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Intelliname

Lifting people up is what we do...
Epik.com Staff
Impact
408
Become A Peace Maker

I’ve enjoyed the posts and community here in a fun industry that many can learn from. So many great people, creative personalities, and unbelievable adventures. For such a small part of a greater story, domainers can command much more intrigue, curiosity, and participation than one would rightly think. The exploits of Rick Schwartz defining what was possible for big ticket sales. The innovation of Mike Mann with his bulk registration feats. The cunning of Frank Schilling who would sell the world to gain the world. The ever watchful eye of Konstantinos, as he sits on his island holding both optimism and despair in the same hand, for an industry that we never want to see him stop believing in.

I’d like to provide insight and a translation for some of the attacks on Epik I am seeing. In part I understand why they are happening, as the world is becoming increasingly polarized in a manner that causes some of our greatest hopes and frustrations to magnify and compound. Life is not always easy, and there are those who would unknowingly submit and become part of a greater battle they never knew. Along the way, many good people have become convenient fodder for painted narratives that would cause anyone with a sense of empathy and compassion for others to join most fearlessly. There are those who would exploit this, those best parts of our humanity that will rise to fight for another. But now they are more often than not being used for intentional abuse, as they empower vast networks to become quicker at tearing down people and destroying relationships than they are in helping to build them up. You only have to see the degree of unified bias that is guiding even the most basic of news reporting to know what I am talking about. This is the unfortunate byproduct of where we are as a society. The voices we give way to can be far from our collective truths, as we only seem to give platforms to those at the most extreme sides of each topical spectrum.

So for the sake of healing and for the purpose of both accountability and a care for all of you, I would humbly submit the following for consideration along your journey:

Epik and the staff members who participate here care greatly about domainers, and increasing forum participation with positive messages, reaffirmations, new ideas for promotion, bringing new people into the group, and trying to lift the spirit of others up every day. They don’t have to be here, but they love the domaining community, and have made an incredible number of enriching, positive relationships that make life a better place for everyone who interacts. For the most part, everyone showing up can get more than they give. Simply by being part of healthy conversations that focus on making the industry a better place as a whole. Rob for example doesn’t welcome story and question time here because he wants exposure. He is graciously turning towards what is right in front of him and trying to serve within a community he absolutely loves. He also wants to set new expectations for technology providers in our industry, because he knows what is at stake. The zeal he sometimes can portray in doing so is reflective of his desire to be of genuine service to others, to which he has dedicated his life and resources.

In turn, a small handful of individuals are on full out attack, suspecting constant bias and an alternative agenda at every potential angle they can work in. While some of this is on a manufactured basis, it happens on a daily basis. If you look at posts in bulk over time, some of these members have some form of problem with almost everyone and everything they encounter. You can click their profile, select posts, and get an instant reality check. Whatever is plaguing them in their day to day lives is unquestionably being carried over into here. I would hope that each of us can assess and take responsibility for how we treat one another, given the choice between lifting someone up or darkening their day. But if their approval is the limited yardstick by which we gauge and judge what institutions are carried forward or closed down? Then my heart weeps for the narrow mindedness and outright small thinking.

In some cases, you can draw the conclusion that a few of these individuals go out of their way to prioritize attacks on both Epik and Rob himself. To the point that makes neutral bystanders and curious visitors wonder exactly what their motivation is. Especially given how important registrars may be for how the future of the Internet is molded and decided upon. What securities do we keep, and what freedoms do we give up that we didn’t know we were even fighting for? The most negative individuals are often the first to pass judgement on circumstances they have no personal experience with. In some cases, it grows to define their own identity and the tone of most interactions. They are the first to call for criticism and negative action. They are the first to try and ostracize individuals, without knowing anything about who they really are, what they carry in their heart, how they are utilized on this Earth, and what the future holds for them.

For those who joined campaigns correlated directly against Rob himself: it is heartbreaking that you would take such a forward and aggressive position in public attacks, and abuse the trust and exposure that you should be finding daily gratitude for. To watch individuals stoop to incite such open hostility and raw judgement under the false guise of protection for this industry and the people that make up its members. You have no idea the degree by which you can be drawn and measured, simply by the choices you make in how you exert your comments and energy over time.

