Book Review:

85| Book Review: Talking To Strangers By Malcolm Gladwell 1
Author, Writer, & Podcaster
Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and David and Goliath. He is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts Revisionist History, which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and Broken Record, where he, Rick Rubin, and Bruce Headlam interview musicians across a wide range of genres. Gladwell has been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and touted as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.
Malcolm Gladwell

Talking To Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don't Know

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn't true? 

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed - scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There's even a theme song - Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout". 

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know. And because we don't know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world. 

Book summary source from amazon

  • Ransom's Related Book Recommendation


    As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie.

    In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.

    Book summary from Amazon

Talking To Strangers Book Cover

Episode Transcriptions Unedited, Auto-Generated.

Tyson (00:15):

Go to the social chameleon show where it's our go to help you learn growing, transforming the person gonna become today. It's book review time. We're doing talking to strangers. What we should know about the people we don't know by Malcolm Gladwell, a great author. You don't know anything about him? Quick little summary about the book here. How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Novell Chamberlin think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why our campus sexual assaults on the rise do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other. That isn't true while tackling these questions. Malcolm Gladwell was not, was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear in the audio version of talking to strangers. You'll hear the voices of people who interviewed scientists, criminologists, military psychologists, court transcripts are brought to life with reenactments.

Tyson (01:08):

You actually, you actually hear the contestants arrests of Sandra bland by the roadside in Texas, as Gladwell revisit the descriptions of Marnie beta ber. Bernie made off the trial of Amanda Knox and the suicide of Sylvia Plath. You directly hear from many of the players in these real life. Tragedies there's even a theme song. It's pretty good. The audio book is just absolutely amazing. If you're not into audio books, you don't normally listen to audiobooks. I recommend absolutely getting this audio book. It is so, so much fun. If you don't know, Malcolm Gladwell is I'll use, he's a staff writer at the new Yorker since 96, and he's also author of tipping point blink outliers, and what the dog saw. Also great books as well. Ransom impressions. What are you, what are you thinking about this boat? Look at it as, I didn't know that he wrote the book outliers, probably another one.

Tyson (02:01):

If I want to check out too, that book is absolutely amazing. It's a really great book. That's where that that that, that theory got popularized. The 10,000 hour rule is a 10,000 hours of practice to get mastery. That's where that came from. I don't, I'm not saying he invented it, but that's where that got popularized. I mean, just in general, like people that don't know outliers are like, you know, you have a standard deviation, so like, things are allowed to be within a certain range, but every now and then, you know, something goes awry and you can have your standard deviation, which is here. And then your outliers out here, like, how did that get there? Right? Like Michael Jordan, or, you know the late Kobe Bryant, those guys are beyond the norm of even the highest level of NBA players. But I mean, you can do that on anything. It was just like, you know, for even cars that get produced at the factory, it's like, you know, a lot of them are standard deviation,

Ransom (03:00):

But then you get this one, like, bro, what's up with the radio. Why does he keep turning on every hour and turn off on its own? Or

Tyson (03:06):

If you get a Tesla, every other one has got problems.

Ransom (03:12):

Hey man, their stock is up, bro. [inaudible] Quality is so horrible at the time of this. I was like, that's crazy. But anyway yeah, that was another book that I was going to look at reading and stuff, but yeah, as far as I did not read the actual book, so I'm not sure, you know, as far as how it compares, but for me, the audio book experience was actually really good. Yeah. I like how he has a lot of reenactments of the summer stuff and he actually has the real interviews. Like you can hear them talking and there were actually some of them like, you'll hear him like asking the question in the background is kind of weird. I was like, Oh, he's actually on the background and you're talking. And then like here, you can actually hear the person, give the answer to the questions.

Ransom (04:00):

But you know, there's a lot of court cases in here. And then there's a lot of stuff in here that you know, is done by voice actors. But to me it was none the wiser, I don't know what these people are. When I listened to it, I was like, Oh, this is like just this something to like a documentary. Like, it doesn't even feel like a book. Like, you know, he'll be like, Oh, you know, this person walks into the CIA and then like, you hear this voice acting like, start saying it and stuff. And you're like, Oh wait, that's kinda cool. And then you hear another voice actor, like questioning his mode. It's like, okay, well, how did you get this information about blah, blah? And it's like, cool, but yeah,

Tyson (04:37):

Yeah. Or, or real, real transcript type tapes or whatever that, that were, that, you know, were evidence or whatever it is, you know, they, they play back.

Ransom (04:48):

Well, I have simply read it out as if like they were actually in the court and stuff. Cool. Yeah.

Tyson (04:54):

Or archival, there's a lot of archival audio that they use in place of somebody reading as it's really, really well done. If you've ever heard his podcast, revisionist history. It's very, well-produced like, like that very high quality production, like you're saying like a documentary kind of thing.

Ransom (05:12):

Yeah. And it just, it just has that kind of feel, I'm sure the book has a very similar feel to it. If you guys are still down or it but for me, definitely this book, you know, turns a lot of, you know, questions as to, you know, what we normally think. And I guess for me, I'm not trying to say, I can predict his book in any way or anything about it, but I'm kind of like that outlier person, you know, in the book he talks about like the Holy fool kind of thing. Like I'm that kind of person that I just like, I see what society does and they, they go down the path and like everybody's all the people in the world right. Are within standard deviation. And I'm kind of that person that is on the outside. So it's actually nice to hear him talk about this kind of stuff in a way that you know, a lot of people can relate to and a lot of people can get the points that he you know, that he's trying to eat, can pick up what he's laying down on, if he's what I'm trying to say.

Ransom (06:11):

Right. But and you know, and that when you hear all of these stories, he's like, you just get the example and it just drives it home. Yeah, like there, there's a lot of things about society that just in general, they have us vulnerable to, you know, some of the, some of the worst things which he does talk about in the book, but it's kind of cool. I did like the book. Very, very awesome, very great recommendation. The book is amazing.

