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Thread: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About?

  1. #1 Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
    Forum Freshman Retromingent's Avatar
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    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ


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  3. #2 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    No

    The kid is a bad fake.

    Some of what he says is just plain wrong. More is nonsensical.

    YouTube is a bad source for science, except for mainstream lectures from known entities.


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  4. #3 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    No

    The kid is a bad fake.

    Some of what he says is just plain wrong. More is nonsensical.

    YouTube is a bad source for science, except for mainstream lectures from known entities.
    Fake is the wrong word here. As far as I can tell, his precocity is genuine.

    Of course, that doesn't mean you should take him seriously as a scientist. At least not yet.
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  5. #4 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    No

    The kid is a bad fake.

    Some of what he says is just plain wrong. More is nonsensical.

    YouTube is a bad source for science, except for mainstream lectures from known entities.
    Fake is the wrong word here. As far as I can tell, his precocity is genuine.

    Of course, that doesn't mean you should take him seriously as a scientist. At least not yet.
    I don't think so. I sounds to me as thougfh he is reciting things that he does not understand for the camera. His statement that which is wrong in special relativity (), is, to me, a giveaway.

    I think this is just another YouTube flimflam. I'm not even sure that the sandwich was genuine.
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  6. #5 fake, or just a kid.... 
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    I wouldn't dismiss him, he's still green-around-the-gills......

    ..all mathematicians err.....

    ...the giants have been way off also....


    E.g., Kronecker, and fellow, formidable mucky-mucks,

    who could not wrap their [short-circuit?] brains around Cantor's ideas....

    So, they cynically train-wrecked his career to feel comfortable, and re-assure their reputations........

    With minor tweaks, he was genuinely a pioneer, tracing the early intuitions of Gauss, Dedekind, etc....

    The kid seems to fit the prodigy silhouette, but is tenuously 'out-there,' which is the calling card of many geniuses, or possibly, all of them.....
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  7. #6  
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    And now I see a lot of news coverage on this kid. I wonder how good he actually is, and how much of the reports are actually true
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  8. #7  
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    I saw him on Glenn Beck and I'm a bit worried about him. His parents trotted him out and set him to calculating an infinite sum. Sum (Sin(2n)/(1+(Cos(n))^4) (n from 1 to infinity) While he calculated in the background, they made silly jokes.

    I don't think the sum converges. Because Pi is irrational, n will come arbitrarily close to Pi/4 (mod 2Pi) infinitely often so there are an infinite number of summands that are basically 5/4 (OK so you need an epsilon!). The kid didn't notice this; he started to use an integral test, which is inappropriate because there's no bound on the variation. He was trying the double angle trigonometric identity on the numerator when they quit.

    It undoubtedly Cesaro sums to zero. To get absolute convergence,you need a power of n in the denominator. Then, you have a sort of zeta function.

    Now, he's twelve years old and is clearly familiar with integral tests, trig, infinite series. He is bright and enthusiastic. But, in my humble opinion, He's not ready for original research, let alone overturning Einstein.

    Norbert Wiener was a prodigy and went to school with a crop of prodigies in Boston. He describes some whose parents pushed them to hard and eventually the adoring press turned nasty (the case of Boris Sidis). I am unhappy that the mom has been such a publicity hound. She has set up a website that solicits donations.

    The situation has potential to end badly. I don't really know what can be done. Perhaps, the faculty in math or physics at his college can be persuaded to quiet the media blitz.
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  9. #8  
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    To answer your question, no, Jake Barnett does not know what he's talking about.
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    "Doubt is the origin of Wisdom" - Rene Descartes
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  10. #9  
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    The wiki page on him surely sounds like as if he is an actual genius
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    "Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders."- Carl Friedrich Gauss


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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    The wiki page on him surely sounds like as if he is an actual genius
    Imagine that: something that anyone can write and edit reflects the position of the parents who trotted him out to the more gullible fringes of the news world.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhysBang
    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    The wiki page on him surely sounds like as if he is an actual genius
    Imagine that: something that anyone can write and edit reflects the position of the parents who trotted him out to the more gullible fringes of the news world.
    Also note even wikipedia thinks its bogus. The article is pending a deletion.
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  13. #12 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    He did not prove light accelerates greater than c "sideways" in certain cases as he said. That is crucial to his alleged argument.

