µblog - archive for 2023-08 🏳️‍🌈

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A waste of space and alcohol

Thursday, 31 August 2023


🔗 Why Mathematical Proof Is a Social Compact

[… the proof assistant] Lean […] has allowed mathematicians to verify many proofs, while also helping the authors better understand their own work, because they have to break down some of their ideas into simpler steps to feed into Lean for verification.

But is this foolproof? Is a proof a proof just because Lean agrees it’s one? In some ways, it’s as good as the people who convert the proof into inputs for Lean. Which sounds very much like how we do traditional mathematics.

Wednesday, 30 August 2023


🔗🤖 Drew DeVault: AI Crap


🔗🌪️ Tornado Hit by the Department of Justice

But I think the Justice Department is on solid legal footing. This isn’t quite the “novel theory” Storm’s defense attorneys claim, because Storm and Semenov are charged only with conspiracy: conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to run an unlicensed money transmission business, and conspiracy to violate sanctions on North Korea. They didn’t commit the crimes; they aided and abetted those who committed the actual crimes.

Tuesday, 29 August 2023


Hate the little briefcase Windows has added to the “Edge for Business” taskbar icon. Looks like a piece of poop stuck to the icon.

Also, briefcase as a symbol of work? How about something more appropriate, like a spycam.

Monday, 28 August 2023


The SFnal idea of the Singularity is when technological progress goes faster and faster until it disappears up the hockey stick curve of pure unknoweabilty. What’s happening now in actuality is that hype cycles are crashing faster and faster. Blockchain! Self driving! LLM!

Any takeoffs are going to run into the iron cloud cover of climate change anyway.


Nerds adblocking: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!

Nerds finding all content now regwalled: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.


🔗🐦 @pinboard: “Early this year I went online after taking too many drugs and ordered a Mongolian yurt. Here is my yurt, and here is my story:”

Saturday, 26 August 2023


A legal ban on LLM content harvesting?

I stated this as a throwaway in a comment on lobster.rs

I’d prefer a legally enforced method to ban LLM providers from ingesting my content.

Another user asked me to explain via a message on the site, this is my reply, expanded:

So, I doubt a legal solution is… possible, because LLM content ingestion is cleverly contained within the space of fair use. There’s very little distinction between Google indexing my site and enabling searching for it, and OpenAI from doing the same and translating the text into a multidimensional matrix.

One is useful to me, as it presents my words to a wider audience. One is not useful to me, because it enables someone to take my words and cadence and reproduce it without attribution.

My main gripe with generative AI is that it devalues labor. Now, I’m a simple country blogger, but this affects educators, technical writers, copywriters, scriptwriters… not to mention the people working in visual arts. Sure, there’s a lot of semantically valueless prose out there, and generative LLMs might make creating such prose easier, but to what end? Isn’t it better to get rid of it altogether, instead of teaching machines how to emulate it?

LLMs are nothing without human input. LLM companies launder the work of millions of humans, and pay thousands of classifiers a pittance, to generate a profit presenting a simalucrum of human creativity. Remove the inputs and the models spiral into uselessness.

If nothing else, I’d like to be able to charge a nominal fee for providing my work as input to LLMs. Maybe a law requiring payment is enough to make the entire thing uneconomical, without dismantling existing copyright law.

Friday, 25 August 2023


The answer “this weird alt-right dude” to the question “who uses Haskell?” is not the ringing endorsement it might look like at first glance.


Today’s red-hot take: Haskell is like Perl.


🔗 Let’s Not Encrypt (2019)

I’m against mandatory HTTPS, but mostly because I’m contrarian like that.

The same tired arguments are trotted out every time someone dares question Big Encryption. What if someone is inserting ads? What if someone is stealing ur codez? A little humility in accepting that not everyone wants to shackle their webserver to a 3rd party would not hurt.


New pronounciation guide

X - short for Xwitter, pronounced Shitter. As in, “Check out Trump on the Xwitter!”

Xeet - used to be Tweet. Pronounced “shit”. “Dude shits everything he eats.”

Sub/X - used to be subtweet. “This shit is a sub/x on your grandma.”

