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).

3

The big tech companies [...] are shredding the principles that protect individuality. Their devices and sites have collapsed privacy; they disrespect the value of authorship, with their hostility to intellectual property. In the realm of economics, they justify monopoly with their well-articulated belief that competition undermines our pursuit of the common good and ambitious goals. When it comes to the most central tenet of individualism--free will--the tech companies have a different way. They hope to automate the choices, both large and small, that we make as we float through the day. It's their algorithms that suggest the news we read, the goods we buy, the path we travel, the friends we invite into our circle.

I disagree re: the IP point but otherwise, good summary

Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago

The big tech companies [...] are shredding the principles that protect individuality. Their devices and sites have collapsed privacy; they disrespect the value of authorship, with their hostility to intellectual property. In the realm of economics, they justify monopoly with their well-articulated belief that competition undermines our pursuit of the common good and ambitious goals. When it comes to the most central tenet of individualism--free will--the tech companies have a different way. They hope to automate the choices, both large and small, that we make as we float through the day. It's their algorithms that suggest the news we read, the goods we buy, the path we travel, the friends we invite into our circle.

I disagree re: the IP point but otherwise, good summary

—p.3 Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago
4

[...] The biggest tech companies are, among other things, the most powerful gatekeepers the world has ever known. Google helps us sort the Internet by providing a sense of hierarchy to information; Facebook uses its algorithms and its intricate understanding of our social circles to sort the news we encounter; Amazon bestrides book publishing with its overwhelming hold on that market.

Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago

[...] The biggest tech companies are, among other things, the most powerful gatekeepers the world has ever known. Google helps us sort the Internet by providing a sense of hierarchy to information; Facebook uses its algorithms and its intricate understanding of our social circles to sort the news we encounter; Amazon bestrides book publishing with its overwhelming hold on that market.

—p.4 Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago
6

Over the decades, the Internet revolutionized reading patterns. Instead of beginning with the home pages for Slate or the New York Times, a growing swath of readers now encounters articles through Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple. Sixty-two percent of Americans get their news through social media, and most of it through Facebook; a third of all traffic to media sites flows from Google. This has placed media in a state of abject financial dependence on tech companies. To survive, media companies lost track of their values. Even journalists of the highest integrity have internalized a new mind-set; they worry about how to successfully pander to Google's and Facebook's algorithms. [...]

need to find citations

Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago

Over the decades, the Internet revolutionized reading patterns. Instead of beginning with the home pages for Slate or the New York Times, a growing swath of readers now encounters articles through Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple. Sixty-two percent of Americans get their news through social media, and most of it through Facebook; a third of all traffic to media sites flows from Google. This has placed media in a state of abject financial dependence on tech companies. To survive, media companies lost track of their values. Even journalists of the highest integrity have internalized a new mind-set; they worry about how to successfully pander to Google's and Facebook's algorithms. [...]

need to find citations

—p.6 Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago
8

[...] What we need to always remember is that we're not just merging with machines, but with the companies that run the machines. This book is about the ideas that fuel these companies--and the importance of resisting them.

Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago

[...] What we need to always remember is that we're not just merging with machines, but with the companies that run the machines. This book is about the ideas that fuel these companies--and the importance of resisting them.

—p.8 Prologue (1) default author 2 months ago
28

[...] Each pathbreaking innovation promises to liberate technology from the talons of the monopolists, to create a new network so democratic that it will transform human nature. Somehow, in each instance, humanity remains its familiar self. Instead of profound redistributions of power, the new networks are captured by new monopolies, each more powerful and sophisticated than the one before it. [...]

could the problem be ... capitalism

The Valley is Whole, The World is One (11) default author 2 months ago

[...] Each pathbreaking innovation promises to liberate technology from the talons of the monopolists, to create a new network so democratic that it will transform human nature. Somehow, in each instance, humanity remains its familiar self. Instead of profound redistributions of power, the new networks are captured by new monopolies, each more powerful and sophisticated than the one before it. [...]

could the problem be ... capitalism

—p.28 The Valley is Whole, The World is One (11) default author 2 months ago
54

[...] The company's lead lawyer on this described bluntly the roughshod attitude of his colleagues: "Google's leadership doesn't care terribly much about precedent or law." In this case precedent was the centuries-old protections of intellectual property, and the consequences were a potential devastation of the publishing industry and all the writers who depend on it. In other words, Google had plotted an intellectual heist of historic proportions.

