We all make fun of "hipsters" even though we all agree that word doesn't really mean anything. And yet, there is a distinct look we associate with them. But shouldn't a true hipster look different from everyone else including his or her fellow hipsters? Logic would dictate such. Fuck, I can already tell this post is gonna suck. Anyhow, a new paper points to a simple reason as to why today's "anti-conformists" (air quotes wholly intentional) all look, well, conformist.
Reading an academic paper in PDF form on a computer screen notwithstanding, the author, Jonathan Taboul, used all these mathematical and scientific formulas and shit to explain what turn out to be, like, really fucking simple ideas. Fortunately, Sarah Jacoby of Refinery29 breaks the findings of the study down in the simplest terms:
Consider the example of deciding whether to visit a bar that is often extremely crowded. (In this model, we're taking "crowded" as factor to be avoided ... ). Some people might remember that the bar was crowded earlier, so they'll reason it won't be crowded now — and they'll head on over. Others might read the previously crowded bar as a perpetually crowded bar, and will opt to stay in. Here, you win by doing the opposite of what the majority of people do: going to the bar when most people decide not to, and staying home when the majority goes out. The goal is to be in the minority—to be a nonconformist—as much as possible. This is hard to do.
Um, yeah, not only is it practically impossible, but you'll probably zero friends. Basically, no matter what you do or where your go or what you eat, you are following a trend in some form or another. Maybe, finally, once and for all, we can quit saying that fucking word.