Tyson (06:37):

I'm glad you liked one. That's good. Yeah. I got a, I got a preview. I subscribe to this podcast or read it. I love his podcast and I got a preview of that. One chapter was a podcast episode. I was like, Whoa, I got it. This is what the books like. I really like, I was already interested in the books I'm interested in. This is like, the book is like, I was like, this is going to be fun. And boy did it not disappoint. I mean, not only is Malcolm Gladwell and in my opinion, just an amazing author. He does so such thorough research and he takes his time writing these books. I think it was like seven years between his, this book and his last one. And he just takes a lot of time just going through, like you were saying, he actually goes, and if he can sit down with the person that was there, interviews them and, and extrapolates from them, their, you know, accounts of the situations, you know, with the, you know, whatever facts or, you know, or things that already established.

Tyson (07:28):

And he just such a good job of just laying out each concept. And then, you know, having that main, main idea and then wrapping in these little breadcrumbs that says like, this is, here's some more examples to it's, you know, to, you know show off the, the greater idea, so many great stories and just makes it real easy to digest the information and relate to it and get to a lot of times, and it become like, Oh yeah. Oh, I used to think that too. Like now I'm wrong? Like what? So that's supposed to grill fun.

Ransom (07:59):

Yeah, no, no, that's good. That's good. So I guess so for those of you that want to read a book, sorry, spoiler alert. We're going to tell you know, some of the good stories, not all of them, but you know, more than a few of the good stories here take that dive into it. But anyway, yeah.

Tyson (08:18):

Well, we're going to go through just, I guess, three of the things that really stuck out to us that we really enjoyed. So the two, I guess the three concepts are coupling default to truth and transparency slash mismatch. Those are the three areas we kind of picked out that we wanted to chat about on the episode, but there's still so much more to the book. And I said, experience is great. I've read it three times already. It's just so much fun to go back through and just listen to stories again and hear these different things. And chow is really good. The challenge, a lot of the assumptions, we have a lot of things we think we know, or we think we've learned from TV society or whatever

Tyson (08:56):

It is that it's like, Oh, this is just how it is. Like, you know, and really the challenge that, you know, especially like lying and different stuff like that, like how horrible we are, even the professionals so much fun.

Ransom (09:09):

What was out there, I guess. So I'm not sure which one you want to start on, but I guess we'll just start with the first one he starts within the book, I guess, which is basically default to truth. Yeah. So, you know, he goes into, I guess I want to say like the first four or five chapters are all about the subject of like defaulted truth. And it's just like example after example of like what, you know, what society does and, you know, he makes a good point in the book. It's like, we are normally default to truth as humans because we need to coexist and to a society. And like that benefits us, which is great. However, you know, the downside of that can be rather catastrophic depending on whatever the situation is, you know? So, you know, defaulted truth is basically just believing somebody at, you know, at a glance or just looking at the outside surface and being like, okay, I see what this person's about. And it's, it's crazy. Cause you know, I mean, we do that on a regular basis. Everybody's guilty of it. I'm guilty of it too, not a lie. But there's just times when it's, it's crazy. I don't know. I, I guess we can use your favorite story to explain that. I don't know why you like,

Tyson (10:31):

I just, I just, I just, I just love it because it just illustrates how the best of the best these can just be full. Just the same as the regular Schmoe. You know, I guess it started talking about the queen of Cuba as she's affectionately known. She was very high ranking CIA agent. I think she had done, she was on some other agencies. Well, and she just moved through and she was one of the highest regarded agents. Some, some agents were like, this is the best agent I've ever seen. Hands down, just raving reviews. And she wound up being the one of the worst spies in the history of the United States. She leaked so much information. Yeah.

Ransom (11:18):

The best, worst, or best these guys on the side, whichever way you want to go with it. Yeah. English is the best, but for as far as us, like, yeah,

Tyson (11:26):

I guess, I guess she's ranked amongst the top. Spies ever, because of the amount of information she leaked in the years she had done it, she was so blatant. I mean, she, she took an assignment in Cuba as a Cuban spy. Nobody thought nothing of it. She wrote reports about, and then the guys that said after they read back the things they're like, man, this is right in our face. She just raved about Cuba and his reports and everything she did. They said, they said things on Pender, her cubicle, it just, everything was there in plain sight. And everything's just pointing to, she's a spy and she's working for these guys. And yet at the highest level, these guys had no clue

Ransom (12:08):

As you know, according to Google or whatever. I just looked it up. She's a senior analyst with DIA, a senior analyst in the DIA. So she has to be like, if you can imagine the real estate next to her desk, like there are other senior analysts there. Her boss is probably higher up than she is in the CIDP. And there was top secret on top of top secret. There were like couple of times that, you know, the boss is suspected like in the middle of the meeting, she would just like whip out her phone and then like say something that, you know, like she's walking out of the meeting and then she's basically talking to somebody on the phone saying something about, you know, that should be of utmost importance or whatever. And then like, the guys are like, Oh, what happened? Why didn't you leave some meeting on the phone the other day? And she's like, Oh, I was tired. I went home. I was on the phone. He was like, trying to play it off, like be all nonchalant, like kinda like, have it get dismissed, like, you know, and they're like, Oh yeah. And she was tired. That made perfect sense. Like, okay.

Tyson (13:15):

Yeah. You're you're on a phone. You'll remember it, man. Maybe you weren't on the phone. Maybe we put somebody thought they saw you on the phone, but you weren't and that's, but that's the premise. Right? We, we default the truth. We, we, we, we think you're telling the truth until you reach a point a threshold where things just don't line up anymore. We can't, we can't explain a way things. We can't, what does it say here? W we, we pass the ability to rationalize or dismiss or refute what you're saying. This takes a long time or a lot of things not lining up. So that's the thing, right? So this is the guy, his whole job was, counter-intelligence making sure that agents there aren't spice and he's sitting there and he's talking to a lady. Oh, you're tired. I can see that. Yeah. It was a long day.

