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nofutureparttwo

nofutureparttwo

Joined March 2017

blurb
nofutureparttwo

Decided to check this out on the basis of comparisons to Station Eleven. I‘m ~60 pages in so far and not sure how I feel — I know most of the book was written in the Beforetimes, but there‘s something a little too on-the-nose about much of the descriptions of pandemic-era life and loss, which at times can feel a bit like trauma porn. Perhaps this is a less than generous assessment, and there‘s a lot to love here. My mind may change as I read on.

review
nofutureparttwo
Mehso-so

A frustrating book. On one hand, Zuboff‘s project—to theorize the wholly new permutation of global capitalism that sets the terms on which we live our connected lives—is ambitious and urgent. On the other, it truly felt unedited: her writing is often so fraught and overblown that it verges on unreadable. That‘s a shame, because buried beneath the drifts of metaphoric excess and recursive formulations is something profoundly fucking important. Ugh.

nofutureparttwo I have plenty to say about her actual argument—specifically her repeated suggestion that somehow the solution to capitalism‘s destruction of human flourishing can be found within capitalism itself, rather than in its abolition—but, unlike Shoshana, i‘m constrained by a character limit!!! 1y
nofutureparttwo tl;dr this was one of the most insightful and imaginative works of tech criticism i‘ve ever read, but it took me 9 months 1y
Reggie Lol just keep putting 👇🏼and continue in the comments, man, no matter how many it might take. 1y
7 likes3 comments
quote
nofutureparttwo

“Job listings were an excellent place to get sprayed with HR‘s idea of fun and a twenty-three-year-old‘s idea of work-life balance.”

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nofutureparttwo

“The presentation that evening was top-shelf: a fireside chat between two venture capitalists. There wasn‘t an actual fire, but the VCs looked sweaty, close to pitting out. Even from the back row, the office felt moist. I‘d never been in a room with so few women, so much money, and so many people champing at the bit to get a taste.
It was like watching two ATMs in conversation.”

nofutureparttwo I just want to type this again: “It was like watching two ATMs in conversation.” 1y
Reggie Lol 1y
5 likes2 comments
review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

This was an illuminating, thoughtful, and devastatingly funny account of the absurd excess and abuse of Big Tech, which tracks the tension of utopianism and iterative misogyny in the industry. Wiener‘s a phenomenal writer whose withering gaze is fueled by her gift for understatement. As someone who covers tech for a living, this is essential reading; as someone who recently worked in publishing, the first 30 pages were unbearably relatable.

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

Daub‘s aim is to recover the histories of the ideas most central to the story Big Tech tells about itself. Contrary to the belief that these ideas represent novel ways of thinking through unique problems posed by new tech, Daub shows how watchwords like “disruption,” “failure,” or design thinking are actually old, well-worn concepts “playing dress-up in a hoodie.” It felt a bit rushed and thinly argued at times, but overall an illuminating read.

quote
nofutureparttwo
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell

“One might say the parks and libraries of the self are always about to be turned into condos.”

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nofutureparttwo
Angle of Repose | Wallace Stegner

“My grandparents had to live their way out of one world and into another, or into several others, making new out of old the way corals live their reef upward. I am on my grandparents‘ side. I believe in Time, as they did, and in the life chronological rather than in the life existential. We live in time and through it, we build our huts in its ruins, or used to, and we cannot afford all these abandonings.”

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

An impeccable account of the last three decades in US politics. With journalistic suspicion of his subject and a savage sense of humor, Alberta traces the ideological tensions within the GOP that created the conditions for its own displacement by Trump‘s style of gaudy, petulant, enthusiastically cruel nationalism. If we still have historians in 20 years, they‘ll probably agree that Tim Alberta wrote the definitive history of our sad, strange age.

Hooked_on_books I just finished this one. Your review nails it. 2y
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nofutureparttwo

I have a sense that God is unfair and preferentially punishes his weak, his dumb, his fat, his lazy.... He gives us a need for love, and no way to get any. He gives us a desire to be liked, and personal attributes that make us utterly unlikable. Having placed his flawed and needy children in a world of exacting specifications, he deducts the difference between what we have and what we need from our hearts and our self-esteem and our mental health.

