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Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life

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A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. Gravity affects every aspect of our physical being, but there's a psychological force just as powerful – yet almost nobody has heard of it. It's responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attrac A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. Gravity affects every aspect of our physical being, but there's a psychological force just as powerful – yet almost nobody has heard of it. It's responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attractive to some and not to others, and fueling cycles of anxiety and conflict. In Wanting, Luke Burgis draws on the work of French polymath René Girard to bring this hidden force to light and reveals how it shapes our lives and societies. According to Girard, humans don't desire anything independently. Human desire is mimetic – we imitate what other people want. This affects the way we choose partners, friends, careers, clothes, and vacation destinations. Mimetic desire is responsible for the formation of our very identities. It explains the enduring relevancy of Shakespeare's plays, why Peter Thiel decided to be the first investor in Facebook, and why our world is growing more divided as it becomes more connected. Wanting also shows that conflict does not arise because of our differences--it comes from our sameness. Because we learn to want what other people want, we often end up competing for the same things. Ignoring our large similarities, we cling to our perceived differences. Drawing on his experience as an entrepreneur, teacher, and student of classical philosophy and theology, Burgis shares tactics that help turn blind wanting into intentional wanting – not by trying to rid ourselves of desire, but by desiring differently. It's possible to be more in control of the things we want, to achieve more independence from trends and bubbles, and to find more meaning in our work and lives. The future will be shaped by our desires. Wanting shows us how to desire a better one.


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A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. Gravity affects every aspect of our physical being, but there's a psychological force just as powerful – yet almost nobody has heard of it. It's responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attrac A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. Gravity affects every aspect of our physical being, but there's a psychological force just as powerful – yet almost nobody has heard of it. It's responsible for bringing groups of people together and pulling them apart, making certain goals attractive to some and not to others, and fueling cycles of anxiety and conflict. In Wanting, Luke Burgis draws on the work of French polymath René Girard to bring this hidden force to light and reveals how it shapes our lives and societies. According to Girard, humans don't desire anything independently. Human desire is mimetic – we imitate what other people want. This affects the way we choose partners, friends, careers, clothes, and vacation destinations. Mimetic desire is responsible for the formation of our very identities. It explains the enduring relevancy of Shakespeare's plays, why Peter Thiel decided to be the first investor in Facebook, and why our world is growing more divided as it becomes more connected. Wanting also shows that conflict does not arise because of our differences--it comes from our sameness. Because we learn to want what other people want, we often end up competing for the same things. Ignoring our large similarities, we cling to our perceived differences. Drawing on his experience as an entrepreneur, teacher, and student of classical philosophy and theology, Burgis shares tactics that help turn blind wanting into intentional wanting – not by trying to rid ourselves of desire, but by desiring differently. It's possible to be more in control of the things we want, to achieve more independence from trends and bubbles, and to find more meaning in our work and lives. The future will be shaped by our desires. Wanting shows us how to desire a better one.

30 review for Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Cernicky

    When I started this book, I noticed in the preface, the author made large claims, that this work could be life changing. As a solid Enneagram 6, I took note with skepticism, and read on. This book explains The Theory of Mimetic Desire developed by Rene Girard, how this theory influences society and life, and how one might learn from and use it to grasp its effect and potentially reorient one’s direction accordingly. Sort of like explaining what wind is, how it has shaped landmarks, ocean current When I started this book, I noticed in the preface, the author made large claims, that this work could be life changing. As a solid Enneagram 6, I took note with skepticism, and read on. This book explains The Theory of Mimetic Desire developed by Rene Girard, how this theory influences society and life, and how one might learn from and use it to grasp its effect and potentially reorient one’s direction accordingly. Sort of like explaining what wind is, how it has shaped landmarks, ocean currents, and aviation, and then teaching the reader how to adjust their sails in the direction they want to go. The writing is easy to understand and the author skilled in communicating complex concepts. The sequence of the book is logical, and each component is accompanied by many of the author’s personal antidotes as well as many references to popular figures such as Steve Job, Annie Dillard, Ferrari and Lamborghini, Tony Hsieh, and many more. Each story was interesting, and the detail was engrossing. This style reminded me a lot of Malcom Gladwell and Susan Caine. This book is extremely relevant and timely, asking and answering, “Why do we want the things that we want?” After a breaking down of the theory in smaller bite size pieces, the author goes on to make suggestions, on how this can effect business leaders, politics, social media, religion, management, teachers, parents, and families. We all have models, people who tell us what is worth wanting or not, and we all have values, that properly recognized and ranked can reveal so much about us and what makes life fulfilling. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the why behind our desires. It turns out the claims the author made in the beginning were more true than not, the ideas and 15 Tactics the author lays out has the potential to be life changing and helpful if embraced.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amanda T

    This book isn't about research done by Burgis - he's based most of the book on the work of Rene Girard. Burgis interviews some people who fit with Girard's mimetic theory, such as the Michelin Star chef who asked not to be considered for the Michelin Guide. That was the most interesting one and it's the best example of why what you think you want isn't necessarily going to make you happy. He also uses an example from his own life in which he lined up a sale to Zappos which ultimately fell throug This book isn't about research done by Burgis - he's based most of the book on the work of Rene Girard. Burgis interviews some people who fit with Girard's mimetic theory, such as the Michelin Star chef who asked not to be considered for the Michelin Guide. That was the most interesting one and it's the best example of why what you think you want isn't necessarily going to make you happy. He also uses an example from his own life in which he lined up a sale to Zappos which ultimately fell through. What I found is amusing is that Zappos was sold to Amazon - which he quietly mentions. For all it's wonderful Zappos culture, they ended up selling out to Amazon. I found there was one glaring omission in the book: where is role of advertising when it comes to mimetic desire? Remember the ads for kids cereal from the '80s? You wanted it because the kid on TV was eating it (Mikey - remember Mikey's Life cereal?). There's no mention at all of advertising for explaining what we want or why we want it. I also had trouble with the scapegoat section - I understand what Burgis was trying to say, but stating that Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos was a scapegoat? Um, nope. She was a fraud - she was peddling a product that didn't work and she knew it. His example of Holmes modelling herself after Steve Jobs, who himself modelled himself after someone he met in school does work as an example of modelling, but not as a scapegoat. I also didn't understand the frat boy pool party analogy and why it needed to be included. A really solid real life example would have been better such as, Lehman Brothers - how they became the scapegoat for the entire subprime mortgage crisis and financial meltdown of 2008. I like the idea of writing down your Fulfillment Stories to figure out what your motivations are. I'll take the free assessment online and decide if I'm going to purchase the companion book (this section is also based on another author's theory). Although, if I really think about it, I'm fairly certain I can figure out what my own motivations are, but I'll do the assessment anyway. Nitpicks about the book itself: the illustrations are hand drawn, very small and difficult to read. The Mimetic Matrix on page 197 (of my ARC) is so tiny, I gave up trying to decipher it. There are a couple of interesting tidbits in this book, but I maintain that I'm not the target audience. The target audience would be considerably younger, impressionable and swayed by friends and influencers. And that isn't me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    A.

