Will collapse be gradual or sudden?
Our civilization is complex and is based on very complex and interrelated systems: electric grid, internet, economy, stock market, just in time logistic, transportation, telecommunication networks etc.
In my opinion the best way to understand collapse process is this:
“How Did You Go Bankrupt?” “Two Ways. Gradually and Then Suddenly.” Ernest Hemingway
I live up north by a river that freezes in the winter. I could see the river melting for weeks as Spring continued. Despite the the tell tale signs (dark ice, puddles over the ice etc.), I could still walk on it during the first weeks of Spring. But then a few days ago I left the area for the weekend and when I got back all the ice was gone.
That’s how things collapse in nature, changes are gradual, then sudden. There are tipping points that lead to cascading systems failure or catastrophic shifts. Before the crash there is “noise”, erratic ups and downs that can tell you something is about to go down, like a foreshock (this is the oscillation phase).
Collapse is both a process and an event.
I don’t think we are close to the sudden phase, but we are definitely in the gradual phase, and maybe already in the oscillation phase.