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).

7

[...] Government no longer ‘delivered’ public services, but ‘procured’ them. New Labour’s major structural legacy lay here, in hollowing out swathes of public assets and service provision for the benefit of rent-seeking firms, through the expansion of Private Finance Initiatives. Under these schemes, contracting companies establish Special-Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) which borrow capital to build and maintain schools, hospitals and prisons, with revenue streams guaranteed for thirty years or more. The Thatcher and Major governments had already experimented with PFIs. Blair and Brown went on to adopt them on a much larger scale, advised by their friends in the City that ‘partnering’ with finance capital would be a more providential way of raising resources for school- and hospital-building programmes than imposing higher taxes on wealthy corporations and the rich.

—p.7 The Corbyn Project (5) by Robin Blackburn 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] Government no longer ‘delivered’ public services, but ‘procured’ them. New Labour’s major structural legacy lay here, in hollowing out swathes of public assets and service provision for the benefit of rent-seeking firms, through the expansion of Private Finance Initiatives. Under these schemes, contracting companies establish Special-Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) which borrow capital to build and maintain schools, hospitals and prisons, with revenue streams guaranteed for thirty years or more. The Thatcher and Major governments had already experimented with PFIs. Blair and Brown went on to adopt them on a much larger scale, advised by their friends in the City that ‘partnering’ with finance capital would be a more providential way of raising resources for school- and hospital-building programmes than imposing higher taxes on wealthy corporations and the rich.

—p.7 The Corbyn Project (5) by Robin Blackburn 3 weeks, 3 days ago
14

The Manifesto’s central narrative was of economic rebalancing away from the financial sector, to reanimate the productive economies of the regions through public investment, renationalization, environmental protection and egalitarian social spending. The focus of Labour’s industrial strategy is a National Investment Bank, run by a brains trust of progressive economists, industrialists, entrepreneurs and trade unionists, which would raise and manage a £250 billion fund, spread across ten years, to invest in new technology, the information economy and infrastructure, with the aim of shifting 60 per cent of energy to zero-carbon or renewable sources and raising Research & Development funding to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030. This would be a real boost to the national R&D, which in 2016 was £33 billion. [29] The NIB would support a network of regional development banks, providing ‘patient, long-term finance’ to small businesses, plugging gaps in the supply chain and promoting alternative forms of ownership such as co-operatives. While backing for co-ops and small business has long been a staple of Labour manifestos, the commitment to a public-utility finance system is new, as is the nod to Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute or Norway’s State Pension Fund.

—p.14 The Corbyn Project (5) by Robin Blackburn 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The Manifesto’s central narrative was of economic rebalancing away from the financial sector, to reanimate the productive economies of the regions through public investment, renationalization, environmental protection and egalitarian social spending. The focus of Labour’s industrial strategy is a National Investment Bank, run by a brains trust of progressive economists, industrialists, entrepreneurs and trade unionists, which would raise and manage a £250 billion fund, spread across ten years, to invest in new technology, the information economy and infrastructure, with the aim of shifting 60 per cent of energy to zero-carbon or renewable sources and raising Research & Development funding to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030. This would be a real boost to the national R&D, which in 2016 was £33 billion. [29] The NIB would support a network of regional development banks, providing ‘patient, long-term finance’ to small businesses, plugging gaps in the supply chain and promoting alternative forms of ownership such as co-operatives. While backing for co-ops and small business has long been a staple of Labour manifestos, the commitment to a public-utility finance system is new, as is the nod to Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute or Norway’s State Pension Fund.

—p.14 The Corbyn Project (5) by Robin Blackburn 3 weeks, 3 days ago
66

A fully renewable system will probably occupy one hundred times more land than a fossil-fuel-powered one. In the case of the US, between 25 and 50 per cent of its territory, and in a cloudy, densely populated country such as the UK, all of the national territory might have to be covered in wind turbines, solar panels and biofuel crops to maintain current levels of energy production. While ongoing tinkering will improve renewable energy systems, they will never have the power densities of fossil fuels. It is land scarcity, rather than rare natural resources, that is the ultimate limit to economic growth: energy consumption must be cut.

a focus on land scarcity could be a strong plank of any left mobilisation tbh. look at how the rich people who own land use it now, with their mansions and fields and shit. it's so obvious to basically anyone that it's a suboptimal use of space, but if we tie that into an ecological agenda as well ...

