How Panic-Buying Revealed the Modern World is Too Efficient

A good read about how we ended up with empty shelves at our stores.

We have been trained to see efficiency as a desirable goal. We often don’t see, or don’t acknowledge, the risk of catastrophic meltdown. Think of efficiency as a high-performance engine. Under perfect conditions, it delivers maximum power and minimum waste. However, that very efficiency makes it less robust. Highly efficient systems have no slack, no redundancy, and therefore no resilience and no spare capacity. That’s a problem because perfect conditions rarely exist for long in the real world, and “rare” events happen more often than you’d think. (Climate change, for example, has turned “once in a century” challenges such as extreme heat waves and floods into more regular occurrences.) … The coronavirus crisis has also exposed how efficiency can be a false economy.

From The Atlantic.

Talk to me, Goose.

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