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nofutureparttwo

“What a degraded cosmos. What a case of something starting out nice and going bad.”

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nofutureparttwo

“History writes itself. It doesn‘t need my assistance.”
“But it‘s your life‘s work.”
“Your life‘s work could be scrubbing piss from a toilet bowl. Work isn‘t meaningful just because you spend your life doing it.”

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

The most important book I‘ve read this year; likely one of the most important books of my lifetime. Written with a righteous clarity that is uncompromising in both its outrage and its ultimate insistence on hope, Wallace-Wells sets fire to the comforting neoliberal fantasies of salvation through markets and technology that serve only to keep us from acknowledging our role in our own annihilation—and our agency over that fate. Essential reading.

review
nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams
Pickpick

A singular novel, unlike almost anything I‘ve ever read. I can‘t believe I‘d never heard of it before I read it.

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nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams

“Having come to his studies late, he felt the urgency of study. Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him an awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
———
My god, what a relatable description of being a nontrad student.

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nofutureparttwo
Stoner | John Williams

He saw [the future], not as a flux of events and change and potentiality, but as a territory ahead that awaited his exploration. He saw it as the great University library, to which new wings might be built, to which new books might be added and from which old ones might be withdrawn, while its true nature remained essentially unchanged. He saw the future in the institution to which he had committed himself and which he so imperfectly understood...

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nofutureparttwo
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers

“But people have no idea what time is. They think it‘s a line, spinning out from three seconds behind them, then vanishing just as fast into the three seconds of fog just ahead. They can‘t see that time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of Now depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Deployed upon that plain they moved in a constant elision, ordained agents of the actual dividing out the world which they encountered and leaving what had been and what would never be alone extinguished on the ground behind them. Spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenellated heat. Above all else, they appeared wholly at venture, primal, provisional, devoid of order.”

nofutureparttwo “Like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondwanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all.” 3y
5 likes1 comment
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nofutureparttwo

“And so these parties divided upon that midnight plain, each passing back the way the other had come, pursuing as all travelers must inversions without end upon other men‘s journeys.”

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nofutureparttwo

“For this will to deceive that is in things luminous may manifest itself likewise in retrospect and so by sleight of some fixed part of a journey already accomplished may also post men to fraudulent destinies.”

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nofutureparttwo

“The judge smiled.
Books lie, he said.
God dont lie.
No, said the judge. He does not. And these are his words.
He held up a chunk of rock.
He speaks in stones and trees, the bones of things.“

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augured the earth and some said they‘d heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang.“

quote
nofutureparttwo

“[He] cried out what it seemed he himself would not hear, a howl of such outrage as to stitch a caesura in the pulsebeat of the world. But the kid only spat into the darkness of the space between them. I know your kind, he said. What‘s wrong with you is wrong all the way through you.”

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nofutureparttwo

“Words are things. The words he is in possession of he cannot he deprived of. Their authority transcends his ignorance of their meaning.”

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nofutureparttwo

“[T]hey rode out of that vanished sea like burnt phantoms [...] and there began to appear above them in the dawn-broached sky a hellish likeness of their ranks rising huge and inverted [...] the howling antiwarriors pendant from their mounts immense and chimeric and the high wild cries carrying that flat and barren pan like the cries of souls broke through some misweave in the weft of things into the world below.”
———
If Faulkner wrote Revelations

blurb
nofutureparttwo

This is scratching some type of itch for me, goddamn.

4 likes1 stack add
blurb
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

Happy George Saunders day, everyone!!!

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

A rigorous intellectual history of the slow subversion of post-Cold War democracy, written with a graceful clarity that‘s Orwellian in the best sense. The politics of eternity and inevitability, exhibited respectively by Russia and the West, are a dialectic; Snyder shows how eternity politics takes root in the cracks of Western liberalism. His formulation of Trump‘s “sadopopulism” is also deeply insightful. Essential reading.

