Presented without context; snippets that seemed worth highlighting over the past two months. Kindle doesn’t detect individual authors or texts from Instapaper’s auto-exported digests, so unfortunately a lot of these are essentially unattributed.

  • Your Highlight at location 251-253 | Added on Monday, 2 August 2021 21:47:40

The enduring obsession with social relevance reflects our collective obsession with escaping the non-being of those that lived and died before us, for only the famous dead retain a modicum of relevance in our minds, and only public esteem can break the spell of total anonymity that haunts us all.

The Invention of Nature (Andrea Wulf)

  • Your Highlight on page 197 | location 3011-3018 | Added on Wednesday, 4 August 2021 22:21:15

Wordsworth wrote in The Excursion (1814): For was it meant That we should pore, and dwindle as we pore, For ever dimly pore on things minute, On solitary objects, still beheld In disconnection dead and spiritless, And still dividing and dividing still Break down all grandeur …

Instapaper: Friday, Aug. 6th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 125-126 | Added on Saturday, 7 August 2021 21:49:43

(My personal algorithm for new ideas appears to include: think about nonsense for longer than most others are prepared to tolerate.)

Instapaper: Friday, Aug. 6th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 166-166 | Added on Saturday, 7 August 2021 21:50:03

new word becomes a new lens for understanding the world.

Instapaper: Friday, Aug. 6th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 183-183 | Added on Saturday, 7 August 2021 21:50:42

New words are addresses to previously unused embeddings in concept space.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 88 | location 1349-1350 | Added on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 22:55:05

Biofuels are considered “renewable” because every year that we renew the world’s agriculture, we get the option of taking a portion of the harvest, mutilating it, and then setting it on fire.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 92 | location 1408-1416 | Added on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 22:56:07

My friend Brian quit smoking a few years ago, which was quite a feat because he had been addicted for decades. At age sixteen, he smoked after school with his friends, and a pack of cigarettes would last him about a week. While at community college, he got a part-time job and so upped his habit to about two packs a week. After graduating, he got a full-time job on a construction site, and soon thereafter he was smoking a pack a day. When I want to minimize the significance of cigarettes in Brian’s life, I emphasize that the percentage of his salary that he devoted to the purchase of cigarettes decreased dramatically during the twenty years that passed. When I want to maximize the significance of cigarettes in Brian’s life, I emphasize that the total number of cigarettes he smoked each week increased by a factor of seven over that same time period. Both of these statements are factually correct, but when they are presented in isolation, they tend to give different impressions of Brian’s habit. To fully understand the role that cigarettes played in Brian’s life over those formative years, it is best to understand both trends.

The Invention of Nature (Andrea Wulf)

  • Your Highlight on page 219 | location 3349-3351 | Added on Saturday, 14 August 2021 13:12:37

With few political rights and a general suppression of liberal ideas, Prussia’s middle classes had turned inwards and into the private sphere. Music, literature and art were dominated by expressions of feelings rather than revolutionary sentiment.

Instapaper: Tuesday, Aug. 10th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 1184-1185 | Added on Saturday, 14 August 2021 20:09:41

there is another coexisting world, one in which thoughtful, intricate and uplifting things are being created at an unprecedented pace. Indeed, there is a surplus of extraordinary objects that illustrate and celebrate the full range of human ingenuity.

Instapaper: Tuesday, Aug. 10th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 1216-1218 | Added on Saturday, 14 August 2021 20:13:23

have a choice: either to judge the world as embittered critics who find little beauty in new things or to feel a tingle of elation at the seemingly infinite cultural improvisations that humans keep spinning out like silk. The latter seems far more appealing to me.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 4 | location 55-57 | Added on Sunday, 15 August 2021 18:23:03

Drugs like acid or ecstasy might loosen up the mind to a certain degree, but they neglect the other, more lucidly existential parts of human subjectivity (our capacity to reason, our political agency), leaving them to rot and atrophy. In this sense, the problem with drugs, Fisher argues, is that they “are like an escape kit without an instruction manual”.9

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 10 | location 148-151 | Added on Sunday, 15 August 2021 22:12:27

This was to suggest that, whilst Mensch’s cynicism was superficial, the implications of her critique remained deeply troubling. To what extent is our desire for postcapitalism always-already captured and neutralised by capitalism itself? How are we supposed to combat the “intensification of desire for consumer goods, funded by credit”?21 Should we even try?

