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).

Something I’ve been thinking about is just like, if the U.S. government gave the Postal Service 0.0001 percent of the military budget we wouldn’t have to depend on Amazon. If we even had like a dime of federal funding, we wouldn’t be breaking our backs all the time. We could take a step back and reorganize the whole way the Postal Service works in a better and more humane way.

The workers themselves are so tired and beaten down that they haven’t been organizing to push for something like that. It’s a constructed funding shortage that Amazon has exploited for its own purposes. This instituted austerity regarding the Postal Service was the perfect opportunity for Amazon to come in and transform what was at least a mildly public institution into a fully private one.

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

Something I’ve been thinking about is just like, if the U.S. government gave the Postal Service 0.0001 percent of the military budget we wouldn’t have to depend on Amazon. If we even had like a dime of federal funding, we wouldn’t be breaking our backs all the time. We could take a step back and reorganize the whole way the Postal Service works in a better and more humane way.

The workers themselves are so tired and beaten down that they haven’t been organizing to push for something like that. It’s a constructed funding shortage that Amazon has exploited for its own purposes. This instituted austerity regarding the Postal Service was the perfect opportunity for Amazon to come in and transform what was at least a mildly public institution into a fully private one.

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

We have a lot of instances of heat stroke. Every morning, when it’s gonna be hot, the postmaster walks around, reads his little spiel like, “Stay hydrated. If you need to take a break, take a break in shade. Safety’s your responsibility.” But when they yell at you to your face about being faster and faster every single day—when the fuck are you supposed to take a break? So it’s like, “Do you want me to be fast, or do you want me to not get heat stroke?” They just tell you these things so that the blame isn’t on them. No matter what, it’s your fault. You’re either slow, or you’re dead. It’s very dystopian. It’s kind of a nightmare right now.

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

We have a lot of instances of heat stroke. Every morning, when it’s gonna be hot, the postmaster walks around, reads his little spiel like, “Stay hydrated. If you need to take a break, take a break in shade. Safety’s your responsibility.” But when they yell at you to your face about being faster and faster every single day—when the fuck are you supposed to take a break? So it’s like, “Do you want me to be fast, or do you want me to not get heat stroke?” They just tell you these things so that the blame isn’t on them. No matter what, it’s your fault. You’re either slow, or you’re dead. It’s very dystopian. It’s kind of a nightmare right now.

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

They [the USPS] do a computer-generated route every Sunday, so you show up, and depending on who has ordered packages, they hand you a paper sheet of turn-by-turn directions of what the computer has generated as the most efficient route. It’s wildly inaccurate most of the time. I generally know some of these towns now, so I look at these directions, and I’m like “Well, that’s not even remotely the most efficient path.” But you just have to use it because you can get in trouble if you go off route.

quoting the anonymous USPS worker.

classic case of there being no feedback loop, leading from the actual frontline workers to the software engineers. it's funny that this is something i sought to tackle with MM and actually managed to (ofc, we never really scaled, plus i wasn't exactly solving a pressing problem)

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

They [the USPS] do a computer-generated route every Sunday, so you show up, and depending on who has ordered packages, they hand you a paper sheet of turn-by-turn directions of what the computer has generated as the most efficient route. It’s wildly inaccurate most of the time. I generally know some of these towns now, so I look at these directions, and I’m like “Well, that’s not even remotely the most efficient path.” But you just have to use it because you can get in trouble if you go off route.

quoting the anonymous USPS worker.

classic case of there being no feedback loop, leading from the actual frontline workers to the software engineers. it's funny that this is something i sought to tackle with MM and actually managed to (ofc, we never really scaled, plus i wasn't exactly solving a pressing problem)

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

Amazon declined to comment for this story, but the USPS issued the following statement: “Dedicated Postal Service employees across the country are committed to delivering for the American public and have fostered the recent package growth through exceptional performance. Growth in our package business partially off-set the significant decline in mail and is essential to help stabilize the finances of the Postal Service and pay for our infrastructure that enables us to fulfill our universal service obligation. Like any prudent business, we do not publicly discuss specifics of our business relationships.”

this is a FASCINATING statement that deserves unpacking. businesses exist in a fog of opacity which we just accept, even if the decisions they make impact us all. but the lack of democratic control over their decisions feels normal, even IF what they're doing should really be a public service (and has been in the past!!)

