Friday, December 31, 2004

"Blame The New Yorker"

In last Sunday's NY Times Book Review, Walter Kirn wrote a review of The New Yorker's recently published collection of cartoons and titled it "Blame The New Yorker". He sought connections between high-brow attitudes, as revealed in "The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker", and the post-election disconnect that some (some) of these folks now experience. Kirn made many good points but I doubt that they will impress his audience.

Right on schedule, this week's New Yorker contains a review of Jared Diamond's new book, "Collapse", a book that I have not yet read. Reviewer Malcolm Gladwell recounts Diamond's explanations for the decline of the Norse in Greenland, the Easter Islanders, and others. The common story appears to be that they managed "the land" poorly.

This brings Gladwell to a condemnation of Oregon voters for endorsing Measure 37. In Gladwell's view, enforcing property rights is no way to manage the land. Gladwell is a New Yorker staff writer.

Thank you, Walter Kirn.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's Politics

Many discussions of governance enumerate the pros and cons of more centralization vs more decentralization. The devolution of power and authority became a popular idea worldwide in the 1990s but "sprawl"-obsessed writers in the U.S. developed the idea that "regional government" is the answer to their concerns.

This suggestion begs for an analysis of actual experience. The most auspicious U.S. case is New York City which annexed its outer boroughs in 1898. Whereas we all have a sense that this was a mixed blessing, E.J. McMahon and Fred Siegel ("Gotham's Fiscal Crisis: Lessons Unlearned" in the Winter 2005 Public Interest; no link to the article available) document how the inevitable politicization that goes with bigger government has led to disasterous results. "New York City can be seen as the first large-scale American outbreak of ... the economic sclerosis suffered by liberal democracies held hostage to the demands of politically powerful labor unions and social service providers." ... "[i]t's not the economy, stupid -- it's politics. ..." conclude the authors.

They point to the way in which Californians are now addressing their state budget problems and note that there are, indeed, lessons unlearned.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tragedies and Trade-Offs

Earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks and other calamities are almost unpredictable. Yet, much recent commentary addresses how we must do better to predict, detect, inform in the future.

Of course. But in a world of scarcity, the trade-off between anticipation (harm prevention) and resilience (coping after the event) policies must be carefully evaluated. Lynn Scarlett examined the trade-offs re eathquakes recently.

We may be bad at both but if the odds of making better forecasts are low, then we should tilt towards more in the way of investments in coping mechanisms.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The New Gifting

We cannot time disasters but we can imagine that had the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit some days earlier, many Americans (and others) might have diverted their gifting towards worthy donations (in the name of the recipients) for the victims. points to The Command Post, a site that lists information on groups that are helping the victims and that can well use our support. has recently included posts re updates and views of the "deadweight losses" that economists have pinned to traditional gifting. The researchers' results should surprise no one. There are plenty of exchanges, re-giftings, garage sales and storage space shortages that document the fact that much of America is now too materially wealthy for gifting to remain as always.

The internet can help. Families and groups of friends can post each member's favorite charities. We can then avoid the malls and the traffic and all of the other hassles that people love to complain about and make gifts that are much more significant than the stuff that we usually wrap and give. My own family has started on this path and I expect that many others have too.

The holiday sales news from Amazon and others confirms that the New Economy is, indeed, here. The New Gifting might be another idea whose time has come.

Monday, December 27, 2004

LA Disease

The Everyman is unlikely to have opinions on particle physics but in many areas that involve public policies, opining is widespread.

Urban planners have little resistance to this and are, unfortunately, as likely to go with the platitudes as with common sense, let alone well-crafted research.

Having, for the most part, eschewed rational road (or parking) pricing, planners will try anything else to "get people out of their cars", even signing on to the fool's errand of reshaping the built environment to impact auto use.

Auto uses are below average in Manhattan but it is unlikely that planners will ever design another one of these. Yet, serious people still espouse "downtown revitalization" and justify the costs with talk of less auto use.

This morning's LA Times reports: "Give Up the Suburb? Yes. Give Up the Car? No Way ... When urban planners first talked about the new residential boom in downtown LA, they conjured up idyllic streets where pedestrians -- their cars sold to ex-neighbors in the suburbs -- strolled happily to work along streets lined with cafes and bookstores ... People are moving downtown, all right. But this is LA. So they're bringing their cars with them."

