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dselect wants to uninstall everything?

I have a fresh install of Debian Linux 3.0. I want to use dselect to install some additional packages... but it appears that, by default, dselect wants to *uninstall* most of my Debian installation, unless I go through the list by hand and tell it to keep each installed package!

I run 'dselect' from a command line and I can get it to load and display the list of available packages. But if I don't change the list of packages at all, and instead go directly to the 'install' option, then it tries to deinstall hundreds of packages (including basic stuff like 'at' and 'adduser' and 'cpp' and 'dc'). If I go back to the 'select' list and try to tell it to keep any of these packages, it complains about dependency problems and lists a lot of packages which seem to have nothing to do with the one I'm trying to keep prevent being deleted.

What the heck am I doing wrong here?  How do I get dselect to simply
leave alone the stuff I've already got installed, and just let me select
new packages to install?

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