The Things We Want

Jun 12, 2021 5:01 am

Hey there,

Thanks for joining me! This newsletter is a couple of days late because my book notes of Luke Burgis' latest book has taken longer than expected. Suffice to say, it's one of the most fascinating books I've read, and I think you'll enjoy it as well.

An Article I Wrote

Mimetic Theory and Desire: The biggest lie in the modern world is that we're all unique individuals who decide what we want. What actually happens is that our desires are influenced by people all around us, whether it's celebrities, thought leaders, or just our friends. Luke Burgis' latest book is a great introduction to the work of Stanford sociologist Rene Girard, who postulated that everything we do is guided by a fundamental need to imitate others.

If you want to understand the human condition - or just learn more about yourself - you'll definitely need to give this a read. These are some of my book notes and annotations, and if you like this high level summary, you'll definitely want to grab his book. I promise you it's worth it.

Other Interesting Finds

A Project of One's Own: "There is something special about working on a project of your own. I wouldn't say exactly that you're happier. A better word would be excited, or engaged. You're happy when things are going well, but often they aren't."

This article by Paul Graham really spoke to me. I've always felt the joy of working on my own projects - including writing this newsletter - and I'm sure that you did at some point as well. Maybe the antidote to the dreariness of work isn't in something external like remote working, but in ownership and autonomy.

Moving Goalposts: "There aren’t many iron laws of money. But here’s one, and perhaps the most important: If expectations grow faster than income you’ll never be happy with your money. One of the most important financial skills is getting the goalpost to stop moving. It’s also one of the hardest."

Lessons Learned The Hard Way: "Tests aren’t nearly as useful as projects. Just about anything worth learning is worth learning the hard way."

Another timely reminder on how we actually learn.

The Story of Twitch: If you're interested in either gaming or startups, you'll leave this podcast episode. The founders of Twitch spent 2 hours talking about how they built the largest video game livestreaming service, and it's always interesting to get an insider's view of how this happened.


As usual, let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend.