Virginia Tech

wil

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I know that this isn't the spot for religious stuff...

But it is for current events with social implications...

And I couldn't figure out where the best place to allow everyone to contemplate in their own moment of silence, or prayer was...

For those overseas that don't know...what we currently understand in the US is that a South Korean student over here on a educational visa killed 32 people on a college campus. Apparently over a domestic issue with a girlfriend.

Some professors...those dedicating their lives to educating us...mostly students who were on their path to life...

Yes, I'm aware that this is our taste of some of the issues that occur around the world. And I offer a moment of silence for them as well.

To all who suffer, to all in pain, to all who've lost family and friends...my heart goes out to you.

We truly need to dedicate our lives to finding peaceful, nonviolent solutions to our problems...
 
I have every sympathy for all the family and friends of the victims in this tragic event. It is a devastating type of thing to happen to the students currently studying at Virginia Tech, and my hope is that they all get over it quickly.

The perpetrator was again an isolated loner who had already been pinpointed as disturbed by one of his teachers. Perhaps this is where a lesson can be learned. Teaching that those that seem isolated be given special attention to make them feel important and included. This is not easy, both in identification and practice, but as these events happen ever more frequently it has to be considered.

Where he came from is irrelevant. And I find it sad that so many of the individuals comments I have seen on this have made point of noting he is on some sort of visa and using that ugly perjorative american phrased word 'alien'. Why is it important? I think it has something to do with the xenophobia currently being whipped up by your governments state run media.

The fact is that these events now average 1 every 6 months now. An indiscriminate shooting at a school that is. In the US there are some 11,000 shooting homicides every year and a further 20,000 gun related deaths, suicides and accidents. Thats equivilant to how many 9/11's every year ? , but there is no 'war on gun ownership'.
And nor will there be as a result of this. And so such things will continue to happen.

And to put into context 42 Iraqi civilians died the same day. How much press coverage have they received?

It was a terrible tragedy to take place at an institution for learning. And my heart weeps thinking about the fear and suffering of all its victims. And weeps harder still knowing it will not be the last one.
 
"The perpetrator was again an isolated loner who had already been pinpointed as disturbed by one of his teachers. Perhaps this is where a lesson can be learned. Teaching that those that seem isolated be given special attention to make them feel important and included. This is not easy, both in identification and practice, but as these events happen ever more frequently it has to be considered."

Not all "Disturbed loners" are violent on this level/scale... and also not all "disturbed loners" wish to feel important or wish to socialise.. I know I don't. It wasn't the fact that he was a solitary sole... It was because his girlfriend left... Him, he didn't decided to shoot the place up because he wasn't welcome on some football team or something. He obviously had a medical condition, unable to control his emotions his rage rose. And people like this cannot be "identified." just by looking at them... It could be you, me, him or her... Something just...... Snaps.

--Edit--

For example... Look at Tom Whitman... Popular guy, lots of friends... 16 dead 31 wounded?
 
And to put into context 42 Iraqi civilians died the same day. How much press coverage have they received?
Well here in Texas they received little compared to the shooting in Virginia Tech.
Of course Im sure the Iraqi civillians that died got alot more press in Baghdad than the VT shooting.

Of course we would hope that neither one would have to get press. My prayers are going out for all the family and friends and traumatized students at VT.
 
Where he came from is irrelevant. And I find it sad that so many of the individuals comments I have seen on this have made point of noting he is on some sort of visa and using that ugly perjorative american phrased word 'alien'. Why is it important? I think it has something to do with the xenophobia currently being whipped up by your governments state run media.
Namaste Tao,

