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).

13

Slowly, I began to realise the limits of the freedom I had found in London. Discovering safe enclaves, I had seen safety, but not that they remained enclaves. [...]

this is surprisingly beautiful

—p.13 Available Light (7) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Slowly, I began to realise the limits of the freedom I had found in London. Discovering safe enclaves, I had seen safety, but not that they remained enclaves. [...]

this is surprisingly beautiful

—p.13 Available Light (7) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
41

[...] Ellen had said, 'You're past thirty,' and now for the second time in my life I felt dizzyingly untethered, but whereas when I first moved to London that sensation was buoyed by the expectation of long-dreamed-of experience and ballasted with the deep resources of youth, now I had learned that you cannot choose what falls away, and every time you start again the possibilities are shockingly reduced. Presumably the last time we experience this is when we give up, so it's unsurprising that the panic is greater with every round. [...]

aaaah

—p.41 Available Light (7) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] Ellen had said, 'You're past thirty,' and now for the second time in my life I felt dizzyingly untethered, but whereas when I first moved to London that sensation was buoyed by the expectation of long-dreamed-of experience and ballasted with the deep resources of youth, now I had learned that you cannot choose what falls away, and every time you start again the possibilities are shockingly reduced. Presumably the last time we experience this is when we give up, so it's unsurprising that the panic is greater with every round. [...]

aaaah

—p.41 Available Light (7) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
68

Our ability to perform vasectomies, mastectomies, HRT-therapy for women passing through menopause, precisely in order to make people safer, or because they want the procedures, is a fantastic use of technology. The fact that using the same technology to improve transgender lives is seen differently, that trans needs are attributed to pathology, is confusing, and confused. However, recognising the lack of innateness to gendered binaries is in no way enough for their power to dissolve. Again, we have to ask, what do we need to do to gender in order that it can no longer be used as a means of disciplining violence?

—p.68 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Our ability to perform vasectomies, mastectomies, HRT-therapy for women passing through menopause, precisely in order to make people safer, or because they want the procedures, is a fantastic use of technology. The fact that using the same technology to improve transgender lives is seen differently, that trans needs are attributed to pathology, is confusing, and confused. However, recognising the lack of innateness to gendered binaries is in no way enough for their power to dissolve. Again, we have to ask, what do we need to do to gender in order that it can no longer be used as a means of disciplining violence?

—p.68 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
70

Trans people are often criticised for perpetuating a concept of the gender binary. Whilst it is certainly the case that trans people, like all people, should and could be won to a project of eroding the edifice of gender, it’s difficult not to feel that there’s a problem with situating trans people as the source of blame for their own precarity. The terms of legitimacy are always up for negotiation – this is a good thing. Yet when that is weaponised against trans people, it can result in or legitimise transphobic violence. Those who make these critiques may want to join us in asking why the medical establishment is so hostile towards anyone who doesn’t do the binary dance for them. Similarly, refuges, hostels, foster homes and prisons continue to place harsh binaried boundaries on what constitutes a legitimate body, leaving trans people vulnerable to violence as a result.

yess!! this relates to the thing about blaming the powerless that i've been thinking about a lot lately

—p.70 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Trans people are often criticised for perpetuating a concept of the gender binary. Whilst it is certainly the case that trans people, like all people, should and could be won to a project of eroding the edifice of gender, it’s difficult not to feel that there’s a problem with situating trans people as the source of blame for their own precarity. The terms of legitimacy are always up for negotiation – this is a good thing. Yet when that is weaponised against trans people, it can result in or legitimise transphobic violence. Those who make these critiques may want to join us in asking why the medical establishment is so hostile towards anyone who doesn’t do the binary dance for them. Similarly, refuges, hostels, foster homes and prisons continue to place harsh binaried boundaries on what constitutes a legitimate body, leaving trans people vulnerable to violence as a result.

yess!! this relates to the thing about blaming the powerless that i've been thinking about a lot lately

—p.70 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
71

A world where gender no longer exists, or at least where the rigidity of gender is no longer used to exert violence and power, is a feature for our liberatory dream. Post-genderism has been explored as a political goal, in various guises, including by the xenofeminists of laboriacuboniks.net, by feminists, transfeminists and queer theorists alike. It would certainly be a horrific mistake, though, to mobilise a desire for such a world as a stick to beat trans people with, when they are faced with the pressure to fall into a binary. Not only is such policing simply bad politics – maybe an equivalent would be shouting at a picket line for preserving the factory, or reproducing the capital-labour relation – it’s also rarely practiced on those who see themselves as cisgender.

