Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

Biotechnology, Morality, and Human Dignity

I watched the 2006 film The Prestige (based on the 1995 book of the same name) over the weekend. The film does an excellent job of portraying the complex relationship between the two main characters, Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale). Continue Reading...

Minds that Matter

In his recent and fascinating book Five Minds for the Future, Harvard professor Howard Gardner outlines the 5 basic types of intelligence people have: 1. The Disciplinary Mind: the mastery of major schools of thought, including science, mathematics, and history, and of at least one professional craft; 2. Continue Reading...

Classical Music = Gang Repellant

My local library is apparently having a problem with youth gangs who are using the public computers to access social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook. The hooligans are defacing each others sites, sending threatening messages, and causing other kinds of trouble. Continue Reading...

A Not-So-Compelling Argument

This is a not-so-compelling argument that “information should be free.” Logos Research Systems Inc., which produces Libronix biblical and theological research software, was vandalized this past weekend by “a man throwing Froot Loops cereal and pieces of paper out of an apartment window in the shipping department building Saturday morning.” The Bellingham Herald reported that he “told officers he felt the company was charging him money for Bibles when he could get them for free.” Continue Reading...

Media Bias and the ‘Fairness Doctrine’

The confluence of two recent headline-making stories has the potential to impact the practice of free speech, political or otherwise, in this country. First, let’s discuss the question of media bias that has surrounded the offer made by Rupert Murdoch to purchase the Wall Street Journal. Continue Reading...

Do unto Music as is Done unto Movies

There once was a time when it was, in practice at least, more difficult and costly to copy videocassette tapes than it was music tapes, compact discs, or computer programs. That, in part, is the justification for how the US Copyright code treats music and computer software differently than, say, movies. Continue Reading...

Google Faces Free Speech Resolution

Via Slashdot, news comes today that Google’s next shareholders meeting will feature a vote on a shareholder resolution to protect free speech and combat censorship by intrusive governments. According to the proxy statement, Proposal Number 5 would require the recognition of “minimum standards,” including, that “the company will use all legal means to resist demands for censorship. Continue Reading...

Sailing to Byzantium with Avatars

Socrates in some sense has come full circle. In a case of life imitating art, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Central Florida in Orlando have received a grant to create life-like virtual representations of historical figures, with whom students can interact, dialogue, and inquire (HT: Slashdot). Continue Reading...

Open Source, Closed Markets

John Berthoud of the National Taxpayers Union has a piece in today’s Washington Examiner about the battle between Microsoft and the European Commission. Berthoud writes that it is part of a larger “anti-American” program, and “another example of old-guard European protectionism.” Berthoud writes, “The EC’s actions against Microsoft are not isolated. Continue Reading...

.xxx Domain Proposal Fails, x3

The effort to create a top-level domain suffix for adult Web sites has failed, for the third time (HT: X3). ICANN voted 9-5 to defeat the proposal, which was roundly opposed by an unlikely alliance of religious groups and the adult entertainment industry. Continue Reading...