    He is claiming under GR, light is a constant c in the direction of travel always but it accelerates greater than c in "certain" cases sideways.

    He needs to prove this absurd assertion. This is crackpottery.
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  14. #13 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinglu
    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    He did not prove light accelerates greater than c "sideways" in certain cases as he said. That is crucial to his alleged argument.

    He is claiming under GR, light is a constant c in the direction of travel always but it accelerates greater than c in "certain" cases sideways.

    He needs to prove this absurd assertion. This is crackpottery.
    He's not a crackpot--he's a kid who has been given a disproportionately large audience. How silly would you have sounded at 12 if the whole world had tuned in to your opinions about the theory of relativity?
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  15. #14 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    Quote Originally Posted by chinglu
    Quote Originally Posted by Retromingent
    Twelve year old prodigy who claims to have found an error in relativity. Is he on to something?

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mathboys.../2/lNypTxvOxxQ
    He did not prove light accelerates greater than c "sideways" in certain cases as he said. That is crucial to his alleged argument.

    He is claiming under GR, light is a constant c in the direction of travel always but it accelerates greater than c in "certain" cases sideways.

    He needs to prove this absurd assertion. This is crackpottery.
    He's not a crackpot--he's a kid who has been given a disproportionately large audience. How silly would you have sounded at 12 if the whole world had tuned in to your opinions about the theory of relativity?
    I'm more curious how much potential he actually has
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  16. #15 Re: Does Jake Barnett Know What He's Talking About? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    He's not a crackpot--he's a kid who has been given a disproportionately large audience. How silly would you have sounded at 12 if the whole world had tuned in to your opinions about the theory of relativity?
    I don't think it is possible to be a crackpot at 12. A twelve-year-old may be wrong, but has lots of time to learn.

    On the other hand I have seen nothing from him that strikes me as profound.

    Chinglu, on the other hand, is a true crackpot. He sounds pretty silly under any sensible criteria.
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  17. #16 wiki 
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    Um, first off, relying on wikipedia or similar for info is stupidity.

    Wiki is notoriously unreliable...and utube can be unrealiable at times.


    Time will tell, this kid is not a fake as proven by tests already documented... but agreed its too soon to see if jake ends up being a true prodigy and not one of the many prodigies who grow up to be as normal as non-genius adults.
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    I love scientists an how clinical we can be, this child may be a prodigy but is far off from being correct in any way!
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    Before you discount Jake and what he knows, I'd suggest that you meet him and spend some time with him. If you haven't done that then you really have no right to be putting him down. I wouldn't be surprised if he could teach all of you a thing or two!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanita63 View Post
    Before you discount Jake and what he knows, I'd suggest that you meet him and spend some time with him. If you haven't done that then you really have no right to be putting him down. I wouldn't be surprised if he could teach all of you a thing or two!
    Nonsense. Having tea and cakes with someone on a personal level is utterly irrelevant to whether or not they got the math wrong.
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  21. #20  
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    Who is this Jake Barnett ? Can someone reference for me a publication by this person, as I have never heard of him.
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    There are some youtube videos, but I couldn't find the one referenced in the OP.
    jake barnett - YouTube
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    There are some youtube videos, but I couldn't find the one referenced in the OP.
    jake barnett - YouTube
    YouTube videos ? Are there any peer-reviewed publications by this person ? I sure couldn't find any. If there are none then this is really just a waste of time, isn't it.
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    This kind of attention too early is unhealthy. Especially if, as he learns, he becomes aware of how he was shown to be incorrect in full public view. What kind of effect does that have on a kid? Or on his potential?
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    Reading the book his Mom wrote is very informative: from that it appears he remembers everything and everything is immediately accessible. But even his professors are not sure if this is instant recall with all the applicable info. It seems to me that his college will allow him more info so that eventually he will consume all available info and at that point he will make the same conclusions science has already done. OR: since his mind is so accurate in its recall, if the info is correct, he will make a deduction that is new.