While some are pointing fingers, Rob is working out mobile technology platforms to bring education and empowerment to starving communities in Africa that most couldn’t pronounce. While calls go out to literally end forums, Rob is hosting meetings to discuss how to keep containment firewalls from being institutionalized as congressional policies so that freedom of expression isn’t reduced. While others are integrating rhetoric in marketplace reports, Rob is trying to make sure that technology infrastructure exists that protects from bad decisions being made to polarize nations, as six organizations end up owning nearly every related media outlet in America. While you are publishing expiring logs and talking about great deals: Rob Monster is helping people financially behind the scenes to actually KEEP their portfolios, dreams, and the domain names they love. While spending 40+ hours every week helping to make sure they get support to be able to turn their lives around and generate positive income. Domain names and using them to empower others isn’t a side gig for him, or a noble concept as a hobbyist, or a philosophy to draw accusations and opportunist judgement. He does it because he loves the industry, he loves people, and he was put on Earth to share and help others in humility and with a kind heart.

When interests drew against both him and his family with some of the most twisted, distorted, and intentionally manipulative hit pieces this industry has ever seen... Some swallowed up every drop and didn’t even question it, because within our baseline of conformity, we no longer could even tell the difference. You didn’t note the manipulative use of expressing him as a Christian. Or the minimalism they applied to his educational experiences. Or how five editorial pieces, six news columns, and a wiki page update were all somehow correlated over a 24 hour period as a packaged theme. Or how they framed past work experience inferring negativity with no backstory. Or how they targeted his loved ones, published pictures of his family members, and called for boycotts to destroy them all.

Did you notice the organizations who helped to coordinate media distribution, with their clear ties and a donor base almost entirely focused on preserving information control? Or the orchestrated manner by which ever single manufactured claim they presented was skewed in the same tone by a master writer? Even most teenagers could read for themselves and one would declare honestly: “wow – they really don’t like him.. they aren’t even being subtle.. surely everyone is going to be able to see through this aren’t they?”. But many would simply brand him as a tin hat wearing racist without even recognizing that it was YOU he was working to defend.

Do you want to see what Rob Monster actively works on every day to stop? Just watch the initial interviews by Jessie Smoullet to get an idea of the degree of orchestration, false reporting, and intentional narrative portrayal that was manufactured to cause hate. Or the networks that suppressed the stories that allowed an entire series of islands to be run and operated for two decades as part of a massive sexual trafficking ring. Or the degree by which Hollywood itself would carve and craft the narratives that we eat for a living, while making the casting couch a literal laughing joke to millions of people left in its wake. Regardless of the suffering and emotional turmoil that lingered behind. If you would like understanding of why Rob is really serious about the services and products that Epik is creating, I hope that this will begin to help people understand. There are many registrars, but very few actually looking out for higher future levels of operability beyond the realm of common perception. He wants to make sure that we are all paying attention.

We cast damnation when we are told to, then ignore a million posts an hour on Twitter that incite and call for a rate of violence and hatred that I have never seen in my life. This is but an indication of what the machine can create and distribute, which is why such active measures have been taken to try and reduce or eliminate platforms that can expose the special interests behind them. Do we even care to know what is really at stake? Can we not discern the changing of an age between our criticisms? I for one believe domainers for their creativity and optimism are better than this. How many of the world’s best ideas were started by someone going and registering a domain name? Think about that.

Rob Monster is one of the few people I’ve interacted with in many years, who could courageously say “I want to go talk with them”, and “they are welcome at my table”. Not because he dislikes people, prejudges others, or has some affinity to help haters spread their message to attack those already in hardship. But because he believes in the best of what all humans can become. He loves and trusts God enough to know that he can walk into the Lion’s Den, and that if it is time, he may be actually able to change and impact some of the hearts and minds that are waiting there for him in fear and confusion.

When was the last time you risked everything to change a heart towards love?
 