If he had been a US Citizen from Baltimore, Maryland, it would have been mentioned. I've got no immigration issues in mentioning. Indicating he was Asian, White, Black, or Hispanic, does not indicate I am racist. It is simply an identification, which would pre-empt/answer future questions. No discrimination was consciously intended on my part, however as when I was born segregation and racism in the US were the norm, I wouldn't doubt that there may be some subconscious tendency there...
The fact is that these events now average 1 every 6 months now. An indiscriminate shooting at a school that is. In the US there are some 11,000 shooting homicides every year and a further 20,000 gun related deaths, suicides and accidents. Thats equivilant to how many 9/11's every year ? , but there is no 'war on gun ownership'.
Yes, there will be bills introduced at the local and federal levels asking for stricter gun control in the US...and this incident as well as others will be cited. But the end legislation will be weak or nonexisitent. Our second ammendment is due to the oppression of English Colonists by England in the US, we vowed to never have a gov't more well armed than the citizenry. Va Tech as most schools is a gun free zone. Which means that any criminal has free riegn knowing that it is highly unlikely he has any competition. In areas of our country where gun ownership and training are high, criminal activity is down....as even a criminal has enough sense to insure the odds are in his favor. Yes, here in the US we value our right to protect ourselves, and will not give it up in favor of the law inforcement protecting us anytime soon.
And to put into context 42 Iraqi civilians died the same day. How much press coverage have they received?
I agree with your sentiment however our ADD/ADHD press coverage can only focus on one thing at a time...and whatever it is, it throws everything else aside.

Press coverage, gun laws aside.

My heart goes out also to the family and friends of the shooter, as well as families of tragedies all over our globe....universe.
 
17th,

Yes, I appreciate that and stated it is not easy to identify nor to help, but that some effort along these lines should at least be attempted. I believe that his English teacher said she thot him suicidal. She must have had due cause from his writing or from talking to him. Virtualy all suicides give some warning. A college campus of that size, of any size, could have a system for dealing with potentially suicidal individuals. After all around 10 or 12 college age kids kill themselves every day in the US.
 
From one of the high school students I have the pleasure of working with occasionally....

So much is told to teenagers about our power and persuasion. In times where tragedy strikes such as today we can use that power for extreme good. Today someone struck out from a place of fear and darkness and committed an act so atrocious it is unfathomable. And the only thing for the people of this world to do is respond with unfathomable love and support. Lets use the power we have at our disposal to come together to support the young people and their family whose lives were ripped apart on this tragic day. At times such as this in America we often have "moments of silence" in honor of the people who have been hurt. I say lets have a DAY of PRAYER instead. Tuesday, proudly wear maroon and orange in remembrance of the victims of this tragedy. Spend the day in prayer for the families of the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the people of the world who come from such a dark place where such acts are committed. Make sure to remember to tell those you love that you love them. And take a day to be thankful to be alive and for all the blessings you have. Show your love and support for those involved and affected by this tragedy and let’s come together in prayer for Virginia Tech, America and all of humanity. We may be far away and we may just be kids, but if we all come together in prayer and support and love, we can change the world. Don't let this day or this act be forgotten, but rather take this unfathomable fear and anger and hate and return with an even greater degree of love and support.

Remember:
there is no such thing as hate,
only the absence of love.
there is no such thing as darkness,
only the absence of light.
there is no such thing as cold,
only the absence of heat.
there is no such thing as evil,
only the absence of good.
So let’s fill the world with
love, light, warmth and GOOD.
we have the power
we have the influence.

prayers and blessings to you all

Annie,
ChantillyVA


Let’s use our influence for something positive.
 
I just visited a virtual memorial to Liviu Lubrescu, the profesor and holocaust survivor who blocked the doorway. I should have taken a picture. People were leaving flowers and yahrtzeit candles. I lit a candle and placed a stone on the memorial. I didn't really hear about it until somebody mentioned it to me. I've been watching the news less and less, too negative, and when something major happens I know I'll get word. This really saddened me. I just stood at the memorial for a while in silence with some other people. Someone came by who didn't have a yahrtzeit candle, so I gave him an extra. Somebody else quoted, I think tehillim. But mostly we just stood in silence.

Dauer
 
I found an image a friend of mine took when I was there with him.


464018464_c32bb370dd.jpg
 
And to put into context 42 Iraqi civilians died the same day. How much press coverage have they received?

More context: school shootings happen in Iraq, too. We don't hear about them. And they certainly don't supercede all other news for the entire day. What I dislike about the media coverage of these shootings is that it becomes a caricature of fear that the media bashes the populace over the head with for an extended period of time. When the shootings happened Monday, it was literally all they talked about on NPR. The same sound bites over and over and over and over. I understand the need to inform people that are "just tuning in," but Jesus--there are other things going on in the world. I simply do not want to be inundated with this wallowing in tragedy all day long, or all week long. Let's grieve, but move on.