—p.66 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

A fully renewable system will probably occupy one hundred times more land than a fossil-fuel-powered one. In the case of the US, between 25 and 50 per cent of its territory, and in a cloudy, densely populated country such as the UK, all of the national territory might have to be covered in wind turbines, solar panels and biofuel crops to maintain current levels of energy production. While ongoing tinkering will improve renewable energy systems, they will never have the power densities of fossil fuels. It is land scarcity, rather than rare natural resources, that is the ultimate limit to economic growth: energy consumption must be cut.

a focus on land scarcity could be a strong plank of any left mobilisation tbh. look at how the rich people who own land use it now, with their mansions and fields and shit. it's so obvious to basically anyone that it's a suboptimal use of space, but if we tie that into an ecological agenda as well ...

—p.66 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
68

[...] growth is not the result of a misguided cultural notion. Daly has missed the crucial insight that capitalism is a novel system, emerging only in the early modern era and pitting rival capitals against each other, such that profit-making is a structural imperative, not merely an option. Capital must complete its circuit through the commodity form greater than when it started or there will be a crisis. Profitability, not abstract measurements like GDP, is what matters. The latter’s late arrival in the history of capitalism hints that it is mere foam, while the struggle to maintain profitability goes on in the churning depths. Daly underestimates the difficulties of shackling capitalism so as to slow it down.

—p.68 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] growth is not the result of a misguided cultural notion. Daly has missed the crucial insight that capitalism is a novel system, emerging only in the early modern era and pitting rival capitals against each other, such that profit-making is a structural imperative, not merely an option. Capital must complete its circuit through the commodity form greater than when it started or there will be a crisis. Profitability, not abstract measurements like GDP, is what matters. The latter’s late arrival in the history of capitalism hints that it is mere foam, while the struggle to maintain profitability goes on in the churning depths. Daly underestimates the difficulties of shackling capitalism so as to slow it down.

—p.68 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
69

[...] Turning nature into ‘natural capital’ makes it easier to exploit; insisting on the non-fungibility of certain parts of nature by placing it beyond the economy’s reach is its surest defence.

—p.69 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

[...] Turning nature into ‘natural capital’ makes it easier to exploit; insisting on the non-fungibility of certain parts of nature by placing it beyond the economy’s reach is its surest defence.

—p.69 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
73

If no rapid transition away from coal, methane and petroleum is on the cards, then Artificial Geo-Engineering, a dangerous and once-ostracized technology, becomes increasingly likely. It already has the blessing of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The probable consequences are dystopian sci-fi. ‘Solar radiation management’ will bleach the sky white, cause tens of thousands of deaths from aerosol pollution, gash the ozone layer and interrupt vital climatic systems like the monsoon and the Gulf Stream. Some of these risks are even acknowledged by its advocates; the world’s leading geo-engineer, David Keith, admits that the closest analogue to Artificial Geo-Engineering is nuclear weapons. It is appropriate that the natural habitat of this technology is in Alberta. In the 2000s, Keith was teaching at the University of Calgary, where both the institution and city have become inextricably linked to the tar-sands industry. To commodify his dangerous expertise he founded a firm, Carbon Engineering, which counts Bill Gates and tar-sands tycoon Murray Edwards as its billionaire patrons. Keith and his fellow thinkers were ostracized as dangerous quacks only a decade ago, but have become respectable through their embrace by the likes of Harvard (where Keith now teaches) and Oxford. Like nuclear waste, or the gargantuan tailings lakes of the tar-sands industry, Artificial Geo-Engineering will require millennia-long management. Should the ‘climate shield’ ever fail, if a war or some other disaster interrupts the aerosol cannons, then the world would rapidly overheat. Such an amplified geo-engineered summer could be as devastating to Earth life as a nuclear winter.

—p.73 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

If no rapid transition away from coal, methane and petroleum is on the cards, then Artificial Geo-Engineering, a dangerous and once-ostracized technology, becomes increasingly likely. It already has the blessing of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The probable consequences are dystopian sci-fi. ‘Solar radiation management’ will bleach the sky white, cause tens of thousands of deaths from aerosol pollution, gash the ozone layer and interrupt vital climatic systems like the monsoon and the Gulf Stream. Some of these risks are even acknowledged by its advocates; the world’s leading geo-engineer, David Keith, admits that the closest analogue to Artificial Geo-Engineering is nuclear weapons. It is appropriate that the natural habitat of this technology is in Alberta. In the 2000s, Keith was teaching at the University of Calgary, where both the institution and city have become inextricably linked to the tar-sands industry. To commodify his dangerous expertise he founded a firm, Carbon Engineering, which counts Bill Gates and tar-sands tycoon Murray Edwards as its billionaire patrons. Keith and his fellow thinkers were ostracized as dangerous quacks only a decade ago, but have become respectable through their embrace by the likes of Harvard (where Keith now teaches) and Oxford. Like nuclear waste, or the gargantuan tailings lakes of the tar-sands industry, Artificial Geo-Engineering will require millennia-long management. Should the ‘climate shield’ ever fail, if a war or some other disaster interrupts the aerosol cannons, then the world would rapidly overheat. Such an amplified geo-engineered summer could be as devastating to Earth life as a nuclear winter.

