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

Disrupt the Citizen

Uber, but for oligarchy

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terms
4
notes

by the editors

, n. (2017). Disrupt the Citizen. n+1, 29, pp. 1-6

2

What makes Silicon Valley novel — or perhaps a throwback to Standard Oil and the railroads — is the homology between its companies’ internal culture of predation, sexual and otherwise, and the swashbuckling illegality of their public maneuvers. For all the hoopla over their parental leave and benefits, Valley companies extract punishing hours from their workers, whose salaries they keep artificially low by ensuring they can’t shift jobs. In the world at large, they gain monopoly power by busting regulations, flouting antitrust laws, and buying politicians. Despite the microdistinctions people like to make between the two, bad Uber and good Lyft are united in these practices. From the outset, both intended to undermine the rules that regulate transportation, and both have succeeded.

—p.2 missing author 1 year, 4 months ago

What makes Silicon Valley novel — or perhaps a throwback to Standard Oil and the railroads — is the homology between its companies’ internal culture of predation, sexual and otherwise, and the swashbuckling illegality of their public maneuvers. For all the hoopla over their parental leave and benefits, Valley companies extract punishing hours from their workers, whose salaries they keep artificially low by ensuring they can’t shift jobs. In the world at large, they gain monopoly power by busting regulations, flouting antitrust laws, and buying politicians. Despite the microdistinctions people like to make between the two, bad Uber and good Lyft are united in these practices. From the outset, both intended to undermine the rules that regulate transportation, and both have succeeded.

—p.2 missing author 1 year, 4 months ago
2

The personal loathsomeness of Kalanick obscures the broader trends that made his company possible. The cult of the CEO has constrained the imagination of the press. Is Uber's culture too damaged to change? Will it lose out to Lyft? Stories like these place too much emphasis on how a single individual shapes an organization. Sexual harassment and discrimination pervade Silicon Valley like fog. [...]

—p.2 missing author 1 year, 2 months ago

The personal loathsomeness of Kalanick obscures the broader trends that made his company possible. The cult of the CEO has constrained the imagination of the press. Is Uber's culture too damaged to change? Will it lose out to Lyft? Stories like these place too much emphasis on how a single individual shapes an organization. Sexual harassment and discrimination pervade Silicon Valley like fog. [...]

—p.2 missing author 1 year, 2 months ago
5

The political strategy behind ride-sharing lies in pitting the figure of the consumer against the figure of the citizen. As the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck has argued, the explosion of consumer choices in the 1960s and ’70s didn’t only affect the kinds of products people owned. It affected the way those people regarded government services and public utilities, which began to seem shabby compared with the vibrant world of consumer goods. A public service like mass transit came to seem less like a community necessity and more like one choice among many. Dissatisfied with goods formerly subject to collective provision, such as buses, the affluent ceased to pay for them, supporting private options even when public ones remained.

I was so happy to see Wolfgang Streeck's name mentioned

—p.5 missing author 1 year, 4 months ago

The political strategy behind ride-sharing lies in pitting the figure of the consumer against the figure of the citizen. As the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck has argued, the explosion of consumer choices in the 1960s and ’70s didn’t only affect the kinds of products people owned. It affected the way those people regarded government services and public utilities, which began to seem shabby compared with the vibrant world of consumer goods. A public service like mass transit came to seem less like a community necessity and more like one choice among many. Dissatisfied with goods formerly subject to collective provision, such as buses, the affluent ceased to pay for them, supporting private options even when public ones remained.

I was so happy to see Wolfgang Streeck's name mentioned

—p.5 missing author 1 year, 4 months ago
5

Behind all this lurks the specter of the self-driving car--the emblem of a paradise in which all transportation, everywhere, is replaced by software that regulates, with serene efficiency, the motion of an entire civilization.. This is the vision that animates every regulatory collapse, every public-transportation failure, every taxi driver's lost livelihood. For the consumer, the system is already automated: you press a button, a car shows up, you emerge at your destination. It is, in the jargon of the Valley, "frictionless".

Eventually, they say, it will all be worth it. It doesn't seem to matter that these advances are far in the future or may never take place. Meanwhile, an actually existing concept--affordable mass transit--is being lost.

—p.5 missing author 1 year, 2 months ago

Behind all this lurks the specter of the self-driving car--the emblem of a paradise in which all transportation, everywhere, is replaced by software that regulates, with serene efficiency, the motion of an entire civilization.. This is the vision that animates every regulatory collapse, every public-transportation failure, every taxi driver's lost livelihood. For the consumer, the system is already automated: you press a button, a car shows up, you emerge at your destination. It is, in the jargon of the Valley, "frictionless".

Eventually, they say, it will all be worth it. It doesn't seem to matter that these advances are far in the future or may never take place. Meanwhile, an actually existing concept--affordable mass transit--is being lost.

—p.5 missing author 1 year, 2 months ago