This Is The Mathematical Reason All Hipsters Look The Same


Hipsters are a strange, plaid-wearing paradox: the term is meant to denote someone who’s different from the norm, and yet, why do they — in their flannel, beanies and combat boots — all seem to look exactly alike?

Jonathan Touboul, a mathematical neuroscientist at the Collège de France in Paris, explores this question in a new paper, “The Hipster Effect: When Anticonformists All Look the Same.”

In the study, Touboul uses many complex mathematical formulas to explain the homogenous hipster phenomenon. (It’s tricky stuff, and “a background in nonlinear dynamics certainly helps,” notes the Washington Post’s Jeff Guo.)

But, essentially, Touboul concludes that when humans analyze mainstream trends, there’s a delay in how quickly they detect those trends — and if the delay is long enough, people who seek to oppose the mainstream trends will end up opposing them in the same way.

“If you take large sets of interacting individuals — whether hipsters, stock traders or any group that decides to go against the majority — by trying to be different, they will ultimately all do the same thing at the same time,” Touboul told Vocativ. “The reason for that is the —> Read More Here


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