    Do you want to understand the social equivalent to gravity? The real reason we’re all addicted to social media? The origins of anxiety and conflict and violence? Cancel culture’s underlying schemata? Why getting what you want so often proves treacherous? Why you loved—or hated—or felt conflicted reading my novel, THE PORTRAIT OF A MIRROR? Luke’s book, WANTING, and the work of René Girard has powerful answers. Reading WANTING has been a revelation—I feel like Cassandra being believed for the firs Do you want to understand the social equivalent to gravity? The real reason we’re all addicted to social media? The origins of anxiety and conflict and violence? Cancel culture’s underlying schemata? Why getting what you want so often proves treacherous? Why you loved—or hated—or felt conflicted reading my novel, THE PORTRAIT OF A MIRROR? Luke’s book, WANTING, and the work of René Girard has powerful answers. Reading WANTING has been a revelation—I feel like Cassandra being believed for the first time—with this whole new vocabulary to discuss the ideas that have consumed me for over a decade, that first compelled me to write THE PORTRAIT OF A MIRROR.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Garret Macko

    Exciting to see Girard’s ideas come to the public eye in such accessible and egalitarian form. It’s definitely not perfect, but I strongly commend Burgis for his effort and application of Girard’s thought.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    This book serves to popularize the work of Rene Girard, and I think it succeeds at that. There's an enticing insight at the outset of the book—we don't want in a rational vacuum, we learn how to want from observing others (models)—Unfortunately, the book doesn't build much more on top of this insight. The book spends part 1 explaining what memetic desire is and why it is so powerful, and then spends part 2 discussing ways to transform your desires to "thick" desires that will stand the test of t This book serves to popularize the work of Rene Girard, and I think it succeeds at that. There's an enticing insight at the outset of the book—we don't want in a rational vacuum, we learn how to want from observing others (models)—Unfortunately, the book doesn't build much more on top of this insight. The book spends part 1 explaining what memetic desire is and why it is so powerful, and then spends part 2 discussing ways to transform your desires to "thick" desires that will stand the test of time and ultimately be satisfying. Peppered into both sections are "tactics" which are strong nuggets, but I find their implementation awkward. It breaks the split of "understand mimetic desire" and "here's what to do about it" by having the tactics scattered throughout, and the tactics themselves are mostly supported by anecdotes rather than procedures on how to best execute the tactic. I believe books like Atomic Habits or the 4-Hour Workweek would serve as a good guide of how to implement tactics in a way that's likely to be followed and helpful for the reader. I was introduced to some new ideas from the book, was entertained with some of the anecdotes, and it was a good reminder to reflect more, further examine my life, and ensure I am striving for things that will bring me satisfaction (or maybe not striving so much to begin with, and instead just being satisfied/equanimous). I found the organization of the book a bit chaotic, found the tactics less-than-actionable as laid out, and found too many claims that left me wondering how the author made the logical jump on such little evidence. To be clear, the ideas here are interesting and do have a big impact on the world. I just didn't find this to get at the deep questions with the level of rigor I was expecting. P.S. I do find it funny that I mainly bought this book due to the praise from Adam Grant, Jonathan Haidt, and Tyler Cowen (models). ISSUES WITH THE BOOK There are also many instances where I didn't find the evidence sufficient for the claim being made, or where Burgis doesn't fully explain his argument. Early in the book, when discussing an anecdote about a VC who lost a deal by not signaling his aggressiveness, Burgis says this should be a warning and cites the Paradox of Importance. It's not clear if the lesson was the VC was wrong to not mimic others (unlikely), or if the founder was wrong not to go with the VC. I also found the section on the suicides in Las Vegas related to the Downtown Project to be a very large claim. I don't know that there was enough evidence to say they killed themselves because they couldn't keep up with everyone else around them without a clear hierarchy informing who to model. There's another section (in Chapter 4) where Burgis talks about using the language of natural disasters to describe human/societal failures that "always seem to sneak up on and shock people." This seemed week, especially since the examples listed were famously predicted in The Big Short, and the quote from Ackman is a prediction. Further in The Invention of Blame chapter, Burgis mentions how "nearly all people are religious in the sense that they subconsciously believe that sacrifice brings peace." He goes on to talk about how destroying your enemies is a form of "sacrifice." I think this could be an argument that violence brings peace, but it seems a stretch from the understood definition of "sacrifice" to think that an enemy being destroyed is a sacrifice. This is shortly followed by the quote "We didn't stop burning witches because we invented science; we invented science because we stopped burning witches" which leaves me wondering what was the impetus to stop burning witches? In The Mimetic Future chaper, Burgis makes the comparison the "thin" desires beating out "thick" desire was similar to Gresham's law where bad money drives out good. This seems like a misunderstanding of Gresham's law, which as I understand it depends on both forms of money being deemed legal tender. In the absence of a law stating the good and bad money are equivalent, the good (hard) money wins out ("Thier's Law"). There's no connection to the requirement of legal tender that would have led to thin desires beating out deep desires—there was no mandate that both be deemed equal. There's another statement "Sometimes the market isn't a good indication of what people want. It's good at price discovery for thin desires, but not necessarily for thick ones." This has no justification, aside from following an anecdote that one CEO cut his salary, increased employee salaries, and the company was successful. I don't completely disagree with the statement, but I do think it's a large and nuanced claim and deserves more evidence and exploration. In the second half of the book, Burgis is building the "Cycle 2 - Creative Flywheel." I'm not sure if he gave up on it, or if it is only supposed to have 3 stages, but the final graphic of the flywheel has 3 parts and looks unfinished (there's no arrow going from the 3rd level "Transcendence" to the 1st level "Mimetic desire"). ENJOYED ABOUT THE BOOK - The distinction between Celebristan (far models, okay to imitate) and Freshmanistan (near models, imitation seen as competition) - How we are attracted to people who *want* differently (Steve Jobs) - The principle of reflexivity ("In situations that have thinking participants, there is a two-way interaction between the participant's thinking and the situation in which they operate") - People fight when they are similar (more than when they are different) - The need to keep your rivalries in check, else be consumed by them (Lamborghini, Michelin chef) - The idea that we all implicitly accept the compromise of the society we live in (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas) - The suggestion to talk about the most deeply fulfilling experiences in the lives of those around you - The plug for Montessori schooling