Thursday, 24 August 2023


So the Russian officer (Girkin) who started the Donbas war in 2014 is in jail, the only Russian general to carry out a successful maneuver in 2022 (Surovikin) has been relieved of duty, and the only Russian commander to take a city in 2023 (Prigozhin) has been murdered.



Just to be clear, I’m not a professional ‘coup maker’, I’m just a dude who greatly values common sense:

In this moment, I am dead, because I flew openly into the airspace controlled by the man I publicly humiliated exactly two months ago.

Tuesday, 22 August 2023


🔗 “leftist” fash-washing: “Conspiracy Theories, Left Futurism, and the Attack on TESCREAL”

Two “democratic socialists” are intrigued by the AGI-lovers and wish to subscribe to their newsletters.

Someone on awful.systems attempted to push this:

I read it as showing that a lot of these ideas, which, yes, some jerks (but also plenty of non-jerks) are into, have deeper left histories, and deserve serious consideration.

To which I replied:

The only people mentioned who are not the usual rogue’s gallery (MuskThielSBF) are Marx/Engels, JB Haldane, John Desmond Bernal (who??) and this fucking guy:

Max More was one of the libertarian thinkers (non-billionaire) who helped shape modern transhumanism.

Oh he’s not a billionaire, obviously he is Of The Left.

(I quickly googled this dude of whom I have never heard and didn’t find any obvious techfash red flags, but maybe he’s better at hiding them than most others)

Anyway, extropianism!

like all arguments from first principles, the Extropians encountered problems when trying to extrapolate derivative principles, like political economy. While the Extropian ideas went in an anti-state direction, their logic leads just as naturally to the Enlightenment Left’s conclusion that humanity should take our collective future in hand through democratic deliberation or the guidance of “scientific socialism,”

“OK so right now it’s basically fascist feudalism, but it could be socialism”, got it.

More weird framings

But some effective altruists, most famously the crypto scammer and donor to the Democratic Party Sam Bankman-Fried,

Outside the “not all EAs!” crowd I haven’t seen this before, but the authors are “democratic socialists” which basically means they hate the Democrats more than the GOP.

I can kinda agree on their take on Cosmism, which AFAIK is really fringe (I mean, I have heard of Fyodorov, but I have read a lot of SF), but even here they can’t really refrain from oohing over the “weird and wonderful” Russian cosmists, while perfunctorily noting that they’re all fascists now.

Russian Cosmists also prefigured a version of eco-philosophy, emphasizing the unity of all living beings and the interconnectedness of the universe. Cosmists believed that all forms of life, including animals and plants, were part of a universal whole. They advocated for the ethical treatment of all living creatures and the preservation of biodiversity.

The Izborsky Club explicitly condemns the technocratic “transhumanism” of Western thought, including individualism, rationalism, democracy, capitalism and transgender rights, as contrary to their “technocratic traditionalist” Cosmism. The Izborsky Club reflects the swirl of NazBol ideas in contemporary Russia, attempting to merge Russian Orthodoxy, Bolshevik authoritarianism and fascist “Eurasian” racial-nationalism. [….] In other words actual organized Russian Cosmists today despise TESCREAL ideas and their Western proponents.

But both Musk and Thiel hate trans people, but trans treatment is essentially transhumanism, how can we square this circle? It is a mystery.

There has to be a middle way between “omg we are all doomed” (which has been a trope since at least WW2, imho) and “don’t worry if the planet boils, as long as a hostile AI doesn’t kill us all humanity will be fine”. And you know? I’m hopeful that if we can get our act somewhat together we can pull through.

But it’s transparently clear that TESCREAL ideology is an attempt to coopt bright young minds into dreaming about life fucking and shopping in outer space instead of getting mad and taking action against the old men who have led us down this dark path.


🔗 Free Mars

(via @cstross@wandering.shop)


Dude proposes abolishing copyright, posits this will allow Nazis to use my pictures in their propaganda, and has trouble understanding that I have a problem with this.

Monday, 21 August 2023


The Scattering

Every day brings further proof that Dilbert Stark is off his fucking meds all the time and has made it his life’s mission to make Twitter even worse. So like all rational beings I have sought other havens.


Still there for Ukraine news. Less and less interesting otherwise. I block the shitty ads with abandon to make the servers cry.