Tyson (13:58):

There's lots of going. Okay. Okay. And as, Oh, you weren't on a, you weren't, you weren't on the phone. Oh, I can see that. And it's like, and then he said, thinking back on it he's like, at one point I was like, I had said something to her and I just said it because I wanted her to just take this seriously. Cause I had to do my job. I had to go do this, check this or whatever it was. And it's like, she thought she was caught and he, and he didn't even pick up on that. He's like, I didn't even pick up on this thing. She was so mad. And she was so things, she, but she wasn't acting like somebody that was in trouble or somebody that was caught or whatever it was. And it's like another thing that we think like, Oh, you, you committed this crime. So you must act this way. You know? And, and that's the thing that this guy just went through this whole thing and he's like, we're sitting there and she's just, just waiting for me to drop the bomb. Like we know all about you. We know everything about you and we just talked through it and I left and I thought nothing of it.

Ransom (14:48):

Yeah. But that's just the thing though. It's like, we, we have this thing or what the truth actually is. Right. So we are, as humans, we give other humans in our, in our pods or whatever the case might be. Right? Yeah. Just this common courtesy of like, okay, you know, things that you say are truthful and we're gonna, we're going to be with that even though sometimes they're, they're not being truthful and upfront with you, you know? And it's just crazy. And like, just to reiterate this story, like this was like probably like the third or fourth story in the book. It was chapter three. But as far as like the the first chapter that comes across, well, the first chapter is all about what the whole book is about. But anyway, just the next chapter after that talks about Farentino Aspillaga butcher his name.

Ransom (15:44):

I'm sorry. But he walked into a us embassy and like just drop like mad Intel. Like he had like Intel on like all kinds of people in the CIA. He's like, Oh yeah. Well, this guy easier guy. And this guy is your guy. And this guy he's going to behind this park bridge right here to grab the envelope because it's got some secret, top secret information in it. And he's like, in this picture right here, this is the guy. But you see that lady in the background, that's his wife getting all mad because they're supposed to be doing something else right now, but he's working. And then like the guy's like, Whoa, like how did you get all this information? Like we know all of these people, how did you, and it's, it's this like, it's because Atlanta is like, yup,

Tyson (16:29):

Shannon. That's all the types of Intel. She was just dropping all over everything

Ransom (16:34):

Know. And it's, it's crazy. And like, I mean, I don't know. I guess I didn't really enjoy the start as much as he did Tyson. Well, not really a cold war.

Tyson (16:42):

I'm not either. It was just

Ransom (16:45):

Before my time. I was like a kid when this happened, but I'm just saying that I don't know anything about this. I don't really know anything about it either. I have no idea who these people are or what they did or how important that was or who even Fidel Castro. I mean, I know Fidel capsule, but like not too good agree that like my parents do, you know you know, that kind of stuff, but

Tyson (17:09):

Yeah, I just, it, it, it, to me, the, what I loved about it so much, it was just the, the high level in this elite organization, you know? And, and to just fool everybody, not just, not this, when she got to that position for her entire career, she fooled everybody all the way up. And I guess what was her, her, brother's a FBI agent as well. And then like, and then his wife is a counter-intelligence something along those lines. Like her whole family is intelligent and they don't, none of them had any clue. She was a double agent. And, and I guess what really solidified the story was when she's sitting there with the counter-intelligence guy and thinks she's busted, and he's just like, just let me go through this checklist so I can get out of here because there's no way you're a spy. You're one of the most decorated, highly regarded agents we have, I just need to go through my checklist and get out of here, you know? And it's like that level of deception, just, it blows my mind.

Ransom (18:06):

Yeah. Yeah. And that's kind of that, I mean, that does like bring your costs up point to me which is super cool. I just heard of a license. I was like, what? I mean, I was interested because of the style. Like again, the audio books, like really entertaining in the fact it's like listening to a documentary. So that's kinda what got me through that chapter, in my opinion. But I mean, this story definitely does bring it across. It's like these people work in intelligence, this is their job to get out there, to find spies, to find people who are deceptive, to find people who are double agents, not truthful, you know, and to gather Intel on people, about organizations and the whole time they have a senior analyst, right. Amongst them who is a spy, just drop in all the information that they have, every move that they want to make, basically in front of their face being forced back. And none of them had any clue. And it happened for so long. And it's like, this is just implements one of the weaknesses of default to truth. Like, again, this is an outlier, this is something that's out there. But you know, this is the common thing when we're dealing with people who we think we know, right. Cause we are defaulting to truth who think we know who they are when in actuality they're somebody else.

Tyson (19:32):

Yeah. I guess there's a good example in the book. That's maybe a little bit more relatable where he was saying like, you know the way, you know, your wife, whatever your spouse, you suspect, you're cheating. Maybe you see a couple of things and you're like, Hmm. And you ask, and it's like, Oh, I was working late. I got a business trip. And you're like, okay, cool. That sounds good. Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, yeah. And then, and then time goes on and in little things and you're like, and then all of a sudden, you're like he says in the book, you see a hotel charge in his credit card. And right now you're like, listen, that's enough evidence already. I, and that's that tipping point where you're like, things make sense. Things make sense. Things make sense. Now they don't now I don't believe you anymore.

Ransom (20:12):

Yeah. But even then, I mean, they weren't even into further about like, talking about like how judges, like competitors, better judges on whether or not people should get out on bail and do all this kind of stuff. And then actual real life judges who can see people at the courtroom. And it's like, because the computer is just making decisions based off of analytical data. That's like XYZ, put a plug in the formula. If you don't meet that criteria, then badly done. Like they'll say, yeah, but you know, no parole, but yeah. As far as the judges, like they have so many other factors, right? Like going to listen to this person, soft story, they're going to look at their face. You know, so that human

Tyson (20:54):

There's a difference. The judges well slept. There's a lot of evidence. If you're up for a parole or court case, right before lunch, you're very likely to get a negative ruling. Versus if you were the first case after lunch are very likely to get a positive thing in your favor. There's so much that goes into that being,

Ransom (21:13):

Right. That's just the thing that I'm saying. It's like, that's another, again, another example of where the human element becomes slot. It's like these people are getting not on parole, who shouldn't be right. All because of the fact that they're going to create this persona or do this thing. And the judge is like, okay, I can see what you're saying and I'll give you a chance.

