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How Soviets in 1960 Imagined 2017, and the Biggest Changes They Missed »

A 1960 Soviet filmstrip surfaced earlier this year depicting a vision of life in 2017. As Russia prepares for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, it is interesting to reflect on the filmstrip to see what Soviet propagandists got right and what they got wrong. The 45-frame filmstrip, found in a family...
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The Benefits of Intellectual Property Protection »

If there is one thing about which libertarians are never likely to agree, it is whether intellectual property—patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets—should receive the same legal protection as physical property. Without wading too deep into the philosophical debate, but showing my colors as an IP advocate, let me share some new research published...
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Fossil Fuels Are the Lifeblood of Modern Civilization »

“We don’t want to ‘save the planet’ from human beings; we want to improve the planet for human beings.” —Alex Epstein I never thought I would encounter a book titled The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. After all, in this day and age, it is the politically correct and fashionable trend for activists, media,...
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In Memoriam: Nathan Rosenberg (1927-2015) »

I have just received the sad news that Nathan Rosenberg has died. Nate was an outstanding economic historian, and in my early years in the profession I viewed him as the very model of the kind of economic historian I wanted to become. He reviewed many of my early papers before their publication, and...
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Hackers Stole Data from Whom? An Example of Media Bias »

This story’s headline reports, “Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says.” The headline is wrong. Hackers stole data from the IRS, not from taxpayers. This is an example of the subtle kind of media bias that minimizes government shortcomings, in this case by pointing the finger at taxpayers. This particular headline...
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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on Humans Becoming Gods, Pets, or Ants »

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Inc., spoke recently with the Australian Financial Review. In a wide-ranging interview, Wozniak offered his thoughts on the future relationship between man and computer. “Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” Wozniak said. He now foresees a time when computers will mimic human consciousness, a potentially...
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Republicans Split over Patent Reform »

The Washington Times has an interesting article on the division among Republicans on patent reform. According to the article: Two dozen prominent conservative political groups, led by the influential American Conservative Union, the Club for Growth and the Eagle Forum, sent a letter Wednesday to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch...
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A Case for Patent Reform »

For many decades most economists believed patents were key to the innovation and material progress enjoyed by the West. In recent years, however, many have looked at patents with growing skepticism, with some even suggesting that the patent system be scrapped. In contrast, economist Arthur M. Diamond Jr. (Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha) believes...
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Half of State Medical Boards Perform Poorly When Licensing Out-of-State Doctors »

A new research article in the Telemedicine and E-Health Journal shows how difficult state regulatory barriers are making it for doctors to practice effective telemedicine. Telemedicine embraces technologies as diverse as surgeons operating robots remotely, radiologists reading scanned images remotely, or psychiatrists conducting therapy sessions via videoconference. One barrier to effective adoption of telemedicine...
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Obama’s Dangerous Call for Collaboration »

President Obama held a much-publicized White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford last Friday, culminating with his signing onstage a new executive order calling for “collaboration” between government and technology companies to fight cyber crime. Tech executives from Google, Yahoo, and Facebook to their credit declined invitations to attend, while Apple...
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