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).

1

It is common to refer to universally popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest as “walled gardens.” But they are not gardens; they are walled industrial sites, within which users, for no financial compensation, produce data which the owners of the factories sift and then sell. Some of these factories (Twitter, Tumblr, and more recently Instagram) have transparent walls, by which I mean that you need an account to post anything but can view what has been posted on the open Web; others (Facebook, Snapchat) keep their walls mostly or wholly opaque. But they all exercise the same disciplinary control over those who create or share content on their domain.

I say there is no financial compensation for users, but many users feel themselves amply compensated by the aforementioned provisions: ease of use, connection with others, and so on. But such users should realize that everything they find desirable and beneficial about those sites could disappear tomorrow and leave them with absolutely no recourse, no one to whom to protest, no claim that they could make to anyone. [...]

This is of course a choice you are free to make. The problem comes when, by living in conditions of such dependence, you forget that there’s any other way to live—and therefore cannot teach another way to those who come after you. Your present-day social-media ecology eclipses the future social-media ecology of others. What if they don’t want their social lives to be bought and sold? What if they don’t want to live on the bounty of the factory owners of Silicon Valley? It would be good if we bequeathed to them another option, the possibility of living outside the walls the factory owners have built—whether for our safety or to imprison us, who can say? The open Web happens outside those walls.

i like this metaphor!

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

It is common to refer to universally popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest as “walled gardens.” But they are not gardens; they are walled industrial sites, within which users, for no financial compensation, produce data which the owners of the factories sift and then sell. Some of these factories (Twitter, Tumblr, and more recently Instagram) have transparent walls, by which I mean that you need an account to post anything but can view what has been posted on the open Web; others (Facebook, Snapchat) keep their walls mostly or wholly opaque. But they all exercise the same disciplinary control over those who create or share content on their domain.

I say there is no financial compensation for users, but many users feel themselves amply compensated by the aforementioned provisions: ease of use, connection with others, and so on. But such users should realize that everything they find desirable and beneficial about those sites could disappear tomorrow and leave them with absolutely no recourse, no one to whom to protest, no claim that they could make to anyone. [...]

This is of course a choice you are free to make. The problem comes when, by living in conditions of such dependence, you forget that there’s any other way to live—and therefore cannot teach another way to those who come after you. Your present-day social-media ecology eclipses the future social-media ecology of others. What if they don’t want their social lives to be bought and sold? What if they don’t want to live on the bounty of the factory owners of Silicon Valley? It would be good if we bequeathed to them another option, the possibility of living outside the walls the factory owners have built—whether for our safety or to imprison us, who can say? The open Web happens outside those walls.

i like this metaphor!

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago
1

Platforms of the Facebook walled-factory type are unsuited to the work of building community, whether globally or locally, because such platforms are unresponsive to their users, and unresponsive by design (design that is driven by a desire to be universal in scope). It is virtually impossible to contact anyone at Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and that is so that those platforms can train us to do what they want us to do, rather than be accountable to our desires and needs. A model of education tied to platforms rather than institutions may seem liberating at first—“I can learn everything I need to know on MOOCs!”—but that sense of liberation will continue only insofar as users train themselves to ask the questions the platforms already know how to answer, and think the thoughts the platforms are prepared to transmit.

To the extent that people accommodate themselves to the faceless inflexibility of platforms, they will become less and less capable of seeing the virtues of institutions, on any scale. One consequence of that accommodation will be an increasing impatience with representative democracy, and an accompanying desire to replace political institutions with platform-based decision making: referendums and plebiscites, conducted at as high a level as possible (national, or in the case of the European Union, transnational). Among other things, these trends will bring, in turn, the exploitation of communities and natural resources by people who will never see or know anything about what they are exploiting. The scope of local action will therefore be diminished, and will come under increasing threat of what we might call, borrowing a phrase from Einstein, spooky action at a distance. This is how nation-states become wholly owned subsidiaries of transnational corporations. This is how Buy-n-Large happens.

