Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Search

Notes (36)

Terms (0)

Sections (7)

Books (0)

[...] As Young himself wrote in a 2001 essay deploring his term's enthusiastic adoption by the New Labour government of Tony Blair, that education had become a means of concentrating power. "It is good sense," he wrote, "to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others." In short, Blair had missed the point of meritocracy, embracing the ideal of "merit" while forgetting the "aristocracy" part.

—p.136 Meritocracy (135) by John Patrick Leary 4 years, 7 months ago

[...] Rabois believes PayPal is a "perfect validation of merit" and of Silicon Valley as a meritocracy. "None of us had any connection to anyone important in Silicon Valley," he told me. "We went from complete misfits to the establishment in five years. We were literally nobodies.[...]" The early PayPal team would go on to found some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley, including Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Yelp. Thiel funded and joined the board of Facebook. Establishment achieved.

this guy literally knows nothing about anything

—p.48 Chapter 2 (41) by Emily Chang 4 years, 4 months ago

Meritocracy is the propaganda we use to bless the charade.

[...]

Capitalism is an amoral farce in which every player--investor, employee, entrepreneur, consumer--is complicit.

But hey, look at these shiny iPhones. Right?

—p.74 by Antonio Garcia Martinez 7 years, 1 month ago

[...] The lineage of the control and ownership of land traced back invariably to violence. Behind possession of any sort: dispossession. Today's notion that wealth testified and attached to merit - to the quality of ideas and tenacity of labor - made an attractive but thin veneer on the true store of wealth accumulated in earlier dispossessions. It was this capital, after all, that invested in the good ideas and profited from the hard work of others. We held out hands to catch the crumbs falling from the master's table and called it meritocracy. [...]

—p.178 Country & Eastern (174) by Greg Jackson 5 years, 7 months ago

[...] The business is as close to being a pure meritocracy as anything ever gets in the real world, and it's only because these guys know they are good that they have the confidence to call themselves cable trash.

about the cable-laying business

the unintentional irony of extolling the virtues of this quasi-meritocracy juxtaposed with the implication that all of its members are male

—p.153 Mother Earth, Mother Board (120) by Neal Stephenson 7 years ago

[...] Bourdieu and Passeron put the argument:

Nothing is better designed than the examination to inspire universal recognition of the legitimacy of academic verdicts and of the social hierarchies they legitimate, since it leads the self-eliminated to count themselves among those who fail, while enabling those elected from among a small number of eligible candidates to see in their election the proof of a merit or “gift” which would have caused them to be preferred to all comers in any circumstances.

Schooling and examinations thus translate class inequalities into inequalities of merit legitimating these inequalities both in the eyes of the dominant and subordinate classes. According to Bourdieu, to a large extent the dominant class of contemporary is a credentialed elite. To recall, this is also Althusser’s argument: that the school ISA is the key institution in reproducing capitalism.

quote from Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture. relevant to my theory of meritocracy (retroactive legitimation)

—p.123 Bourdieu's Class Theory: The Academic as Revolutionary (107) by Dylan Riley 6 years, 6 months ago

This relentless focus on intersubjective, interpersonal relations between individual members of different classes completely overlooks the ways in which capitalism operates as a system of objective social relationships. As Ellen Meiksins Wood has argued, the universal market dependence that defines capitalism necessarily imposes certain imperatives on economic activity: competition, profit maximization, accumulation, productivity growth. Workers and capitalists alike are subject to the constraints of the market and are forced to comply with its demands in order to survive. They simply have no choice but to do so, regardless of their personal beliefs, attitudes, and values. Exploitation occurs not because owners and employers are prejudiced against workers but because the whip of competition constantly forces them to cut costs, intensify workers’ labor, and reduce wages. Even if prejudicial attitudes toward working-class people were eradicated tomorrow, class exploitation would still continue. What’s more, those attitudes would likely resurface because abusing and mistreating other human beings always requires a justification.

link this to meritocracy

—p.201 The New "Culture of Poverty" (195) by Chris Maisano 6 years, 6 months ago

[...] We are told these jobs are unskilled, but the work is actually skilled; we are told it is often pointless and superfluous, and yet many workers find it to be meaningful. Unskilled jobs may be miserable and alienating, but it is the task of critical thinkers to ask: To what extent is this a regrettable, inevitable reality rather than a socially constructed phenomenon? To what extent does the category of unskilled work bolster the idea that we live in a meritocracy and therefore justify egregious exploitation? If the meritocracy is illusory, then so is the idea of unskilled work.

love this framing

—p.23 We Keep You Alive (14) by Lizzie O'Shea 4 years, 1 month ago

"Maybe Microsoft cares if you have a degree, but the startups don't, and the companies that care about preserving startup culture don't. It's a meritocracy out here. Especially if you drop out of a really good school with a good reputation out here, like CMU. [...]"

the irony of this statement is killing me

by Gideon Lewis-Kraus 6 years, 11 months ago

[...] the last thing that mattered in Silicon Valley was technological innovation. Marketing came first and foremost. The actual products of the tech industry—computers and software—were less important than the techniques used to sell those products, and to sell shares in the companies that made them. The portfolios of venture capital firms were composed largely of go-nowhere companies built on bluster. There was a paucity of genuine innovation Ghazi shook his head. Neither was having revenue, or customers. In fact, the last thing that mattered in Silicon Valley was technological innovation. Marketing came first and foremost. The actual products of the tech industry—computers and software—were less important than the techniques used to sell those products, and to sell shares in the companies that made them. The portfolios of venture capital firms were composed largely of go-nowhere companies built on bluster. There was a paucity of genuine innovation among these companies, because incremental advances in technology were less reliable generators of profit than, say, finding clever ways to rip people off, or exploiting regulatory loopholes. The overwhelming majority of VC-backed startups were destined to flame out quickly—or, at best, to sputter along for a few years producing modest annual returns of, say, 1 percent. This was not necessarily a problem, at least from the investors’ point of view. Ghazi explained that 60 percent of a venture fund’s earnings typically come from 10 percent of its investments, and “everything else is crap.” Thus financiers were almost guaranteed to profit, eventually. The odds were much worse for entrepreneurs, who were almost certainly doomed even if they secured VC funding. A 2012 Harvard Business School study of two thousand venture-backed companies found that more than 95 percent failed. “You don’t hear a lot about the failures,” Ghazi said.

He was right. Techies only talked about their past failures as a necessary prelude to their present success. But most failures were permanent, and founders didn’t easily bounce back. I contemplated those numbers from the Harvard study. If 95 percent of startups failed, that meant 5 percent of startups received most of the attention from inside and outside the industry. Which meant that the mediated image of Silicon Valley bore little resemblance to the reality. I was living the reality. The reality was that almost everyone was a loser like me, trying to break through.

We were chum. Fodder. Marks. Ghazi shared with me his pity for “fresh-off-the-boat” entrepreneurs who lacked elite connections and still believed the hype about meritocracy, opportunity, collaboration, and geek camaraderie. As Ghazi saw it, one single factor determined who even got the chance to join the 5 percent of winners: “It’s about who you know,” he said. “Go to Stanford, and if you have a bad idea, it will get funded.”

—p.140 It's Called Capitalism (121) by Corey Pein 5 years, 6 months ago