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Zero-Risk Society

Giuseppe Aventaggiato

Zero-Risk Society.

Rel. Luca Dall'Asta, Didier Sornette. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Physics Of Complex Systems (Fisica Dei Sistemi Complessi), 2021

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The modern world society is going through a period of demographic, economic, technological, institutional, cultural, and intellectual stagnation. We live in a “zero-risk society”, a culture obsessed with the necessity of controlling and removing any risk. While the tech- nological and sanitary improvements contribute to developing the wellness of our lives, bold risk-taking remains a fundamental constituent of a resilient civilisation. Indeed we are diving into a definitely out of equilibrium system where extreme events referred to as dragon kings with exogenous nature like supervolcano eruptions, earthquakes or pandemics together with endogenous ones like market bubbles or terrorist uprisings constantly threaten the stillness of human existence. These know unknowns and many other unknown unknowns require a progressive, explorative avantgarde society to be faced. Dazzled by the apparent technological innovations of modern times, the nowadays citizens do not realise how they lack the massive and revolutionary impact of previous centuries discoveries. Moreover, the modern wealthy and aged civilisation reveals decadent lassitude regarding intellectual, cultural and social growth. The are five deep reasons to which the stagnation of human society has to be attributed: 1. Risk aversion as a consequence of increasing wealth and aging (welfare improvement). 2. Herding and imitation through social media. 3. Management shaped by extremes and overreaction. 4. Increasing inequality with a growing proportion of citizens that have no or less access to opportunity. 5. Technology creating an ‘illusion of control’. The spread risk-averse mindset permeating the contemporary world necessitates a profound social and educational change in order to be uprooted from modern culture. Therefore, the crucial solution to transform the actual zero-risk society is to promote risk-taking experiences, new research activities, and long-term untargeted projects. By considering failure as an essential part of the learning process, strongly explorative and creative minds should become new influencers for the young generations. In this way, modern civilisation will face a period in which discoveries will support technological innovation, in a risk-taking scenario ready to deal with the new unpredictable challenges of the future. Inspired by the exciting phase transitions observed in several Ising-like models of statistical mechanics, the present Master Thesis aims to design a physical model capable of describing the transition of human society from a risk-taking world to a zero-risk social environment. In particular, we considered a population of N interacting agents that dynamically invest a fraction of their wealth in a risky explorative asset according to their risk propensities. After each investment, agents receive a gain or loss update their opinions (in terms of risk propensity) by interacting with both their personal connections both the worldwide social network. Therefore the model represents a cyclic dynamical evolution in which investment decisions and the following realisations influence the ideas spreading mechanism that correctly determines an alteration of risk-aversion and, consequently, new investment decisions. Introducing suitable control parameters to scan human history, this two-layer structure will reveal how the previously discussed factors [1-5] pushed the society toward a substantial reduction of the average risk propensity.

Relators: Luca Dall'Asta, Didier Sornette
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 43
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Physics Of Complex Systems (Fisica Dei Sistemi Complessi)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-44 - MATHEMATICAL MODELLING FOR ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: ETH (SVIZZERA)
Aziende collaboratrici: ETH Zurich
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/20434
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