Yes and no. Some people are moving downtown. They do so mainly because planners caused highly subsidized office space to be over-built and the lack of demand for all of the bare space (and more subsidies) induced some people to live downtown. These are mainly singles or young people without children.

And there is no way that people can get along in downtown, let alone Greater LA, without a car. And, outside of Manhattan, this is all standard operating procedure.

Nevertheless, the myths hang on and we are left with some sort of weird "LA disease" bottom-line to the Times' very belated discovery of the obvious.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Home Entertainment

I cannot do a top-ten list so here are my favorite thirty DVDs -- in no particular order. That would take hours. Home entertainment is hot and I like Netflix -- and you can control the volume!

Under the Sun (Swedish)
Cinema Paradiso (Italy)
Il Postino (Italy)
Solas (Spain)
L'Auberge Espagnole (France)
Chaos (France)
Burnt by the Sun (Russia)
Lawless Heart (U.K.)
Mostly Martha (Germany)
In the Bedroom (U.S.)
Spellbound (U.S.)
Nowhere in Africa (Germany)
The Crime of Padre Amaro (Mexico)
The Housekeeper (France)
Secretary (U.S.)
The Big Night (U.S.)
Shall We Dance? (Japan!!!)
Jew-Boy Levi (Germany)
The Mystery of Rampo (Japan)
Together (China)
Dirty Pretty Things (U.K.)
East-West (France)
Russian Ark (Russia)
Man on the Train (France)
The Thief (Russia)
Swimming Pool (France)
Indochine (France)
Sex and Lucia (Spain)
The Barbarian Invasions (French Canada)
My Wife is an Actress (French)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Back to the Future for Economists

"When economics cast its fate with equilibrium analysis, it made analysis of both entrepreneurship and institutions difficult." So writes Dan Johansson in "Economics without Entrepreneurship or Institutions: A Vocabulary Analysis of Graduate Textbooks" in the current issue of Econ Journal Watch.

It's an interesting theme. Economists (and others) have missed the big story for some years -- but should not have because Adam Smith made it so very clear so many years ago: economic freedom causes economic development. There is a growing literature that resurrects these ideas but, as Johansson makes clear from his inspection of leading economics textbooks, most still miss the big story.

"In the 19 books there are many references to Nash equilibrium, Bertrand equilibrium, Cournot equilibrium, Concave utility functions, Euler equations, etc.; concepts that on the other hand are not used at all, in e.g., Austrian, Institutional and Schumpeterian traditions. Instead, they emphasize actors that have disjoint knowledge (that is, not merely asymmetric information, but asymmetric interpretations), the economy is a dynamic open-ended process in continuous change, and the scope and motivation for discovery is conditioned by social rules."

Many very smart people are working very hard on the wrong problems. Very inefficient.

Monday, December 20, 2004


We tend to be well served in those aspects of our lives where markets are allowed to function and we tend to be poorly served where supply is via the state, instead. Many view this statement as "ideological" but it is supported by a moutain of evidence.

An important addition to the body of evidence is a recently released study by Bahaa Seireg and Lisa Snell on "State and Local Obtsacles to Opening a New Private School". It is not simply that government-run schools are, on the whole, a disaster but governments also make it extremely difficult to open private schools.

The appeal of a school voucher scheme is that it would introduce consumer sovereignty to the supply side. Yet, vouchers or not, the whole policy environment is stacked against education. Looking at the California situation, Seirig and Snell identify "four goliaths" that stand in the way: the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), zoning laws, parking requirements and building codes are idententified as major obstacles.

Each of these are, of course, lauded by the high-minded (along with the ignorant and the corrupt) for their beneficial importance. Having arrogated the key functions of health and education to their own ambit, public sector players have completely botched their performance.

While they tend to be the shrillest about "equity", their ruinous management of health and education have resulted in stunning "inequities" -- as well as concurrent inefficiencies. They cheerfully care little about the latter but reveal their cynicism by how they choose to treat their charges' health and education.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Smart Growth is Very Hard Work

Today's LA Times front page includes "True Love of Country in England ... City dwellers are moving to villages in record numbers. Rural economies benefit, but some say at too high a cost to locals."

