What’s happening in response to the worldwide spread of the SARS CoV-2 virus (and COVID-19, the disease it causes) is a vivid example of a global 'tipping event,' in which multiple social systems flip simultaneously to a distinctly new state.
Amid reports of sex scandals, lone-wolf terrorists and Middle East beheadings, it’s easy to miss small events. But they sometimes carry messages far larger than those in the headlines.
We need to start thinking about the world in a new way, because in some fundamental and essential respects our world has changed its character. We need to shift from seeing the world as composed largely of simple machines to seeing it as composed mainly of complex systems.