Change in gun laws? Ha!! Doubtful. I heard a statement by some white house spokesperson yesterday that basically said, "The president believes in the right of all Americans to bear arms, but they must use those firearms responsibly and follow all laws." Maybe Congress has a different idea, but really the issue is far deeper than people's access to guns. The entire society is unhealthy, insane, and these shootings are just one of the most violent symptoms--yet not nearly as violent as waging wars for oil and empire.

wil said:
Our second ammendment is due to the oppression of English Colonists by England in the US, we vowed to never have a gov't more well armed than the citizenry.

Ha again! Well, we've certainly lost the spirit of the second ammendment, haven't we, then? I mean--thankfully--I don't see people driving around in armed humvees (although I do see too many fools driving around in hummers), collecting stashes of smart bombs and depleted uranium, or with a basement full of nuclear warheads.

We vowed? :rolleyes: I guess King George is back in full power.
 
Dear Department of Peace Campaign Supporters,

You are invited to join a special conference call for all supporters, Thursday, April 19, 2007 at 6:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 Eastern. We will come together for one hour. It will be a time of connection, meditation, prayer, sharing, and anchoring the vision of peace that we all hold in our hearts.​
This call will not be recorded.

We will spend 20 minutes in silent meditation, at the beginning from 6:05 - 6:15 Pacific / 9:05 - 9:15 Eastern, and at the end from 6:50 - 7:00 Pacific / 9:50 - 10:00 Eastern. If you cannot join the call, we invite you to join us in meditation at these times, anchoring the feeling and vision of peace.​
Call-in number: (605) 772-3001, access code is: 470821#

Thank you,​
 
My heart and prayers go out to all the families and friends left behind to try to put the pieces back together after this tragedy. Thank you wil for starting this thread.


I just visited a virtual memorial to Liviu Lubrescu, the profesor and holocaust survivor who blocked the doorway. I should have taken a picture. People were leaving flowers and yahrtzeit candles. I lit a candle and placed a stone on the memorial. I didn't really hear about it until somebody mentioned it to me. I've been watching the news less and less, too negative, and when something major happens I know I'll get word. This really saddened me. I just stood at the memorial for a while in silence with some other people. Someone came by who didn't have a yahrtzeit candle, so I gave him an extra. Somebody else quoted, I think tehillim. But mostly we just stood in silence.

Dauer

I was really moved by this act of herosim too dauer, and the other acts of courage and compassion brought out by this tragedy.
 
I also pray for the shooter, who obviously lived a chaotic and tormented life. :(

I know people were afraid of him (for good reason, I would be too), and that some tried to reach out...some though are just too broken to be fixed in this life.
 
Does anyone else find the "official story" of this shooting a bit weird?
  • Two hours passed between the time of the first shooting and the larger massacre. Two hours in which nothing was done, even though the police must have known that there was a murderer around somewhere.
  • The "shooter's" body wasn't id'd for an entire day, supposedly because he had blown his head away in such a gruesome way that he was unidentifiable. And he is supposed to have inflicted all of this carnage with a handgun--did I hear that right?
  • They couldn't identify him apparently, but they knew what dorm he came from...? Again, did I hear that right? Seems like that would narrow things down a bit.
  • Even after the big shooting, there was no alert put out to students for a couple of hours...? Did I hear that right??
  • And then the Gonzales hearings are called off so that he can lead the investigation.
I don't know, but it seems weird to me. Anyone else have a weird feeling about it? Or am I missing something? Please enlighten me.
 
Not so much weird as perhaps staged. But then this has been the hallmark of many such tragedies over the decades in the U.S. beginning with the killing of President Kennedy. As Arthur C. Clarke taught us, sufficiently advanced technologies always appear to be magic to the uninformed.

But real people have suffered and died for no good reason other than to expose us all to their suffering, pain, and grief...as if enough of that doesn't enter into each of our lives already without watching it in the lives of others in the media. And of course the media involuntarily profits mightily from all of this suffering.