The accompanying story includes data on 1981-2002 population growth with "rural" increasing by 13.7% vs 2.9% for urban.

The Great Dispersion (David Brooks' term) can be expected to show up in all of the developed countries. Evidence to this effect has been accumulating.

Preferences trump policies. Europeans and Canadians have land use and planning policies that U.S. planners dream about (high-priced gasoline, tough land use regs, more elaborate transit, etc.). But it makes no difference.

I commented on "Micropolis" and associated population trends last week. U.S. private sector job growth in the 1990s was 1.3% per year in the largest metros (above 5 million pop.), above 2% in the mid-sized and smaller metros, 2% in the micropolitan (exurban) counties and just less than 2% in the rural counties beyond exurbia. Manufacturing jobs declined everywhere since 1970 except micropolitan and rural counties.

The most interesting data are from abroad -- where "Smart Growth" has been prescribed for many years.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Blogging and Freedom (again)

The blogging and freedom theme is revisited by Dan Henninger in this morning's WSJ. He does it best, so here it is:

December 17, 2004


"Here's One Use Of U.S. PowerJacques Can't Stop"

"We see where a curator at France's Pompidou Center says his museum is opening a branch in Hong Kong, because 'U.S. culture is too strong' there, and 'we need to have a presence in Asia to counterbalance the American influence.' With the Pompidou Center?

"'American influence' is the great white whale of the 21st century, and Jacques Chirac is the Ahab chasing her with a three-masted schooner. Along for the ride is a crew that includes Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Vladimir Putin, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, Kofi Annan, the Saudi royal family, Robert Mugabe, the state committee of Communist China and various others who have ordained themselves leaders for life. At night, seated around the rum keg, they talk about how they have to stop American political power, the Marines or Hollywood.

"The world is lucky these despots and demagogues are breaking their harpoons on this hopeless quest. Because all around them their own populations are grabbing the one American export no one can stop: raw technology. Communications technologies, most of them developed in American laboratories (often by engineers who voted for John Kerry), have finally begun to affect an historic shift in the relationship between governments and the governed. The governed are starting to win.
Not that long ago, in 1989, the world watched demonstrators sit passively in Tiananmen Square and fight the authorities with little more than a papier-mâché Statue of Liberty. Poland's Solidarity movement had to print protest material with homemade ink made from oil because the Communist government confiscated all the printers' ink.

"In 2004, in Ukraine's Independence Square, they had cell phones.
Using the phones' SMS messaging technology, demonstrators sent messages to meet to 10 or so friends, who'd each SMS the message to 10 more friends, and so on. It's called 'smart-mobbing.'

"Meanwhile, community Web sites in Ukraine would post the numbers of tents on the square where medical help was needed, or the sites would recruit people with specific TV skills needed at Channel 5, the lone independent TV station. The Ukrainian Supreme Court's historic Dec. 3 decision, declaring the election a fraud, was streamed on the Internet live from a Kiev courtroom and watched real time in London, New York, Washington and Toronto, sent out on e-mail distribution lists so the next steps could be discussed by the reform network and put in motion within an hour.

"Until recently, one-party or no-party governments had a standing list of answers for people with a different notion: a) we don't care what you think; b) shut up; c) we kill you. There's no sure cure for c, but Plans a and b are becoming obsolete. Once impervious political authorities must now face the possibility of having their information monopoly hammered by an array of mostly American-engineered technology -- smart cell phones, communication satellites, e-mail, Web logs (or 'blogs') and a seemingly endless stream of information-sharing programs whose arcane names (RSS, Atom) hide their great power. The mass-market power of the older media -- radio, TV, print -- is also being integrated with the precision targeting of new technologies.

"This past weekend, a few hundred of the people creating and driving these things gathered at a conference organized by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. It included individuals who are proselytizing the new communications technologies to Iran, China, Iraq, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Western Africa and even the U.S. military (individual GIs are running an estimated 100 Web logs).
Isaac Mao, a Chinese entrepreneur who runs a blog-hosting service, reported that in two years the number of personal, Chinese-language Web logs has grown from 1,000 to 600,000. Many are run by English speakers, who import, translate and distribute material from outside China.