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tamzen

    "Wanting" dives right into something I had never thought about before-mimetic desire, AKA the fact that everything we want is based on what other people want. That in itself was really interesting to read about. Burgis uses personal stories and anecdotes of others (like Ferrari and Lamborghini) to convey and explain mimetic desire and how it works in terms that are fairly easy to understand. Sometimes I have a hard time powering through nonfiction, researched books, so I appreciated the brevity "Wanting" dives right into something I had never thought about before-mimetic desire, AKA the fact that everything we want is based on what other people want. That in itself was really interesting to read about. Burgis uses personal stories and anecdotes of others (like Ferrari and Lamborghini) to convey and explain mimetic desire and how it works in terms that are fairly easy to understand. Sometimes I have a hard time powering through nonfiction, researched books, so I appreciated the brevity and succintness of this book. The first half discusses what exactly mimetic desire is, while the second half goes on about how to reorient your desires to be less about you mimicking others' desires and more about what you yourself desires. A good read for someone interested in how society works, and wants to carve out a life that is more fulfilling for themselves. Thank you to Netgalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found myself fascinated by the ideas at the onset, and will certainly continue to use and think about some of the information.. I appreciate the inspiration to consider what I have wanted, currently want, and will want... and why. However, I also found myself frustrated throughout the read by the delivery of the ideas, and the lack of coherency and logic of conclusions. It was a case of: I love the ideas here, and I wish that it had been edited more. I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found myself fascinated by the ideas at the onset, and will certainly continue to use and think about some of the information.. I appreciate the inspiration to consider what I have wanted, currently want, and will want... and why. However, I also found myself frustrated throughout the read by the delivery of the ideas, and the lack of coherency and logic of conclusions. It was a case of: I love the ideas here, and I wish that it had been edited more. (I did read an early copy, so my assumption is that grammar/copy edits and visuals becoming more readable will be made before final print.) I wanted to see more logic to transitions and explanation of why some pieces were being shared.. landing the ideas. That said: I think thinking of mimetic desire and its affect on myself and everyone around me will be something I continue to noodle on for some time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    Wanting by Luke Burgis is an accessible, thought-provoking book about Mimetic Desire, explaining why we want what we want and our pursuit to get those things. Mimetic theory identified by 20th century philosopher, Rene Girard, is based around the idea that humans imitate each other, thus mimetic desire means that we want things simply because others want them. Most of the content in the book echoes Girard’s theories on a variety of topics related to Mimetic theory. I found it fascinating to cons Wanting by Luke Burgis is an accessible, thought-provoking book about Mimetic Desire, explaining why we want what we want and our pursuit to get those things. Mimetic theory identified by 20th century philosopher, Rene Girard, is based around the idea that humans imitate each other, thus mimetic desire means that we want things simply because others want them. Most of the content in the book echoes Girard’s theories on a variety of topics related to Mimetic theory. I found it fascinating to consider how much we are influenced by each other and moderate our behavior according to the perception of others. I especially liked the parts that focused on our polarized identities and how scapegoats have been used throughout human history. So much is related to our group identity and our desire to differentiate from each other. Though, only a small part of the book, I think my biggest takeaway may be about disruptive empathy and how powerful it can be to change perception of another person. Disruptive empathy occurs when we empathize and show vulnerability with someone we perceive as outside of our group, say someone who shares opposing political beliefs. Ultimately, Burgis emphasizes re-orienting ourselves and our goals to focus on thick desires vs. thin desires, e.g. what actually brings you deeper fulfillment in life vs. a superficial desire that only gives you a brief reward. Overall, Luke Burgis synthesizes information and anecdotes in fascinating and readable way, much like Malcolm Gladwell. I loved the narration by Luke Burgis and Sean Patrick Hopkins. Their voices were perfect for the content and kept me interested. Thank you St. Martin’s Press / Macmillan Audio for providing this e-book and audiobook ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Cernicky

