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).

8

[...] It doesn’t even matter much if a lavishly produced, terrifically well-acted hunk of dungeons-and-dragons neo-shlock like Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to be rife with unfathomable subtext to a non-buff’s eye, because HBO was put on this earth to prove Pavlov was right. The projection of mystique, plus an appearance of momentousness, has been enough to spawn neo-Kremlinologists by the truckload, sifting the clues to Jon Snow’s parentage as their forebears tried to anticipate Khruschev’s next move against West Berlin. Back in the happier days when All My Children adepts were merrily dissecting Erica Kane’s latest ploy with similar passion, they had a keener awareness of their hobby’s frivolity. [...]

Whether it’s lighthearted and puckish or mirthlessly obsessive, the way any audience relates to its preferred forms of entertainment is always an index of that audience’s emotional priorities. But there may be no precedent for the way current tastes in pop-culture fetishism simultaneously burlesque and enshrine real-world paranoia, dystopian gloom, cults of brute force, and fierce quasi-ideological allegiances. Any critic who’s ever risked panning, say, a Christopher Nolan movie can tell you how uncannily the ensuing fanboy invective mimics Trump fans’ or Hillaryites’ or Sandersistas’ incredulous rage at any slight to their idols, not only in its vitriolic language but also in its assumption that no issue could be more important.

—p.8 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago

[...] It doesn’t even matter much if a lavishly produced, terrifically well-acted hunk of dungeons-and-dragons neo-shlock like Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to be rife with unfathomable subtext to a non-buff’s eye, because HBO was put on this earth to prove Pavlov was right. The projection of mystique, plus an appearance of momentousness, has been enough to spawn neo-Kremlinologists by the truckload, sifting the clues to Jon Snow’s parentage as their forebears tried to anticipate Khruschev’s next move against West Berlin. Back in the happier days when All My Children adepts were merrily dissecting Erica Kane’s latest ploy with similar passion, they had a keener awareness of their hobby’s frivolity. [...]

Whether it’s lighthearted and puckish or mirthlessly obsessive, the way any audience relates to its preferred forms of entertainment is always an index of that audience’s emotional priorities. But there may be no precedent for the way current tastes in pop-culture fetishism simultaneously burlesque and enshrine real-world paranoia, dystopian gloom, cults of brute force, and fierce quasi-ideological allegiances. Any critic who’s ever risked panning, say, a Christopher Nolan movie can tell you how uncannily the ensuing fanboy invective mimics Trump fans’ or Hillaryites’ or Sandersistas’ incredulous rage at any slight to their idols, not only in its vitriolic language but also in its assumption that no issue could be more important.

—p.8 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago
9

Today’s TV landscape is also eerily devoid of anything resembling optimism. This is a telling and significant omission, since feel-good programming used to be the medium’s sometimes namby-pamby, sometimes energetic stock in trade. If our reigning doomsday genres qualify as escapist at all, it’s a very peculiar version of escapism—consoling people by creating imaginary worlds so freakish, violent, Machiavellian, and sinister that the real world’s terrors seem tame by comparison. It’s anyone guess whether this stuff is sublimating our fear of apocalypse or pacifying us by demonstrating that even the apocalypse will just be one more clever showbiz career move by Planet Earth—the ultimate superstar.

—p.9 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago

Today’s TV landscape is also eerily devoid of anything resembling optimism. This is a telling and significant omission, since feel-good programming used to be the medium’s sometimes namby-pamby, sometimes energetic stock in trade. If our reigning doomsday genres qualify as escapist at all, it’s a very peculiar version of escapism—consoling people by creating imaginary worlds so freakish, violent, Machiavellian, and sinister that the real world’s terrors seem tame by comparison. It’s anyone guess whether this stuff is sublimating our fear of apocalypse or pacifying us by demonstrating that even the apocalypse will just be one more clever showbiz career move by Planet Earth—the ultimate superstar.

—p.9 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago
10

It’s hard to imagine what the 1960s would have been like if TV viewers, flooded with nightly news reports of atrocities, emergencies, and horrors, had simultaneously been getting their entertainment jollies out of fantasy versions of the same atrocities, emergencies, and horrors. But that’s more or less the situation today. If contemporary TV has a unifying theme, it boils down to this: no refuge.