Tyson (21:34):

No, look like a trustworthy guy. So what are those look like? You know? Yeah. That was interesting too, you know? And, but then even if I'm not mistaken, when they presented the judges and people with, with that evidence and information, they're like, yeah, but nevermind your computer program, we're better at this. And it's like, empirical data says, you're not like just, you know, what, was there a part in there where they were also showing them what the computer said? And then they were making a decision

Ransom (22:03):

And they

Tyson (22:03):

May have something else I was reading or whatever.

Ransom (22:06):

Just the whole fact that when you look at the data, this person should not be released on parole, but yet the judge makes a decision across that. Right. Which brings me to the next part that I like, which is the transparency and the mismatch. Yeah. So some of the things they talk about it is like these people who are on in front of the judge, like they are creating this persona. Right. And the judge, you know, as long as they're genuine in what they're trying to say, they sound genuine. They do all this kind of stuff. And the judge looks at them and it's like, okay, this person's actually what they're saying makes us there. They're being very transparent. Right. They're telling us the truth. And you know, I feel that, but in actuality, this person is just like itching to get out on parole. So you can go kill his girlfriend. Cause he missed the first time, you know, this persona or this transparency was fake thing that he's showing is really a mismatch. It's not really matched up with his intention or what should actually be going on, you know, their behavior doesn't match their actions and, or their words. They're just putting on the special emphasize because they know that by human nature, we default to truth. And they're kind of, they're kind of trying to feed on that.

Tyson (23:22):

Hey, I think like how long these guys are in their jail cell practicing, Hey, do I look sad? Do I look remorseful? Does this sound good? And rehearsing that scripting like over and over and over that. And it's like, yeah, you look like somebody that didn't mean to Rob that bank and I'll let you go again. That sounds good. But that's just how, you know, how we as humans and it's, but it's, that's the thing I liked about this book thing. Once you understand these things, you know, it feels like you can, you can mitigate the time to you're going to use to, to, to maybe need too many facts or, or, or, or write through that behavior and say, Hey, wait, wait, wait, I feel like this, but is this this situation like, Hm, maybe take a look back and let me think about this now that I have this knowledge, like putting that in a practical use with people and saying, you know you know, Hey, is this do not look guilty? Do not look like a pedophile. Like, am I just using that as what I'm basing this on? Or can I look past that, that thing, what I think a guilty person should look like or act like, and this kind of listen to what you're saying or what,

Ransom (24:32):

Yeah. Yeah. But I mean, again, this book just kind of opens up to all of these things that, you know, as humans we, we do on a normal everyday basis. And, you know, we think people are being transparent when they're not, you know, in that kind of takes us to the other story about Bernie Madoff. You know, classic, you know, that's a classic story. I mean, well, for any of you that were, you know, in, in the financial markets or knew anything about that industry, you know, in the, in the, or earlier two thousands, like people know about Bernie Madoff. But I mean, I think the star is more about Harrington Markopoulos than it is about Bernie Madoff, but yeah, definitely. It's just about that story in general. You know, but if I told people who Harry Markropoulos, who's that like, I don't know, I've never heard of him until this, but then as I was decently familiar with that case, but it's like, but everybody knows who Bernie Madoff is. He ran the biggest largest Ponzi scheme known to man ever. Yeah.

Tyson (25:33):

Nick $8 billion, something like that. And I'm not sure that Barlean's of dollars for 30 years. He had swindled amongst the wealthiest people in America, the savviest of investors as savvy as a business people,

Ransom (25:45):

You know, and again, this is another thing. It just, how people were just unable to detect his rod. I mean, Harry Markopoulos, I guess, according to the book, he was kind of like a misfit and an outlier himself. So kind of people were skeptical of his tactics anyway. Which is probably why bringing me off didn't get caught. But Harry Mecropolis knew for almost a decade. I think it was a stay on Google, but like almost for almost 10 years, I say like eight years, he knew that Bernie Madoff was a fraud and he brought case after case to whatever authority he could find. It'd be like a luck. Like, what he's doing is like, look what he's doing. Like the numbers don't make sense. It's like nobody can be invested in the markets and always win and never go down. Like this guy just right.

Tyson (26:33):

Was he giving like 30% returns year after year after year,

Ransom (26:38):

After a year and after a year. But there again, there were so many people that were invested with him. And again, these were not just anybody, anybody like this guy was like worldwide. Like he wasn't just in the U S market. It's like, he was, he was international, the new, a lot of people in the higher ups who were investing with him, who believes in him, right. Who defaulted to truth. Right. They couldn't see them mismatch. They thought he was being transparent with all the things that he was doing and, or saying. And it's like, Oh, this hair and my crop was sky. Let's take a look at him like, Oh, he's one of those characters. Like, can we really believe him is like, go through all that trouble to get Bernie versus, you know, my friends are all invested with Bernie. They see he's all right. He matches up. So I'm just going to go with that.

Tyson (27:29):

Right? Like they're billionaires. You're not, they're smart. I don't know you. I'm going with Bernie. I see their statements. I see the returns. Right. It's good to me. And everybody's like, listen, I get a return every year I show the paper, shows me this stuff. Bernie's great bread. He's a man. He's been doing this for decades. Nice little old man. He don't do nothing wrong. You know? Like he's such a nice guy. There was never enough evidence to keep you from saying, wait a minute. Like these things aren't adding up. And as I was saying in the book, right, if it wasn't for the 2008 financial crisis, it's very likely he would still be doing that to this day, because that was the time where there wasn't enough money going around. And so many people want their money back where things fell apart.

Ransom (28:17):

Right. And that's kind of where that's brilliant. Wow. But up until that point, it was just like, , this guys has been doing this for eight years. Just blanketly collecting people's money and not giving it back. He's just giving them a paper statement. That looks all good. So they never asked for it back. And it's like, wow.

Tyson (28:39):

And w what was that? That one, was it a hedge fund or something along those lines that was invested in Bernie Madoff. And they're like, something doesn't add up, let's pull back some of our money. Right, right. They knew things were wrong. Like they looked at it on as something's not right. We can't figure it out, but we trust burning. So let's just pull off 50%. And I like, even those guys were just, they couldn't even find that there was nothing truthful about it. Like Bernie has gotta be, we just don't understand what he's up to. Like we don't harvest proprietary system, so we can't quite figure it out. And that's what makes Bernie Madoff. Great. So, but in case let's pull a little money off the table, you know?