    When I started this book, I noticed in the preface, the author made large claims, that this work could be life changing. As a solid Enneagram 6, I took note with skepticism, and read on. This book explains The Theory of Mimetic Desire developed by Rene Girard, how this theory influences society and life, and how one might learn from and use it to grasp its effect and potentially reorient one’s direction accordingly. Sort of like explaining what wind is, how it has shaped landmarks, ocean current When I started this book, I noticed in the preface, the author made large claims, that this work could be life changing. As a solid Enneagram 6, I took note with skepticism, and read on. This book explains The Theory of Mimetic Desire developed by Rene Girard, how this theory influences society and life, and how one might learn from and use it to grasp its effect and potentially reorient one’s direction accordingly. Sort of like explaining what wind is, how it has shaped landmarks, ocean currents, and aviation, and then teaching the reader how to adjust their sails in the direction they want to go. The writing is easy to understand and the author skilled in communicating complex concepts. The sequence of the book is logical, and each component is accompanied by many of the author’s personal antidotes as well as many references to popular figures such as Steve Job, Annie Dillard, Ferrari and Lamborghini, Tony Hsieh, and many more. Each story was interesting, and the detail was engrossing. This style reminded me a lot of Malcom Gladwell and Susan Caine. This book is extremely relevant and timely, asking and answering, “Why do we want the things that we want?” After a breaking down of the theory in smaller bite size pieces, the author goes on to make suggestions, on how this can effect business leaders, politics, social media, religion, management, teachers, parents, and families. We all have models, people who tell us what is worth wanting or not, and we all have values, that properly recognized and ranked can reveal so much about us and what makes life fulfilling. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the why behind our desires. It turns out the claims the author made in the beginning were more true than not, the ideas and 15 Tactics the author lays out has the potential to be life changing and helpful if embraced.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    A bit frustrating. I’m inclined to agree with the general premise that desire is mediated through other people. However, I wanted the author to make his reasoning more explicit. A greater variety of examples would have been good too. For instance, how exactly does mimetic desire cause entrepreneurs in Tony Hsieh’s downtown Vegas revitalization project to start killing themselves? I also wanted examples of how mimetic desire works more subtly in people’s lives, for those of us who aren’t in epic A bit frustrating. I’m inclined to agree with the general premise that desire is mediated through other people. However, I wanted the author to make his reasoning more explicit. A greater variety of examples would have been good too. For instance, how exactly does mimetic desire cause entrepreneurs in Tony Hsieh’s downtown Vegas revitalization project to start killing themselves? I also wanted examples of how mimetic desire works more subtly in people’s lives, for those of us who aren’t in epic rivalries with our peers or caught up in pursuing fame and wealth. Some of the concepts in the second half of the book got a bit broad and far from the main topic, again with insufficient evidence/argument that they were connected. I think I personally would be better served by going back to the philosophical source, Rene Girard.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Travis Scher

    Decent book, fascinating topic.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa McGuire

    I wasn’t expecting a great read when I started the book. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. It was funny and now that I finished it, this book still has me questioning things.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

    A groundbreaking exploration of why and how we come to want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. This author really opened my eyes involving my nineteen year old daughter who is a college student. She is so undecided about her future and her goals. I can see her being influenced by her friends who themselves have no solid, realistic and well thought out goals. I gave this book to her because I think it will really open her eyes as to how to set goa A groundbreaking exploration of why and how we come to want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. This author really opened my eyes involving my nineteen year old daughter who is a college student. She is so undecided about her future and her goals. I can see her being influenced by her friends who themselves have no solid, realistic and well thought out goals. I gave this book to her because I think it will really open her eyes as to how to set goals within her ability to achieve. I can't wait for your next book. I highly recommend this informative book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrée Charron-Martin

    I would like to thank St. Martin's Press for the Advance Reader Copy of "Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life". The author, Luke Burgis, explores the mimetic desire concept founded by the French philosopher (and "the new Darwin of the social sciences") René Girard. Through a series of well-organized explanations and examples, Luke illustrates "why we want what we want, and how we can free ourselves to create a more fulfilling life". This book is well written! Luke explains the con I would like to thank St. Martin's Press for the Advance Reader Copy of "Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life". The author, Luke Burgis, explores the mimetic desire concept founded by the French philosopher (and "the new Darwin of the social sciences") René Girard. Through a series of well-organized explanations and examples, Luke illustrates "why we want what we want, and how we can free ourselves to create a more fulfilling life". This book is well written! Luke explains the concept itself, how mimetic desire is at the basis of every human interaction, how it impacts us differently whether it is experienced in our immediate social network or from an outside model (like a celebrity), how desire can have a creative or destructive cycle and finally he gives us the tools and skills to recognize our own mimetic desire patterns and how to transform them to lead a happier more fulfilling life. Every step is intricately explained with real-life examples and testimonies. I am only giving it 3 stars for a few reasons: 1) Although it was interesting, I lost interest. I felt like I was back in my university philosophy courses where explanations were drawn-out. On the plus side, since I mostly read before going to bed, it did have the somnolent properties I was looking for! 2) I personally found that some of the arguments/examples were far-fetched. 3) I had already identified "mimetic desire" in my life (without knowing there was an actual theory for it) and had already worked through a lot of the baggage that comes with it. This book would've been much more beneficial for me it I hadn't already done the work. 4) I might simply not be the target audience for self-help books. 5) Although I did legitimately find it thought-provoking, I will not be re-reading this book. Overall, "Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life" is a great read and a book that everyone should read once!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fraser Kinnear

    What I wanted seemed to change daily. More respect and status, less responsibility. More capital, fewer investors. More public speaking, more privacy. An intense lust for money, followed by extreme bouts of virtue signaling, involving the word “social”. I even vacillated between wanting to bulk up and trying to slim down. The most troubling thing to me was that the desire that led me to start and build my company was gone. Where did it go? Where had it come from in the first place? And Human bein What I wanted seemed to change daily. More respect and status, less responsibility. More capital, fewer investors. More public speaking, more privacy. An intense lust for money, followed by extreme bouts of virtue signaling, involving the word “social”. I even vacillated between wanting to bulk up and trying to slim down. The most troubling thing to me was that the desire that led me to start and build my company was gone. Where did it go? Where had it come from in the first place? And Human beings fight not because they are different, but because they are the same. And in their attempts to distinguish themselves, have made themselves into enemy twins – human doubles – in reciprocal violence.” – René Girard A practical introduction to René Girard, as he pertains to personal ethics. In other words, Burgis doesn’t discuss Girard’s interest in myth and theology, or our development of civilization, and only lightly touches on violence and scapegoating. But Burgis does focus on what I understand to be Girard’s core interest, the anthropology of mimetic desire and its implications on our culture. I really appreciated how Burgis parsed sympathy and empathy through the mimetic lens: Sympathy means “feeling together”. Our emotions fuse with those of the person we sympathize with. We see things from their perspective. A certain degree of agreement is implied. Sympathy can be easily hijacked by mimesis. Whereas for empathy: The ‘em’ in empathy means ‘to go into.’ It’s the ability to go into the experiences or feelings of another person, but without losing self-possession, or the ability to maintain control over our responses, and to act freely out of our own core… Empathy is the ability to share another person’s experience, but without imitating them – their speech, their belief, their actions, their feelings – and without identifying them to the point that one’s own individuality and self-possession are lost. In this sense, empathy is anti-mimetic… Empathy disrupts negative cycles of mimesis. A person who is able to empathize can enter into the experience of another person, and share her thoughts and feelings without necessarily sharing her desires. An empathetic person has the ability to understand why someone might want something that they don’t want for themselves. In short, empathy allows us to connect deeply with other people without becoming like other people. I was trained on the suicide hotline to prioritize empathizing rather than sympathizing, because often sympathy comes across as competitive and pulls focus away from the person who needs your help (“I had the same feelings… etc.”). I realize now, from Burgis’s comments, that empathizing also probably helps with the call center operator’s own emotional sanitation, as one is less likely to end the call with the emotional baggage of the person who was in crisis. That said, I wish Burgis had been more explicit about what he learned from Aristotle. It seems like Burgis believes a teleologically focused philosophy, like that found in Nicomachean Ethics, is a helpful means of transcending our mimetic urges.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frederick