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 15 | location 223-227 | Added on Sunday, 15 August 2021 22:21:33

The consciousness in question is not a consciousness of an already-existing state of affairs. Rather, consciousness-raising is productive. It creates a new subject — a we that is both the agent of struggle and what is struggled for. At the same time, consciousness-raising intervenes in the ‘object’, the world itself, which is now no longer apprehended as some static opacity, the nature of which is already decided, but as something that can be transformed.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 17 | location 257-259 | Added on Sunday, 15 August 2021 22:24:38

Whereas Fisher may have rejected the Nineties announcement that “we are all middle class now”, our television screens continue to announce this reality silently and without fanfare nonetheless. The message, though implicit, is familiar: there is no alternative

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 23 | location 352-352 | Added on Tuesday, 17 August 2021 19:44:15

“frenzied stasis”.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 46 | location 700-704 | Added on Tuesday, 17 August 2021 21:44:11

The concept of postcapitalism is something developed out of capitalism. It develops from capitalism and moves beyond capitalism. Therefore, we’re not required to imagine a sheer alterity, a pure outside. That’s one of the emphases of postcapitalism. We can begin with, work with, the pleasures of capitalism, as well as its oppressions. So, we’re not necessarily trapped in this Louise Mensch world where if we have iPhones, we can’t want postcapitalism. Although I don’t think we’d want iPhones in postcapitalism…

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 50 | location 753-755 | Added on Tuesday, 17 August 2021 21:48:54

While it affords the pleasures of recognition, of capture, of intellectually subduing that one last thing, it offers no relief or exit to a place beyond. If we want to cultivate new habits of thinking for a postcapitalist politics, it seems there is work to be done to loosen the structure of feeling that cannot live with uncertainty or move beyond hopelessness.15

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 51 | location 781-784 | Added on Tuesday, 17 August 2021 23:06:23

the idea there is, then: that power itself is pathological. To hold power is to inherently be oppressive, therefore it’s better to be wounded; it’s better to be the wounded, the abject, because you’re not actually holding power, which is oppressive. This becomes the name for a kind of impossible desire in lots of ways. Who are these appeals aimed at? What is a political project which doesn’t aim at capturing power or building power in some way?

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 18th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 136-138 | Added on Wednesday, 18 August 2021 22:54:58

The era of rapid climate change has begun. Both a rapid escalation of consequences, and a rapid escalation of solutions. Time has run out for anything but radical change.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 18th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 310-312 | Added on Thursday, 19 August 2021 20:50:27

(1999), and Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future (2011). But whether business-banal or cyber-gnostic, the classic pop-futurist canon presupposes an audience who wants to disrupt industries while preserving the status quo.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 18th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 346-347 | Added on Thursday, 19 August 2021 20:54:43

unlock their potential—the collaborative gameplay itself. Unlike a linear book, interactive card decks and collective storytelling projects may best embody the strange, mutable, participatory ways the actual future unfolds.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 18th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 346-347 | Added on Thursday, 19 August 2021 20:54:49

Unlike a linear book, interactive card decks and collective storytelling projects may best embody the strange, mutable, participatory ways the actual future unfolds.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 85 | location 1296-1298 | Added on Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:52:00

most imaginable societies, some level of repression is required in order for people to produce anything. But then surplus repression is the additional social repression on top of that, beyond necessity. Beyond quasi-biological necessity, there is also cultural and social pressure.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 85 | location 1296-1298 | Added on Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:52:07

most imaginable societies, some level of repression is required in order for people to produce anything. But then surplus repression is the additional social repression on top of that, beyond necessity. Beyond quasi-biological necessity, there is also cultural and social pressure.