Ransom (29:22):

Well, I mean, it's more than a little,

Tyson (29:25):

Right. Billions dollars. Just put half of our billions off the table.

Ransom (29:30):

I mean, that's the, that's the smart play, but at the same time, it's like,

Tyson (29:35):

I knew he was doing wrong and they still were like, no, but we trust Bernie. He's a good, yeah. And

Ransom (29:42):

I think they had like some of the interviews too. It's like, you know, interviewing him. He's like, I just, like, I just didn't want to believe that he was such a fraud and they keep putting on this thing. It's like, there's no way that this guy could on out be that fraudulent, you know? Cause what he, you know, they were, again, they were thought he was being transparent. They were looking at his demeanor. You know, he was acting the way that he was supposed to act. He was saying all the right things that you're supposed to say. And nobody was, people were none the wiser, nobody and nobody knew anything.

Tyson (30:17):

Yeah. But they even say that even his closest associates in his family allegedly had no idea what he was up to as well.

Ransom (30:24):

Yeah. I mean, that's what it started with. Right. They started, he started with investing his family's money and then from there, like, you know, he got into the circles. That's not in the book, but I just kind of know a little bit about that story. Cause it was like notorious in 2008, I lost the money, a lot of money in the stock market. So like blaming people, I'm going to, at this point, it might as well then. Right. At least I'm doing something right. But anyway who knows? But that's just the case though. It's like, he was a very, you know, for me, this story is proud of the, even though it was shorter and it wasn't as impactful as the first story. I related to this story a lot more about transparency, mismatch, and deep halting to truth and all that kind of stuff because because I knew about it, you know, versus Fidel Castro and all that kind of stuff. That wasn't, that wasn't my era. I was, I was a kid. I had no idea what was going on during those times. So

Tyson (31:25):

Yeah. What was that other story in that transparency type of mismatch was those college students or whatever, they were cheating on the, they had an opportunity to cheat on a test,

Ransom (31:36):

But that's kind of a, I guess to me that's a well-known case study in the even have the one about when they, they made people like do electric torture to somebody. But that's, that's another common case study that I've heard before. So but yeah, and it's just like, they had no idea nobody was in on it, but you know, you just assume that these people that you're in the room with are, you know, somewhat, I guess, decent human beings or whatever it might be. Right. And then my loving, the whole like . And then we try to go through all of it. Cause you know, the answer to the past and you know, who cheated in that scenario. And like they, they brought like you know, law enforcement officers, they brought all kinds of people who were supposed to be good at detecting lies and you know, well, I'm not gonna say nothing.

Tyson (32:29):

Was it like 54%? I believe was all you could find, which is just right.

Ransom (32:34):

Basically random pens. Those are for the people that were mismatched. Yeah. So you had, so because these are college students, like in this particular example are going off the Bernie Madoff story, but going on to this case study of college students cheating on an exam, they knew who cheated on the exam because the person they cheated with was an insider. Right. So

Tyson (32:56):

They knew videotaping as well. Is that,

Ransom (32:59):

I'm not sure what I remember. They had an insider in the tour, this insider was there along with this college student and the insider was the instigator. Like a, the teacher left the room, both answers are right there and let's just bang this out. And then no one will be none. The wiser we'll take the money. That's a rap. So they knew who was telling the truth. But yet when they showed the video tape or the yeah, the interview, the students, when they had the interviews and they replayed the interviews of the students as to, you know, to see who was guilty and who wasn't on the, on the ones where everybody was transparent, right. Everybody matched up with, you know, the ideal of what society's, you know, truthfulness is you know, all the law enforcement people, all the people who are good at their jobs, they got those people down to 100%. Right. Well, who are actually either they did it or they didn't, they could tell if they were lying, but for the people who were mismatched they couldn't, they couldn't tell better than anyone else. Right. I think they said like 20% of those people actually could not detect, like, these are people that that's your job to know if people are lying, you're super good at it. But for people who don't fit the normal, you know, standard deviation for the outliers, they couldn't tell them anyone better than you'd flipping a coin or doing something else.

Tyson (34:23):

Yeah. W which is scary. And that's, you know, and what was the other thing he was talking about? When they were at, I think it was at SERE school. And then they had the students after a stressful situation, they said, okay, who's the, who's the person in charge here. And nobody could pick out who,

Ransom (34:38):

Who was in charge. They also,

Tyson (34:41):

20 people said it was a doctor you'd go to prison. Like, I was like 20 eyewitnesses said, you are the thing. He's like, I was in Hawaii. I wasn't even possibly here, but that's enough people to send you to prison.

Ransom (34:52):

Yeah. But I'm just saying, and those types of scenarios, but that's a different story, but you know, it just kind of goes to the fact that it's like, no, maybe things aren't always, you know, what is what it is. And it's crazy. So I don't know.

Tyson (35:08):

Yeah. Those, those are hard. That that's the stuff that really makes you think, like, you know you you're, you're, you're not acting like somebody that's not in trouble. You're not acting like somebody that did something wrong. Like you're not like somebody guilty,

Ransom (35:24):

Even in the case of the students, there's one student on there. She did nothing wrong. Yeah. Yeah. Everybody thought she lied. Everybody's like, she's a liar. Right.

Tyson (35:32):

Acting like somebody that she did

Ransom (35:34):

Look like, but she was just nervous. Right. Like she was just nervous or whatever, but she thought she was going to get in trouble. When in actuality she did nothing wrong. So, you know, she wasn't really matched with how she, you know an innocent person would act, you know? So it's kind of interesting.

Tyson (35:52):

Yeah. So the things we got to watch out for like, you know, little, I guess, a little running joke, I, I know of, I don't know how, but it's like, you know, when somebody says, Oh, it looks like a pedophile, like, what is a pedophile look like? Like that's something we have been trained on television. That's that what it is or whatever, or like 

Ransom (36:10):

They have mustaches,

Tyson (36:11):

Right? Yeah. And glasses where white guys. Sure. That's probably a good majority of them, but that doesn't mean anything. Or like was that the, in I got out of the Catholic originator or something like that, whatever the forbidden fruit is always portrayed as an Apple, but that's what Hollywood thought would be a great representation of that. It was well on camera, the red and white stuff, but Apple trees never grew in that region of the world. So it could never possibly be an Apple.

