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).

xii

Government policy makers, once enamored of fast-growing tech firms for their ability to boost GDP figures, have come to recognize the high cost of runaway growth. While such companies do increase in size, the real economies in which they operate are being drained rather than nourished. Lawmakers are starting to realize that authors and publishers shouldn't be made poorer by Amazon; cab companies shouldn't be made less profitable by Uber; and the people of San Francisco shouldn't be priced out of their homes by Google's inflationary presence. In New York, new regulations have been imposed that prevent an app like Airbnb from altering the fabric of a community by turning the city's apartments into flophouses.

—p.xii Preface (ix) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Government policy makers, once enamored of fast-growing tech firms for their ability to boost GDP figures, have come to recognize the high cost of runaway growth. While such companies do increase in size, the real economies in which they operate are being drained rather than nourished. Lawmakers are starting to realize that authors and publishers shouldn't be made poorer by Amazon; cab companies shouldn't be made less profitable by Uber; and the people of San Francisco shouldn't be priced out of their homes by Google's inflationary presence. In New York, new regulations have been imposed that prevent an app like Airbnb from altering the fabric of a community by turning the city's apartments into flophouses.

—p.xii Preface (ix) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
3

There is something troubling about the way Google is impacting the world, but neither its buses nor the people in them are the core problem; they’re just the easy target. Google’s employees are not oblivious to the increasing poverty outside the bus windows on their way to work. If anything, such sights only make these workers cling to their jobs all the more desperately, leaving them less likely to question the deeper processes at play. They do want to become millionaires—but not so that they can live a life of luxury. In a country without a strong social safety net, workers are told that they have to become millionaires or else face penury as soon as they retire or, worse, get sick. [...]

deeper structural cause for this polarisation: the psychological effects reinforcing

—p.3 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

There is something troubling about the way Google is impacting the world, but neither its buses nor the people in them are the core problem; they’re just the easy target. Google’s employees are not oblivious to the increasing poverty outside the bus windows on their way to work. If anything, such sights only make these workers cling to their jobs all the more desperately, leaving them less likely to question the deeper processes at play. They do want to become millionaires—but not so that they can live a life of luxury. In a country without a strong social safety net, workers are told that they have to become millionaires or else face penury as soon as they retire or, worse, get sick. [...]

deeper structural cause for this polarisation: the psychological effects reinforcing

—p.3 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
4

We are caught in a growth trap. This is the problem with no name or face, the frustration so many feel. It is the logic driving the jobless recovery, the low-wage gig economy, the ruthlessness of Uber, and the privacy invasions of Facebook. It is the mechanism that undermines both businesses and investors, forcing them to compete against players with digitally inflated poker chips. It’s the pressure rendering CEOs powerless to prioritize the sustainability of their enterprises over the interests of impatient shareholders. It is the unidentified culprit behind the news headlines of economic crises from the Greek default to skyrocketing student debt. It is the force exacerbating wealth disparity, increasing the pay gap between employees and executives, and generating the power-law dynamics separating winners from losers. It is the black box extracting value from the stock market before human traders know what has happened, and the mindless momentum expanding the tech bubble to proportions dangerously too big to burst.

—p.4 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

We are caught in a growth trap. This is the problem with no name or face, the frustration so many feel. It is the logic driving the jobless recovery, the low-wage gig economy, the ruthlessness of Uber, and the privacy invasions of Facebook. It is the mechanism that undermines both businesses and investors, forcing them to compete against players with digitally inflated poker chips. It’s the pressure rendering CEOs powerless to prioritize the sustainability of their enterprises over the interests of impatient shareholders. It is the unidentified culprit behind the news headlines of economic crises from the Greek default to skyrocketing student debt. It is the force exacerbating wealth disparity, increasing the pay gap between employees and executives, and generating the power-law dynamics separating winners from losers. It is the black box extracting value from the stock market before human traders know what has happened, and the mindless momentum expanding the tech bubble to proportions dangerously too big to burst.

—p.4 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
4

[...] So each tech company must become as intrusive, extractive, divisive, time-consuming, wasteful, expensive, job killing, exploitative, and manipulative as the next one. As for their impatient shareholders, well, they are the likes of us: we are the ones holding these very stocks in our own 401(k) and college savings plans, counting on them to go up, and selling them if they don’t. None of this worked out as we thought it would, and we’re all frustrated by the results.

ok this is actually bullshit. how many people own substantial assets at all??? inequality in asset ownership is wild and this narrative conceals that fact

—p.4 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] So each tech company must become as intrusive, extractive, divisive, time-consuming, wasteful, expensive, job killing, exploitative, and manipulative as the next one. As for their impatient shareholders, well, they are the likes of us: we are the ones holding these very stocks in our own 401(k) and college savings plans, counting on them to go up, and selling them if they don’t. None of this worked out as we thought it would, and we’re all frustrated by the results.

