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Let's say you're the leader of a small developing nation heavily affected by climate change and by the ups and downs of the global economy, faced with unwavering demands from your overwhelmingly young and overeducated citizens, caught between two difficult and possibly turbulent election cycles, and you need to make a bet. It's not exactly one of those where you can lose it all, but the geopolitical stakes are definitely high: choose the wrong trend and people starve, choose the wrong friends and people die. Cheating is not an option. What's your strategy?

Resentment, of the historical kind, should never be underestimated as a legitimate currency in the grand casino of international relations. The long, two-faced, treacherous games that nations are forced to play on this gilded floor are never completely rational and are always influenced by the emotions of the recent past - a vital and promising green infrastructure project is signed between a former colony and its master while financial reparations are discussed but never settled, in a secret back room. Future partnerships and war-time strategies are announced and immediately betrayed, in light of recent events, baffled ambassadors left behind to deal with the unsavory details of the contract provisions. What's your method?

When the game of musical chairs ends, you don't want to be the one left standing and holding the proverbial bag of development promises. You want to place your bet in a way that both exposes and excuses you from future events, at that tricky intersection between co-dependency and hard-earned leverage, because when the music stops there's always plenty of debt to go around. And the music always stops.

The Blind Machine is brought to you by the good people at chumbo

Listen to our playlist on Spotify, a careful selection of old & new futures.

Thank you for being here.

The Future of Food

on Sep 25, 2022 04:36 pm

Food production is evolving. Legacy farming isn’t the only kind of farming, and modern food technology is now editing the genes of fruits and vegetables to improve their taste.

“Nature’s figured this stuff out,” Green said. “Nature has the capacity, at a genetic level, to produce the growth factors that plants need and to mobilize nutrients and to fight diseases and all of that. The genes are out there; it’s just a matter of developing the processes, so that the plants are colonized by the microbes that can do those functions.”

Region – Fertilizer is the new political stability issue

on Sep 25, 2022 04:36 pm

Europe will spend the winter debating its previous dependency on energy from Russia. Latin America should be rethinking its dependency on fertilizer from Russia and elsewhere outside the hemisphere.  Analysts knew this was a potential issue in February and March when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Six months later, it’s increasingly relevant. Fertilizer access and price is an issue that will impact Brazil’s election, Peru’s political stability, Argentina’s economy, and Colombia’s relations with Venezuela.


on Sep 25, 2022 04:36 pm

Power cuts. Fuel queues. Popular uprising. A historic and crisis-ridden year in Sri Lanka is drawing to a close. For many, the battles are just beginning.

According to a UNICEF report published in June, 5.7 million Sri Lankans, including 2.3 million children, required humanitarian assistance in the first few months of the country’s economic crisis. This is out of a population of 22 million. A World Food Programme brief published in July warned that malnourishment is expected to worsen: it estimated that there were already 6.3 million food-insecure people in the country.

Alarm bells have been ringing all the way up the food supply chain. Sri Lanka’s farmers had been staging protests for months before the wider population descended on the streets.

Restaurants to Livestream From Kitchens to Ensure Food Safety

on Sep 25, 2022 04:30 pm

Diners in Shanghai will be able to see their meals being prepared live from the restaurant kitchen on their phone screens. The city’s market watchdog on Tuesday asked restaurants to livestream what goes on in the kitchen in an attempt to alleviate mounting food safety concerns from consumers.

‘A common ground for the advancement of photography’: Aperture celebrates 70 years

on Sep 25, 2022 10:36 am

This September, Aperture celebrates 70 years since its establishment in 1952. The founders were a consortium of photographers, thinkers and champions of the medium, including Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Nancy and Beaumont Newhall, and Minor White.

The mission, as stated in the inaugural issue of the magazine, still resonates today:

‘Aperture has been originated to communicate with serious photographers and creative people everywhere, whether professional, amateur or student… Aperture is intended to be a mature journal in which photographers can talk straight to each other, discuss the problems that face photography as profession and art, share their experiences, comment on what goes on, descry the new potentials. We, who have founded this journal, invite others to use Aperture as a common ground for the advancement of photography.’


on Sep 25, 2022 09:36 am

A deep dive into a booming economy where TikTok’s “uglycore”, awful-looking NFTs, ugly vegetables, chaotic cakes and more unesthethicaly pleasant things now take centre stage — and why people are genuinely enjoying, consuming and celebrating them.