Ransom (36:38):

When we think of what are the case was. Right. They never really, they used just say forbidden fruit. Right. All we know it could be a fruit that doesn't exist today could be something that we've never had because it just doesn't exist anymore. Right. It could be an Apple who knows. It could be a vegetable who knows vegetable with a seed.

Tyson (36:57):

Right. But your fruits, tomato plant, I don't know.

Ransom (37:02):

But these are the default to truth. Right? This is the things that we think are transparent. But that's just, that's, those are just common assumptions in life and stuff anyway. But speaking of common assumptions, that brings us to our next story. Yeah. This is a good one. To me. It was good.

Tyson (37:22):

These things just shattered my beliefs and able guess what? It's okay to change your mind. I know, I know. It's hard to believe. It's okay to get new information and formulate new opinions and new thoughts. It's okay. I'm telling you now you've got my permission to find out new information. Hey, sometimes they're even facts. I know it's crazy, but it happens anyhow. Coupling a, you want to give a little background of that?

Ransom (37:50):

Oh, well, I guess, you know, I guess for those of you that didn't read the book yet. And for those of you that are out here, I guess this just let me pose this question. Do you think suicide is something that people will do no matter what yes. You think suicide is something people do because it's easy to do. Probably. Yeah.

Tyson (38:12):

Yes. It's more as my answers before.

Ransom (38:15):

Yeah. But I'm just, I'm just saying though, it's like, so if suicide is easy to commit and a lot of people are committing suicide, if you take away the easy method of suicide are these people are, these hundreds of people are, I don't know how many people, thousands of people are committing suicide. Are they still going to commit suicide? You, if you take the easy way out, away from them,

Tyson (38:39):

I would, I would say, yes, suicide. You're going to commit suicide.

Ransom (38:44):

I'm with you on that. And when they pose this question in the book, I was like, you know what? People who are going to commit suicide are going to commit suicide. If you take away one method, they are just going to go to the next method because they want to kill themselves. Right. But ironically, in the story of Sylvia, Plath, not answer is incorrect. If you remove an easy way for people to commit suicide, the chances that more people will do, it goes down my mind. And that's kind of why I wanted to share the story. And that's where it comes in with coupling. It's like people who want to commit suicide when you couple that with the fact that there's an easy way to die, that's what actually helps them, you know, helps the percentages get higher with the suicide rates, like as like what, you know, so in this, I guess, so we'll get to the background story now, but anyway, just wanted to pose that question out there before we got into the story, because to me, I thought people who commit suicide are just going to go commit it.

Ransom (39:48):

Yeah. So I agree. So did most people in this, you know, according to this book, so there are a lot of people and a lot of issues and subjects, but anyway Talon gas was in Europe, I believe not sure what part of Europe, exactly England or something along those lines. But in Europe they created this thing called town gangs. It was something that you could pipe to your house and use for, you know, your ovens. It's still all kinds of things. It was a really convenient energy source at the time. In more ways than one, ironically, it was a convenient energy source that, you know, everybody used and in this part of the Euro, but the downside to this town gas is that it had really high concentrations of carbon monoxide. So those of you that aren't in the medical field, I don't know what that is. I'm a respiratory therapist. So I know about carpenter, carbon monoxide. Like it's crazy. Like if it attaches to your oxygen molecule or your blood cells, oxygen molecules cannot attach to your blood cells and you will die. Like it's crazy,

Tyson (40:51):

But it doesn't have to be a great percentage. It's like 5% or something like that.

Ransom (40:55):

I mean, you only have so many cells in your body and you need oxygen. So, you know, you take away that factor, like you'll down pretty quickly. But anyway getting back to the story Tongans, all you had to do back then was basically just turn the gas on and your stove and not turn the little ignited thing. I don't know. I didn't have the gas though for a while, so I didn't know how that works, but basically the gas comes out and you press a button to ignite it. But if you don't press a button to ignite the gas, the gas would just fill up the room, do this thing. And all of a sudden you're not reading oxygen anymore. You're only breaking carbon and then see you later. Yep. So for the longest time this section in Europe made no changes.

Ransom (41:46):

They were just like, Oh, we have some really high suicide rates. And among them was severe plaque. She was a notorious poet and wrote lots of great arts of work. More than a few of them were on suicide and all this kind of stuff. So people just made the assumption, right? Like, Oh, she's a poet. She writes about suicide all the time. Like she tried to kill herself. Well, at least according to her poems, she tried to kill herself like all these times. So, you know, the fact that she killed herself with town gas is like, yeah. Okay. That, that makes sense somehow. But ironically, if you were to take that after the way she might not have committed suicide. And that's kind of the interesting question that this brings up. So they bring up all these points as like, you know, if you're at a point where you're just depressed in your life and you want to take your life, if you want to shoot yourself or jump off a building per se, and even talk about the golden gate bridge in that chapter too.

Ransom (42:49):

That takes a lot of courage. Like not everybody can just go and grab a gun and like put it to your head. Like you actually have to pull the trigger as ironic as that sounds that you think it's easy because the motion was from here to here. Like you can do that in half second yet in order for somebody to actually do that, it takes a lot of courage and a lot of commitment to pull that trigger, you know versus down gas. You don't want to have to do much, you just turn it on and you know, it doesn't kill you right away. Nope. You can turn it off at any time, but you just kind of sit there. Ironically, you know, I, I'm not sure it's you know, then there's less mass than these a gun somebody's got to clean that up.

Tyson (43:34):

Yeah. Well, that's a, that's a, that's a thought process. Typically women have with, you know, the, the less mess full way to commit suicide is the preferred methods that they use.

