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Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy March - April 2016

FOREIGN POLICY is the premier, award-winning magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas. Our mission is to explain how the world works -- in particular, how the process of global integration is reshaping nations, institutions, cultures, and, more fundamentally, our daily lives.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Foreign Policy
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
contributors

EDEL RODRIGUEZ “I developed an interest in printmaking while studying at Pratt Institute in New York in the early 1990s. I worked in a variety of techniques back then, from woodcutting to etching, silk screen, and monoprints. After college, I started combining my favorite parts of these techniques into something of my own: individual illustrations that featured the line work of a monoprint—a form of printmaking that only can be made one time—with the texture and vibrant color of silk screen. For the cover, I created monoprinted line work of all the images, and then I rolled paint for the images’ background colors. I used the same approach with my two illustrations inside the magazine. These elements were then scanned, modified, and combined on my computer using Adobe Photoshop. My intention…

2 min.
aperture

Rock Bottom Exploitation runs deep in Potosí, a small city about 330 miles southeast of La Paz, Bolivia. Spanish conquistadors founded it in the 16th century to hunt for treasure in Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain), which towers nearby. First mined for silver, Cerro Rico also became famous for its bounty of tin and zinc. Centuries of digging, however, have put the mountain at risk of collapse: In 2015, the Bolivian government started to plug a massive sinkhole at Cerro Rico’s summit that has put miners’ lives in danger since it appeared in 2011. Today, some 15,000 workers—known as peones, or pawns—extract ore at hundreds of sites. Here, a miner arrives for an early-morning shift. Jobs at Cerro Rico can exact a terrible toll. Mine shafts cave in, injuring or killing those inside.…

4 min.
the political artist htein lin

1 Plaster of Paris I broke my arm falling off a bicycle when I was living in England in 2008. I was in plaster for months and became interested in how the material helps to strengthen something that is broken. That’s when I began to develop the idea for this project. 2 GoPro camera This was given to me as a gift by a Swiss journalist. I attach it to my head and film myself working. I often use the films as part of my exhibitions, projecting them on a screen alongside the casts and photos that document the process. 3 Paper labels These carry the names of the detainees whose arms I’ve cast. On a sheet, they write details of their time in jail—where they stayed and for how long. Some have been jailed…

4 min.
innovations

How to Be Human THE ULTIMATE endgame of artificial intelligence (AI) research is to develop a system that thinks and behaves like a human. Yet the hardware currently available to build robots (wires, chips, and other components) can’t modify themselves; they’re static materials, not organisms. This hampers the ability of intelligent machines to learn, adapt, and utilize information efficiently. Taking a lesson from nature, a team of Russian and Italian researchers has developed the first-ever organic resistors—the parts of an electrical system that control energy output—which could be used to build machine components that collect information quickly and prioritize it based on memorized responses, just like human neurons do. These “memristors,” made of plastic polyaniline, could help AI systems advance rapidly. As an added bonus, they’re made from inexpensive materials. Robots, in…

1 min.
decoder

Gene Therapy Breakthrough SINCE 1989, labs around the world have initiated more than 2,200 clinical trials testing gene therapies, but only a few studies have resulted in government-approved applications. The United States has led the way in this research to treat or prevent disease, but Washington has authorized not one therapy for commercial development. In October, Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics announced that it was applying for U.S. regulatory approval after it treated an inherited eye disease that causes blindness. If given the green light, the treatment will join the likes of China-approved Gendicine, the world’s first gene therapy ever to see the commercial light of day (in 2003); Neovasculgen, approved by Russia in 2011; and Glybera, which the European Commission approved in 2012. And that’s where the list seems to stop. Why are there…

1 min.
visual statement

“Last December, Japan flouted an international ban on commercial whale poaching in Antarctica when it sent a harpoon vessel there. Tokyo announced that from now until 2027, it plans to kill upwards of 333 minke whales annually, all in the name of science. In asserting that hunts would be entirely for research purposes, Japan exploited a technicality in international whaling rules. Environmentalists—not to mention the Australian and U.S. governments—cried foul, but to no avail, leaving the world to wonder: If even one country is allowed to manipulate this poaching ban, what does that say about how we collectively value the environment? This is not simply a fight over a beautiful animal; it is also one over humans’ responsibility as stewards of the Earth.” -THE ARTIST…