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).

1

[...] President Obama spoke softly about the seriousness of human-driven climate change in public while his administration chipped away at automobile emissions and provided token green-energy incentives. These may have been the correct policies for a major, developed nation . . . in the early 1990s. But like much else after the financial crisis in 2008, the opportunity for a visionary shift in national focus — one that would have required investment at least equal to that being poured into the unwinnable war on terror — was bartered away to chase after an illusory political consensus with the terminally uncompromising opposition.

love the phrasing

—p.1 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] President Obama spoke softly about the seriousness of human-driven climate change in public while his administration chipped away at automobile emissions and provided token green-energy incentives. These may have been the correct policies for a major, developed nation . . . in the early 1990s. But like much else after the financial crisis in 2008, the opportunity for a visionary shift in national focus — one that would have required investment at least equal to that being poured into the unwinnable war on terror — was bartered away to chase after an illusory political consensus with the terminally uncompromising opposition.

love the phrasing

—p.1 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
3

ONCE IN A WHILE, and with increasing frequency, climate change rises to the forefront of popular consciousness. It happened, for instance, in 2007, when An Inconvenient Truth won two Oscars and extreme heatwaves swept across the US and Europe, causing wildfires that torched over ten million acres of forest. A critical mass of people aided by the notion that others are doing something similar can break through the powerful psychological resistance and look the blinding thing in the face. It’s devastating and painful; you grieve and you panic. Even so, there’s relief in bringing something so painful into view, in holding it with your mind. But you can only look for so long. Resistance reasserts itself, and you slide back behind it. Next time you come out a tiny bit further before you retreat. This is how understanding happens, through a series of breakthroughs and retrenchments and consolidations, as with all efforts toward intentional growth. A single revelation is rarely enough. Even though “we know, we know,” as Bellow’s Mr. Sammler says about the human moral impulse, we also forget, forget.

So much of our daily behavior is confused and uncertain. We can’t seem to lead the lives we have and acknowledge the future simultaneously, even as we must. We keep our eyes on the middle distance — our hopes for the country (universal healthcare!) and for ourselves — and only feel the shadows on the horizon across our peripheral vision. We are everyday climate deniers the way we are everyday death deniers: we write our articles, save for “retirement,” canvass for causes that give us the most hope. We go to bars and ask our friends whether they plan to have kids. Those of us with kids have become “preppers” in both senses, drilling our toddlers with blocks, trilingual board books, and Raspberry Pis to ace the local magnet preschool’s entrance exam while lobbying high schools to teach organic farming and archery. Perhaps we should start cultivating other friends, those with hand skills, for when civilization breaks. But what will we be able to offer in return? We can edit their mission statements! More likely we’ll do the unskilled labor, like rusticated Chinese intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution. Perhaps our arrow-slinging children will bear us on their backs out of the civilization we ruined for them.

jesus

—p.3 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

ONCE IN A WHILE, and with increasing frequency, climate change rises to the forefront of popular consciousness. It happened, for instance, in 2007, when An Inconvenient Truth won two Oscars and extreme heatwaves swept across the US and Europe, causing wildfires that torched over ten million acres of forest. A critical mass of people aided by the notion that others are doing something similar can break through the powerful psychological resistance and look the blinding thing in the face. It’s devastating and painful; you grieve and you panic. Even so, there’s relief in bringing something so painful into view, in holding it with your mind. But you can only look for so long. Resistance reasserts itself, and you slide back behind it. Next time you come out a tiny bit further before you retreat. This is how understanding happens, through a series of breakthroughs and retrenchments and consolidations, as with all efforts toward intentional growth. A single revelation is rarely enough. Even though “we know, we know,” as Bellow’s Mr. Sammler says about the human moral impulse, we also forget, forget.

So much of our daily behavior is confused and uncertain. We can’t seem to lead the lives we have and acknowledge the future simultaneously, even as we must. We keep our eyes on the middle distance — our hopes for the country (universal healthcare!) and for ourselves — and only feel the shadows on the horizon across our peripheral vision. We are everyday climate deniers the way we are everyday death deniers: we write our articles, save for “retirement,” canvass for causes that give us the most hope. We go to bars and ask our friends whether they plan to have kids. Those of us with kids have become “preppers” in both senses, drilling our toddlers with blocks, trilingual board books, and Raspberry Pis to ace the local magnet preschool’s entrance exam while lobbying high schools to teach organic farming and archery. Perhaps we should start cultivating other friends, those with hand skills, for when civilization breaks. But what will we be able to offer in return? We can edit their mission statements! More likely we’ll do the unskilled labor, like rusticated Chinese intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution. Perhaps our arrow-slinging children will bear us on their backs out of the civilization we ruined for them.

