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).

12

In the months after the election, the media focused on tech leadership. Who did or did not trek to Trump Tower? How much diversity of opinion was there in this room of white people? How far would they Lean In to fascism? Who cares?

We focus on the rank and file, because the reality is that meaningful change to the system that brought us Trump is not going to come from the people whom that system made billionaires. Meaningful change must come from below--from the workers who write the code that generates those billions to the workers whose service makes their coding possible.

The current arrangement might seem natural and immutable. But, as one of our favorite futurologists once said: so did the Divine Right of Kings.

yessss

referring to Ursula K Le Guin

—p.12 Far From Mar-a-Lago (8) missing author 1 year, 1 month ago

In the months after the election, the media focused on tech leadership. Who did or did not trek to Trump Tower? How much diversity of opinion was there in this room of white people? How far would they Lean In to fascism? Who cares?

We focus on the rank and file, because the reality is that meaningful change to the system that brought us Trump is not going to come from the people whom that system made billionaires. Meaningful change must come from below--from the workers who write the code that generates those billions to the workers whose service makes their coding possible.

The current arrangement might seem natural and immutable. But, as one of our favorite futurologists once said: so did the Divine Right of Kings.

yessss

referring to Ursula K Le Guin

—p.12 Far From Mar-a-Lago (8) missing author 1 year, 1 month ago
30

The Tech Workers Coalition doesn't see tech workers as a special kind of worker. But we understand that we have a strategic position with regard to our place in production that we can leverage to stand in solidarity with other workers--not only with the service workers who work as security guards and bus drivers in our workplaces, but with all workers.

The dominant approach among well-intentioned people in tech when faced with a problem is: I can build an app that’ll fix that. And sure, technology is awesome and most of us work in tech because we find building tools to solve problems interesting. But the structural problems we have in society won’t be fixed by an app. We’ll need to think a lot bigger than that to solve these problems.

A different approach is: tech work is crucial to every industry at this point, and it’s done by a fairly small group of people. You can shut down quite a lot with a relatively few number of workers if you collectively decide to.

quoting Kristen Sheets

—p.30 A World To Win (17) missing author 1 year, 1 month ago

The Tech Workers Coalition doesn't see tech workers as a special kind of worker. But we understand that we have a strategic position with regard to our place in production that we can leverage to stand in solidarity with other workers--not only with the service workers who work as security guards and bus drivers in our workplaces, but with all workers.

The dominant approach among well-intentioned people in tech when faced with a problem is: I can build an app that’ll fix that. And sure, technology is awesome and most of us work in tech because we find building tools to solve problems interesting. But the structural problems we have in society won’t be fixed by an app. We’ll need to think a lot bigger than that to solve these problems.

A different approach is: tech work is crucial to every industry at this point, and it’s done by a fairly small group of people. You can shut down quite a lot with a relatively few number of workers if you collectively decide to.

quoting Kristen Sheets

—p.30 A World To Win (17) missing author 1 year, 1 month ago
59

The problem is that we don't have many levers of control over big tech companies. The traditional stuff doesn't work. Usually, if a company is doing something a lot of people think is unethical, you can boycott them. You can't really boycott Google or Facebook. You're not their customer to begin with. Their customers are advertisers and publishers. Also, they're monopolies. They're centralized and they benefit from network effects. Boycotting them means cutting yourself off from the online world. People just won't do it in numbers.

And shareholder revolts won’t work because these companies are structured so that the founders always have full voting rights. Zuckerberg is going to run Facebook no matter if he only has one share. That’s how it’s written. As for the media, the press isn’t going to say anything bad about Facebook or Google because those are the main outlets for journalism right now.

That really just leaves the employees. Tech employees have an outsize force because they’re very expensive to hire and it takes a long time to train people up. Even for very skilled workers, it takes months and months to become fully productive at a place like Google because you have to learn the internal tooling, you have to learn how things are done, you have to learn the culture. It’s a competitive job market and employee morale is vital. If people start fleeing your company, it’s hard to undo the damage.

So tech workers are a powerful lever. And knowing that fact, it seems unwise not to use the best tools at our disposal. The point isn’t to improve our economic well-being, but to pursue an ethical agenda.

Maciej on why a tech workers union is important

—p.59 Solidarity Forever (55) by Maciej Ceglowski 1 year, 1 month ago

The problem is that we don't have many levers of control over big tech companies. The traditional stuff doesn't work. Usually, if a company is doing something a lot of people think is unethical, you can boycott them. You can't really boycott Google or Facebook. You're not their customer to begin with. Their customers are advertisers and publishers. Also, they're monopolies. They're centralized and they benefit from network effects. Boycotting them means cutting yourself off from the online world. People just won't do it in numbers.

