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Old 03-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

I'm sorry to be such a downer in the Break Room, lol.

How do fellow mudders here feel about this?

The culprit:
I usually avoid news and politics like rotten eggs. Once in a while though, curiosity gets the best of me. Since yesterday I've been researching a lot, because of something I read. It started out with researching unemployment forecasts, since I'm currently unemployed. So I found an article which had some bad news, and then I went to the comments page because I like to get knowledgeable about differing opinions. What stood out for me was an intelligent post calmly quoting an economist stating that logistically, there are only two outcomes... eventually the American dollar loses all value, or the economy hits rock bottom and crashes totally... and since the whole system needs an overhaul, these two are certain.

So I'm seriously starting to think that it is better to be prepared, whatever the outcome. I'm currently researching ways on how to get prepared (learning how to use a gun, taking some savings out of the bank, etc).

The question:
If the absolute worst case scenario comes to pass... there will be no more MUDs, probably? They are not vital to survival anyway. But I am just curious. Overall, what do you think about this possible outcome? What will you do? What will happen?
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

You'll need a gun to protect your belongings, keep in mind that ammunition typically expires after a couple of years, and if things go really bad you need a reliable community. So going to church every Sunday is a great investment, regardless if you believe in God. Even better would be finding a local group of well prepared pessimists as you'll end up with a lot of useless mouths when finding shelter in your church.

Regardless of the current situation there will be a civil war in Europe in 30 to 50 years which will likely escalate into a third world war, this civil war will be because in Europe muslims will become a majority around 2060, and if you look at history pretty much every nation with a 30-60% muslim population ends up having a civil war. The Balkan wars, Kashmir, Indonesia, Sudan, the Armenian genocide, just to name a few, and if the Balkan wars are any indication it'll be very messy, especially when the middle east and North Africa gets involved, while an economically weakened America stands by the side line.

Economic collapse is more difficult to predict, at the current rate inflation will decrease the average wealth, causing the population to eventually get tired of the fact that the rich get richer, and demand a bigger redistribution of the available wealth. This can express itself in various forms, typically communism, national socialism, and national libertarianism. Neither are pretty, and mostly not sufficient to fix the problem right away, and easiest is to default on your debts and fight a big war while at it. Truth is typically the first casualty of war, and after that a government can do all kinds of nifty things the population wouldn't put up with otherwise.

So my advice is to get the hell out of Europe if you currently live there and aren't an old fart. Avoid living in locations with populations prone to rioting (I won't go into specifics as that'll upset certain people), gangs are going to be the biggest problem in some areas, while they won't exist in others - which is where you want to live. Don't tell anyone about your two years worth of food, cause they'll come knocking when things go bad, do tell them about your guns. Don't live too far north, winter will be rough, do grow some nut trees.

Personally I think you're best off living in New Zealand, or anywhere else with a lot of space and decent people. So you could utilize MUDs to find a cute New Zealander, or go the non marriage route. For those in doubt, about 50.000 Dutchies (typically young middle class families) immigrate each year to the USA, New Zealand, Canada, and Austrialia, few of them return. In 40 years that's 2 million, about 15% of the current Dutch population, add that on top of other demographic trends and you've got an interesting vision on the future.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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Originally Posted by Violette View Post
What stood out for me was an intelligent post calmly quoting an economist stating that logistically, there are only two outcomes... eventually the American dollar loses all value, or the economy hits rock bottom and crashes totally... and since the whole system needs an overhaul, these two are certain.

Economists have successfully predicted 14 of the last 3 recessions ... even a broken watch is right twice a day.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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Economists have successfully predicted 14 of the last 3 recessions ... even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Awesome. This is the bottom line of -exactly- what is going on. A lot of fear mongering and hearsay. Truely, no one knows what will happen. Economics is such an "up and down" subject, it is near impossible to determine what will happen in the long run. That is why true economists only focus on the short-term trends. The only thing you can/should do is focus on family/friends and bettering yourself. Eventually things will get better, however, things do tend to get worse before they get better, and if you are un-employed you might have to settle with something that is entry-level or bottom of the barrel until you can find something else.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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Economics is such an "up and down" subject, it is near impossible to determine what will happen in the long run.
Sure you can: Fertility and intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia + IQ and the Wealth of Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia + Heritability of IQ - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia = long term economic decline.

