The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Anatolian language was non-Balkan

Although Indo-European origins are well-constrained - they're the Yamnaya, of the Ukraine - their shared ancestry with the Anatolians is not constrained. One theory had a route (one way or another) through the Balkans.

Iain Mathieson has sequenced and compared some Balkan genomes. Yeah, the Balkans wasn't that route. The Balkans was a route for Crimea / Greece (and Crete), but not for Crimea / Anatolia.

To yield the Anatolian population, other options are the Euphrates and the Caucasus. At least the Anatolian / PIE connexion must be western Caucasian. I don't think anyone is taking a direct transEuxine route seriously.

posted by Zimri on 13:29 | link | 0 comments

Social-Justice retcon, exposed

Movie coming out tomorrow night: Annihilation. As of time of posting, RottenTomatoes has 88% for this. It's #woke. But not #woke enough.

The issue here is that Annihilation is the first in a trilogy, and the author didn't mention the ethnicity of the Strong Female Protagonist... in that first book. Later the author said she was half Asian. As of the time of casting, nobody involved in this movie knew any of that; none of them bothered to read the next books in the series. Including and especially Natalie Portman herself, who jumped on this whitewash like a... well, like a grasping and shortsighted Ashkenazi Jew.

'Tis always fun, as a M.o.T. not in the In Crowd, to watch this social-justice infighting from my perch out here. Also fun 'tis, to observe an author retroactively enlisting a major character into some Intersectional subgroup. Like how JK Rowling pre-buggered Dumbledore in her series' last two books.

The moral of this story, for storytellers: get your characters' backstories done, and presented, early.

posted by Zimri on 12:31 | link | 0 comments

Monday, February 19, 2018

Feminist turnabout

Now that I've been thinking of Hot Take culture, which often uses Left #woke-y cant as a form of tribal signalling ("woke" being one such term), I am coming to terms with some of the jargons' origins. I am not wholly unsympathetic. Okay, fine - I am not conceding "ManSplaining", nor that smarmy old (mostly-)Right meme "tyranny of the minority"; but I'll concede other terms.

"Toxic Masculinity" these days crops up whenever some man does something wrong. There do exist criminal acts to which we men are more prone than are women (or are the castrati, the Transitioned as we call them now). There also exist acts to which women are more prone. I have allowed Toxic Masculinity on condition you allow Toxic Femininity (or was that Feminity).

But then I might have been doing that lame-ass "tyranny of the minority" thing here. Ultimately I am uncertain that Toxicity can arise in a vacuum. There remains a real question on whether boys are broken. Pace @Mellecon, "broken" does not imply we are born wrong: it implies the opposite; that we are born whole, but that something after birth has broken us. I question that Masculinity be inherently a toxin, antisocial when brought to some supposed "extreme". Any more than Femininity.

Likewise, "Male Gaze". This is used in contexts to shame men for noticing women as women, if those women are uninterested in male attention. Except... those women near-inevitably are interested in male attention, just not in the attention of any rando (okay, fine - of my attention). So it comes off as nothing but a class weapon: used by women of a higher caste, against men of a lower.

This Male Gaze term, also, has a non-#woke meaning. It refers to film-technique: when the screenplay wants to eroticise a woman character, the camera will dwell on her curves, forcing the viewer's gaze as if the viewer was a heterosexual male. It might also work for a homosexual or bisexual woman but the director likely isn't catering to her. At least one (female) Hot Take has brought up that Female Gaze exists as well, and that since women watch Game of Thrones too can we please have more of that. And hey, the Ice And Fire book-series is all about viewpoint characters; so, why not.

Anyway, my Hot Take is that both terms, "toxic masculinity" and "male gaze", can be used in neutral contexts. As to whether these terms should be so used: I admit they get my back up, as a man, for the same reason we should object to "the Jewish media", because the terms assign to my whole group dysfunctions, and make me problematic, dehumanise me. But I do need to grit my teeth and to decide where and how the base sentiment applies. Maybe the trait exists and we just need a new term.

