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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think [Hardcover]

Peter H. Diamandis , Steven Kotler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2012
Imagine 6.8 billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and non-polluting and ubiquitous energy. Since the dawn of humanity there has always been a privileged, prosperous few living in stark contrast to the majority struggling with disease, starvation and poverty. At first glance it seems that we'll never close this gap. With wealth now concentrated in the upper two percent of society - and serious concerns about population size, global warming, energy shortages, water shortages, food shortages, material shortages ...this list goes on - alarmists are having a field day. And an impact. For the first time in a long time, parents are predicting a worse life for their children than their own. But none of this is accurate. We are now entering a period of radical transformation in which, because of the exponential growth rate of technology we will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Making this happen is humanity's grandest challenge - this is a book about how we can meet it.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (21 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451614217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451614213
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achievable optimism 15 May 2012
By MikeH
Format:Hardcover
Abundance is about what can be achieved, provided we set the right goals.

There are inevitably political and bureaucratic hurdles before these goals come to fruition, however, hurdles are for jumping over, not directly into, and given the track record of the prime author Peter Diamandis along with his detailed derivation as to the logic behind the arguments put forward, there sure is a basis here for optimism.

Well worth a read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How we underestimate technological change. 28 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
In this surprising book the authors look at many aspects of modern technological development and predict enormous positive changes in the coming few decades.

As they say, "When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce they're mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity still dominates our worldview.", and they go on to look at new cheap seawater purification, the falling costs of solar electricity, smart grids, open source maker groups, the democratization and cost reduction of publishing'/advertising (eg. Craig's list) and education (eg. Khan Academy), mobile phone banking in Africa, etc. etc.
Overall, their conclusions are very convincing, and they devote an interesting section to cognitive biases, particularly the natural tendency to focus on threatening situations combined with an inability to appreciate their probability. Modern information overload presents a multitude of possible threats = anxieties while in reality lives are safer and more uneventful than ever before.

I would have given the book 5 stars if it weren't for their finessing of the issue of robotic AI on employment. They say, ".... The old lower skilled jobs were replaced with higher skilled jobs, and the workforce was trained to fill them."
They know that there is is world of difference between the introduction of farm machinery and new intelligent agent computers that can fly aircraft or provide advanced medical diagnosis. There's an interesting discussion of this problem in Martin Ford's, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future: 1.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe over-optimistic, but a good read 16 April 2012
Format:Hardcover
I think it deserves more than one star. It may be over-optimistic, but reads well, and gives me hope. Expecially interesting was the history of the prize-reward for Charles Lindburgh's New York to Paris flight and the effect it had on the development of aviation, and the effect that the X-Prizes now may have.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Future really is Better than you think 13 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler is a well-researched and hugely optimistic book. Its central thesis is that new technologies are going to solve many of the world's resource problems over the coming ten to twenty years, bringing about a world of future abundance. The book's structure follows what the authors term 'The Abundance Pyramid': water, food, shelter, energy, education, health care and freedom (a hierarchy of human needs based loosely on Maslow). Each of these needs are explored in depth and the authors share insights from leading edge research and the likely benefits that they might bring.
Energy
Take, for example, energy, "arguably the most important lynchpin for abundance" (p.156): where is all the energy going to come from? The authors explore three options: solar and photovoltaics, synthetic biofuels and "fourth generation" nuclear power. Of these, they argue, solar has the most potential: "The German Aerospace Centre estimates that the solar power in the deserts of North Africa is enough to supply forty times the present world electricity demand" (p.157). The chapter unpacks each of these three energy sources as well as outlining other significant technical developments, which will enhance these, such as Liquid Metal Battery technologies which promise to enable us store clean energy; and development of "an intelligent network of power lines, switches and sensors able to monitor and control energy down to the. Level of a single lightbulb" (p.169).
Alongside discussion of the developments in these key areas, the authors outline four key drivers of technological progress:
The DIY Innovator - collaboration through e Internet means that small groups are far more powerful than ever before.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to solve the wold's problems 3 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a lot on a wide variety of topics, but this is one of the most inspiring and uplifting books I have ever read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent read 10 Mar 2014
By W. Fox
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent read giving an understanding of the problems the world faces, and some ideas about how we'll go about fixing them.

Recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars mind blowing 16 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating look at the history of human kind and opens your eyes to a world of possibilities for tomorrow. Inspiring and informative, I recommend that everyone on the planet should read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read of optimism and hope! 9 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I so glad I read this book! There is so much pessimism in the world today and this book blows that apart with gusto. Thanks to the authors for opening my eyes to the new world of optimism and abundance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
I want all my friends and family to read this book, left me feeling far more positive about the future.
Published 5 months ago by MR L FUNNELL
5.0 out of 5 stars must read book
Really loved it! amazing book - a must read, interesting and factual ways in which we can save our future
Published 7 months ago by Miss E J Nabarro
5.0 out of 5 stars We all have enough.
A very interesting, thought provoking , hopeful book. It accentuates the positive as well as addressing the negatives and reminds us that the human race can be very resourceful if... Read more
Published 7 months ago by martin ashwell
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
It makes you think that world is not that bad, as we always think. And instead of just feeding the charieties you can help the world in some many more ways.
Published 8 months ago by Sm Hussain
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Optimistic Read
A great read that will open your eyes to the changes in the world that are possible with innovation. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, fascinating!
You must get this book. Its inspiring, Positive and educational. It's about time we all started to think outside of the box and be more posititve about the world, open our eyes to... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MUMOF3BOYS!
3.0 out of 5 stars good message?
all I can remember is it was recommeded on a course.
got it and thumbed through it.
Wasn't for me. title seemd good but message didn't come across.
Published 10 months ago by Mr. R. Sylvester
1.0 out of 5 stars Non-Science
The quality of this book or perhaps its authors is summed up in this quote "...enough solar power hits one square kilometer of Africa's desert to produce the equivalent of one and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by T. H. F. Havas
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