6 likes1 stack add
quote
nofutureparttwo

“Of course, citizens play their part in creating a totalitarian atmosphere. [...] Citizens are curious: surely what is hidden is most interesting, and surely the thrill of revelation is liberation. Once all that is taken for granted, the discussion shifts from the public and the known to the secret and the unknown. Rather than trying to make sense of what is around us, we hunger for the next revelation.”
———
So much here is hitting home for me.

quote
nofutureparttwo

“The temptation to believe what feels right assails us at all times from all directions. Authoritarianism begins when we can no longer tell the difference between the true and the appealing. [...] To seek the truth means finding a way between conformity and complacency, towards individuality. [...] When inequality is too great, the truth is too much for the miserable, and too little for the privileged.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

“Inevitability and eternity are not history but ideas within history, ways of experiencing our time that accelerate its trends while slowing our thoughts. To see, we must set aside the dark glass, and see as we are seen, ideas for what they are, history as what we make it. [...] As institutions are destroyed, virtues reveal themselves. A history of loss is thus a proposal for restoration.”

quote
nofutureparttwo

On sadopopulusm: “The politics of eternity converts pain into meaning, and then meaning back into more pain. [...] Under Trump, Americans came to expect the administration of pain and pleasure, the daily outrage or triumph. For supporters and opponents alike, experience of politics became an addictive behavior, like time spent online or on heroin: a cycle of good and bad moments spent all alone.”

Probably the most important passage in this book.

quote
nofutureparttwo

“A physical book makes it possible to fend off the nausea roused by the electronic despotism we‘ve let into our lives [...]. Your Kindle Fire is so named because it intends to incinerate your concentration, because Amazon understands that we Americans rather enjoy the hot oppression of endless options, the arson of our calm.”

———
YUP.

saresmoore Oh, this is real good. 4y
4 likes1 comment
quote
nofutureparttwo

“[F]or some of us, a physical book will always be superior reading, because it allows us to be alone with ourselves, to sit in solidarity with ourselves, in silence, in solitude, in the necessary sensitivity that fosters development and imagination.”

(From Giraldi‘s essay on book collecting)

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nofutureparttwo
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“Literature is read and criticism written in defiance of the ongoing noise, the ceaseless cyber grating and reckless surrender of calm, and in defense of [...] the great wilderness that gives up its secrets only by way of an inquisitive hush, a whispered inwardness in which we can be wholly ourselves.”
——
This is my first encounter with Giraldi‘s work, and oh my GOD. #nowreading #criticism #essays

8 likes1 stack add
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nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

“It wasn‘t fair. It happened to everyone supposedly but now it was happening to specifically to him. He‘d kept waiting for special dispensation, but no. Something/someone bigger than him kept refusing. You were told the big something/someone loved you especially but in the end you saw it was otherwise. The bit something/someone was neutral. Unconcerned. When it innocently moved, it crushed people.”
#georgesaunders #tenthofdecember

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nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders

“To keep him alive she started piling on him various things from life, things smelling of a home—coats, sweaters, a rain of flowers [...]. He was piled high with clothes. He was like the bed at a party on which they pile the coats.”

This is the best goddamn simile I have ever read.
#georgesaunders #tenthofdecember

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nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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Afterwards, sometimes there would be tears. Tears in bed? And then they would—Molly pressing her hot wet face against his hot wet face. They were sorry, they were saying with their bodies, they were accepting each other back, and that feeling, that feeling of being accepted back again and again, of someone‘s affection for you expanding to encompass whatever new flawed thing had just manifested in you, that was the deepest, dearest thing he‘d ever—

blurb
nofutureparttwo
Tenth of December: Stories | George Saunders
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I started listening to this earlier today, and I‘m already more than halfway through! My god this prose just sparkles. It‘s simply dazzling. And Saunders reads it so well. #nowlistening #nowreading #audiobooks

blurb
nofutureparttwo
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Just started. This truly is a miserable pageant of idiotic suffering. #nowlistening #audiobook

