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).

16

[...] the most substantial rewards are allocated, on an industrial basis, to those who build and maintain the technologies of extraction, who hold the system’s intellectual property, and who can trade the aggregate output of personal expression as if it were some bulk commodity like grain or beets. The real spoils, in other words, do not go to the aspiring stars, ranked and rated by the battery of metrics that measure Internet sentiment and opinion, but to behind-the-scenes content hosts and data miners, who utilize these and other metrics to guarantee their profits. The outcome, for this latter group, is a virtually wage-free proposition. When all is said and done, the informal contract that underpins this kind of economy is a profoundly asymmetrical deal.

—p.16 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

[...] the most substantial rewards are allocated, on an industrial basis, to those who build and maintain the technologies of extraction, who hold the system’s intellectual property, and who can trade the aggregate output of personal expression as if it were some bulk commodity like grain or beets. The real spoils, in other words, do not go to the aspiring stars, ranked and rated by the battery of metrics that measure Internet sentiment and opinion, but to behind-the-scenes content hosts and data miners, who utilize these and other metrics to guarantee their profits. The outcome, for this latter group, is a virtually wage-free proposition. When all is said and done, the informal contract that underpins this kind of economy is a profoundly asymmetrical deal.

—p.16 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
20

The new kind of distributed labor does not need to be performed by payroll employees in far-flung branch locations [...] it is done either by users who do not perceive their interactive input as work at all, or else it is contracted out online—through a growing number of e-lance service sites—to a multitude of taskers who piece together lumps of income from motley sources. As in the offshore outsourcing model, the dispersion of this labor is highly organized, but it is not dependent on physical relocation to cheap labor markets. [...]

—p.20 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

The new kind of distributed labor does not need to be performed by payroll employees in far-flung branch locations [...] it is done either by users who do not perceive their interactive input as work at all, or else it is contracted out online—through a growing number of e-lance service sites—to a multitude of taskers who piece together lumps of income from motley sources. As in the offshore outsourcing model, the dispersion of this labor is highly organized, but it is not dependent on physical relocation to cheap labor markets. [...]

—p.20 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
21

Many readers will no doubt conclude that this dual utilization is all part of some big-picture trade-off. After all, the social web has opened up a whole new universe of information-rich public goods—including the potential for anticapitalist organizing; really, really free markets; peer-to-peer common value creation; public access culture; cyberprotest; and alternative economies of all sorts [...] On balance, then, it could be said that the role social web platforms are playing in new modes of capital accumulation is simply the price one pays for maintaining nonproprietary networks whose scope of activity is large and heterogeneous enough to escape the orbit of government or corporate surveillance. Though the enclosers are pushing hard, the balance, for the time being, is still in favor of the commons. From this point of view, all of the free labor that gets skimmed off can be seen as a kind of tithe we pay to the Internet as a whole so that the expropriators stay away from the parts of it we really cherish.

another way of looking at the whole bundling thing (re: centrists)

—p.21 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

Many readers will no doubt conclude that this dual utilization is all part of some big-picture trade-off. After all, the social web has opened up a whole new universe of information-rich public goods—including the potential for anticapitalist organizing; really, really free markets; peer-to-peer common value creation; public access culture; cyberprotest; and alternative economies of all sorts [...] On balance, then, it could be said that the role social web platforms are playing in new modes of capital accumulation is simply the price one pays for maintaining nonproprietary networks whose scope of activity is large and heterogeneous enough to escape the orbit of government or corporate surveillance. Though the enclosers are pushing hard, the balance, for the time being, is still in favor of the commons. From this point of view, all of the free labor that gets skimmed off can be seen as a kind of tithe we pay to the Internet as a whole so that the expropriators stay away from the parts of it we really cherish.

another way of looking at the whole bundling thing (re: centrists)

—p.21 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
21

[...] ethnographic studies of knowledge and creative industry workplaces have shown that job gratification comes at a heavy cost—longer hours in pursuit of the satisfying finish, price discounts in return for aesthetic recognition, self-exploitation in response to the gift of autonomy, and dispensability in exchange for flexibility.

—p.21 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

[...] ethnographic studies of knowledge and creative industry workplaces have shown that job gratification comes at a heavy cost—longer hours in pursuit of the satisfying finish, price discounts in return for aesthetic recognition, self-exploitation in response to the gift of autonomy, and dispensability in exchange for flexibility.

