Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

The Priestly Voice of Science

Thomas Lessl, Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Georgia, talks about the “priestly voice” of science. He argues that “scientific culture has responded to the pressures of patronage by trying to construct a priestly ethos — by suggesting that it is the singular mediator of knowledge, or at least of whatever knowledge has real value, and should therefore enjoy a commensurate authority. Continue Reading...

Yes, ICANN (No, You Can’t)

The AP reports that a deal has been struck to continue primary management of the Internet by the United States, following weeks and months of controversy. The EU had been pushing for control of the web to be turned over to a supra-national body, such as the UN. Continue Reading...

The Post-Edisonian Double Eclipse

We’ve discussed textual interpretation a bit on this blog here before (here, here, and here). Paul Ricœur, who is famous for his “attempt to combine phenomenological description with hermeneutic interpretation,” passed away earlier this year. Continue Reading...

1984 Becomes Closer to Reality

George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1949, long before the PC came along. Tiny cameras were not available and Big Brother typically had to be physically watching you (either in person or from a stationary camera) to catch you at a crime (the book was political of course, and not technological). Continue Reading...

Vidiocy

Reading this story about a man who played video games to death, I find it likely that an already existing addiction will be newly documented: Vidiocy. My mom used to call me a “little vidiot” when I was a kid because I liked watching TV so much, but I submit this as a possible term for video game “addictions.” According to other reports, the man named Lee really was dedicated to the god of technology, as he “recently quit his job to spend more time playing games.” Of course, maybe he didn’t really die, he just left “The Matrix.” Continue Reading...

Fourth Place doesn’t get you a Medal

Now that the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery is safely back on terra firma (along with the entire shuttle fleet, which has once again been grounded over safety concerns), arguments over the future viability of the Shuttle program have resumed in earnest. Continue Reading...

Metaphysical Technology

In this week’s Acton Commentary, Dave Phelps looks at the case of Susan Torres, a woman who gave birth while reported to be brain dead. The case was considered by some to be a miracle. Continue Reading...

Protecting 21st Century Know-How

Hopeful signs are emerging for the future of economic prosperity in Europe despite some serious opposition. The European Parliament recently moved to scrap the ratification of an informal agreement reached last year by EU member states and supported by the European Commission, that would have made important strides forward in the legal recognition of intellectual property rights. Continue Reading...

‘Forgetfulness in the learners’ souls’

A most worthy piece in The New Atlantis by Matthew B. Crawford, “The Computerized Academy,” examines some of the implications of computerization and technological advance on the traditional liberal education. Among the important trends that Crawford observes is the application of a consumer/producer relationship model between student and teacher. Continue Reading...

Shuttle Support Wanes

CBS News reports that “while a majority still thinks the Space Shuttle is worth continuing, the program receives its lowest level of support in this poll since CBS News started asking about it in 1986. Continue Reading...

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