Still the best place for me. Invite-only but relatively easy to get an invite. Like all old-timers I’m always on the lookout for the inevitable lowering of standards.

Bluesky, AKA Jack’s Fascist Beanstalk

Dunno what happened but someone managed to seed this blockchain adjacent techfash project with cool people. Just waiting for the hammer to fall once they finally manage to scale up and turn it into a mix of LessWrong and Gab.


Yeah I’m on mastodon.social, AKA the Threads of the fediverse. Spending more and more time there.

awful.systems, a Lemmy instance

This is the refuge of /r/SneerClub, and it was much better before they federated with the rest of Lemmy. I’m sure there are other good Lemmy instances, but I have yet to find them (not that I’ve been looking).



(Seriously, not yet available in the EU due to rampant privacy violations. I predict it will go the way of the Metaverse and get a bullet to the neck in the near future.)

IRC, Discord

Much less.


Replaced by Lemmy, see above.


🇸🇪 vältrar mig i oikofobiskt självhat, och mår bra av det.


There’s a bunch of tiny little distros that are more akin to cults than anything else. Their first commandment is “thou shalt not use systemd”.


🔗 The age of the clever fool

Tech bros, woke theorists, psychobabblers — George Orwell endures because his plainness is relief from them all

Sunday, 20 August 2023


It’s time to follow my own advice and hide a lobste.rs discussion I don’t believe belongs on the site instead of whining about it.

Saturday, 19 August 2023


🔗 What “Oppenheimer” Misses About The Decision to Drop the Bomb

The Truman administration launched a deliberate PR campaign to inflate casualty numbers to justify the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


🇷🇺 Oderint dum metuant

[Originally written on 12 May 2022.]

This saying, attributed to Caligula, can be translated as “let them hate, as long as they fear”. It is a good summary of the current Russian “imperial project”, such as it is. There does not seem to be any benefit to being ruled by Russia, apart from an abstract belonging to the Russian empire. No benefits accrue to even parts of the conquered. The material fruits of labor will be confiscated. The weak will be harassed and violated. The conquered culture will be replaced by Russian culture, by the point of the bayonet and the strike of the MLRS.

Is it strange that people outside Russia fear and hate Russian domination?

Historical empires offered a quid pro quo. Submit to Rome and enjoy the fruits of the Roman peace. Elites were welcomed to join Roman society. Roman troops kept trade safe. Citizens were Roman citizens, free from arbitrary prosecution.

The British empire grew from the pursuit of profit, but it found plenty of local collaborators in the areas it razed for lucre. These populations profited too, and exchanged local control for silver and safety.

The current pax Americana is among the lightest of yokes. The US rules by proxy, by the dollar, and by the NYSE. Adhere to the rules and get very, very rich, and send your children to be educated in the finest universities on Earth.

What does Russia offer? A desert, and not even peace.

It didn’t have to be like this

Russia could have remained integrated in the world economy. Its elites could have continued selling fossil fuels on the world market, while keeping its middle class happy with Western consumer goods. Its intelligence service could continue to warp Western democracies using the judo trick of “free speech” to poison public discourse, all hidden behind plausible deniability.

In a brighter future, eager pupils would flock to Pushkin Institutes worldwide to learn Russian, to drink from the deep wells of its culture, to visit and move there, all while Russians could take advantage and move where they wanted, learning, sending money home, letting other meet them as human beings, and returning home richer, for all to benefit.

It would not be a zero-sum game. Russia would be a place of wonder, not of fear.

No one wants to be hated, only a few want to be feared. To be feared and hated, and reviled, is the worst fate of all.

Friday, 18 August 2023


Re: Arguments against the metric system

[Trawling through my drafts, I came upon this old entry from May 2022 and decided to exhume an old Gemini post. It was originally posted on 2022-05-26.]

Context, this post about the disadvantages of the metric system.

[…] I dislike many of the arguments people use to push for its broader adoption in the US.

I don’t think this article makes a coherent argument, and I’ll try to spell out why.

I am a scientist and also have training as an engineer. I love measuring things! But in many cases, measurement doesn’t serve us — it serves the needs of the state and capital. It’s no coincidence that the push to adopt an international system of measures coincided with the ascension of capitalist hegemony.

