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A Celebration Society Paperback – December 1, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
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"This is an unusual book that you have to read. Most works on "the future" are familiar treatments of fairly well-known issues, whereas Jonathan Kolber has given us exactly what the title suggests--a celebration of the marvelous breakthroughs ahead and their profound possibilities. Well-researched and beautifully written, this book will inspire you."
~William E. Halal, George Washington University and President of TechCast Global; Author, Technology's Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society
"Well-researched and instructive, this is a must-read for people interested in creating a more positive and meaningful society."
~Brian Vicente, Esq, Partner, Vicente Soderberg and Co-Director of Colorado's Amendment 64 campaign
"A par excellence achievement that connects 26 widely disparate domains. Very well written.... every chapter and page had great insights."
~Rohit Sharma, Founder of Perchingtree; Author, Luck Reengineering and Mental Model Innovation
"A monumental work that not only examines the human condition from numerous perspectives but, based on scientific research into many areas, offers real solutions to the many problems we humans of this planet face today and will most likely face tomorrow. Jonathan Kolber has done a masterful job."
"The research and writing of this book has obviously been a massive undertaking.... I started to read it as just another attempt at idealizing a Utopian Society. I had all the usual misgivings about his glossing over of inconvenient truths, or leaving gaping holes in his logic or reasoning. However, the further I read, the more my misgivings were addressed and answered convincingly."
~Steve Friedman, retired geology teacher
About the Author
When I was 14, I dreamt that I tried to join a society to protect and improve the world. The adult in charge smiled and said I was not yet ready, but someday I would be. I have spent my life getting ready. This book is the result.
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Top customer reviews
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Sami Makelainen focuses solely on the “Matter” pillar of the book (one of Kolber's three “Pillars of Abundance”). As the book documents, Japan already has 3 plasma converters in operation, so their feasibility isn’t in question. The question is just one of cost, and as anyone familiar with tech knows, costs plummet with widespread deployment.
Likewise, asteroid mining—admittedly fanciful just decades ago—is now the focus of two very credible startups, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries. National governments such as China are eyeing this as well.
Yes, nanotechnology assemblers/disassemblers remain pure speculation. However, the key understanding—which Makelainen apparently missed in his otherwise thoughtful critique—is that WE ONLY NEED ONE OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES to give us abundant matter.
And when we’ve got abundant matter, energy, and software, we’ve got a provable basis for sustainable planetary abundance.
For example, on page 150 it is pointed out how for centuries, (paraphrasing), humanity has regarded the production of children as a means of providing a form of ‘social security’ to those of advancing age . In a Celebration Society, where all citizens receive their livelihoods not from repetitive meaningless work, but rather from advances in technology, it is conceivable that the need, or indeed the desire to procreate with reckless abandon will diminish, thereby placing less pressure on us and our environment to provide for ever expanding populations. This is only one example of the many fact based and forward looking prospects laid out by the author.
I wish to extend my deep appreciation to Jonathan Kolber and his esteemed collaborators for this eye opening book. I may not live to see this “Celebration Society” in all its glory, but the possibility that it may one day come to pass offers an alternative scenario to the one I’ve dreaded for decades: That being one of humanity careening ultimately toward entropy and self destruction.
To know that there is and will continue to be viable alternatives provides great solace and reason for genuine hope.
Of particular note was Kolber's philosophical reevaluation of what it could mean to be a valued, "unemployed" human being in a new kind of society based on abundance rather than scarcity. He displays broad, far reaching knowledge of the societal pitfalls we face as we careen toward the end of capitalism.
His ideas are incredibly thought-provoking, sound and should be carefully considered as an achievable goal. He offers a celebratory alternative to a potentially troubling time in our near future when accelerating automation will upset the very foundations of Western Society."
Social Psychologist and Futurist