Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life

July 9, 2021

Luke Burgis is an entrepreneur and author, who has co-created and led four companies in wellness, consumer products, and technology. He is Managing Partner of Fourth Wall Ventures, an incubator that he founded to build, train, and invest in people and companies that contribute to a healthy human ecology. He is also a recognized expert in French thinker René Girard's mimetic theory.

On this podcast, Luke discusses mimetic desire - how people unconsciously want what others want, and therefore value jobs, spouses, brands, moral viewpoints, and even themselves according to the desires of others. He describes this phenomenon, which has been exploited by internet trolls, politicians, and ad agencies, in his new book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life. Luke also talks about how the future depends on what we learn to want today, and how best to cultivate desires that are authentic for each of us.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Luke Burgis: 

[00:00:35] Book: Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, by Luke Burgis.

[00:00:36] Ryan Nicodemus of the Minimalists.

[00:01:00] Book: Violence and the Sacred by René Girard.

[00:02:05] Luke's background and interest in René Girard and mimetic theory.

[00:05:03] Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

[00:08:42] Mimetic desire.

[00:10:58] Ubuntu.

[00:13:43] Christopher Ryan; Books: Sex at Dawn and Civilized to Death; Podcast: Civilized to Death: Are We Really Making Progress?

[00:14:07] Distinguishing between biological needs and desires.

[00:17:37] Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and the first outside investor in Facebook.

[00:25:04] Movie: The Prestige.

[00:25:35] Good violence vs. bad violence

[00:30:35] Mimetic models: people we look to to shape our desires; Celebristan vs. Freshmanistan.

[00:33:04] Thin vs. thick desire.

[00:36:00] Mimetic rivalry.

[00:37:06] Cultivating thick desires.

[00:40:28] Simon Marshall, PhD; Study: Haubenstricker, John E., et al. "The Effect Of Acculturation And Socioeconomic Status On Dietary Patterns In Mexican-American Women: 1716: Board# 66 May 27 3: 30 PM-5: 00 PM." Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 41.5 (2009): 106.

[00:41:07] Exposure to TV associated with eating disorders; Study: Becker, Anne E. "Television, disordered eating, and young women in Fiji: Negotiating body image and identity during rapid social change." Culture, medicine and psychiatry 28.4 (2004): 533-559.

[00:42:25] Luke's Anti-Mimetic Newsletter.

[00:45:10] Celibacy.

[00:47:05] Jamie Wheal; Podcast: Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World That's Lost Its Mind.

[00:48:03] Lukeburgis.com.

Join the discussion on the NBT forum when you support us on Patreon.

© 2013-2021 nourishbalancethrive