Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mathematical Model Explains Why All Hipsters Look the Same

This and the rabbit post below are an attempt to distract Uber's late investors, the currently-being-raised series F and February's series E Uber investors, from the earlier news out of California.
The series A guys, First Round, Benchmark et al. should still be okay.  
(they ponied up $11 million at a $60 million valuation)

From Vocativ, Nov. 3, 2014:

Mathematician Solves The Hipster Equation
Why is it that all hipsters try to look different but end up looking the same? This mathematical neuroscientist just solved the paradox with statistical physics 

It’s a paradox that threatens the “hip” in “hipster” and endangers the entire existence of counterculture: By seeking to avoid labels and forgo the conventional in an effort to be original, somehow all hipsters end up looking the same.

This sociological enigma is often accepted as fodder for insults against groups of youth wearing a uniform of Carhartt beanies and torn tights, but why does it happen and how can it be explained?

In his new paper “The Hipster Effect: When Anticonformists All Look the Same,” Jonathan Touboul, a mathematical neuroscientist at the Collège de France in Paris, attempts to answer these questions using formulas that are far too complicated for the layman to understand. But his conclusions, ultimately, make much more sense.

“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,” says Touboul. “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.”...MORE
Oooh, maybe shouldn't have brought up the stock trader's herding behavior.

The short (5 page PDF) paper is well worth a look.

Previously on the tats-and-beards channel:
"The Hipster Techie Mental Map"
"Too lazy to start a real startup? Play 'Hipster CEO' instead"