The logic is child play once one gets passed their egalitarian / liberal hangups. The conclusion is available as comedy.

Idiocracy (2006)
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

... except, the studies I've been recently looking at show very little correlation between IQ and wealth, especially at the higher levels of wealth.

There *is* a low correlation, but it's something < 0.5 (I can't remember the actual numbers off the top of my head.) - interestingly, there is a similarly low correlation between school marks and final wealth.

There is, however, a very high correlation between *ambition* and wealth. In other words, people who aren't willing to settle for less, (and perhaps are willing to work for it) tend to get richer. That's not really a big surprise.

That doesn't mean hard work will always pay off. The secretary who works hard all day may never make much money. But the secretary who isn't happy being a secretary, and who looks for a higher paid job is more likely to.

It also makes sense, looking around me. I work at a university, and you can see the different attitudes from the students. There are some professions that pay more (accounting, management, chiropractic) - and the students are there because they want jobs that will pay well. Reasonable attitude. Other professions, such as computing, have the potential to pay pretty well, but a lower chance of making megabucks. The students tend to be in those courses because they either are interested in the subject, or they think they'll get a more stable job, or have an easier time finding a job.

Now, just because rich people are ambitious doesn't mean everyone with ambition will get rich. There are plenty of other factors at work (such as opportunity, upbringing, etc.)

Unfortunately, my google fu isn't strong today; I can't find any convenient links to these studies.

So what does this mean for the economy? Probably not much. Does it really matter if the rich people are intelligent, ambitious, or dullards? Not really.
What matters, in economic terms, is that people follow patterns. Those patterns can be discovered and modelled, and economic outcomes can be predicted. Predicting economic outcomes allows changes to the system (such as by raising or lowering interest rates) which can speed up or slow the economic growth or decline. Rich or poor, smart or stupid, people will respond to those changes.

So what will control the future economic growth will be your policy makers. Whoever runs your reserve bank, the politicians pushing for new laws. The DMCAA, the google books settlement, etc. - if American laws and conditions encourage innovation, then innovative people will flock there, and the economy will benefit. If the laws encourage monopolies, then monopolies will thrive (and there are benefits that monopolies do provide, as well as disadvantages...)

An example of that would be Nikola Tesla, who was born in Croatia, but moved to America. He was instrumental in making commercial electricity, radios (and radio control), fluro lights, the AC motor (about 80% more efficient than the DC motor), robotics, nuclear physics, etc. - a completely amazing man. Although Thomas Edison gets most of the credit for electricity, he and Tesla were competing to roll out their versions (DC vs AC) to the different cities and towns. It is Tesla's AC that we use.

These inventions helped Europe move into the second industrial revolution. Have a chart to see how countries benefited. File:Graph rel lvl indz 1750 1900 01.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Obviously, the second industrial revolution wasn't the work of just one man, but even so, individuals can make a huge impact (which is why western technology tends to move in jumps.)

So my prediction is that future economic success will be more based on who the decision makers are, and what their decisions are. I don't think intelligence and wealth consolidation will make any real difference. Policies encouraging or discouraging wealth consolidation, on the other hand, will.

(And that's why it bugs me when elections are won or lost based on the candidates haircut, rather than based on their social or economic policies. How many voters even know their preferred parties economic policies?)
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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So my prediction is that future economic success will be more based on who the decision makers are, and what their decisions are. I don't think intelligence and wealth consolidation will make any real difference. Policies encouraging or discouraging wealth consolidation, on the other hand, will.
I agree, and the only other thing I would add is, inadvertantly I.Q. does have a factor in it all, based on that quote. If people were smart enough and willing to put forth the effort to look into their policy-makers and political figures, then maybe they would see that they are the ones who do tend to have a big impact on the outcome of the economy.