    That is what we are all waiting for, the new deduction. Drawing inferences from info that no one else had done will demonstrate he can extrapolate not just recall.
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  26. #25  
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    So, March-April 2011 / January 2012 / March 2012 / December-January 2013 / and now August 2013.

    All bumped by new members.

    How... odd.
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  27. #26  
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    I never really thought Jake Barnett was really on to something, everything about him and his parents screams fake.

    "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
    Sir Isaac Newton

    In my own opinion there is no greater mathematical Principle than that which is x - x = 0. This shows that matter can be created from nothing as long as the total product of the matter's mass & energy equal exactly zero.
    The only question is, "Where did all that antimatter go?"

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  28. #27  
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    I know this kid personally. He is a genius. He does research on my campus.

    I couldn't attest to the validity of his video, but he is not a fake.
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  29. #28  
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    I have no doubt that Jacob Barnett is very intelligent, but he is not a genius. I've seen his interview with Glenn Beck. I have no idea why he is on the news. The stuff on the board he was doing was A-levels at best, so he was doing A-levels at twelve. So was I, and it's common amongst intelligent people. If he could've solved a problem in representation theory on that board (and actually got it correct), then I might have been impressed, because there was no way I could've understood that at twelve, at least, not without getting personal tutoring, because all the information I know beyond what I learn in school is from the internet and books and learning is not always that easy.
    If this kid thinks he really can disprove relativity, he has a lot of explaining to do. How does his kind explain the fact that GPS systems use relativity to show you exactly where you are?
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  30. #29  
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    He has an IQ that tops the charts of modern testing techniques and he was doing research in condensed matter physics at 12 when he came to my campus.

    Like I said, I can't speak to the content of his videos, but the kid is not of normal intelligence.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    He has an IQ that tops the charts of modern testing techniques and he was doing research in condensed matter physics at 12 when he came to my campus.

    Like I said, I can't speak to the content of his videos, but the kid is not of normal intelligence.
    Indeed he's quite smart! Though... without originality, he is as useful to humanity as a google bar. Time will only tell if he has it. Example: My IQ is significantly higher than Richard Feynman's, but... I couldn't possibly offer anything near his level of accomplishments to the world.
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  32. #31  
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    I think he is extraordinary! When he was a child, the docs said he would live a very low quality life. He proved them wrong.Time will tell if will go down in the history books as one of the great scientific minds, but this story to me, is about human spirit and determination. Ah, to be that young AND that smart? Pretty cool story to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Example: My IQ is significantly higher than Richard Feynman's, but... I couldn't possibly offer anything near his level of accomplishments to the world.

    Follow this chart and you could offer something to science:

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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I think he is extraordinary! When he was a child, the docs said he would live a very low quality life. He proved them wrong.Time will tell if will go down in the history books as one of the great scientific minds, but this story to me, is about human spirit and determination. Ah, to be that young AND that smart? Pretty cool story to me.
    He's inexperienced, to be sure. If you'd spend a few minutes talking to the kid, you'd realize he's living in a different world. I think the biggest problem he faces is expectation. It's even right here on the forum.

    He has a massive IQ, started doing physics research at 12, gets interviewed by major news outlets...I mean, we're basically telling the kid that if he DOESN'T do something spectacular, he's a failure. I have to wonder if his mini-celebrity is going to do more harm than good.
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  35. #34  
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    So.. doing A-levels work at twelve makes you a genius?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    So.. doing A-levels work at twelve makes you a genius?
    Being permitted to do research on condensed matter physics at university at age 12 and having an astronomical IQ makes you a genius.