Ransom (43:43):

So, yeah. So, you know, and, and ironically, they fought it for a long time, but eventually I forget, what, what was the guy's name? The scientist guy, or I forget what it was. I think it was a psychologist of some kind talking about coughing and how it actually works. Like he's like these people don't really, I mean, they want to commit suicide. Don't get me wrong, but them actually going through it is coupled with the fact that they have the easy method, right? So they went through all these changes. They change every, all the, all the gas pumping to the house, they change all their appliances. Like this gas would not work. Like they switched to match gas. So all of their old appliances, all of their plumbing for this gas was for town gas. So they had to redo all of it to single household.

Ransom (44:32):

I don't even know how much that renovation costs. But they, they did it, they went through it, they switched over to natural gas, which creates less carbon monoxide. And guess what? Suicide rates. Yeah. It went down. I was like, that just blew my mind. Yeah. You're like, what, how did how's that even possible? Right. You know, it's just like, you, you forget that when you're suicidal, like you just have a moment of weakness and people who want to kill themselves, like it comes and goes, like you get to the point, you know, you put the gun in your mouth and then like, you don't muster enough courage to pull the trigger. So you put it down and then like you don't put it back in your mouth for awhile. Right. You just have a moment of weakness. And that moment of weakness is coupled with something that you can just easily just turn on your gas and go about your day. Not even, there'll be none the wiser and, and a you pass away. So I don't know, but they did the same study on, Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Tyson (45:35):

Oh, no, no, no. That's yeah. That's just amazing. I guess I started not in the book, but it looked real quick thing. I, I don't know if I also read the book by the guy up survive, jumping off the golden gate bridge. One of just a handful of people to ever survive. And he was talking about that on his way, that day to the golden gate bridge. He's like, I had enough of this already. He went to, he went to, he went to his community college. He dropped all his classes and he's like going, he gets on the bus and I want you to go to gate branches. And he just kept telling himself like, please, somebody just talks to me today. I'm just not going to do this. And he just gets there and he's like, somebody just says something to me while I'm walking down the bridge.

Tyson (46:15):

Like, I probably won't do this. Like, does anybody recognize, like, I'm about the job? And he gets by the thing he's like, nobody says nothing. Any jobs like, you know, he's like, that's all it would've taken. Was that one little disruption. It wasn't the golden gate bridge that, you know, he was like, I'm killing myself and I'm jumping off the bridge. He's like, this is a way I know is going to succeed. And I'm going there. And all, he kept telling himself as if somebody just says something to me today, please, please. Somebody say something to me and all he needed to stop that and nothing to do with the bridge.

Ransom (46:47):

You're just coupling it. Right. We want to do something that's difficult to do. Right. So yeah, he was calling it the bridge while you couple it with a bridge, that's easy. But they even talk about, I mean, not that story, but they talk about the golden gate bridge as well. For the longest time, there were no safety nets. There were no barriers to prevent people from, you know, if you jumped off, ironically, when they built the golden gate bridge, they put up a safety net for the workers, which you know, to prevent them from getting injured on the job, right. Falling to their death, falling to their death which costs a lot of money to put that safety net up. But after the bridge was built, there was nothing for a very long time until, you know, these smart people out there like, Hey dude, people are jumping off because it's easy to commit suicide.

Tyson (47:32):

So there was a long arduous process though, to get something approved, to put in the golden gate bridge, it just was approved. I think, late 2018. I don't even know if they even started construction yet last I,

Ransom (47:44):

No, it wasn't, but it may be like, it's just like, that's the thing. And you know, it's just coupling and you know, it's like, wow, you did it for, I just, that blows my mind too. It's like, you did it for the workers. Yeah. Too far. They're safe. And yet when it comes to suicides and suicide rates, if you're not going to do anything about that.

Tyson (48:06):

Yeah. Well, but they, they didn't know that this was coupled. They didn't believe it. And then when they surveyed the citizens, they were like, no, you're going to ruin the bridge. It's a and look pretty. They're going to come in, they're going to kill us up anyway. And the one lady, she was like, Oh, so they catch up with the bridge and jump off a building. And then people are below and they're going to get hurt. And it's like all these.

Ransom (48:26):

Right. Right. And it's like, you know, suicide. Like, they're going to do that anyway. Right. It's like, right. But nobody has their idea about coupling. So like this, to me, this like brought the message home that they know what sometimes it's not just about what you think people are going to do. Sometimes the boss, something else it's either, you know? And I guess if you want to relate this to real life, it's like, you think, you know, somebody who you see at work all the time. Yeah. You only see them at work. So like you're a coupling the fact that you know them at work yet when you go home to their real life, like they might be a completely different person. They might have something else that's going on. And even, you know, on the side note they talked about like you know, prostitutes and stuff like that.

Ransom (49:13):

Yeah. That was weird. That story, it was kind of ironic too. It's like, Oh, well these prostitutes there, they're only hanging around this block. Yeah. They're only at a hotel street. Why is that? You know? But sorry. It's a, it's a whole, I joke. But anyway but you know, when though, when the cops went out there and asked them all, you know, why don't you guys just go somewhere else to another place? And like, they're like, that may not have to move. I'd have to do all this kind of stuff. Like, I don't know.

Tyson (49:41):

And those are the hookers. This is my, my clients know I'm here. All these lists of like, I guess I want to say excuses or reasons, whatever you want to call them.

Ransom (49:51):

Yeah. But it was ironic that like prostitutes would not move a block down because they were coupled right. To that particular place. And like that worked for them. If you take that equation out and they have to go somewhere else out of their way, or, you know, with people, they don't like, like that's like, they wouldn't do it.

Tyson (50:12):

Yeah. That was what they said in the book that they had. They had tried to shut down that one area. They wound up getting different jobs. Yeah, exactly. All of them quit like this isn't working anymore. My block shut down. That's that's try banking. Yeah. Yeah. I hear Walmart's

Tyson (50:28):

Hiring. Like, and I was like, well, why don't you just move down now? That's not my spot. Like, it's so funny.

Ransom (50:37):

Those are just, you know, bring home the fact that, you know, sometimes people's behavior, not only can it be mismatched or non-transparent sometimes their behavior is coupled to something else, you know, whether it be a place or whether it be an item, not object or a person, like, you know, like this, this book, like really when you're talking to strangers, like it kinda opens your eyes to bundle a lot of things, really like the book.