Instapaper: Friday, Aug. 20th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 368-369 | Added on Sunday, 22 August 2021 22:01:04

Any society in which people meddle in other people’s business is not a good society, and a state in which the government ‘knows more about you than you know about yourself,’ is a state that must be overthrown.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 110-112 | Added on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 23:02:46

He notes that for all the advantages of a poker face, humans are uniquely bad at it – no other species blushes, no other primate has whites in its eyes to allow others to see where it’s looking. It’s like we became more transparent so that we could be more trusted.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 129-130 | Added on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 23:04:57

hundred years ago G.K. Chesterton observed that we picture cavemen as stupid thugs dragging their clubs, but the one thing we actually know about them, was that they were artists.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 142-143 | Added on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 23:07:01

Far from being blood thirsty killers with a thin veneer of civilisation, humans have a deep aversion to killing in even the most desperate of situations.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 191-194 | Added on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 23:12:22

what about violent situations like Kitty’s? They were unstudiable until Marie Lindegaard had the bright idea of using CCTV footage of real incidents to evaluate bystander behaviour in violent situations. In these high stakes situations bystanders intervene 9 times out of 10, with the rate of intervention rising if there are more bystanders.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 244-245 | Added on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 23:18:49

Probably people banded together because civilisations are strong, and safety is appealing.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 957-959 | Added on Thursday, 26 August 2021 08:08:35

Nature is always the same, and its virtue and power of acting are everywhere one and the same, i.e., the laws and rules of nature, according to which all things happen, and change from one form to another, are always and everywhere the same. So the way of understanding the nature of anything, of whatever kind, must also be the same, viz. through the universal laws and rules of nature.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 998-999 | Added on Thursday, 26 August 2021 08:12:22

“We are driven about in many ways by external causes, and … like waves on the sea, driven by contrary winds, we toss about, not knowing our outcome and fate”

Instapaper: Wednesday, Aug. 25th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 1025-1029 | Added on Thursday, 26 August 2021 08:19:06

We see that all bodies and their states follow necessarily from the essence of matter and the universal laws of physics; and we see that all ideas, including all the properties of minds, follow necessarily from the essence of thought and its universal laws. This insight can only weaken the power that the passions have over us. We are no longer hopeful or fearful of what shall come to pass, and no longer anxious or despondent over our possessions. We regard all things with equanimity, and we are not inordinately and irrationally affected in different ways by past, present or future events. The result is self-control and a calmness of mind.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 93 | location 1419-1420 | Added on Friday, 27 August 2021 23:24:53

Some of you will have seen it. The Machines of Loving Grace thing, where he mocks the commune thing quite heavily. 23 It’s probably justified as well…

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Note on page 93 | location 1420 | Added on Friday, 27 August 2021 23:25:15

Synchronicity…

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 104 | location 1581-1584 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:19:57

can’t understand any bit of a system without understanding the whole system, and the whole system is not a thing — it’s a set of relations. This is why immediacy is such a problem. Immediacy is inherently ideological, and ideologically mystifying. Because the totality is not given in immediacy!

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 104 | location 1581-1584 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:20:14

You can’t understand any bit of a system without understanding the whole system, and the whole system is not a thing — it’s a set of relations. This is why immediacy is such a problem. Immediacy is inherently ideological, and ideologically mystifying. Because the totality is not given in immediacy!

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 104 | location 1593-1595 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:32:04

Part of the problem of the old idea of objective truth, you could say, was its idea that consciousness has no effect on the truth. That might well be true of the state of a black hole or something like that, but it can’t possibly be true of social relations. I’m in those social relations!