    I confess that every since my father gave me a copy of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People, I've liked business books. What I love most about business books are the stories— mini case studies of people who failed or succeeded in unexpected ways. The various backstories about famous entrepreneurs that go beyond the usual headlines, revealing those sudden strokes of luck or timing or tiny judgments that changed everything. In many books, however, the stories are not very fresh. I confess that every since my father gave me a copy of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People, I've liked business books. What I love most about business books are the stories— mini case studies of people who failed or succeeded in unexpected ways. The various backstories about famous entrepreneurs that go beyond the usual headlines, revealing those sudden strokes of luck or timing or tiny judgments that changed everything. In many books, however, the stories are not very fresh. Some of them even go back to Carengie's book, published in 1936, when my father was only 1 year old. The second thing I like about business books is that special perspective that helps me look at everything in a new way. Business books will also generally offer advice about how you can apply these insights to your life. Personally, that's the part of a business book that I care for the least, but maybe that's just me. I really loved reading Wanting by Luke Burgis. Wanting is about human desire, why we want the things that we want, and the influence that people we admire or hate has on that desire. It's based on the writings of René Girard, who happens to be remarkably readable as well. We've all heard about scapegoating, but it was Girard who wrote the book on it (actually, quite a few!). It's really great to see this perspective applied to entreprenuers, startups, coaches, the history of marketing, and politicians. It was a quick read, with so many fresh stories and even a few dramatic personal stories. The real bonus in this book were the diagrams. I love books with diagrams, and when exploring concepts, the diagrams can really help out a lot. For me, the stories, the diagrams, and the perspective are the main attraction to this book. No doubt, many people want to read books because they hope that the books will improve their life in some way besides picking up some great stories for their next cocktail party or gathering of friends. The problem with desire is that because we don't understand it, it leads us into dangerous territory. Our desires are confused, and we're easy prey for manipulation and mob thinking. Mimesis, or imitation, is part of human nature, so we never escape it, but we can practice being anti-memetic, or self-aware with our desire and the ways it can be influenced. Throughout the first section of the book (120 pages, or 60%), there are call-out boxes with tips for being anti-memetic that are quite handy. The second section of the book, (87 pages, or 40%) focuses on The Transformation of Desire. There are some good stories here as well, but the emphasis is more practical: how to lead, exercises to more deeply confront one's one relationship with desire, and a look ahead at possible future trends shaped by mimetic desire. I recommend this book if you're open to looking at the desires in your life in a different way. It's filled with great stories, lots of things to think about, and useful tips.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    A mind-blowing, insightful, and transformative look at what we want; why we want it; and what we can do to want more, or less, or want differently. The main theme provided by the author is that the vast majority of us live our lives wanting the things, (behaviors, lifestyles, careers) we see modeled by what others around us seem to want. In many (perhaps most) cases, we act in a way that blindly and reflexively imitates other’s wants in a sort of pre-programmed “mimetic” way of being the author A mind-blowing, insightful, and transformative look at what we want; why we want it; and what we can do to want more, or less, or want differently. The main theme provided by the author is that the vast majority of us live our lives wanting the things, (behaviors, lifestyles, careers) we see modeled by what others around us seem to want. In many (perhaps most) cases, we act in a way that blindly and reflexively imitates other’s wants in a sort of pre-programmed “mimetic” way of being the author first defines and then illuminates for us, forcing us to recognize (horrifyingly) our own life’s “mimetic” veneer, as a first and necessary step in the journey in a proposed plan to break free of the cycle. Meticulously researched and brimming with contemplative nuggets, many of them originating from the work of Rene Girard and his followers, the author has also mined and thematically connected an impressive array of sources (with extensive references and notes provided), including classical literature, philosophy, anecdotes from his own person life, myths, biographical snippets, religious teachings, Sci-fi story themes, true-life stories from the business and high-tech arena, and ideas and writings from modern-day doctors, scholars, and ethical thinkers. This book raised so many ideas begging to be digested that my head spun and I had to put it down a few times to let my thoughts settle. With the very many references to the new word “mimetic” used in a huge range of contexts in this work, I did struggle for the first half of the book with the mind-shift needed to stay on point with the author. But as I read on the concepts settled and I was all in, - so much so that I found myself dropping the word “mimetic” into my own thought process with wild abandon, the unavoidable questions now lining up in my mind : - Do I really spend my life endlessly striving for “mimetic” goals or things based on others examples, that never really light the spark that makes it all worthwhile, deep inside, for me, myself, and I? - Does my life, do my wants, my actions, serve as a model I would be happy to see others “mimetically” pursue? - Am I ready to do the work, as outlined in this book, to understand and identify my true and deepest (“non-mimetic”) desires, and take the steps to transformation? It’s a pretty heady ask, and you can be sure, I will be thinking about the ideas raised in this book for quite some time. (Whether or not you choose to do the same!) (mimetically). A great big thank you to #NetGalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book.. All thoughts presented are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kelland

