Tech Strikes Back

Essay by Nadia Asparouhova: “A new tech ideology is ascendant online. “Introducing effective accelerationism,” the pseudonymous user Beff Jezos tweeted, rather grandly, in May 2022. “E/acc” — pronounced ee-ack — “is a direct product [of the] tech Twitter schizosphere,” he wrote. “We hope you join us in this new endeavour.”

The reaction from Jezos’s peers was a mix of positive, critical, and perplexed. “What the f*** is e/acc,” posted multiple users. “Accelerationism is unfortunately now just a buzzword,” sighed political scientist Samo Burja, referring to a related concept popularized around 2017. “I guess unavoidable for Twitter subcultures?” “These [people] are absolutely bonkers,” grumbled Timnit Gebru, an artificial intelligence researcher and activist who frequently criticizes the tech industry. “Their fanaticism + god complex is exhausting.”

Despite the criticism, e/acc persists, and is growing, in the tech hive mind. E/acc’s founders believe that the tech world has become captive to a monoculture. If it becomes paralyzed by a fear of the future, it will never produce meaningful benefits. Instead, e/acc encourages more ideas, more growth, more competition, more action. “Whether you’re building a family, a startup, a spaceship, a robot, or better energy policy, just build,” writes one anonymous poster. “Do something hard. Do it for everyone who comes next. That’s it. Existence will take care of the rest.”…(More)”.