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psilocybin mushrooms improve hearing?, opinions
Akuostophile
post Apr 22 2007, 03:22
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QUOTE (Cornie @ Apr 21 2007, 18:47) *
QUOTE (Akuostophile @ Apr 21 2007, 12:50) *

Actually, my reply was to FloggedSynapse - as you can tell from the quotes. And the links do apply to the question.

Grace


While it is true that neither book deals specifically with the effects of psy. drugs(sic) on hearing, they are 2 examples of research that has studied the effects of a large number of psychoactive molecular groupings - on the human organism

btw.... no where did I state that those links were to the full texts (they both run close to 1000 pages) - I was merely pointing them out as avenues of further reading.


huh.gif Wow. Testy aren't we? Even to the degree of placing a [sic] for an abbreviation. Shoot, without spell check, grammar check, and a good editor/co-author, nothing I write would ever get published (that's evident by the careless errors in an earlier post), but thanks for pointing out the error [sic]. Now, should that previous sentence have had a semi-colon? Ah, who cares?

Now, on to the topic. This thread, this forum, and this site are about sound; not the "effects of psychoactive drugs on the human organism". You gave these links in response to a post that said "It would be interesting to see some 'real' scientific research on this topic though I doubt it's going to happen anytime soon." The "this topic" to which he/she refers, is that of the effect of psychoactive drugs on hearing. Those links apparently don't have much on this topic.

As an example of decent research (that has nothing to do with hearing), one might consult Rick Dobin's follow-up of Pahnke's "Good Friday Experiment"; however, one might note that he is not replicating Pahnke's study. Why? I'd bet that our current culture wouldn't permit it. I'm sincere in hoping to find specific scientific research on the effects of psychoactive drugs on hearing, but your current post doesn't do that. Thanks for the links, but the question regarding scientific research on hearing still remains (and when I say "scientific research" I mean research that has basic experimental design as a starting point). As the original poster questioned, I too doubt if any real scientific research on this topic will emerge anytime soon. More's the pity.


On a related note:
Personally I don't need those texts to tell me "the effects of a large number of psychoactive molecular groupings - on the human organism" 'cause I've already been there and done that 30+ years ago. I could have written some of those accounts in the texts myself!

Grace
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Lyx
post Apr 22 2007, 15:38
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Psychedelics in general (not just sound) rarely "improve" ones perception and never improve ones *processing*. Most of the time, they simply *change* how we perceive. Regarding sound, we may notice aspects of the sound, which we didnt notice before, while at the same time NOT perceiving some aspects, which we knew already. So, it is shifting and manipulation - not improvement.

There are two reason, why it makes no sense to use them for ABXing: first, if hypothetically via psychedelics you can notice lots of artifacts, which you didnt notice before, then this is acutually a GOOD sign - it means that the encoder sucessfully threw away lots of information, which we cannot hear in usual mindstates. Using psychedelics for ABXing is stupid and poisons the results - unless you want an encoder specifically for listening while on psy - good luck finding a coder to put that much effort in, just for this. The second reason is that the use of psychedelics leads to less robust and reliable reasoning and cognitive abilities. This is because psy changes (and in rare cases widens) our PERCEPTION, without adjusting our PROCESSING for this. So, the consumer is confronted with effects which he cannot reliably understand and analyze. People who do have the necessary processing-skills for analyzing alternate mind-states, dont need psy in the first place, because they can shift their mindstates by themselves, without relying on material enforcement. Thus, the users of psy-drugs typically take them, because they lack coresponding processing-skills. This makes most psy-users quite unrealiable in the cognitive domain.

A much more interesting question would be, if people who do have more control over their consciousness and who can manipulate it with their will, are able to spot artifacts, which others cannot. On the other hand - taking me as an example - when i am in such states, i have better things to do that ABXing - it would be the last thing i would care about - which throws us back to an earlier question: who should actually use an encoder which accounts for such usually unperceivable effects? When there is no problem/need, then who needs a solution?

