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

[...] An abundance of labour is arguably the point, to the extent that there is one, of technological progress. It is the beginning of the end of the need to work hard to stay alive. A system in which people actively seek out labour they would strongly prefer not to do [...] is not one society ought to aim to preserve any longer than technologically necessary. If society can find ways to automate such unpleasant tasks, or to share the work more broadly so that individual workers devote fewer of their waking hours to hard, unpleasant labour, that surely represents human progress.

The fact that he feels the need to qualify this line of reasoning with the use of "arguably" paints a pretty depressing picture of contemporary economic discourse

Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] An abundance of labour is arguably the point, to the extent that there is one, of technological progress. It is the beginning of the end of the need to work hard to stay alive. A system in which people actively seek out labour they would strongly prefer not to do [...] is not one society ought to aim to preserve any longer than technologically necessary. If society can find ways to automate such unpleasant tasks, or to share the work more broadly so that individual workers devote fewer of their waking hours to hard, unpleasant labour, that surely represents human progress.

The fact that he feels the need to qualify this line of reasoning with the use of "arguably" paints a pretty depressing picture of contemporary economic discourse

—p.8 Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
10

[...] If redistribution is managed too clumsily, the incentive for clever or ambitious individuals to work to improve the economy might be lost, leading to stagnant growth and too little social surplus with which to provide all members of society with a rising standard of living.

this is worth thinking about more because this justification--the question of incentive--seems to underpin his entire economic worldview (and he's not alone). the problem is that he never really explores the full ramifications of an abundance of labour & how that could affect the idea of incentive. like what is the incentive supposed to be, really? the possibility of buying more luxury goods or getting people to do things for you? why do we take it as natural that the economic motive is the only acceptable incentive without considering what that actually means?

Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] If redistribution is managed too clumsily, the incentive for clever or ambitious individuals to work to improve the economy might be lost, leading to stagnant growth and too little social surplus with which to provide all members of society with a rising standard of living.

this is worth thinking about more because this justification--the question of incentive--seems to underpin his entire economic worldview (and he's not alone). the problem is that he never really explores the full ramifications of an abundance of labour & how that could affect the idea of incentive. like what is the incentive supposed to be, really? the possibility of buying more luxury goods or getting people to do things for you? why do we take it as natural that the economic motive is the only acceptable incentive without considering what that actually means?

—p.10 Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
13

[...] Syriza [...] won control of parliament in early 2015 and attempted to win a reprieve from the austerity policies imposed on Greece by its European creditors (who were, in their defence, helping to finance Greece's unaffordable debts).

you can tell whose side he's on ... the use of "unaffordable" making it seem like Greece somehow deserved austerity. he also neglects to mention the role of the bank bailouts following the financial crisis

Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] Syriza [...] won control of parliament in early 2015 and attempted to win a reprieve from the austerity policies imposed on Greece by its European creditors (who were, in their defence, helping to finance Greece's unaffordable debts).

you can tell whose side he's on ... the use of "unaffordable" making it seem like Greece somehow deserved austerity. he also neglects to mention the role of the bank bailouts following the financial crisis

—p.13 Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
16

The various partisans are like the allegorical blind men describing different parts of an elephant: each has his insights, but the competing stories have yet to be reconciled with each other. This book will provide that explanation. What is missing from the conversation is a clear explanation of how rapid technological change is compatible with both rising employment globally and disappointing growth in wages and productivity. [...]

he cites:

  • Race Against the Machine
  • Rise of the Robots
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  • Twilight of the Elites
  • Marc Andreessen
  • Tyler Cowen

what's ironic is that he falls into the same trap (missing the whole leftist angle)

Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The various partisans are like the allegorical blind men describing different parts of an elephant: each has his insights, but the competing stories have yet to be reconciled with each other. This book will provide that explanation. What is missing from the conversation is a clear explanation of how rapid technological change is compatible with both rising employment globally and disappointing growth in wages and productivity. [...]

he cites:

  • Race Against the Machine
  • Rise of the Robots
  • Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  • Twilight of the Elites
  • Marc Andreessen
  • Tyler Cowen

what's ironic is that he falls into the same trap (missing the whole leftist angle)

—p.16 Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
25

[...] As children, the incentives and the sense of purpose to our work were inextricably linked to the context within which we were working; the chores were not simply an economic transaction but a way for my parents to order our day, to impress upon us particular values, and to satisfy themselves that they were raising us well.

