Discovery News

Review of Huxley: From Devil’s Disciple to Evolution’s High Priest by Adrian Desmond (Addison Wesley)

Darth Vader was a thoroughly bad man, destroying planets, kidnapping princesses, and such. That’s the way it should be-we like our movie villains uncomplicated. Mr. Vader’s only virtue was in begetting Luke Skywalker, and in the finale, after we had hissed for a few hours, that relationship was enough to redeem him. Yet what if the opening scenes of Star Read More ›

Review God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution by John Haught

I suppose it’s the residual effect of original sin, but I enjoy reviewing books I disagree with more than ones I agree with. After all, who wants to spend 1500 words inventing new ways of saying “me, too” and “yes, that’s right”? Much better to bring a contrasting view to the author’s work, focus on areas of difference, and enjoy Read More ›

Michael Behe’s Response to Boston Review Critics

The following is Michael Behe’s response to the essays published by Boston Review following Allen Orr’s review of Darwin’s Black Box. All of those articles may still be found at Allen Orr Professor Orr has a mistaken notion of irreducible complexity. I thought I made that clear in my reply, but from his response I suppose I did not, so Read More ›

Life After Television, Revisited

In 1994, four years after I wrote the first edition of Life After Television, the cornucopian afterlife is indeed at hand. With microchips and fiber optics eroding the logic of centralized institutions, networks of personal computers are indeed overthrowing IBM and CBS, NTT and EEC. But as the great pyramids of the broadcast and industrial eras–the familiar masters of the Read More ›

Digital Dark Horse Newspapers

The perennial question of all suitors of fate and fortune now whispers and resounds through conference resorts, executive retreats and consulting sessions across the land as business leaders from Hollywood to Wall Street pose with pundits and ponder the new world of converging technologies. Symbolized in a famous mandala by MIT’s Media Lab, this grand fondue of information tools–to be Read More ›

Metcalf’s Law and Legacy

The world of networks breaks into two polar paradigms. Most familiar is the Public Switched Telephone Network. From the tiniest transistor flip-flop on a modem chip through labyrinthine layers of rising complexity on up to a 4ESS supercomputer switch linking 107,520 telephone trunk lines (itself consisting of millions of interconnected transistors), the public network is a vast, deterministic web of Read More ›

The Issaquah Miracle

In the spring of 1989 when Michael Bookey first visited the Middle School in Issaquah, Wash., to help the school system with its computers, he was reminded of his early ventures into Communist China. After 20 years of working with computer networks, to enter Issaquah seemed to me like encountering an exotic tribe of primitives untouched by the modern world. Read More ›

Auctioning the Airways

Imagine it is 1971 and you are chair of the new Federal Computer Commission. This commission has been established to regulate the natural monopoly of computer technology as summed up in the famous Grosch’s Law. In 1956 IBM engineer Herbert Grosch proved that computer power rises by the square of its cost and thus necessarily gravitates to the most costly Read More ›