Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

‘We choose to go to the moon.’

“a magnificent desolation” On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke these words in a speech at Rice University: There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Continue Reading...

European Commission Tries Again

On the heels of the defeat of proprosed protections for intellectual property at the hands of the European Parliament, according to the AP the European Commission is addressing an aspect of the same debate: online music and copyright. Continue Reading...

EU Rejects Patent Law

I’m not sure whether this reflects the fractiousness of the European “Union,” or European unity in opposition to protection for intellectual property (or both), but yesterday the European Parliament “overwhelmingly rejected a proposed law Wednesday to create a single way of patenting software across the European Union.” “Patents will continue to be handled by national patent offices … as before, which means different interpretations as to what is patentable, without any judiciary control by the European Court of Justice,” said EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, representing the EU head office at the vote. Continue Reading...

The New Space Capitalists

After SpaceShipOne was awarded the Ansari X Prize last year, Paul G. Allen became "the best-known member of a growing club of high-tech thrillionaires, including the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who find themselves with money enough to fulfill their childhood fascination with space," reports John Schwartz in today’s New York Times. Continue Reading...

Google’s Memory

Google recently surpassed Time Warner as the world’s top media stock. Google provides services to about 19 million users per day. People go to Google to find things, participate in discussions via online forums, to check and send email, driving directions, and a host of other services. Continue Reading...

To the Moon and Beyond

I was born on the seventh anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic moonwalk, which may or may not have something to do with my lifelong love of aviation. I have fond memories from my childhood of sitting in front of the television completely captivated by network news coverage of the launch of the Space Shuttle. Continue Reading...

The Art of Movie Piracy

I recently watched a rerun of Seinfeld, in which Jerry becomes entangled with a movie bootlegger, and finds out that he has a gift for movie piracy. Jerry’s talent would be the cure for what this Slashdot poster complains about: “I’ve yet to find a blockbuster movie that isn’t readily available on the net after it opens, but somehow this is still news. Continue Reading...

‘Hokey Religions and Ancient Weapons’

This quote comes from Han Solo, which pretty well sums up his critique of Jedi knights in the Star Wars saga, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side.” I also wonder whether it might be apt in describing the sometimes contemptuous relationship between scientific progress and religion (Christianity in particular), as the guiding pragamtic ethos of naturalism wars against orthodox Christian belief. Continue Reading...