However, the flip side is, we do "technically" know this, but because we are all (speaking of U.S. here) very biased to our own opinions, we tend to follow the candidate of our choice, solely on moral, ethical and religious views. I can see how this is important, especially ethically, however history (and the present) has shown us that smooth talking, good looking candidates may not always be the best choice when it comes to what they actually do or know how to do when fixing large economic problems.

How do you balance the two? If there is a great candidate that can probably fix a nation, has a great know-how and is very politically savvy, chances are he/she won't be elected because they are usually very strong in their politcal stance, and not willing to sway for the masses. Thus, the smooth talking candidate with a sweet tongue talks the nation into voting for them by telling the people what they want to hear.

(I know this parallels, to a point, the past U.S. Presidential election, but I was merely speaking with an objective view on what usually happens, not bash President Obama.)

And, btw, Idiocracy was a funny movie, and I hope it never happens! (But things are looking grim.)
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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I agree, and the only other thing I would add is, inadvertantly I.Q. does have a factor in it all, based on that quote. If people were smart enough and willing to put forth the effort to look into their policy-makers and political figures, then maybe they would see that they are the ones who do tend to have a big impact on the outcome of the economy.
Oh yes. IQ of the population as a whole has an overall impact. Just not necessarily the average IQ of rich people.

But really, it's less about IQ and more about willingness to become educated. It doesn't matter how smart you are, if you have no concept of economic theory, and if you don't know the economic history of the various parties, you can't make an educated choice.

It's more a matter of care. It's not hard for someone to "lay out" the options. Party A is better at long term economic planning, but in the short term there will be higher unemployment and interest rates. Party B tends to hurt the country's economy, but they will keep the interest rates down, pay more unemployment benefits, and build hospitals. Or something. It doesn't take a genius to understand the broad strokes once someone who *is* an educated genius has understood and explained it in simple terms.

But people just don't care. For the most part. Even if they understand what's happening, if they have a mortgage they will vote for the person that will keep interest rates down. For the most part, they will vote selfishly. Democracy encourages self-interest. And that's assuming they know what they're voting for.

I'm not trashing democracy as a system, though. There are some problems, but there are other things that can be done to help.
For example, computers are very widespread. Even in poor areas public libraries often have computers. It'd be quite possible to increase access to computers for poor areas.
And then it'd be quite possible to have a website where each political party lays out their various proposed policies. A forum where people can debate the policies, explain what the policy means, explain the outcomes, discuss the moral issues. And a simple handy-dandy vote button where users can say "I'm in favor of this" or "I'm against this"
It doesn't have to be an official referendum. If 90% of internet users vote for legalized pot that doesn't necessarily mean that they should legalize it. But it does show that it's a topic that there *is* some question over, and perhaps they should do social studies, etc. on the effect *IF* they legalize it.

Heck, you even could make it an official referendum. It's quite possible to assign every voter a username and password. You could get the password assigned when you go vote. And then have a referendum for all the big policies. There could be a weighting "90% of voters want more hospitals, but 85% of voters want more parks. Since a park costs a fraction of the cost of a hospital, we'll prioritize that. But we'll de-prioritize the road upgrade, since only 30% of voters want it." etc.

And, more importantly, that would provide visible stats to show how well a government performs. When I go to look, it can tell me that party A only upheld 30% of their promises, while party B upheld 45% of their promises. But it could also tell me that party A upheld 100% of their policies that had over 80% support in the referendum.

Essentially, this would allow us to be closer to a true democracy, rather than a representative democracy. And it would mean voters could focus more on the issues they care about. A non-economist might not have a say on fiscal policy, but may vote to spend money on roads rather than military.

Right now, the voter picks an issue (say, roads rather than military) and their vote applies to *all* policies from that party. So they are unintentionally also voting for that parties fiscal policies, social policies, etc.

But really, to me, the largest gain would be that all the debate is available in one place. When I read that there is a tax increase, I can easily read about *why* there is a tax increase, and I can read the comments from the rest of the community as a jumping-off point if I want to educate myself further.

All this doesn't mean we'd have better economic policies, of course. I still don't necessarily think that "the voting public" will make the best decisions. But at least it would mean that "the voting public" is better able to make decisions, and to become educated about the decisions they are making.

