Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

55

It cheered me to imagine that the air that once powered me could power others, to believe that the breath that enables me to engrave these words could one day flow through someone else's body. I do not delude myself into thinking that this would be a way for me to live again, because I am not that air, I am the pattern that it assumed, temporarily. The pattern that is me, the patterns that are the entire world in which I live, would be gone.

—p.55 Exhalation (37) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

It cheered me to imagine that the air that once powered me could power others, to believe that the breath that enables me to engrave these words could one day flow through someone else's body. I do not delude myself into thinking that this would be a way for me to live again, because I am not that air, I am the pattern that it assumed, temporarily. The pattern that is me, the patterns that are the entire world in which I live, would be gone.

—p.55 Exhalation (37) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago
66

Ana hesitates; this is not what she envisioned for herself when she went to college, and for a moment she wonders how it has come to this. As a girl she dreamed of following Fossey and Goodall to Africa; by the time she got out of grad school, there were so few apes left that her best option was to work in a zoo; now she's looking at a job as a trainer of virtual pets. In her career trajectory you can see the diminution of the natural world, writ small. Snap out of it, she tells herself It may not be what she had in mind, but this is a job in the software industry, which is what she went back to school for. And training virtual monkeys might actually be more fun than running test suites, so as long as Blue Gamma is offering a decent salary, why not?

—p.66 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

Ana hesitates; this is not what she envisioned for herself when she went to college, and for a moment she wonders how it has come to this. As a girl she dreamed of following Fossey and Goodall to Africa; by the time she got out of grad school, there were so few apes left that her best option was to work in a zoo; now she's looking at a job as a trainer of virtual pets. In her career trajectory you can see the diminution of the natural world, writ small. Snap out of it, she tells herself It may not be what she had in mind, but this is a job in the software industry, which is what she went back to school for. And training virtual monkeys might actually be more fun than running test suites, so as long as Blue Gamma is offering a decent salary, why not?

—p.66 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago
162

"We aren't looking for superintelligent employees, we're looking for superintelligent products. You're offering us the former, and I can't blame you; no one can spend as many years as you have teaching a digient and still think of it as a product. But our business isn't based on that kind of sentiment."

Ana has been pretending it wasn't there, but now Pearson has stated it baldly: the fundamental incompatibility between Exponential's goals and hers. They want something that responds like a person, but isn't owed the same obligations as a person, and that's something she can't give them.

No one can give it to them, because it's an impossibility. The years she spent raising Jax didn't just make him fun to talk to, didn't just provide him with hobbies and a sense of humor. It was what gave him all the attributes Exponential was looking for: fluency at navigating the real world, creativity at solving new problems, judgment you could entrust an important decision to. Every quality that made a person more valuable than a database was a product of experience.

—p.162 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

"We aren't looking for superintelligent employees, we're looking for superintelligent products. You're offering us the former, and I can't blame you; no one can spend as many years as you have teaching a digient and still think of it as a product. But our business isn't based on that kind of sentiment."

Ana has been pretending it wasn't there, but now Pearson has stated it baldly: the fundamental incompatibility between Exponential's goals and hers. They want something that responds like a person, but isn't owed the same obligations as a person, and that's something she can't give them.

No one can give it to them, because it's an impossibility. The years she spent raising Jax didn't just make him fun to talk to, didn't just provide him with hobbies and a sense of humor. It was what gave him all the attributes Exponential was looking for: fluency at navigating the real world, creativity at solving new problems, judgment you could entrust an important decision to. Every quality that made a person more valuable than a database was a product of experience.

—p.162 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago
165

Her objection is to Polytope's strategy for getting people to spend that time. Blue Gamma's strategy had been to make the digients lovable, while Polytope was starting with unlovable digients and using pharmaceuticals to make people love them. It seems clear to her that Blue Gamma's approach was the right one, not just more ethical but more effective.

Indeed, maybe it was too effective, considering the situation she's in now: she's faced with the biggest expense of her entire life, and it's for her digient. It's not what anyone at Blue Gamma expected, all those years ago, but perhaps they should have. The idea of love with no strings attached is as much a fantasy as what Binary Desire is selling. Loving someone means making sacrifices for them.

—p.165 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

Her objection is to Polytope's strategy for getting people to spend that time. Blue Gamma's strategy had been to make the digients lovable, while Polytope was starting with unlovable digients and using pharmaceuticals to make people love them. It seems clear to her that Blue Gamma's approach was the right one, not just more ethical but more effective.

Indeed, maybe it was too effective, considering the situation she's in now: she's faced with the biggest expense of her entire life, and it's for her digient. It's not what anyone at Blue Gamma expected, all those years ago, but perhaps they should have. The idea of love with no strings attached is as much a fantasy as what Binary Desire is selling. Loving someone means making sacrifices for them.

—p.165 The Lifecycle of Software Objects (62) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago
328

Kevin asked, "So does that mean it doesn't matter if we act like jerks?"

"It matters to the person in this branch that you're acting like a jerk to," said Zareenah.

"But what about globally? Does being a jerk in this branch increase the percentage of jerkish behavior across all branches?"

"I'm not sure about the math," said Dana. "But I definitely think that your choices matter. Every decision you make contributes to your character and shapes the kind of person you are. If you want to be someone who always gives the extra money back to the cashier, the actions you take now affect whether you'll become that person.

"The branch where you're having a bad day and keep the extra change is one that split off in the past; your actions can't affect it anymore. But if you act compassionately in this branch, that's still meaningful, because it has an effect on the branches that will split off in the future. The more often you make compassionate choices, the less likely it is that you'll make selfish choices in the future, even in the branches where you're having a bad day."

i mean i think keeping extra change is probably fine but i do like this sentiment

—p.328 Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (270) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

Kevin asked, "So does that mean it doesn't matter if we act like jerks?"

"It matters to the person in this branch that you're acting like a jerk to," said Zareenah.

"But what about globally? Does being a jerk in this branch increase the percentage of jerkish behavior across all branches?"

"I'm not sure about the math," said Dana. "But I definitely think that your choices matter. Every decision you make contributes to your character and shapes the kind of person you are. If you want to be someone who always gives the extra money back to the cashier, the actions you take now affect whether you'll become that person.

"The branch where you're having a bad day and keep the extra change is one that split off in the past; your actions can't affect it anymore. But if you act compassionately in this branch, that's still meaningful, because it has an effect on the branches that will split off in the future. The more often you make compassionate choices, the less likely it is that you'll make selfish choices in the future, even in the branches where you're having a bad day."

i mean i think keeping extra change is probably fine but i do like this sentiment

—p.328 Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (270) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago
336

"[...] there are other people for whom being generous comes easily, without a struggle. And it's easy for them because in the past they made a lot of little decisions to be generous. It was hard for me because I've made a lot of little decisions to be selfish in the past. So I'm the reason it's hard for me to be generous. That's something I need to fix. [...]"

eh i dont like this

—p.336 Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (270) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago

"[...] there are other people for whom being generous comes easily, without a struggle. And it's easy for them because in the past they made a lot of little decisions to be generous. It was hard for me because I've made a lot of little decisions to be selfish in the past. So I'm the reason it's hard for me to be generous. That's something I need to fix. [...]"

eh i dont like this

—p.336 Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (270) by Ted Chiang 11 months ago