BLAME

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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mickthinks
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Re: BLAME

Post by mickthinks »

Tom, I think I responded fairly and squarely to the points you made here, but instead of doing me the same justice, you've changed the subject. It makes you look as if you have come to PN to post polemic rather than to engage in honest discussion. That's unlike you, I think.
  1. May I ask you to cite some evidence that race is not the reason why Tamir Rice is dead and Joseph Houseman is still alive?
  2. Do you believe that black people deserve to die more than white people because more black people commit crimes than white people?
Gee
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Re: BLAME

Post by Gee »

Tbieter;

I had planned to address some of the points you made in your December 29th post to Mickthinks, but considering the quote below, I have changed my mind. I checked out the website, and what I think is that you are a racist. You will probably deny this, and may not even know that you are racist, but your choice of that website along with the comment below it are evidence to the contrary. Even the title of the site, Stuff Black People Don't Like, means that all black people think alike. Racist.
tbieter wrote:Check out this web site http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/ and let me know what you think.

In cities where there is a majority black population, why can't the city have a SWAT squad composed of all blacks to respond to impending violent situations involving black citizens?
There is one point from your December 29th post that I feel needs to be addressed, and that is your comment below:
tbieter wrote:From the preceding passionate responses to my publishing the article, I suspect that you folks are glad that those two NY cops got assassinated.
Since my post was prior to this comment, and could be described as "passionate", I think that this comment is addressed to me. Your comment is typical lawyer spin. You take my experiences, which are real, and try to negate them by calling them "passionate", which is emotional and therefore not trustworthy. Then you imply a motivation by suspecting that I am "glad" that two people were assassinated.

What I stated is that I "expected" it in the same way that I would expect a car and train to crash if I saw them racing to the same intersection. This does not mean that I am "glad". It does not even mean that I want it to happen. It just means that I can see and understand cause and effect. Your entire comment is hogwash.

This is a philosophy forum, not a court of law. Philosophy is about truth, wisdom, and that which is real. District Courts are all about enforcing the law; Circuit or County Courts are about equity; Appellate and Supreme Courts are about social order; none of the Courts give a damned about truth except as it applies to them. I have studied enough law and worked with enough lawyers to recognize the fact that you have spent more time in Court than you have on Philosophy.

If it is true that you want to analyze the problem that led to the police officers being killed, rather than to assign blame and ensure the innocence of the legal system, then you have fallen far short of your mark as far as I am concerned.

Gee
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Kayla
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Re: BLAME

Post by Kayla »

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:I thought that too. Just keep giving them children toy guns, then shoot them when they play with them. It's the parents who should be taken out of the gene pool.
but no one - at least not in the prominent press coverage - seems to be asking why the kid had a bb gun that looked much like a real thing - what was the parents' role in this coming to be

yes, with better police training and better hiring practices, there will be fewer police shootings in situations like that

but the burden cannot be entirely on the police here
mickthinks
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Re: BLAME

Post by mickthinks »

Which burden are you thinking of, Karla? The burden not to kill black citizens more often than white citizens lies entirely with each one of us, individually and collectively.
tbieter
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Re: BLAME

Post by tbieter »

mickthinks wrote:Tom, I think I responded fairly and squarely to the points you made here, but instead of doing me the same justice, you've changed the subject. It makes you look as if you have come to PN to post polemic rather than to engage in honest discussion. That's unlike you, I think.
  1. May I ask you to cite some evidence that race is not the reason why Tamir Rice is dead and Joseph Houseman is still alive? What I find to be crucial is the way Houseman holds his weapon at all times - the gun is pointed up. And isn't he voicing a political harangue? Did Rice point the gun at the officer? It is hard to see.
  2. Do you believe that black people deserve NO to die more than white people because more black people commit crimes than white people?
tbieter
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Re: BLAME