jesus

—p.3 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
4

Intellectually, this is the most difficult: to let go of our impulses toward the infinite and the eternal, which in another era might have been satisfied by religion but which we learned to redirect into literature and culture. There was a powerful seduction in the idea that while individual humans may die, books and ideas provide humans a quantum of immortality. Even if we didn’t write a lasting work, we could participate in a community of shared meaning and purpose that predated us and would, because of our efforts, outlast us. The intimacy we may still feel with a long-dead writer or artist, even living ones we’ve never met, is the most special thing in the world. Such premises, though, cannot be reconciled with an understanding of what’s ahead. We delay grappling with the fact of death in favor of a kind of collective immortality of literature, of shared thought — but that kind of immortality is premised on the existence of our civilization and the maintenance of our traditions. And when human civilization ends, whether in the sudden collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet or with a giant methane fart or both, wet and smelly, it’s unlikely that whatever comes after will have much interest in shoring fragments against our ruins.

—p.4 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Intellectually, this is the most difficult: to let go of our impulses toward the infinite and the eternal, which in another era might have been satisfied by religion but which we learned to redirect into literature and culture. There was a powerful seduction in the idea that while individual humans may die, books and ideas provide humans a quantum of immortality. Even if we didn’t write a lasting work, we could participate in a community of shared meaning and purpose that predated us and would, because of our efforts, outlast us. The intimacy we may still feel with a long-dead writer or artist, even living ones we’ve never met, is the most special thing in the world. Such premises, though, cannot be reconciled with an understanding of what’s ahead. We delay grappling with the fact of death in favor of a kind of collective immortality of literature, of shared thought — but that kind of immortality is premised on the existence of our civilization and the maintenance of our traditions. And when human civilization ends, whether in the sudden collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet or with a giant methane fart or both, wet and smelly, it’s unlikely that whatever comes after will have much interest in shoring fragments against our ruins.

—p.4 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
8

TRULY, WE HAVE FUCKED IT UP in so many ways! Yet while climate change increasingly feels like an inescapable doom upon humanity, our only means of recourse remains political. Even under the heavy weather of present and near-future conditions, there’s an imperative to imagine that we aren’t facing the death of everyone, or the end of existence. No matter what the worst-case models using the most advanced forecasting of feedback loops may predict, we have to act as if we can assume some degree of human continuity. What happens in the next decades is instead, as the climate reporter Kate Aronoff has said, about who gets to live in the 21st century. And the question of who gets to live, and how, has always been the realm of politics.

The most radical and hopeful response to climate change shouldn’t be, What do we give up? It should remain the same one that plenty of ordinary and limited humans ask themselves each day: How do we collectively improve our overall quality of life? It is a welfare question, one that has less to do with consumer choices — like changing light bulbs — than with the spending of trillions and trillions of still-available dollars on decoupling economic growth and wealth from carbon-based fuels and carbon-intensive products, including plastics.

—p.8 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago

TRULY, WE HAVE FUCKED IT UP in so many ways! Yet while climate change increasingly feels like an inescapable doom upon humanity, our only means of recourse remains political. Even under the heavy weather of present and near-future conditions, there’s an imperative to imagine that we aren’t facing the death of everyone, or the end of existence. No matter what the worst-case models using the most advanced forecasting of feedback loops may predict, we have to act as if we can assume some degree of human continuity. What happens in the next decades is instead, as the climate reporter Kate Aronoff has said, about who gets to live in the 21st century. And the question of who gets to live, and how, has always been the realm of politics.

The most radical and hopeful response to climate change shouldn’t be, What do we give up? It should remain the same one that plenty of ordinary and limited humans ask themselves each day: How do we collectively improve our overall quality of life? It is a welfare question, one that has less to do with consumer choices — like changing light bulbs — than with the spending of trillions and trillions of still-available dollars on decoupling economic growth and wealth from carbon-based fuels and carbon-intensive products, including plastics.

