One reason must be the seven or so years I spent in the middle 2000s studying complex systems; mostly in a close collaboration with Professor Peter Andras.
Some of the main publications can be found on www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton: in the book The Modernization Imperative, and concentrated in the sections called Systems Theory and Modernization, also Management and Policy.
I realised that we are now living in a globally interconnected world - that is, we are each a tiny part of one extremely-large and extremely complex and inter-dependent system.
In the past, everybody lived in a world consisting of many much smaller and simpler and often unconnected systems. That is, the world was divided into segments - each substanially independent.
An obvious example is the 'feudal system' in medieval Europe: where each village was mostly self-sufficient for food and other everyday items, and a nation like England was almost-completely self-sufficient - with nested levels in-between nation and village (as represented by the national military hierarchy from King down through regional Earls, local Lords, Knights etc.).
(The original hunter gatherers were, of course, the ultimate segmentary societies.)
The advantage of the segmentary system is that it is extremely robust to even severe damage - units can survive for long periods when cut off, larger grouping hardly notice the destruction of composite units; and society can be rebuilt from almost any small unit.
Segmentary societies can degrade 'gracefully' or quantitatively - by increments, while retaining functionality, albeit reduced.
But segmentary systems are inefficient, with a great deal of duplication; and all units are compelled to be generalists.
There have since been several hundred years of increasing
interdependency; especially since the agrarian and industrial
revolutions which kicked-off in England in the middle 1700s. Indeed, the
interconnectedness of the world has been accelerating for most of this
time; and has now reached a very high level - far, far beyond anything attained in the past.
The theoretical advantage of large, complex, interconnected systems is that they can be much more efficient due to differentiation and coordination; that is specialisation, coordination of the specialists (by markets and regulations); and by trade.
This is what Adam Smith (in his Wealth of Nations) termed 'division of labour'; the efficiency of which was shown by his example of the pin factory.
In systems theory terms; large, complex systems are potentially more efficient, have greater capability (due to specialisation), and are more resilient to small stresses (due to specialised compensatory mechanisms).
Increasing system complexity was the mechanism whereby the population of the world was able to increase from one billion in 1800 to more than seven billion now.
However, when subjected to stresses too great for the built-in compensatory mechanisms; complex systems fail rapidly and catastophically - because the interdependency means that failure propagates within the system in a positive-feedback fashion.
Failure of one sub-system leads to failure in all the sub-systems that depend upon it; localised damage causes further- and more-widespread damage; damage is therefore amplified at each stage, in an accelerating fashion.
In sum, complex systems hardly notice stresses; until the stresses go beyond the capacity to adjust, at which point they collapse completely.
Thus inefficient segmentary societies fail quantitatively and reversibly - they will degrade but not collapse; efficient complexly-interdependent global systems will fail qualitatively and irreversible: they will collapse.
The modern world is qualitatively unprecedented in the unity, interconnectedness, inter-dependency of its organisation - there has never been a large, complex, single world system before now; so past historical examples of collapses are so very misleading as to be worthless.
If our globally- interconnected world system fails - then it will fail very fully indeed; and the failure will be all-encompassing and un-avoidable.
Once the stress on the system has reached the point of triggering failure, it will be impossible to stop or undo the positive feedback process.
Not least, because there can be no significant external intervention to save the system - because there is nothing external to the system.