    This was a fascinating book. What do we want, and why do we want it? Understanding those two things explains about the way we live, both as a society and as individuals. The answer, according to Burgis, is mimesis. (Not memes, either in the social media or the Dawkins sense, though they’re sort of related.) Basically, we want things because other people want those things (or say they do), and we want to be like them. In other words, our desires don’t come from within, they are driven by external This was a fascinating book. What do we want, and why do we want it? Understanding those two things explains about the way we live, both as a society and as individuals. The answer, according to Burgis, is mimesis. (Not memes, either in the social media or the Dawkins sense, though they’re sort of related.) Basically, we want things because other people want those things (or say they do), and we want to be like them. In other words, our desires don’t come from within, they are driven by external influences. Recognizing that simple fact allows us to ask ourselves one vitally important question - what do I really want? Not what I feel I ought to want, but what is actually most important to me and will make m happy? Only then can we live a life that is truly fulfilling. (Side note, I was disappointed that among all the quotes in the books, “Tell me what you want, what you really really want!” didn’t appear. Because we all know that what we really want is to zig-a-zig-AH! Also, I Want You To Want Me. You know it's true.) Seriously, though, realizing this was one of the turning points of my life. I was going through a really dark time and didn’t know what to do. My mentor told me one simple thing - figure out what you really want out of life. Not what you don’t want, but what you do want. After a lot of deep introspection, I made a decision and have never regretted it, even though it was hard and most of my friends and family thought I was crazy. I did what I wanted, not what they wanted. One of the things that came out of this is a sincere belief that there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. Our so-called guilty pleasures are the things that we enjoy even if everyone else thinks they’re dumb. In other words, they’re the deeply personal desires that come from within, not driven by peer pressure. So embrace your guilty pleasures. I was less interested in all the material about scapegoats, which I felt took away from the main message. We are being conditioned to want the things that companies, politicians, religions, and peer pressure thinks we should want, and most of the time, they will not make us happy. The answer is to take time to figure out what matters most to each of us, and then follow our own desires, no matter what anyone else thinks. Very much recommended for anyone who’s trying to make sense of the world and understand why nothing they do is making them happy - which is, I suspect, most of us. Disclaimer: I was given a review copy by the publisher.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    Personally, I think this is one of the most important books of recent years, and that’s no exaggeration. I had never heard of Luke Burgis, but I kept hearing about this book, so I decided to grab a copy, and I was hooked from the beginning. I didn’t know if I should expect a book leaning towards neuroscience and discussing dopamine, or if it’d be more in the realm of psychology and behaviorism. Surprisingly, as someone who was unfamiliar with mimetic desire, the book was more philosophical, and Personally, I think this is one of the most important books of recent years, and that’s no exaggeration. I had never heard of Luke Burgis, but I kept hearing about this book, so I decided to grab a copy, and I was hooked from the beginning. I didn’t know if I should expect a book leaning towards neuroscience and discussing dopamine, or if it’d be more in the realm of psychology and behaviorism. Surprisingly, as someone who was unfamiliar with mimetic desire, the book was more philosophical, and I loved it. This topic is extremely important to me because I was an alcoholic and drug addict for most of my life who suffered from extreme depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Since getting sober in 2012, the most important lesson I learned is how I was constantly trying to fill a void by acquiring money, status, relationships, and more, but it ultimately left me empty. I can’t explain the freedom I’ve found since realizing this, and since then, I’ve seen how it’s one of the primary sources of suffering for many others who are struggling in their lives. Burgis shares some of his personal story about chasing after the things he thought he wanted for most of his life, but he found a sense of relief when a major deal fell through. Then, he goes on to break down the work of French polymath Rene Girard to explain how one of the main driving forces in our lives is mimetic desire, which has a lot to do with social comparison and mimicry. We all think we’re in total control of our lives, but so many of us are depressed, anxious, and angry, but we don’t know why. Burgis shows how mimetic desire affects just about every aspect of our lives, but what’s great is that he doesn’t say this is necessarily a bad thing. His goal is to make us aware of this force so we can self-reflect, make better decisions, and hopefully find some peace and serenity. I can’t do this book enough justice with a review, so I’ll end by saying that if you’re struggling, you need this book. There are a few reads I have on a list of books I should revisit at least once a year, and this one was just added to that list.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Unleash The Knowledge

    Are you searching for a groundbreaking toolkit to learn why we want what we want and tactics on how we can free ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires? If you answered with a loud YES, then keep reading! 4x Founder/CEO, Professor, and now the bestselling author of WANTING, Luke Burgis has given us a wildly interesting book. Luke dives deep into the concept of mimetic, the powerful force in relation to gravity, but how it is different, is it affects our psychology rather than our physical self. Are you searching for a groundbreaking toolkit to learn why we want what we want and tactics on how we can free ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires? If you answered with a loud YES, then keep reading! 4x Founder/CEO, Professor, and now the bestselling author of WANTING, Luke Burgis has given us a wildly interesting book. Luke dives deep into the concept of mimetic, the powerful force in relation to gravity, but how it is different, is it affects our psychology rather than our physical self. He draws on the work of French polymath, René Girard to bring light to this hidden force and connects it extremely well to our lives on an everyday basis. Do you know why you want things that other people want? Do you know why we are all constantly striving to “keep up with the Joneses?” WANTING is an amazing piece of work sharing the details behind mimetic desire and how it directly affects those closest to us as well as our daily lives and choices. Luckily, Luke shares 15 tactics on how the reader can steer clear of falling victim to this psychological force and harness the desire to follow suit towards others, by gaining independence and shape their lives with their own desires. If you are sick of following others and have an interest to dive deep into the motivation behind the actions of humans. Or perhaps feel that we live in a grey, robotic world, pick up this book! You will be glad you did. Take control of your life, create independence, and live a life unique to you, not your Aunt Sally or the next-door neighbor with the pool. - @UnleashTheKnowledge