—p.73 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
82

Roads and urban sprawl are leading causes of ecosystem fragmentation; a serious reduction in car use would free up huge amounts of space. In many US cities, for example, approximately 60 per cent of municipal land area is dedicated to car use in the form of roads, car parks and easements. Even if energy efficiency means that carbon pollution from oft-demonized cars is not as great as one might have expected, reducing their use is important for reasons of land scarcity. Air travel will need to be rationed, too. Although planes have doubled their fuel efficiency since 1978, flying is the fastest growing sector of transportation and, in the short term, the greenhouse-gas pollution emitted by planes has an effect 20 times greater than all the world’s cars, because of the sensitivity of the atmosphere’s upper reaches. Substitutes, such as solar-powered planes, will not be able to compete with kerosene-driven rivals for many decades. Here, there is no technological fix in sight.

good thing i've recovered from my frequent flyer program addiction

—p.82 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Roads and urban sprawl are leading causes of ecosystem fragmentation; a serious reduction in car use would free up huge amounts of space. In many US cities, for example, approximately 60 per cent of municipal land area is dedicated to car use in the form of roads, car parks and easements. Even if energy efficiency means that carbon pollution from oft-demonized cars is not as great as one might have expected, reducing their use is important for reasons of land scarcity. Air travel will need to be rationed, too. Although planes have doubled their fuel efficiency since 1978, flying is the fastest growing sector of transportation and, in the short term, the greenhouse-gas pollution emitted by planes has an effect 20 times greater than all the world’s cars, because of the sensitivity of the atmosphere’s upper reaches. Substitutes, such as solar-powered planes, will not be able to compete with kerosene-driven rivals for many decades. Here, there is no technological fix in sight.

good thing i've recovered from my frequent flyer program addiction

—p.82 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
85

The argument for half-earthing is predicated upon the clear and present danger of nuclear power, Artificial Geo-Engineering and fossil fuels. Capitalism can continue ‘business as usual’, but only at an ever greater cost to nature and the world’s poor. An effective and desirable half-Earth political economy must offer a better life for most people. If egalitarian eco-austerity is to work, resources must be rationed for the sake of fairness and efficacy; asceticism cannot be a mere ‘lifestyle choice’. An eco-austere life may mean fewer consumerist trifles and less work, but it would guarantee rights to shelter, health care, leisure and education. There is a vast literature on the uselessness of private consumption, beyond a certain point. A solution to global environmental crises requires the humbling of the global bourgeoisie, the richest several hundred million. The bourgeoisie cannot pretend that the society they have created can solve its own problems; a green veneer would signify little in a biologically impoverished world with a corporate-controlled climate. While this minority must adjust to relatively modest living standards, the very same ceiling to their consumption would imply a greatly raised floor for humanity’s majority. Most importantly, this egalitarian limit would allow the amelioration of the global climate system that everyone depends upon and the preservation of millions of other species.

—p.85 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The argument for half-earthing is predicated upon the clear and present danger of nuclear power, Artificial Geo-Engineering and fossil fuels. Capitalism can continue ‘business as usual’, but only at an ever greater cost to nature and the world’s poor. An effective and desirable half-Earth political economy must offer a better life for most people. If egalitarian eco-austerity is to work, resources must be rationed for the sake of fairness and efficacy; asceticism cannot be a mere ‘lifestyle choice’. An eco-austere life may mean fewer consumerist trifles and less work, but it would guarantee rights to shelter, health care, leisure and education. There is a vast literature on the uselessness of private consumption, beyond a certain point. A solution to global environmental crises requires the humbling of the global bourgeoisie, the richest several hundred million. The bourgeoisie cannot pretend that the society they have created can solve its own problems; a green veneer would signify little in a biologically impoverished world with a corporate-controlled climate. While this minority must adjust to relatively modest living standards, the very same ceiling to their consumption would imply a greatly raised floor for humanity’s majority. Most importantly, this egalitarian limit would allow the amelioration of the global climate system that everyone depends upon and the preservation of millions of other species.