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

Amazon declined to comment for this story, but the USPS issued the following statement: “Dedicated Postal Service employees across the country are committed to delivering for the American public and have fostered the recent package growth through exceptional performance. Growth in our package business partially off-set the significant decline in mail and is essential to help stabilize the finances of the Postal Service and pay for our infrastructure that enables us to fulfill our universal service obligation. Like any prudent business, we do not publicly discuss specifics of our business relationships.”

this is a FASCINATING statement that deserves unpacking. businesses exist in a fog of opacity which we just accept, even if the decisions they make impact us all. but the lack of democratic control over their decisions feels normal, even IF what they're doing should really be a public service (and has been in the past!!)

Confessions of a U.S. Postal Worker: “We deliver Amazon packages until we drop dead.” missing author 12 months ago

New Labour’s greatest intellectual error, on the economy, was to forget the good sense of the labour movement, and presume — showing its fealty to neoclassical economics — that the whirring machine of capitalism would produce the goods which a benevolent government could then seek to redistribute in more acceptable manner. [...]

[...] New Labour ended up taking from the somewhat better off, and giving to the worse off: inequality at the very top of society was left to skyrocket, unchallenged. But they failed, singularly, to address the economy’s structural flaws: its growing dependency on household debt, its yawning balance of payments, its ballooning financial institutions. A failure to tackle these — indeed, on the last, the active encouragement of said ballooning — helped drive the economy full-tilt into the brick wall of the global financial crisis of the late 2000s. As a result of this crisis, austerity measures are now busily tearing through those mildly redistributive measures Labour introduced: Education Maintenance Allowance — gone; Sure Start centres — chopped; tax credits — going. The fruits of New Labour’s compromise with high finance lasted no longer than a decade; it was able to defend, partially, some of the historic gains of the labour movement, most notably the NHS, but even those are now, under austerity, open to attack.

Corbynomics: where next? missing author 1 year, 10 months ago

New Labour’s greatest intellectual error, on the economy, was to forget the good sense of the labour movement, and presume — showing its fealty to neoclassical economics — that the whirring machine of capitalism would produce the goods which a benevolent government could then seek to redistribute in more acceptable manner. [...]

[...] New Labour ended up taking from the somewhat better off, and giving to the worse off: inequality at the very top of society was left to skyrocket, unchallenged. But they failed, singularly, to address the economy’s structural flaws: its growing dependency on household debt, its yawning balance of payments, its ballooning financial institutions. A failure to tackle these — indeed, on the last, the active encouragement of said ballooning — helped drive the economy full-tilt into the brick wall of the global financial crisis of the late 2000s. As a result of this crisis, austerity measures are now busily tearing through those mildly redistributive measures Labour introduced: Education Maintenance Allowance — gone; Sure Start centres — chopped; tax credits — going. The fruits of New Labour’s compromise with high finance lasted no longer than a decade; it was able to defend, partially, some of the historic gains of the labour movement, most notably the NHS, but even those are now, under austerity, open to attack.

Corbynomics: where next? missing author 1 year, 10 months ago

[...] there’s a very interesting discourse that I quote in my book in chapter 13 by the founder of Sciences Po, and so that was right after the expanse of the commune, which was very traumatic at least for the elite, a very traumatic experience of redistribution in France. And so he has a very clear way to explain, well okay, now that we have universal suffrage, there’s a risk that basically the poor and the majority of the population will try to expropriate us, the elite. We have to display merits and our own standings so that it will be a completely crazy idea to get rid of us. So in a way it’s as if the meritocracy, the modern meritocracy discourse is invented as a way to protect the elite from democracy basically, from the universal suffrage. And he has a way to put it, which is very interesting, because at the same time Sciences Po is a private institution with very high tuition fees where it’s difficult to access if you’re not from the elite. So in the end this is the same elite in the sense that if you don’t come from a high income group it’s very difficult to access this elite, so — , but in terms of discourse it tries to present itself as based on merit.