I pray for the welfare and safekeeping of the relatives of the slain and the survivors. But that doesn't negate the underlying fact that the protests and statements of the shooter speaks of this event as an act of class warfare, and there is no one but our leaders and their policies of expediance to blame for that. It only takes one misguided soul to cause chaos in a community, especially in an age of interwoven technologies.

flow....:(
 
Well seems this killer was a bomb waiting to explode for some time. Already, 2 years ago, diagnosed as a psychotic with a high potential for violence, information, it seems, that was not known by campus staff.
Not content with a suicide note he prepared and posted a multi-media press release in the 2 hrs between the first 2 and the remaining murders.

I think it simplistic and naive to apportion blame to the police and campus authorities for not catching him in this 2hrs between his attacks. They initially suspected someone else, the first girl to be murdered boyfreind and were following, as would be expected, that line of enquiry.

Returning to what I said in my previous post here, I feel it is incumbant on all campus authorties to now review and implement a program for spotting those individuals with a high potential suicide risk. Again I state I know this is not a simple task but this guy, like most suicides, gave clear warnings of impending breakdown that were spotted by staff and students alike. A referal to a competent psychiatrist of his behaviour in the months before this event would have led to a simple diagnosis of psychosis with a high potential for violence or self harm.
17th Angel you say that not all insular and withdrawn kids are a risk. Psychiatry is aware of this and is actually pretty reliably able to distinguish between angst and psychosis. What I suggest is not just to prevent massacres of this scale but the 1000's of kids that take their own lives every year too. If we are going to do anything to help all these people, and their victims, then there is no other way but some system of monitoring by those that have most contact with subsequent referal to competant proffesionals. These people like I say again and again do tend to ring rather loudly on a warning bell. But even then its still not easy, and a system that critics could accuse of attempting to make everybody 'smiley happy people' must also be guarded against. But what alternatives are there?

TE
 
Last night we had a prayer vigil instigated by the Virginia Tech shootings, for all those in violent situations around the world.

It was our normal night for our Wednesday night meditation contemplation...third Wednesday meant Dances for Universal Peace...however we sent out an email saying we weren't dancing...we'd be holding those who feel turmoil in love and light.

I found out that one of the ministers I know has been down there with an ecumenical ministerial group...supporting students, family faculty, and police. Different religions, differing denominations coming together to be there for who ever needs counseling or consoling, they have a gym, inside no hubub of cameras or reporters...just groups and pairs in prayer and contemplation.

I also found out that another youth leader I play with at conferences...he was teaching that day and locked down with his students...anxiously awaiting what to do next...for hours. They were all safe in another building, but with the rumors and the news, they didn't feel so safe. He was there to assist in keeping their spirits calm and uplifted.

Our little meditation service was wonderful....we filled the table with candles as the time went on...holding them all in love and light...the students, the families of students, the shooters family and friends, everyone that is under the stress that could lead to such an event, and everyone in turmoil in the world.

One lady was there for the first time. She drove over an hour...she came to dance, as she wasn't on our email list, she didn't know we weren't dancing. At the end when we stood up in a circle and voiced our prayers, and our gratefulness to G-d, she said, "I don't know any of you people, but I am so glad I was here. I came to dance, and when I was told there was no dancing, I was dissapointed and was about to leave. Then I was told it would be a prayer circle, and then I was told it would be about Virginia Tech...I thought I could use some time in prayer. I want to tell you how wonderful it was to be here and am very glad I stayed." We later found out she is Quaker, and recently out of seminary...our focus on lifting everyone in the light, and on decreasing violence was very in line with her beliefs.

She thought it was a mistake and accident she showed up for the first time when dance was cancelled and we were in prayer instead. It goes to show there are no accidents.

And like this horrific incident, while it is hard for us humans to make sense of anytime anyone makes their transition, it is even harder when they are struck down not in war, not with disease, not in old age...but 'out of the blue'... While we never know the bigger picture...we do know they are not suffering now...and somehow somewhere he meant it for evil, but G-d will make it good.
 