I'll allow "male gaze" in that this does apply to art, not to - say - Super Mario Bros but certainly to some other works, in gaming and outside gaming. I am not about to allow "toxic masculinity" though. Not without a concession on their end.

posted by Zimri on 17:00 | link | 0 comments

The Hot Take

When one does media, and on this blog I do media, one has to justify why one does media, if we are just sitting here in our pajamas. (Hence, PJMedia.) If we are not providing original content, nor providing a link and user-friendly summary to some obscure journal-article, then we have to deliver an argued-for opinion. It would have to be an original opinion, that nobody else had yet considered. In Twitter jargon (nothing cool happens on blogs anymore) this is being called The Hot Take.

And lately the Hot Take is being considered harmful. Because the easiest way to come up with an original idea is to deliver a stupid idea. There are after all a million ways to be wrong to every one way to be right.

The ZMan has delivered a Hot Take lately, that The Negroe Movie is alt-right. Since I don't go to ZMan's site I had to read this Take in American Renaissance.

ZMan's opinion is indeed stupid, as has been pointed out over on Vox Populi. The Negroe Movie is making a play for anything other than the alt-right perspective: the African Gondolin is being asked to support universalism, against the nationalist impulses of Morgoth.

I'd say that a stupid original Hot Take is better than plagiarising other ideas, as is ZMan's habit; but even here I don't think that ZMan was the first to dream this up. Anyway, supposing ZMan did think this one piece up by himself, the contrarian Hot Take is almost as lazy a technique as a flat ripoff. Please do not give to ZMan any more attention than you must.

posted by Zimri on 15:26 | link | 0 comments

The Taos of Uruk

In the fourth millennium BC, Uruk was an empire and likely a conqueror. Uruk also had colonies, deep into other nations' lands. So far this is in accordance with "world systems theory"; and these colonies have been used as an argument for Uruk as an empire.

This may not have been true for all its colonies. Gil Stein offers a critique of World Systems Theory, by way of Hacinebi. The modern Turkish name should tell you that the site is Anatolian. Anyway this Uruk city seems not to have affected the local Anatolian sites much. It probably couldn't rely upon the core Uruk region for protection.

Dr Stein brings up the Hausa traders in Yoruba parts of Africa. But I think I got a better analogy.

When I was reading The Comanche Empire, and trying to recommend it to David Yeagley (on whom be peace), I'd read in the book about the New Mexican city Taos. The government of New Spain tried ruling Taos from Mexico, and then - I think - by way of New Viscaya up the Rio Grande. Nothing much worked once the Comanche had the horse; Taos ended up a dependent of the Comancheria.

Empires try to rule by World Systems Theory, and on their monuments they boast that they do. In practice, some "colonies" end up like Taos. They belong to others.

posted by Zimri on 14:01 | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ja'far al-Sadiq

Edmund Hayes writes about "Fiscal Sectarianism" in late Umayyad Shi'ism. (Okay, his actual chosen title is "Alms And The Man", but... lame.)

Abu Ja'far, that is al-Baqir, was a Muslim by faith and/but a Shi'ite by politics. He already may have started turning his party from Islam as a group concern - read Najam Haider for that - but he still held to the old Islamic ideal on almsgiving, that it was for Muslims, even Muslims loyal to a non-'Alid caliph.

But Abu Ja'far al-Baqir died in the middle 110s / 730s. His son, surprising enough named Ja'far, ended that tolerance. For Ja'far, you didn't even count as a Muslim unless you pledged baya to Ja'far. Which meant giving the zakat to Ja'far alone.

Naturally the Zaydis and Hasanis thought that all this was pure balls, not least because they figured they deserved baya better, but also because there were a lot of poor Muslims out there who were good in religion no matter their politics. Also, by that precedent, if a Shi'ite imam were to become caliph, whoever it was, if word got out his group had withheld zakat from another caliph in the past, this would inspire other Muslims to withhold zakat to him.

Or, at least ... so I assume.

Anyway, Ja'far got himself quite the little cult after the 110s / 730s. This seems in accord with Haider's findings about Shi'ite hadith-transmitters: that they crop up in the 100s / 720s. Possibly they were already binding themselves to Ja'far's party circa 110 / 730 and then convinced him to go full sectarian.

posted by Zimri on 19:39 | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sell your Hasbro stock now

h/t Vox Day (on NetFlix), MusicDSPGuy gots things to say. About Softbank/Learning Company. Apparently they bought lots of smaller companies, made their ledgers look nice, and then bailed out to a clueless idiot with money. Namely Mattel. Which nearly died.

