The Price of Progress: Birthdays and Broken Promises

In the heart of Brooklyn, a 61-year-old author celebrates their birthday, reflecting on the neighborhood’s preserved historical architecture and cultural richness. They contrast this with Manhattan’s overdevelopment and corporate interests, which have led to a dominance of glass towers and a loss of diversity. Drawing from Jane Jacobs’ book, they discuss the importance of walkable cities and the impact of urban architecture on neighborliness and civic engagement. Amidst this, they express concern about the manipulation of protests and the targeting of Western liberties and symbols, urging readers to engage in peaceful actions, such as interfaith prayer and strengthening local communities, to resist external forces.

Meanwhile, a growing mistrust in the establishment is leading to a rise in parents refusing to vaccinate their children. This skepticism is fueled by perceived lies and propaganda surrounding the pandemic and the safety of vaccines. The author also touches on the war in Ukraine and the ongoing conflict in Gaza, suggesting that those responsible for these actions will not face meaningful consequences.

In the realm of media, “The Media Matrix,” a documentary, delves into the history and significance of media technology, from the printing press to the internet. It explores the influence wielded by press barons, the immense power of television, and the consolidation of media control. The documentary also addresses concerns surrounding social media addiction and the blurring of reality in today’s digital age, raising thought-provoking questions about the metaverse and its potential impact on human nature.

In geopolitical news, the US and Israel have been discussing plans to build a canal to rival the Suez Canal for over 50 years. The proposed Ben Gurion Canal Project would flow through the Gaza Strip, starting by the port city of Eilat in Israel, crossing the Jordanian border, and flowing through the Arabah Valley before entering the Dead Sea. Declassified documents reveal that the US Department of Energy had planned to create the canal by detonating 520 underground nuclear explosions throughout the Negev Desert. However, the plan was never executed due to anticipated objections from Arab nations and the challenge of relocating those from the Gaza Strip.

Down under, Australia’s approach to COVID-19 has shifted from strict suppression to a more laissez-faire strategy, resulting in a decline in life expectancy for the first time in over 30 years, according to a recent article. The country is currently experiencing its eighth wave of infections, and scientists caution that “living with COVID” means needlessly dying from it for those at risk. The prevalence of long COVID is also a concern, with many individuals experiencing debilitating symptoms for months or even years. The article calls for a reevaluation of Australia’s strategy and a focus on reducing illness and protecting vulnerable populations. It also highlights the importance of preventive measures, such as vaccines and improved indoor air quality, in preventing long COVID.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at