Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

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...

The Birth of Space Tourism

This has been a momentous week for manned space exploration. First, NASA returned to flight with Tuesday’s launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which was almost immediately followed by a return to not flying, as safety concerns will be grounding the shuttle fleet once again. Continue Reading...

‘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...