The Future. The philosophy of “effective accelerationism” or “e/acc” (pronounced “E-ack”) is moving like wildfire through Silicon Valley, fueling an innovate-at-all-costs ethos on the premise that all technological growth is inherently good. A majority of Americans may disagree with that, but those that stamp e/acc on their socials may soon become a defining factor in who Big Tech begins to hire.
Nothin’ but moonshots
If you believe that AI development is moving a bit too fast, you may have adherents of e/acc to thank for that.
- What is e/acc? According to Insider, it’s the belief that “the forces of technology, innovation, and capitalism should be harnessed to drive rapid social change.”
- What does it look like in practice? Doing whatever it takes to fund, build, and support innovation — such as Google co-founder Larry Page saying it’s better to give money to founders than philanthropic causes.
- Where are the believers organizing? Silicon Valley C-suites, startups’ Slack channels, and, most publicly, on Twitter, where accounts like @BasedBeffJezos (outed as a former Google quantum computing engineer) have gone viral evangelizing the mission.
In just a couple of years, e/acc has blown up this year — it was a major part of the Sam Altman-fiasco at OpenAI, it powered the controversial manifesto from a16z’s Marc Andreessen (who said “any deceleration of AI will cost lives” and should be considered “murder”), and Y Combinator founder and CEO Garry Tan proudly added the label to his display name on X.
The irony is that the e/acc will obviously make these names unprecedentedly rich… even if it leads to the creation of a new superintelligence that poses a threat to humanity. “That’s just evolution, baby,” they say.