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
"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)
I think you should pair this book with Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature" which is referenced in this book. Both give reasons for optimism about the future. But in this book the rosy predictions don't feel as solid as in Pinker. Reason? Well, Pinker shows how violence is reduced today compared to the past. This book compares the future with the present. That's a harder sell. How can you convince me that there will be food for all in the future when that isn't true right this minute? In this book they talk about solutions that will just naturally come to past and I have to ask "then why don't we have some solutions now?" So color me skeptical in regards to this book. There is another book "To save everything, click here" by Evgeny Morozov which takes a decidedly different point of view. I haven't read Morozov because I want the buzz from "Abundance" to last a little while longer.
Abundance casts the problems facing our world as technological challenges that must be overcome and shows us how much progress has already been achieved. After listening to this book, the most striking idea I retain is the one of adjacent possibilities. I.e. the invention of the carriage, the car, roller skates etc., became possible, once the wheel had been invented. And the second was how technology dematerializes and de-monetizes many things, for instance, a smartphone makes a camera, a watch, an encyclopedia and many other objects redundant. It was a great listen. The narrator was very good. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who wonders how humans will cope with the many challenges we face.
Intelegent, Inspiring, Positive
The fact based reserch presented in a well thought out and relevent framework about how we humans can will save the world.
Hs timing and pause for effect
Exponential growth of technology
I would recomend this book to anyintelegent forward thinker.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Quantifiable reasons for hope for the future.
Techinal research supporting the thesis.
Done so well I never noticed it.
Rational optimism for a world drowing in despaire.
Good read for those tired of hearing from those who make a living predicting 19 of the next three disasters.
Private intellectual, writer, and retired academic. Currently R&D director for Gravitational Systems Engineering, Inc.
More that a bit self-satisfied, and glib with facts and statistics, this book opened my eyes to some amazing new technologies. The new information alone makes this book worth a listen. However, the authors missed the mark set by the title by a wide margin. Will technology really be able to save us, if we just wait long enough, and spend enough money? Only time will tell, although many of the innovations that these authors are so confident in will surely change the world...yet I fear that the changes will continue at a evolutionary as opposed to a revolutionary pace.
A good book that delivers a lot, albeit staged on a shaky premise.
Letting the rest of the world go by
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.
Avid audiobook addict!
Interesting premise, but too often ascends to the very tips of Mount Pious. The fawning over high tech entrepreneurs becomes ridiculous and transparent very quickly.
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