Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

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Dave Rapp
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Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Dave Rapp » Mon May 11, 2009 2:12 am UTC

After some googling, I am a little surprised to see that this isn't one of those hotly debated topics among the people of the internet. This seems like something important that we need to work out.

How would Ender Wiggin win the Kobayashi Maru test?

I say 'how' rather than 'if' because, let's face it, he never loses. Also it's more interesting to think up winning moves than losing ones.


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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby madprocess » Mon May 11, 2009 2:29 am UTC

He'd probably pull a Kirk and have Bean reprogram it.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon May 11, 2009 2:30 am UTC

Wasn't he basically given the Kobayashi Maru test? As in, a no-win scenario? That's what that last simulation was.
Spoiler:
He gives up and just does something ridiculous. Considering that, I'm imagining that he tractor beams the Kobayashi Maru and throws it at one of the Klingon ships, then crashes into another at warp while torpedoing down one of the others. (There were three, right?) Everyone who can escapes in shuttlecraft (the people on the KM get beamed over or something.)
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Vieto » Mon May 11, 2009 2:37 am UTC

Spoiler:
Well, he could contact the Klingon to gain permission to enter the neutral zone to perform the rescue. If denied, he could inform the Kobayashi Maru to release cargo towards the mine, causing it to detonate prematurely, saving the lives of the crew of the Kobayashi, even if it cost the people on it money.


Or...

Spoiler:
He could just reprogram the scenario to make it winnable, like Kirk, but that would be cheap.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon May 11, 2009 2:41 am UTC

I can totally see him doing the Kirk thing, but I thought I'd come up with something else.

Actually, I just thought of a neat solution. You send your shuttles (warp-capable...usually...) to the KM, and take your ship into the neutral zone. Klingons show up and start threatening you, occupy them while the shuttles load up with refugees and get out of there. Then, you run. Presuming you can get out, that is. I don't know if this is something Ender would go for, but I like the idea.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby lemmings » Mon May 11, 2009 2:46 am UTC

Move all bridge personnel to the battle bridge and separate the saucer section of the ship. Have the saucer section move to a safe distance and engage an interception course for the nearest Klingon ship. Use the two ship’s mass as an ignition for the Dr. Device which will create an explosion that will consume everyone but the saucer section and Kobayashi Maru.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon May 11, 2009 2:50 am UTC

lemmings wrote:Move all bridge personnel to the battle bridge and separate the saucer section of the ship. Have the saucer section move to a safe distance and engage an interception course for the nearest Klingon ship. Use the two ship’s mass as an ignition for the Dr. Device which will create an explosion that will consume everyone but the saucer section and Kobayashi Maru.

You're mixing TOS (the KM), TNG (saucer separation), and Ender's Game. But then, that would probably work, although I don't know how the MD interacts with Trek shields.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Gellert1984 » Mon May 11, 2009 3:14 am UTC

I personally like captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the USS titans resolution.

Bridge officer 'Kilingons decloaking sir, should I hail?'
Calhoun 'No, its not like they'll listen'
Bridge officer 'sir?'
Calhoun to tactical officer 'Target the Kobayashi Maru's antimatter storage tanks and fire'

He gets pulled back a year at starfleet academy for that little stunt.

Tot the crew of the Kobayashi Maru, Sucks to be you!
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Delass » Mon May 11, 2009 3:56 am UTC

Easy option: teleport them in from outside the neutral zone.
Medium option: warp by, teleport them onto the ship, never leave warp.
hard option, assuming the mine would prevent the second option: teleport something explosive into the mine, then warp by, and teleport the stranded crew onto the ship from warp speed, and go home.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby halbarad » Mon May 11, 2009 8:49 am UTC

Personally I would tractor beam the Mines around so that they are moving away from the KM (and towards likely Klingon locations) and then move in to rescue the KM. When Klingon's appear, fire on the mines near them to set them off and slow the Klingons down (or kill them) so we can escape.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby lemmings » Mon May 11, 2009 9:42 am UTC

The idea of the test is that you must break the treaty to save the Kobayashi Maru, this means that tractoring the mines or beaming the crew on board before the Klingons arrive is impossible because of arbitrary restrictions that deem you must fail.

Saucer separation was possible in the TOS time; it was intended to be used in emergency only and requires assistance to reconnect. I would separate the saucer section from the star drive and enter a collision course for one of the Klingon ships. The star drive section will crash into the ship and detonate (with our without the MDD) and have the saucer section power down making it invisible. At least one of the Klingon ships will be destroyed or crippled and they will assume that the entire ship has been destroyed and leave the scene. The saucer section can then conduct the rescue in peace.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 11, 2009 12:23 pm UTC

...except the Sim is designed to just throw Klingon ships at you until you die. There is no peace.

