hey, i've seen a lot of discussion about people learning pentatonics and then blues scales, and vice versa. this has always bugged me, aren't they just the exact same things, with just the blues notes added in for blues scales?

they are the same thing. Just with a few extra BLUE notes. They just add color.
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the difference is the way you play them and what notes you can add.
but they share the same loose collection of five notes, yes.
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