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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think | [Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis]

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.
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Publisher's Summary

We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing - fast. The authors document how four forces - exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the technophilanthropist, and the rising billion - are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic road map for governments, industry, and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Examining human need by category - water, food, energy, health care, education, and freedom - Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Stephen Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, and many, many others.

©2012 Peter H, Diamandis and Steven Kotler (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This engaging book is a needed corrective, a whirlwind tour of the latest developments in health care, agriculture, energy, and other fields as well as an introduction to thinkers and innovators such as Daniel Kahneman, Ray Kurzweil, and Craig Ventor." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (568 )
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4.3 (483 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lillian Palm Desert, CA, United States 07-10-13
    Lillian Palm Desert, CA, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderfully optimistic current events book"

    This book presents a far more optimistic take on current events than most in the genre. Entertainingly written, smoothly performed, and convincing in its belief that we as a species not only can think our way out of the worst we have done to ourselves, but are well on our way to doing so. Diamandis is an example to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-29-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-29-13 Member Since 2002
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    "a very powerful glimpse"

    Diamandis and Kotler do a fabulous job here of laying out some reasonable assertions about how the creative mind will continue to harness technology to make the world a better place. I'm looking forward to Abundance 2.0, because all of this stuff is moving very, very fast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Toronto, ON, Canada 01-30-13
    Eric Toronto, ON, Canada 01-30-13
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    "Paper thin treatment of a deep subject"

    I was ambivalent about this book until he started to get to technologies that I actually know something about, and then found myself shocked at how superficial and off the mark their treatment was. I actually strongly agree with the general thesis of this book, but they treat each individual technology they touch on as a done deal, something definite and inevitable.

    I stopped listening to this book around 2/5ths of the way through, as I just couldn't listen any further. I believe the future is going to be brighter than many pessimists think, and I do believe that new technologies will solve many problems that appear to be intractable today, but I find their discussion to be too certain of which specific technologies will succeed, and too certain that ALL of our problems will be solved.

    Would not recommend this book if you're looking for a serious treatment of a highly complex subject. Would recommend this book if you're looking for a superficial cheer-leading overview of a few specific technologies that may or may not pan out.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 09-30-12
    Jeffrey Petaluma, CA, United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Stop being so pessimistic"

    We need to capture this kind optimism in the way we look at our nation today. This book gives the answers to question about the future like, where is our energy going to come from? Where is our food going to come from? How will our grandchildren get by if nothing changes? I can’t wait to see how much of the book comes true. This is a book I recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlie Thompson Station, TN, United States 07-17-12
    charlie Thompson Station, TN, United States 07-17-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Full of insight"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I believe this is a good book if you want to see what is going on out side of your daily circle.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Abundance?

    Farm towers. I had never thought of farming vertically.


    Which character – as performed by Arthur Morey – was your favorite?

    NA- it is a narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen to the book in two day I believe.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book. I was familiar with much of the data presented but I would recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 05-21-12
    Steven PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Scientific Progress Marches On."

    This is a Great Look at how Scientific Progress has Made the World a Better Place in the past and will do so in the future.

    The authors have a real grasp of the science of the 21st Century and provide and interesting narrative for science and non-science aficionados alike.

    I'm not sure the immediate future will be as rosy as the author's think, but they provide a compelling case that over the long run science raises living standards for everyone.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-21-12
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2001

    Letting the rest of the world go by

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    "Best when he's not being a futurist."

    I enjoy the book except for the parts when he's being a futurist and he's trying to predict the future. Other than that, he has a lot to say and I enjoyed the book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michon Kessler Reno, NV 06-30-14
    Michon Kessler Reno, NV 06-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Favorite Audio Book to Date!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Abundance to be better than the print version?

    yes!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The optimism for the future!


    Have you listened to any of Arthur Morey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't. His voice is very easy to listen to. Great reader!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The whole book was one "WOW" after another! The technology that is on it's way is too freaking amazing to even begin to comprehend! It makes me excited to see people open sourcing things and basically doing "worldwide mastermind groups"! I hope the world will start working together more and more. Wouldn't that be wonderful! I felt "hopeful" for my children's future for the first time in a long time while listening to this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I have recommended this book to many clients.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-14-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-14-14 Member Since 2007

    Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.

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    "LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL"

    According to Peter Diamandis’ and Steven Kotler’s vision of the future, an environmental train wreck is not a fait acompli; i.e. the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. Diamandis and Kotler suggest the light comes from an inexhaustible source of energy. They argue solar power, fission, and bio-fuels are coming to civilization’s rescue.

    Looking at today’s environment, Diamandis’ and Kotler’s optimism seems distant but how wrong was Malthus and Neo-Malthusians like Paul Ehrlich? Technology does build bridges, and sometimes bash brains but history shows humankind continues to forge ahead. Life has never been easy but how much better off are Americans today than they were in 1789? “Abundance” is a hopeful book written by a knowledgeable engineer and physician, and a persuasive essayist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeroen Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands 03-20-14
    Jeroen Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands 03-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting, intriguing, but overly optimistic"
    Any additional comments?

    The future that Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis describe sounds amazing.
    I do feel that they are overly optimistic though and a bit blind for the possible setbacks.
    They discuss the Arab Spring, but not the war in Syria. So they cherry pick the news they like and that fits their story. This makes the story a bit flawed in my view. Incorporating the current setbacks and explaining them in the context of their story would have made the story much more powerful.

    I truly hope that their ideas about the coming abundance in Water, Food, Energy, Education, Healthcare and Freedom will come true. But I am afraid that there are too many powerful people and companies that have too much interest in keeping the current status quo intact.

    Another flaw in their reasoning in my view is that they expect Moore's Law and exponential growth to apply to each field they discuss. I hope that in a few area's this might be true. But I also think that most progress in these field will turn out to be slow, linear progress and not exponential at all.
    I hope that I am wrong though! :-)

    Overall I will rate this book with four stars since I really did enjoy the story, it gives a lot of hope for the future!

    As a last note, the writers do a lot of number crunching in this book. I found it a lot harder to stay focused listening to this, then I would have had I been reading it I think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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