HotKey

Made in Canada
Impact
8,859
@Intelliname attaboy- seems you've got a way with words and thanks for gracing us with them. Appreciate your well-intentioned opinion. I get it, and I'm with you. The line has been blurred, upheaved even, and it's definitely challenged our "norms". Every now and again, someone comes along to make us sit up and take notice. We're all entitled to our reactions, and justified within our own means.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks they say. But I say, we're not dogs (not in the metaphorical sense) and we're all capable of enlightenment. Sometimes we don't recognize enlightenment, we see it as a betrayal of what we know or what have been taught. If only, we can break open our walls, than we can explore and possibly accept new ideals. Walls were build to protect, but at the same time there must be doors for us to open to company, our rules must be kept fluid to enlightenment. Recognize this.

Keep on keeping on, looking forward to more of your posts.
 

karmaco

Top Contributor
Impact
9,120
We have lost 3 to 4 long standing members this week alone because they self deleted their accounts. The environment no matter where you stand on the issues has become very toxic. I would not be surprised if more leave. I considered leaving but choose the ignore option instead for now.

Its a shame when you start a post to voice your heart felt opinion and will have people accuse you of promotion.

The outside hit pieces on Epik was supposed to make us all turn against them. Much as the hit posts attempt to do that here.

I think it really ticks off the powers that be that Epik has flourished in the last year with many domainers making the move to them and a growing list of innovations in such a short period. Rob did that and it started by engaging here personally with everyone and bending over backwards to make the site and prices as domainer friendly as possible.

I hope the community heals but I really don’t see that happening anytime soon. Some people here would not be happy unless Rob and staff was banned from or left the platform. They start a thread related to Epik just about everyday lately for anti promotion/ mud slinging.
 

Samer

Restricted (15-30%)
Impact
21,197
We have lost 3 to 4 long standing members this week alone because they self deleted their accounts. The environment no matter where you stand on the issues has become very toxic. I would not be surprised if more leave. I considered leaving but choose the ignore option instead for now.

Its a shame when you start a post to voice your heart felt opinion and will have people accuse you of promotion.

The outside hit pieces on Epik was supposed to make us all turn against them. Much as the hit posts attempt to do that here.

I think it really ticks off the powers that be that Epik has flourished in the last year with many domainers making the move to them and a growing list of innovations in such a short period. Rob did that and it started by engaging here personally with everyone and bending over backwards to make the site and prices as domainer friendly as possible.

I hope the community heals but I really don’t see that happening anytime soon. Some people here would not be happy unless Rob and staff was banned from or left the platform. They start a thread related to Epik just about everyday lately for anti promotion/ mud slinging.

Rather than encourage other CEO to join; They gave up.

Agree, "Some people here would not be happy unless Rob and staff was banned from or left the platform." It's the sad reality.

Samer
 
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Now I don't follow or read all/any of this Rob/Epik dramarama so I'm not 'up' on it. But what I could see as an off issue to the resentment rants, is that it appears Rob has recruited a number of NP members to be a part of his Epik 'ventures'. So they are thus given these 'Epik Staff' badges which are seen all the time. And as NP members they read and post here, and once they chime in to an Epik thread/subject, of course they are not going to 'bite the hand that feeds them', so they probably come across as overly supportive. And when there's 2,3, or more 'Epik Staff'ers posting away in the same thread and coming across as such, hence come the "Epik promotion", "Epik owns NP" etc. rantings and animosity, etc. etc.

So one thing that may help on this 'issue', is to not have so many, or any, 'Epik Staff' badges slapped on so many members. Just those 'few' that are true Epik 'Staff'!!

Just a random thought on the subject.
 
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oldtimer

Do some good for humanity and the environment
Impact
5,699
Thanks to @Intelliname for his perspective,

I have a certain level of respect for @Rob Monster for what he has done to help domainers so far, I also value and understand the position of the many respected and long standing members who are somehow disturbed by what they consider to be excessive promotions by Rob and as such I hope that everyone can work together to come up with a solution for this problem that is fair to all sides involved.

In my opinion the ultimate solution lies with NamePros management itself to help eliminate all this needless friction that has taken over the forum for the past year or so.

NamePros has to decide once and for all as to what kind of a atmosphere it wants to have here on this forum. It sometimes seems that the Mods intentionally allow controversial and inappropriate comments to linger around and are not in any rush to do anything about them until a day later after those comments have been indexed by Google and other search engines and that makes me wonder if NamePros likes the traffic that all this negativity and infighting on the forum is creating and is somehow benefiting from it.