  21. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    This was an incredible read, I highly recommend it. I am usually a fiction reader but I love the occasional "big idea" book. This one is unique. It's "big" -- big but engrossing and totally relatable. The book stays snappy thanks to the author's comfortable voice and creative storytelling. Wanting is about a theory of the French philosopher/polymath Rene Girard, called Mimetic Desire, and our lives. It may sound esoteric-- but it's universal. It means, basically, that we want what other people wa This was an incredible read, I highly recommend it. I am usually a fiction reader but I love the occasional "big idea" book. This one is unique. It's "big" -- big but engrossing and totally relatable. The book stays snappy thanks to the author's comfortable voice and creative storytelling. Wanting is about a theory of the French philosopher/polymath Rene Girard, called Mimetic Desire, and our lives. It may sound esoteric-- but it's universal. It means, basically, that we want what other people want, but because other people want it. We are constantly looking to models (classmates, celebrities, colleagues) to shape our desires. Burgis is able to do what I find to be the gold standard in nonfiction- taking heady ideas and presenting them in a way that allowed me to instantly draw connections to their relevance and impacts in my own life. Burgis clearly shows-- through stories from his life, fascinating anecdotes of people living and in history, literature, biology, and even business-- what mimetic desire is, how pervasive it is in our lives, and some of the dangers of living unattuned to its existence. Not to leave us hanging, the second half of the book points to how we can use our knowledge of this imitative type of desire to help quiet some of the mimetic noise in our busy lives and focus, on what he calls, "thick desires." I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially anyone looking to gain deeper understanding of themselves and our society, and looking to take hold of their future. Beautifully done.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Penny Adrian

    There were some useful things in this book regarding why we want what we want - and it asks us if we really do want what we want, or is the influence of others tricking us into wanting what we (think) we want? This book actually helped me to decipher where my desires were coming from and whether they were guiding me in a healthy (or harmful) direction. But parts of this book were absolutely ridiculous. The philosopher Mr. Burgis based his book on is named Rene Girard. Here is a quote from him, "Exam There were some useful things in this book regarding why we want what we want - and it asks us if we really do want what we want, or is the influence of others tricking us into wanting what we (think) we want? This book actually helped me to decipher where my desires were coming from and whether they were guiding me in a healthy (or harmful) direction. But parts of this book were absolutely ridiculous. The philosopher Mr. Burgis based his book on is named Rene Girard. Here is a quote from him, "Examine ancient sources, inquire everywhere, dig up corners of the planet, and you will not find anything anywhere that even remotely resembles our modern concern for victims." Really? First of all, who could examine ALL ancient sources or inquire EVERYWHERE to prove or disprove this silly statement? Most human beings experience empathy and compassion unless something goes terribly wrong in their development. But Girard does not believe this. He believes that people only began to care about innocent victims because of the Gospels. This is clearly an asinine hypothesis, but Mr. Burgis treats it like - well - gospel. According to Girard, were it not for the global spread of Judeo-Christian values, we would all still be offering human sacrifices to Wall Street (oh, wait a minute - we do offer human sacrifices to Wall Street. Hmmm). Anyway, I thought this was a philosophy book, but it's really just another trite business book. If you are shallow enough to admire cretins like Steve Jobs or Peter Thiel, you will probably enjoy this book a lot more than I did.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "Wanting" is a book that I read slowly to savor- there are so many rich anecdotes and compelling ideas that made this a worthwhile read. I received the audiobook version of "Wanting" from Netgalley and Macmillan Audio. I highly recommend the audio version of this book- the narration is easy to listen to and getting the material at a slower pace gives the reader more opportunity to really think about how the author thinks we can live a more meaningful life. We often look to others to know what we w "Wanting" is a book that I read slowly to savor- there are so many rich anecdotes and compelling ideas that made this a worthwhile read. I received the audiobook version of "Wanting" from Netgalley and Macmillan Audio. I highly recommend the audio version of this book- the narration is easy to listen to and getting the material at a slower pace gives the reader more opportunity to really think about how the author thinks we can live a more meaningful life. We often look to others to know what we want- people and characters that we compare ourselves to and either intentionally or unintentionally try to model ourselves after. The most important thing I got out of this book is a self-awareness of how easy it is to become stuck following models without considering what I actually want. "Want" is likened to "desire"- a concept that is relevant and understandable to even babies. This is a self-help book, but it is more than that. It is a study of how people have lived in the past, the failings that we still succumb to in the present even when we've learned the past, and the hope that we can have as we reflect on the models in our life as we look to the future. Thank you Luke Burgis for this wonderful book- it should be a staple reading on 'adulting.' I look to your writing and lifestyle as a model for myself, and I expect to evaluate and re-evaluate my own work as a means for being a positive model for others.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bradley

    An absolutely mind-blowing book for anyone interested in psychology or for anyone wanting to break their bad habits (in my case both). We live in a world where we are always told to strive for bigger better things: the bigger house, the newest phone, a faster car whether we actually want those things or not. Without knowing, most of us are actually chasing the desires of the people that surround us or what has been force-fed us through media rather than being true to ourselves. Maybe you are act An absolutely mind-blowing book for anyone interested in psychology or for anyone wanting to break their bad habits (in my case both). We live in a world where we are always told to strive for bigger better things: the bigger house, the newest phone, a faster car whether we actually want those things or not. Without knowing, most of us are actually chasing the desires of the people that surround us or what has been force-fed us through media rather than being true to ourselves. Maybe you are actually happier with the small house, old car, and your flip phone (I know I am) but society makes you feel pressured to keep up with the Jones. Well, no more do you have to feel not good enough! As in this book, Luke Burgis takes a complex theory that would otherwise be above and beyond most of us and makes it accessible and easy to understand. He empowers you with a deep understanding of mimetic desire and why we behave the way we do and with this new knowledge I hope that you too can break away from the crowd and delve deeper into what it is that makes you happy (and that you embrace that even if it's not considered cool). I both read this book and listened to the Audible version (both of which I would highly recommend). My copy of the book is full of tabs and notes and makes a great reference point and the audiobook helped the information sink in.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Excuse the pun but this book left me wanting. The foundational premise is based on Rene Girard's mimetic theory - that imitation is the fundamental mechanism of human behavior - we want what others want not what we/they need. but what will earn other's envy. There are interesting concepts in this book (such as rise of social media and Facebook as being all about mimetic desire). and interesting stories highlighting this concept through the bible, famous literature, entrepreneurs. Where the book Excuse the pun but this book left me wanting. The foundational premise is based on Rene Girard's mimetic theory - that imitation is the fundamental mechanism of human behavior - we want what others want not what we/they need. but what will earn other's envy. There are interesting concepts in this book (such as rise of social media and Facebook as being all about mimetic desire). and interesting stories highlighting this concept through the bible, famous literature, entrepreneurs. Where the book falls short is there is not enough evidence to suggest that this is a universal human behavior - there are certainly a lot of exceptions to this behavior. Sometimes he makes leaps that are a stretch -- for example saying that people working with Zappo's Founder, Tony Hsieh on developing the city of Las Vegas had committed suicide due to lack of clear structure and roles and no boundaries. While I think Burgis does raise some interesting points and also has tips for how to recognize and address mimetic behavior in one's self -- this book is not one I would keep on my shelf to refer to again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tanishq Rajmani

