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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Daniel Burnstein: on 10/4/12 at 15:23pm UTC, wrote Sergey, I think you're confusing me with someone else. Wrong thread. DLB

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 8:30am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

Daniel Burnstein: on 10/3/12 at 5:53am UTC, wrote Thanks, but I really don't care much for the ratings. They only reflect...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/2/12 at 17:24pm UTC, wrote After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I...

Daniel Burnstein: on 10/1/12 at 17:23pm UTC, wrote Dear Sergey, You asked why do I chose preons? The answer is too long for...

Sergey Fedosin: on 9/29/12 at 6:48am UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, Of course you can introduce any entity, for example preons...

Daniel Burnstein: on 9/29/12 at 0:06am UTC, wrote Preons(-) and preons(+) are fundamental and n-gravity and p-gravity are...

Sergey Fedosin: on 9/28/12 at 9:04am UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, In your essay is written: < And nothing exists between...


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FQXi FORUM
July 19, 2019

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Questioning the Assumption That Space Is Continuous by Daniel L Burnstein [refresh]
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Author Daniel L Burnstein wrote on Jul. 16, 2012 @ 12:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

The assumption of that space is continuous is so embedded in our representations of reality that it is taken for granted and rarely questioned. But what if rather than being amorphous and continuous, space were dynamic and discrete? What kind of physics would emerge if we replaced the unstated axiom of continuity of space by one of discreteness of space?

Author Bio

I'm an individual interested in foundational questions in physics and mathematics.

Download Essay PDF File

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Paul Reed wrote on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 06:50 GMT
Daniel

Space is not physically existent. Physically existent phenomena are. Space is a conceptualisation of their relative size/shape (ie spatial footprint). The concept being that physically existent phenomena ‘occupy’ ‘spatial points’. It is a valid concept, as it corresponds with physical existence. But it is just a concept.

Continuous, as usually used, is ontologically incorrect. Nothing can be continuous in physical existence, unless it occurs in one physically existent state, and only one, over the entirety of the duration of its existence. Any form of alteration thereto, means it is not continuous.

Paul

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 20:28 GMT
Hi Paul,

I'm not sure I understand your comment. Do you mean that space being discrete continuity of space is an illusion? Or do you mean that space itself is non-physical?

My essay suggest exploring the physics that emerges from the former when discreteness is chosen as an axiom.

Daniel

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Paul Reed replied on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 05:47 GMT
Daniel

The latter. What we are actually examining is physically existent phenomena, because that is all there is. Space is an attribute of them. That is, space could be characterised as being either intrinsic (ie the shape/size of any given physically existent entity-its relative spatial footprint) or extrinsic (a the differentiation between two defined physically existent entities).

The other point is that there can only be discreteness, at a vanishingly low level but still there ultimately. Physically, continuous means one state with no change.

Paul

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Paul Reed replied on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 06:20 GMT
Daniel

It might be worth adding that, in the very simplest way of expressing it, one can can conceive of associated elementary particles and dissassociated particles, and indeed something else which we are not quite sure of yet. Space, in the sense of being something, tends to concern the latter two circumstances. But the point is that there is only ever something.

Paul

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 17, 2012 @ 16:28 GMT
Dear Mr. Burnstein,

I have to compliment you for being able to write such an intriguing essay and I certainly hope that your submission eventually garners one of the monetary prizes it so thoroughly deserves. I believe that one real Universe is occurring once. That one real occurring Universe seems to be employing the use of one real fundamental shape for itself, and miniaturized versions of that one shape for observed parts of itself continuously. The Universe is not a flattened pancake shape of space and matter as the background radiation maps seem to indicate. The Universe I think has to be egg shaped. It is the only shape the Universe seems to know how to produce. Everything has always emerged from an egg. Think of the dinosaurs, think of yourself. Whether the egg has a hard shell and is delivered externally to be cracked open so some sort of life may emerge, or whether the egg consists of soft material that can be penetrated by only one sperm inhabitant, or whether the egg can be classified as a seed or a spore seems not to matter at all. I honestly think that all space and all matter came inseparably out of an egg. I also think that everything only emerges into a greater sized egg, but I may have seen too many Russian doll exhibitions for my own good. I also think that everything somehow also eventually enters into another form of an egg after a differing duration. I could be wrong.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 30, 2012 @ 17:26 GMT
ahahah impressing of irony Mr Fisher , and the word is weak.If you want be a real tester, please say concrete things. We are not in a circus here.If you come with your HUMOR like a vanitious nice young scientist, so learn and don't say !