—p.21 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
22

Participants in the free labor debate often come close to assuming that digital technology is its causal agent—responsible in and of itself for punching a colossal hole through the universe of employment norms. Yet blaming new media is a sorry instance of the fallacy of technological determinism at work. Among other things, it ignores the proliferation of unpaid labor in old media and other parts of the employment landscape over the last decade and a half.

digital sphere as merely extending/accelerating tendencies latent in the rest of the economy in recent years

—p.22 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

Participants in the free labor debate often come close to assuming that digital technology is its causal agent—responsible in and of itself for punching a colossal hole through the universe of employment norms. Yet blaming new media is a sorry instance of the fallacy of technological determinism at work. Among other things, it ignores the proliferation of unpaid labor in old media and other parts of the employment landscape over the last decade and a half.

digital sphere as merely extending/accelerating tendencies latent in the rest of the economy in recent years

—p.22 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
23

The labor infractions in these old media sectors are conspicuous because they take place against the still heavily unionized backdrop of the entertainment industries. In the world of new media, where unions have no foothold whatsoever, the blurring of the lines between work and leisure and the widespread exploitation of amateur or user input has been normative from the outset. It would be more accurate to conclude, then, that while digital technology did not give birth to the model of free labor, it has proven to be a highly efficient enabler of nonstandard work arrangements.

—p.23 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

The labor infractions in these old media sectors are conspicuous because they take place against the still heavily unionized backdrop of the entertainment industries. In the world of new media, where unions have no foothold whatsoever, the blurring of the lines between work and leisure and the widespread exploitation of amateur or user input has been normative from the outset. It would be more accurate to conclude, then, that while digital technology did not give birth to the model of free labor, it has proven to be a highly efficient enabler of nonstandard work arrangements.

—p.23 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
25

Capital owners have long sought to transfer work from the producer to the consumer or user, or from the formal site of production to decentralized points of consumption. [...]

But these burdens are only the most tangible evidence of what Italian operaismo theorists such as Mario Tronti called the “social factory.” According to this thesis, the work discipline of the factory is exported far beyond its bounded walls, and a large share of the work of production is subsequently and increasingly performed, without remuneration, in our daily social doings. Consequently, the entire content of our everyday lives—our net subjectivity—and not just our workplace toil, becomes raw material for capital accumulation. In the mid-1970s when this thesis was put forth, it was an avant-garde analysis of the efforts of capital owners to liberate themselves from factory-bound conflicts with unionized and often militant workers organizations. The transfer of work outside of the traditional sites of production was only part of capital’s response. Another was to relocate to cheaper, union-free locations, and a third was to casualize workforces wherever possible. Today, offshore outsourcing is a fait accompli, and the forced march of temping into most professions seems to be unstoppable. [...]

example he uses: self-service dialing/customer-service

—p.25 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

Capital owners have long sought to transfer work from the producer to the consumer or user, or from the formal site of production to decentralized points of consumption. [...]

But these burdens are only the most tangible evidence of what Italian operaismo theorists such as Mario Tronti called the “social factory.” According to this thesis, the work discipline of the factory is exported far beyond its bounded walls, and a large share of the work of production is subsequently and increasingly performed, without remuneration, in our daily social doings. Consequently, the entire content of our everyday lives—our net subjectivity—and not just our workplace toil, becomes raw material for capital accumulation. In the mid-1970s when this thesis was put forth, it was an avant-garde analysis of the efforts of capital owners to liberate themselves from factory-bound conflicts with unionized and often militant workers organizations. The transfer of work outside of the traditional sites of production was only part of capital’s response. Another was to relocate to cheaper, union-free locations, and a third was to casualize workforces wherever possible. Today, offshore outsourcing is a fait accompli, and the forced march of temping into most professions seems to be unstoppable. [...]

example he uses: self-service dialing/customer-service

—p.25 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
27

On the question of the general intellect, there is little dispute that some high-growth industrial sectors are increasingly dependent on ideas and creative talent, and that capital has had to grant some concessions in order to guarantee a supply of cognitive skills. As long as their control over intellectual property is assured, capital owners have been willing to cede some ground over labor discipline; the creative work landscape now hosts multiple forms of autonomy and self-organization, at a far remove from the Taylorist rules of standardization and deskilling. Yet the copy-fight over intellectual property is a fraught terrain, featuring running skirmishes with the commons-loving hacker fractions of the cognitive class over the policing of digital rights management. So, too, the exposure of capital to open knowledge networks for sources of profit carries its own risks; investments in technically specific business models can go south rapidly when access to the same knowledge is widely available at no cost. In the case of free inputs, the hand that gives is also the hand that takes.

[...]

