Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
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Abundance: The Benign Conspiracy between the Richest Million, the Poorest Billion, and a Bunch of DIY Geeks to Transform Humanity 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
In their new book ‘Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think’, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler argue that, despite the problems that our technology has recently created (including dwindling resources and global warming), we needn’t discard our techno-optimism after all. Indeed, according to Diamandis, the world is on the precipice of another explosion in technology that will soon bring refuge from many of our current problems, and abundance to our doorstep. Not content to let the goal or the timeline remain vague, Diamandis is happy to hang a more precise definition on each. When it comes to abundance, Diamandis defines it as “a world of nine billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and non-polluting, ubiquitous energy” (loc. 317), and, to top it all off, the freedom to pursue their goals unhindered by political repression. With regards to the timeline, Diamandis claims that it should be achievable in the next 10 to 25 years. In an attempt to convince us that this goal is achievable Diamandis take us through the latest technological developments (and those that will soon be coming down the pipe) in numerous fields such as water filtration and sanitation (including advancements in water desalination); food production (including vertical farming); education (including personalized education); energy (including solar, wind, nuclear and algal biofuel); healthcare (including stem cell therapy and organ creation)and many, many more. According to Diamandis, the technological innovations mentioned above are being spurred on by 3 forces in particular these days that are likely to bring us to a state of abundance even quicker than we might otherwise expect, and one that extends to all parts of the world. The 3 forces are (in reverse order as to how they are presented), 1) the rise of the bottom billion—which consists in the fact that the world’s poorest have recently begun plugging into the world economy in a very substantial way, both as a consumer and as a producer of goods (largely as a result of the communications revolution, and the fact that cell phones are now spreading even to the world’s poorest populations); 2) the rising phenomenon of the techphilanthropists—a new breed of wealthy individuals who are more philanthropic than ever, and who are applying their efforts to global solutions (and particularly in the developing world); and 3) the rising phenomenon of DIY innovation—which includes the ability of small organizations, and even individuals to make contributions even in the most advanced technological domains (such as computing, biotechnology, and even space travel). With regards to this last force, part of Diamandis' purpose here is to inspire the layperson to enter the fray with their own contributions towards abundance by way of joining one of the numerous open-source innovation projects available online, or throwing their hand into one of the many incentivized technological prizes in existence, or in some other manner of their own devising. In this regard, the authors are very successful, as the work is both invigorating and inspiring, and I highly recommend it. A full summary of the book, as well as many of the juicier details therein, will be available at the site newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, by Sun. March 4th. The info. in the blog will also be available in the form of a podcast on the same site shortly thereafter.
BlackBean More than 1 year ago
I've read some of the books the author references to make his points (The Rational Optimist & The Singularity is near jumps to mind - both these are very good reads). He makes a few nice points about using competition to stimulate invention, but I don't think it's a novel idea for most readers. IMO arch-optimists like Diamandis use 1 example of achieving an objective and translate it into general availability. For instance, the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks done by Burt Rutan in 2004. It's been 8 years and ever since there has been ZERO similar flights. Yet he makes it sounds like the private sector has taken over and surpassed government space programs. He uses the example of a smartphone like the iPhone that now replaces over $100K worth of devices that consumers don't need to buy anymore. Because the iPhone has a camcorder he adds thousands of dollars of value due to camcorders costing so much when they initially were created, and the cost of a VCR to play back those video material. Well, those things did not end up costing as much when they were replaced by smartphones. Also, a smartphone can cost 100's of dollars. He makes a good point, but he pushes it to the extreme. For a lot of people earning above average salaries in developing countries, the cost of a smartphone is beyond what they can afford. Even today, in 2012. Then he uses the example of Watson as the example of how the healthcare problem will be solved by smart systems like Watson (which in a decade or so will fit in the palm of your hand instead of taking up a whole room). Now, Watson-like systems have great benefits and is a phenomenal use of computer technology. But when the poor man in Africa he uses as an example breaks his leg in a field in Africa, Watson will not be able to fix his leg. He will still need people to carry him to a hospital where his leg can be put in a cast. So many other examples like this I can't remember. It's a positive read, but unfortunately real life problems are just glanced over as if a computer will fix it all.
Jack_Reader More than 1 year ago
The authors repeated MISTAKENLY say that Thor Hyerdahl sailed to Hawai on his Pacific voyage. NOT true. He never sailed to Hawaii. How do I know? I was surprised to read the claim which did not match what I remembered from when I had read Kon-Tiki years ago. Checking in the book and then checking with the Kon-Tiki Museum in Sweden was told he never sailed to Hawaii. So if this carelessly treated fact has not been checked, it makes suspicious the other claims until they can be checked. This is too much work for the reader.
mkwabo More than 1 year ago
The facts are self-evident in terms of how much progress has been accomplished by the human race, and what opportunities exist for even more progress. How come they're not presented this way most times?
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The future is going to be better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
:) read it now