Post by tbieter »

tbieter wrote:
mickthinks wrote:Tom, I think I responded fairly and squarely to the points you made here, but instead of doing me the same justice, you've changed the subject. It makes you look as if you have come to PN to post polemic rather than to engage in honest discussion. That's unlike you, I think.
  1. May I ask you to cite some evidence that race is not the reason why Tamir Rice is dead and Joseph Houseman is still alive? What I find to be crucial is the way Houseman holds his weapon at all times - the gun is pointed up. And isn't he voicing a political harangue? Did Rice point the gun at the officer? It is hard to see.
  2. Do you believe that black people deserve NO to die more than white people because more black people commit crimes than white people?
aPPARENTLY, THE GUY WAS ENGAGED IN AN ANTI-GOVERNMENT AND CONCEAL CARRY PROTEST.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/1 ... 01883.html Plus, and most significantly, he was not pointing the gun at anybody.
mickthinks
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Re: BLAME

Post by mickthinks »

Did Rice point the gun at the officer? It is hard to see.

Tom, you asked me for evidence to back my position and I supplied some. When I ask you for evidence to support your contention, you conjecture about something that you admit cannot actually be seen.

Now, as an experienced lawyer, what would your response be if the other side offered that kind of testimony as 'evidence' of your client's contributory culpability?

Please will you to cite some proper evidence you have for your belief that race is not the reason why Tamir Rice is dead and Joseph Houseman is still alive.


So you believe that black people don't deserve to die more than white people. Then I think the crime statistic, genuine or fake as it may be, that you introduced in this debate serves no honest purpose, but merely clouds the issues. I don't understand why anyone committed to a philosophical examination of the issues would do that. I would expect it from someone with a political agenda, though.
tbieter
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Re: BLAME

Post by tbieter »

mickthinks wrote:Did Rice point the gun at the officer? It is hard to see.

Tom, you asked me for evidence to back my position and I supplied some. When I ask you for evidence to support your contention, you conjecture about something that you admit cannot actually be seen.

Now, as an experienced lawyer, what would your response be if the other side offered that kind of testimony as 'evidence' of your client's contributory culpability?

Please will you to cite some proper evidence you have for your belief that race is not the reason why Tamir Rice is dead and Joseph Houseman is still alive.
I have none; therefore, I agree with your position. Rice was killed because he was black. So were Garner and Brown. The old guy was not killed because he was white. White cops go out looking for blacks to kill.


So you believe that black people don't deserve to die more than white people. Then I think the crime statistic, genuine or fake as it may be, that you introduced in this debate serves no honest purpose, but merely clouds the issues. I don't understand why anyone committed to a philosophical examination of the issues would do that. I would expect it from someone with a political agenda, though.
mickthinks
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Re: BLAME

Post by mickthinks »

I have none; therefore, I agree with your position. Rice was killed because he was black. So were Garner and Brown. The old guy was not killed because he was white. White cops go out looking for blacks to kill.

But that's not my position, Tom. My position is that the deaths at police hands of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Michael Brown illustrate a lack of concern for the welfare of black people among many police officers, which reflects the attitude found among many white people in America, that black Americans are a problem that they need the police to protect them from.

Have you really changed your mind, though? I ask, because ironic capitulation is a rhetorical tactic I've often seen used by losers to mock an argument they find they cannot fault and yet refuse to accept.
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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: BLAME

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

tbieter wrote:
mickthinks wrote:
tbieter wrote:Here is a very interesting article on blame applied to a contemporary situation.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/3 ... c-mccarthy
Yes, it's Interesting in the same way that holocaust deniersI have been taught that the conclusions of science are always provisional are 'interesting', Tom.
As a former prosecutor, I think the article is an excellent example of legal and moral analysis.
McCarthy says "police [...] used force because the two men resisted efforts to effect lawful arrests" as if the kind of force that kills a man were a routine police response. That's the nub of the issue, Tom. Please reread McCarthy's paragraph that ends with this sentence: "A cop's escalation of force has to be reasonable under the circumstances." Also, in the paragraph, I think that McCarthy believes that the grand jury should have indicted the cop in the Garner case for either manslaughter or negligent homocide The kind of force that kills you is used rarely against white people like McCarthy, What evidence can you cite for the preceding assertion. but daily against black people. Brown and Garner were just particularly public examples of such unnecessary deaths.