Scotty's answer is probably the best, in that he fought it on the programmed terms to a stalemate.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Mon May 11, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

But Ender can't lose.

He'd have to find some previously-undiscovered exploit in the program, and exploit it. (Which is not the same as pulling a Kirk. He wouldn't reprogram it -- he'd just play relentlessly until he found a hole.)

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Belial » Mon May 11, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

Without a sympathetic author to write winnable scenarios for him to win, or an all powerful AI in the sky to give him a leg up, Ender checks to see if the klingon homeworld is anywhere nearby, and upon discovering that he can't win with totally morally justifiable (the author said so) genocide, he flounders for a bit and ultimately fails.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby EnderSword » Mon May 11, 2009 4:57 pm UTC

Ender would come to the same conclusion he did in the battle game, it's not required to destroy all the enemy ships, only required to save the ship's crew.

That means the ships aren't infinite because they end once you've got the crew and escape back to your own space, He'd focus on the end goal instead of the enemies just as he went right for the planet and the Gate.

He'd also just understand the simulation by loving it, and be able to predict its movements.

Ender's Kobayashi Maru test was really the Giant with the two drinks, not the final homeworld. It was the only time he really did lose over and over before stabbing it in the eye.
Ender can choose to lose, only if he views it as a self sacrificng act he deserves, and if Losing wins a greater objective.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Levi » Mon May 11, 2009 5:01 pm UTC

Set the shuttles to hit the Klingon ships at maximum warp. Kaboom. Then tractor the Kobayashi Maru and leave. He's going to have to break the treaty anyways. What would the Klingons do if he just left the Kobayashi Maru there and did nothing? He would save his own crew, at least.

I've always wondered why they never do that. I have yet to see a sci-fi where somebody uses their faster-than-light drive to crash an asteroid into a planet.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby BlackSails » Mon May 11, 2009 5:03 pm UTC

Ender would just kill Klingon ships until the simulator just hit an overflow error from keeping track of all the ships.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Vieto » Mon May 11, 2009 5:18 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:Ender would just kill Klingon ships until the simulator just hit an overflow error from keeping track of all the ships.


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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Osha » Mon May 11, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

Well in enders game if I recall, the giant offered him two drinks, either of which would lead to defeat. In the kobayashi maru test, these are the choices of attempting a rescue or letting them die.
Instead, like attacking the giant, he would flip out and stab the computer running the simulation to death... not reprogram it, but stab it. To death.

That little punk.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 11, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

The similarity between the Giant Drink and the Kobayashi Maru would be if in the Giant Drink simulation, how you drank your choice mattered. Do you stick a pinky out and sip it slowly? Do you down it in one giant gulp? Do you use it like a shower and put on an erotic display for the Giant?

...I don't recall anything like that being a valid option, just a simple Drink A, Drink B, or.... ?

The Kobayashi Maru would have you ignoring the distress call - which opens up Treeline A of Outcomes, Rushing in to Assist - which opens up Treeline B of Outcomes, Hailing the Klingons - which opens up Treeline C of Outcomes, and so on....

So Treeline C is probably pretty short.... Still, in going to aid the ship, do you rush in quickly, do you proceed cautiously? When the Klingons appear, do you go straight into War Mode and try to blow them from the sky? Do you try diplomacy? Do you fight dirty?

While the reasoning behind the tests is the same - it's just there to see what you do and how you accept death - the Kobayashi Maru has dozens of potential outcomes. No single person is going to share an experience with anyone else. The Giant's Drink has, apparently, three outcomes. You drink the left one, you drink the right one, or you kill the giant and birth an AI.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby EnderSword » Mon May 11, 2009 8:22 pm UTC

I'd say the Giant's drink also had multiple outcomes, but only 2 Apparent ones, or ones the player was supposed to see, It had certain death, or it had a 'walk away' option in that you didn't have to do it at all, as would be the case if you left the Ship to die.

Drink A or B were both going to kill you, 'Drinking' was Option A (because it didn't matter which glass), 'Leaving' was Option B.

Kobayashi Maru also has Fight, or Leave.