TE said:
Where he came from is irrelevant. And I find it sad that so many of the individuals comments I have seen on this have made point of noting he is on some sort of visa and using that ugly perjorative american phrased word 'alien'. Why is it important? I think it has something to do with the xenophobia currently being whipped up by your governments state run media.
As the story unfolds it appears you are correct. And as I look around the net at papers not only in the US but around the world they almost all represent him as a South Korean on a Visa...truth but not the whole truth.

He was from Centreville, Virginia, his parents came here when he was 8. For all practical purposes this is local boy. And his issues are fairly homegrown as well. The music he listened to, the gun culture of the US, his offbeat prose...no at this time it doesn't really look like being South Korean had much to do with it....a troubled soul.
 
I think it simplistic and naive to apportion blame to the police and campus authorities for not catching him in this 2hrs between his attacks.

Your point is well taken, Tao. Due to our fast-as-light information-on-demand culture, we are given access to events like this as they unfold, which opens up the range of ways in which we can respond. Personally, I dislike the way the media handles events like this and the mass hysteria that ensues. I also don't trust the mainstream media and question what is disseminated as "news." I do wish that more people would think critically about the news, rather than ingesting the fearful and sensational presentations that are served up.

As far as Cho Seung-Hui and mental health is concerned, I did read an article from NBC yesterday (can't find a link this morning, sorry... the story has disappeared from the page in the inundation of "news" on this event) that said that he had been to see mental health professionals in the past and was almost committed at one time. I do completely agree with you that he could have benefitted from some attention and care from a competent and caring mental health team.

To me though, this recurring story of school shootings is symptomatic of larger ills in a culture that values commodities, sensation, and capital over relationships and humanity. That's a soapbox that I can stand on in another thread, perhaps.

There is one new development in this school shooting, though, that we haven't seen before. Since the perpetrator was not a white suburban kid (although in many ways Cho is quintessentially American), there is the same kind of xenophobic and racial backlash that we experienced after 9/11. We see pictures of South Koreans coming forward with Virginia Tech signs, much as many of Asian/Middle-Eastern/Indian descent could be seen propping up American flags after 9/11--as if to say, "Don't be angry with me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It wasn't me. I love America. I do." What is this about? To me, it seems to be a reaction/response that stems from fear. It's as if they are afraid of being accused of guilt by association and consequently pumelled by the bully of the playground.

Yes, Virginia Tech was a tragedy. So was Columbine and so were all the rest. But I'm sick of the way many Americans wallow in these tragedies, soaking up sorrow like sponges and basting in fear. Who benefits from that? The victims? No. Their families? No. Hell, if someone I loved had been gunned down, I would be devastated, and the last thing I would want would be a media circus over the event, and an outpouring of Hallmark-style sentiment from the entire nation, which ultimately would be just a bunch of strangers who could not share in my deeply personal suffering at such a loss. Indeed, I would feel emotionally raped and cheated by such an outpouring of fear-based "sympathy."

The other thing that irritates me about the sorrow-wallowing after events like this is that it is totally myopic. We've already mentioned the tragedies unfolding daily in Iraq and how those do not elicit the same kind of hysterical mass-response--not that I want them to, because if that were the case, nothing would happen except a bunch of flailing, wailing, and moaning. Or maybe something else would happen--maybe confronted with the brutal reality of daily murder and chaos in Iraq our country would re-assess its foreign policy and agenda in the Gulf.

What about the people in Palestine, suffering daily? Where is the week-long (decade-long?) media circus about that? Darfur--well, we approach a media circus about Darfur, and write letters and take action. Interesting that we do that there, but not in Iraq, where we are more directly responsible for the atrocities. Nor in Palestine, where our support (complict or explicit) of Israel's military agenda allows the atrocities to not only continue but to escalate.

Virginia Tech. Let the families and friends grieve in peace. The rest of us need to get over ourselves and do something. You don't like it? Reach out to an alienated kid in your neighborhood, for Christ's sake.

:(
 
As more information comes out, we discover we were wrong about this guy.

1. Growing up in America, not on study with a visa.
His parents came to America when he was eight. Since coming to America, life didn't really get much better. The family was poor.