No doubt technically McCarthy is correct to call Garner's arrest 'legal' (I'm unsure whether Wilson was ever technically 'arresting' Brown at all), but that raises another crucial point. Why is it legal to arrest people on such weak grounds? The reason that the person must submit to arrest is that he always has the opportunity to contest the arrest in court. And if the arrest is ruled illegal, the case is dismissed and all evidence seized after the arrest is suppressed. I am sure it wouldn't be tolerated by the white majority in New York if white New Yorkers were arrested regularly on similarly flimsy pretexts.

Both McCarthy and you cannot see the racist wood for the cops&robbers trees, and it'll bite more than your arses if you both don't wake up very quickly.


As a not-altogether-unrelated aside, may I ask, Tom—do you watch Fox News? After I watch Amy Goodman's Democracy Now program, I turn on Fox for 3 hours until Rush, the Doctor of Democracy, comes on. If so, this story will be of interest to you.
From the preceding passionate responses to my publishing the article, I suspect that you folks are glad that those two NY cops got assassinated.
Not at all, but at least it sends a message. I'm ignorant, were those two cops responsible for any wrongful deaths, that we are aware of?

You see, back in the day, I was definitely on the side of Rodney King, as that video spoke volumes. Though just as much as I was pissed at the cops for needlessly beating him, I was pissed at the rioters for their misdirected, so called, retaliation. Why? Because those merchants, as well as all others, that were not the cops responsible for Rodney's beating, surely did not deserve such treatment.

So I'm against misdirected retaliation just as much as I'm against the initial wrong doing, "whomever" is responsible for it, and I don't care if it's GOD! Wrong is wrong, PERIOD! The one doing the wrong, should be punished, and no one else! But I'm also against capital punishment, intellectually. Emotionally, I'm sure I'd break the rule book of my intellect. Unfortunate for both me and the initial transgressor.

Every man equally, is and is not equally, responsible for their own doings, and should be judged accordingly!

What say you, man that would call himself, a fair and all considering, judge? Can any man truly know enough to justly judge another man, where "just" considers all it is in being a human being, including ones own psyche, their potential bias, as it potentially flavors their judgment? Can any man contain, as much knowledge as it would actually take, to ensure their judgment was only of that, which allowed for the crime to take place, such that a true blame could be assigned, so as to effectively judge the actual truth of the human matter, the actual causals of ones challenging the current human societal 'civility,' the current state of the human, so called, civil societal construct? Can anyone say, "god?"
Gee
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Re: BLAME

Post by Gee »

Spheres: That was a very good post, and I agree with the large majority of what you had to say, but it was not very pragmatic and does not give us any idea of what we can actually do to understand or correct the problem.

I hate the ethics forum and try to avoid it, but I can not get this stupid thread off of my mind, so I am going to type until I feel better. (chuckle)

I think that we have a consensus, or at least a general agreement that if a police officer and a black person interact, it is much more likely that someone is going to be arrested, hurt, or killed, than if the interaction happened between a police officer and a white person. The question is: Why?

Many people will blame the police or the black community, assuming that one or the other, possibly both, is bad. This is nonsense. There is no group of people, who are bad. Individuals can be bad, but not groups of racial, ethnic, cultural, or professional people. There is a Common Truth about people, no matter who they are or where they are from, and that is this: Little girls want to grow up to be beautiful like their mothers and cherished by their fathers; little boys want to grow up to be strong like their fathers, and adored by their mothers; children want to learn about their world; young people want to fall in love and be left alone; adults want to build a life that is safe, satisfying, and productive; old people want to enjoy their grandchildren and the fruits of their labors. All people want to be loved and respected for whom they are. This is simple truth.