—p.10 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago

It’s hard to imagine what the 1960s would have been like if TV viewers, flooded with nightly news reports of atrocities, emergencies, and horrors, had simultaneously been getting their entertainment jollies out of fantasy versions of the same atrocities, emergencies, and horrors. But that’s more or less the situation today. If contemporary TV has a unifying theme, it boils down to this: no refuge.

—p.10 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago
11

Well before Trump came along to validate the conceit, The Walking Dead had added a mordant dimension of political parody to its original survival-of-the-fraughtest premise by introducing David Morrissey as “The Governor,” essentially a psychopath in messiah’s clothing. By now, the series dwells more on rival humanoid factions battling each other than it does on dispatching dull zombies, and the implicit joke is that they’re vying for supremacy in a wasteland that will never again resemble the U.S.A. they once knew. You couldn’t ask for a better preview of next year’s midterm elections.

—p.11 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago

Well before Trump came along to validate the conceit, The Walking Dead had added a mordant dimension of political parody to its original survival-of-the-fraughtest premise by introducing David Morrissey as “The Governor,” essentially a psychopath in messiah’s clothing. By now, the series dwells more on rival humanoid factions battling each other than it does on dispatching dull zombies, and the implicit joke is that they’re vying for supremacy in a wasteland that will never again resemble the U.S.A. they once knew. You couldn’t ask for a better preview of next year’s midterm elections.

—p.11 Fear Factor (6) by Tom Carson 11 months ago
44

For his part, Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed usurers, among other financial malefactors, for the crash and relentless depression; he quoted the Bible to condemn the high-interest practices that flourished in and out of sanctioned institutions throughout the nation. But a decidedly moral view of American finance, where it had existed before, was losing its influence among observers of the American economy. In a collective effort to dodge blame, various banks, lenders, and other moneyed interests began to identify the nebulous “market” as the source of the nation’s ongoing financial ills. This insistence on self-regulating markets was the culmination of a great transformation in economic mentalities that political economist Karl Polanyi called the emergence of a “market society,” where markets are imagined to possess their own intrinsic logics, mechanisms, and moods—to which humans must adjust, not the other way around. The term “market,” which before would have been a cursory reference to supply and demand, now became a self-evident defense against populist reason, one that demanded no interrogation. When asked in 1929 why he lent so much at such high rates, one executive answered simply, “I can tell you why we loaned so much money. Because there was a demand for it at excessively high rates, over and above what we could get from what we would normally invest in.” Translation: the market made me do it. Next question.

—p.44 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago

For his part, Franklin D. Roosevelt blamed usurers, among other financial malefactors, for the crash and relentless depression; he quoted the Bible to condemn the high-interest practices that flourished in and out of sanctioned institutions throughout the nation. But a decidedly moral view of American finance, where it had existed before, was losing its influence among observers of the American economy. In a collective effort to dodge blame, various banks, lenders, and other moneyed interests began to identify the nebulous “market” as the source of the nation’s ongoing financial ills. This insistence on self-regulating markets was the culmination of a great transformation in economic mentalities that political economist Karl Polanyi called the emergence of a “market society,” where markets are imagined to possess their own intrinsic logics, mechanisms, and moods—to which humans must adjust, not the other way around. The term “market,” which before would have been a cursory reference to supply and demand, now became a self-evident defense against populist reason, one that demanded no interrogation. When asked in 1929 why he lent so much at such high rates, one executive answered simply, “I can tell you why we loaned so much money. Because there was a demand for it at excessively high rates, over and above what we could get from what we would normally invest in.” Translation: the market made me do it. Next question.

—p.44 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago
45

But capitalism is abuse by design, and there can be no lasting truce between lenders and borrowers until the lenders are no longer motivated by profit. This is because capitalism doesn’t just permit exploitation of the working class by the owning class; it requires it. Abuse will manifest itself in every sphere dominated by capital, whether in compliance with or in violation of the law. [...]