ok this is actually bullshit. how many people own substantial assets at all??? inequality in asset ownership is wild and this narrative conceals that fact

—p.4 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
7

[...] Companies with new technologies are free to disrupt almost any industry they choose—journalism, television, music, manufacturing—so long as they don’t disrupt the financial operating system churning beneath it all. Hell, most of the founders of these digital companies don’t seem to realize this operating system even exists. They are happy to challenge one “vertical” or another, but the last thing they do when they’ve got a winner is challenge the rules of investment banking, their own astronomical valuation, or the IPO through which they cash out. Winning the digital growth game is less a new sort of prosperity than it is a new way to execute business as usual: old wine in a new bottle. It’s not that making money is so wrong; it’s that the premises of venture capital and the stock market—as well as their real effects—are never even questioned. The winners have, in some fundamental way, been duped.

ahh i love this

—p.7 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

[...] Companies with new technologies are free to disrupt almost any industry they choose—journalism, television, music, manufacturing—so long as they don’t disrupt the financial operating system churning beneath it all. Hell, most of the founders of these digital companies don’t seem to realize this operating system even exists. They are happy to challenge one “vertical” or another, but the last thing they do when they’ve got a winner is challenge the rules of investment banking, their own astronomical valuation, or the IPO through which they cash out. Winning the digital growth game is less a new sort of prosperity than it is a new way to execute business as usual: old wine in a new bottle. It’s not that making money is so wrong; it’s that the premises of venture capital and the stock market—as well as their real effects—are never even questioned. The winners have, in some fundamental way, been duped.

ahh i love this

—p.7 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
9

This disproportionate relationship between capital and value—or invested money versus actual revenue—is the hallmark of the dominant digital economy. If anything, the digital economy has laid bare the process by which cash, labor, and productive assets from the real, transactional marketplace are extracted and converted into frozen capital—all in the name of growth. Once money has been “captured” in a stock price, it tends to just sit there as if in a bank vault. This, in turn, puts pressure on the company to make more money, faster, in order to justify the new total value of all the stock. The disparity between a company’s net worth and its revenues gets even more extreme. Strangely enough, the companies do keep growing, but they don’t create or produce any value.

i really like how he nails the way the digital world just accelerates/reveals how the economy operates. need to come up with a variety of ways to refer to this

—p.9 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This disproportionate relationship between capital and value—or invested money versus actual revenue—is the hallmark of the dominant digital economy. If anything, the digital economy has laid bare the process by which cash, labor, and productive assets from the real, transactional marketplace are extracted and converted into frozen capital—all in the name of growth. Once money has been “captured” in a stock price, it tends to just sit there as if in a bank vault. This, in turn, puts pressure on the company to make more money, faster, in order to justify the new total value of all the stock. The disparity between a company’s net worth and its revenues gets even more extreme. Strangely enough, the companies do keep growing, but they don’t create or produce any value.

i really like how he nails the way the digital world just accelerates/reveals how the economy operates. need to come up with a variety of ways to refer to this

—p.9 Introduction (1) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
23

This is why the leading voices today are those that still treat the emerging digital economy as Industrialism 2.0 or, as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee put it in the title of their respected business book, The Second Machine Age. It’s no wonder such ideas captivate the business community: for all their revolutionary bravado they are actually promising business as usual. Workers will continue to be displaced by automation, corporations will remain the major players in the economic landscape, and it’s up to people to keep up with the pace of technological change if they want to survive. This is not a revolutionary vision but a reactionary one. Everything is supposed to change except the economic platform and its bias toward growth—which is probably the most arbitrary piece in the whole puzzle.

love that he (rightly) calls them out for being reactionary

—p.23 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

This is why the leading voices today are those that still treat the emerging digital economy as Industrialism 2.0 or, as Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee put it in the title of their respected business book, The Second Machine Age. It’s no wonder such ideas captivate the business community: for all their revolutionary bravado they are actually promising business as usual. Workers will continue to be displaced by automation, corporations will remain the major players in the economic landscape, and it’s up to people to keep up with the pace of technological change if they want to survive. This is not a revolutionary vision but a reactionary one. Everything is supposed to change except the economic platform and its bias toward growth—which is probably the most arbitrary piece in the whole puzzle.

love that he (rightly) calls them out for being reactionary

—p.23 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
36

The unsustainable endgame is an economy based entirely on marketing and advertising. In its currently inflated state, the entirety of advertising, marketing, public relations, and associated research still accounts for less than 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), by the very most generous estimates.27 Furthermore, unscrupulous Web site owners have now learned to use robotic ad-viewing programs to juice their revenue from pay-per-click advertising. Most of these bot programs run secretly on the computers of everyday users in the form of malware, a kind of minivirus that co-opts a computer’s processing power. Bots now comprise an estimated 25 percent of all online video ad viewers and 10 percent of all static display ads. In 2015, advertisers are projected to lose $6.3 billion in pay-per-click fees to these imaginary viewers.28 Consider the irony: malware robots watch ads, monitored by automated tracking software that tailors each advertising message to suit the malbots’ automated habits, in a human-free feedback loop of ever-narrowing “personalization.” Nothing of value is created, but billions of dollars are made.