So if police officers and/or black people do not want these confrontations, then why do they happen? They happen because the problem is situational. Even Tbieter admitted that the black people in Duluth do not have the problem that the black people in St. Paul have. And what causes these "situational" problems? Well, there is not one cause, there are many, and these causes feed on other causes creating an escalation of the problem.

Since the title of this thread is BLAME, and I learned how to do that by the time I was five years old, I would like to contribute my thoughts on who or what can be blamed. Prejudice, attitude, and expectations; mass media and the idea of "bad guys" and "good guys"; history, culture, racism, religion, and the KKK; power, money, poverty, and economics; education, Civil Procedures, Courts that are mired in history and can not keep up with technology, foolish and frivolous laws written and enacted by legislators, who seem to have less foresight and wisdom than a gnat; and, of course, redesignating police officers so that they are warriors of crime, instead of people who serve and protect the public. There are probably more causes, but I think this is a fair beginning for anyone who may wish to actually analyze the problem. We are stuck with some of these causes, as there is nothing that can be done, but some can be mitigated through understanding and work. Other causes can simply be corrected.

Let's start with prejudice. A lot of people will state that we should not be prejudice, but that may be one of the most absurd statements ever made. I am prejudice, you are prejudice, everyone is prejudice. The only way to stop being prejudice is to be dead. Consider what the word prejudice actually means; it means to pre-judge. To judge something before we have all of the facts in the current situation. We all do this, and we do it constantly.

Our prejudice comes to us in two different ways, consciously, and unconsciously. Consciously, our prejudice comes from experience. We learn things and then file that information into a level of the unconscious mind so that it becomes an automatic reaction. When I get out of bed in the morning, I do not have to judge the distance to the floor, so that I know how to place my feet -- I already learned that when I was three years old and do it automatically. I am prejudiced against picking up infants, who are not wearing diapers, as experience teaches me that a wet lap is the likely outcome, and worse is possible. I am prejudice against walking out into the street with my eyes closed. Even if there is no visible traffic, I still find it unwise to do this. So prejudice, derived consciously, comes from experience, which means that it is a precursor to wisdom. So a police officer, who knows that most of the people that s/he arrests are black, and that many of those black people had weapons, s/he would have to be a damned fool not to give those black people a hard narrow-eyed look. It is inevitable, but it leads to expectations of a conflict that may not need to exist.

Then there is the prejudice that comes to us through our unconscious and has nothing to do with experience. This prejudice is caused by the way a level of the unconscious mind "thinks". For a long time, it was believed that there was no logic in the unconscious mind, but Dr. Blanco, who studied under Anna Freud, found a logic in the unconscious. This logic does not work like the rational conscious mind and does not sequence events and information to build a logical train of thought, probably because the unconscious has no concept of time -- so it does not sequence anything. What it does is "group" knowledge into same and different, self and other. We extend this "group" thinking of "self" automatically as it is instinctive. So if we meet a person who is like us, we extend that idea of "self" to them, but if we meet a person who seems different, we extend the idea of "other" to them.

So if you were a white, male, 40 year old, police officer, who liked sports, and you met a black, male, 20 year old, construction worker, who wore a shirt denoting your team, you would extend "other" to him for race, age, and profession, but extend "self" to him regarding the sports team. Some of this "grouping" will carry more weight than other "grouping". Of course, this is a very simplified example as there are too many impressions that are noted unconsciously and instantaneously, so it would be very difficult to determine which impressions were from the unconscious and which impressions were from experience. Police are rarely in a situation where they get to "flash freeze" events so that they can study their own instinctive impressions. More often police have to trust their instincts in order to survive. Mistakes will be made. It is inevitable.

