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Mathematical model explains why all hipsters look the same

Christopher Michel/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Mathematical model explains why all hipsters look the same

Everyone can describe the prototypical hipster: He’s 20 something years old, bearded, and riding a fixed-gear bike while sipping artisanal coffee. He’s wearing a flannel shirt and dark-rimmed glasses. He probably has tattoos, and he might be barefoot even though it’s only 40° and he’s in the middle of downtown Portland. If you ever thought it was strange that a culture that’s supposed to be contrarian would be so homogenous, you might consider reading a new arXiv paper titled “The hipster effect: When anticonformists all look the same.” The research, as reported by Mic, outlines a mathematical model that explains how hipsters’ appearances converge. As the paper puts it, “when hipsters are too slow in detecting the trends, they will keep making the same choices and therefore remain correlated as time goes by.”

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