NamePros has to make a choice and decide if it wants the forum to continue to dwell in controversy and negativity which might cause even more good members to leave or if it wants to help create a Professional, Respectful, Constructive, and Fair environment that encourages learning and exchange of ideas for everyone.

I know that NamePros is working on a few new ideas such as what I had suggested in another thread about making some of the fair minded and trustworthy members here into Deputy Moderators so they can help with monitoring the forum, but whatever remedy NamePros has in the works it is already overdue and must be implemented right away. We can't keep discussing the same problems over and over without coming up with some kind of a solution.

IMO
 
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Impact
11,304
I don't think @Rob Monster helps his own cause, where in 1 post he states that he won't mention the name of his own privacy company because it's against NP rules. But in later posts in the same thread he is actively promoting the same privacy company, by name. How consistent is that?

Don't get me wrong. I like Rob, and his advice is always top quality. But one thing which I don't think he has cleared up, is the charges that he keeps expiring domains, and renews them for himself/epik. And then boasts about selling them for a profit at a later date. I think he SHOULD NOT fall into that temptation, if he has or does do this. All expiring domains should be left to expire naturally.

Rob's hyper-active presence in NPs has been like a breath of fresh air. Maybe a bit too much, sometimes. On balance. Provided he is working within NP's rules. It's fine. It might even help to toughen up some lapse rules. But oftentimes it kinda feels like a takeover :(

I welcome Robs hyper-activity. He is certainly widening my knowledge as a domainer. All I ask is to just stay consistent and within the rules.
 

MarkedMarket

Established Member
Impact
396
It’s quite telling that @Intelliname doesn’t in any way acknowledge or address the actual issue that is at stake and is basically portraying anyone who is a bit critical about the direction of this forum as malicious and frustrated individuals with real-life issues or suspicious ulterior motives. Quite ironic for someone who starts a thread about peace-making.

What is equally ironic is that he only posted his first ever post on this forum 3 days ago (the same day that he used Epik for the first time), and I would invite anyone who hasn’t done so to read that post. I initially thought that it was a humorous persiflage, but I then understood that it was really supposed to be serious. How can I take someone seriously who writes such a raving review about a service he only just started to use?

I then saw that Rob Monster said that he spent a few hours on the phone with him on Saturday (https://www.namepros.com/threads/epik-updates-from-the-ceo-himself-rob-monster.1180115/#post-7666148), so if you talk about bias and ulterior motives, I would advise him to use some more introspection towards himself (instead of his flawed personality projections and descriptions of others).

Anyway, the main issue for me has been that this used to be a neutral, independent forum, where you could go to discuss anything in a neutral, unbiased way. These days almost every thread is taken over by the increasing amount of Epik staff members and evangelists, who will ensure you that whatever your issue or question is, the answer is always Epik. And anyone being a little bit critical of that (not because they dislike Epik, but because they dislike the influence it has on the neutrality and direction of this forum), is being ‘harassed’ by an army of Epik fans, which again results in the fact that increasingly less people dare to really speak out. For this reason, some long-term members have already left this forum for good, and it’s only a matter of time before more and more independent minds leave this place.

As I have said before, I like Epik and I would say exactly the same thing when any other potential registrar would be slowly taking over this forum like a Trojan horse. I could write a lot more, but let me for now end saying that it remains somewhat strange to me that a registrar that has done so much to protect lawful free speech (for which I applaud them) seems to be represented by a lot of individuals that actually want the complete opposite. It probably shows that for a couple of pennies and a bit of personal attention, you can buy a lot of people’s loyalty…
 

Mister Funsky

Top Contributor
Impact
21,882
A very thoughtful post...I think anyone, regardless of opinion, appreciates it.

The members leaving (or those considering it) has to stop. PLEASE use the ignore button...whether it is the epik issue or political issues or tld/ngtld issues use the ignore button if a poster(s) is bothering you. We are a special group of people that play this domain game, generally all highly intelligent, and we should not let ANY person or persons stop us from using a platform that helps us gain knowledge and offers support.

Stop leaving...use your ignore button liberally...please!
 

MarkedMarket

Established Member
Impact
396
A very thoughtful post...I think anyone, regardless of opinion, appreciates it.