So we can not simply dispose of our prejudice, and it is better to learn how to work with it. Having more black police officers will help. Out-reach programs that promote positive interaction between police officers and the community will help, and a lot of people are working on this. Learning to look past skin color to find other areas where there might be same or difference will help. Sometimes, rather than seeing a black man, we might see a father, husband, son, or brother; we might see a personality that is too serious, or very mischievous, or arrogant, or friendly; we might see a bright mind, or someone who is simply confused. We don't just need to see the color, as there is much more there.

Well, I feel a little better, but suspect that I could write a long post on any of the other "causes" that I mentioned above.

Gee
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SpheresOfBalance
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Re: BLAME

Post by SpheresOfBalance »

Gee wrote:Spheres: That was a very good post, and I agree with the large majority of what you had to say, but it was not very pragmatic and does not give us any idea of what we can actually do to understand or correct the problem.

I hate the ethics forum and try to avoid it, but I can not get this stupid thread off of my mind, so I am going to type until I feel better. (chuckle)

I think that we have a consensus, or at least a general agreement that if a police officer and a black person interact, it is much more likely that someone is going to be arrested, hurt, or killed, than if the interaction happened between a police officer and a white person. The question is: Why?

Many people will blame the police or the black community, assuming that one or the other, possibly both, is bad. This is nonsense. There is no group of people, who are bad. Individuals can be bad, but not groups of racial, ethnic, cultural, or professional people. There is a Common Truth about people, no matter who they are or where they are from, and that is this: Little girls want to grow up to be beautiful like their mothers and cherished by their fathers; little boys want to grow up to be strong like their fathers, and adored by their mothers; children want to learn about their world; young people want to fall in love and be left alone; adults want to build a life that is safe, satisfying, and productive; old people want to enjoy their grandchildren and the fruits of their labors. All people want to be loved and respected for whom they are. This is simple truth.

So if police officers and/or black people do not want these confrontations, then why do they happen? They happen because the problem is situational. Even Tbieter admitted that the black people in Duluth do not have the problem that the black people in St. Paul have. And what causes these "situational" problems? Well, there is not one cause, there are many, and these causes feed on other causes creating an escalation of the problem.

Since the title of this thread is BLAME, and I learned how to do that by the time I was five years old, I would like to contribute my thoughts on who or what can be blamed. Prejudice, attitude, and expectations; mass media and the idea of "bad guys" and "good guys"; history, culture, racism, religion, and the KKK; power, money, poverty, and economics; education, Civil Procedures, Courts that are mired in history and can not keep up with technology, foolish and frivolous laws written and enacted by legislators, who seem to have less foresight and wisdom than a gnat; and, of course, redesignating police officers so that they are warriors of crime, instead of people who serve and protect the public. There are probably more causes, but I think this is a fair beginning for anyone who may wish to actually analyze the problem. We are stuck with some of these causes, as there is nothing that can be done, but some can be mitigated through understanding and work. Other causes can simply be corrected.

Let's start with prejudice. A lot of people will state that we should not be prejudice, but that may be one of the most absurd statements ever made. I am prejudice, you are prejudice, everyone is prejudice. The only way to stop being prejudice is to be dead. Consider what the word prejudice actually means; it means to pre-judge. To judge something before we have all of the facts in the current situation. We all do this, and we do it constantly.

Our prejudice comes to us in two different ways, consciously, and unconsciously. Consciously, our prejudice comes from experience. We learn things and then file that information into a level of the unconscious mind so that it becomes an automatic reaction. When I get out of bed in the morning, I do not have to judge the distance to the floor, so that I know how to place my feet -- I already learned that when I was three years old and do it automatically. I am prejudiced against picking up infants, who are not wearing diapers, as experience teaches me that a wet lap is the likely outcome, and worse is possible. I am prejudice against walking out into the street with my eyes closed. Even if there is no visible traffic, I still find it unwise to do this. So prejudice, derived consciously, comes from experience, which means that it is a precursor to wisdom. So a police officer, who knows that most of the people that s/he arrests are black, and that many of those black people had weapons, s/he would have to be a damned fool not to give those black people a hard narrow-eyed look. It is inevitable, but it leads to expectations of a conflict that may not need to exist.

