Recently while zapping over TV channels one program on the Discovery Science channel caught my attention. So have started watching “Weird connections” episode “Law of the Urinal” out of pure general interest. Yet after finishing watching it I thought that it should prove to be very interesting in a context of Physics of Risk. Thus I would like to encourage you to watch it on the Discovery Science channel (as far as I know it is being shown again from time to time) or on the vimeo.com website.
The book by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller “Animal Spirits, How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism”  has inspired me to share with you these thoughts. John Maynard Keynes introduced the term “Animal spirits” in 1936 to describe the instincts, proclivities and emotions that ostensibly influence and guide human behavior in business and so impact the economic outcome and development. G. A. Akerlof and R. J. Shiller provide in this book evidence that contemporary theory of economics based on the hypotheses of efficient market and rational expectation fails to explain economic processes in the periods of global crises. They further develop the term of Animal Spirits seeking to explain the evolution of global economy in the periods of crises and depression and looking for the appropriate measures how to overcome the economic slump. Continue reading “Vygintas Gontis: “Animal Spirits” – the old term of economics forcing us to reevaluate contemporary theories” »
In the second half of the XIXth century physicists, of whom probably the most well known are Maxwell and Boltzman, worked on the explanation of empirically discovered laws of thermodynamics. While working on this problem they developed a simple model to reproduce the collisions of particles in the ideal gasses. This simple model allowed to analytically derive the distribution of energy and velocities in gasses and to lay foundations for the statistical physics. In the context of Physics of Risk it is worthwhile to mention that Maxwell and Boltzman relied not only on the empirical works by other physicists, but also on the demographical data! Boltzmann even wrote that “molecules are like so many individuals, having the most various states of motion” [1, 2]. Inspired by this quote we will briefly review, while relying on , some of the simplest kinetic models and their applications to modelling of socio-economic systems. Continue reading “Elementary kinetic exchange models” »
Previously we wrote about the “illogical” world, which is full of paradoxes and nontransitivity. This time we discuss an elementary dice game, which is also nontransitive and thus appears to be unnatural, “cheated” and etc. Yet the example is completely natural and easily understandable, it can be also tested empirically (and not only theoretically as the previous example) – it can be played at home! All of the relevant information you’ll hear in the youtube video (see bellow).
We also provide a more simple take on the same topic bellow. Continue reading “The illogical world – nontranstive dice” »
For the first time in history of the Cafe Scientifique organized by Student’s Scientific Association of Faculty of Physics of Vilnius University the event was recorded on the video (special thanks to the webseminarai.lt team)! Which very useful to us as we can now share for all people who are interested in the popular side of Physics of Risk. We invite everyone interested to view the video (though note that everything is presented in Lithuanian) Continue reading “Cafe Scientifique “Physics of Risk: the more physics, the less risk” video recording” »
In the XVIII century Nicolas de Condorcet, French mathematician and philosopher, described an interesting situation, which is most widely known as the voting paradox. This situation is a perfect example of how the otherwise logical human behavior, on the individual level, can be easily destroyed by collective behavior, on the global level. We would naturally assume that the micro-level logic would rise bottom-up, yet it doesn’t and that is a paradox! Continue reading “The illogical world – voting paradox” »
Previously we wrote about few of the most well known and used network formation models : Erdos-Renyi, Watts-Strogatz, Barabasi-Albert, core-periphery network and cellular network models. All these models are somewhat stylized and very simple – they are able to reproduce just some small part of actual complexity observed in the social networks. Thus it might be convenient to combine these models into hybrid network formation models, which then would be able to reproduce more empirically observed features.
One of the first steps away from the simple models and towards a more realistic models might be introduction of the local interactions. For example into the Barabasi-Albert model. Recall that in this model we had to keep track of the degrees of each node. But is it possible to have this information in real life? What would happen if we wouldn’t have this information, but would explore the network through the random selection (just like in the Erdos-Renyi model)? Continue reading “Edge redirection network formation models” »