What is the Effective Accelerationism


It’s increasingly hard to escape the doom-and-gloom rhetoric: humanity is ruining the planet. Overpopulation coupled with unsolvable problems. Many advocate for degrowth – regressing progress and economic output – as the solution. But this reflects flawed thinking; a scarcity mindset dressed up idealistically.

History shows centralized restraint, however well-meaning, often backfires. Rationing tends to hamper innovation and individual liberty in the long run, while hardly guaranteeing better outcomes. Still, in light of legitimate environmental threats, what is the alternative?

Positive change comes from abundance and opportunity, not restrictions. The challenges ahead require vision and willpower, tapping shared humanity’s limitless potential. With ethical technology expanding what is possible, creative reforms can make equity and sustainability compatible with scientific ambition. A thriving future awaits if we have courage to transform broken systems rather than dismantle them

Perhaps you’ve stumbled across a post about e/acc, and felt more confused after reading it than when you started. That’s understandable; it can be difficult to find the right place to begin, and some of the ideas behind e/acc can be a little esoteric. 

Your painful confusion is about to come to an end, because in this post your humble author will reveal the secrets of e/acc. If you remember just one thing from this post, let it be that the fundamental message of e/acc is positive: we’re all going to make it

Science fiction scene.

This isn’t faith or simplistic optimism. At the core of e/acc is a set of conclusions about the world drawn from the physics behind life itself, and the path forward it lays out is as clear as it is compelling. All there is left to do is pitch in and help. All there is left to do is build.

In more practical terms, e/acc is about how and why we will all flourish in the world we are building right now. In a world of where we are fed a constant stream of reasons to be hopeless, e/acc is a reason to be hopeful in this very moment. That, more than anything else, is why e/acc is the nexus of so much energy, and why I hope you will be excited about it, too.

What is effective accelerationism?

Effective accelerationism (e/acc) is grounded in the thermodynamic premise that existence inherently favors continuously expanding life. We’ll unpack that concept shortly.

On a practical level, expanding out of problems is humanity’s most reliable problem-solving mechanism. Technological advancement enables growth, allowing us to hurdle challenges. Unlike degrowth approaches which regress progress, mankind’s solutions have almost always relied on pushing boundaries outward, not pulling back. This drive aligns with the physical realities of our universe.

With the market’s emergent intelligence at our fingertips, nothing prevents creating abundance for all besides lack of determination. The same technologies elevating living standards also exponentially strengthen market efficiency and agency.

Strategically, interdependent civilizational priorities should focus on:

  • Increasing energy outputs across the Kardashev scale, starting with nuclear fission in the near term
  • Promoting flourishing via pro-population, pro-economic growth policies empowering the disadvantaged
  • Creating artificial general intelligence (AGI) to massively supplement human labor
  • Achieving interplanetary travel and settlement to secure humanity’s long-term future

Why do you believe this?

For many, once we stop to engage with the ideas behind e/acc they just become intuitively obvious. If that’s you, that’s okay, you don’t have to wrestle with physics if you don’t want to. For those that do, here’s somewhere to start. I say start because it lies deep within physics, in statistical thermodynamics.

The physics of our universe favors the creation of structures that consume energy to maintain internal order by externalizing entropy (e.g. dumping heat into the environment.) This is the consequence of an effect from statistical thermodynamics called Jarzynski-Crooks fluctuation-dissipation. 

The more energy these entropy-dumping structures can effectively utilize, the more resilient their low entropy states become. These structures include everything we recognize as life.

Put another way, thermodynamics favors the creation of complex life that increases its capability to use energy to offload entropy. Under the conditions of our universe the development of complex life is almost as inevitable as a ball rolling down a hill.

Do you want to get rid of humans?

No. Human flourishing is one of our core values! We are humans, and we love humans. 

The complexity of circumstances that life might need to survive and thrive in means that any monoculture is undesirable. A diverse mix of life from simple cellular life, through complex human life, and on to fragile and powerful technological life together represent a system capable of handling any circumstance and utilizing as much energy of as many different kinds at as many different scales as possible.

There are environments that will only productively support simple biological life, e.g. extremophiles. There is a gradient here, and biology will always have a place. If nothing else, biology is still the incredibly resilient backup system which is most capable of starting over, should disaster occur.

So what, you want to just uplift humanity, build AI and populate the universe with the maximum diversity and quantity of life?

Well, I’m convinced. How can I help?

Tell people about e/acc, express your optimism about the future, and refuse to swallow the despair and fear that you are being fed. Don’t be afraid, just build.

Whether you’re building a family, a startup, a spaceship, a robot, or better energy policy, just build.

Do something hard. Do it for everyone who comes next. That’s it. Existence will take care of the rest.  Just build.

Chinonso Anyaehie

Chinonso Anyaehie

Chinonso Anyaehie is a leading voice exploring the societal impacts of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. As founder of the popular technology blog DecentraPress, Chinonso Anyaehie complex innovations like blockchain, robotics, and AI, transforming dense research into accessible, engaging stories.

With over 7 years of experience as a science and tech writer, Chinonso Anyaehie provides thoughtful analysis on how bleeding-edge breakthroughs are reshaping our world. He delves into the progress and pitfalls of exponential technologies through an accessible, human-centric lens.

In addition to running DecentraPress, Chinonso Anyaehie is a frequent contributor to major tech publications and conferences. He is committed to fostering nuanced conversations on how we ethically steer emerging advances for the benefit of humanity.

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