And shareholder revolts won’t work because these companies are structured so that the founders always have full voting rights. Zuckerberg is going to run Facebook no matter if he only has one share. That’s how it’s written. As for the media, the press isn’t going to say anything bad about Facebook or Google because those are the main outlets for journalism right now.

That really just leaves the employees. Tech employees have an outsize force because they’re very expensive to hire and it takes a long time to train people up. Even for very skilled workers, it takes months and months to become fully productive at a place like Google because you have to learn the internal tooling, you have to learn how things are done, you have to learn the culture. It’s a competitive job market and employee morale is vital. If people start fleeing your company, it’s hard to undo the damage.

So tech workers are a powerful lever. And knowing that fact, it seems unwise not to use the best tools at our disposal. The point isn’t to improve our economic well-being, but to pursue an ethical agenda.

Maciej on why a tech workers union is important

—p.59 Solidarity Forever (55) by Maciej Ceglowski 1 year, 1 month ago
129

There's long been an ambition that the internet should be about democracy. This goes back to the beginning—to geeks swapping code, to open protocols that let users post whatever. But notice that when people in tech talk about "democratizing" some tool or service, they almost always mean just allowing more people to access that thing. Gone are the usual connotations of democracy: shared ownership and governance. This is because the internet's openness has rarely extended to its underlying economy, which has tended to be an investor-controlled extraction game based on surveillance and abuse of vulnerable workers.

—p.129 This Platform Kills Fascists (129) by Nathan Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago

There's long been an ambition that the internet should be about democracy. This goes back to the beginning—to geeks swapping code, to open protocols that let users post whatever. But notice that when people in tech talk about "democratizing" some tool or service, they almost always mean just allowing more people to access that thing. Gone are the usual connotations of democracy: shared ownership and governance. This is because the internet's openness has rarely extended to its underlying economy, which has tended to be an investor-controlled extraction game based on surveillance and abuse of vulnerable workers.

—p.129 This Platform Kills Fascists (129) by Nathan Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago
131

Trump and Steve Jobs have different aesthetics—black turtleneck versus golden combover—but their bedrock assumptions about how the world works are essentially the same. It has been convenient for some tech CEOs to adopt apparently progressive politics, because that has been a way to obtain the immigration policies, educated workforce, and general goodwill they need to consolidate their power. But they're not programmed, so to speak, to care about democratic process. Fascism—in the classical sense of a strong-arm alliance between government and industry—aligns much more neatly with the culture of startup bros and venture capital and unicorns. We can already see the CEOs starting to line up behind Peter Thiel in their embrace of Trumplandia. It is a kind of homecoming. It probably feels quite liberating for some.

—p.131 This Platform Kills Fascists (129) by Nathan Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago

Trump and Steve Jobs have different aesthetics—black turtleneck versus golden combover—but their bedrock assumptions about how the world works are essentially the same. It has been convenient for some tech CEOs to adopt apparently progressive politics, because that has been a way to obtain the immigration policies, educated workforce, and general goodwill they need to consolidate their power. But they're not programmed, so to speak, to care about democratic process. Fascism—in the classical sense of a strong-arm alliance between government and industry—aligns much more neatly with the culture of startup bros and venture capital and unicorns. We can already see the CEOs starting to line up behind Peter Thiel in their embrace of Trumplandia. It is a kind of homecoming. It probably feels quite liberating for some.

—p.131 This Platform Kills Fascists (129) by Nathan Schneider 1 year, 1 month ago
147

But there's a persistent divide in the tech industry on this issue between the executives and the rank-and-file engineers. The executives are always our problem. They're always thinking, "Well, what's going to maximize the profits?" It's the people who work under them who want to shape the world in a positive way, and who aren't as tied to that overriding profit motive.

on why large companies might see ending net neutrality as an opportunity

—p.147 Saving Net Neutrality (141) by Ernesto Falcón 1 year, 1 month ago

But there's a persistent divide in the tech industry on this issue between the executives and the rank-and-file engineers. The executives are always our problem. They're always thinking, "Well, what's going to maximize the profits?" It's the people who work under them who want to shape the world in a positive way, and who aren't as tied to that overriding profit motive.

on why large companies might see ending net neutrality as an opportunity

—p.147 Saving Net Neutrality (141) by Ernesto Falcón 1 year, 1 month ago