An interview with Thomas Piketty by Thomas Piketty 2 years, 1 month ago

[...] there’s a very interesting discourse that I quote in my book in chapter 13 by the founder of Sciences Po, and so that was right after the expanse of the commune, which was very traumatic at least for the elite, a very traumatic experience of redistribution in France. And so he has a very clear way to explain, well okay, now that we have universal suffrage, there’s a risk that basically the poor and the majority of the population will try to expropriate us, the elite. We have to display merits and our own standings so that it will be a completely crazy idea to get rid of us. So in a way it’s as if the meritocracy, the modern meritocracy discourse is invented as a way to protect the elite from democracy basically, from the universal suffrage. And he has a way to put it, which is very interesting, because at the same time Sciences Po is a private institution with very high tuition fees where it’s difficult to access if you’re not from the elite. So in the end this is the same elite in the sense that if you don’t come from a high income group it’s very difficult to access this elite, so — , but in terms of discourse it tries to present itself as based on merit.

An interview with Thomas Piketty by Thomas Piketty 2 years, 1 month ago

Without understanding the complex interplay of things, it’s hard not to feel resentful about certain things that we do see. But at the same time, it’s not possible to hold onto the complexity. I can appreciate why individuals are indignant when they feel as though they pay taxes for that money to be given away to foreigners through foreign aid and immigration programs. These people feel like they’re struggling; like they’re working hard; like they’re facing injustice. Still, it makes sense to me that people’s sense of prosperity is only as good as their feeling that they’re getting ahead. And when you’ve been earning $40/hour doing union work only to lose that job and feel like the only other option is a $25/hour job, the feeling is bad, no matter that this is more than most people make. There’s a reason that Silicon Valley engineers feel as though they’re struggling, and it’s not because they’re comparing themselves to everyone in the world. It’s because the standard of living keeps dropping in front of them. It’s all relative.

It’s easy to say “tough shit” or “boo hoo hoo,” or to point out that most people have it much worse. And, at some levels, this is true. But if we don’t account for how people feel, we’re not going to achieve a more just world — we’re going to stoke the fires of a new cultural war as society becomes increasingly polarized.

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

Without understanding the complex interplay of things, it’s hard not to feel resentful about certain things that we do see. But at the same time, it’s not possible to hold onto the complexity. I can appreciate why individuals are indignant when they feel as though they pay taxes for that money to be given away to foreigners through foreign aid and immigration programs. These people feel like they’re struggling; like they’re working hard; like they’re facing injustice. Still, it makes sense to me that people’s sense of prosperity is only as good as their feeling that they’re getting ahead. And when you’ve been earning $40/hour doing union work only to lose that job and feel like the only other option is a $25/hour job, the feeling is bad, no matter that this is more than most people make. There’s a reason that Silicon Valley engineers feel as though they’re struggling, and it’s not because they’re comparing themselves to everyone in the world. It’s because the standard of living keeps dropping in front of them. It’s all relative.

It’s easy to say “tough shit” or “boo hoo hoo,” or to point out that most people have it much worse. And, at some levels, this is true. But if we don’t account for how people feel, we’re not going to achieve a more just world — we’re going to stoke the fires of a new cultural war as society becomes increasingly polarized.

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

It took me years to understand that the boys who tormented me in college didn’t feel powerful, didn’t see their antagonism as oppression. I was even louder and more brash back then than I am now. I walked into any given room performing confidence in ways that completely obscured my insecurities. I took up space, used my sexuality as a tool, and demanded attention. These were the survival skills that I had learned to harness as a ticket out. And these are the very same skills that have allowed me to succeed professionally and get access to tremendous privilege. I have paid a price for some of the games that I have played, but I can’t deny that I’ve gained a lot in the process. I have also come to understand that my survival strategies were completely infuriating to many geeky white boys that I encountered in tech. Many guys saw me as getting ahead because I was a token woman. I was accused of sleeping my way to the top on plenty of occasions. I wasn’t simply seen as an alpha — I was seen as the kind of girl that screwed boys over. And because I was working on diversity and inclusion projects in computer science to attract more women and minorities to the field, I was seen as being the architect of excluding white men. For so many geeky guys I met, CS was the place where they felt powerful, and I stood for taking that away. I represented an oppressor to them even though I felt like it was they who were oppressing me.

