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The World as a Giant Lego Tower

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Over the history of the Lego company, more than 600 billion plastic bricks have been produced, which means about a hundred bricks for every living person on Earth. Impressive, but it amounts to only 1.5 Gt of carbon in total (2.5 grams per brick), that is about 15% of the yearly carbon emissions produced by burning fossil fuels. Of course, being the bricks solid, they won't contribute to global warming, but they will slowly degrade and enter the food chain. Our descendants (if there will be any) will eat the toys we played with!  But, here, Federico Tabellini is not discussing the pollution caused by Lego bricks but uses them as a metaphor for our society. (UB)  Guest Post by Federico TabelliniWe did not choose the bricks inside the box. it was bought at the toy store and they were already there when we opened the box. At the moment, the toy store has no other boxes for sale. The big Lego brick that constitutes the foundation of the tower has a fixed number and distribution of holes. It follows that the smaller bricks that we add on top of this, which give shape to the tower, interlock with the foundation brick only if their ledges are compatible with its holes.The stability of the tower, they say, is a function of the compatibility of the bricks with one another and with the structure as a whole. The most important brick is of course the one at the bottom. Forcing incompatible bricks into the foundation brick over and over, with time we can damage its holes to the point where even bricks that once would have been perfectly compatible with it would give the tower sub-optimal results in terms of stability.Inside the box we found a small manual (the kind that nobody ever reads). It contains some definitions useful to building and maintaining the tower:Definitions Mainstream economics: the idea that the bricks in the box are scarce but the possibilities infinite.Green economy: the idea that among the infinite possibilities of mainstream economics, there. . .

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