- Lyx

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boojum
post Apr 22 2007, 21:14
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[/quote]
As the original poster questioned, I too doubt if any real scientific research on this topic will emerge anytime soon. More's the pity.
[/quote]


No, probably because there is little need. Just as we do not need research on how much better we can drive when under the influence of psychoactive drugs. Why folks keep returning to the question of how much better things are "under the influence" only reenforces my understanding that most of us are unable to learn from other's experience. And, by way of closing, here are the four rationalizations of addictive behavior: "I can take it or leave it.", "I can quit any time I want.", "I am not hurting anybody but myself.", and "If I ever get as bad as he/she is, I'll quit."

When you have been playing with those "non-addictive" drugs for a number of years that is recognized as an addiction. If it is not, try quitting. ;o) Huh?

cool.gif


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Lyx
post Apr 22 2007, 21:21
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Sorry, but the above post serves no useful purpose in this thread, except of provoking an off-topic discussion about drug use, morals and ethics. And from there on, things typically start getting very irrational and typically ends in everyone disagreeing with each other.

- Lyx
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Kees de Visser
post Apr 22 2007, 22:32
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There are probably quite some studies on the subject. I've found one from 1976 on PubMed.
Excerpt:
QUOTE
Marihuana has been said to improve hearing. Two earlier studies have supported this contention. In this investigation, marihuana or placebo cigarettes were randomly smoked by 30 subjects, 15 in each group. Before and after smoking, batteries of standard audiological tests were carried out; pure tone threshold (air and bone conduction), speech reception threshold, speech discrimination at most comfortable level, and relative acoustic impedance measurements including middle ear pressure, stapedial reflexes, compliance, tympanic mobility, and Eustachian tube function. A comparison of pre and post smoking auditory test scores did not demonstrate any significant change in auditory function in the marihuana or placebo group. However, as all subjects had normal hearing and maximum speech discrimination scores pre-smoking, it can only be concluded that smoking marihuana did not worsen the hearing--the experiments were not designed to see whether it would improve hearing.
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moozooh
post Apr 22 2007, 23:58
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QUOTE (Akuostophile @ Apr 22 2007, 06:22) *
I could have written some of those accounts in the texts myself!

What you really "could have" and should have done, is at least read what the man was talking about, before shooting him down. Especially things like that:
QUOTE
A physician friend of mine has expressed it using a neurological vocabulary: "If it [the drug] delayed only the neural response to a stimulus, then pitch might have been shifted down, and yet harmony between notes should have been preserved. A variable delay related to the pitch of the stimulus would produce the disharmony but would not explain the preservation of normal relationship between single tones. It seems clear that this compound affects the auditory processing centers in the brain in a complex way which deserves further scientific study. The lack of significant toxic effects should make this compound useful for further studies."


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marcan
post Apr 23 2007, 00:17
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I start a comparable subject few years ago here on ha:
Does Cannabis Increase Your Audio Peception?

The question here is "psilocybin mushrooms improve hearing?".

Obviously, some substance can improve our physical performance, so why some might not improve our perception (and hearing in this case)?

As I already stated in this thread, amongst the substance I have already experiment, mdma and mda gave me the stronger improvement. In order to be sure I wasn't "hallucinating", I verified this with abx test. I was able to easily distinguish a certain number of mp3 (aps) with the original wav. I failed to reproduce the same performance under normal circumstances. I was also able to hear the limitation of the AD/DA (a good one tho, Apogee Rosetta 800), but I have to experiment a little bit more about this (I will make a recording session with an analogue tape and the Apogee in order to compare them).

According to what was suggest in this thread, I tried some shrooms this weekend. My first impression is that it might improve the hearing but it clearly makes the music more enjoyable. It was less spectacular (in terms of hearing) than mdma but the improvement seems to be more balanced (the improvement with mdma is more sensible in the highs for me). However I didn't have the chance to confirm an improvement with abx test. Next time I will try to perform some…

For the information, Psilocybin and psilocin (mushrooms active components) and mdma act both on the serotonin (neurotransmitter), creating a large release of it in the brain. However mdma is much more toxic than mushrooms.

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Lyx
post Apr 23 2007, 00:29
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QUOTE (marcan @ Apr 23 2007, 01:17) *
As I already stated in this thread, amongst the substance I have already experiment, mdma and mda gave me the stronger improvement. In order to be sure I wasn't "hallucinating", I verified this with abx test. I was able to easily distinguish a certain number of mp3 (aps) with the original wav. I failed to reproduce the same performance under normal circumstances.

