The Economics of Robert Wadlow

With a height of 272 cm the American citizen Robert Wadlow was the tallest person who ever lived. Wallow had become so tall and heavy that he needed braces to walk and his limbs had became slightly insensitive. When one of the braces gave him a blister and it got infected it killed him. His body had become so tall that it was unable to organise enough energy to fight his infection. There’s a tragic connection between Wadlow’s condition and our current economic system. Debora MacKenzie writes: “It appears that once a society develops beyond a certain level of complexity it becomes increasingly fragile. Eventually, it reaches a point at which even a relatively minor disturbance can bring everything crashing down. To keep growing, societies must keep solving problems as they arise. Yet each problem solved means more complexity.”

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