Then there is the prejudice that comes to us through our unconscious and has nothing to do with experience. This prejudice is caused by the way a level of the unconscious mind "thinks". For a long time, it was believed that there was no logic in the unconscious mind, but Dr. Blanco, who studied under Anna Freud, found a logic in the unconscious. This logic does not work like the rational conscious mind and does not sequence events and information to build a logical train of thought, probably because the unconscious has no concept of time -- so it does not sequence anything. What it does is "group" knowledge into same and different, self and other. We extend this "group" thinking of "self" automatically as it is instinctive. So if we meet a person who is like us, we extend that idea of "self" to them, but if we meet a person who seems different, we extend the idea of "other" to them.
It's called "fear," as no one trusts another as much as themselves.

So if you were a white, male, 40 year old, police officer, who liked sports, and you met a black, male, 20 year old, construction worker, who wore a shirt denoting your team, you would extend "other" to him for race, age, and profession, but extend "self" to him regarding the sports team. Some of this "grouping" will carry more weight than other "grouping". Of course, this is a very simplified example as there are too many impressions that are noted unconsciously and instantaneously, so it would be very difficult to determine which impressions were from the unconscious and which impressions were from experience. Police are rarely in a situation where they get to "flash freeze" events so that they can study their own instinctive impressions. More often police have to trust their instincts in order to survive. Mistakes will be made. It is inevitable.

So we can not simply dispose of our prejudice, and it is better to learn how to work with it. Having more black police officers will help. Out-reach programs that promote positive interaction between police officers and the community will help, and a lot of people are working on this. Learning to look past skin color to find other areas where there might be same or difference will help. Sometimes, rather than seeing a black man, we might see a father, husband, son, or brother; we might see a personality that is too serious, or very mischievous, or arrogant, or friendly; we might see a bright mind, or someone who is simply confused. We don't just need to see the color, as there is much more there.

Well, I feel a little better, but suspect that I could write a long post on any of the other "causes" that I mentioned above.

Gee
And of course I agree with everything you said, I just didn't say it. It was between the lines, thanks for filling them in, because I absolutely suck at touch typing. ;) You speak of the human condition, and yes there is much more. As I have said before, the differences between us, is all to do with an ever varying particular, sequential, set of experiences, of ever varying intensity, just like you've hinted at above, that give way to preconceptions. We are creatures of habit, it's easy that way. It's just not always right, because in this particular case, there's not enough time to consider everything, that's required to fully understand the gravity of any given situation in it's totality.
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Kayla
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Re: BLAME

Post by Kayla »

mickthinks wrote:Which burden are you thinking of, Karla? The burden not to kill black citizens more often than white citizens lies entirely with each one of us, individually and collectively.

no silly

the burden on no waving around a bb gun that looks like a real gun
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: BLAME

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

Kayla wrote:
mickthinks wrote:Which burden are you thinking of, Karla? The burden not to kill black citizens more often than white citizens lies entirely with each one of us, individually and collectively.

no silly

the burden on no waving around a bb gun that looks like a real gun
The burden is on trigger-happy yank thugs in positions of power. 'Oh, there's a child with what could be a REAL gun. Let's just kill him and find out if it is or not.' If you lived in a civilised country then you wouldn't even be arguing about this.
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Re: BLAME

Post by mickthinks »

Kayla: ... but the burden cannot be entirely on the police here
Mick: Which burden are you thinking of?
Kayla: ... the burden on no waving around a bb gun that looks like a real gun


Kayla, that's clearly not what you meant by the burden on the police. If you cannot engage with me honestly, why are you even here?
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