Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

82

Sought-after experience lets you multiply your possible existence; getting a piece, or a taste, of many lives, as you tell yourself you know what it would have been like. Travel becomes the main new experience people remember when sex and intoxication stop being the sole authoritative ones. What did you do last year? "Well, I took a trip to Washington"--or London, or Katmandu. While traveling somewhere else, you can simulate to yourself: "If I were another, this is how I would feel." If I had been born to royalty, I would have filled a throne in a palace like this. If I had been a peasant, my prayers would have risen in a little church like this one. If I had no job--if I had become an "artist"--I could sit all day in a café, as I'm doing now. The water-cooler conversation in which job holders have the best relief from work revolves around the places they're going or have been. Even dispatched someplace by the company, you gather the experiences that will last, for amusement, and knowledge, and the taste of another existence, through many ordinary days. Most travel is local: not only is there a Japan, but a Japanese restaurant, or Japantown in a big city. Each moment that you say to yourself, "This is how they do it," you feel another life, and the phantom of experience.

just thought it was kinda nice, not really sure what specifically I thought about it when I first read it

—p.82 The Concept of Experience (The Meaning of Life, Part I) (77) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago

Sought-after experience lets you multiply your possible existence; getting a piece, or a taste, of many lives, as you tell yourself you know what it would have been like. Travel becomes the main new experience people remember when sex and intoxication stop being the sole authoritative ones. What did you do last year? "Well, I took a trip to Washington"--or London, or Katmandu. While traveling somewhere else, you can simulate to yourself: "If I were another, this is how I would feel." If I had been born to royalty, I would have filled a throne in a palace like this. If I had been a peasant, my prayers would have risen in a little church like this one. If I had no job--if I had become an "artist"--I could sit all day in a café, as I'm doing now. The water-cooler conversation in which job holders have the best relief from work revolves around the places they're going or have been. Even dispatched someplace by the company, you gather the experiences that will last, for amusement, and knowledge, and the taste of another existence, through many ordinary days. Most travel is local: not only is there a Japan, but a Japanese restaurant, or Japantown in a big city. Each moment that you say to yourself, "This is how they do it," you feel another life, and the phantom of experience.

just thought it was kinda nice, not really sure what specifically I thought about it when I first read it

—p.82 The Concept of Experience (The Meaning of Life, Part I) (77) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago
114

[...] I think the thing that pop can prepare you for, the essential thing, is defiance. Defiance, as its bare minimum, is the insistence on finding ways to retain the thoughts and feelings that a larger power should have extinguished.


The difference between revolution and defiance is the difference between an overthrow of the existing order and one person's shaken fist. When the former isn't possible, you still have to hold on to the latter, if only so as to remember you're human. Defiance is the insistence on individual power confronting overwhelming force that it cannot undo. You know you cannot strike the colossus. But you can defy it with words or signs. In the assertion that you can fight a superior power, the declaration that you will, this absurd overstatement gains dignity by exposing you, however uselessly, to risk. Unable to stop it in its tracks, you dare the crushing power to begin its devasation with you.

[...]

The situation we confront now is a new necessity, not blameless like wind or water and yet not fatal as from a tyrant or executioner. The nature we face is a billowing atmospheric second nature made by man. It is the distant soft tyranny of other men, wafting in diffuse messages, in the abdication of authority to technology, in the dissembling of responsibility under cover of responsibility and with the excuse of help--gutless, irresponsible, servile, showing no naked force, only a smiling or a pious face. [...]

defiance is what sparks revolution

—p.114 Radiohead, or the Philosophy of Pop (99) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] I think the thing that pop can prepare you for, the essential thing, is defiance. Defiance, as its bare minimum, is the insistence on finding ways to retain the thoughts and feelings that a larger power should have extinguished.


The difference between revolution and defiance is the difference between an overthrow of the existing order and one person's shaken fist. When the former isn't possible, you still have to hold on to the latter, if only so as to remember you're human. Defiance is the insistence on individual power confronting overwhelming force that it cannot undo. You know you cannot strike the colossus. But you can defy it with words or signs. In the assertion that you can fight a superior power, the declaration that you will, this absurd overstatement gains dignity by exposing you, however uselessly, to risk. Unable to stop it in its tracks, you dare the crushing power to begin its devasation with you.

[...]

The situation we confront now is a new necessity, not blameless like wind or water and yet not fatal as from a tyrant or executioner. The nature we face is a billowing atmospheric second nature made by man. It is the distant soft tyranny of other men, wafting in diffuse messages, in the abdication of authority to technology, in the dissembling of responsibility under cover of responsibility and with the excuse of help--gutless, irresponsible, servile, showing no naked force, only a smiling or a pious face. [...]

defiance is what sparks revolution

—p.114 Radiohead, or the Philosophy of Pop (99) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago
145

[...] They will call it "the n-word"--write it on a chalkboard rather than pronounce it--clear their thraots and give meaningful looks or avoid people's eyes. This was a sort of victory for antiracism. But the conspicuous theater of it, the sheer ostentation of the one word I will not speak, also has wound up showing off how little it can mean in comparison to all the racism white people don't give up, and equally won't name or speak. White people in authority are okay with seeing black people profiled, demonized, and terrorized by police. They just won't say one word, which of course they can say perfectly well. [...]

