Monday Punday: The Science of Hipsters

This pun sounded so much better on vinyl.

It’s Monday Punday! Every Monday, I’ll post an awesome pun (awesome, because if you don’t love puns, you may want to never read this blog again) and give you a quick rundown of the science behind it. Enjoy!

The problem:

A mathematical neuroscientist (read: studies how the brain works by using math) named Jonathan Touboul wanted to know why hipsters who are all trying to look different end up looking the same.

The results:

He came up with a math equation explaining why suddenly you looked around and saw that everyone else was riding a fixie bike too. The equation shows that by the time hipsters realize they’re doing the same thing as everyone else, the thing has become a trend. Which means they have to move on if they want to keep being a legit hipster. Sounds exhausting.

The conclusion:

Basically, you snooze, you lose, my bearded friends. So what’s all this good for besides proving that you are unique, just like everyone else? Touboul says that his equation can be used to study they way people make decisions about things like investing in the stock market.

The takeaway:

You do you. But don’t be surprised when “you doing you” starts to look a lot like what everyone else is doing.

Bonus download: Hey science teachers, did you spot the error in the graphic? Comment below! Need a FREE and fancy guide to lab glassware for your classroom? You’re welcome :).

Want to read the whole scientific paper? Get your nerd on here.


Author: Emily

I started Rise and Sci because I love science, I love teaching people new things and I want to help build a greater public understanding of all things science. My goal is to take hard to understand concepts and make them accessible to everyone- all in a fun an interesting format!

6 thoughts on “Monday Punday: The Science of Hipsters”

  1. Errors: The second “sentence” isn’t a sentence as it starts with a Subordinating Conjunction (ugh) making it a dependent clause; burnt and burned are used interchangeably everywhere except America (#merica) where burnt is mainly used as an adjective. Also, that’s not a beaker … it’s a FLASK (BOOOOM!).


    1. Hmm, maybe not, but according to research, beards harbor some pretty intense bacteria populations! Perhaps a topic for my next blog post…


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