I am reminded of how Wizards of the Coast bought out TSR, a near-dead company; and then sold out to Hasbro.

If I were Hasbro I'd make nice with the ruling class by supporting all the trendiest causes, in hope the politicians can be persuaded to look elsewhere. And I'd do my best to ruin anyone sniffing too close.

Come to think of it, NetFlix wokey-ed up Black Mirror pretty dang good soon after nabbing it from some broke-ass Brits. Like they did to Death Note - and, by the way, good luck tryna find a mirror for E;R's "How To Ruin Your Death Note Movie", 'cause they went after that one too.

posted by Zimri on 17:58 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gamma World

I saw some Black Mirror recently, which show I haven't discussed here yet, but the last season has stuck with me. Well, okay - its first episode: "USS Callister".

"Callister", an Irish name to reflect the Scots-Irish captain Kirk (and doctor McCoy), tracks the Sword Art Online template, of a gaming-world as real as the real world. The author of the game, in his real-world workplace, has subordinated himself to some chad or other. This boss treats him like crap and allows his coworkers to act likewise. Those coworkers then spread poison to new-hires. The game's author blows off steam... creepily, within the bounds of a special build of this game he's maintaining in his home. I won't spoil the rest of the plot here; not because the show doesn't deserve it, more because it's off my topic.

I went looking for articles about the "USS Callister" episode online. Google sent me to a lot of anti-male and anti-white commentary, mainly from women and Jews. You know the buzzwords: white entitlement, mansplaining, fragility. These terms don't come up in the show directly. But.

I do give credit to The Guardian, of all places/people, for defending Trekkies (/ Trekkers) and countering with Galaxy Quest, that the loser can graduate to real-world acts of heroism, and not become a "Gamma". The author Jordan Hoffman could well be an Anglo-Jew mutt like me. And I think he groks what "USS Callister" was doing.

Its critics aside, Black Mirror sides definitively with our sort of nerd against their sort. Our nerds are #woke. Theirs probably thought #gamergate was a thing: ugh; creep-o!. And I note the episode's Strong Female Protagonist looks uncannily like Anita Sarkeesian, down to the smirk at the end.

Despite the signalling of virtue (which a later Season Four episode tries to turn into a right-wing cant-word) the first episode is, at least, well-written. And when it comes down to it, its fictional show "Space Fleet" is like Star Trek: a liberal show. The gamer taking on Kirk's role and doing Shatner inflexions cites the Space Fleet creed which is downright Kennedyesque. His problem is that he doesn't live up to that creed. He's become the villain from Forbidden Planet, that first great American sci-fi story.

So what we're dealing with here, is the Woke against the Broke. The 2010s against the 1960s. HAND. IT. OVER.

This gives space to reactionaries like Vox Day to blast the nerds as a class. Ehh, maybe.

Or maybe we nerds and 1960s-era liberals should quit imagining that the modern media Left has any interest in us. The Left despises us. That's why they wrote "USS Callister".

posted by Zimri on 14:26 | link | 0 comments

The FBI permits gun violence

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin got blindsided with a question about "gun violence" in the budget. Mnuchin is not - yet - accepting the soi-disant Civil Rights Icon's call for Federal gun control, but he seems headed that way. To assuage Mnuchin before he goes further down this path, I point out that this is in the budget, but that the #RESISTANCE!! is deliberately enabling evil.

An aside here: inasmuch as MAGA-hat wearing people are, now, a proven gun risk; this is something with which #MAGA supporters have to deal. The shooter was born a Cruz from Florida; so - I assume - a part Cuban, like the Senator from Texas. These are probably the most antiCommunist people on the planet right now. If we're to believe the ADL, Mr Cruz had got himself into some white-separatist circles. Someone could have brought up that "Cruz" is the hallmark of the marrano, of the secret Jew. But hey. We're all mutts here. And we mutts supporting #MAGA need to quit being stupid and, yes, evil. Kurt Schitter's snarling continues to be unhelpful here.