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 105 | location 1606-1608 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:36:53

It’s a direct inversion of Thatcher! “There’s no such thing as society. There are only individuals and their families”. It’s the other way round! There’s no such thing as the individual. But the individual is immediately given. And that’s part of the problem of immediacy.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 111 | location 1696-1698 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:48:35

That’s what I mean [when I say] capital is the driver! Capital is purposiveness without purpose. Endless driving… There’s no final purpose to it. There’s no end point to it, in itself, which I think brings us very close to the core theme of this module, in a way. Because you could say that makes it flat with the structure of desire in itself.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 118 | location 1802-1804 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 08:59:07

also seems to be, in the world today, like some sort of fairy-tale where there’s some magical golden machine in a room over there that can make anything you want. It’s just there, but you don’t have the time to go there. You can have this machine that is the most wondrous thing imaginable but, if you don’t have the time to use it, it might as well not be there. And that’s where we are at.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 128 | location 1950-1953 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 09:17:07

“Reification is, then, the necessary, immediate reality of every person living in capitalist society. It can be overcome only by constant and constantly renewed efforts to disrupt the reified structure of existence by concretely relating to the concretely manifested contradictions of the total development, by becoming conscious of the immanent meanings of these contradictions for

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 128 | location 1950-1953 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 09:17:15

“Reification is, then, the necessary, immediate reality of every person living in capitalist society. It can be overcome only by constant and constantly renewed efforts to disrupt the reified structure of existence by concretely relating to the concretely manifested contradictions of the total development, by becoming conscious of the immanent meanings of these contradictions for the total development”.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 140 | location 2138-2141 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:08:55

Our healing is not in the storm or in the whirlwind, it is not in monarchies, or aristocracies, or democracies, but will be revealed by the still small voice that speaks to the conscience and the heart, prompting us to a wider and wiser humanity. —James Russell Lowell (1884)

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 72 | location 1093-1097 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:24:41

This extreme imbalance in energy consumption inspires a simple sort of algebra: if all the fuel and electricity in use today were redistributed equally to each of the seven-plus billion people on planet Earth, each person’s energy use could be equal to the average consumed by people living in Switzerland during the 1960s. I’ve seen pictures of Switzerland that were taken in the sixties, and you know what? It doesn’t look so bad. People standing around in train stations wearing thick wool coats or sitting at small tables drinking from tiny coffee cups.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 72 | location 1100-1101 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:26:34

there is no magical technology coming to save us from ourselves. Curbing consumption will be the ultimate trial of the twenty-first century. Using less and sharing more is the biggest challenge our generation will ever face.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 136 | location 2079-2082 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:37:47

According to that same report, analyses from more than 150 different countries determined six factors that form the social foundations of the cross-cultural concept of happiness: social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity, absence of corruption in government, healthy life expectancy, and per capita income. It goes without saying that most of these factors can be maintained, or even improved, while reducing fossil fuel use.

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 137 | location 2087-2091 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:38:40

It’s no use pretending that conserving resources isn’t at direct odds with the industries that helped to write our Story of More and that increasing consumption over the last fifty years wasn’t tightly coupled to the pursuit of more profit, more income, more wealth. It’s time to look around and ask ourselves if this coupling is truly the only way to build a civilization, because the assumption that it is may represent the greatest threat of all. Each one of us must privately ask ourselves when and where we can consume less instead of more, for it is unlikely

The Story of More (Hope Jahren)

  • Your Highlight on page 137 | location 2087-2091 | Added on Saturday, 28 August 2021 17:38:49

It’s no use pretending that conserving resources isn’t at direct odds with the industries that helped to write our Story of More and that increasing consumption over the last fifty years wasn’t tightly coupled to the pursuit of more profit, more income, more wealth. It’s time to look around and ask ourselves if this coupling is truly the only way to build a civilization, because the assumption that it is may represent the greatest threat of all. Each one of us must privately ask ourselves when and where we can consume less instead of more, for it is unlikely that business and industry will ever ask on our behalf.

Instapaper: Sunday, Aug. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 46-48 | Added on Sunday, 29 August 2021 19:20:27

‘The digital order deobjectifies the world by rendering it information,’ he writes. ‘It’s not objects but information that rules the living world. We no longer inhabit heaven and earth, but the Cloud and Google Earth. The world is becoming progressively untouchable, foggy and ghostly.’