—p.8 The Best of a Bad Situation (1) by n+1 7 months, 2 weeks ago
19

In Korea, however, America avoided defeat. The peninsula was first divided up in a panic at the end of World War II. Japan lost Korea, along with all of its other colonies, after its defeat at the hands of the Allies. Two days after the US dropped a nuclear weapon on Hiroshima, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and Stalin’s troops began to move quickly down the Korean peninsula. Perhaps worried that the Red Army would occupy the whole thing, US government officials, without consulting anyone from any other country, literally used a National Geographic map to decide on dividing the peninsula at the 38th parallel. Separate governments formed in each half of the country. The US organized elections for a legislature in 1948, and although the UN certified those elections as “free and fair,” the franchise was limited to landowners, taxpayers, and village elders. This arrangement satisfied nobody. Koreans did not want their civilization, which had existed for thousands of years, to be split in half. Political unrest and border conflict became more common in the latter half of the 1940s, and civil war decisively broke out on June 25, 1950. There is much arguing about whether the North invaded in a conquering spirit or because it was provoked, but it doesn’t matter. The political situation was intolerable, and the US had blocked all possible avenues to its resolution. The question would have to be decided by war.

sounds familiar

—p.19 The Korean Peace Process (11) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In Korea, however, America avoided defeat. The peninsula was first divided up in a panic at the end of World War II. Japan lost Korea, along with all of its other colonies, after its defeat at the hands of the Allies. Two days after the US dropped a nuclear weapon on Hiroshima, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and Stalin’s troops began to move quickly down the Korean peninsula. Perhaps worried that the Red Army would occupy the whole thing, US government officials, without consulting anyone from any other country, literally used a National Geographic map to decide on dividing the peninsula at the 38th parallel. Separate governments formed in each half of the country. The US organized elections for a legislature in 1948, and although the UN certified those elections as “free and fair,” the franchise was limited to landowners, taxpayers, and village elders. This arrangement satisfied nobody. Koreans did not want their civilization, which had existed for thousands of years, to be split in half. Political unrest and border conflict became more common in the latter half of the 1940s, and civil war decisively broke out on June 25, 1950. There is much arguing about whether the North invaded in a conquering spirit or because it was provoked, but it doesn’t matter. The political situation was intolerable, and the US had blocked all possible avenues to its resolution. The question would have to be decided by war.

sounds familiar

—p.19 The Korean Peace Process (11) missing author 7 months, 2 weeks ago
32

[...] Keynes then underscored the lack of democratic oversight of the future, as capitalists’ investment decisions instead shaped the world and led to the disastrous inequalities and wars of his age. Problems including underconsumption had their root in the uneven distribution of wealth and power synonymous with the existence of a permanent capitalist class of owners and rentiers, whose wealth derives (as Marx might have put it) from their ability to command labor power through their control over wealth-producing wealth. From ownership stems an ability to charge others for the conditions of their existence — to hold power over them by charging them long into the future.

nicely put

—p.32 Renewed Labour (24) by Barnaby Raine 7 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] Keynes then underscored the lack of democratic oversight of the future, as capitalists’ investment decisions instead shaped the world and led to the disastrous inequalities and wars of his age. Problems including underconsumption had their root in the uneven distribution of wealth and power synonymous with the existence of a permanent capitalist class of owners and rentiers, whose wealth derives (as Marx might have put it) from their ability to command labor power through their control over wealth-producing wealth. From ownership stems an ability to charge others for the conditions of their existence — to hold power over them by charging them long into the future.

nicely put

—p.32 Renewed Labour (24) by Barnaby Raine 7 months, 2 weeks ago
33

Keynes’s second anxiety was that scarce capital produces a class of rentiers who invest in ownership rather than productivity. McDonnell uses this insight to argue for rent controls and tenants’ rights to dramatically alter the balance of power in housing; he seeks limits on the debt that credit card companies can extract and the abolition of higher education fees. All this means abolishing Maurizio Lazzarato’s “indebted man” as a subject-position of our times: disempowered, afraid of the future, alien to the confidence of struggle. McDonnell ended 2017 with a warning about escalating personal debt. Household debt is first of all a symbol of the failure to secure rising productivity and pay, but it is also a class question, since it generates individual and corporate creditors whose accumulation relies not on producing use values, not even on producing exchange values, but only on perpetuating a generally deleterious status quo in which life’s goods — housing, education, money itself — are kept as scarce and pricey as possible. And so the futurist development of the productive forces and the achievement of abundance require confronting this social class. A focus on rents completes McDonnellism by locating its class politics. Rentiers are the enemy of the future, those who profit from present stagnation. Thus class is expressed in part as age, where older voters are more likely to be property owners and the young are burdened with debts, so that Britain’s new age-based political binaries do not represent the death of class politics as is sometimes supposed.