Then, what’s new? Well, for starters, the magnitude in which ugly is manifesting itself these days is just mind-blowing. And it just keeps growing. Like, really fast. Like, 5.5 billion views on TikTok fast. Diving into the hashtag on Gen Z’s go-to platform reveals that ugly might even be too weak of a word to describe this phenomenon. From the “Normcore” aesthetic elevating unremarkable or unfashionable casual clothes to must-haves, to the “uglycore” and “weird girl aesthetic”, where mismatched patterns, bold colours and as many textures as you can possibly have in one outfit are all the rage, “ugly” has definitely become the coveted aesthetic of the younger generation, never short on surprises.

Bye-bye, one size fits all. Hello, diversity. inclusion.

on Sep 24, 2022 08:36 pm

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Why use AI fashion Models? Using AI models for fashion is a relatively new way for eCommerce brands to showcase their products online. It has a lot of benefits contrary to ‘normal’ fashion models using photoshoots.
With digital avatars, apparel companies can showcase and validate 3D garment designs. Visualize ODM end-to-end from the earliest stages of design and development, wholesale selling and merchandising to eCommerce.

Jan 9th & May 24th 2007

on Sep 24, 2022 10:36 am

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As we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st Century, could we say when our current era really started? I’d argue that it didn’t start with a single political event like 9/11, but with two events that have shaped how we see the world – our culture and politics – in ways that will take at least another quarter century to resolve.

These events happened in the same city, barely a few months apart in 2007, and together they have had a profound influence on society, much more than was possible to understand at the time.

On Jan 9th 2007, Apple launched the first iPhone, and a few months later, on May 24th, Facebook launched the Facebook Platform, a tool that would let developers embed the Facebook network across the web. These two products – a mobile phone with sensors and cameras that capture a wealth of data about our lives, and a social network that can gather our actions and opinions from across the web – have, over the last 15 years, fundamentally reshaped much of our world in a way that makes those moments feel, more than anything else, like the start of a new century.

Podcasting Is Just Radio Now

on Sep 24, 2022 01:36 am


Sometimes, the joke you’ve surely heard — that everyone has a podcast now — starts to feel literally true. Apple Podcasts lists 2.5 million shows; Spotify claims twice as many.

The crowded market has made almost everything in the business more difficult. There’s only so much real estate on the Apple Podcasts app, whose charts and editorial pages are some of the few spaces where audiences can reliably discover new shows. That congestion has also widened the gap between incumbents and outsiders. Bigger publishers often have established podcast feeds through which they can advertise new releases; smaller studios typically don’t. Meanwhile, costs are going up for podcast marketing, still a nascent practice, with some publishers now willing to spend six digits to advertise on other podcasts, social media, websites, and even outdoor billboards.

A Great Copper Squeeze Is Coming for the Global Economy

on Sep 22, 2022 09:37 pm

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You wouldn’t know it from looking at the market today, but some of the largest miners and metals traders are warning that in just a couple of years’ time, a massive shortfall will emerge for the world’s most critical metal — one that could itself hold back global growth, stoke inflation by raising manufacturing costs and throw global climate goals off course. The recent downturn and the under-investment that ensues only threatens to make it worse.

“We’ll look back at 2022 and think, ‘Oops,’” said John LaForge, head of real asset strategy at Wells Fargo. “The market is just reflecting the immediate concerns. But if you really thought about the future, you can see the world is clearly changing. It’s going to be electrified, and it’s going to need a lot of copper.”

Buzz stops: bus shelter roofs turned into gardens for bees and butterflies

on Sep 21, 2022 12:36 pm

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Butterflies and bees are getting their own transport network as “bee bus stops” start to pop up around UK cities and across Europe.

The national picture for nature is bleak, with 97% of England’s wildflower meadows lost since the second world war. Earlier this year a study that looked at splats on car registration plates found the number of flying insects in Britain had collapsed by nearly 60% since 2004, results that are consistent with declines recorded elsewhere.


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The Blind Machine is a publication about Pop Culture, Software Studies, Business Strategy, Media Platforms, Algorithmic Management, Game Design, and everything in between.
Copyright © 2022 chumbo, All rights reserved.

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