It would be naive, however, to conclude, as some advocates of immaterial labor do, that capital has been weakened or outsmarted by the need to forage far and wide, and on especially uncertain and hostile terrain, for cognitive inputs and surpluses. The evidence from the current rent-extraction boom is that profits from new markets are far from soft, whether for jumbo monopolists like Google and Facebook or rapidly expanding content farms like Demand Media and Associated Content or for the army of smaller content aggregators. Moreover, their business models are highly quantitative and are very precisely tied to the measurable value of inputs from users or contributors. In this regard, it is by no means clear that the increasingly sophisticated Internet metrics industry represents a significant departure from the gainful calculus of the labor theory of value. Far from transforming the conventions of worker productivity and rewards beyond recognition, the digital labor system, as Chris Lehman suggests, has “merely sent the rewards further down the fee stream to unscrupulous collectors.”

fuck this is so good

—p.27 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

On the question of the general intellect, there is little dispute that some high-growth industrial sectors are increasingly dependent on ideas and creative talent, and that capital has had to grant some concessions in order to guarantee a supply of cognitive skills. As long as their control over intellectual property is assured, capital owners have been willing to cede some ground over labor discipline; the creative work landscape now hosts multiple forms of autonomy and self-organization, at a far remove from the Taylorist rules of standardization and deskilling. Yet the copy-fight over intellectual property is a fraught terrain, featuring running skirmishes with the commons-loving hacker fractions of the cognitive class over the policing of digital rights management. So, too, the exposure of capital to open knowledge networks for sources of profit carries its own risks; investments in technically specific business models can go south rapidly when access to the same knowledge is widely available at no cost. In the case of free inputs, the hand that gives is also the hand that takes.

[...]

It would be naive, however, to conclude, as some advocates of immaterial labor do, that capital has been weakened or outsmarted by the need to forage far and wide, and on especially uncertain and hostile terrain, for cognitive inputs and surpluses. The evidence from the current rent-extraction boom is that profits from new markets are far from soft, whether for jumbo monopolists like Google and Facebook or rapidly expanding content farms like Demand Media and Associated Content or for the army of smaller content aggregators. Moreover, their business models are highly quantitative and are very precisely tied to the measurable value of inputs from users or contributors. In this regard, it is by no means clear that the increasingly sophisticated Internet metrics industry represents a significant departure from the gainful calculus of the labor theory of value. Far from transforming the conventions of worker productivity and rewards beyond recognition, the digital labor system, as Chris Lehman suggests, has “merely sent the rewards further down the fee stream to unscrupulous collectors.”

fuck this is so good

—p.27 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
28

[...] Because its profit margin from making components was much larger than the margins it enjoyed from computer assembly, Foxconn was able to take them on by integrating all the parts manufacture and lowering its own margin on the final assembly work. Now that it is the largest private employer in China, with more than one million workers, Foxconn has the market power to force these former customers to adopt its vertical production methods by merging with its other component suppliers. [...]

hmm interesting. to think about

—p.28 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago

[...] Because its profit margin from making components was much larger than the margins it enjoyed from computer assembly, Foxconn was able to take them on by integrating all the parts manufacture and lowering its own margin on the final assembly work. Now that it is the largest private employer in China, with more than one million workers, Foxconn has the market power to force these former customers to adopt its vertical production methods by merging with its other component suppliers. [...]

hmm interesting. to think about

—p.28 In Search of the Lost Paycheck (13) by Andrew Ross 3 months, 1 week ago
35

In Richard Barbrook’s definition, the digital economy is characterized by the emergence of new technologies (computer networks) and new types of workers (the digital artisans). According to Barbrook, the digital economy is a mixed economy: it includes a public element (the state’s funding of the original research that produced ARPANET, the financial support to academic activities that had a substantial role in shaping the culture of the Internet); a market-driven element (a latecomer that tries to appropriate the digital economy by reintroducing commodification); and a gift economy element (the true expression of the cutting edge of capitalist production that prepares its eventual overcoming into a future “anarchocommunism”).

—p.35 Free Labor (33) by Tiziana Terranova 3 months, 1 week ago

In Richard Barbrook’s definition, the digital economy is characterized by the emergence of new technologies (computer networks) and new types of workers (the digital artisans). According to Barbrook, the digital economy is a mixed economy: it includes a public element (the state’s funding of the original research that produced ARPANET, the financial support to academic activities that had a substantial role in shaping the culture of the Internet); a market-driven element (a latecomer that tries to appropriate the digital economy by reintroducing commodification); and a gift economy element (the true expression of the cutting edge of capitalist production that prepares its eventual overcoming into a future “anarchocommunism”).

—p.35 Free Labor (33) by Tiziana Terranova 3 months, 1 week ago