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).

1

In the meantime, the most intensive efforts to promote and experiment with practical post-capitalist alternatives are coming from those on the left who are intensely focused on technology. Efforts that came out of the Free Culture movement were primary elements of Podemos, and have combined with other social activists to form the Barcelona en Comu party at the municipal level—perhaps the most comprehensive government-backed effort to create a social and solidarity economy that is distinctly different from capitalism as we know it. [...] Harnessing that intensive experimentation and practical utopianism of online communities, and avoiding the twin errors of treating technology as an exogenous force or as strictly dominated by institutional factors is the biggest payoff of the effort to integrate technology and law into the field of political economy. Only if we understand how institutions and ideology shape and interact with the economy, polity, and technology can we develop such a coherent program; and only such a coherent program can be broad and systematic enough to change the course of the economy that neoliberals have built for us in the past forty years.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 3 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

In the meantime, the most intensive efforts to promote and experiment with practical post-capitalist alternatives are coming from those on the left who are intensely focused on technology. Efforts that came out of the Free Culture movement were primary elements of Podemos, and have combined with other social activists to form the Barcelona en Comu party at the municipal level—perhaps the most comprehensive government-backed effort to create a social and solidarity economy that is distinctly different from capitalism as we know it. [...] Harnessing that intensive experimentation and practical utopianism of online communities, and avoiding the twin errors of treating technology as an exogenous force or as strictly dominated by institutional factors is the biggest payoff of the effort to integrate technology and law into the field of political economy. Only if we understand how institutions and ideology shape and interact with the economy, polity, and technology can we develop such a coherent program; and only such a coherent program can be broad and systematic enough to change the course of the economy that neoliberals have built for us in the past forty years.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 3 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

But the driving assumption was that (a) contrary to both SBTC and its neighbors and Polanyi, technology was very much a function of institutions; (b) cutting edge innovation did not have to follow one narrow “most-efficiency creating” path, but that there was meaningful choice in how innovation progressed; and (c) contrary to the primary explanations of inequality as a function of institutions (deunionization; erosion of minimum wage, etc.), technology had a significant independent role in structuring social relations in the economy, such that winning battles over the dominant designs of the technology could be independently more powerful at structuring social relations than winning political battles or institutional changes that directly regulate those social relations. In its most ambitious version, it could mean that winning political battles over free software or open source hardware could make people better able to live independent lives than winning political battles over labor or employment law. The past decade has led me to be more skeptical of this stronger claim on behalf of technology [...]

"technology could be independently more powerful at structuring social relations than winning political battles or institutional changes that directly regulate those social relations" is a good thing to cite (possibly in reference to techno-utopians)

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

But the driving assumption was that (a) contrary to both SBTC and its neighbors and Polanyi, technology was very much a function of institutions; (b) cutting edge innovation did not have to follow one narrow “most-efficiency creating” path, but that there was meaningful choice in how innovation progressed; and (c) contrary to the primary explanations of inequality as a function of institutions (deunionization; erosion of minimum wage, etc.), technology had a significant independent role in structuring social relations in the economy, such that winning battles over the dominant designs of the technology could be independently more powerful at structuring social relations than winning political battles or institutional changes that directly regulate those social relations. In its most ambitious version, it could mean that winning political battles over free software or open source hardware could make people better able to live independent lives than winning political battles over labor or employment law. The past decade has led me to be more skeptical of this stronger claim on behalf of technology [...]

"technology could be independently more powerful at structuring social relations than winning political battles or institutional changes that directly regulate those social relations" is a good thing to cite (possibly in reference to techno-utopians)

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

This intellectual state of affairs leaves those of us working on technology and inequality with an intellectual challenge. Our closest allies in economics, labor economists who do focus on institutions, leave little room for technology to play any role. Those economists who do pay a lot of attention to technology, tend to treat it as natural and necessary, not itself the product of politics and institutions, and largely as a constraint on the ambition of pursuing an egalitarian economic program.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

This intellectual state of affairs leaves those of us working on technology and inequality with an intellectual challenge. Our closest allies in economics, labor economists who do focus on institutions, leave little room for technology to play any role. Those economists who do pay a lot of attention to technology, tend to treat it as natural and necessary, not itself the product of politics and institutions, and largely as a constraint on the ambition of pursuing an egalitarian economic program.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

Today, workers’ wages across the Uber-taxi divide are roughly 65% of what they were in 2010. They are often below the minimum wage. Told through the eyes of workers, the case study of how regulators responded to rule-breaking platforms and created the city’s contemporary Uber economy can neither be explained through innovation fanaticism nor fundamentally through a politics of efficiency and deregulation. Taxi workers understood innovation discourse as obscuring both their everyday hardships and corruptive, though legal, state practices. And they reframed the law in this process as playing an active role in undermining democratic principles, producing the myth of a free market, and exacerbating political and economic inequalities.