Instapaper: Sunday, Aug. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 69-71 | Added on Sunday, 29 August 2021 19:23:31

didn’t need to wait for a pandemic to describe how we are voluntarily tied to our laptops, how we exploit ourselves in the neoliberal home-office mode, how this makes us feel creative, smart and connected while we cover up our feelings of precarity with swipes and likes; he did that more than a decade

Instapaper: Sunday, Aug. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 69-71 | Added on Sunday, 29 August 2021 19:23:36

Han didn’t need to wait for a pandemic to describe how we are voluntarily tied to our laptops, how we exploit ourselves in the neoliberal home-office mode, how this makes us feel creative, smart and connected while we cover up our feelings of precarity with swipes and likes; he did that more than a decade ago.

[SOC FIS] postcapitalist desire (Zamzar)

  • Your Highlight on page 138 | location 2103-2106 | Added on Tuesday, 31 August 2021 21:15:53

And one of the things he picks up on and one of the things I wanted to look at in this module is the development of resentment as the driving force of reaction in the period since the Seventies. Because resentment, in a way, is a form of anti-solidarity, is a form of anti-consciousness.4 Because resentment is, to me, I’m not getting something that somebody else should get, not that we should all get more, which you could say is the basis of class consciousness.

Instapaper: Thursday, Sep. 2nd (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 45-46 | Added on Thursday, 2 September 2021 22:31:58

That’s what the media has become: someone Googling for you.

Instapaper: Thursday, Sep. 2nd (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 109-111 | Added on Thursday, 2 September 2021 22:36:37

The Great Supply Chain Disruption is a central element of the extraordinary uncertainty that continues to frame economic prospects worldwide. If the shortages persist well into next year, that could advance rising prices on a range of commodities.

Instapaper: Thursday, Sep. 2nd (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 127-128 | Added on Thursday, 2 September 2021 22:38:01

The world has gained a painful lesson in how interconnected economies are across vast distances, with delay and shortages in any one place rippling out nearly everywhere.

Instapaper: Thursday, Sep. 2nd (Instapaper)

  • Your Note at location 128 | Added on Thursday, 2 September 2021 22:39:57

Making invisible processes visible. That alan watts quote about only being aware of your body when something is wrong

Instapaper: Thursday, Sep. 2nd (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 373-374 | Added on Thursday, 2 September 2021 22:47:58

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

Instapaper: Tuesday, Sep. 7th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 73-77 | Added on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 22:47:58

Two – We have a cultural tendency to think in terms of clearly defined conclusions such as “the end,” “game over,” or “happily ever after.” This way of making sense of events is a poor fit for ongoing crises like climate change. There is a tendency to search for and think in terms of a definitive looming stopping point, as it helps give a clear sense of “how much time we have left;” however, arguments over how many pages we have left tend to distract us from recognizing the role we play in determining what words get written on those pages.

Instapaper: Tuesday, Sep. 7th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 236-237 | Added on Sunday, 12 September 2021 21:13:28

The challenge of doomers is not a loss of faith in science, but a loss of faith in a society’s ability to respond to that science.

Instapaper: Tuesday, Sep. 7th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 260-261 | Added on Sunday, 12 September 2021 21:15:27

“I do not believe that things will turn out well, but the idea that they might is of decisive importance.” – Max Horkheimer

Trick Mirror (Jia Tolentino)

  • Your Bookmark on page 173 | location 2645 | Added on Sunday, 26 September 2021 22:21:51

==========
Instapaper: Wednesday, Sep. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 40-42 | Added on Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:05:59

researching Elisée Reclus, the French anarchist geographer. “Man is nature taking consciousness of itself”, Reclus believed; the liberation of humanity and the earth went hand in hand.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Sep. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 90-93 | Added on Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:16:29

He has written l’Histoire scélérate, Scoundrel History. It shuts people’s mouths and severs their connection to the dreams, sweat, and aspirations of those who struggled before us. Scoundrel History insists on the difference between now and then, the arbitrariness of the new, the fatalism of birth, of rocks, vegetation, and rivers. In the name of science he lashes those who embraced a world more vast than his vanity.

Instapaper: Wednesday, Sep. 29th (Instapaper)

  • Your Highlight at location 196-196 | Added on Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:27:56

“To understand the future, we study the past”, she said. “We know the past best by the future it dreams.”

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