But we're here to talk about the Feds. State gun laws vary by state, and unless the guns cross state borders (and I'm not counting "commerce", since Florida didn't propose an arms-blockade) said guns are not a Federal issue. What is a Federal issue is when the would-be shooter posts his plans on such a countrywide Internet board as freakin' YouTube. The FBI, which I believe does have "Federal" in its name, was alerted in proper accordance with the American chain of command.

And once again, as at Garland, the FBI sat on the information.

posted by Zimri on 13:04 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What languages the fleas heard

Here's a scientific paper: Aida Andrades Valtueña et al., "The Stone Age Plague and Its Persistence in Eurasia". It is not public-access, but its DOI is 10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.025. In case you have means to read papers based on DOI.

A few years ago when I was still contributing to Wikipedia, some papers came out about the plague genome in Eurasia. Two germs stood out: RISE509 in an "Afanasyevo" grave - usually associated with Tocharians; and RISE505 in an "Andronovo" grave which means Avest'estan. Over in Europe, Justinian's Plague and the Black Death together come from a different branch. One might suspect that the reservoir of these "Asian" bugs was out in Central Asia where both these graves were dug out.

Valtueña's crew finds instead that the bugs associated with RISE505's side of branch are in Europe. This means that the reservoir was more likely around the Crimea... like the reservoir for the Indo-European languages. RISE509 followed the Tocharians and then RISE505 followed the Scythians.

posted by Zimri on 12:54 | link | 0 comments

What Iranians want

Michael Ledeen has been predicting the fall of Iran's Islamic republic (in the Platonic sense) for at least eighteen years since I've been peeking over there. After the failure of the 2009 protests I quit peeking at this proven buffoon. Yesterday I noted Ledeen was still clownin'. In my ignorance I believed him that time. But this is the season when Christians confess sins, so . . .

At base what I'd done wrong was to believe the liberal Iranians in the big cities, the constituency which agrees with Ledeen. Ledeen knows as well as I know that the Islamic nature of Iran's republic has allowed the Muslim faction unlimited leverage over the political system. So the crook who portrays himself outwardly as a sâlih can amass a great fortune and can count on the clerics to cover for him.

But the Iranians don't know that. Muslims in Iran as elsewhere interpret their crooks as insincere Muslims and, for a remedy, they support ... more Islam. Oh, and also the Iranians desire control over the Near East; without which, Iranians have been defenseless and impoverished since Cyaxares the Mede first glanced as a map. Add this up and you get a popularity rating for General Qassem Soleimani at roughly the rating Americans gave to Norman Schwartzkopf in 1992.

As for why the Brave Women taking off their hijabs aren't more popular: it's because they're feminists. Feminism further alienates the other half of the country directly, and indirectly offends all the women with a stake in that half. When the Iranians support the state's response, the state's treatment of these women is a plus to them, not a minus. By the way, the Iranians are right: feminism is evil, certainly more evil than Shi'ite Islam.

For an aside, suppose that the people of the cities abandon Islam and that the rest of Iran lets them do it. Don't expect the replacement-ideology to be an improvement.

Overall it's a common pattern, that illiberal foreign governments don't change just because nice Americans and/or liberals want them to. If we look at Cuba, we see there too a political elite which simply passes government from one Communist to a "better" one. If we look at China in 1989, Tiananmen Square did nothing but unite the illiberal parts of the country.

Ledeen is either delusional or a liar. Either way he gets paid to say what he says. Either way I anticipate reading more Faster-Plz essays from that direction for the next decade or longer.

posted by Zimri on 11:23 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Popular music tastes

Over at Sailer's place I read some musings on how what we hear as youngin's is what we want to hear now. Sailer had some points that, just because you heard something at 14, doesn't mean you liked it at the time; but as you get older, you go back to it as you build the music-collection.

This mostly rings true for me. I listened to a lot of gay shit at 14: Pet Shop Boys, Tears For Fears, the Bangles, U2. When I was 18-19 I picked up... music that I'd heard at 14, but not then cared about: later Smiths, Lowlife from New Order, the Cure from their mid-to-late 1980s comeback, that era of Depeche Mode, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Which all was still pretty gay, now I think about it. DON'T JUDGE ME.

