Monday, June 28, 2021

nihilists

The good, the bad, and the quotable:

Positive Mimesis: I just learned about IKEA-hacking from one of my amazing business students, Madeleine (who sent me this article from The Hustle). Innovation out of imitation. Why re-invent the…dresser? The interesting thing to me is how an entire ecosystem around hacking IKEA furniture has sprung up through mimesis—likely from one person somewhere having one too many beers and imagining a fun challenge with their friends. Of course, that’s how golf was invented.

Negative Mimesis: I can’t help but think that cryptocurrency, as much as I appreciate its virtues, is breeding a sense of nihilism about money in people. When you can become rich or poor overnight through memes and mimetic contagion, it’s hard to put your hand to the metaphorical value. When money becomes completely untethered from value creation, it’s value creation that suffers. I’m going on the Bankless HQ podcast tomorrow to talk about all this and more, and very excited to do so.

Quote

“The most mimetic institution of all is a capitalist institution: the stock market. You desire stock not because it is objectively desirable. You know nothing about it, but you desire stuff…because other people desire it. And if other people desire it, its value goes up and up.” —René Girard. You can read my full substack article on meme stocks here.

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