"Anyone want to guess the third-most used language on the Web, behind English and Chinese? Farsi. Iran now has about 75,000 individual Web logs. That's because a young, Toronto-based Iranian journalist who publishes as Hoder created tools in Farsi to make it possible. Only 10% of the Iranian blogs could be called political; most discuss music, movies, poetry and Iranian or Western culture. 'Iran's most interesting political conversations take place in taxis,' said Hoder.

"There's more coming. Developers from California at the conference introduced the first Arabic-language blogging tool. Created with support from Spirit of America, it will be used now in Iraq. The Fadhil brothers of plan to assemble 25 Internet journalists to report the Jan. 30 election. This effort will be patterned after, the influential South Korean Web newspaper.

"China uses up to 40,000 bureaucrats to police its explosion of blogs. We'll no doubt find out how many anti-Web divisions Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has. (One provocateur at the conference plausibly suggested the greatest opportunities for these technologies lie with one of the world's most monopolized precincts -- local U.S. politics.) In Africa, by contrast, the best political communication occurs outside cyberspace, on talk-radio. The most interesting is Ghana's JoyFM (it maintains a lively Web site of Ghanaian news at

"There is no need to oversell the power of these technologies. What happened in Ukraine won't happen in Cairo next month. But unless Hosni Mubarak and Vladimir Putin can come up with a way to shut down every engineer and programmer in America who is inventing new ways to output/input ideas and tweaking the ones we already have, they've got a problem.

"Their problem -- and the promise here -- is that this stuff is moving the world's people, and fast, toward the one American product that governing elites really need to fear: free speech. Some at the Berkman conference worried this still isn't enough to change things. Jeff Jarvis, one of this movement's most intelligent thinkers set them straight: 'This is not about causes or organizing people. It's about us creating these tools and then simply having faith in people who use them elsewhere to do good.'

"Even the Pompidou Center won't stop that."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Consolidation and Centralization

In a better world, just $1 would be delivered to me each time some serious person advocated that "regional government", "a metropolitan approach" or some similar form of local government consolidation is needed. The Brookings website alone would make me rich.

Just surfing the U.S. Statistical Abstracts, which are now available through for many years back, reveals the dimensions of the most auspicious government consolidation project in U.S. history: the consolidation of school districts. Sixty years ago, when there were about half as many school-age children, there were over 100,000 local school districts. There are now roughly 13,500. Anyone reading the newspapers knows how the comparative performance of U.S. students continues to slip badly.

Did consolidation cause the problems? No one knows. It surely did not prevent them.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blogging and Freedom

The power of blogging, modern communications and the internet is hurdling the gatekeepers and asserting itself. deserves a look. Estimates are that there are already 100+ English language Iraqi bloggers; the software to create Arabic blogs is now being beta-tested and will shortly be in use by Iraqis. No country in the Arab world comes close.

I learned all this by attending a reception held by Jim Hake of, a volunteer group that supplies sewing machines, dental kits, tool kits and all sorts of useful tools to help Iraqis help themselves.

The Marines swear by Hake's group and their work. Volunteer procurement beats anything that government channels are capable of, improves people's lives, makes friends and makes allied troops safer.

It is hard not to get emotional when hearing bloggers Omar and Mohammed, U.S. trained Iraqi dentists who are touring the U.S. (they met with Pres. Bush), discuss their efforts and the impacts of Hake's work.

The Iraqis' message was clear. Iraqis want freedom and democracy; they are grateful for coalition support and they wish it to endure while they move forward.

"Wilsonian" foreign adventures are sniffed at by smart people. Yet, what are the alternatives in a world with too many failed states, a corrupt U.N, craven Europeans, and easy access to the tools of mass destruction (including airliners). In Wilson's day, tyranny's victims were less able to help themselves. In modern Iraq, a growing army of bloggers is providing a powerful alternative to Al Jazeera.


