On #Accelerate (#2b)

“If any system has been associated with ideas of acceleration it is capitalism,” says #Accelerate, unobjectionably. “The essential metabolism of capitalism demands economic growth, with competition between individual capitalist entities setting in motion increasing technological developments in an attempt to achieve competitive advantage, all accompanied by increasing social dislocation.”

As previously noted, of the trends referenced here “economic growth” is easily the most accessible (due to its commercial self-quantification). The technoscientific apprehension of technoscience, while already embryonic at the beginning of the modern epoch, is still some distance from mathematical self-comprehension as a natural event. Its quantification, therefore, poses far more challenging problems, leaving even very basic questions about its trend-lines open to significant controversy. (Self-quantification of development trends in the electronics and biotech sectors merit focused attention at a later stage.) Any attempt to provide a precise and coherent measurement of “social dislocation” is likely to confront even more formidable obstacles.

Capitalism present itself as the exemplary accelerative mega-object because it is self-propelling and (cross-excitedly) self-abstracting. In both its technical and commercial aspects, it tends towards general-purpose potentials that facilitate resource re-allocations (and thus efficient quantifications). Productive capability is plasticized, becoming increasingly responsive to shifting market opportunities, while wealth is fluidized, permitting its rapid speculative mobilization. The same self-reinforcing process that liquidates traditional social forms releases modernizing capital as volatile abstract quantity, flexibly poised between technical applications, and inclined intrinsically towards a ‘decoded’ or economistic apprehension.

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