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Ian Liberman wrote on Jul. 18, 2012 @ 22:06 GMT
I totally enjoyed reading the essay and I am familiar with Daniel`s Theories on Quantum Geometry Dynamics and have been following his blog for quite awhile. The essay expands my knowledge relating to how if space is quantum-geometric then the universe may be finite and discrete with a finite amount of preons(-), then preons(-),which are the only two fundamental particles , in this suggested universe. The implications of this are a closed universe that is not expanding which has ramifications for dark energy and matter. The wonderful thing about this essay is that Daniel goes on to elucidate on these implications, with vision and intelligence. Now as a non-physicist , I did have problems with the equations which kept me from totally enjoying my romp.However, do not let that this keep you from enjoying a great paper.

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Paul Reed wrote on Jul. 21, 2012 @ 05:55 GMT
Daniel

Your post in Recognising top down, is noted, and agreed with. Which leaves me wondering why you had difficulty, as expressed, with my essay. Other than that, when expounded in full, rather than a 'soundbite', the argument inherently gets convoluted and dense. Did you have an luck with the 'potted version' of it, which I just happened to have written the night before and was in the thread (ie Peter) above your post?

Paul

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J. C. N. Smith wrote on Jul. 26, 2012 @ 00:58 GMT
Hi Daniel,

I finally got a chance to have a look at your essay. Must admit, however, that I had some difficulty getting my head around it. Undoubtedly some part of my problem in doing so involves the many pre-concieved notions which I bring along as my personal baggage. For example, I've always tended to think of space simply as the absence of matter, i.e., the void. When matter is introduced into the picture, it simply populates the void. And of course the void may be pervaded by electromagnetic radiation. Admittedly a rather simplistic picture.

Given this baggage, however, it was difficult for me to generate a great deal of enthusiasm for the construct you propose, which comes across to me as arbitrary and as a purely hypothetical concept bearing only a superficial, terminological resemblance to what I've always tended to think of as objective reality.

Again, perhaps more a matter of my own failing or deficit of imagination and/or creative thinking rather than any shortcoming of yours or of your fundamental concept. I'll check back from time to time to see what sorts of comments others will post here.

Regardless, good luck in the essay competition!

jcns

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Jul. 26, 2012 @ 13:58 GMT
Hi JCNS,

You wrote

“Given this baggage, however, it was difficult for me to generate a great deal of enthusiasm for the construct you propose, which comes across to me as arbitrary and as a purely hypothetical concept bearing only a superficial, terminological resemblance to what I've always tended to think of as objective reality.”

All theories contain elements that may appear arbitrary. We call them axioms. Also arbitrary is our assumptions that space is continuous or the choices of axioms on which special relativity is based on.

As I explained in the opening, I explore what kind of universe and physics would emerge an axiom set in which space is discrete and emergent from particles I call preons(-). It is true that preon(-) here, is as physical as matter is. So, yes, space here is not merely the absence of matter. Space, if my proposition is correct, is physical and interacts dynamically with matter.

What I found is that the physics that emerge from the axioms is consistent with the observational and experimental data we have about our own universe (consistent with the data, not the theoretical interpretations of it). For instance, though I have avoided coercing my system to agree with any other theory, I found that gravity emerges naturally from the properties of the two only two fundamental particles I describe.

Also emerges as direct consequence is the relationship between matter and energy, and effects that behave exactly like the other interactions which current theories identify as fundamental and effects such as dark energy and dark matter. And laws of motion emerge that are consistent with our observations of motion. The mathematical framework also provides ways to calculate and exactly predict the outcome of interactions.



You have to remember that a theory is required to do three things; describe, explain and predict. It must be consistent with observational and experimental data, but in no way must it be in agreement with other theories. In fact, a theory, any theory, cannot be understood from within the framework of a theory that is based on a different axiom set.

I understand that it is hard to abstract from one’s own world vision. It may help to go into reading the essay as intellectual game where you construct a world from scratch. You might see, that this world is not be as foreign as you think.

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Author Daniel L Burnstein wrote on Jul. 26, 2012 @ 19:09 GMT
Following several distinct comments, it is evident that some readers find understanding the essay difficult. Also, after looking more closely at the comments, both from people who understood and people who didn’t, I realized that the difficultly seems to arise when readers who try to fit or situate those ideas within the framework of their theories; all of which are based on a different axiom sets. Theories based on different, mutually exclusive axiom sets cannot be reconciled (which is why quantum mechanics and relativity will never be unified). That doesn’t mean that mutually exclusive theories can’t be both right. Mutually exclusive theories can be both in agreement with observational and experimental data while disagreeing in their theoretical interpretations of the data.

