Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

Cyber Communication

Ever since the popularization of the Internet, a debate has raged—within and without Christian circles—about the effect of the medium on human development and relationships. A serious and plausible charge against the Web came from those who thought its mode of disembodied communication would alter the form of human interaction for the worse. Continue Reading...

Google Books: ‘Authors and publishers deserve to be rewarded’

This from the official Google blog: “We’ve always recognized the importance of copyright, because we believe that authors and publishers deserve to be rewarded for their creative endeavors. And we specifically designed Google Book Search to respect copyright law – never showing more than two or three snippets around a search term without the publisher’s prior permission, which they can give through our Partner Program.” Continue Reading...

Millennium Technology Prize 2006

The world’s largest prize for technological innovation was awarded this year to Professor Shuji Nakamura, curently at the University of California Santa Barbara, for his development of bright-blue, green and white LEDs and a blue laser. Continue Reading...

The Ties that Bind: Cabled Christianity

Pro-family and church groups are battling over a proposed policy that would allow viewers to select their cable TV plans on an “a la carte” basis. But why are they asking the federal government to referee this fight? Continue Reading...

Evangelicals and Cable TV

A story over the weekend in Washington Post gives a good overview of the mixed motives behind evangelical campaigning for and against a la carte pricing of cable channels, despite the poorly chosen title, “Evangelicals vs. Continue Reading...

‘I don’t get no respect!’

Rodney Dangerfield is famous for saying, “I don’t get no respect!” This complaint is shared in the laments that I often hear from academics, that electronic journals are not afforded the same respect as print journals. Continue Reading...

The Digital Collide

According to published reports, market mechanisms, and specifically competition, are accomplishing what many decriers of the “digital divide” have long contended only big government could do. The AP, via LiveScience.com, reports, “Middle- and working-class Americans signed up for high-speed Internet access in record numbers in the past year, apparently lured by a price war among phone companies.” The study, provided by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, found that broadband subscription “increased 40 percent in households making less than $30,000 a year. Continue Reading...

Scan this Book! Break the Law!

As a brief follow-up to my post last week about the state of scholarly publishing, I want to highlight this recent article in The New York Times, “Scan This Book!” by Kevin Kelly, who is on the staff at Wired magazine. Continue Reading...

If You Believe They Put a Man on the Moon…

Next stop… Last week, it was reported that NASA’s budget is so thin that it puts “America’s leadership in scientific research is at risk.” (Last year’s NASA budget was around $16 billion, give or take a few hundred million.) The National Research Council says the space agency is “being asked to accomplish too much with too little.” The group points to the competing demands of building the international space station and returning astronauts to the moon. Continue Reading...