A mathematician wrote a "hipster equation" to figure out why all hipsters look alike

When a trend first emerged in the model, Touboul wrote, individuals in the hipster set acted randomly, periodically switching from adopting or rejecting a trend as new individuals learned about it. Inevitably, though, as more and more mainstream conformists adopted the trend, the hipsters became synchronized in their behavior, suddenly deciding to oppose the majority en masse.

In the beard-growing example, the cycle might look like this:

“If a majority of individuals shave their beard, then most hipsters will want to grow a beard,” Touboul wrote. “And if this trend propagates to a majority of the population, it will lead to new, synchronized switch to shaving.”

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