Should I refuse to read a pirated book? Was I receiving stolen goods, as advocates of stricter laws against Internet piracy claim? If I steal someone’s book the old-fashioned way, I have the book, and the original owner no longer does. I am better off, but she is worse off. When people use pirated books, the publisher and the author often are worse off – they lose earnings from selling the book.
The protest movement that began in Tunisia in January, subsequently spreading to Egypt, and then to Spain, has now become global, with the protests engulfing Wall Street and cities across America. Globalization and modern technology now enables social movements to transcend borders as rapidly as ideas can. And social protest has found fertile ground everywhere: a sense that the “system” has failed, and the conviction that even in a democracy, the electoral process will not set things right – at least not without strong pressure from the street.
Twenty-five years ago this month, I sat across from Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland to negotiate a deal that would have reduced, and could have ultimately eliminated by 2000, the fearsome arsenals of nuclear weapons held by the United States and the Soviet Union.
Normally, you need a distinctive first name not to need a last name, but in this – as in everything that he did – Steve Jobs was different. He was always just “Steve.”
Al Qaeda's operating environment today is vastly different from the one in which it launched its most notorious operation, the 9/11 terror attacks. Osama bin Laden was killed by United States Navy Seals in Pakistan in May. Three brutal Middle East dictatorships were removed this year. Has militant jihadism failed, placing Al Qaeda's survival in doubt?
The Internet's governing body, ICANN, is allowing for a dramatic expansion of the namespace with a host of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs), the suffixes that go after the dot, such as .com, .org, and, soon, .anything.
Amid a growing wave of concern about climate change, many countries — including Brazil, Australia, the US, and EU members — passed laws in the 2000's outlawing or severely restricting access to incandescent light bulbs. But the real problem, as ever, is that the new technology is not yet as attractive as the old.
While the human race took perhaps one million years to reach one billion people (around the year 1800), we have been adding successive billions every 10-20 years since 1960. Will we be able to meet the population challenge, just as we have met previous challenges, through technological and institutional innovation?
In almost every rich country, anti-immigrant fervor is at fever pitch. But it is a malady that must be resisted if these societies are to continue to prosper and developing countries are to fight poverty and sustain economic growth.
One of the most dispiriting features of today's international debates is that the threat to humanity posed by the world's 23,000 nuclear weapons ”“ and by those who would build more of them, or be only too willing to use them ”“ has been consigned to the margin of politics.