Still later I discovered that whole Bowie / Joy Division postpunk-to-new-wave thingie from the 1980 era and haven't come back. Although I retain a soft spot for the late 1980s.

I guess now I'm deciding if I like the new MGMT album or no.

posted by Zimri on 13:03 | link | 0 comments


Last November I was looking at the Tamazight gene E-M183, the king of E-M81 descendants. To a lesser extent, I noted E-M78 as a distant cousin, but still the closest cousin, to E-M81 ~10000 BC. Today it's E-M78's turn; alongside E-M2 E-M78's uncle, and A3-M13. We'll also be discussing the Chad Gene, R-V88. Via Razib as usual, here's Eugenia D’Atanasio &co., "The peopling of the last Green Sahara".

Up to the early Bronze Age the Sahara was a steppe, like Eurasia. It had some lakes and lots of rivers; our Lake Chad was an inland sea. These conditions lasted from the mid 8000s BC to the early 2000s BC. This is when R-V88 entered Chad; E-M81, it seems, had already staked out North Africa. After this, crossing the Sahara required camels... which Africa didn't have, yet. So instead of Saharans moving back and forth; the old Saharans A3-M13, R-V88, and all the lineages from E-M2 to E-M78 retreated to the new desert's fringes. As for E-M81, it was off to the hills.

North Africa instead repurposed itself as a Mediterranean zone and got new influxes from the Near East, like J-M267. Much later - as in, historical-period later - E-M183 got the ship too and also the camel, and mounted its great conquest; such that when the Greeks ventured that far, to them "Berber" and "Imazighen" had become interchangeable.

R-V88 has led some Chadic scholars to think of a mix of Indo-European and old Saharan. They're looking at 6000ish BC for its arrival and at the 3700s BC for its expansion. This is early (for me) to square with an Indo-European language as we know it, but perhaps we may imagine something like it. Meanwhile A3-M13 begat the Nilo-Saharan peoples like the Nubians. Both(!) appear in Sardinia; the eastern Med is where north(east) and south met, long before the Indo-European conquests.

Oh, and the E-M183 Imazighen may be the mating of J-M267 women with E-M81 men: Semitic and (later) Saharan. Or from the pre-Semitic exile population and Saharan.

Yet again, the "Afro Asiatic" peoples do not look like Indo-European (excepting Anatolian?) nor Semitic. Indo-European and Semitic swamped the substrate populations almost everywhere their chariots roamed. What I keep seeing in the "Afro-Asiatic" regions is two near-equalsized populations mixing, and the surviving languages being recorded only millennia after the fact.

posted by Zimri on 11:37 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Yo, Blogger; wassup

Last Tuesday or so I noticed that intermittently my site won't show up when I click on it. Then I refresh a few times and it comes up. Just noticed this at Vox Populi too.

posted by Zimri on 13:56 | link | 0 comments

The finite god

I figured out by summer 2010 that a finite god charged with protecting the universe from Lovecraft came nearest to my theology. (When I first heard about Warhammer 40,000 maybe five years back I figured - oh, right, that's the one.)

From a mathematical standpoint, God is finite - like, obviously. And Gödel proved He isn't omniscient either. Fortunately for Believers... the Universe is finite too. So God is just big enough to know everything about this place, up to now; and He can plot out a few major directions whither we might end up. But I've discussed this already.

Today I've got to ask - as a religious essentialist - what does a finite god mean philosophically? How does it affect human religion?

I can tell you about any unconstrained religion: it ends in holiness-spiraling. In Islam it ended in ISIS and in tragedy; in Christianity it more frequently ends in farce. You think humans are sinners under the gaze of a wrathful god? Well I'll give you inherited Original Sin - no, I'll give you total depravity! You think Mary was a saint? Well I'll tell you she was the only one not subject to Original Sin! You think the Papacy has become invalid? Well I'll do away with apostolic succession! You value chastity? Well let's call for deacon celibacy and ... ah, you get it.

All these doctrines come from the Church and/or its immediate schismatics laying out a boundary X, and then dissenters pretending to X+1. This illustrates the difficulty for any believer in one unlimited god to rebut a heretic over - well my belief is more difficult, therefore my faith is stronger, therefore I am superior.

