Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

‘Your mind makes it real’

Check out this Marketplace story about real money being spent in the virtual world. The commodities of online gaming have real-world value to people, to the extent that a virtual island can cost upwards of $26,000 in the world of Project Entropia. Continue Reading...

Faith in Science

To expand the “scientist” as “priest” metaphor a bit, you may find it interesting to read what Herman Bavinck has to say on the fundamental place of “faith” with respect to all kinds of knowledge, including not only religious but also scientific: Believing in general is a very common way in which people gain knowledge and certainty. Continue Reading...

Lime Green Trickle Down Machine

At the the UN net summit in Tunis, MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte has showcased his hundred dollar computer. The small, durable, lime colored, rubber-encased laptop is powered by a handcrank, and is designed to make technology more accessible to poor children in countries around the world. Continue Reading...

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...