The bigger they come, the harder they fall.
An Aspect Ratio Component to Collapse?
Over the years, I've seen a number of buildings collapse.
Some take years, slowly kneeling - like a dying elephant - before collapsing gently in place. Others stand proud - losing a bit, here and there, to wind and weather - then, one day to the next, they collapse with a roar.
It dawns on me that aspect ratio is a pretty good predictor of which it will be. Buildings which are short for their footprint ease themselves to the ground. Those which are tall for their footprint go down fast and hard. Think the Pyramids vs the Twin Towers.
If this a property of systems in general, we might wonder what aspect ratio describes our global industrial civilization?
A subsistence farmer might be described as low aspect. Aside from a few necessities - salt and iron are often all that's needed - all necessities are provided from the footprint. In contrast, a corporate farm cannot be worked without constant supply from the outside world (machinery, fuel, fertilizer, seed, a market, etc...), and a critical failure can bring operations to a halt. I'd consider that high aspect.
Even more so in the case of cities.
Cities are utterly dependent on the uninterrupted flow of goods, services, material and personnel from well outside its footprint. In some cases from a world away. Very high aspect in our half-urban world.
I'm just sayin'.