The financial industry—its every hedge fund, every savings and loan association, every brokerage firm, and every mortgage company—is dedicated to one thing only: capital accumulation. Capital accumulation is the process by which capitalists turn large sums of money into even larger sums money. And where does that money come from to begin with? To take a cue from Marx, all value under capitalism is determined by labor, and all profit is generated by the exploitation of that labor. To compete in the market, businesses must pay obeisance to the profit motive—and since suppressing wages is the surest way to gain an advantage and outperform competitors, this inevitably results in a race to the bottom. Working people’s bodies and time are exhausted, and the fruits of their labor are extracted by their employers, who set about multiplying all of this through investment. All capital in the accumulation phase bears the mark of abuse.

Yet the cycle of abuse doesn’t stop with material production. Where there is capital accumulation there is always what Marxist geographer David Harvey calls “accumulation by dispossession,” the process of separating people from the basic resources they need to get by, like houses to live in, transportation to work, and even money itself—and then duplicitously offering to grant access to those resources . . . for a fee. Predatory lending is a prime example of accumulation by dispossession, designed to target and extract wealth from the bottom and siphon it to the top. It makes the rich richer and keeps the poor under their heel—which makes them more acquiescent workers and more desperate, reckless borrowers

—p.45 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago

But capitalism is abuse by design, and there can be no lasting truce between lenders and borrowers until the lenders are no longer motivated by profit. This is because capitalism doesn’t just permit exploitation of the working class by the owning class; it requires it. Abuse will manifest itself in every sphere dominated by capital, whether in compliance with or in violation of the law. [...]

The financial industry—its every hedge fund, every savings and loan association, every brokerage firm, and every mortgage company—is dedicated to one thing only: capital accumulation. Capital accumulation is the process by which capitalists turn large sums of money into even larger sums money. And where does that money come from to begin with? To take a cue from Marx, all value under capitalism is determined by labor, and all profit is generated by the exploitation of that labor. To compete in the market, businesses must pay obeisance to the profit motive—and since suppressing wages is the surest way to gain an advantage and outperform competitors, this inevitably results in a race to the bottom. Working people’s bodies and time are exhausted, and the fruits of their labor are extracted by their employers, who set about multiplying all of this through investment. All capital in the accumulation phase bears the mark of abuse.

Yet the cycle of abuse doesn’t stop with material production. Where there is capital accumulation there is always what Marxist geographer David Harvey calls “accumulation by dispossession,” the process of separating people from the basic resources they need to get by, like houses to live in, transportation to work, and even money itself—and then duplicitously offering to grant access to those resources . . . for a fee. Predatory lending is a prime example of accumulation by dispossession, designed to target and extract wealth from the bottom and siphon it to the top. It makes the rich richer and keeps the poor under their heel—which makes them more acquiescent workers and more desperate, reckless borrowers

—p.45 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago
47

[...] In public banking, as in health care, the state is guided by more than the profit motive—namely, it risks self-damage if it forces borrowers into debt, for those suffering people will either become more eligible for public-funded programs or will otherwise drain the resources of the state. Right now, there is a contradiction in banking—it’s a hugely consequential feature of public life, and yet it rests in private hands and is thoroughly oriented to maximize private gain. Because the state is at least partially incentivized by the prospect of improving the financial health of its citizenry, and thus its overall economy, a public bank can help resolve that tension—especially if paired with an array of other universal social programs which can supplement the financial services offered through the state.

—p.47 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago

[...] In public banking, as in health care, the state is guided by more than the profit motive—namely, it risks self-damage if it forces borrowers into debt, for those suffering people will either become more eligible for public-funded programs or will otherwise drain the resources of the state. Right now, there is a contradiction in banking—it’s a hugely consequential feature of public life, and yet it rests in private hands and is thoroughly oriented to maximize private gain. Because the state is at least partially incentivized by the prospect of improving the financial health of its citizenry, and thus its overall economy, a public bank can help resolve that tension—especially if paired with an array of other universal social programs which can supplement the financial services offered through the state.