(Random note: I'm Australian. But we also have a representative democracy here. Although we've had better economic planning. )
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:03 AM   #9
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

I agree. It would be very nice to have one location, on the internet, where everyone can see exactly what is being passed/voted on.

The problem comes with corruption, the politicians will not allow this to happen, as it will then show exactly what bills are being passed, and all their "pet projects." I would love to have the chance to vote a big fat "NO" on certain policies, but that is exactly why they do not post them to the public.

I find it funny, and scary, that politicians who have our "political interests" at heart love to do deals, and put in their own projects behind closed doors. Then they work on what the public wants, and insert their deals and pet projects into the bill in the background. This is corruption at its finest. How are we to combat that? If we rise up and claim "We want to see the bill!" They claim "It will be seen soon!" and it only shows up after it is voted into law.

Democracy breeds corruption, however I love democracy as it is the only real way to rule a nation, IMO. But, what is happening in the US is not democracy, it is an aristocratic system built on the premise of Democracy, and hidden behind the banner of Democracy. True democracy does not exist in the known world anymore, that was out years ago when politicians figured out how to play the system to their advantage.

So, on your point, about Party A and Party B. Why is it that is the only 2 choices in the first place? You shouldn't have to substitute one good thing for another. Each party only really has 1 good thing, the rest is trash. You should be able to get all of it fixed without a political agenda.

This also proves my point that I believe there should be no career politicians. I mean, what a joke to consider your career to be a career politician. They are in it for the money and nothing else, they just do what little they can to appease their constituants, and then keep their projects going so they can make more money, and retire as a rich person on the top 1 percentile of the nation.

But, I digress, this is all a big mess we call Washington here in the States. There will never again be a great "democratic" nation, it is all a series of propaganda and political interests.

The question is not "Why does the Government want to go to Socialism?" It is "When will the US be a Socialist Country?" We already are, people just don't realize it yet.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:22 PM   #10
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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Oh yes. IQ of the population as a whole has an overall impact. Just not necessarily the average IQ of rich people.
Actually... I would dispute that, at least if "IQ" means education level. Recent poll of people at tea parties showed that they are nearly all white, male, college or higher educated, and make more than $50,000 a year. Though, I suppose you could argue that having gone to college doesn't prevent you being a complete idiot either. Why? Because a) 90% of the stuff babbled at their rallies has been lies about bills being passed, misinformation/redefinitions of words (including socialist), to scare people, and fear mongering, b) fed to them by people claiming to serve the public, which **isn't** nearly 100% white and male or making even $20,000 a year, and c) their "Tea Party Express" turns out to be a provably, by internal memos, marketing tool to hijack the idea, run up elections for Republicans, and make the company that thought up hijacking the movement millions of dollars. Which explains how and why they can afford Ms. "Show me the money if you want me to speak!" Palin, and fly her to these places on the most expensive private jets available.

Basically, about 15-20%, or less, of the American public belongs to this "movement", and they are the **exact same people** who elected Bush, and others before, based solely on their own desire to see *their* taxes cut, and everyone else screwed. Meanwhile claiming that, despite all evidence to the contrary, everyone else makes the same amount as they do, and then pushing their politicians to deregulate everything to the point where financial companies did the equivalent of buying lotto tickets off each other, instead of making sane decisions, and other companies, like Wal-Mart, pay 100% of their employees, below manager level, minimum wage only. I.e., given the hours they get to work, which might be only 20-30 a week, the guys making $30,000 a year, as managers, are outnumbered 100:1 by people making less than $18,000 a year, and those managers bosses, who make "minimum" of probably $150,000, and are outnumbered by 200:1, all think that universal health care is bad, Medicare and Medicade are suspicious, Obama is trying to ruin the economy (what more?), and the way to "fix" everything is to gut the federal government, sit around waiting for the state governments, but without, mind you, raising any taxes at all, to "fill in the holes" left in services as a result, and, of course, give even more tax shelters, tax breaks, and deregulation to... companies like Wal-Mart.