—p.145 Learning to Rap (136) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago

[...] They will call it "the n-word"--write it on a chalkboard rather than pronounce it--clear their thraots and give meaningful looks or avoid people's eyes. This was a sort of victory for antiracism. But the conspicuous theater of it, the sheer ostentation of the one word I will not speak, also has wound up showing off how little it can mean in comparison to all the racism white people don't give up, and equally won't name or speak. White people in authority are okay with seeing black people profiled, demonized, and terrorized by police. They just won't say one word, which of course they can say perfectly well. [...]

—p.145 Learning to Rap (136) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago
171

The threat from those who oppose this line of thought is that, without "incentives", people will stop working. The worst-case scenario is that tens of thousands of people who hold jobs in finance, corporate management, and the professions (not to mention professional sports and acting) will quit their jobs and end their careers because they did not truly want to be bankers, lawyers, CEOs, actors, ballplayers, et cetera. They were only doing it for the money! Actually they wanted to be high-school teachers, social workers, general practitioners, stay-at-home parents, or criminals and layabouts.

Far from this being a tragedy, this would be the greatest single triumph of human emancipation in a century. A small portion of the rich and unhappy would be freed at last from the slavery of jobs that aren't their life's work--and all of us would be freed from an insane system.

If there is anyone working a job who would stop doing that job should his income--and all his richest campatriots' incomes--drop to $100,000 a year, he should not be doing that job. He should never have been doing that job--for his own life's sake. It's just not a life, to do work you don't want to do when you have other choices, and can think of something better (and have a $10,000 cushion to supplement a different choice of life). If no one would choose to do this job for a mere $100,000 a year, if all would pursue something else more humanely valuable; if, say, there would no longer be anyone willing to be a trader, a captain of industry, an actor, or an athlete for that kind of money--then the job should not exist.

there's obviously more to examine here--what should the actual ceiling be, what effect would that have on inflation etc, how do you ensure quality of life for everyone is preserved--but it's a good line of thought that i pretty much agree with

—p.171 Gut-Level Legislation, or, Redistribution (The Meaning of Life, Part II) (167) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago

The threat from those who oppose this line of thought is that, without "incentives", people will stop working. The worst-case scenario is that tens of thousands of people who hold jobs in finance, corporate management, and the professions (not to mention professional sports and acting) will quit their jobs and end their careers because they did not truly want to be bankers, lawyers, CEOs, actors, ballplayers, et cetera. They were only doing it for the money! Actually they wanted to be high-school teachers, social workers, general practitioners, stay-at-home parents, or criminals and layabouts.

Far from this being a tragedy, this would be the greatest single triumph of human emancipation in a century. A small portion of the rich and unhappy would be freed at last from the slavery of jobs that aren't their life's work--and all of us would be freed from an insane system.

If there is anyone working a job who would stop doing that job should his income--and all his richest campatriots' incomes--drop to $100,000 a year, he should not be doing that job. He should never have been doing that job--for his own life's sake. It's just not a life, to do work you don't want to do when you have other choices, and can think of something better (and have a $10,000 cushion to supplement a different choice of life). If no one would choose to do this job for a mere $100,000 a year, if all would pursue something else more humanely valuable; if, say, there would no longer be anyone willing to be a trader, a captain of industry, an actor, or an athlete for that kind of money--then the job should not exist.

there's obviously more to examine here--what should the actual ceiling be, what effect would that have on inflation etc, how do you ensure quality of life for everyone is preserved--but it's a good line of thought that i pretty much agree with

—p.171 Gut-Level Legislation, or, Redistribution (The Meaning of Life, Part II) (167) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago
174

"But how can you ask other people to lower their salaries, without giving your life to charity first? Isn't it hypocrisy to call for change for everyone without turning over your own income?" Morality is not saved by any individual's efforts to do charity, a pocketful here, a handful there. Charity is the vice of unequal systems. (I'm only repeating Wilde's "The Soul of Man Under Socialism.") We shouldn't have to weight whether our money would do more good in a destitute person's pocket, or our time do more good if we ladled soup to the hungry, or our study do more good if it taught reading to the illiterate. It always, always would. Because it is hard to give up your money, however, when not everyone else does, and hard to give up your time when not everyone else does--and nearly impossible when you have less time, and less money, than the visibly rich and comfortable--and frankly, because it's not often a good idea to give up your true calling or your life at all, our giving is limited and fitful. It can never make a large-scale difference.

in a short but good essay advocating for greater redistribution and thus less inequality

comes back to choice in how you live your life and what metrics you optimise for and how you balance competing stances

—p.174 Gut-Level Legislation, or, Redistribution (The Meaning of Life, Part II) (167) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago

"But how can you ask other people to lower their salaries, without giving your life to charity first? Isn't it hypocrisy to call for change for everyone without turning over your own income?" Morality is not saved by any individual's efforts to do charity, a pocketful here, a handful there. Charity is the vice of unequal systems. (I'm only repeating Wilde's "The Soul of Man Under Socialism.") We shouldn't have to weight whether our money would do more good in a destitute person's pocket, or our time do more good if we ladled soup to the hungry, or our study do more good if it taught reading to the illiterate. It always, always would. Because it is hard to give up your money, however, when not everyone else does, and hard to give up your time when not everyone else does--and nearly impossible when you have less time, and less money, than the visibly rich and comfortable--and frankly, because it's not often a good idea to give up your true calling or your life at all, our giving is limited and fitful. It can never make a large-scale difference.

in a short but good essay advocating for greater redistribution and thus less inequality

comes back to choice in how you live your life and what metrics you optimise for and how you balance competing stances

—p.174 Gut-Level Legislation, or, Redistribution (The Meaning of Life, Part II) (167) by Mark Greif 1 year, 6 months ago