    I get that you're not impressed by him or you think you're on his level, but I haven't seen your 60 minutes interview where you talk about working on your master's degree at 14 so I guess I can't really compare.
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  37. #36  
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    When people fail to realize "IQ" isn't directly correlated with intelligence, we get people that are pointlessly jealous of Jacob Barnett. In their jealousy they claim he isn't a genius. But, Barnett's achievements speak volumes.

    I'm pretty sure Barnett is highly intelligent, and with that said, I don't need to care about his "IQ" being so high even if it's higher than I could ever score. I will still try to out-achieve him in matters of science, rather than crawl under a rock and call him "not smart".
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricBlair View Post
    I saw him on Glenn Beck and I'm a bit worried about him. His parents trotted him out and set him to calculating an infinite sum. Sum (Sin(2n)/(1+(Cos(n))^4) (n from 1 to infinity) While he calculated in the background, they made silly jokes.

    I don't think the sum converges. Because Pi is irrational, n will come arbitrarily close to Pi/4 (mod 2Pi) infinitely often so there are an infinite number of summands that are basically 5/4 (OK so you need an epsilon!). The kid didn't notice this; he started to use an integral test, which is inappropriate because there's no bound on the variation. He was trying the double angle trigonometric identity on the numerator when they quit.

    It undoubtedly Cesaro sums to zero. To get absolute convergence,you need a power of n in the denominator. Then, you have a sort of zeta function.

    Now, he's twelve years old and is clearly familiar with integral tests, trig, infinite series. He is bright and enthusiastic. But, in my humble opinion, He's not ready for original research, let alone overturning Einstein.

    Norbert Wiener was a prodigy and went to school with a crop of prodigies in Boston. He describes some whose parents pushed them to hard and eventually the adoring press turned nasty (the case of Boris Sidis). I am unhappy that the mom has been such a publicity hound. She has set up a website that solicits donations.

    The situation has potential to end badly. I don't really know what can be done. Perhaps, the faculty in math or physics at his college can be persuaded to quiet the media blitz.
    And thus people often are oblivious to this fact; intelligence is correlated with social awkwardness. His idiot, not-smart mom is milking the bank by advertising him as an "autistic", which I hate because then his 'condition' gets all the credit for his genius and not himself. I'd have to agree with your final paragraph...
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I think he is extraordinary! When he was a child, the docs said he would live a very low quality life. He proved them wrong.Time will tell if will go down in the history books as one of the great scientific minds, but this story to me, is about human spirit and determination. Ah, to be that young AND that smart? Pretty cool story to me.
    He's inexperienced, to be sure. If you'd spend a few minutes talking to the kid, you'd realize he's living in a different world. I think the biggest problem he faces is expectation. It's even right here on the forum.

    He has a massive IQ, started doing physics research at 12, gets interviewed by major news outlets...I mean, we're basically telling the kid that if he DOESN'T do something spectacular, he's a failure. I have to wonder if his mini-celebrity is going to do more harm than good.
    I've often wondered this about kids who are geniuses. Emotionally and socially, do they 'grow up' too fast? To your point, he might feel an immense amount of pressure to be the next Einstein. You make very interesting points, Flick.
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    Okay so he's a genius, let me know when he actually manages to find evidence against relativity without massive errors in his work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    Okay so he's a genius, let me know when he actually manages to find evidence against relativity without massive errors in his work.
    Who says he will? Keep in mind, he's still just a kid. I think we all overestimated ourselves when we were young. Plus, he has this inflated ego from being paraded around on TV and having expectations heaped onto his shoulders.

    What I don't understand is why you feel such animosity toward him. He's going to make a lot of errors at his age. Hopefully, he will grow from them.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    By the way, from 2011: arxiv .org/pdf/1108.6083.pdf
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    From 2011? You mean like this thread itself?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    From 2011? You mean like this thread itself?
    Just for you, Deacon.
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