—p.33 Renewed Labour (24) by Barnaby Raine 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Keynes’s second anxiety was that scarce capital produces a class of rentiers who invest in ownership rather than productivity. McDonnell uses this insight to argue for rent controls and tenants’ rights to dramatically alter the balance of power in housing; he seeks limits on the debt that credit card companies can extract and the abolition of higher education fees. All this means abolishing Maurizio Lazzarato’s “indebted man” as a subject-position of our times: disempowered, afraid of the future, alien to the confidence of struggle. McDonnell ended 2017 with a warning about escalating personal debt. Household debt is first of all a symbol of the failure to secure rising productivity and pay, but it is also a class question, since it generates individual and corporate creditors whose accumulation relies not on producing use values, not even on producing exchange values, but only on perpetuating a generally deleterious status quo in which life’s goods — housing, education, money itself — are kept as scarce and pricey as possible. And so the futurist development of the productive forces and the achievement of abundance require confronting this social class. A focus on rents completes McDonnellism by locating its class politics. Rentiers are the enemy of the future, those who profit from present stagnation. Thus class is expressed in part as age, where older voters are more likely to be property owners and the young are burdened with debts, so that Britain’s new age-based political binaries do not represent the death of class politics as is sometimes supposed.

—p.33 Renewed Labour (24) by Barnaby Raine 7 months, 2 weeks ago
68

The way they sat — that too I recall quite vividly. They sprawled with weary abandon, feet on the rungs of their desks, knees apart, like women in birthing chairs. But there would be all this tension in their jaws — an inordinate amount, as if all their testosterone had bivouacked there to rest up for the next hallway dominance display. Lolling, practically supine, they’d chew gum, bearing down hard. Or they’d glare at the clock, masseters flexing. I can picture one of them punctuating a smart-ass remark with a sudden, teeth-gnashing smile — louche, twinkly, crocodilian.

Oh my God, you are so immature, their female friends would say, constantly. They were immature, but there was also something extremely precocious about them, something oddly adult. They acted just like cocky assholes twice their age, drawling their way through off-color anecdotes with the jaded amusement of i-bankers, and hailing one another in the halls with an air of grim camaraderie that said, We few, we happy few. How did they figure it all out so early — style, demeanor, a whole way of being a person — when the rest of us were still bumbling around? I didn’t understand it then, but now I realize that, just like aristocrats, the jocks in my high school truly were the heirs of a venerable and highly prestigious tradition, one that has been handed down, older brother to younger, senior to freshman, ever since jocks became jocks, whenever that was.

just good writing

—p.68 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The way they sat — that too I recall quite vividly. They sprawled with weary abandon, feet on the rungs of their desks, knees apart, like women in birthing chairs. But there would be all this tension in their jaws — an inordinate amount, as if all their testosterone had bivouacked there to rest up for the next hallway dominance display. Lolling, practically supine, they’d chew gum, bearing down hard. Or they’d glare at the clock, masseters flexing. I can picture one of them punctuating a smart-ass remark with a sudden, teeth-gnashing smile — louche, twinkly, crocodilian.

Oh my God, you are so immature, their female friends would say, constantly. They were immature, but there was also something extremely precocious about them, something oddly adult. They acted just like cocky assholes twice their age, drawling their way through off-color anecdotes with the jaded amusement of i-bankers, and hailing one another in the halls with an air of grim camaraderie that said, We few, we happy few. How did they figure it all out so early — style, demeanor, a whole way of being a person — when the rest of us were still bumbling around? I didn’t understand it then, but now I realize that, just like aristocrats, the jocks in my high school truly were the heirs of a venerable and highly prestigious tradition, one that has been handed down, older brother to younger, senior to freshman, ever since jocks became jocks, whenever that was.

just good writing

—p.68 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago
76

Kavanaugh, to the GOP, is sort of like a collateralized debt obligation: an instrument no one really understands and no one really wants to understand. The more you think about a given CDO — the more closely you scrutinize its trash assets, the longer you contemplate the insane upside-down ziggurat of risk you’re buying into . . . Well, when you stare into the abyss it stares back into you. Kavanaugh’s material weaknesses, as an accountant might say, have always been apparent to anyone who cared to look. But by virtue of his race and gender and the education and upbringing his parents purchased for him, he entered the credibility economy with considerable wealth. And that meant others would grant him credibility, the way having money means you can borrow money. Informal transactions of belief, gentlemen’s agreements that aren’t on the books, propelled him upward as they have propelled so many of the mediocrities of the ruling class. “I never met him,” said Donald Trump on October 2, “but [I’ve] been hearing [about] this guy named Brett Kavanaugh who is, who is like a perfect person, who is destined for the Supreme Court. I’ve heard that for a long time.”