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Platforms of the Facebook walled-factory type are unsuited to the work of building community, whether globally or locally, because such platforms are unresponsive to their users, and unresponsive by design (design that is driven by a desire to be universal in scope). It is virtually impossible to contact anyone at Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and that is so that those platforms can train us to do what they want us to do, rather than be accountable to our desires and needs. A model of education tied to platforms rather than institutions may seem liberating at first—“I can learn everything I need to know on MOOCs!”—but that sense of liberation will continue only insofar as users train themselves to ask the questions the platforms already know how to answer, and think the thoughts the platforms are prepared to transmit.

To the extent that people accommodate themselves to the faceless inflexibility of platforms, they will become less and less capable of seeing the virtues of institutions, on any scale. One consequence of that accommodation will be an increasing impatience with representative democracy, and an accompanying desire to replace political institutions with platform-based decision making: referendums and plebiscites, conducted at as high a level as possible (national, or in the case of the European Union, transnational). Among other things, these trends will bring, in turn, the exploitation of communities and natural resources by people who will never see or know anything about what they are exploiting. The scope of local action will therefore be diminished, and will come under increasing threat of what we might call, borrowing a phrase from Einstein, spooky action at a distance. This is how nation-states become wholly owned subsidiaries of transnational corporations. This is how Buy-n-Large happens.

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago
1

Training young people how to live and work extramurally—to limit their exposure to governance via terms of service and APIs—is a vital hedge against this future. We cannot prevent anyone from trusting his or her whole life to Facebook or Snapchat; but to know that there are alternatives, and alternatives over which we have a good deal of control, is powerful in itself. And this knowledge has the further effect of reminding us that code—including the algorithmic code that so often determines what we see online—is written by human beings for purposes that may be at odds with our own. The code that constitutes Facebook is written and constantly tweaked in order to increase the flow to Facebook of sellable data; if that code also promotes “global community,” so much the better, but that will never be its reason for being.

To teach children how to own their own domains and make their own websites might seem a small thing. In many cases it will be a small thing. Yet it serves as a reminder that the online world does not merely exist, but is built, and built to meet the desires of certain very powerful people—but could be built differently. Given the importance of online experience to most of us, and the great likelihood that its importance will only increase over time, training young people to do some building themselves can be a powerful counterspell to the one pronounced by Zuckerberg, who says that the walls of our social world are crumbling and only Facebook’s walls can replace them. We can live elsewhere and otherwise, and children should know that, and know it as early as possible. This is one of the ways in which we can exercise “the imperative of responsibility,” and to represent the future in the present.

I really like "extramurally" here. also the last sentence is nice

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Training young people how to live and work extramurally—to limit their exposure to governance via terms of service and APIs—is a vital hedge against this future. We cannot prevent anyone from trusting his or her whole life to Facebook or Snapchat; but to know that there are alternatives, and alternatives over which we have a good deal of control, is powerful in itself. And this knowledge has the further effect of reminding us that code—including the algorithmic code that so often determines what we see online—is written by human beings for purposes that may be at odds with our own. The code that constitutes Facebook is written and constantly tweaked in order to increase the flow to Facebook of sellable data; if that code also promotes “global community,” so much the better, but that will never be its reason for being.

To teach children how to own their own domains and make their own websites might seem a small thing. In many cases it will be a small thing. Yet it serves as a reminder that the online world does not merely exist, but is built, and built to meet the desires of certain very powerful people—but could be built differently. Given the importance of online experience to most of us, and the great likelihood that its importance will only increase over time, training young people to do some building themselves can be a powerful counterspell to the one pronounced by Zuckerberg, who says that the walls of our social world are crumbling and only Facebook’s walls can replace them. We can live elsewhere and otherwise, and children should know that, and know it as early as possible. This is one of the ways in which we can exercise “the imperative of responsibility,” and to represent the future in the present.

I really like "extramurally" here. also the last sentence is nice

—p.1 Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future by Alan Jacobs 2 weeks, 6 days ago