You’re basically one of the leading thinkers of what we might call the school of thought that’s known as accelerationism. Accelerationism is something like the view that contemporary history is changing at an exponential rate, technologically and economically, and that this rate of change confounds nearly all of our traditional concepts for thinking about society and economics and politics. If someone on the street walked up to you and asked you “What is this whole accelerationism thing?” is there a kind of key essence or upshot that you would add to what I just said?
English translation of Jean-François Lyotard, “Petite mise en perspective de la décadence et de quelques combats minoritaires à y mener”, 1976.
Let’s begin with a sort of warning to say that we will seek to avoid the traditional “critical point of view”. Critique is an essential dimension of representation: in the order of the theatrical, it is what stands “outside”, with the exterior incessantly situated in relation to interiority, i.e. the periphery relative to the center. A so-called dialectical relation is established between the two; this relation does not safeguard the autonomy of critique, not by a long shot.
Anything is only itself because it’s functionally different from everything else. This computer I’m typing at is only itself because it’s neither at the next desk, nor does it function in the manner of an apple, amongst many other things.
The degree of differentiation is not absolute. There is a gradient of order from the inside core to the outside, where others lie. There are, nonetheless, boundaries. Permeable boundaries, but boundaries nonetheless. Discontinuities where the gradient takes a leap.