The members leaving (or those considering it) has to stop. PLEASE use the ignore button...whether it is the epik issue or political issues or tld/ngtld issues use the ignore button if a poster(s) is bothering you. We are a special group of people that play this domain game, generally all highly intelligent, and we should not let ANY person or persons stop us from using a platform that helps us gain knowledge and offers support.

Stop leaving...use your ignore button liberally...please!

I generally don’t like to use the ignore button and particularly in this case that wouldn’t be a solution in my view:

- I quite like the input from a number of Epik staff members and/or Epik evangelists, who often provide valuable insights, and I wouldn’t want to miss all their posts by ignoring them. The issue is that they plug their service offerings and promotions almost in every single thread (instead of only the promotions section).

- The number of threads being affected by this is significant (and potentially ever increasing), and even though you could ignore certain members, you can’t ignore the follow-up posts from other members about those posts. So it’s a catch-22 situation.

- As I have pointed out in another thread already, a forum where a significant section of members don't see what another significant section of members are writing (because they have ignored each other) and vice versa, is not my idea of a community.

As others have already suggested, the Namepros management/moderators need to think about a more radical solution.
 

Mister Funsky

Top Contributor
Impact
21,882
I generally don’t like to use the ignore button and particularly in this case that wouldn’t be a solution in my view:

Understood...that is beauty of free will and the ability to make choices.

I, for one, do not have time to engage in the tit for tat that happens here sometimes so I choose to utilize the magic button (there was a time I tested the tit for tat water, but after losing a customer because I got caught up in an exchange and was late for an appointment, I began engaging the button).

As a side note, it would be awesome if there was the ability to 'ignore' certain posts rather than the poster. I've activated ignore on a few members that I reversed after a while...they generally offer constructive information but they got caught up in some type of ignorance vortex. I would like to speed read through a thread and when I come across a waste of mental energy, simply click the button for that post, make it go away, and keep reading...better than ignoring the total input from one member.

Now, I will be ignoring everything except golf for the next 8 hours (we are playing 36) as two pga buddies are passing through town. I will lose miserably to them, but it will be a hoot of a day. :xf.smile:
 

MarkedMarket

Established Member
Impact
396
Understood...that is beauty of free will and the ability to make choices.

I, for one, do not have time to engage in the tit for tat that happens here sometimes so I choose to utilize the magic button (there was a time I tested the tit for tat water, but after losing a customer because I got caught up in an exchange and was late for an appointment, I began engaging the button).

As a side note, it would be awesome if there was the ability to 'ignore' certain posts rather than the poster. I've activated ignore on a few members that I reversed after a while...they generally offer constructive information but they got caught up in some type of ignorance vortex. I would like to speed read through a thread and when I come across a waste of mental energy, simply click the button for that post, make it go away, and keep reading...better than ignoring the total input from one member.

Now, I will be ignoring everything except golf for the next 8 hours (we are playing 36) as two pga buddies are passing through town. I will lose miserably to them, but it will be a hoot of a day. :xf.smile:

Enjoy! I play golf, but have never played 36 holes in one day. There are some very good and funny golf quotes, but I always like the one from P.G. Wodehouse: “To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.” ;)
 

oldtimer

Do some good for humanity and the environment
Impact
5,699
As others have already suggested, the Namepros management/moderators need to think about a more radical solution.

Although using the ignore button might work in a few extreme cases, but I agree that using it in large scale towards many members is not a practical solution as it will affect the quality of what this forum can provide as a community.

We need more members here to chime in with a fair and balanced viewpoints so that perhaps we can finally arrive at a solution for these issues.

Here are a few things that I had already suggested in different threads:

1- As I already mentioned above make some of the trustworthy and fair minded members into Deputy Moderators to help with monitoring the forum.

2- Give a special paid section to each Registrar so that all their threads are found in one place and within their paid section allow them to discuss, promote, and advertise their services.

3- Give a civility rating to members based on how they conduct themselves on the forum and give more weight to "Dislikes" given by members with high ratings.

4- Add a "Disagree" button that people can use when they don't agree with a certain comment or idea, but that they don't want to "Dislike" another member for it.

IMO
 
Impact
18,537
Any reply here will not do justice to the magnanimous and generous OP from @Intelliname.

