Monday, April 5, 2021

helpinginnovation

Here are a few mimetic things to kickstart the week:

  • Bitclout
    Bitclout is a knockoff version of Twitter—but on the blockchain. The really interesting thing about Bitclout is that everyone has their own currency attached to their profile, which other people can “invest” in. We are witnessing the tokenization of almost everything right now. In general, I like the idea of being able to bet on people. We do it all the time IRL when we hire or invest in someone. But the current environment of rampant speculation and stock pumping makes me believe that this will be more of a mimetic phenomenon than something grounded in reality. I created a profile, though, just to experiment…

 

  • What I’m Reading
    Orality & Literacy by Walter J. Ong. The author, a Jesuit priest, explains the social effects of moving from oral to written transmission and now digital transmission—and how our evolving forms of transmission affect philosophical, theological, scientific, and literary thought. I’m particularly interested in revisiting this book due to the emergence of audio-based apps like Clubhouse. How will the movement from text-based to audio-based social media impact society? This book is a classic work that hints at some of the answers. I suspect I’ll write a Substack post on this at some point in the coming months.

 

  • 🧠 Quote
    “Tradition can only successfully be challenged from the inside.” —René Girard, in his essay Innovation and Repetition, which I give a summary of here. The word innovation comes from the Latin innovare, which signals something coming from within (—inno). This original meaning of the word is opposed to complete novelty, its modern meaning in English. The real innovators are those immersed in tradition, not those who think of innovation as being a break from it.

 

Sign-up to receive these every Monday night via email. Comments? Send me a tweet @lukeburgis (adding #mimeticmonday helps me find it) or text “mimetic monday” to (+1) 202-918-3743 to get text alerts.

 

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