[...]

Perhaps you had thought, as I had, that women were making progress, that our credibility, relative to men’s, was rising. This is in fact occurring. But if progress is radically provisional, it’s not really progress. Another useful thing about Fricker’s “economy” formulation is that it implies the existence of a credibility precariat, to which women belong.

—p.76 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Kavanaugh, to the GOP, is sort of like a collateralized debt obligation: an instrument no one really understands and no one really wants to understand. The more you think about a given CDO — the more closely you scrutinize its trash assets, the longer you contemplate the insane upside-down ziggurat of risk you’re buying into . . . Well, when you stare into the abyss it stares back into you. Kavanaugh’s material weaknesses, as an accountant might say, have always been apparent to anyone who cared to look. But by virtue of his race and gender and the education and upbringing his parents purchased for him, he entered the credibility economy with considerable wealth. And that meant others would grant him credibility, the way having money means you can borrow money. Informal transactions of belief, gentlemen’s agreements that aren’t on the books, propelled him upward as they have propelled so many of the mediocrities of the ruling class. “I never met him,” said Donald Trump on October 2, “but [I’ve] been hearing [about] this guy named Brett Kavanaugh who is, who is like a perfect person, who is destined for the Supreme Court. I’ve heard that for a long time.”

[...]

Perhaps you had thought, as I had, that women were making progress, that our credibility, relative to men’s, was rising. This is in fact occurring. But if progress is radically provisional, it’s not really progress. Another useful thing about Fricker’s “economy” formulation is that it implies the existence of a credibility precariat, to which women belong.

—p.76 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago
81

In her 1990 book Fraternity Gang Rape, the anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday notes, “I did not use the word ‘fraternity’ in the title to refer to fraternities generally as an institution. The phrase ‘fraternity gang rape’ refers to bonding through sex. . . . I use the word ‘fraternity’ . . . to mean a group of persons associated by or as if by ties of brotherhood.” Mark and Brett strengthened the ties of brotherhood while assaulting Christine Blasey Ford. In their world — the world of Prep guys, and the Glen Ridge guys, and Brock Turner, and Owen Labrie, and the Steubenville football players, and the fraternity brothers Ehrhart and Sandler studied, and on and on — many guys hold the old-fashioned view that sex is something you do with someone you love. It’s just that the people they love are their bros.

For them, sex is something you do to a woman, with your friends. Guys who organize their sex lives around these prepositional relationships engage in any or all of a specific array of behaviors, ranging from mild caddishness to heinous crime: talking about their partners in a degrading way; voyeuring; circulating photos or videos of sex; making adversarial efforts to seduce women they consciously disdain; hogging (slang for seeking out partners who are considered unattractive); conspiring to get prospective conquests drunk, slip them roofies, or otherwise diminish their capacity to consent; rape. The woman’s responsiveness or lack thereof is irrelevant, because it is the responsiveness of the rapists’ male friends that matters — whether the friends are standing right there during the act or are brought up to speed afterward.

—p.81 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago

In her 1990 book Fraternity Gang Rape, the anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday notes, “I did not use the word ‘fraternity’ in the title to refer to fraternities generally as an institution. The phrase ‘fraternity gang rape’ refers to bonding through sex. . . . I use the word ‘fraternity’ . . . to mean a group of persons associated by or as if by ties of brotherhood.” Mark and Brett strengthened the ties of brotherhood while assaulting Christine Blasey Ford. In their world — the world of Prep guys, and the Glen Ridge guys, and Brock Turner, and Owen Labrie, and the Steubenville football players, and the fraternity brothers Ehrhart and Sandler studied, and on and on — many guys hold the old-fashioned view that sex is something you do with someone you love. It’s just that the people they love are their bros.

For them, sex is something you do to a woman, with your friends. Guys who organize their sex lives around these prepositional relationships engage in any or all of a specific array of behaviors, ranging from mild caddishness to heinous crime: talking about their partners in a degrading way; voyeuring; circulating photos or videos of sex; making adversarial efforts to seduce women they consciously disdain; hogging (slang for seeking out partners who are considered unattractive); conspiring to get prospective conquests drunk, slip them roofies, or otherwise diminish their capacity to consent; rape. The woman’s responsiveness or lack thereof is irrelevant, because it is the responsiveness of the rapists’ male friends that matters — whether the friends are standing right there during the act or are brought up to speed afterward.

—p.81 Everybody Knows (63) by Elizabeth Schambelan 7 months, 2 weeks ago