What is e/acc (effective accelerationism) and why is it going viral among tech's elite? Who are the leaders behind this movement and what are their ambitions?
This week, we explore e/acc with one of its pioneers, Guillaume Verdon (aka @BasedBeffJezos), a theoretical physicist at the cutting edge of quantum computing and AI. Guillaume worked under Sergey Brin as the quantum deep learning lead at Google X before launching a thermal computing startup called Extropic. He started e/acc as a cultural counterforce to the degrowth and doomer movements that sow distrust of technology and seek to undermine the advancement of artificial intelligence and other emerging innovations.
Fifty years ago, sci-fi was some of the most inspiring art in America. It's no coincidence that it preceded the birth of the space and digital ages — the stories and narratives we tell ourselves as a society are the ones we tend to work toward. Not surprisingly, as sci-fi took a dystopian turn in recent decades, society's view of technology and progress soured as well. E/acc is the antidote; it aims to inspire a cultural, then technological, renaissance in the West. While e/acc has gained popularity through viral memes on social media, it's also a cohesive framework designed to apply to the modern world. In this episode, we discuss the first principles behind e/acc, steelman the arguments against it, and explore how it's compatible with religion and other ethical frameworks. This is an important movement that resonates with us at American Optimist.