e/acc Meaning Explained

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Effective accelerationism (e/acc) explained’ by Lex Clips

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
The IAC movement aims to increase energy harnessing, promote human flourishing, develop AI, and explore interplanetary and interstellar transport while being a viral force with interconnected humans, technology, capital, and memes.

Key Insights

  • The four overarching civilization goals of the IAC movement are: increasing energy harnessing, promoting human flourishing, creating artificial general intelligence, and developing interplanetary and interstellar transport.
  • The IAC movement aims to become self-aware and engineer its own growth, with humans, technology, capital, and memes (information) being interconnected.
  • The movement seeks to be a viral optimistic force that propagates in a decentralized manner.
  • IAC represents a metaheuristic, with the core thesis being the adaptation and thermodynamic-based evolution of the system.
  • Preserving malleability and adaptability is crucial, encouraging free speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of information propagation.
  • The IAC movement has seen forks, one example being Vitalik Buterin's DIAC, which seeks a middle ground between IAC, effective altruism (EA), and AI safety.
  • The movement aims to bring balance to human civilization, exploring the equilibrium between constraints and entropy.
  • Considering culture as code, the IAC movement encourages the exploration of subcultures, competing for mindshare and updating heuristics for modern times.
  • IAC rejects being a single movement and encourages numerous variants to prevent being easily pinpointed or stopped.
  • The movement dynamics may lead to mass hypnosis or groupthink, but the goal is to foster independent thought and diversify ideas.
  • IAC embraces meta-irony, rebellion, and playfulness, but it aims to avoid a restricted space of thought and encourages forks and clusters.
  • Defection and competing forks are welcomed in the IAC movement to prevent it from becoming cult-like or overly centralized.

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In a sub-stack blog post titled “What the Fuck is IAC or actually What the F-Star is IAC,” you write, strategically speaking, we need to work towards several overarching civilization goals that are all interdependent. And the four goals are:
1. Increase the amount of energy we can harness as a species, climb the Kardashev gradient. In the short term, this almost certainly means nuclear fission.
2. Increase human flourishing via pro-population growth policies and pro-economic growth policies.
3. Create artificial general intelligence, the single greatest force multiplier in human history.
4. Develop interplanetary and interstellar transport so that humanity can spread beyond the Earth.

Could you build on top of that to maybe say what to you is the IAC movement? What are the goals? What are the principles?

The goal is for the human techno-capital memetic machine to become self-aware and to hyperstitiously engineer its own growth. So let’s decompress that. Can you define each of those words? So you have humans, you have technology, you have capital, and then you have memes, information. And all of those systems are coupled with one another. Humans work at companies, they acquire and allocate capital. And humans communicate via memes and information propagation. And our goal was to have a sort of viral optimistic movement that is aware of how the system works fundamentally. It seeks to grow. And we simply want to lean into the natural tendencies of the system to adapt for its own growth. So in that way, you’re right. The IAC is literally a memetic optimism virus that is constantly drifting, mutating, and propagating in a decentralized fashion.

So memetic optimism virus. So you do want it to be a virus to maximize the spread. And it’s hyperstitious. Therefore, the optimism will incentivize its growth.

We see IAC as a sort of metaheuristic, a sort of very thin cultural framework from which you can have much more opinionated forks. Fundamentally, we just say that what got us here is this adaptation of the whole system based on thermodynamics, and that process is good and we should keep it going. That is the core thesis. Everything else is, okay, how do we ensure that we maintain this malleability and adaptability?

Well, clearly, not suppressing variance and maintaining free speech, freedom of thought, freedom of information propagation, and freedom to do AI research is important for us to converge the fastest on the space of technologies, ideas, and whatnot that lead to this growth. And so ultimately, there’s been quite a few forks. Some are just memes, but some are more serious, right? Vitalik Buterin recently made a DIAC fork. He has his own sort of fine tunings of IAC. Does anything jump out to memory of the unique characteristic of that fork from Vitalik?