The drinks were programmed to be certain death the same way the Klingons were programmed to provide certain death, the intention of both programs is a No-win situation.
The designers of the programs both didn't think it mattered how you proceeded because they viewed both as certainly fatal.
Approach cautiously, charge in, diplomacy, wouldn't matter, they were going to kill you.

No one that played without inventing a 3rd option lives through it.

Kirk just cheats, because frankly he's a bit of a tool.

Ender tends to use excessive force.


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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby livemansleeping » Mon May 11, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

OK, well first off you can assume that if it was a programmed scenario, that Ender would have already got wind of it. If it was a single test, he would have gone through extensive effort to determine its nature, and teh details surrounding it, probably involving some of his more loyal friends, hacking, and general wacky hijinx that are so much fun in the book. So we can assume at the begining of the scenario he knows all of the details, the time at which the klingon ships decloak, and the position of the Kobayashi Maru, and the mines.

We are also going to assume that Ender has an extremely competent crew, cause y'know, he does.

Ender wouldn't reprogram the scenario, if any one did it would be our computer-pal from the later books as she did with teh 2-drinks scenario.

Ender would begin by modifying the terms in which he played, rather than playing by the classic rules, he would use his own capabillities within the situation to do somthing... unexpected.

I'd like to pressent this as an option: he recieves teh distress call, his response is to scramble it, making a dead-zone for communications... which should prevent more than one klingon warbird from showing up for at least a short time.

Now, assuming the limits of the transporter are not through sheilds, and not while in warp, the fallowing actions would make sense. He would exit warp as close as possible to the kobayashi Maru beam vital components of the mines to other regions of space, rendering them innert and useless... (provided mines aren't sheilded, i'm pretty sure they're not). Once the Mines are disabled,the warbird decloaks, and begins firing. Ender would have already (against standard protocol) have raised the ship to red alert and have shields and weapons active... save when he dropped sheilds to screw up the mines.

When teh warbird decloaks, Ender provides them with a cover-spray, in order to screw up targeting systems and sensors systems due to the heat of a capital-ship battle. He launches shuttles with explosives, and hopes teh klingons wont notice them, or think they're a boarding party until its too late. These shuttles will likely be manned and contain suicide troops (as he has used when fighting the bugs) theoreticly a few of the shuttles get through and can disable teh warbird. Ender probably has about 5 or 8 minutes before the others figure out where the communications dead-spot is coming from, in that time, he can likely grab the crew of teh Maru, transport them to his ship... and (as would be his style) steal the cloaking device off teh warbird if its not too damaged. When the other warbirds appear, he'll be cloaked, and waiting for them to make a mistake, lower sheilds, or somthing, and probably blow them out of the sky.

all of this relies on a flawless execution.. however, considering enders past, it would likely be plausable. AND he would defenatly go the extra mile and take out teh other warbirds once he had the advantage.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Flynn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:49 am UTC

It is a no win scenario.

So here is my solution:

Beam everyone from the kobayashi Maru on board the ship then beam the captain and as many photon torpedo as possible onto the kobayashi maru. The captain would have to self destruct to buy sometimes for the ship to warp out of harms way. Since the Kobayashi maru is loaded with photon torpedos, the klingons ships would have to target it first. Well i couldn't salvage the KM but at least i have chance to save everyone. The needs of many outweight the needs of a one.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Kag » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:19 am UTC

livemansleeping wrote:he recieves teh distress call, his response is to scramble it, making a dead-zone for communications... which should prevent more than one klingon warbird from showing up for at least a short time.
Would you mind explaining how this makes sense?
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:47 pm UTC

He invents the Picard maneuver (tactical use of warp in combat) 100ish years early and uses the ship's warp drives to dodge incoming photon torpedos, defeating the klingons.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Vieto » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:10 pm UTC

Guys, keep in mind: beaming technology wasn't invented yet. Otherwise, Kirk would have used it.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

Vieto wrote:Guys, keep in mind: beaming technology wasn't invented yet. Otherwise, Kirk would have used it.

No, transporters very much existed at the time. We never hear weather or not their use factored into any of the other student's KM strategies. We only know the end result - everybody failed until Kirk cheated. What we can guess from this is that either there was no way to make transporters an option (shielded mines, countermeasures, no chance to drop your own shields without getting splatted) or the program responds to attempted tele-shenanigans with a hearty "Fuck You" and tosses more complications in your face until you asplode.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

Ender's big thing was "the other side isn't my enemy, it's the people who set up the simulation." So I can see him doing the Kirk thing (more plausibly than Kirk doing the Kirk thing, actually). Failing that, he would probably find some flaw in the instructions of the game. I don't know, perhaps he does something stupid like run

Code: Select all

$ su [guesses root password in one try - he is pretty good at that]
# echo "Kobayashi Maru" > /etc/hostname

and then warp out claiming victory? Perhaps he 'proves' that the people on board are really ai constructs, therefore he doesn't have to save anyone?