—p.85 To Freeze the Thames (63) by Troy Vettese 3 weeks, 3 days ago
102

After this plunge into the thick of a chaotic situation, the novel’s patterns crystallize slowly. The numerous ‘triangulated relationships’ and shifting alliances among Chang’s large ensemble cast establish the triangle as the emblematic shape for the book’s many subplots. These small stories do not really cohere into a major plot or crescendo into a climax. Instead, they spread out horizontally, in interwoven narrative vignettes and mini-scenes, connected by Julie’s free associations. Rather than flowing forward in big waves, the narrative spreads out in rings of ripples, swirling around fragments of reality—‘a bit of time in the pure state’, in Proust’s words. Memory, then, provides the governing logic, with the confusion and complexity of life rendered as experience rather than as story. Chang not only resorts to remembrance for her source material but calibrates the narrative form to imitate the patterns of memory: radial rather than linear, elliptical rather than coherent. At the same time, there is a grain of feminist salt: the narrative voice, especially in its use of free indirect style, sees the world from a young woman’s point of view. Chang, as author, reaches deep into her experience of life and recalls it from within. History, in Little Reunions, is represented through an intensified female consciousness.

why is this so pretty to me !!

—p.102 Belated Reunion? (89) by Jiwei Xiao 3 weeks, 3 days ago

After this plunge into the thick of a chaotic situation, the novel’s patterns crystallize slowly. The numerous ‘triangulated relationships’ and shifting alliances among Chang’s large ensemble cast establish the triangle as the emblematic shape for the book’s many subplots. These small stories do not really cohere into a major plot or crescendo into a climax. Instead, they spread out horizontally, in interwoven narrative vignettes and mini-scenes, connected by Julie’s free associations. Rather than flowing forward in big waves, the narrative spreads out in rings of ripples, swirling around fragments of reality—‘a bit of time in the pure state’, in Proust’s words. Memory, then, provides the governing logic, with the confusion and complexity of life rendered as experience rather than as story. Chang not only resorts to remembrance for her source material but calibrates the narrative form to imitate the patterns of memory: radial rather than linear, elliptical rather than coherent. At the same time, there is a grain of feminist salt: the narrative voice, especially in its use of free indirect style, sees the world from a young woman’s point of view. Chang, as author, reaches deep into her experience of life and recalls it from within. History, in Little Reunions, is represented through an intensified female consciousness.

why is this so pretty to me !!

—p.102 Belated Reunion? (89) by Jiwei Xiao 3 weeks, 3 days ago
104

The contrast between the style of Little Reunions and that of Chang’s early prose yields a surprising insight about the latter: it was not only its immediate aesthetic appeal but also an effect of reassurance that made the early work such a pleasure. This has something to do with the ‘draping’ and ‘dressing’ effect of Chang’s refined language: like a veil, it softens the abject; like a gauze, it salves the wounds of the world’s atrocities. Little Reunions, by contrast, suggests that at this point of her life, Chang no longer believed in the comforting and affirming power of the aesthetic, or in the idea that no matter how terrible things are, they can somehow be ‘captured’—as beasts are—through art, or that the latter can confer certain meaning upon the meaningless world. The language of this late novel is, in Said’s terms, ‘neither ornamental nor symbolic of something else’, but ‘constitutive’.

—p.104 Belated Reunion? (89) by Jiwei Xiao 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The contrast between the style of Little Reunions and that of Chang’s early prose yields a surprising insight about the latter: it was not only its immediate aesthetic appeal but also an effect of reassurance that made the early work such a pleasure. This has something to do with the ‘draping’ and ‘dressing’ effect of Chang’s refined language: like a veil, it softens the abject; like a gauze, it salves the wounds of the world’s atrocities. Little Reunions, by contrast, suggests that at this point of her life, Chang no longer believed in the comforting and affirming power of the aesthetic, or in the idea that no matter how terrible things are, they can somehow be ‘captured’—as beasts are—through art, or that the latter can confer certain meaning upon the meaningless world. The language of this late novel is, in Said’s terms, ‘neither ornamental nor symbolic of something else’, but ‘constitutive’.

—p.104 Belated Reunion? (89) by Jiwei Xiao 3 weeks, 3 days ago