Are we obsessed with efficiency? We hear about it often: energy efficiency, efficient markets, government inefficiency, etc. We take it for granted that efficiency is a good thing. Inefficiency, on the other hand, is a pejorative—something to be rooted out and eliminated. These are strange notions. Efficiency is little more than a tool for analysis: a measurement of how well time, energy, or some other input is used in the completion of a task. But we have transformed it into something greater. This issue of One:Twelve asks: Why?

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