Among The NY Times Magazine's "4th Annual Year in Ideas" are the U.S. Census Bureau's new Micropolitan areas, suburban and exurban counties with a "core city" of between 10,000 and 50,000. These 500+ counties were home to 29 million people in 2000; the fastest growing among them are in the Sunbelt. They were recently discovered by the Census as well as by Karl Rove -- well after, the NY Times reports, Wal-Mart, Applebee's and others had set up shop there.

Useful definitions that describe dynamic settlement patterns are hard to come by (think "Edge Cities", "Sprinkler City", "Garden City", etc.). Americans keep "voting with their feet". Often, these votes tell us more than the ones recorded in the ballot booth.

Friday, December 10, 2004

It's the Politics, Stupid

Writing in the Dec. 13 New Yorker, James Surowiecki ("It Pays to Stay"; no link to the article available) spells out his concerns over local governments competing for (awarding tax breaks to) employers to stay or settle locally. He cites an academic study by Enrico Moretti (UCLA) and Michael Greenstone (MIT) that shows cities that won the compeititve bidding for jobs did experince some tax revenue and property value benefits.

Surowiecki is unhappy, however, "because the tax money spent on corporate welfare could otherwise go to more productive uses, such as education and infrastructure."

Well it could. But we have no reason to think that governments routinely channel expenditures to productive uses. Also, Surowiecki does not offer a comparison of the costs and benefits of the case he describes (Daimler-Chrysler being induced to remain in Toledo). In fact, the very complex incidence of money spent by the City (away from "productive" or whatever uses) vs the gains in local jobs and tax revenues and land values (with some gains going to Daimler-Chrysler's stockholders, customers, perhaps also some managers) substitutes one redistribution for the one that had been in place in Toledo previously.

In many cases, there are no complete contracts, causing occasional conflicts. Likewise, in many cases, there are no complete cost-benefit studies. This causes more heartburn.

As in yesterday's post, the bottom line is that with a wider scope for politics, we get more such conflicts. A narrower scope for politics and politicians is the only alternative. Some people will forever be chasing the chimera of better government. This shields them from the idea that the only option is less government.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Glass Half Empty

In today's WSJ, Milton Friedman points out that socialists have lost the war of ideas -- but are still winning as measured by the growth of government influence in the U.S. The short article is included below.

So, it's not ideas or ideology, just politics. The insight that politics must be constrained inspired the framers of the U.S. Constitution. As too few people seem to realize, they were on to something big.

"The Battle's Half Won"
By MILTON FRIEDMAN December 9, 2004; Page A16

"In the almost six decades since the end of World War II, intellectual opinion in the United States about the desirable role of government has undergone a major shift. At the end of the war, opinion was predominantly collectivist. Socialism -- defined as government ownership and operation of the means of production -- was seen as both feasible and desirable. Those few of us who favored free markets and limited government were a beleaguered minority.

"In subsequent decades opinion moved away from collectivism and toward a belief in free markets and limited government. By 1980 opinion had moved enough to enable Ronald Reagan to win the presidency on a quasi-libertarian agenda.

"The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 delivered the final blow to the belief in socialism. Hardly anyone today, from the far left to the far right, regards socialism in the traditional sense of government ownership and operation of the means of production as either feasible or desirable. Those who profess socialism today mean by it a welfare state.

"Over the same period, the actual role of government in the United States also changed drastically -- but in precisely the opposite direction. In the first postwar decade, 1945 to 1955, government non-defense spending, federal, state and local, equaled 11.5% of national income, varying from a high of 16% in 1949 to a low of 8.5% in 1952. From then on, spending rose rapidly. By 1983, government non-defense spending reached 30% of national income, nearly triple the average amount in the first postwar decade. In addition, over the same period, government intrusion into business and private affairs exploded (a small sample: Medicare, Medicaid, Americorps, Head Start, Job Corps, EPA, OSHA, CPSC, LSC, EEOC). No doubt the growth of government was one reason for the shift in public opinion. Big government in practice proved less attractive than big government in prospect.

"Reagan's election brought the growth in government non-defense spending to a halt. As of 2003, government non-defense spending equaled 30% of national income, the same as it was in 1983. Government intervention through regulation and controls did fall somewhat during Reagan's presidency, but has since resumed its steady rise.