The test-methodology is valid, but its conclusions are based on flawed logic. What you verified is only, that you could distinguish a "lossy psychoacoustically compressed" music file via substances, but not without. This does NOT automatically mean an "improvement" in hearing. What it verifies, is that your hearing changes. This could be due to overall improvement, or just due to shifting.

Why? Well, take this hypothetical scenario: we compress a file psychoacoustically in a way, which throws away all information, which we cannot hear under normal states of mind. Then you come along and via substances notice the missing information. Next we compress another file psychoacoustically, but this time in a way, which is optimized to the mindstate which you enter via your choosen substance. Now you cannot spot any difference anymore. Then another person comes along and identifies the file easily, because he is NOT on the influence of a substance. What is an "improvement" here? Who has "increased" hearing? None of both - in this example, both testpersons simply hear "differently", not "better". To verify any claim about "improvement", you need to take such scenarios into account - else your conclusions are invalid.

- Lyx

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greynol
post Apr 23 2007, 00:35
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Perhaps new psychoacoustic models can be created to fulfill the needs of those on psychotropics.

<runs away>


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marcan
post Apr 23 2007, 00:40
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QUOTE (greynol @ Apr 22 2007, 15:35) *
Perhaps new psychoacoustic models can be created to fulfill the needs of those on psychotropics.

<runs away>

biggrin.gif I was just thinking about that. You will have mdma encoder, shrooms encoder, booth encoder (probably the more compressed)...

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marcan
post Apr 23 2007, 00:51
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QUOTE (Lyx @ Apr 22 2007, 15:29) *
The test-methodology is valid, but its conclusions are based on flawed logic. What you verified is only, that you could distinguish a "lossy psychoacoustically compressed" music file via substances, but not without. This does NOT automatically mean an "improvement" in hearing. What it verifies, is that your hearing changes. This could be due to overall improvement, or just due to shifting.

Well one can say that the accumulation of both experiences is somehow an improvement. As you can state that you have a better perception of an object with two different angles rather than one.

QUOTE (Lyx @ Apr 22 2007, 15:29) *
Why? Well, take this hypothetical scenario: we compress a file psychoacoustically in a way, which throws away all information....
- Lyx

Except the low pass filter, mp3 compression doesn't really throw away information, it just create some quantisation noise where we are less able to hear it. However this doesn't change the burden of your point.

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Lyx
post Apr 23 2007, 00:59
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QUOTE (marcan @ Apr 23 2007, 01:51) *
Well one can say that the accumulation of both experiences is somehow an improvement. As you can state that you have a better perception of an object with two different angles rather than one.

Indeed. "Different/multiple perspectives" is the main advantage (and the source of the attractivity and fascination) of "mental relativity" - to which psychedelic drugs are one - but not the only possible - ticket.

- Lyx

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Woodinville
post Apr 24 2007, 19:09
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Well, I haven't a clue about the subject at hand, but various toxins can indeed cause a symptom called "hyperacusis", in which your auditory threshold is temporarily lowered, and during which loudness growth is huge. It's usually not good for you in the long term, as you might guess by the term "toxin".


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krabapple
post Apr 27 2007, 05:37
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and indeed, hallucinogens have long been associated with auditory hyperacusis.
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turtledude23
post Apr 29 2007, 19:34
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But are you saying you can hear better all the time are just while you're tripping on shrooms? Obviously when you're using them it increases all perceptions but I think that them actually altering your brain or body chemistry positively over long term usage is possible.
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dlorde
post May 3 2007, 16:47
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I think it depends what is meant by 'improve'. Objective tests can relatively easily show whether there is any change in auditory acuity and discrimination, but it is less easy to measure changes in the perception of musical pieces. In my fairly long experience of sativa cannabinoids (more adrenergic than soporific), the effects seem to involve changes in the focus of attention - somewhat akin to tunnel vision, it becomes easier to follow an individual instrument or to focus on specific aspects of the melody, rhythm, harmonies, etc., while the overall coherence of the piece becomes less apparent. This process doesn't require any increase in auditory efficiency or acuity, just a subtle change in the way the signals are processed, for example, one could speculate, by more emphasis (or less filtering/damping) of input in the direct focus of attention and more damping of other input.
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rebinator
post Jun 24 2011, 07:17
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Shrooms (4-HO-DMT) imroving hearing? I daresay they do.