I will simply say this:

- Preserving civil liberty and empowering humanity is not easy. We are doing our best. It is actually harder than it probably looks to the casual observer, particularly without "selling out" to private equity.

- We did assemble some really gifted and diligent people, not just employees but also vendors, partners and co-creators that have all played an integral role along the way.

- From time to time, my zeal for this project might exceed certain norms. You would think that at age 52, my zeal and energy would have dissipated. Not really.

- As for the NP community, this is a great group. I have enjoyed getting to know so many folks here, and have not even minded the intellectual jousting. For those who I annoyed excessively, my apologies.

Looking ahead, my involvement here at NP might taper a bit as there is much to do on many fronts. Fortunately, we do have some talented team members here to carry the torch.

The world is changing quickly now. We are doing our level best to lift up as many folks as possible. Thanks for the opportunity.
 

oldtimer

Do some good for humanity and the environment
Impact
5,699
There are some tough questions to consider here before we can come up with a solution and perhaps that’s why the management has been hesitant to take any actions about the issues that have been lingering around the forum for so many months now.

Perhaps the forum itself has to be put under a microscope and analyzed here,

If @Rob Monster opened a new forum would he create a neutral environment or is he entitled to choose the direction that the forum is going to take based on his own agendas and interests. The same way the people who own NamePros might be setting the overall direction of the forum and the staff and the Mods have no choice but to follow that direction and thus their hands might be tied as to being able to take the actions that are needed and that might look logical to most of us.

It makes one wonder why would someone want to own a forum in the first place, perhaps it’s for the same reasons as the private equity firm that wants to own .Org , as I have said in some other threads it all comes down to Politics and Profits. Whether a forum, a Registrar, or Registry is Left or Right leaning or whether it follows a certain ideology that is forced on it from top down this all plays an important role in the kind of atmosphere that is created and the kind of interactions that are tolerated amongst the members.

And then the members themselves have to be analyzed too, can we really find any unbiased and fair minded people here who can assist the Mods in monitoring the forum, are most members here also driven by Politics and Profits too. Does a fellowship really exists amongst members here as domainers or would everyone put their own ideologies and agendas above all else.

Perhaps it’s impossible to have a fair, professional, respectful, and constructive environment here unless the members, the Mods, and the management are all willing to find common grounds over values and principles that are derived from logic and compassion instead of always giving priority to their own individual ideologies and agendas.

In a way Nsmepros is a microcosm of the real World since there are members here from all across the globe and so if we can fix NamePros perhaps there will be hope that we can also be able to save the World at large.

IMO
 

Steven McEvoy

CEO, McEvoy.biz
Impact
1,582
Enough is enough, These posts are coming everyday. The real problem is NamePros staff. The fact they want to hide and not take accountability of there actions. The fact that they allow some members not just Rob get away with posting around. It was the same issue few years back with members getting a little slap on the wrists compared to a ban.
 
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oldtimer

Do some good for humanity and the environment
Impact
5,699
Enough is enough, These posts are coming everyday. The real problem is NamePros staff. The fact they want to hide and not take accountability of there actions. The fact that they allow some members not just Rob get away with posting around. It was the same issue few years back with members getting a little slap on the wrists compared to a ban.

I don't agree with banning people unless in extreme cases when all other options are exhausted. This is more about monitoring the forum and taking immediate action about inappropriate posts rather than to shut people off completely.

The fact that the Mods (for whatever reason) let some inappropriate posts linger around is as big of a problem as those who make those post to begin with.

In order to fix the problems with the forum we first have to make sure that everyone has the right mindset so that the situation is not made worse by violating anyone's rights of participation in the forum.

This is more about finding a balance between the rights of the members to be able to participate in the forum freely and the rules being respected and followed by everyone and although the responsibility falls on the Mods to a great extend to monitor the forum properly and take the required actions quickly, but the members have to take some responsibility in their interactions and participation in the forum too as to always being respectful to others and not try to attack or demean others for expressing their opinion.


IMO
 
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Lox

_____
Impact
7,119
There's simply too much value built into a successful namePros. But that can change overnight, if "criticize and destroy" overtake "the source" of innovation and progress.

Without innovation there is no progress, progress is impossible without change of mindset.

Good luck! - that's all folks and thanks for all the great and thought provoking posts. Bye

Regards
 
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