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Author Gisler, Monika ♦ Sornette, Didier
Source arXiv.org
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Date of Submission 2008-06-02
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Physics
Subject Keyword Physics - Physics and Society ♦ Physics - History and Philosophy of Physics ♦ physics:physics
Abstract We present an analysis of the economic, political and social factors that underlay the Apollo program, one of the most exceptional and costly projects ever undertaken by the United States in peacetime that culminated in 1969 with the first human steps on the Moon. This study suggests that the Apollo program provides a vivid illustration of a societal bubble, defined as a collective over-enthusiasm as well as unreasonable investments and efforts, derived through excessive public and/or political expectations of positive outcomes associated with a general reduction of risk aversion. We show that economic, political and social factors weaved a network of reinforcing feedbacks that led to widespread over-enthusiasm and extraordinary commitment by individuals involved in the project as well as by politicians and by the public at large. We propose the general concept of ``pro-bubbles,'' according to which bubbles are an unavoidable development in technological and social enterprise that benefits society by allowing exceptional niches of innovation to be explored.
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Page Count 25


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