Leftcoastzen 👏👍😬😳 4y
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blurb
nofutureparttwo
Politics of Friendship | Jacques Derrida
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this #bookhaul was waiting for me today when i got home from work! last week #verso sent me a coupon for 50% off my next order, so i decided to buy myself an early birthday present. and what better gift to give oneself, than the gift of radical critique? (linked the other four books in the comments! 👇)

16 likes4 comments
review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

If you‘re going to read one book on this dumpster fire, I‘d recommend Harding‘s. Like with other recent titles on Trump/Russia, most of what Harding reports is already public knowledge; what sets him apart is the detached, international perspective he brings to the bizarre Le Carréan fever dream that was the 2016 election and its aftermath.

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review
nofutureparttwo
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Pickpick

Rhodes was a Forrest Gumpian figure of the Obama era, present at nearly every major decision, victory, and loss. He writes with candor and affection, offering a portrait of Obama as dynamic, exasperated, and uncertain; yet filled always with fierce love and generous spirit, even when confronting the impossible double binds that ensnared his presidency, which were unlike those faced by all black Americans—even at the heights of power.

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

This was a dispassionate, meticulous accounting of the longstanding social and financial ties between the Trump circle and the seedy shadow-world of Russian oligarchs and crime syndicates. Hettena does not really offer any new information, but he accessibly summarizes the mass of knowledge we already have in a refreshingly unsensational fashion.

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nofutureparttwo
A Little Life: A Novel | Hanya Yanagihara

“Fairness is a concept taught to nice children: it is the governing principle of kindergartens and summer camps and playgrounds and soccer fields. [...] Fairness is for happy people, for people who have been lucky enough to have lived a life defined more by certainties than by ambiguities. Right and wrong, however, are for—well, not unhappy people, maybe, but scarred people; scared people.”

This book. This. Book.

TrishB Yep 💔 4y
aschermetz This book gave me the worst book hangover I‘ve ever had. I‘m still recovering. So so good. 💔💔 4y
9 likes2 comments
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nofutureparttwo
Borne: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
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“Names of people, of places, meant so little, and so we had stopped burdening others by seeking them. The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesque fairy tale, something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity. Anonymity amongst all the wreckage of the Earth, this was what I sought. [...] These things became blissful; how could names have power next to that?”

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

The final (and weirdest) book of the #SouthernReach trilogy, Acceptance adopts a fractured, multi-perspective narrative to recount both the beginning and end of the story of Area X. The effect is something like the temporal dilation of the quarantine zone itself; timelines run together and echo each other. My least favorite, and the weakest overall—but a worthwhile and fitting conclusion feat. This trilogy was unlike anything I have ever read.

RaimeyGallant Sounds interesting. 4y
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
nofutureparttwo
Authority: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
Pickpick

The second installment in VanderMeer‘s unsettling #SouthernReach trilogy was a little bumpy for me at first. Whereas Annihilation was a first-person account (that reads like if Shirley Jackson had written Walden), Authority takes on similar themes—the uncanny; the unconscious and the split subject; being un-at home with oneself—in the generic form of a psychological Le Carréian spy novel. It lagged a bit, but I came to love it in a different way.

review
nofutureparttwo
Pickpick

There is so much to unpack! Wolitzer raises questions about the possibility for female solidarity under capitalism, the ethics of pragmatic compromise, the value of women‘s work—especially emotional labor—and the potentially corrupting influence power can have on the young and idealistic. She also explores the relation between introversion and empowerment within feminist discourse. It‘s not without its faults, but it‘s still a hell of a novel.

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nofutureparttwo
Authority: A Novel | Jeff VanderMeer
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Slow night at the store, so i‘m getting quite a bit of reading done! I‘m about 80 pages into the second book in VanderMeer‘s #SouthernReach trilogy, and while I‘m enjoying it, it has yet to grab me quite like Annihilation did (which was all the more gripping for being so absurdly compact). Hoping it‘ll change soon.

WanderingBookaneer I‘ve picked it up thrice and have always bailed. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4y
14 likes1 comment