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The Mathematics of Hipsters

In “The Hipster Effect: When Anticonformists All Look the Same,” Jonathan Touboul (Collège de France) uses mathematics to explain why hipsters, for all their attempts at nonconformity, all end up in the same skinny jeans.

Says Touboul:

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. The reason for that is the time it takes for an individual to register the decisions of others. You cannot be aware of what other people decide in real time, it takes a little while.

Read Vocativ's coverage, or the paper itself.

Start Date: 
Friday, November 21, 2014