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 to look inside the fascinating world of human desire.
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My notes as a creator in an algorithmic world—learning when to ride and when to drive.
Raw, rough, and unscheduled.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Mimetic Monday emails were on a short haitus, but we’re back. Thank you for your patience as I learn how to support a growing community of people who are interested in all of the ways mimesis affects our lives and our world, and who are committed to building a healthy human ecology in whatever sphere […]
Monday, February 14, 2022
The Mimetic, the Anti-Mimetic, and a Quote The Mimetic Often times “The Mimetic” portion of this email calls out something silly or destructively mimetic, but mimetic desire can (and should) be a positive thing. I want to highlight more of those examples. One of the greatest source of positive models for me has been literature. […]
Monday, January 31, 2022
The Mimetic, the Anti-Mimetic, and a Quote The Mimetic The French social theorist René Girard said that we didn’t stop burning witches because we invented science; we invented science because we stopped burning witches. Today, it seems that we’re burning witches again (Is Joe Rogan one?)—so the science necessarily has to suffer. And that is […]
Monday, January 24, 2022
The Anti-Mimetic, the Mimetic, and a Quote The Anti-Mimetic The Rise of Anti-Influencers. My friend Bronwyn Williams shared with me this very fun read by The Hustle on “Anti-Influencers”, or the people who consistently buy doomed products. The more they buy a product early, the more likely it is to fail. Products like these gems: Crystal […]
December 29, 2021 —New Year’s Edition
This is the first Mimetic Monday edition that isn’t coming on a Monday. My apologies—I’m scapegoating Christmas for the delay. It took me longer than I thought to unwind from the holiday revelries; by the time I knew it, it was Tuesday. So here is Mimetic Monday, on a Wednesday. New Year’s Edition. May the […]
Monday, December 20, 2021
The Mimetic, the Anti-Mimetic, and a Quote The Mimetic The way we choose books to read. In my early twenties, I defaulted into books—I read the easy stuff that came to me naturally. When I say that “I read the easy stuff”, I don’t mean page-turners or Dan Brownesque thrillers; and I don’t mean the […]
Monday, December 13, 2021
The Mimetic, the Anti-Mimetic, and a Question The Mimetic In the summer of 2020, the food writer and media personality Alison Roman got canceled. “What Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me,” Roman said in an interview at the time. “She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at […]
Monday, November 15, 2021
Hi everyone, This is not a typical Mimetic Monday email. I’ve been on roughly a one-month hiatus dealing the sudden illness and death of my mom, Ida. I didn’t have time to give my readers a heads up—it all happened quickly. But I have been meaning to share the news for some time now, and […]
Monday, October 18, 2021
The good, the bad, the mimetic. Weekly. Negative (?) Mimesis Kourtney Kardashian has been in a relationship with Travis Barker, the drummer of Blink-182, for a while now—and fans can’t help but notice that her fashion style has become quite goth since she started appearing with the gothic-styled Barker. (Yes, I know this. Please don’t […]
Monday, October 4, 2021
The good, the bad, the mimetic. Positive Mimesis Roller suitcases—which are nearly ubiquitous today—did not become popular until the 1990’s when a Northwest Airlines pilot named Robert Plath invented the version with a collapsible handle and two wheels. A wheeled trunk had been invented as early as 1887, and a wheeled suitcase had already been […]