Muslims amongst themselves share the god of Islam, who is wicked. Their imams do have one advantage over the mushrik: they tell their flock - this is the god we have, so deal with it, or deal with Him.

Dyothelete Christians, whom Catholics currently lead, need the courage to do the same. They need to say, on any doctrinal point, that this is what God allows, for the happiness of humankind; to assert further than this, is arrogant posturing.

posted by Zimri on 08:40 | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The FBI is rogue

The pro-Trump side of our nation has alleged that FBI and DOJ laundered some fibs into a probable-cause warrant upon a candidate for the Presidency. Ace of Spades (who came late to the Trump side; as did I, really) has been all over this beat for over a year. The evidence has gotten so strong that even The Onion has noticed. Now, a holdout loyalist for our Federal agents has admitted fault.

To turn a meme, "the goyim know"; Shut. It. Down. Shut it all down. The "#resistance" is not a pose or a laughing matter. It is a slow-motion coup against the lawful government of these United States.

posted by Zimri on 10:57 | link | 0 comments

The Aeolic Islands

Thought: the Ausones spoke a Tyrrhenian dialect. Etruscan; or at least para-Etruscan like Raetic.

The Hittites of the fourteenth century BC labeled their western coasts and the lands beyond - then dominated by Linear B literate Mycenaeans - "Ahhiya". From that, were developed the later Hittite place name "Ahhiyawa" and also, so claims Ilya Yakubovich, "Aiuliya" (Aeolic) and - this one Luwian - "Iavuniya" (Ionic).

Given that, once those islands across the Sicilian strait went Greek, they would have been brought into the Ahhiya. The Tyrrhenian peoples, as did the Hittites, were in the habit of appending -l to their nouns to make an adjective. To an early Etruscan, these would have been the "Ahial" islands.

Early Greeks, showing up, would then say - ah yeah, I know this word, they're Aeolian.

posted by Zimri on 10:17 | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 09, 2018

Hereditary guilt

The House of David has taken a stance against blood-libel, the notion that the sons inherit the crimes of their ancestors. It seems related to "original sin", the heritability of the crime of Adam and Eve.

There was already some Original Sin assumption (as it were) in Judaism. Jewish scriptures describe and implicitly approve genocide-genocide of certain communities - Amaleq being one. Such writings lead to ugly scenes like this in Israel today. Christianity by offering grace, I should hope, does not inherit that some races cannot ever achieve grace. Like Vox Day suggested about blacks. Like Martin Luther King suggested about whites.

I was recently inspired to look that up, since the "Orthodox" - better described as Byzantines - cry out against the Catholics, sometimes claiming Christians shouldn't believe in Original Sin at all. Specifically Byzantines object that the Catholics teach that we all inherit the guilt.

Byzantines stress that this differs from saying whether or not we inherit the consequences. Consequences ripple down with every choice. If we do wrong - "sin" - the guilt is on us, but the punishment of Nature-and-Nature's-God affects our offspring. This, all Christians agree, is G-d's justice. The accursed later generations will have to overcome their legacy, but - say the Byzantines - they will not have to atone.

In Christianity, Jesus atones for all sins and crimes: past, present, and future. A Byzantine would say that all men have guilt enough on their own heads, over decisions they make through their lives, without bearing the cumulative burden of all their fathers back to Adam. Jesus atones on Adam's behalf for Adam alone. Christianity has no need of an inherited-guilt doctrine to imbue Jesus with cosmic significance. Such would give to Jesus more holiness than He needs to have. (I also note that every generation of non-Christians will become more and more laden with ancestral sin.)

For Catholics I note that their theologians have had to institute kludges like, for instance, invoking miracle as to except Mary at her conception. I have to conclude that the Catholics do have an inherited-guilt doctrine. As for uniquely-immaculate Mary I've already discussed that.

I do not think that inherited-guilt can be compatible with the Christian doctrine of the inherent sanctity of human life. If Adam's crime is heritable, so are others; if a crime is punishable by death (and Jesus admits some crimes are: besides what is listed in Torah, Jesus includes banditry, and corrupting the youth) then inherited guilt means the children get hanged too.

I dunno. Someone will have to explain this to me.

posted by Zimri on 10:09 | link | 0 comments

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