I would say that it’s trying to find a middle ground between IAC and sort of EA and AI safety. To me, having a movement that is opposite to what was the mainstream narrative that was taking over Silicon Valley was important to sort of shift the dynamic range of opinions and it’s like the balance between centralization and decentralization. The real optimum’s always somewhere in the middle, right? But for IAC, we’re pushing for entropy, novelty, disruption, malleability, speed, rather than being like sort of conservative, suppressing thought, suppressing speech, adding constraints, adding too many regulations, slowing things down. And so it’s kind of, we’re trying to bring balance to the force, right? Systems.

Balance to the force of human civilization, yeah. It’s literally the forces of constraints versus the entropic force that makes us explore, right? Systems are optimal when they’re at the edge of criticality between order and chaos, right? Between constraints, energy minimization and entropy, right? Systems want to equilibrate, balance these two things. And so I thought that the balance was lacking and so we created this movement to bring balance.

Well, I like the sort of visual of the landscape of ideas evolving through forks. So kind of thinking on the other part of history, thinking of Marxism as the original repository and then Soviet communism as a fork of that and then the Maoism as a fork of Marxism and communism. And so those are all forks that are exploring different ideas. Thinking of culture almost like code, right? Nowadays, I mean, what you prompt the LLM or what you put in the constitution of an LLM is basically its cultural framework, what it believes, right? And you can share it on GitHub nowadays. So starting trying to take inspiration from what has worked in the sort of machine of software to adapt over the space of code, can we apply that to culture? And our goal is to not say, you should live your life this way, XYZ, is to set up a process where people are always searching over subcultures and competing for mindshare. And I think creating this malleability of culture is super important for us to converge onto the cultures and the heuristics about how to live one’s life that are updated to modern times.

Because there’s really been a sort of vacuum of spirituality and culture. People don’t feel like they belong to any one group. And there’s been parasitic ideologies that have taken up opportunity to populate this Petri dish of minds, right? Elon calls it the mind virus. We call it the D-cell mind virus complex, which is the decelerative, that is kind of the overall pattern between all of them. There’s many variants as well. And so if there’s a sort of viral pessimism, decelerative movement, we needed to have not only one movement, but many, many variants. So it’s very hard to pinpoint and stop. But the overarching thing is nevertheless a kind of mimetic optimism pandemic.

So, I mean, okay, let me ask you, do you think IAC to some degree is a cult?

Define cult. I think a lot of human progress is made when you have independent thought. So you have individuals that are able to think freely and very powerful mimetic systems can kind of lead to group think. There’s something in human nature that leads to like mass hypnosis, mass hysteria, where we start to think alike whenever there’s a sexy idea that captures our minds. And so it’s actually hard to break us apart, pull us apart, diversify thought. So I’m to that degree. To which degree is everybody kind of chanting IAC, IAC, like the sheep and animal farm? Well, first of all, it’s fun, it’s rebellious, right? Like many, I think we lean into, there’s this concept of sort of meta-irony, right? Of sort of being on the boundary of like, we’re not sure if they’re serious or not. And it’s much more playful and much more fun, right? Like, for example, we talk about thermodynamics as being our God, right? And sometimes we do cult-like things, but there’s no like ceremony and robes and whatnot. Not yet. But ultimately, yeah, I mean, I totally agree that, it seems to me that humans wanna feel like they’re part of a group. So they naturally try to agree with their neighbors and find common ground. And that leads to sort of mode collapse in the space of ideas, right? We used to have sort of one cultural island that was allowed. It was a typical subspace of thought and anything that was diverting from that subspace of thought was suppressed or even canceled, right? Now we’ve created a new mode, but the whole point is that we’re not trying to have a very restricted space of thought. There’s not just one way to think about IAC and it’s many forks. And the point is that there are many forks and there can be many clusters and many islands. And I shouldn’t be in control of it in any way. I mean, there’s no formal org whatsoever. I just put out tweets and certain blog posts and people are free to defect and fork if there’s an aspect they don’t like. And so that makes it so that there should be a sort of deterritorialization in the space of ideas so that we don’t end up in one cluster that’s very cult-like. And so cults usually they don’t allow people to defect or start competing forks, whereas we encourage it, right?

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Effective accelerationism (e/acc) explained’ by Lex Clips