Using a machine to replace human workers is a practice that continues to grow in the electronic age. The logic of drone delivery is to provide a sustainable option for the last-minute shopper or for the caffeinato that wants to order coffee online and receive it at their doorstep within minutes. For many years, drone deliveries have just been mere speculation based on unreliable technology utilized in the drones. However, it seems that technology has advanced once again. Drone companies have recently been cleared to expand their operations across the United States, in cities and rural areas as the technology becomes more reliable and faster. But how soon should we be able to order our daily necessities and luxurious items straight to our doorstep via drone? That all depends on federal regulation.
Economist Michael Mandel analogized regulations to pebbles in a stream. If you drop one pebble into a stream, its individual effect is negligible. If you deposit a thousand pebbles into a stream, the flow of the water slows down. On the other hand, if you pour one hundred thousand pebbles into a stream, the stream’s flow can become blocked altogether. Researchers note that the amount of regulation in the U.S., both at the state and federal level, has grown steadily over the years. It is a process known as regulatory accumulation. Whether it involves regulating the fuel efficiency of cars, labels on food products or the number of beds permitted in a hospital, new rules are added every year. Yet, few, if any, regulations are ever taken off the books despite the fact that many become unnecessary or virtually obsolete. Some economists argue that overregulation has the effect of slowing economic growth and ultimately impacting the well-being of society. But the task is a difficult one: how does a government identify which regulations should be cut and who should lead the effort?
Conversations about the privacy and security of health information systems and patient data are ongoing, and frequently front-page news. But what about healthcare’s “internet of things”? More specifically, the web of wearable or implantable medical devices, and the applications that go along with them, which collect and transmit health information? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with approving medical devices for patient use in a clinical setting, such as pacemakers. These devices require FDA approval and cannot be altered after receiving that approval. Additionally, an upgrade to an approved device could result in the need for an entirely new FDA approval, making device’s security essentially obsolete soon after its deployment. The inability to upgrade device security poses a unique cybersecurity risk. And this risk is one that Congress seems poised to take on.
This past January, the American Red Cross announced that the United States was facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a significant risk to patient care and causing doctors to make difficult decisions in determining which patients should be prioritized for blood transfusions given the dwindling supply. The staggering decrease in blood and platelet donations can be attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic driving up the need for donations and the hesitancy people have had to leave their homes over the past two years. Even in this desperate time of need for blood, gay and bisexual men in America are still prevented from donating because of discrimination.
Formula 1 is a sport governed by extensive rules and regulations covering everything from the structure of the car, the engine, and the track. The 2022 season saw a new round of regulations that have the potential to change the game yet again with new budget caps for teams, a new chassis and safety car procedures with more changes expected in 2023. One of the biggest changes for the 2022 and 2023 seasons is the addition of two new United States (US) Grand Prixes with the addition of Miami for the 2022 season and Las Vegas for the 2023 season. This is just one of the many recent steps attempting to integrate the sport in the US market, but the track requirements for the new races are strict.
Five years after the introduction of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act(EFASASH) by Senator Kristi Gillibrand and Senator Linsey Graham, President Biden signed it into law on March 3, 2022. Without this law, employers could prohibit their workers who have experienced sexual assault or harassment from seeking recourse in court. With EFASASH, sexual predators and their employers will no longer be able to evade public accountability. In a world where eighty-one percent of women have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and or assault in their lifetime, forced arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims have only worked as a silencing mechanism.
Where Title IX offices exist, controversy follows. While certain students attending four year higher education institutions (HEIs) may feel empowered or supported by their Title IX offices, in my experience, many more feel mistrust, pain, and neglect. In my time as a student at three different HEIs, I was constantly surrounded by women and queer people in pain. Sometimes, this pain came in the form of a friend stating they did not want to engage with the Title IX office because they wholeheartedly believed nothing substantive would come of reporting. Other times, the pain came in the form of large groups of students making it known that they felt betrayed by their school’s Title IX office, unsupported and ill-equipped to advocate for themselves and their friends.
A recent article in the Loyola Phoenix, pointedly entitled, They Just Didn’t Make It Very Easy For Us’: Three Loyola Students Voice Frustrations with Loyola’s Sexual Assault Investigation Process, named only some of the many critiques students have of Title IX offices. The voices of these students are valid. Change can, should, and must be made. Any response which does not acknowledge these two realities ignores the pain so many young people are clearly feeling. Refusal to diligently, and in good faith, work on improving protections for survivors throughout HEI campuses is a failure, in every sense of the term.
Policing is a settler colonial creation to control native populations and is exported aboard to teach other empires how to do the same. In 2007, the FBI found that cops averaged roughly four hundred “justifiable homicides” every year, whereas nearly eighty cops were murdered in the line of duty. These disparities have only further developed, where since 2014, cops averaged nearly one thousand homicides each year, and the number of cops killed in the line of duty remained around forty-eight. Policing and prison systems are premised on punishment, rather than transformative healing, health, and prevention. Thus, as stated in Decriminalization Is Not Enough, Abolition Is a Must, resources and funding which are currently given to our present system of policing and prisons should be reallocated to tools that actually serve the community, rather than on incarceration.
Justice is a means through which people can discuss, decide, and create environments that encourage them thrive and it involves the people who are most impacted by those conditions. In that vein, abolition will look different in each community. The goal of abolition should be prioritizing the needs of each community by allowing the community control and ultimate decision-making ability. Abolition allows each community to communicate, prioritize, and enact methods and means that will make that community the best environment for its members. As Dereka Purnell wrote in Becoming Abolitionists, “activists or abolition-curious people will often ask me, ‘What does abolition look like to you?’ My answers change all the time during conversation, especially since I believe that the dreaming and practicing should happen together. This is what I’m thinking about today as I’m writing the conclusion to this book. Every neighborhood would have five quality features: a neighborhood council; free twenty-four-hour childcare; art, conflict, and mediation centers; a free health clinic; and a green team.” Upon community needs, discussion, and approval, funds currently spent on police and prison systems should be reallocated to education, housing, health care, and public spaces.
Singer and songwriter, Dua Lipa has come under two copyright infringement lawsuits over the past month. Both lawsuits allege the pop star’s hit song “Levitating” infringed upon copyrighted work. While the two suits allege infringement against the same song, their outcomes may differ based on the allegation brought forth in each complaint.
With new antitrust bills aimed against Big Tech stuck in Congress, across the pond, European Union (EU) lawmakers are close to an agreement on a new and sweeping digital-competition law. This large piece of legislation, known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), is aimed at Big Tech companies and its stated purpose is to ensure fair competition and open digital markets. DMA, along with its sister act, the Digital Services Act (DSA), are flagship pieces of EU legislation that are currently in the final stages of EU lawmaking procedure.