What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem? And what do both have to do with Silicon Valley? You’ll find some ideas here.

 

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Anti-Mimetic

My newsletter—a Field Guide to the forces that shape desire and a more human approach to work and life.

Served up weekly.

     

    Why do you want the things you want?

    Desire: it’s ubiquitous, social, contagious, and malleable. People unconsciously imitate the desires of others—and therefore they value jobs, spouses, brands, moral viewpoints, and even themselves according to what other people want. This phenomenon has been exploited by internet trolls, politicians, and ad agencies, but it was never fully explained until the French thinker René Girard uncovered the mystery of mimetic desire. In his new book, Luke Burgis draws on his experience as an entrepreneur fluent in classical philosophy and theology to look inside the fascinating world of human desire.

    Coming June 1st, 2021.

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    I’m Luke.


    Here are some of my impressive achievements.

    I broke my femur in a football game my freshman year of high school. I didn’t handle it well. My grades tanked, and I was kicked out for fighting. In college, I chased the money. I chose a major that I didn’t like and got a job on Wall Street mostly through hustle. I left it to start a healthy vending machine company out of a spare bedroom in Hollywood at age 23. I co-founded two more companies and had everything I thought I wanted as I was nearing my late twenties. Then I realized I hadn’t “found” anything at all. I was on a Sisyphean journey with no escape.

    I spent three years in Italy pommeriggiando (whiling away the afternoons with long lunches, wine, and conversations with good company) and studying philosophy, theology, and classic literature. I couldn’t continue to start businesses and chase dreams without understanding the truth about the human condition.

    I can’t say that I’ve now solved all of my problems, and “if you just follow these five steps and buy my new book, you’ll see how I did it.” I have not. But there is a deeper truth. Through it all, I have been deeply loved. I have been shown mercy. I have learned my own poverty. I have experienced grace.

    In the end, I have gained everything through what I have lost, and it has made me a very different kind of entrepreneur. My work revolves around exploring how our technology, relationships, politics, economics, education system, and all of those other systems in our world affect what we want. In the end, each of us is either helping everyone that we come into contact with to want more, to want less, or to want differently. There is no neutral encounter. It’s time we take responsibility.

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