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What we should learn from Hong Kong, speaking dogs, cancel culture, life expectancy, and COVID updates

Hi friends,

Earlier this week, China passed a law empowering police cracking down on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Residents have gone quiet and deleted their social media to hide. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested and are being prosecuted as threats against national security. In just days, democracy as it we know it has come crashing down for our Hong Kong brothers, sisters, and siblings.

Now, more than ever, our votes will be critical in how we will shape our country’s future. Register to vote, if you have not done so already, and get ready for our elections in November. Let’s heed the lessons from around the world and ensure that we take action to preserve our democracy. Our future depends on it.

Short email this week. Take care, and have a great week ahead.


Speaking dogs

Bella and Bunny are two dogs speaking through personalized buzzers. I was absolutely in awe and spent a few days going through their channels. (I wonder what they will evolve to learn next.)

The thing about cancel culture

This past week, hundreds of well-established figures including JK Rowling have banned together to write an open letter canceling cancel culture. While I agree with some issues of cancel culture, I’ve linked the Twitter feed with replies that shed light on problems with this. If we cannot hold influencers and people in power accountable, then what use is freedom of speech?

Richer, but still poor

“The United States is different. In nearly every other high-income country, people have both become richer over the last three decades and been able to enjoy substantially longer lifespans. But not in the United States. Even as average incomes have risen, much of the economic gains have gone to the affluent — and life expectancy has risen only three years since 1990. There is no other developed country that has suffered such a stark slowdown in lifespans.”

The U.S. Is Lagging Behind Many Rich Countries. These Charts Show Why by The NY Times.

COVID Updates

Trump throws a temper tantrum about the pandemic.

Why Sweden’s herd immunity was a failed attempt.

And updates on promising RNA vaccines. (fingers crossed)

"This promising — but unproven — new generation of vaccine technologies is based on deploying a tiny snip of genetic code called messenger RNA to trigger the immune system. It has never before been approved for use. But almost overnight, these cutting-edge RNA vaccine efforts have leaped forward as top candidates to fight covid-19. Some developers plan to have tens of millions of doses ready by the end of the year. Elegant in theory, efficacious in the laboratory but untested in the real world, the possible RNA vaccines are especially attractive because they might be cheaper, easier and faster to manufacture on a massive scale — at least one team boasts it could partner with producers in developing countries to provide millions of vials for as little as $5 a pop."

As always, thanks for reading!

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Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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