June 9, 2016
Attending to Technology: Theses for Disputation
In this wide-ranging essay — written as a collection of aphorisms — Alan Jacobs, a contributing editor to EPPC’s journal The New Atlantis, offers a pointed critique of social media, commentary, and our credulity before algorithms.
Automation, Robotics, and the Economy
In testimony before Congress’s Joint Economic Committee, EPPC Fellow (and New Atlantis editor) Adam Keiper discussed what robotics and artificial intelligence might mean for the future of employment and capitalism — and how we might begin to form a richer understanding of the meaning of human work.
EPPC is pleased to join with National Affairs in co-hosting the 2016 Bradley Symposium, sponsored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, on Wednesday, June 15, in Washington. This year’s event will explore the challenges and opportunities facing American workers, and will feature remarks by EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin, EPPC Senior Fellow Henry Olsen, and other leading thinkers on economics and labor. Space is limited. For more information, click here.
All that’s Gehrish
EPPC Senior Fellow Bruce Cole, a member of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission and an outspoken critic of Frank Gehry’s proposed design for the memorial, reviews a new biography of the architect and concludes, “Nowadays, it’s looking like Frank Gehry’s work will be seen as a fashionable commodity of the late twentieth century, and that his lasting contribution to the history of architecture will be short-lived.”
Will California’s Leftist K-12 Curriculum Go National?
California’s new “framework” for teaching history and social science, along with the College Board’s leftist AP history curriculum, means that “K-12 education in this country could soon be a near-exclusively leftist affair,” warns EPPC Senior Fellow Stanley Kurtz.
A Gorilla ‘Tragedy’
EPPC Senior Fellow Mona Charen examines the public reaction to the shooting of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, and writes that “what’s so off about the reactions to this sad tale is the confusion about who has moral standing. ‘Justice’ is not something to which animals are entitled, because animals are not moral agents.”
Only Francis Can Go to China?
EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel urges caution in the Vatican’s dealings with the Chinese government: “If Taiwan is thrown over the side for the sake of a deal with Beijing, what signal does that send to the world, and to Chinese democrats and human-rights activists on the mainland—including Christians—about the Catholic Church’s commitment to free societies?”
Reality Check: Gender Diversity is Driven by a Top-Down Ideological Movement
EPPC Fellow Mary Rice Hasson warns that “the endgame for gender ideologues and their allies hasnothing to do with bathrooms and everything to do with the things we cherish most: they are bent on dismantling the natural family, marginalizing or muzzling religious belief, particularly Christianity, and exalting personal ‘will’ and autonomy above everything (except the state, of course).”
Scandals and Experts
EPPC Resident Scholar James Bowman considers the mainstream media’s response to the death of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford and the ongoing coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign: “The secret of Donald Trump’s success for so long as he has had it has been the same as Rob Ford’s was before he lost it to mere media celebrity: he makes people who are not of the governing class and who have no hope of joining it feel that he is on their side against those who appear to be arrogating to themselves a right to govern.”
Clinton and Trump: The Moral Universe of Liars
EPPC Senior Fellow Mona Charen laments that in the 2016 election, “both candidates fail to clear even the lowest bar of basic political/personal decency, far less offering anything approaching responsible leadership.”
Republicans’ Delusional Hopes
Although many Republicans “continue to hope that Trump will become a dignified, decorous figure …. it’s delusional to believe he will,” argues EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner.
A Historian’s Craft
EPPC Fellow Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry considers the development of artificial intelligence, and reminds readers that, while software is becoming ever more sophisticated, “brains and computers are fundamentally different, in ways that are simply unbridgeable.”
Elon Musk’s Artificial Intelligence
In an essay on the work of the historian Jacob Burckhardt, EPPC Fellow Algis Valiunas concludes that, in the study of history, “sublime disinterestedness is the purest passion.”
There Aren’t “Two Popes” in Any Way, Shape, or Form
EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel addresses the confusion over the role that Pope Benedict XVI now occupies, and explains that “whatever else a ‘pope emeritus’ may be, he is emphatically not ‘the pope.’”
Macra: The Quiet Health-Care Takeover
In the Wall Street Journal, EPPC Senior Fellow James C. Capretta (with co-author Lanhee J. Chen) shines a light on a new Medicare law that “empowers the federal bureaucracy at the expense of the doctor-patient relationship, putting the quality of American health care at risk.”