The Hipster Effect: When anticonformist all look the same.

Here is the arXiv preprint

This is a funny story. All started when I found out that although noisy, neurons tend to get synchronized. Even more surprising: when increasing their level of noise, one may lead asynchronous neurons synchronize. To me, this is a fascinating phenomenon. And somewhat mysterious.

To demystify it, I looked for the simplest system possible that may feature that phenomenon, and by doing so, I was hoping to understand synchronization better. So let’s consider a model of interacting agents, with just two states: +1 or -1. Now, the dynamics. Each agent may switch state with an intensity that depends on the state of the majority. Each individual has thus two choices: either following the majority, or opposing it. Mainstreams, and hipsters. A few calculations later, we showed that slow hipsters synchronize, by trying to oppose to the trend. This is, in a word, the phenomenon studied in this short preprint.

It was a fun to write paper. But what was more fun, was to read all journalists and bloggers. Thank you, I had much fun reading you all! Below is a shortlist, sorry if I forgot some!

In the general press (a selection)

In the scientific press

On TV:

  • BBC 2: NewsNight
  • Reuters international:
  • USA Today

Blogs and online press

  • VocativMathematician Solves The Hipster Equation. A great article by Elizabeth Kulze – and an original one, the first appeared.
  • MicThe Mathematical Reason All Hipsters Look the Same
  • Complex magazine
  • LifeBoxSet: Aquí está la prueba científica de que todos los hipsters son iguales
  • Oregon Live
  • … and many many more …