—p.36 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The unsustainable endgame is an economy based entirely on marketing and advertising. In its currently inflated state, the entirety of advertising, marketing, public relations, and associated research still accounts for less than 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), by the very most generous estimates.27 Furthermore, unscrupulous Web site owners have now learned to use robotic ad-viewing programs to juice their revenue from pay-per-click advertising. Most of these bot programs run secretly on the computers of everyday users in the form of malware, a kind of minivirus that co-opts a computer’s processing power. Bots now comprise an estimated 25 percent of all online video ad viewers and 10 percent of all static display ads. In 2015, advertisers are projected to lose $6.3 billion in pay-per-click fees to these imaginary viewers.28 Consider the irony: malware robots watch ads, monitored by automated tracking software that tailors each advertising message to suit the malbots’ automated habits, in a human-free feedback loop of ever-narrowing “personalization.” Nothing of value is created, but billions of dollars are made.

—p.36 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
45

Though ingenious, Lanier’s solution could actually dehumanize things even further. If we are paid chiefly for our data, then we are all performing for the machines instead of one another. We are earning money not for the ways we create value for people but for all the passive activities that happen to be data intensive. Our only value to this digital economy comes from those aspects of ourselves that can be quantified. It may solve the problem of getting a whole bunch of activity back “on the books,” but to what end? So we can register some credits on a balance sheet? Must we accept “the books”—presumably, the double-entry ledger—as the fundamental operating system?

The problem with trying to get all human activity back on the books is that the books themselves are not neutral. They are artifacts of a very specific moment in human history—the beginning of the Renaissance—when the two-column ledger was instituted and everything came to be understood as a credit or a debit in a zero-sum game of capital management. Feeding more activity to the ledger simply cedes more of humanity and business alike to a growth-centric industrial model that was invented to thwart us to begin with.

a very specific critique of Jaron Lanier to draw on for diss

—p.45 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Though ingenious, Lanier’s solution could actually dehumanize things even further. If we are paid chiefly for our data, then we are all performing for the machines instead of one another. We are earning money not for the ways we create value for people but for all the passive activities that happen to be data intensive. Our only value to this digital economy comes from those aspects of ourselves that can be quantified. It may solve the problem of getting a whole bunch of activity back “on the books,” but to what end? So we can register some credits on a balance sheet? Must we accept “the books”—presumably, the double-entry ledger—as the fundamental operating system?

The problem with trying to get all human activity back on the books is that the books themselves are not neutral. They are artifacts of a very specific moment in human history—the beginning of the Renaissance—when the two-column ledger was instituted and everything came to be understood as a credit or a debit in a zero-sum game of capital management. Feeding more activity to the ledger simply cedes more of humanity and business alike to a growth-centric industrial model that was invented to thwart us to begin with.

a very specific critique of Jaron Lanier to draw on for diss

—p.45 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago
51

Besides, learning code is hard, particularly for adults who don’t remember their algebra and haven’t been raised thinking algorithmically. Learning code well enough to be a competent programmer is even harder. Although I certainly believe that any member of our highly digital society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code literacy won’t solve our employment crisis any more than the universal ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of book publishing.

It’s actually worse. A single computer program written by perhaps a dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. Digital companies employ ten times fewer people per dollar earned than traditional companies. Every time a company decides to relegate its computing to the cloud, it is free to release a few more IT employees. Most of the technologies we are currently developing replace or obsolesce far more employment opportunities than they create. Those that don’t—technologies that require ongoing human maintenance or participation to work—are not supported by venture capital for precisely this reason. They are considered unscalable because they require more paid human employees as the business grows.

link this to Patrick's NS piece

point of tech is to wipe out jobs

—p.51 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Besides, learning code is hard, particularly for adults who don’t remember their algebra and haven’t been raised thinking algorithmically. Learning code well enough to be a competent programmer is even harder. Although I certainly believe that any member of our highly digital society should be familiar with how these platforms work, universal code literacy won’t solve our employment crisis any more than the universal ability to read and write would result in a full-employment economy of book publishing.

It’s actually worse. A single computer program written by perhaps a dozen developers can wipe out hundreds of jobs. Digital companies employ ten times fewer people per dollar earned than traditional companies. Every time a company decides to relegate its computing to the cloud, it is free to release a few more IT employees. Most of the technologies we are currently developing replace or obsolesce far more employment opportunities than they create. Those that don’t—technologies that require ongoing human maintenance or participation to work—are not supported by venture capital for precisely this reason. They are considered unscalable because they require more paid human employees as the business grows.

link this to Patrick's NS piece

point of tech is to wipe out jobs

—p.51 Chapter One (13) by Douglas Rushkoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago