In seeking efficiency, we humans have a tendency to go too far. It is possible for a system to grow to a level of efficiency through interoperability that leads to spectacular failure. Complex systems can become too hard to understand and even harder to manage. The addition of high levels of interconnectedness means that harm can spread like contagion through these complex systems, and we do not have in place the mechanisms to stop it.
The domino effects that led to the global financial crisis of 2008 and the difficulties of responding to it provide an instructive example. Between 2008 and 2011, the fall of legendary financial services firms like Lehman Brothers, the failure of regulatory institutions the world over ...