Societies before the current capitalist orders have measured. Measurement is central to everything from construction, to trade, to medicine… Every society benefits from accurate, reproducible measurements. Even in the future non-capitalist utopia, we still need measurements to ensure clean water, medicine, and the daily allowance of gruel nutricious energy slurry.

Being measured is the first step that a mere object takes toward becoming a commodity. Objects are useful for people, but commodities are only useful for capitalists (I just saved you the trouble of reading about three chapters of Marx).

It’s almost as if the largest system of chattel slavery in the world preceded the introduction of the metric system, and survived for six decades afterwards.

Likewise, the foundations of the greatest colonial empire in history were layed just before the French Revolution.

Adoption of the metric system does not free its user from the limitations of the squishy organic matter that’s using those measurements. Why else would centimeters be such a commonly used measure, when the metric system supposedly prefers multiples of 1000 (and 0.001), if something on the scale of an inch isn’t inherently useful?

No it doesn’t, and no-one has said it would. SI is not normative in that way.

During history, coherent systems based on the meter have included cgs (centimetre-gramme-second), MTS (metre-tonne-second), and the ultimate victor, MKS-A (meter-kilogram-second-Ampere).

Of course people adopt measurements that are “closest” to what they want to measure. We use centimeters for stuff like boxes, millimeters for small stuff, deciliters for food-related volumes, hectoliters for wine production, hectares for land area, kilometers for distance. So in each case, the meter is subdivided or extended into terms that fit the measurement domain.

In Sweden a common measurement is the “mil”, or 10km. It’s often used when discussing longer distances.

Implying SI demands only the use of powers of ten that are modulo 3 is a strawman.

Both inches in use in the USA (industrial/statute and survey) are based on the meter, but with slightly different definitions.

When should a user measuring small distances in customary units go from say, 1/64″ to 15.625 thousands?

The metric system was invented by one of the first modern nation-states, then a brand new liberal democracy that didn’t let its new commitment to the notions of individual freedom from expanding upon the cruel colonial policies of its former monarchy.

This wildly misrepresents the political realities of the French Republic, which abolished slavery.

The largest, most widespread colonial empire was ruled from a country that used those nice, human-based imperial measurements.

Update Sunday, 2022-05-29

UK Metrication timeline

1861 - A committee of the British Association for Advancement of Science (BAAS) including William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin), James Clerk Maxwell and James Prescott Joule introduced the concept of a coherent system of units which is fundamental to the modern metric system. They proposed the metre, gram and second as base units.

1963 - Weights and Measures Act redefined the basic measures of the ‘yard’ and the ‘pound’ in terms of the ‘metre’ and the ‘kilogram’. Many of the old imperial measures were abolished (drachm, scruple, minim, chaldron, quarter, rod, pole, perch, and a few more). Imperial units are now defined in terms of metric.

Thursday, 17 August 2023


“My computer rebooted to install security updates” is the new “my phone got cut off because tunnel”.


🔗🧪 LK-99 isn’t a superconductor — how science sleuths solved the mystery

On 14 August, a separate team, at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, reported synthesizing pure, single crystals of LK-99. Unlike previous synthesis attempts that relied on crucibles, the researchers used a technique called floating zone crystal growth that allowed them to avoid introducing sulfur into the reaction, eliminating the Cu2S impurities.

The result was a transparent purple crystal — pure LK-99, or Pb8.8Cu1.2P6O25. Separated from impurities, LK-99 is not a superconductor, but an insulator with a resistance in the millions of ohms — too high to run a standard conductivity test. It shows minor ferromagnetism and diamagnetism, but not enough for even partial levitation. “We therefore rule out the presence of superconductivity,” the team concluded.

(via @tero@rukii.net)


Yet again, the ability of stock Markdown to seamlessly include HTML has enabled me to faithfully quote from other material, without having to compromise in semantic fidelity. Yes, it makes parsing harder, but life easier. The tradeoff is clear.

Tuesday, 15 August 2023


Every time some chode bounces off a Code of Conduct and vows not to contribute because of it, that CoC is doing its job.

Update This is the CoC in question, it’s for the Fennel language. It’s pretty awesome!

The only reason I even know this exists is that someone, no doubt a fan of Freeze Peach, tried to snark on the following

Any attempt to present “reverse-ism” versions of the above as violations. Examples of reverse-isms are “reverse racism”, “reverse sexism”, “heterophobia”, and “cisphobia”.