I think he's right to fear the idea of Google being the only entity with access to this information, but wrong to think that further closing it off is the right solution (we gotta open it up to EVERYONE buddy)

The Google Theory of History (32) default author 2 months ago

[...] The company's lead lawyer on this described bluntly the roughshod attitude of his colleagues: "Google's leadership doesn't care terribly much about precedent or law." In this case precedent was the centuries-old protections of intellectual property, and the consequences were a potential devastation of the publishing industry and all the writers who depend on it. In other words, Google had plotted an intellectual heist of historic proportions.

I think he's right to fear the idea of Google being the only entity with access to this information, but wrong to think that further closing it off is the right solution (we gotta open it up to EVERYONE buddy)

—p.54 The Google Theory of History (32) default author 2 months ago
56

[...] Facebook is a carefully managed top-down system, not a robust public square. It mimics some of the patterns of conversation, but that's a surface trait. In reality, Facebook is a tangle of rules and procedures for sorting information, rules devised by the corporation for the ultimate benefit of the corporation. Facebook is always surveilling users, always auditing them, using them as lab rats in its behavioral experiments. While it creates the impression that it offers choice, Facebook paternalistically nudges users in the direction it deems best for them, which also happens to be the direction that thoroughly addicts them. [...]

Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago

[...] Facebook is a carefully managed top-down system, not a robust public square. It mimics some of the patterns of conversation, but that's a surface trait. In reality, Facebook is a tangle of rules and procedures for sorting information, rules devised by the corporation for the ultimate benefit of the corporation. Facebook is always surveilling users, always auditing them, using them as lab rats in its behavioral experiments. While it creates the impression that it offers choice, Facebook paternalistically nudges users in the direction it deems best for them, which also happens to be the direction that thoroughly addicts them. [...]

—p.56 Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago
69

[...] A system is a human artifact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn't a quality that we associate with it. When algorithms reject a loan application or set the price for an airline flight, they seem impersonal and unbending. The algorithm is supposed to be devoid of bias, intuition, emotion, or forgiveness. [...]

Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago

[...] A system is a human artifact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn't a quality that we associate with it. When algorithms reject a loan application or set the price for an airline flight, they seem impersonal and unbending. The algorithm is supposed to be devoid of bias, intuition, emotion, or forgiveness. [...]

—p.69 Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago
70

[...] even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures--and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data--it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Both Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. [...] the algorithms make fundamentally different recommendations. Amazon steers you to the sorts of books that you've seen before. Netflix directs users to the unfamiliar. There's a business reason for this difference. Blockbuster movies cost Netflix more to stream. Greater profit arrives when you decide to watch more obscure fare. [...]

Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago

[...] even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures--and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data--it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Both Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. [...] the algorithms make fundamentally different recommendations. Amazon steers you to the sorts of books that you've seen before. Netflix directs users to the unfamiliar. There's a business reason for this difference. Blockbuster movies cost Netflix more to stream. Greater profit arrives when you decide to watch more obscure fare. [...]

—p.70 Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago
71

[...] Google has explicitly built its search engine to reflect values that it holds dear. It believes that the popularity of a Web site gives a good sense of its utility; it chooses to suppress pornography in its search results and not, say, anti-Semitic conspiracists; it believes that users will benefit from finding recent articles more than golden oldies. These are legitimate choices--and perhaps wise business decisions--but they are choices, not science.

Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago

[...] Google has explicitly built its search engine to reflect values that it holds dear. It believes that the popularity of a Web site gives a good sense of its utility; it chooses to suppress pornography in its search results and not, say, anti-Semitic conspiracists; it believes that users will benefit from finding recent articles more than golden oldies. These are legitimate choices--and perhaps wise business decisions--but they are choices, not science.

—p.71 Mark Zuckerberg's War on Free Will (56) default author 2 months ago