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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think Hardcover – February 21, 2012
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“At a moment when our world faces multiple crises and is awash in pessimism, Abundance redirects the conversation, spotlighting scientific innovators working to improve people's lives around the world. The result is more than a portrait of brilliant minds - it's a reminder of the infinite possibilities for doing good when we tap into our own empathy and wisdom.”—Arianna Huffington, CEO, Huffington Post
“This brilliant must-read book provides the key to the coming era of abundance replacing eons of scarcity, a powerful antidote to today’s malaise and pessimism.”—Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author and futurist, author of The Singularity is Near
"Now that human beings communicate so easily, I suspect that nothing can stop the inevitable torrent of new technologies, new ideas and new arrangements that will transform the lives of our children. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler give us a blinding glimpse of the innovations that are coming our way — and that they are helping to create. This is a vital book."—Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist
“Diamandis and Kotler challenge us all to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Innovative small teams are now empowered to accomplish what only governments and large corporations could once achieve. The result is nothing less than the most transformative and thrilling period in human history.”––Timothy Ferriss, #1 NY Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek
“Today, philanthropists, innovators and passionate entrepreneurs are more empowered than ever before to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Abundance chronicles many of these stories and the emerging tools driving us towards an age of abundance. This is an audacious and powerful read!”—Jeff Skoll
“Abundance provides proof that the proper combination of technology, people and capital can meet any grand challenge.”—Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group
"Our future depends on optimists like Diamandis...even the most skeptical readers will come away from Abundance feeling less gloomy." --New York Times Book Review
"A manifesto for the future that is grounded in practical solutions addressing the world's most pressing concerns: overpopulation, food, water, energy, education, health care and freedom. " --The Wall Street Journal
"A breezy case for optimism... Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think...[is] a godsend for those who suffer from Armageddon fatigue." --The Economist
“In Abundance: Why the Future is Better Than You Think, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler offer a vision of the future that’s truly awesome in both the most traditional and modern understandings of the word; it’s as big as it as awe inspiring.” –The Futurist
"Abundance is not fantasy. It is a tale, say authors Diamandis and Kotler, of “good news;” a spritely and exciting collection of reasons why, despite the ever-constant refrain that Earth is on the verge of disaster, we must stay positive." --Christian Science Monitor
" Enough with the dystopian fiction and Mayan end-of-the-world predictions! According to tech entrepeneur and philanthropist Peter Diamandis and science writer Steven Kotler, things are getting better, not worse. " --USA Today
"[Abundance is] fascinating and inspirational -- every politician should read it (but sadly that may be too much to hope for!)" --Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, UK
"Welcome to the feel good future." -Smithsonian
"A nice reminder of how far we’ve come." --The New York Times Book Review
“Curious what the future will look like? This books talks about what lies ahead, providing practical solutions for concerns like overpopulation, food, water, energy, freedom and health care.”-Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, co-founder and Chairman of Singularity University and the founder of more than a dozen high tech companies. Diamandis has degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering from MIT, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Steven Kotler is an author and journalist. His books include A Small Furry Prayer, West of Jesus, and The Angle Quickest for Flight. His articles have appeared in more than sixty publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Discover, GQ, and National Geographic. He also writes a regular blog for PsychologyToday.com.
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Top customer reviews
But it is refreshing to read a pop-science book on the issues facing humanity where things aren't all gloomy and we aren't all going to be cyborgs. Easy enough to read, so I'd buy the softcover or listen to the book-on-tape version (I bought both). It's worth it alone as an aide to help the despairing messages we are faced with continuously on the population problem, global warming, and other problems....perhaps there is a way out and we won't, gulp, go extinct - that's why I read the book cover to cover, as a counter-argument to all the doom and gloom. Yeah it's fluff, but at least its positive fluff instead of yet another doom and gloom book.
I enjoyed reading about all the technological advances being made, and particularly about the X Prize Foundation offering incentive $$ for all participants, professionals or just ordinary folks. However, aside from the ‘abundance’ of the word “exponentially” throughout the book, I think Mssrs Diamandis and Kotler were being a bit too optimistic about the timeline for worldwide abundance…..not because the technology isn’t there, (because it obviously is and will be), but rather for the following reasons, some of which they briefly acknowledged themselves:
The need for cooperation (among individuals, scientists, corporations, countries, etc. for worldwide abundance to occur)
The greed factor (money and power)
Human nature (fear, superstition, greed, ignorance, complacency, etc.)
Cultural preferences (i.e. example: the women who wanted to walk for miles to fetch water in order to get away from their husbands for awhile.)
Cultural differences and wars
Also the authors brought up the valid point of “unintended consequences” (both good and bad) for any widespread innovation.
I don’t doubt for a minute that, should the planet survive long enough, there will be more of everything available to the masses worldwide, particularly in the field of medicine, robotics, and faux food. However, if everybody lives longer and populations grow “exponentially”, the only place people of the world will have to go is “up”. Not only highrise buildings, but into space itself. That is probably why the X Prize Foundation and others are willing to pay huge incentives to get us off this planet and on to the moon or Mars where we can spread out a little when the time comes.
I think “Abundance” was written by two incredibly optimistic well-intended professionals whose social and professional lives would make for some fairly good reading itself. Google these two guys when you get a chance. They are pretty interesting.
But the first few chapters reminded me how lucky we are now. Then the chapters told me how rapidly the whole world is getting better. Countries in Africa don't have to run wires - they just need cell towers and after getting cell phones, which are computers, the people are connected to all the ideas in the world. As countries improve their people's lives the population increasing rate goes down.
We still have tremendous problems with water, food, and energy and the author describes the amazing ideas on how these problems are being solved. I got so excited I went to Wikipedia to learn more about hydroponics and airponics.
Finally I realized that this is an amazing time. The ideas for solving water, food, and energy needs HAVE to be done. There are going to be tremendous changes. Will we need power companies if we have solar panels on our roofs? Can we grow our food in vertical buildings and turn farms into parks? Can we eliminate most auto dealers because electric cars have 90% fewer moving parts? Can we grow beef without the cow? Can we reuse our medicines by reconstituting them from human urine? Will capitalism or our Social Security programs still work if the population doesn't increase? Some of this comes from the book and some comes from my excited imagination while reading "Abundance".
I am looking forward to incredible changes coming. "Abundance" is exciting.