The fact that someone else then tried to present this as proof of discrimination against “certain groups” is just so meta.

2023-08-14 (måndag)


🇸🇪 Tinget i sig

En afton läser Örtstedt Kant
och finner honom verkligt intressant.

Men filosofens tyska flyter tungt.
Snart somnar över boken vår adjunkt.

I nattens dröm gror dagens tankesådd.
Kant illustreras och blir lättförstådd.

Det kommer, svept i brokig omslagsfärg,
till Örtstedt ett paket från Königsberg.

Aktas för stötar! står det utanpå
med petig stil som verkar rokoko.

Avsändare och varans fabrikant
är ingen mindre än professor Kant.

Han granskar lådan vid sin fönsternisch.
Det står som innehåll: DAS DING AN SICH.

Kring tinget i sig själv, de vises sten,
är sinnevärlden blott ett brokigt sken.

Vem törs dock rycka undan slöjan kring
den rena verkligheten, tingens ting?

Adjunkten Örtstedt ryggar bort bestört
från det som ingen sett och ingen rört.

Om gåvan i hans grova händer sprack!
– Han returnerar den med tusen tack.

– Hjalmar Gullberg, 1935

Friday, 11 August 2023


📺🇬🇧 Scott & Bailey SE01-05 (2011-2016)

The first four seasons of this British police procedural show are superlative. Great characters, good storylines, and, importantly, the plots are grounded in (as far as I can tell) realism. Unfortunately the short fifth season feels like a cash grab where everyone carries the idiot ball. Avoid if you like this show.

Thursday, 10 August 2023


Today we see on the HN frontpage two of their more… esoteric obsessions, namely tradcath pontification and worrying about the population of Japan.

Wednesday, 9 August 2023


🔗 Robbie Robertson, R.I.P.

Tuesday, 8 August 2023


The way Goodreads tries to gamify reading is depressing.


Remember last week, when we had room temperature superconductors and aliens? Good times.


🔗🐘 JWZ: Mastodon’s Mastodon’ts

2023-08-07 (måndag)


🇸🇪 Påminns om följande klassiska kuplett av Falstaff, fakir när Systembolagskritiker mässar om att vinbutikerna i Frankrike minsann är välsorterade:

I Paris schangtila salar
värsta buse franska talar

Sunday, 6 August 2023


the mansplaining problem is a cultural one with mastodon because it’s full of cis men who have put more thought into their linux flavor of choice than they ever have about whether their behavior is useful or wanted. it cannot be solved with the twitter popup that says “are you sure you want to post this?” when you tell someone to eat shit



🔗🇸🇪 När blixten tog vår klasskamrat

Saturday, 5 August 2023


Mentioned Gresham’s Law in an online comment, but didn’t link to the wiki page. Glad I didn’t, because it bears the unmistakable signs of ideologically driven editing by goldbugs.

Friday, 4 August 2023


🔗🇸🇪 Här sprider Björn Söder förintelseförnekarens falska pridebilder

Expos granskning av bilderna visar att ingen av dem har någon koppling till varken Stockholm Pride eller ens Sverige – information som Björn Söder utelämnar. Ingen av bilderna visar heller någon situation där barn varit nära sexuellt innehåll, även om det kollage Björn Söder sprider ger sken av det.

Den första bilden är av oklart ursprung, men börjar spridas av hbtqi-fientliga konton i sociala medier i maj efter att en person ur den danska konspirationstroende miljön postat den. Den andra bilden är av allt att döma tagen vid en dragshow i USA sommaren 2022 och sprids av transfobiska konton på plattformen X. Den tredje bildens ursprung går inte att fastställa – spåren slutar vid en japansk porrsajt där bilden postas 2016, vilket också uppmärksammats av journalisten Jack Werner i en tråd på plattformen X.

Thursday, 3 August 2023


This piece on the Smithsonian website says that slavery in Viking society is “little-known”. Well maybe if you’re not from Scandinavia. The existence of thralls has always been a part of the history of these countries. I vaguely remember reading a YA novel on the theme too.

I suspect many modern-day admirers of the Vikings also know about this, and think it’s commendable.