    The cover of this book is designed perfectly according to the book and attracts in the first place. The title is totally apt and tells us what we can expect from the book. The author explains us that we don't desire anything ourselves but see what others want and try to imitate them. It effects all our choices, including career, clothes, friends and many more. He explains us about the concept of Mimetic desire. With the help of his experience, the author shares tactics tells us how we can turn bl The cover of this book is designed perfectly according to the book and attracts in the first place. The title is totally apt and tells us what we can expect from the book. The author explains us that we don't desire anything ourselves but see what others want and try to imitate them. It effects all our choices, including career, clothes, friends and many more. He explains us about the concept of Mimetic desire. With the help of his experience, the author shares tactics tells us how we can turn blind wanting into intentional wanting. This book is a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires. Luke aims to help us find meaning in our lives. Grab the book to read more! Overall a really great book which can help many of us and change our life for good, if we understand what the author has tried to convey and apply it in our lives. This makes this book a must read. Even when it was a long read, I completed it within a week The writing style of the author is really unique and engaging. The language is reader friendly. Highly recommended from my side especially to our new generation and the people who are trying to understand themselves and our society.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karan Shukla

    Mimetic Desire is a fascinating concept explaining why people want what they want, and how these wants are influenced by social situations. The first half of the book explains this model, and is really enjoyable and educational. I came away from this section with a fresh new perspective on how to interpret human behavior. The second half of the book moves away from the concept of mimetic desire. The author claims this second half is about providing practical advice to manage desire in your own li Mimetic Desire is a fascinating concept explaining why people want what they want, and how these wants are influenced by social situations. The first half of the book explains this model, and is really enjoyable and educational. I came away from this section with a fresh new perspective on how to interpret human behavior. The second half of the book moves away from the concept of mimetic desire. The author claims this second half is about providing practical advice to manage desire in your own life, but it's really an excuse for the author to rant about his opinions on religion, technology, politics, corporations, and the media. It's a really bizarre turn, and the actual advice provided here is pretty bad. Overall recommendation: read the first half (chapters 1-4) and skip the second (chapters 5-8).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tricia S.

    Mimetic Theory. So if I'm getting this right Luke Burgis is saying that the desires we have is not something we actually want. It's something that someone else wants. We see a commercial and cause someone on that commercial wants what that commercial is about, we will want that thing too? Ooo is that why when we're in a relationship we seem to get hit on more then ever before but when we are single it's like no one wants us. That may be a lame way of thinking about it but it's how I understand i Mimetic Theory. So if I'm getting this right Luke Burgis is saying that the desires we have is not something we actually want. It's something that someone else wants. We see a commercial and cause someone on that commercial wants what that commercial is about, we will want that thing too? Ooo is that why when we're in a relationship we seem to get hit on more then ever before but when we are single it's like no one wants us. That may be a lame way of thinking about it but it's how I understand it. This is starting to make sense to me. Well done Luke Burgis, you taught an old dog new tricks. Honestly at first I almost fell asleep listening to this audio but if you listen more you will get into. I'm glad I was able to listen to thus audio, thank you #NetGalley #MacmillanAudio

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I'm always looking to explore books examining human behavior and societal influences, so this book was a natural fit for me. Mimetic Desire has been around forever- most of us just never called it that. I've never really felt compelled or obsessed with it, so it was a little hard to imagine the deep connections described here. Conceptually, yes, I get it. Author Luke Burgis does a wonderful job exploring the topic and I found it rather fascinating. I was curious as to why it would be listed in t I'm always looking to explore books examining human behavior and societal influences, so this book was a natural fit for me. Mimetic Desire has been around forever- most of us just never called it that. I've never really felt compelled or obsessed with it, so it was a little hard to imagine the deep connections described here. Conceptually, yes, I get it. Author Luke Burgis does a wonderful job exploring the topic and I found it rather fascinating. I was curious as to why it would be listed in the Business and Investing category but not also in Self Help. That seems a better fit to me. Interesting topic, especially when you dig below the surface. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bryn

    The truth of the premise of this book (that all of our desires are just mimicked from what other people have) is self-evident to me in the popularity of the Louis Vuitton purses--objectively, those extremely expensive handbags are two shades of poop; they just aren't pretty, and yet they're coveted by women the world over. How the author covered the subject, though, felt hard to follow and somewhat circular. Transcendent leadership doesn't do this...but if we then follow the transcendent leaders The truth of the premise of this book (that all of our desires are just mimicked from what other people have) is self-evident to me in the popularity of the Louis Vuitton purses--objectively, those extremely expensive handbags are two shades of poop; they just aren't pretty, and yet they're coveted by women the world over. How the author covered the subject, though, felt hard to follow and somewhat circular. Transcendent leadership doesn't do this...but if we then follow the transcendent leadership, aren't we again operating from mimesis? Nonetheless, an interesting thing to think about, particularly in the age of social media, where, as he points out, "experts' whose expertise is largely a product of mimetic validation."

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