It is not merely, for a start, that many trans people would prefer not to pass, were it not for the violence. It’s that passing involves failing, as Mattilda explains above. There is a trade-off involved: of securing yourself safe passage home, whilst another is battered. But this isn’t simply a question of how brave individual trans people feel – it’s a question of how society uses gender to discipline and punish bodies. It’s a question that every body has an interest in, because the policing of bodies, by state or by vigilante, is violent, destructive and undermines all of our agency.

v good analysis. referencing the section's opening quote (Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Nobody Passes)

‘In a pass/fail situation, standards for acceptance may vary, but somebody always gets trampled on.’

—p.71 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

A world where gender no longer exists, or at least where the rigidity of gender is no longer used to exert violence and power, is a feature for our liberatory dream. Post-genderism has been explored as a political goal, in various guises, including by the xenofeminists of laboriacuboniks.net, by feminists, transfeminists and queer theorists alike. It would certainly be a horrific mistake, though, to mobilise a desire for such a world as a stick to beat trans people with, when they are faced with the pressure to fall into a binary. Not only is such policing simply bad politics – maybe an equivalent would be shouting at a picket line for preserving the factory, or reproducing the capital-labour relation – it’s also rarely practiced on those who see themselves as cisgender.

It is not merely, for a start, that many trans people would prefer not to pass, were it not for the violence. It’s that passing involves failing, as Mattilda explains above. There is a trade-off involved: of securing yourself safe passage home, whilst another is battered. But this isn’t simply a question of how brave individual trans people feel – it’s a question of how society uses gender to discipline and punish bodies. It’s a question that every body has an interest in, because the policing of bodies, by state or by vigilante, is violent, destructive and undermines all of our agency.

v good analysis. referencing the section's opening quote (Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Nobody Passes)

‘In a pass/fail situation, standards for acceptance may vary, but somebody always gets trampled on.’

—p.71 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
74

[...] the goal should surely be not simply to limit the violence, or gain the right to challenge the violence, but to eradicate society’s need to discipline bodies with gender in the first place. That’s not something that can be achieved within neoliberalism, nor simply by the end of neoliberalism, but which can only be fully realised when a social order, which relies on a rigid form of social reproduction for runaway accumulation, has been superseded.

The painfully obvious fact is that we cannot supersede capitalism at this time. We can’t step outside of it. We don’t have the alternative available. Most of our practice involves moving and learning, using the limited models we have to gain power and determination to reach a point where alternatives begin to form. Similarly, to supersede gender, or the use of gender as a means to discipline bodies, we will have to grow and learn from genders that exist. Let a thousand genders bloom is a great slogan, but how? Recognising the importance of solidarity and safety for those who are punished for transgressing the gender binary, or imputed gender roles, is vital. That is to say, if you don’t like the fact that some trans people rely on the gender binary for safety: a) work to make it safer; and b) help improve access to healthcare at the point of need.

—p.74 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] the goal should surely be not simply to limit the violence, or gain the right to challenge the violence, but to eradicate society’s need to discipline bodies with gender in the first place. That’s not something that can be achieved within neoliberalism, nor simply by the end of neoliberalism, but which can only be fully realised when a social order, which relies on a rigid form of social reproduction for runaway accumulation, has been superseded.

The painfully obvious fact is that we cannot supersede capitalism at this time. We can’t step outside of it. We don’t have the alternative available. Most of our practice involves moving and learning, using the limited models we have to gain power and determination to reach a point where alternatives begin to form. Similarly, to supersede gender, or the use of gender as a means to discipline bodies, we will have to grow and learn from genders that exist. Let a thousand genders bloom is a great slogan, but how? Recognising the importance of solidarity and safety for those who are punished for transgressing the gender binary, or imputed gender roles, is vital. That is to say, if you don’t like the fact that some trans people rely on the gender binary for safety: a) work to make it safer; and b) help improve access to healthcare at the point of need.

—p.74 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
75

[...] The real emancipatory potential of technology remains unrealised. Fed by the market, its rapid growth is offset by bloat, and elegant innovation is surrendered to the buyer, whose stagnant world it decorates.

As the rate of profit continues to faceplant, capital responds to the declining organic composition of capital by seeking further, more elaborate efficiencies. As a result, we are now witnessing a technological development as rapid and runaway as accumulation itself, as packs of capitalists seek desperately to satiate themselves on any remaining puddles of profitability. A key component in the struggle over the conditions of our social relations is the wresting of those technologies to our needs. And what are struggles over healthcare provision, if not struggles over the terms of use for socially reproductive technologies? Successfully struggling on these fronts requires exorcising the pernicious ghost of a ‘natural’ human. Why? Because any evocation of an innate, untouched human invokes the idea that by having changed, we have lost humanity. This is not true: as Haraway says we are effectively cyborgs already [...]