—p.47 The Shark and the Hound (40) by Meagan Day 11 months ago
89

This worker is teaching people to use the iPads that will one day replace her. It’s an awkward phenomenon that now pervades a growing cross-section of industries, a type of techno-solutionism that’s unbearable because it insistently capitalizes on quick fixes for problems that didn’t exist to begin with. It’s also a disadvantageous mutation of principles that marketers have historically leveraged to make us feel bad about ourselves so that we’ll buy more shit we don’t need. It is all of these things, and it is also becoming the operating motive of the music industry.

preach

—p.89 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago

This worker is teaching people to use the iPads that will one day replace her. It’s an awkward phenomenon that now pervades a growing cross-section of industries, a type of techno-solutionism that’s unbearable because it insistently capitalizes on quick fixes for problems that didn’t exist to begin with. It’s also a disadvantageous mutation of principles that marketers have historically leveraged to make us feel bad about ourselves so that we’ll buy more shit we don’t need. It is all of these things, and it is also becoming the operating motive of the music industry.

preach

—p.89 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago
93

But who’s to blame? Saunier recognizes the tough spot so many artists and labels are in, where they’re unable to outwardly criticize their corporate overlords without risking total irrelevance. “The people I would blame the most are the greedy chauvinists in charge of companies like Spotify and [those] who own Google,” he goes on:

These are the companies that have presented themselves as hip, huge, harmless . . . In fact, they are ruthless and as hungry for profit . . . They’re shark-like. Just eat up everything, take all of the world’s creations. Digitize them and offer them back to humanity either for free or for an incredibly low price. And don’t pay, or massively underpay the creators, and just kick back and put your feet up, and know that if Greg from Deerhoof doesn’t like it, well that’s fine, because there are a million other people lined up behind Greg who are perfectly happy to volunteer their music to exactly such a scheme in hopes of doing something besides being a barista their whole life.

quoting Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier

—p.93 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago

But who’s to blame? Saunier recognizes the tough spot so many artists and labels are in, where they’re unable to outwardly criticize their corporate overlords without risking total irrelevance. “The people I would blame the most are the greedy chauvinists in charge of companies like Spotify and [those] who own Google,” he goes on:

These are the companies that have presented themselves as hip, huge, harmless . . . In fact, they are ruthless and as hungry for profit . . . They’re shark-like. Just eat up everything, take all of the world’s creations. Digitize them and offer them back to humanity either for free or for an incredibly low price. And don’t pay, or massively underpay the creators, and just kick back and put your feet up, and know that if Greg from Deerhoof doesn’t like it, well that’s fine, because there are a million other people lined up behind Greg who are perfectly happy to volunteer their music to exactly such a scheme in hopes of doing something besides being a barista their whole life.

quoting Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier

—p.93 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago
95

[...] With this in mind, and when I worry over the publications, labels, and artists who have (reluctantly or otherwise) embraced Spotify, I can’t help but think of that airport restaurant server who teaches you how to use the iPad, thereby contributing to her own obsolescence. Why is the music press generating value for a platform that in every way plans to eliminate it? And what will become of music criticism in a world without records? Will publications review discovery feeds and write profiles of playlists? What good will criticism be when all of music has coalesced into algorithmically preordained Muzak?

I want to believe that it’s not too late to beat the billionaires and the bots. But earlier this year Spotify signed a lease for fourteen floors at Four World Trade Center. The company’s gone on a hiring spree, with plans to add a thousand employees. The new lease costs $2.77 million in monthly rent. And it lasts until 2034.

although I feel like there's value in a music press being more about personal storytelling (like that incredible piece on The National), I agree with her sentiment and also think that Spotify planning ahead for 2034 is fucking terrifying

—p.95 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago

[...] With this in mind, and when I worry over the publications, labels, and artists who have (reluctantly or otherwise) embraced Spotify, I can’t help but think of that airport restaurant server who teaches you how to use the iPad, thereby contributing to her own obsolescence. Why is the music press generating value for a platform that in every way plans to eliminate it? And what will become of music criticism in a world without records? Will publications review discovery feeds and write profiles of playlists? What good will criticism be when all of music has coalesced into algorithmically preordained Muzak?

I want to believe that it’s not too late to beat the billionaires and the bots. But earlier this year Spotify signed a lease for fourteen floors at Four World Trade Center. The company’s gone on a hiring spree, with plans to add a thousand employees. The new lease costs $2.77 million in monthly rent. And it lasts until 2034.

although I feel like there's value in a music press being more about personal storytelling (like that incredible piece on The National), I agree with her sentiment and also think that Spotify planning ahead for 2034 is fucking terrifying

—p.95 The Problem with Muzak (88) by Liz Pelly 11 months ago