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The Federal Bureaucracy in Check

Congress, despite many chances, has not been willing to take responsibility for checking “the administrative state,” as the aggrandizing bureaucratic power of federal agencies has come to be known. Arrival of a Democratic House makes it still less likely that Capitol Hill will resist the continued expansion of federal rules and regulations. As executive, President Trump has tried to slow Read More ›

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Is Democracy in the United States Salvageable?

It’s obvious from daily conversation — and well-documented in poll after poll — that Americans have lost faith in U.S. political institutions. Former Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Chapman has written a brilliant book warning that the trend threatens to undermine representative democracy and lead to tyranny. But Chapman, who also served as Washington’s secretary of state, comes at the danger from a different angle than most. The book is Politicians: The Worst Kind of People to Run the Government, Except for all the Others. Read More ›

Book Review: “Politicians” By Bruce Chapman

There may be one or two Americans left in the country who don’t know that we are currently living in an anti-Establishment, anti-professional, anti-politician era. Nationally we have voted someone into the Presidency whose primary claim to high office is that he has never held office. (In my own state, we have had a smaller version of the exact same phenomenon.) In virtually every Congressional and state-level campaign beyond the Presidential elections, we have candidates (including incumbents) engaged in an ever-escalating rhetorical battle to claim the low ground of experience. In Politicians: The Worst Kind of People to Run the Government, Except for all the Others, Bruce K. Chapman argues that this disdain for long-serving public servants has to stop. Keep reading.

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor: Why Machines Will Never Think

At the official launch of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, July 11, 2018, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor offered some thoughts on artificial vs. natural intelligence. He sends us this piece, further developing some of his ideas: A cornerstone of the development of artificial intelligence is the pervasive assumption that machines can, or will, think. Watson, a question-answering computer, beats Read More ›

Weird Science: PETA is no Friend of STEM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) makes no moral distinctions between humans and animals, believing, as its alpha wolf Ingrid Newkirk put it once, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” The organization opposes any instrumental use of animals—no matter how beneficial to human thriving—insisting that they are “not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” PETA’s adamant opposition to animal research puts it squarely in the anti-science camp. Not because they are ethically opposed to such experiments—although that marks the group as anti-human in my book—but because the organization routinely slanders animal researchers as cruel and sadistic and persists in its false and dishonest claim Read More ›

With Learning, Take the Scenic Route!

The world’s information is literally at our fingertips every hour of the day. Getting info is as easy as pulling out that smartphone or tablet and asking a search engine for the answer. In less than a second, there it is. “How many millimeters are in an inch?” Boom, there it is. “There are 25.4 millimeters in one inch,” the virtual assistant responds. “What’s the capital of Peru?” “Lima is the capital and largest city in Peru.” Done. You are now smarter than you were a few seconds ago. Or are you? It turns out that learning is not as efficient a process as Big Tech would like it to be. The latest research in cognition shows that learning takes time, requires repetition, Read More ›

Drones Can Protect Us From Kim’s Missiles

Stephen Meyer and Hudson Institute’s Arthur Herman writing in The Wall Street Journal:

“President Trump’s announcement that he will meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un caught everyone by surprise. The big question is: Will the meeting reduce the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles?

Given North Korea’s record of deceit, the president will need an insurance policy against Mr. Kim’s penchant for bad-faith negotiating, especially concerning his nuclear program.

Fortunately, Congress can make a down payment this week in its 2018 omnibus spending bill, and soon after when it authorizes the Pentagon’s 2019 budget.”

Read More ›

How Amtrak has come off the rails

President Trump says that his highest legislative priority in 2018 is an infrastructure bill that includes private investments in “roads, rails and regulatory reform.” The best way to enlist the private sector in the passenger rail element of an infrastructure plan is to open the 15 national long-distance corridors and 27 state-supported routes to private competition with Amtrak. Read More ›

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Applications Now Open for Discovery Institute’s Gilder Fellows Seminar on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship!

The Gilder Fellows Seminar is an intimate study experience with Discovery Institute Fellows, taking place in Seattle, WA in Summer 2018. At the Gilder Fellows Seminar, you'll have the chance to hear from scholars George Gilder, Michael Medved, Jay Richards, John West, and others. Read More ›

Discovery Institute Remembers Former Congressman, Ambassador, and Author John R. Miller

Seattle, Oct. 4, 2017John Ripin Miller, a political leader from Seattle for over 20 years and a highly acclaimed human rights diplomat, died today in Corte Madera, CA, according to Discovery Institute. He had struggled with cancer for several years. In August, Amazon published The Man Who Could Be King, a well-received novel by Miller about a critical decision in the life of George Washington. Mr. Miller was a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute, and founder of its Cascadia Center on Regional Transportation. Read More ›