—p.1 Rule-Making as Structural Violence: From a Taxi to Uber Economy in San Francisco by Veena Dubal 3 months ago

Today, workers’ wages across the Uber-taxi divide are roughly 65% of what they were in 2010. They are often below the minimum wage. Told through the eyes of workers, the case study of how regulators responded to rule-breaking platforms and created the city’s contemporary Uber economy can neither be explained through innovation fanaticism nor fundamentally through a politics of efficiency and deregulation. Taxi workers understood innovation discourse as obscuring both their everyday hardships and corruptive, though legal, state practices. And they reframed the law in this process as playing an active role in undermining democratic principles, producing the myth of a free market, and exacerbating political and economic inequalities.

—p.1 Rule-Making as Structural Violence: From a Taxi to Uber Economy in San Francisco by Veena Dubal 3 months ago
1

This suggests, in my mind, a strategy of worker empowerment and deliberative governance rather than command-and-control regulation. At the firm or workplace level, new forms of unionization and collective bargaining could address the everyday invasions of privacy or erosions of autonomy that arise through technological monitoring. Workers might block new monitoring tools that they feel are unduly intrusive. Or they might accept more extensive monitoring in exchange for greater pay or more reasonable hours.

Workers could also be woven into state and federal policy-making in a more sustained fashion. They could be guaranteed seats on new administrative boards established to consider responses to technological change, for example, or given a formal role in a more robust industrial policy that aims to create high-skill jobs and to train workers to take them on. Such proposals update a classic theme in information law: the potential for new technologies to encourage greater democratization. The twist is that to exert democratic control over contemporary technologies, we may need to repurpose a paradigmatic “old-economy” tool: labor unions.

—p.1 Worker Surveillance and Class Power by Brishen Rogers 3 months ago

This suggests, in my mind, a strategy of worker empowerment and deliberative governance rather than command-and-control regulation. At the firm or workplace level, new forms of unionization and collective bargaining could address the everyday invasions of privacy or erosions of autonomy that arise through technological monitoring. Workers might block new monitoring tools that they feel are unduly intrusive. Or they might accept more extensive monitoring in exchange for greater pay or more reasonable hours.

Workers could also be woven into state and federal policy-making in a more sustained fashion. They could be guaranteed seats on new administrative boards established to consider responses to technological change, for example, or given a formal role in a more robust industrial policy that aims to create high-skill jobs and to train workers to take them on. Such proposals update a classic theme in information law: the potential for new technologies to encourage greater democratization. The twist is that to exert democratic control over contemporary technologies, we may need to repurpose a paradigmatic “old-economy” tool: labor unions.

—p.1 Worker Surveillance and Class Power by Brishen Rogers 3 months ago
1

Finally, new monitoring technologies can help firms to shunt workers outside of their legal boundaries through independent contracting, subcontracting, and franchising. Various economic theories suggest that firms tend to bring workers in-house as employees rather than contracting for their services—and therefore tend to accept the legal obligations and financial costs that go along with using employees rather than contractors—when they lack reliable information about workers’ proclivities, or where their work performance is difficult to monitor. In a Coasean approach, the challenge of monitoring workers outside the firm may be a transaction cost that encourages the firm to bring them inside as employees […]

Yet where firms can develop near-perfect knowledge about workers’ performance, the calculus changes.

he says earlier: "firms may use monitoring technologies to push workers to perform harder, faster, and for less."

—p.1 Worker Surveillance and Class Power by Brishen Rogers 3 months ago

Finally, new monitoring technologies can help firms to shunt workers outside of their legal boundaries through independent contracting, subcontracting, and franchising. Various economic theories suggest that firms tend to bring workers in-house as employees rather than contracting for their services—and therefore tend to accept the legal obligations and financial costs that go along with using employees rather than contractors—when they lack reliable information about workers’ proclivities, or where their work performance is difficult to monitor. In a Coasean approach, the challenge of monitoring workers outside the firm may be a transaction cost that encourages the firm to bring them inside as employees […]

Yet where firms can develop near-perfect knowledge about workers’ performance, the calculus changes.

he says earlier: "firms may use monitoring technologies to push workers to perform harder, faster, and for less."