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

It took me years to understand that the boys who tormented me in college didn’t feel powerful, didn’t see their antagonism as oppression. I was even louder and more brash back then than I am now. I walked into any given room performing confidence in ways that completely obscured my insecurities. I took up space, used my sexuality as a tool, and demanded attention. These were the survival skills that I had learned to harness as a ticket out. And these are the very same skills that have allowed me to succeed professionally and get access to tremendous privilege. I have paid a price for some of the games that I have played, but I can’t deny that I’ve gained a lot in the process. I have also come to understand that my survival strategies were completely infuriating to many geeky white boys that I encountered in tech. Many guys saw me as getting ahead because I was a token woman. I was accused of sleeping my way to the top on plenty of occasions. I wasn’t simply seen as an alpha — I was seen as the kind of girl that screwed boys over. And because I was working on diversity and inclusion projects in computer science to attract more women and minorities to the field, I was seen as being the architect of excluding white men. For so many geeky guys I met, CS was the place where they felt powerful, and I stood for taking that away. I represented an oppressor to them even though I felt like it was they who were oppressing me.

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

For most, Silicon Valley is at a distance, a far-off land of imagination brought to you by the likes of David Fincher and HBO. Progressive values demand empathy for the poor, and this often manifests as hatred for the rich. But what’s missing from this mindset is an understanding of the local perception of wealth, poverty, and status. And, more importantly, the political consequences of that local perception.

Think about it this way. I live in New York City, where the median household income is somewhere around $55K. My network primarily makes above the median, and yet they all complain that they don’t have enough money to achieve what they want in New York, whether they’re making $55K, $70K, or $150K. Complaining about not having enough money is ritualized alongside complaining about the rents. No one I know really groks that they’re making above the median income for the city (and, thus, that most people are much poorer than they are), let alone how absurd their complaints might sound to someone from a poorer country where a median income might be $1,500 (e.g., India).

The reason for this is not simply that people living in New York City are spoiled, but that people’s understanding of prosperity is shaped by what they see around them. [...]

[...]

In other words, in a neoliberal society, we consistently compare ourselves to others in ways that make us feel as though we are less well off than we’d like. And we mock others who are more privileged who do the same. (And, horribly, we often blame others who are not for making bad decisions.)

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

For most, Silicon Valley is at a distance, a far-off land of imagination brought to you by the likes of David Fincher and HBO. Progressive values demand empathy for the poor, and this often manifests as hatred for the rich. But what’s missing from this mindset is an understanding of the local perception of wealth, poverty, and status. And, more importantly, the political consequences of that local perception.

Think about it this way. I live in New York City, where the median household income is somewhere around $55K. My network primarily makes above the median, and yet they all complain that they don’t have enough money to achieve what they want in New York, whether they’re making $55K, $70K, or $150K. Complaining about not having enough money is ritualized alongside complaining about the rents. No one I know really groks that they’re making above the median income for the city (and, thus, that most people are much poorer than they are), let alone how absurd their complaints might sound to someone from a poorer country where a median income might be $1,500 (e.g., India).

The reason for this is not simply that people living in New York City are spoiled, but that people’s understanding of prosperity is shaped by what they see around them. [...]

[...]

In other words, in a neoliberal society, we consistently compare ourselves to others in ways that make us feel as though we are less well off than we’d like. And we mock others who are more privileged who do the same. (And, horribly, we often blame others who are not for making bad decisions.)

Failing to See, Fueling Hatred. by Danah Boyd 2 years, 2 months ago

The engine of the global economy should be investment. Investment in what? In people. Not in paper — stocks, currencies, and so on. But real investment in human lives. Whether hospitals, schools, universities, public healthcare systems, transport, research, and so on. Money should be pouring into investments that elevate the stagnant boundaries of real human potential.

How American Collapse is Like Climate Change missing author 2 years, 2 months ago

The engine of the global economy should be investment. Investment in what? In people. Not in paper — stocks, currencies, and so on. But real investment in human lives. Whether hospitals, schools, universities, public healthcare systems, transport, research, and so on. Money should be pouring into investments that elevate the stagnant boundaries of real human potential.

How American Collapse is Like Climate Change missing author 2 years, 2 months ago