Technology is us, and we change ourselves through changing the world around us, though not necessarily in a revolutionary way. Whilst reading glasses and a chip in the brain might have different effects, they are both ultimately about manipulating our bodies. And gender is contested – a tool, or perhaps machine, that is produced, dynamically, through history by active manipulations. Yet we always move within limits – by both historical accident and design we find ourselves with limited gender-shells in which to make sense of ourselves – even our rebellions are constrained. The Xenofeminists talk about ‘seiz[ing] alienation to create new worlds’: accelerationism perhaps, but on the terms of the oppressed, not despite them. Alienation is a two-faced thing: it hurts, and the freedom it gives is not on our terms, but there is also the germ of liberation – we are offered the chance to relinquish any investment in a self-destructive society. The pain felt from our alienation can’t be alleviated by a return to an ethereal state of nature, but has to be embraced, and retooled.

In an exploration of the role and meaning of digital labour, Jamie Woodcock encourages us to think about re-tooling emergent tech to ‘sketch out the ‘possible construction of a rationality opposed to capital … Instead of looking at the wasted opportunities of digital technology under capitalism.’ [...]

quote from the Xenofeminist Manifesto. i think the actual manifesto itself is a little outside my area of interest, but i do like this phrasing

this whole section is great tho

—p.75 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] The real emancipatory potential of technology remains unrealised. Fed by the market, its rapid growth is offset by bloat, and elegant innovation is surrendered to the buyer, whose stagnant world it decorates.

As the rate of profit continues to faceplant, capital responds to the declining organic composition of capital by seeking further, more elaborate efficiencies. As a result, we are now witnessing a technological development as rapid and runaway as accumulation itself, as packs of capitalists seek desperately to satiate themselves on any remaining puddles of profitability. A key component in the struggle over the conditions of our social relations is the wresting of those technologies to our needs. And what are struggles over healthcare provision, if not struggles over the terms of use for socially reproductive technologies? Successfully struggling on these fronts requires exorcising the pernicious ghost of a ‘natural’ human. Why? Because any evocation of an innate, untouched human invokes the idea that by having changed, we have lost humanity. This is not true: as Haraway says we are effectively cyborgs already [...]

Technology is us, and we change ourselves through changing the world around us, though not necessarily in a revolutionary way. Whilst reading glasses and a chip in the brain might have different effects, they are both ultimately about manipulating our bodies. And gender is contested – a tool, or perhaps machine, that is produced, dynamically, through history by active manipulations. Yet we always move within limits – by both historical accident and design we find ourselves with limited gender-shells in which to make sense of ourselves – even our rebellions are constrained. The Xenofeminists talk about ‘seiz[ing] alienation to create new worlds’: accelerationism perhaps, but on the terms of the oppressed, not despite them. Alienation is a two-faced thing: it hurts, and the freedom it gives is not on our terms, but there is also the germ of liberation – we are offered the chance to relinquish any investment in a self-destructive society. The pain felt from our alienation can’t be alleviated by a return to an ethereal state of nature, but has to be embraced, and retooled.

In an exploration of the role and meaning of digital labour, Jamie Woodcock encourages us to think about re-tooling emergent tech to ‘sketch out the ‘possible construction of a rationality opposed to capital … Instead of looking at the wasted opportunities of digital technology under capitalism.’ [...]

quote from the Xenofeminist Manifesto. i think the actual manifesto itself is a little outside my area of interest, but i do like this phrasing

this whole section is great tho

—p.75 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
78

[...] the actualisation of desire and expansion of joy deserve a place in our futurity – what José Esteban Muñoz, in Cruising Utopia, sees as queer utopia. ‘Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.’ The ‘warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality’ is a purgative for assimilationist pragmatism; we don’t wait for ‘progress’ to work its magic; we take each moment of pleasure as a mere kernel of body communism.

There can and should be joy from our relationship with our bodies, in a way that is not reducible to our sexuality, but clearly encompasses it. The demand to end gender is only relevant when we recognise that its power comes from the way it is welded and wielded as a weapon. Like so many social relations, that way is in no way intrinsic – it is not the body that innately causes oppression – but something we choose.

this is pretty

—p.78 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] the actualisation of desire and expansion of joy deserve a place in our futurity – what José Esteban Muñoz, in Cruising Utopia, sees as queer utopia. ‘Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.’ The ‘warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality’ is a purgative for assimilationist pragmatism; we don’t wait for ‘progress’ to work its magic; we take each moment of pleasure as a mere kernel of body communism.