As far as transferability of the data learned, well, that is literacy dependent. For example, one might be treated to a symphony of polyphonic guitar lead and anthemic choral that simply evaporates under normal listening conditions. In mixes where a distorted comping instrument predominates, one might find that the ambience and depth of field (the juice) are completely obliterated, and the volumes at which the said juice can be recovered is well into the subliminal range for most baseline people (That is why most people can't tell the difference between bit/sample-rates, or lossy/non-lossy; because most of the critical information is lost underneath the mix, or compressed out of existence). The important thing to do when faced with all this new information is to transcribe those leads you hear, or at least commit to memory what one can. Hallucination or 'real' is an ineffability, and irrelevant.

Some find that the entire mix explodes, especially at the near-subliminal.


As far as anyone questioning the 'morals' or 'healthfulness' of such an endeavor, spare me. I suppose a more practical engagement of any of your points would be the question of practicality of replicating the psychoacoustic-experience without having to tamper with the neuro-biological substrate. I would stick to that in this thread if I were you... the closest I have come is by falling asleep completely baseline before bed with the stereo at a suitably low level... the awareness of the track while dreaming is comparable to the breathtaking clarity IMHO.

The main thing is that a tremendous amount of information is contained in the ambient part of a sound, and most people can't or won't care. After all, there are usually only a handful of discernible voices, and those can be heard at any level, even the severely distorted.

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mudlord
post Jun 25 2011, 11:33
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Got any ABX tests to prove those claims?
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db1989
post Jun 25 2011, 14:13
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rebinator, I think most readers would appreciate a citation or empirical evidence (see ToS#8, whose conditions you accepted upon registering) for your claim that vast improvements of hearing and awareness attend the psychelic experience, especially as you deemed these phenomena significant enough to bump a topic after almost 50 months…

I imagine it’s natural that you would think/feel/whatever that things were different, given that the drugs are by definition mind-altering, but subjective experience of one person is of no indication or use to others. And, as ToS#8 makes clear, Hydrogenaudio eschews such anecdotal evidence in order to maintain discussion that is evidence-based and trustworthy for readers who may be easily led; this puts it in contrast to many other audio-based websites, and for the better I would say.
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rebinator
post Jul 27 2011, 06:53
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would you ever accept transcriptions? The extra parts can certainly be recorded... a side by side comparison of two lifts, one baseline and the other not, could serve as your ABX... smile.gif
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rebinator
post Jul 27 2011, 07:30
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by the very terms of service, then, the question of whether Psylocybin improves the sense of hearing is ill-framed, and not an appropriate question for this forum (perhaps I misinterpreted the question)
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/style_...default/dry.gif

if it was important for me to "prove a claim", as you so put it, I would probably put up a Sibelius or Reason based transcription of a song with and without. Someone here mentioned an ABX, and I think that's probably the closest thing that a subjective act like hearing will ever provide us with. I suppose the only way is for one to test smile.gif, which may or may not be practical. Perhaps a double-blind study involving ear-training exercises and multiple copyists, controlling for other hearing potentiators (including nootropics, or abstinence from alcohol) would placate those who are loath to believe certain behavior could have any positive effect. Mixes could be procured and individual tracks boosted individually to confirm the existence of the actual source if a whole voice is suspected to be the product of an intoxicated person's imagination. Any input on the logistics of such empiricism would be much appreciated.

It is natural that I "feel that way" (talk about the ineffability of the experience!), but my reasons are sound, no pun intended. I'm sorry if my words are considered spurious or anecdotal, but I stand by my 'claim'. Perhaps this _is_ the wrong crowd, and if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my musical enjoyment.

