HoS Pod welcomes Luke Burgis, author of the fascinating book Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life. I read it before our interview and can’t stop thinking about it. Not only is the book entertaining, but it gave me a different perspective on life. I can’t say that happens all too often.
Luke is also the proprietor of the Anti-Mimetic, which continues on his book’s pertinent themes. A Substack devoted to one book’s themes might sound constraining, but perhaps after you listen to the podcast, you’ll see how Luke’s focus happens to be endlessly generative.
Our conversation included, but was not limited to…
What is “mimetic desire”?
Why is understanding mimetic desire a skeleton key for understanding life?
Why Luke was researching professional sports (football specifically) for his book
To understand an athlete, you need to know what they desire
How the 1990s San Diego Chargers rejected the Denver Broncos imitative trap
How Steve Kerr used football coaching as a model for his basketball team
“I guess I believe in you more than you do,” as motivation
How similarity breeds rivalry more than difference does
What’s the most powerful mimesis engine: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Instagram?
The “training wheels truth” that Twitter is an echo chamber isn’t totally true
The scapegoat as a deep human need
“Torches of Freedom,” a 1920s example of social justice capitalism