Work, done by adults in the global marketplace, is not all that different. [...]

absolutely incredible take from someone who clearly has a nice & meaningful white-collar job

just really fucking tone-deaf

Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] As children, the incentives and the sense of purpose to our work were inextricably linked to the context within which we were working; the chores were not simply an economic transaction but a way for my parents to order our day, to impress upon us particular values, and to satisfy themselves that they were raising us well.

Work, done by adults in the global marketplace, is not all that different. [...]

absolutely incredible take from someone who clearly has a nice & meaningful white-collar job

just really fucking tone-deaf

—p.25 Introduction (1) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
42

[...] technological revolutions usually generate enormous benefits alongside the disruption they cause. Higher productivity levels means that firms can afford to pay higher incomes. [..]

it means that they can extract more surplus value while throwing the worker some more crumbs u nitwit

The General-Purpose Technology (29) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] technological revolutions usually generate enormous benefits alongside the disruption they cause. Higher productivity levels means that firms can afford to pay higher incomes. [..]

it means that they can extract more surplus value while throwing the worker some more crumbs u nitwit

—p.42 The General-Purpose Technology (29) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
47

It is tempting to believe that this balance of demand and supply for various types of workers is somehow unnatural, that were the economic decisions take by governments more fair and less tilted in favour of the rich and connected, then labour markets might look more like they did in the past, when employers hoovered up cities full of less-skilled workers to do jobs that paid respectable wages. But that is a pipe dream. Policy has in many ways shifted in favour of the 'haves' rather than the 'have nots', adding fortune atop good fortune. But the less comfortable position in which workers now find themselves is mostly due to structural change in the economy. The proof is in the paycheques: which, for a remarkably large share of the working world, have scarcely grown over the last fifteen years.

this sums up his views on political economy. how is the fact that wages haven't risen proof? he seems to believe that the economic landscape kinda just fell from the sky, fully-formed???? does he really not recognise the degree to which structural change depends on the political terrain

Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

It is tempting to believe that this balance of demand and supply for various types of workers is somehow unnatural, that were the economic decisions take by governments more fair and less tilted in favour of the rich and connected, then labour markets might look more like they did in the past, when employers hoovered up cities full of less-skilled workers to do jobs that paid respectable wages. But that is a pipe dream. Policy has in many ways shifted in favour of the 'haves' rather than the 'have nots', adding fortune atop good fortune. But the less comfortable position in which workers now find themselves is mostly due to structural change in the economy. The proof is in the paycheques: which, for a remarkably large share of the working world, have scarcely grown over the last fifteen years.

this sums up his views on political economy. how is the fact that wages haven't risen proof? he seems to believe that the economic landscape kinda just fell from the sky, fully-formed???? does he really not recognise the degree to which structural change depends on the political terrain

—p.47 Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
51

[...] Other labour-intensive apps--such as TaskRabbit, which allows users to hire people for short-term gigs as errand runners--work not because they make unskilled labour vastly more productive, but because unskilled labour is abundant and cheap enough to make it more economical to harness workers to do unproductive jobs: waiting in queues, for example.

at least he recognises this

Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] Other labour-intensive apps--such as TaskRabbit, which allows users to hire people for short-term gigs as errand runners--work not because they make unskilled labour vastly more productive, but because unskilled labour is abundant and cheap enough to make it more economical to harness workers to do unproductive jobs: waiting in queues, for example.

at least he recognises this

—p.51 Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
52

[...] Uber's PR materials like to point out that the service is great for human drivers, offering them access to flexible, well-paid work. To investors, meanwhile, Uber emphasizes its desire to be a pioneer in the development of autonomous cab fleets.

he also recognises this

Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

[...] Uber's PR materials like to point out that the service is great for human drivers, offering them access to flexible, well-paid work. To investors, meanwhile, Uber emphasizes its desire to be a pioneer in the development of autonomous cab fleets.

he also recognises this

—p.52 Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago
55

University is hard. Many of these who don't currently make it through a college programme lack the cognitive ability to do so. Others could be helped through with better preparation and more attention. [...]

uhhh ...

  1. citation needed
  2. does he not realise that university "difficulty" is set ARBITRARILY based on what adminstrators/lecturers think suits the function of the school, and that function is inextricably linked to the historical role of universities in weeding out the "unworthy"????
Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago

University is hard. Many of these who don't currently make it through a college programme lack the cognitive ability to do so. Others could be helped through with better preparation and more attention. [...]

uhhh ...

  1. citation needed
  2. does he not realise that university "difficulty" is set ARBITRARILY based on what adminstrators/lecturers think suits the function of the school, and that function is inextricably linked to the historical role of universities in weeding out the "unworthy"????
—p.55 Managing the Labour Glut (45) default author 1 month, 2 weeks ago