Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it.
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. 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 roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.
Examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Steven Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, among many, many others.
Diamandis, a tech-entrepreneur turned philanthropist, and journalist Kolter (The Angle Quickest for Flight) contend that widespread pessimism about the future is due in part to our cognitive biases and the effects of mass media. Bad news sells newspapers, while good news escapes our attention or remains hidden in statistics. 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. Augmented by the power of exponentially growing technologies, small groups of motivated individuals are accomplishing what used to require the resources of government or large corporations. Other forces driving innovation are infusions of money from techno-billionaires turned philanthropists and the integration of the poorest third of humanity into the global economy. Not every development will be appreciated; steak lovers may not take readily to in-vitro beef. New technologies contain novel risks, including the disquieting fact that robots will soon make up the majority of the blue-collar workforce. Nonetheless, the authors make a compelling case for optimism over dread as we face the exhilarating unknown.
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Abundance is scholarly look at global problems and the convergence of technologies and philanthropy to solve them.
For scholars and givers...
The rise of automation
This is a wonderfully compelling book that clears away the cobwebs and smoke by explaining things from the perspective of a different model, one of abundance brought to you by technology. As Will Robinson's mom told him, so shall we do: We will make new friends. And doing so, we will remake the world to be a kinder, gentle place than the one we received, making sure everyone can contribute and that no one lacks food, shelter, medicine or education. We will do away with economic slavery once and for all and we will stop using people like machines.
This is the best quasi-scientific book I have read so far I'm my entire reading career. It has provided, for me at least, a huge dose of optimism and most of all a rekindling of hope in the future of mankind. A "must" read.