—p.1 Worker Surveillance and Class Power by Brishen Rogers 3 months ago
1

As David, Amy, and Jed’s manifesto at the launch of this blog captured, the theoretical premise of political economy is that “politics and the economy cannot be separated. Politics both creates and shapes the economy. In turn, politics is profoundly shaped by economic relations and economic power. Attempts to separate the economy from politics make justice harder to pursue in both domains.” The role of a political economy of technology is similarly to develop an institutional-political understanding of technology, and to recognize that arguments that treat technology as exogenous and mediated through pre-political and roughly-efficient markets are descriptively mistaken and normatively stultifying.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

As David, Amy, and Jed’s manifesto at the launch of this blog captured, the theoretical premise of political economy is that “politics and the economy cannot be separated. Politics both creates and shapes the economy. In turn, politics is profoundly shaped by economic relations and economic power. Attempts to separate the economy from politics make justice harder to pursue in both domains.” The role of a political economy of technology is similarly to develop an institutional-political understanding of technology, and to recognize that arguments that treat technology as exogenous and mediated through pre-political and roughly-efficient markets are descriptively mistaken and normatively stultifying.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

The most influential economic explanations of rising economic inequality in the past thirty years give a central role to technology, and specifically to the role of skills-biased technical change (SBTC) and the economics of superstars in winner-take-all markets. Both have functioned to naturalize and legitimate emerging patterns of inequality, and to limit the bounds of institutional discussion about the range of feasible interventions that would alleviate inequality while preserving the innovation dynamic on which contemporary rise in standards of living depends. [...]

really digging that he goes into the way these narratives are entwined with real-world effects

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

The most influential economic explanations of rising economic inequality in the past thirty years give a central role to technology, and specifically to the role of skills-biased technical change (SBTC) and the economics of superstars in winner-take-all markets. Both have functioned to naturalize and legitimate emerging patterns of inequality, and to limit the bounds of institutional discussion about the range of feasible interventions that would alleviate inequality while preserving the innovation dynamic on which contemporary rise in standards of living depends. [...]

really digging that he goes into the way these narratives are entwined with real-world effects

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

I see technology as imposing real constraints, and providing meaningful affordances that are sufficiently significant, at least in the short to mid-term, to be a substantial locus of power over the practice of social relations. And yet, technology is neither exogenous nor deterministic, in that it evolves in response to the interaction between the institutional ecosystem and the ideological zeitgeist of a society, such that different societies at the same technological frontier can and do experience significantly different economic and political arrangements. In the short to mid-term, technology acts as a distinct dimension of power enabling some actors to extract more or less than their fair share of economic life; in the long term, technology is a site of struggle, whose shape and pattern are a function of power deployed over the institutional and ideological framework within which we live our lives. The stakes are significant. A left that ignores the implications of technology as a site of meaningful struggle risks falling into a nostalgia for the institutions of yesteryear. But a left that continues to disdain the state and formal institutions, and to imagine that we can build purely technological solutions to inequality risks abandoning the field to the Silicon Valley techno-utopian babble that has legitimated the extractive practices of oligarchy’s most recent heroes.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

I see technology as imposing real constraints, and providing meaningful affordances that are sufficiently significant, at least in the short to mid-term, to be a substantial locus of power over the practice of social relations. And yet, technology is neither exogenous nor deterministic, in that it evolves in response to the interaction between the institutional ecosystem and the ideological zeitgeist of a society, such that different societies at the same technological frontier can and do experience significantly different economic and political arrangements. In the short to mid-term, technology acts as a distinct dimension of power enabling some actors to extract more or less than their fair share of economic life; in the long term, technology is a site of struggle, whose shape and pattern are a function of power deployed over the institutional and ideological framework within which we live our lives. The stakes are significant. A left that ignores the implications of technology as a site of meaningful struggle risks falling into a nostalgia for the institutions of yesteryear. But a left that continues to disdain the state and formal institutions, and to imagine that we can build purely technological solutions to inequality risks abandoning the field to the Silicon Valley techno-utopian babble that has legitimated the extractive practices of oligarchy’s most recent heroes.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 1 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago
1

[...] technology develops as a function of institutional choices; that it is the subject of politics and the site of politics; and that it makes a difference.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago

[...] technology develops as a function of institutional choices; that it is the subject of politics and the site of politics; and that it makes a difference.

—p.1 The Role of Technology in Political Economy: Part 2 by Yochai Benkler 3 months ago