"To summarize: After World War II, opinion was socialist while practice was free market; currently, opinion is free market while practice is heavily socialist. We have largely won the battle of ideas (though no such battle is ever won permanently); we have succeeded in stalling the progress of socialism, but we have not succeeded in reversing its course. We are still far from bringing practice into conformity with opinion.
That is the overriding non-defense task for the second Bush term -- as President Bush clearly recognizes. It will not be an easy task, particularly with Iraq threatening to consume his political capital."

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Preference Revealed

Many thanks to Stephen Roberts of USC for sharing the news about the nature of the demand for public transit in the U.S

The piece is a little old but precious and speaks for itself.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Racial Politics

Racial politics is always ugly. Can the Jim Crow history justify what goes on today?

The LA Times is running a five-part series (link to Part 2, here) on South-Central LA's King-Drew hospital. I have read the first two parts and, even having been aware of the mess for some years, am appalled.

Being sick or hurt is bad; being in a hospital can be worse; being in a government-run hospital can be even worse. Finding oneself in a government hospital that for many years has been governed by racial politics is apparently the very worst. Most of the victims are Black or Hispanic but the governing Los Angels County Board of Supervisors has chosen to treat the problem with kid gloves for years.

Paramedics report that the injured often flee when they realize where they are being transported. Those are the lucky ones. The Times story documents how some of the less aware have gone along -- and eventually died because of malpractice.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Not Bowling Alone

The Sunday NY Times includes "Maybe It's Not All Your Fault". We purchase too many things we don't "need". The author distances himself from the well worn "shopper's victim defense" ... and then comes very close to embracing it.

Much odder is the NY Times Magazine story on "The Hidden (In Plain Sight) Persuaders". Marketers' use of stealth agents using word-of-mouth to friends and acqauintances to push products has been in the news -- and strikes me as a little creepy. The truly odd part of today's story has to do with 60,000 people who do this sort of thing as volunteers. The agents do earn points towards products -- but many never bother to cash in the points.

Some people prefer not to ask for directions when lost. Others do the opposite, asking for directions when they are not lost because it makes for conversation and social interaction. On top of that, some of the cited volunteers are happy to be neighborly and helpful by sharing their satisfaction with various products. The author notes that a "social market" is occuring.

The good news is that the volunteers and their willing listeners are not bowling alone.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Moving Out of Harm's Way

USA TODAY's recent piece, "'Exurbs' flourish, but is this really what we want?" says it all. People are making choices that their betters do not like. And the folks who Tom Sowell loves to call "the anointed" say all sorts of things to make their point. Brookings' Bruce Katz is quoted as saying that this sort of settlement is just too costly.

The problem is that he has no evidence for this and he presumes that cost-minimization is a worthy goal.

Others cite surveys that show that people really do not want to live the exurban life style. They want something no one offers them. I would like London out my front door and Santa Monica out my back door when the pollster calls.

USA TODAY writer Ben Brown sums up: "In the age of decentralization, communities may find an advantage in re-aggregating in regional authorities to plan and regulate growth."

Not really. In the dreamworld of re-aggregated regional authorities, people would move out of harm's way even faster.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

That's Why We Call Them Cliches

In all of the red state-blue state and red county-blue county discussions, we are getting dangerously close to a geography-is-destiny view.

Impossible in the dynamic and mobile U.S. For many years, the Census Bureau had been tagging people by whether they resided in a metro or nonmetro county; the former could have been living in that county's central city or its suburbs. (This is all slowly changing in favor of a better system of metropolitan and micropolitan areas.) The 2003 Current Population Survey reports that year, approx 11.6 million Americans moved from one of the three types of places to another. Most of them (54.5%) arrived in the suburbs (vs. 31% in central cities and 14.5% in exurban and rural areas). If you can get through the Bureau's PC racial groupings (and we used to sneer at Apartheidists and Nazis for their application of politics to race), you find that the groups most likely to arrive in the suburbs (given that they were moving) were "blacks only" (59.7%) and "blacks only or in combination with one or more other races" (58.8%).

In a better world, those who keep referring to suburbs vs center cities in stark white and black terms (reporters and academics still do this a lot) would get a headache or a leg cramp every time they stick to the old chestnut.