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Camellia Yang

πŸ₯ Chiwi Journal July Issue: Mimetic Theory, New Podcast, Online Learning and More

published3 months ago
5 min read

Welcome to the July Issue of Chiwi Journal! Your monthly newsletter with the content I filtered, curated and wrote based on 140+ hours of reading and listening time.

Quick update from my side:

I launched Chiwi Journal podcast! Oooh-weeeee! After recording 111 episodes in Chinese, I switched my gear to interview global citizens who follow a unique path to build a better future and share stories and tips they learned along the way.

Our conversations are focus on cultural observations, technology trends, career development and philosophy.

From 112 episodes onwards, all content will be in English!

Thanks to my friend @Chance, my first guest at the new podcast, to encourage me to start this new initiative!

Last month also marked the 1st anniversary of publishing my first novel, The Invisible Third Culture Adult. So glad to see many readers resonated with the protagonist Nora as a contemporary immigrant!

Last but not least, there is no perfect timing to re-read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf in London during the June season! I feel like I was in the story because of the familiar streets names and similar anecdotes and thoughts. I hope I could stay here longer to explore more hidden gems in this amazing city!

Now, let's get straight into the content.

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πŸ“š Book of the month

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β€œMan is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desires.” – Rene Girard

French philosopher Rene Girard created the Mimetic theory that explained human behaviour and culture and significantly impacted the legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel.

Rene argued that human desire is not autonomous or entirely our own but under the influence of the desires of others. Although, in some respects, imitation is the foundation of human civilisation to learn language and culture, mimetic desire is the root of conflict because we do what we do for the sake of other people are doing it and end up competing for the same things.

Understanding mimetic desire can help us break the vicious cycle of never being satisfied with what we've achieved because those things are not from our true nature but learned desired from others. It can also help us make better decisions and provide clarity about things we hear and see.

Here are four books plus one blog post to equip you with a deeper understanding of your desires and thoughts.

  • Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
  • The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous by Joseph Henrich.
  • Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire, and How to Want What You Need by Luke Burgis
  • How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) by Tim Urban

Only a few understand why people still feel unfulfilled once they achieve 'dreams', because most of us have been conditioned by our society and live a 'false' life and have a 'false' goal. When a desire arises, don't forget to ask yourself: Is that really what I want? Why do I have this desire? Always remembering 'an unexamined life is not worth living'.

P.S. Here is my all-time favourite books recommendation.

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πŸŽ™οΈPodcast of the month

As a longtime fan of Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, I’m super excited to see Andreessen Horowitz (known as β€œa16z”) finally launched a media brand Future, a content hub for those who build our future!

Highly recommend my fellow content creators to read the below blogs:

β€œAs technology changes everything β€” not just in Silicon Valley or in traditional β€˜tech’ companies, but across all industries β€” it’s also changing the way we all work, live, eat, learn, and play”. The a16z Podcast and a16z live are my go-to podcasts to learn tech trends and future changes. "This show aims to help make sense of it all: for builders, for the tech curious, for anyone seeking to understand the future, now, through carefully curated, in-depth yet accessible, nuanced conversations with top industry and academic experts from around the world; company leaders, builders, makers; book authors; and emerging voices”.

​More podcasts and newsletter recommendations ​

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🧐 Links of the Month

I mentioned creators economy in my last month's newsletter and got a few queries about what platforms I use as a part-time content creator. Here are a few examples to share:

What else are you using as a creator?

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πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“ Course of the month

I’m always fascinated with the concept: Salon, a gathering of people held by an inspiring host to exchange ideas and thoughts over a conversation. According to Wikipedia, the Salon was an Italian invention of the 16th century. Some brilliant circles formed in the smaller courts, which resembled salons, often galvanised by the presence of a beautiful and educated patroness. Salons flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and were carried on until recently as the 1920s in urban settings.

In today’s world, Anna GΓ‘t builds a global community called Interintellect, where thinkers dedicated to hosting salons on the internet to talk about philosophy and science, art and technology, finance and history, religion and music.

I recently joined one conversation with Jim O’Shaughnessy (one of my favourite podcast hosts!) to discuss the philosophy of Rick and Morty and Jed McKenna. And I’ve added a bit of my learning to my philosophy blog.

Highly recommend you to check out this online community where amazing conversations happened all around the world!

Interintellect
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In addition, I signed up for two courses at Acumen Academy, the world’s school for social change. Suppose you are willing to embrace the challenge of solving the world’s most challenging problems, such as gender inequality. In that case, poverty, injustice and more, Acumen Academy is your go-to place by providing the practical tools, practices and resources needed to create new solutions for an interdependent world.

What a time to be alive to have unlimited access to infinite resources at home!

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πŸ“ Recap of my content

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πŸ‘€ What I am up-to this month

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πŸ—£οΈ AMA

Question from a newsletter reader:

How to find your audiences?

My answer:

Serve the person you once were.

For example, I used to be an international student and a new migrant in New Zealand. So I shared my overseas studying and job hunting experiences with those on the same boat or about to join the same journey and gained my follower base.

My friends Ellen and Summer, who spend years at fitness training and devoted their time to nutrition research, also share their learnings and lessons along the way. Now they build a large online healthy lifestyle community with hundreds and thousands of girls who read, watched and tried their articles, videos and products.

I spent loads of time on WeChat, Weibo and other Chinese social media channels to serve Chinese international students. Now, as you see, I'm bootstrapping my media brand, living in English speaking countries and also on my way to becoming a full-time creator. So I switch my focus to produce more English content on different channels. If you read through the whole piece of this month's newsletter here, thank you very much for being part of the journey!

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