The cataclysmic breakdown of networked systems

When each car is separate, they’re dumb, and they break one at a time.

When they are part of a networked system, one software glitch can break them all at once.

If we use power off the grid, each house creates its own heat.

If we benefit from an efficient system of distributed power, a rolling blackout can take them all offline at once.

Networks create significant efficiencies at the same time that they produce value that would be impossible without them. And so, relentlessly, we’re hooking everything together.

Along the way, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how valuable resilience is. The only kind of network breakdowns we notice are the cataclysmic ones.

The benefits of a network are immediately forgotten when the whole thing breaks.