That said; it can very difficult to abstract oneself from one’s own belief. So my suggestion here would be to view my essay titled “Questioning the Assumption that Space is Continuous” as a game or intellectual exercise and explore, as one would flatland, the emerging universe and physics from the proposed axiom set. This would allow free exploration of the consequences without the impossible burden of having the model fit an external theory. That should help in two ways.

The first is that the model is allowed to stand on its own and as such can be tested for internal consistency.

The second, is, once the consequences have been investigated, one can compare the descriptions and explanations to see if they fit what we know of the observable universe. And from there, see how the predictions that are unique to the model of quantum-geometrical space and matter can be tested. One such unique prediction is that the Universe is a locally condensing universe rather than an expanding one. A locally condensing universe is virtually indistinguishable from an expanding universe except for redshift anomalies which are predicted and explained within the former but rejected by the latter.

So, should you decide to read the essay, try and let your imagination loose. Make believe. In other words; have fun.

One last note: The essay is based on a much larger work, the first part of which is available here.

Also, I attached here a version of the essay which corrected some typos (for instance, moments on page 10 should read momentums).

attachments: Questioning_the_Assumption_that_Space_Is_Continuous.pdf

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J. C. N. Smith replied on Jul. 27, 2012 @ 00:51 GMT
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for these suggestions regarding other ways to think about your essay. They just might help.

Here's another question for you: do your ideas lead to any specific predictions about reality which could be experimentally tested, i.e., which are falsifiable? Just curious.

Thanks again.

jcns

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Jul. 27, 2012 @ 19:34 GMT
JCNS

You ask "Here's another question for you: do your ideas lead to any specific predictions about reality which could be experimentally tested, i.e., which are falsifiable? Just curious."

It does make a number of predictions t hat can be experimentally or observationally confirmed. For a start (Note that there should be a plus sign between the parenthesizes for preon(+) and...

view entire post


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J. C. N. Smith replied on Jul. 28, 2012 @ 13:26 GMT
Daniel,

Thank you for your comments regarding predictions and falsifiability of QGD, all of which provides food for further thought (and reading) before further comments here on specifics.

As I'm sure you're very well aware, world views which represent a major departure from conventional thinking (as yours appears to do) are virtually certain to encounter a tepid and/or dubious reception from those (i.e., the majority) long steeped in conventional thinking, and this is simply an understandable fact of life. Conventional wisdom is conventional wisdom for a reason. As the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Be prepared to persevere in the face of adversity and doubt to develop and promote your ideas. That said, having clear, up-front examples of agreement between your ideas and experimental evidence, having experimentally testable predictions, and having a clear vision and statement about how and why your ideas are superior to the currently prevailing world view will be essential to your long-term success. Hang in there!

jcns

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Author Daniel L Burnstein wrote on Jul. 29, 2012 @ 17:31 GMT
NOTE: In order not to distract from discussions relevant to Marcoen J.T.F Cabbolet's excellent essay, I have transported here the discussion he initiated about the views I express in my own essay. My reply to his last comments will follow shortly.

Daniel L Burnstein wrote on Jul. 20, 2012 @ 04:07 GMT

Hi Marcoen,

In answer to your questions

"Am I correct that you obtain...

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Jul. 30, 2012 @ 14:18 GMT
Marcoen, wrote:

"An example is your concept of distance: on p. 76 you call this a corollary but there is no way that this concept can be formally deduced from your set of axioms."

The corollary can be deduced directly from the axiom set, but this is shown much before page 76. That said, have you tried using the equations described from chapter 8 and following to describe and predict...

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Johannes Vianney Koelman wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 14:05 GMT
Hi Daniel - have started reading your essay. I very much agree with your starting point (equating 'fundamental' to 'invariant'). Hope to learn more about your thoughts and philosophy on fundamental physics (still need to represent that in a future blog!).

In the meantime I have a question: you write "nothing exists between preons(-) except the n-gravity field that keeps them apart". This triggers the question: if these preons need to be "kept apart", does that not presume space to exist (in between the preons and therefore independent of the preons)?

All the best, and kind regards (and thanks for drawing my attention to this contest).

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 19:55 GMT
To answer your questions.

Preons(-) do not need to be separated. They are separated as a consequence of the unit repulsive n-gravity charge each carry. This is part of axiom set of QGD.

As for what exist between them, if you consider space as what matter or particles can occupy, then there is no space between preons(-).