2. More like some kind of rebel punk kid than a heartbroken lover.
It was thought at first it had something to do with a relationship break up. The reason I believe is because the girl he killed in the first shooting had a boyfrield/ex-boyfriend or roommate who had recently been involved in a violent confrontation with guns. He was the first suspect.

Va. Tech awarding degrees to victims - Yahoo! News

Police said that after the first shooting, in which two students were killed, they believed that it was a domestic dispute, and that the gunman had fled the campus. Police went looking for a young man, Karl David Thornhill, who had once shot guns at a firing range with the roommate of one of the victims. But police said Thornhill is no longer under suspicion.

That explains why the university and police took little action in the first two hours after the first shooting. They thought it was that guy.

They had the wrong man.

Cho Seung-Hui didn't have a girlfriend; he wasn't into romance.

3. He wrote violent literature and poetry - mind of a killer?
He was doing an English major, but his work was particularly disturbing. The stories, poems and plays he wrote almost always involved violence, hatred and dangerous weapons.

Lecturers, academics and supervisors at the university were shocked at the stuff he wrote.

4. Sociopath? Psychopath?
No girlfriend. Comes up with violent stories. What else?

Not much of a social life. Doesn't talk much. Loner. Does his own thing. Pursues his own agenda. Secretive. Abnormal world view. Doesn't conform. Anti-social.

5. Hates/Angry at Society
We can get quite a few hints on his personality, attitude and world view from the so-called "Manifesto" he sent in a package to NBC on Monday between the two shootings. The Manifesto contained pictures, audio clips and other content that conveyed his anger at the world and society.

The rest of the world has it wrong and he's got it right. Everyone else is corrupt. Victim of society. Laughing stock. Object of ridicule.

You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today. But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.

6. The Rest of the World is Corrupt, Blind and Can't See
Everybody else is self-absorbed, self-indulgent, obsessed with money and material goods and snobs. He's disgusted and disillusioned with life and society.

Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.

7. Martyr, Rebel, Patriot dying for a Noble Cause
He's a martyr dying for a noble cause. He was persecuted and this is his final act of defiance. His honourable death. He's the victor, the hero. The rebel with a cause. The one who had the truth. The true believer. The patriot.

He mentions in his Manifesto people like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, involved in the Columbine High School massacre. Obviously he wanted to die like them. Cho Seung-Hui's rebel personality also makes him less of a "South Korean" and more of an American as American culture is more liberal and Cho seems to have that mentality.

You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.
Do you know what it feels to be spit on your face and to have trash shoved down your throat? Do you know what it feels like to dig your own grave? Do you know what it feels like to have throat slashed from ear to ear? Do you know what it feels like to be torched alive? Do you know what it feels like to be humiliated and be impaled upon on a cross? And left to bleed to death for your amusement? You have never felt a single ounce of pain your whole life. Did you want to inject as much misery in our lives as you can just because you can?
I didn’t have to do this. I could have left. I could have fled. But no, I will no longer run ... It’s not for me. For my children, for my brothers and sisters that you f---, I did it for them.

8. It was his religion
I'm sorry guys, but I am going to have to say the R-word. This was his religion.

Apart from killing 33 people including himself, because he was angry, there was something else that made it worse. He had dreamed of doing something like this all along. It was a cause and purpose that he lived for, stood for, fought for, stood his ground for, died for. It was something he held in his heart years before the shooting -- something that was born in his teens. There was no girlfriend to grieve for; he was a patriot fighting for a noble cause. It was a truth that he believed in; it was his religion.

It actually sounds as if he's refering to himself as part of a collective when he says "Did you want to inject as much misery in our lives . . .?" Who is the "we"?

Some of this reminds me of the main character in Catcher in the Rye.

9. Conclusion
No, he wasn't the kind of guy I could have imagined on Monday. He sounds like some kind of freedom-fighter now.

It's not every day that we have teenagers, adolescents and young adults with a cynical view of the world. What do you expect? Twenty years of growing up, learning and experience and what do you expect people to come up with?

Who is there to answer the tough questions of life? What do we say when the world is a disappointment to people, when it appears to be so broken, corrupt and twisted? What do we do when we think that everyone else is blind and that we are the only ones who can see? The only one of "God's sacred children?"
 
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