The point is, he would rather use complete BS for his tactics than accept an honest victory of less than 100%. That's what Ender does - he cheats - kinda like what Kirk did.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:39 pm UTC

zombiefeynman wrote: and then warp out claiming victory? Perhaps he 'proves' that the people on board are really ai constructs, therefore he doesn't have to save anyone?

... Za?

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:00 pm UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:... Za?


Now, Tedd, he'd hack the Kobayashi Maru scenario. And you'd know it because when the Klingons hail you, they'll all be women.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby apricity » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:09 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Yuri2356 wrote:... Za?
Now, Tedd, he'd hack the Kobayashi Maru scenario. And you'd know it because when the Klingons hail you, they'll all be women.
Or he could just use the TF gun to turn them all into harmless kitties! (EGS is my favorite webcomic <3 )
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:23 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:Or he could just use the TF gun to turn them all into harmless kitties! (EGS is my favorite webcomic <3 )


Arguably, it'd be more effective than a phaser. (Yeah, huge bunny here too, though haven't been on the forum in forever)
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Kulantan » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:12 pm UTC

Hmm I reckon he would bring along phased polaron weapons (cheat them in), hit them in the shield array and then teleport raptors onto the Klingon warbirds. Klingons, no matter what they tell you, cannot run at 20m/s and they DO know fear. Klingon < raptor. Seriously people it is just a matter of planning ahead...
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby zombiefeynman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:02 pm UTC

...aaaand we're back.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Jorpho » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Without a sympathetic author to write winnable scenarios for him to win, or an all powerful AI in the sky to give him a leg up, Ender checks to see if the klingon homeworld is anywhere nearby, and upon discovering that he can't win with totally morally justifiable (the author said so) genocide, he flounders for a bit and ultimately fails.
And then spends dozens upon dozens of pages morosely reflecting on the futility of existence.
zombiefeynman wrote:Perhaps he 'proves' that the people on board are really ai constructs, therefore he doesn't have to save anyone?
Ooh, I like that.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:10 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
zombiefeynman wrote:Perhaps he 'proves' that the people on board are really ai constructs, therefore he doesn't have to save anyone?
Ooh, I like that.

So, could clarify just what the hell he's talking about? I have no idea how ZF's statement connects to making Ender win the KM.

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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:44 pm UTC

Step 1. Hail the Klingons.
Step 2. Drop Logic, Science, and/or Phat Beats
Step 3. Klingons say "Oh Shit, we're 1s and 0s!" and implode

I'm presuming, at least.
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:35 pm UTC

Frankly, that's a Kirk maneuver, too.

"You may be a super-AI capable of killing us all, and about to do so, but first, I'd like you to answer one question: What is Love?"

"DOES NOT COMPUTE" *boom*
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Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Yuri2356 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:08 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Step 1. Hail the Klingons.
Step 2. Drop Logic, Science, and/or Phat Beats
Step 3. Klingons say "Oh Shit, we're 1s and 0s!" and implode

I'm presuming, at least.


I've realized that a lot of people in this discussion are probably doing so without having seen the in a while.
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(into intercom)

Stand by transporter room, ready

to beam survivors aboard.

UHURA

Captain, I've lost their signal!

COMPUTER VOICE

Alert! Sensors indicate three

Klingon Crusiers, bearing three-

one-six, mark four. Closing fast.

^For those who speak of rapid beaming and that one who thought of delaying reactions. The moment you arrive, three hostile ships which were laying in ambush around the KM spring up to gank you.
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They're jamming all the frequencies,

Captain!

They ignore, and in fact prevent you from sending any sort of communication.

And from there they open fire and very quickly gib you. They delays due to attempted rescue, diplomacy, and retreat let them get off the opening volley, and then things just go downhill. If you want the best position in the fight you have to come in shooting, and if you want to avoid the fight you have to not get into it.

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Jorpho
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: Ender and the Kobayashi Maru

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:28 am UTC

Indeed, Kirk's solution as portrayed in the SNES Starfleet Academy game involved him hailing the Klingons - something normally not possible in the simulation.

Still, maybe you could work with proving that the other elements of the simulation that you can interact with are constructs?


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