In the quantum-geometry I propose, all material objects can only occupy preons(-) or, if you will, quanta of space. Also important to remember is that the usual geometrical notions of distance between two adjacent preons(-) makes no physical sense; a pair of adjacent preons(-) being defined as being in relative position that a preon(+) may potentially leap directly from one preon(-) to other. Distance is not a purely geometrical but physical. So are the notions of length, volume, etc. The distance between any two given preons(-) is equal the lowest number of leaps necessary for a preon(+) to move from one to the other.

QGD defines a special type of geometry and explores how it dictates the structure of matter and the laws that govern it. The question is, does this geometry describe physical reality?

Thank you for having taken the time to read and review my essay. Looking forward to any other thoughts you may have about it.

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 18:57 GMT
Daniel,

Interesting essay, and I agree with your skepticism about the continuous nature of space. One quick question: how does time come into your QGU? Is it discrete as well? Take care,

Ben Dribus

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 20:37 GMT
Hi Ben,

Time in the usual sense does exist in the QGU. Time is here considered to be a purely relational concept that allows us to compare events to cyclic and periodic systems (clocks). It is a powerful and necessary concept, but one that, unlike space, does not correspond to a physical aspect of reality. The dimension we call time must then be purely mathematical dimension.

Since within the QGU time is nothing more than a concept, then the unification of the dimension of time which is purely mathematical with the physical dimensions of space makes no sense. So there is no space-time in the QGU.

That said, even in the QGU, we hardly do physics without some concept of time. So within the QGU, we define a fundamental unit of time which corresponds the action of a preon(+) making one single preonic leap. The duration of a phenomenon may then be understood as the number of leaps a preon(+) makes during an interval that is between the beginning and the end of the phenomenon. So, numerically, the duration of phenomenon corresponds also the distance, measured in leaps, that a preon(+) will travel while the phenomenon occurs.

This definition of time as being a purely relational concept also implies new definitions for notions such as speed, momentum, simultaneity, causality, etc.

I hope the above answers your question.

Best,

Daniel

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 23:17 GMT
Ben,

Anonymous = Me

I was sure was I logged in.

Daniel

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Sep. 14, 2012 @ 00:17 GMT
***missing word alert***

I meant to write time *does not* exist in the usual sense.

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 15:04 GMT
Dear

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 09:04 GMT
Dear Daniel,

In your essay is written: < And nothing exists between preons(-) except the n-gravity field that keeps them apart and gives quantum-geometrical space its dimensions.> The problem of such approach is in the question: How the preons were made? What is the origin of n-gravity, p-gravity and mass-energy of preons? The same questions have answers in the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (my essay).

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 00:06 GMT
Preons(-) and preons(+) are fundamental and n-gravity and p-gravity are intrinsic to them, hence they have no origin. They are the origin.

All theories of fundamental reality, including your own, assumes certain axioms, which must be assumed as true because, since they represent properties assumed to be fundamental, cannot be proven. My model is no different.

In your own model, one can ask how it came to be that the universe maybe be made of infinite nesting matter. Where would that matter come from?

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 06:48 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Of course you can introduce any entity, for example preons and their gravity, as axioms of your theory and without of proof. But we must use only such axioms which are intuitively clear for us. So why do you choose preons? May be partons are better or interaction of preons must has logical and substantial explanation?

In the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter...

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Oct. 1, 2012 @ 17:23 GMT
Dear Sergey,

You asked why do I chose preons?

The answer is too long for this discussion board, but should you be interested, you can find the reasons in the opening chapters of my Introduction to Quantum-Geometry Dynamics.

You will find also that I introduce a model of space that is isotropic and which forms a absolute background. According to the model I propose, the structure of space determines the structure of matter. As for the constancy of the speed of light, it becomes a direct consequence of the structure of space.

That said, I tried my very best to develop the model in a way that is consistent with its axioms. So though it a generalization of Newton's gravity, to give one example, is directly derived from the model, I make no attempt to coerce it into agreeing with any other theory. That would defeat the entire exercise.

DLB

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 17:24 GMT
After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 05:53 GMT
Thanks, but I really don't care much for the ratings. They only reflect one's opinion of how well someone else's ideas agree with one's own. Ratings say nothing about a theory's inner consistency, consistency with observations and, least of all, about the predictions it makes. It other words, the ratings are pointless and useless.

That said, the contest can be a good starting point of discussion.

I try and avoid rating others.

Daniel

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 08:30 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
and
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
of points. After it anyone give you
of points so you have
of points and
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
or
or
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
then the participant`s rating
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Daniel L Burnstein replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 15:23 GMT
Sergey,

I think you're confusing me with someone else. Wrong thread.

DLB

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