The Science of Popularity Shows Why Hit-Making Is So Hit-and-Miss

The causes of hit products are themselves uncausable. 'Hit Makers' by Derek Thompson explains why we know how to make songs, but not hits.

 

Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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What Is the Most Popular Superstition in America?

Researchers find the most common superstitions in the United States, breaking them down by gender, age and part of the country.

Living in the most technologically and scientifically-minded society to date, many of us, reasonable people, still can’t help but succumb to superstitions in our daily lives. That’s just how our brains help us cope. This would be a strange world indeed if black cats really gained control over your destiny simply by crossing the road in front of you. Still, many would try to find a way around if a black cat showed up in their path. Just in case. 

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