If the US economy collapses, it would be absolute proof that its possible for complete idiots to spend 5+ years getting a college education, and still come out with the IQ of a damn rock, yet manage to make more money than the people that actually have a fracking clue what is really going on.

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Old 04-16-2010, 07:38 PM   #11
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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Regardless of the current situation there will be a civil war in Europe in 30 to 50 years which will likely escalate into a third world war...
I think that civil war you're talking about will come much sooner than 30-50 years from now, and it won't be in Europe.
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:01 PM   #12
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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You'll need a gun to protect your belongings, keep in mind that ammunition typically expires after a couple of years, and if things go really bad you need a reliable community. So going to church every Sunday is a great investment, regardless if you believe in God. Even better would be finding a local group of well prepared pessimists as you'll end up with a lot of useless mouths when finding shelter in your church.

Regardless of the current situation there will be a civil war in Europe in 30 to 50 years which will likely escalate into a third world war, this civil war will be because in Europe muslims will become a majority around 2060, and if you look at history pretty much every nation with a 30-60% muslim population ends up having a civil war. The Balkan wars, Kashmir, Indonesia, Sudan, the Armenian genocide, just to name a few, and if the Balkan wars are any indication it'll be very messy, especially when the middle east and North Africa gets involved, while an economically weakened America stands by the side line.

Economic collapse is more difficult to predict, at the current rate inflation will decrease the average wealth, causing the population to eventually get tired of the fact that the rich get richer, and demand a bigger redistribution of the available wealth. This can express itself in various forms, typically communism, national socialism, and national libertarianism. Neither are pretty, and mostly not sufficient to fix the problem right away, and easiest is to default on your debts and fight a big war while at it. Truth is typically the first casualty of war, and after that a government can do all kinds of nifty things the population wouldn't put up with otherwise.

So my advice is to get the hell out of Europe if you currently live there and aren't an old fart. Avoid living in locations with populations prone to rioting (I won't go into specifics as that'll upset certain people), gangs are going to be the biggest problem in some areas, while they won't exist in others - which is where you want to live. Don't tell anyone about your two years worth of food, cause they'll come knocking when things go bad, do tell them about your guns. Don't live too far north, winter will be rough, do grow some nut trees.

Personally I think you're best off living in New Zealand, or anywhere else with a lot of space and decent people. So you could utilize MUDs to find a cute New Zealander, or go the non marriage route. For those in doubt, about 50.000 Dutchies (typically young middle class families) immigrate each year to the USA, New Zealand, Canada, and Austrialia, few of them return. In 40 years that's 2 million, about 15% of the current Dutch population, add that on top of other demographic trends and you've got an interesting vision on the future.
really??

i was planning to live in finland or something like that.. that's sad to hear about Europe.

it's a shame for European Union; they didn't welcome dinamic and young Turkey for membership..
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:24 PM   #13
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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really??

i was planning to live in finland or something like that.. that's sad to hear about Europe.

it's a shame for European Union; they didn't welcome dinamic and young Turkey for membership..
As a muslim Germany is probably your best bet, the native Germans are heavily indoctrinated to accept the egalitarian dogma which lowers the chance of a civil war breaking out before muslims have a significant majority. Also, the lack of nuclear missiles in Germany makes it less likely that the USA and China will try to intervene to keep advanced nuclear arms away from an islamic government.

Probably safest to stay in Turkey which is likely to stay neutral if it remains a secular nation (Turkey will probably be an islamic state by 2040), the weather is much nicer as well.

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I think that civil war you're talking about will come much sooner than 30-50 years from now, and it won't be in Europe.
Care to elaborate?
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: 2nd Great (greatest? worldwide?) Depression

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As a muslim Germany is probably your best bet, the native Germans are heavily indoctrinated to accept the egalitarian dogma which lowers the chance of a civil war breaking out before muslims have a significant majority. Also, the lack of nuclear missiles in Germany makes it less likely that the USA and China will try to intervene to keep advanced nuclear arms away from an islamic government.
no, I am not a muslim myself, i am an agnostic..

but you're right maybe they will treat me as a muslim even if i declare that I am not, cause i have Turkish roots and country that has a muslim majority..
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