(PS) I find your officiousness pleasantly diverting, but not enough, I'm afraid, to get me to alter my expressed opinion. I'm sorry if my statement was in violation of sentiment and ordinance, but perhaps evidence is pending? peace


QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 25 2011, 15:13) *
rebinator, I think most readers would appreciate a citation or empirical evidence (see ToS#8, whose conditions you accepted upon registering) for your claim that vast improvements of hearing and awareness attend the psychelic experience, especially as you deemed these phenomena significant enough to bump a topic after almost 50 months…

I imagine it’s natural that you would think/feel/whatever that things were different, given that the drugs are by definition mind-altering, but subjective experience of one person is of no indication or use to others. And, as ToS#8 makes clear, Hydrogenaudio eschews such anecdotal evidence in order to maintain discussion that is evidence-based and trustworthy for readers who may be easily led; this puts it in contrast to many other audio-based websites, and for the better I would say.

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mjb2006
post Jul 28 2011, 05:15
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rebinator, the subjective experiences you describe aren't the problem, per se. You, alone, perceive whatever you perceive. You might even have a way of quantifying those perceptions and recording how they differ when you're in different mental states. But you don't stop there; you publicly imply that these differences in perception are generally experienced, and this forms your defense of your initial, concern-raising claim that shrooms generally improve hearing.

Even if you say these experiences are only applicable to you or are just your opinion, no one can verify them because the claims are not supported with empirical evidence, thus they're unwelcome on this board.

I'm sure more than a few readers can sympathize with your excitement about having noticed things while not-sober/not-fully-awake that you didn't notice while relatively cogent, and vice-versa. Likewise, it's natural for you to want others to appreciate that this phenomenon is real, i.e. that there's "more to the music" than just what one normally notices—or more broadly, that one's normal/sober/waking way of perceiving sensory input isn't necessarily synonymous with being completely unimpaired or having a complete, correct focus on and understanding of what actually exists. You may be surprised to find that although it's a foreign concept to some, this really isn't that radical a mode of thought; it's the kind of thing covered in introductory psychology and philosophy courses, and many people come to the same realizations without the aid of psychedelics.

Research to demonstrate your and others' subjective experience in this regard and to measure its consistency would probably be interesting, and it might even persuade a few skeptics to be less dismissive, but it would be quite unreasonable to conclude from such research that hearing is "improved" by psychedelics (the first claim you made) and that the effective is "positive", or even that "a tremendous amount of information is contained in the ambient part of a sound". I'm essentially echoing points made in the original posts of this thread when I ask: who's to say what constitutes an "improvement" or whether the details missed by the sober listener are important information? Even among strictly sober listeners with similar hearing, you'll find that some people notice & appreciate things that most people miss, and they miss things that most notice. So how do you even establish a baseline or get a sense of whose perception is more "correct"? You can't, really.

I'm reminded of the "fundamental hearer" vs. "overtone hearer" research from a few years back. It's fascinating to find that the general population pretty solidly breaks down into one group or the other, and it's fun to wonder about the ramifications of that, but it would be improper to say that one group hears "better" or "more of the music" than the other.

So the easiest way to satisfy TOS#8 is to retract your claims. If you did manage to collect & share evidence in support of the claim that different mental states yield different awarenesses, then you wouldn't have to worry about retracting that part, but you'd still be on the hook for the more important and less plausible claim that shrooms "improve" hearing. I suggest just bailing now smile.gif
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db1989
post Jul 28 2011, 20:42
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Your idea of transcribing in both states and comparing the results is quiet interesting—but: How exactly could such a test be statistically analysed? Wouldn’t we need to find someone whose abilities in this area exceed yours even when they’re ‘sober’? etc.

I don’t think anyone would try to dissuade you from performing your own test if you want to, but as mjb2006 said, any results would only be of limited use as they’d only be representative of you as an individual. So, feel free to extend your test to a statistically usable sample size! wink.gif
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pdq
post Jul 28 2011, 21:01
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I don't see how one could do a valid ABX test on "chemical enhancement", because it could never be double blind. The subject could easily tell if he was "enhanced" or not.

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klonuo
post Jul 28 2011, 22:02
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QUOTE (rebinator @ Jul 27 2011, 08:30) *
if it was important for me to "prove a claim", as you so put it, I would probably put up a Sibelius or Reason based transcription of a song with and without.

If you really have such skills it would be great. I'm also curious in hearing your patchwork
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