'philosophy of teaching and life'. Let's check out, in say, 10-15 years' time whether the PUSHING and GOADING is better than the ENCOURAGEMENT that I recommend.

Of course, this would be only a single case, not amounting to a 'scientific proof' whichever way it may turn out.
>
> Especially with how our nation is now.
>

Yes indeed. ESPECIALLY that!

Though I must accept that the world as a whole is in truth in no better shape than is Robert Hansen's US of A.

There are several good and very profound investigations of WHY your nation and the world around are in the manifold message they are in now. I believe you may not understand any of them, given your current attitudes and approach to life. Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Economics Nobel Prize, has some useful ideas on the matter (http://www.josephstiglitz.com/). Howard Zinn also has many useful insights to provide as well.

However: Most of these messes have arisen, I believe, because of the grievously mistaken notion that "Humans are the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!". (They are not, by any means, and we may be about to arrive at this realisation).
>
> And I have never seen
> this to be as easy as just asking him to be the best
> he can be. It involves a competitive spirit, a spirit
> you are likely not going to understand if you have
> never had to compete. I am the coach, he is the
> player, the game is life.
>
> Bob Hansen
>

There is 'constructive competition' and there is 'destructive competition'. The USA has long been the home of 'destructive competition'.

I shan't at this time go into the details of the differences between 'A' and 'B' - as that would require 'prose + structural graphics' (p+sg) to discuss effectively (and interactively).

But let's check out, in say 10 to 15 years' time just how successful you have been, "Coach". At that point, do check out the OPMS also. Of course, I realise that a sound scientific evaluation would require a statistical study of many more cases than one - OPMS will have plenty of case studies for you.

(It is, however, rather unlikely that I shall be around at that time).

GSC
("Still Shoveling! Not PUSHING!! Not GOADING!!!")


Date Subject Author
1/26/14
Read A question about straight lines
Neighbor
1/26/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
kirby urner
1/27/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
Neighbor
1/27/14
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Robert Hansen
1/27/14
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Bishop, Wayne
1/27/14
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kirby urner
1/27/14
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Neighbor
1/27/14
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Robert Hansen
1/27/14
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Neighbor
1/27/14
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Neighbor
1/28/14
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Neighbor
1/28/14
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Robert Hansen
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Robert Hansen
1/28/14
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Neighbor
1/28/14
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Robert Hansen
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Neighbor
1/28/14
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Robert Hansen
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Robert Hansen
1/28/14
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Neighbor
1/28/14
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1/28/14
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1/28/14
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1/28/14
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1/28/14
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1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/28/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/29/14
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Robert Hansen
1/29/14
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Bishop, Wayne
1/29/14
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GS Chandy
1/29/14
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Domenico Rosa
1/29/14
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Neighbor
1/29/14
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Joe Niederberger
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1/29/14
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Domenico Rosa
1/30/14
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1/29/14
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Joe Niederberger
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Neighbor
1/29/14
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Robert Hansen
1/29/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/29/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/29/14
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Robert Hansen
1/30/14
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Neighbor
1/29/14
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Robert Hansen
1/29/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/30/14
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1/29/14
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1/30/14
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1/30/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/30/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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kirby urner
1/30/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Neighbor
1/30/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Neighbor
1/31/14
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Robert Hansen
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Robert Hansen
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Neighbor
1/31/14
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Robert Hansen
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Joe Niederberger
1/31/14
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Robert Hansen
1/31/14
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Neighbor
1/31/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
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1/31/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
GS Chandy
1/31/14
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GS Chandy
1/31/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
GS Chandy
1/31/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
Joe Niederberger
2/1/14
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GS Chandy
2/1/14
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Robert Hansen
2/1/14
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kirby urner
2/1/14
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2/1/14
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2/1/14
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2/1/14
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2/2/14
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2/2/14
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2/1/14
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2/2/14
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2/2/14
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2/2/14
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GS Chandy
2/2/14
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2/2/14
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GS Chandy
2/2/14
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Robert Hansen
2/2/14
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Joe Niederberger
2/2/14
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GS Chandy
2/2/14
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Robert Hansen
2/2/14
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GS Chandy
2/4/14
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GS Chandy
2/4/14
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GS Chandy
2/4/14
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2/8/14
Read Re: A question about straight lines
GS Chandy

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