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Equality of difference: hipster

Equality of difference: hipster

People say that Hipsters are people who are characterized by tastes and interests associated with the alternative, the vintage and the independent.

Apparently, to be a good hipster representative you must be against social conventions and reject the values ​​of the predominant commercial culture, opting for local popular cultures. Your preferences when it comes to being and acting can be very varied, acquiring an alternative lifestyle that can range from preferring organic food to drinking craft beers.

Hipster word origin

Hipster is a word that comes from English (of course) and that began to be used around 1940, when used as an equivalent of the term hepcat, a style or fashion associated with the field of jazz. The hipster way of dressing is eminently extravagant, with an unusual look and a very ironic interpretation of fashion.

This recent (or not so recent) subculture is related to jazz and indie music, independent cinema, they like to go to the fairs of used and second-hand clothes, visit art galleries, have the latest technological innovations and use the networks social to communicate, in short they seek to be far from the conventional or mainstream.

In search of the difference

The main problem of the hipster is that, wanting to be constantly different from most, they all end up looking the same. At least, that's the theory of a mathematician who baptized the phenomenon as the Hipster paradox.

According to the mathematician Jonathan Touboul, of the College de France, the way of acting of these people who wish to move away from the most popular current, ends in an absurd paradox: "a hipster effect, when the anti-conformists end up being the same".

In his own words, “a surprising phenomenon occurs in neural networks: as the disorder in the interaction between neurons increases, they begin to oscillate synchronously. This synchronization is an important phenomenon in the brain, since it is based on memory and attention, and its interruption can be pathological, as in the disease of Parkinson wave epilepsy”.

And he continues: "If you take large groups of individuals that interact with each other - whether they are hipsters, brokers or any group that decides to face the majority - when trying to be different, they will end up doing the same thing at the same time." “The reason is the time that an individual needs to record the decisions of others. You cannot be aware of what other people decide in real time, it takes a little time. ”

So, after a period of time, all hipsters start doing the same things at the same time and oscillate in sync. "In this way there is a paradox that by striving to be different, they often end up making the same decisions and resembling each other," concludes Touboul.

According to the mathematician, a true hipster should constantly change his style, as soon as a new fashion was born, something that in practice would be impossible and very difficult to maintain, or as he says: "to honor the original meaning of the term, a hipster should constantly mutate. This makes hipster "real" are practically an entelechy. "

So, paradoxically, the term hipster has become synonymous with conformist. "In the same way that university fraternities have jackets that identify them, hipsters seek uniformity in consciousness to identify themselves instantly," concludes Touboul.

An even more recent study called "Hipster Wars" and organized by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) that consisted of selecting between two people which offered a more hipster aspect, also provided data that corroborated this theory of equality between differences. The study offered several response options: choose the most Gothic, the most preppies ("posh" for us), the most pinup and the most bohemian, curiously none got as many clicks as the hipster, with a total of almost 40,000.

"The results indicate that it is possible to determine if you are a hipster and even why you are," the authors say in their study.

"According to our analysis, hipsters wear jeans and tight jackets, especially with bright patterns or colors; they also use more boots compared to the other fashion styles analyzed; and they put on accessories such as caps and goggles, in addition to some scruffy cape in their outfit, "explains Hadi Kiapour, the lead author.

But if there is a trait that distinguishes hipster men is his beard, perhaps it is only about enhancing the chances of success towards a very basic objective: to overcome their opponents and to attract women.

And you, what do you consider yourself ...?