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I just watched the 1-hour “videobook” of Luke Burgis’ Wanting, an introduction to Rene Girard’s Mimetic Theory. It’s $25, but highly recommended.
In case you’re not familiar, the basic premise is that most human desire is based on imitating the desires of others. We often want a thing, not because we value it, but because we see others — whom we admire and want to imitate — valuing it.
Mimetic desire is fundamentally dishonest — it’s not a desire for the thing, but for what possession of that thing says about who you are — and what pleasure having that identity brings you.
Therefore, mimetic desire is also an admission of slavery to pleasure-pain economics. That’s why it’s ineffective at achieving stated goals — it’s never about the goals in the first place.
I wrote about something similar a while back in Purity of Heart: The Ultimate Effectiveness Hack.
This shows up in truth-seeking a lot.
We often don’t want truth itself, but to identify with people we admire, who appear to want truth. When this happens, we can’t “be rational,” because the desire to be rational is actually motivated by something else — imitation.
Just starting to go down this rabbit hole… excuse me for being a bit quick and dirty here. 😊