The Little-Known Role of Slavery in Viking Society

Wednesday, 2 August 2023


I guess I should get mad about HN railing against “modern architecture”, but it’s a trope older than Hitler, and a disdain for modernism is a hallmark of the fashy reactionary. I just think it’s weird that a community that celebrates its own deep knowledge of software development is so blithe to dismiss other professional fields. If I was to comment that functional programming is a needless complication I’d get pilloried, but someone who demands buildings feature Ionic columns is a seen to have Valid Concerns.


Another day, another programming language project with a shitty maintainer. Of course they are defended by fanboys employing DARVO tactics.


Amazing. X-Twitter subscribers can now hide the blue check, the one that was supposed to be a Veblen good, worth so much that selling it was gonna save Musk’s bacon.

Twitter Blue subscribers can now hide their blue checks

Tuesday, 1 August 2023


🔗 John Tyndall rescues Julius Mayer, 1862

Nice piece of science history, and some lovely 19th century scientific lecturing quotes:

The researches of Sir John Herschel and M. Pouillet have informed us of the annual expenditure of the sun as regards heat ; and by an easy calculation we ascertain the precise amount of the expenditure which falls to the share of our planet. Out of 2300 million parts of light and heat the earth receives one. The whole heat emitted by the sun in a minute would be competent to boil 12,000 millions of cubic miles of ice- cold water. How is this enormous loss made good? Whence is the sun’s heat derived, and by what means is it maintained? No combustion, no chemical affinity with which we are acquainted would be competent to produce the temperature of the sun’s surface. Besides, were the sun a burning body merely, its light and heat would assuredly speedily come to an end.


The grandson of Andrew Mellon (“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks…”) is bankrolling RFK Jr’s ratfucking campaign. You can’t make this shit up.

Donald Trump donor pours cash into Robert Kennedy Jr’s White House run

A top Republican donor who helped fund Donald Trump’s past presidential runs is helping to bankroll Robert F Kennedy Jr’s long-shot White House bid, as conservative cash keeps flowing to Joe Biden’s main challenger for the Democratic nomination.

According to federal filings released on Monday, Timothy Mellon gave $5mn to American Values, the main political action committee, or outside spending group, supporting Kennedy’s White House bid. Mellon, 81, is the grandson of Andrew Mellon, the former US Treasury secretary and senior banker, and a former executive in the transportation and infrastructure sector.


Other top Kennedy supporters include Patrick Byrne, the former chief executive of Overstock.com, and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya, as well as a large contribution from a group funded by Silicon Valley investor David Sacks.

Just the best people. JFC.


🔗🇺🇦 Kagarlitsky as a mirror of Pink Putinism


📺🇸🇪 Springfloden SE02 (2018)

Mycket sämre än förra säsongen. Till slut tittar man vidare bara för att se vilka absurditeter som kommer.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2023 59 41 61 47 38 27 39 49 29
2022 3 8 14 23 126 44 47 22 37 40 113 43
2021 21 7 15 7 8 14 1 3 13 13 4
2020 16 13 18 9 7 10 2 7 11 3 18 8
2019 5 21 10 7 23 13 8 10 11 6 12 6
2018 14 28 24 10 9 7 18 7 14 4 7 2
2017 13 26 15 14 21 13 3 13 7 7 25 18
2016 21 56 35 28 36 27 17 8 28 21 13 6
2015 16 10 32 13 11 14 4 16 33 34 44 11
2014 16 37 9 18 17 12 23 28 42 24 9 12
2013 67 88 44 50 33 23 18 19 51 52 47 37
2012 22 56 10 54 95 48 42 48 42 54 36 60
2011 63 41 51 54 38 37 45 31 66 35 23 19
2010 152 188 129 154 111 117 53 115 114 125 102 89
2009 234 246 270 280 270 278 106 164 224 199 186 147
2008 45 121 135 178 146 154 158 154 145 151 133 169
2007 3 1 44 76 38 30 27 76 110 182 68 30
2006 20 14 5 2 9 5 1 12 11 12 4 13
2005 1 1 10 8
2004 1 2

Generated on: 2023-09-29T13:02:49+00:00

Copyright © Gustaf Erikson 2004–2023. All rights reserved.