Tyson (51:04):

So I, if even funny what the crime to, you know, it's like, it wouldn't go across the street. They wouldn't go past their little, little block or two block area. And I was like so funny and it's like, wouldn't you guys want to just go commit crimes everywhere. They were 21st, 22nd street. We don't go past that. I don't know what you're talking about. This is weird.

Ransom (51:24):

Yeah. And I mean, but yeah, these are just, you know, again, these are some of the main points of the book, but you know, he's got so many stories to compliment these ideas about how these things work and when you put them all together, we didn't even talk about the main story of the book. And I guess we're just leave that out to you. The book opens up with the main story that we don't even talk about. So go check that story out because that one is interesting. And after you hear all these other stories and you know about all the things he's talking about at the end of the book, you're like, dang, that's dang.

Tyson (52:00):

That's why this all went down. And that's what the book was Bill's around. He starts off the beginning of the story and it's like, let's teach you about these things. And then let's hear the end of this story. And this is why all that went down. Favorite story. I'm sure a lot of people would recognize.

Ransom (52:16):

Yeah. If you, you know, you got to go pick up a book to actually get the main story, but these are some of the science stories that I thought were extremely relevant and kind of opened my eyes to a lot of the things that, you know, he's trying to say in his book. And he, again, he did an outstanding job. Great, wonderful job. And not only did he get across, but it was done in a very entertaining way, especially with audio books. So yeah, I'm done with that. I like it.

Tyson (52:45):

Yes. I, I agree. Highly encourage you get that audio book. Any, I think we kind of hit everything that we want to talk about with that. Yeah, correct. Yeah, for sure. Great, great book default the truth. That's just, Oh, it's been stuck in my head since the first time I read this book,

Ransom (53:03):

It gets like in mind, but anyway, I say coupling has been,

Tyson (53:07):

Oh, that one comes second, but default, the truth is the first thing I think of. I'm like, Oh, I'm defaulting to truth here. And I'm like, is that warranted? Do I feel like you could be lying? Sometimes you get in your head a little bit. So try not to take it too far to the left or right. You know, state stainless with it. But yeah, I enjoy default the truth and what a fun book, when a phone book, if you're looking for more fun, entertaining, surprising things, check out this month's giveaway, head over to the social community in that show slash pick me, see what we've got going on. We're always trying to look for fun, entertaining, exciting life-changing learning opportunities, whatever it is we can find that we're enjoying or we think will help bring value to your life. Check that out. Social media.show/pickney. See what we've got going on for this. And every month we'll link to this book and LinkedIn Malcolm Gladwell. You can go over ahead there. See, as other books, outliers is a great other book as well. You can head over there. I'll give you guys a bunch of different links of things that I can get for you guys. Anything else you want to highlight as far as resources for people ransom?

Ransom (54:21):

No. Well, I guess as much as I don't like to talk about this guy, but this book reminds me a lot of like Sam Harris and stuff. Yeah. The one about lining and the other one about to see how many of you know, what these books are. Maybe you can enlighten people.

Tyson (54:40):

W w was the one we did waking up.

Ransom (54:43):

Yeah. Waking up is another one. But yeah, so, you know, similar, similar topics sat in here since to talk about, which also make you like, do a double take, like, Oh you know that things aren't always transparent, right?

Tyson (54:59):

Yeah. Lying. Lying is a good, a good complimentary book to this. I'll link to that for you guys as well. Okay. And then this week's challenge. I want you guys to think about this now. You're not immune to this. If you're an FBI agent, CIA agent, your dad taught you something cause he was a cop. Your mom was a something and she taught you guess what? You're not immune to this. That's okay. Well, we need to know, as we recognize that we're not immune to this, we recognize we're susceptible to these things and what you wind up. I believe in what I notice is what happens is you just take a little bit less time than the average person to come back and say, Whoa, I'm getting caught with something here. And that ability to recognize that, that can keep you out of a sticky situation that can keep you from going down the rabbit hole too far that can keep you maybe out of trouble or something like that or whatever.

Tyson (55:53):

So look through these things, get in touch with default to truth, get in touch with coupling mismatch and all these things. We'll talk about all the things in the book and understand you're not immune to them and practice. That's what it comes down to. We don't know fall to our, you know, you know, we default to our level of training. We don't rise to our expectations. Okay. So when these things come about, if you are trained, you're going to default to that training. So you're not immune to this. Get trained up, try and practice these things. Maybe get a friend

Tyson (56:24):

Or a family members, Hey, come up with a good lie, get your best lie thing on. And let me see if I can go through and I can pick out the things that don't start to add up and have that tipping point into. I know you're lying now. Try these things. Raise your level of training. Yeah.

Ransom (56:41):

Good. And just final thoughts are just things. Aren't always what they seem, you know this book and then many other things that we'd like to point on on the show is just people are going to be people they're going to do what they're going to do. Pertaining to this book in particular, in this episode we default to truth a lot as a human race because we want to give other humans the benefit of the doubt. It's carried us through our society and made us prosperous and done all the wonderful things and allow us to live in our community today. However, you do also need to notice that that comes at a price, right? People like Bernie Madoff, right? People like Anna Montes, like these are some of the greatest, greatest deceptions of all time that happened right. Under our noses because of this little thing that we call defaulted truth. And we just want to believe in people. Yeah. So just kind of know that. Yes, it's okay to believe in people. But like I say, you got a practice that can help you avoid some of the downfalls in life.

Tyson (57:54):

Yeah. Don't, don't be cynical. This is great stuff. If you're looking for people to get on your team of, of default to truth analysis warriors shared us with them, go through this episode, go through the book together. Talk about these things. Start to practice them, share this with them. This absolutely helps to show if you'd like what we've got going on, leave a liking to review. You always let us know how we're doing. You want ideas, topics you want us to jump on and cover. Let us know. In between shows you can connect with us at the social community and show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. If you like the video version, you want to check out a video version or a little video excerpts challenges and stuff. We do head over to the social chameleon show on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe there. And for past episodes and links to everything we talk about here today, you can visit the social chameleon.show until next time, keep learning, keep growing, keep transforming to that person. You

Ransom (58:52):

Don't want to become.

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