There can and should be joy from our relationship with our bodies, in a way that is not reducible to our sexuality, but clearly encompasses it. The demand to end gender is only relevant when we recognise that its power comes from the way it is welded and wielded as a weapon. Like so many social relations, that way is in no way intrinsic – it is not the body that innately causes oppression – but something we choose.

this is pretty

—p.78 Making and Getting Made: Towards a Cyborg Transfeminism (61) missing author 5 months, 3 weeks ago
91

When reality fails the model, the electorate refusing to do what they are told, the result is an epistemological crisis which throws up various and variously wild speculations. The Russians are said to have ‘hacked’ the election, and there is a useful elision in the verb between meaning literal IT interventions (such as the leak of John Podesta’s emails that so outraged Clinton’s supporters because it disclosed certain truths about their candidate, plausibly-enough blamed on hackers with Russian backing), and in a more vague and very urgent sense of tweaking any system towards a desired outcome in some way or other. On the latter, leaving aside the obvious hypocrisy of the outrage (given the US’s long and vigorous history of interference in foreign elections, from Italy in 1948 through the 1970s, Japan in 1951, Germany 1953, via the Philipines, Vietnam, Laos, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Chile in 1964, and on and on – eighty-one times between 1946 and 2000, not counting coups, according to an estimate by political scientist Dov Levin), the paranoid nebulousness of the latter, broader allegation is striking.

—p.91 ‘One thinge that ouerthroweth all that were graunted before’: On Being Presidential (81) by China Miéville 5 months, 3 weeks ago

When reality fails the model, the electorate refusing to do what they are told, the result is an epistemological crisis which throws up various and variously wild speculations. The Russians are said to have ‘hacked’ the election, and there is a useful elision in the verb between meaning literal IT interventions (such as the leak of John Podesta’s emails that so outraged Clinton’s supporters because it disclosed certain truths about their candidate, plausibly-enough blamed on hackers with Russian backing), and in a more vague and very urgent sense of tweaking any system towards a desired outcome in some way or other. On the latter, leaving aside the obvious hypocrisy of the outrage (given the US’s long and vigorous history of interference in foreign elections, from Italy in 1948 through the 1970s, Japan in 1951, Germany 1953, via the Philipines, Vietnam, Laos, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Chile in 1964, and on and on – eighty-one times between 1946 and 2000, not counting coups, according to an estimate by political scientist Dov Levin), the paranoid nebulousness of the latter, broader allegation is striking.

—p.91 ‘One thinge that ouerthroweth all that were graunted before’: On Being Presidential (81) by China Miéville 5 months, 3 weeks ago
92

Discussing CA’s signature technique of ‘psychographics’, one contributor warned urgently that the company was ‘using psychological techniques to change people’s thoughts and behaviour’. Of course, this could be read as a thoroughly banal description of everyday PR – or as crude apocalyptic warning of nefarious, Manchurian Candidate– or They Live-style total manipulation.

Certainly, there is no ‘free’ choice under capitalism, no preference not complexly shaped. The intricacies of agency, of choice and its constraints under neoliberalism and its ideologies demand nuanced analysis. That, visions of mind-control rays, of putting the ’fluence on the masses, ‘chang[ing] people’s thoughs’, are not.

’For some opponents of Brexit, the idea that the EU referendum was hijacked by alt-right hypnotists wielding high-tech psychological weaponry looks, perhaps, like a reasonable explanation,’ the report startlingly concludes, stretching the definition of ‘reasonable’ by some way. Almost ruefully the piece closes: ’But the known facts don’t, quite, support this theory.’

on Cambridge Analytica. nice rejoinder to liberal hysteria over that

—p.92 ‘One thinge that ouerthroweth all that were graunted before’: On Being Presidential (81) by China Miéville 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Discussing CA’s signature technique of ‘psychographics’, one contributor warned urgently that the company was ‘using psychological techniques to change people’s thoughts and behaviour’. Of course, this could be read as a thoroughly banal description of everyday PR – or as crude apocalyptic warning of nefarious, Manchurian Candidate– or They Live-style total manipulation.

Certainly, there is no ‘free’ choice under capitalism, no preference not complexly shaped. The intricacies of agency, of choice and its constraints under neoliberalism and its ideologies demand nuanced analysis. That, visions of mind-control rays, of putting the ’fluence on the masses, ‘chang[ing] people’s thoughs’, are not.

’For some opponents of Brexit, the idea that the EU referendum was hijacked by alt-right hypnotists wielding high-tech psychological weaponry looks, perhaps, like a reasonable explanation,’ the report startlingly concludes, stretching the definition of ‘reasonable’ by some way. Almost ruefully the piece closes: ’But the known facts don’t, quite, support this theory.’

on Cambridge Analytica. nice rejoinder to liberal hysteria over that

—p.92 ‘One thinge that ouerthroweth all that were graunted before’: On Being Presidential (81) by China Miéville 5 months, 3 weeks ago