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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,144 Ratings  ·  568 Reviews
Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meetit.

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 an
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Quiet by Susan CainEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertDaring Greatly by Brené BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection by Brené BrownThe Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
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32nd out of 81 books — 301 voters
The Second Machine Age by Erik BrynjolfssonRise of the Robots by Martin FordAbundance by Peter H. DiamandisThe Singularity is Near by Ray KurzweilThe Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin
Automation & Technological Unemployment
3rd out of 37 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

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Todd Martin
Dec 03, 2013 Todd Martin rated it it was ok
In Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, author and X Prize founder Peter Diamandis makes his case that the standard of living of the bulk of the world’s population can be raised to a level in which everyone’s basic needs are met within the next twenty-five years. How is this to be done you might ask given the many seemingly intractable problems that are present around the globe today? …. SCIENCE, the private sector and the largesse of billionaires!!

This might seem far-fetched, but yo
Apr 12, 2016 Andy rated it did not like it
Optimism makes things better. Hooray!

Scientists and engineers exist, and they will make super-duper new gizmos. Yay!

Everything in the whole wide world will soon be radically better because of the business-like innovations of the techno-philanthropists. They are like gods; praise them!

The problem for this goofy book is reality. As documented in Forbes, Fortune and other publications, the Gates Foundation (to use the biggest example of techno-philanthropy) actually has a pretty bad track record. T
Apr 19, 2012 Lena rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Most human beings have a built-in tendency to focus on the negative, obsessing about all the things that are wrong with the world and how we're all on the fast track to hell in a hand basket. In this book, X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis tackles that view head on with a compelling argument that humanity is actually in far better shape than the 24/7 news cycle would have you believe.

The core of his argument is that a number of forces have come together to create an opportunity for problem solving
Jud Barry
May 16, 2012 Jud Barry rated it liked it
The future according to our popular novelists is almost always dystopian. Peter Diamandis encourages us to imagine otherwise, based on the potential of recent developments in science and technology.
Taking a page from Ray Kurzweil (with whom he has established Singularity University), Diamandis's future is very much the present-day reality of artificial technology, nanotechnology, robotics, communications, and biotechnology, where the pace of innovation conferred by computerization has greatly im
Shirley Freeman
Mar 30, 2012 Shirley Freeman rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book! The authors define abundance as 'providing all people with a life of possibility.' Imagine a world where 9 billion people have adequate clean water, food, shelter, energy, education and health. The authors not only imagine it, but think it is possible within the next 25 years. Yes, it seems overly optimistic but their argument (with supporting data) and their energy and enthusiasm are contagious. They outline the incredible technological advances that are occurring in ps ...more
Apr 03, 2014 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
When I worked at Open Society Foundations, we had a focus on defending rights, which derived from a worldview that assumes there are large institutions (mostly corporations and governments) that encroach upon our individual freedoms and our ability to live a prosperous life. By strengthening and defending rights, we can mitigate the negative effects of these large institutions. For all the insane blabber by Glenn Beck about George Soros being a Communist puppet master, the foundation actually ha ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was ok
The basic premise of Abundance is that there are a lot of problems in the world, and its hard to get people to change, but the right technological innovations will fix everything.

As someone who notices many of the same problems in the world, I want to believe the authors' assertions. And the book inspired me! The characters and anecdotes are appealing. I finished the book feeling nagged by a few big holes, but overall excited.

Unfortunately, in reflection the excitement wore off. There are plent
Adam Ford
Mar 07, 2014 Adam Ford rated it really liked it
Abundance is one of the better books about the modern world that I have read. A very informative and well written book that flowed quickly. I highly recommend it. A few things that stood out to me:

1. The main forces pushing us forward are the buying power of the bottom billion (the poorest billion people on the planet), the exponential growth of technology, the rise of the super-smart techno philanthropist and the do-it-your-selfers.

2. We are heading into a significant shortage of doctors as the
Glenn Capuano
Jun 02, 2012 Glenn Capuano rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in cutting-edge technology
Recommended to Glenn by: Neil Creek
This book was recommended by a friend, and I certainly enjoyed reading it. The main premise is that the doom & gloom which dominates the media is ill-placed and we are in fact much better off and will soon have the means at our disposal to beat the challenges facing humanity today. Much of this makes sense to me - certainly there is a tendency to focus on the negative, and it's good to see a book which catalogues some of the good inventions which do have the potential to change our lives in ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Krista rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
Cornucopians feel that the rate of technological growth will outpace the rate of population growth, and that will solve all our problems. Malthusians believe that we've already exceeded the planet's carrying capacity, and if population growth continues unchecked, nothing we invent will be powerful enough to reverse those effects.

I finally know what to call myself: I am definitely a Cornucopian (even if those killjoy Malthusians don't mean the term kindly). I am firmly within the camp that says
Feb 14, 2016 Anny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I love how this book gave a glimpse of the wonders that technology could bring to us. Water-filter that can filter just about anything liquid (seawater, sewage water, factory wastes, etc) to drinkable water. Solar power to replace our fossil fuel power, abundant, renewable, eco-friendly, cheap (hopefully in the coming years). Internet helping to connect people with abundant resources to those that needed them (be it in the form of loans or crowd-funding). Genetics and nano-technology that will h ...more
David Buccola
Feb 15, 2015 David Buccola rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
A truly awful book. Take the futurism of a world's fair, add the hucksterism of a veteran of the start-up world, and rose-tinted outlook of a millennial and you get an idea of what this book is like. The book is littered with the false hope of NGO's and other companies that--just three years from publication--are already complete failures. But never fear, Peter Diamandis assures us, the world's billionaires will save us all! Conveniently missing from the narrative is the looming ecological crisi ...more
May 06, 2013 Loraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love tomorrow and its potential. I have no nostalgia for the past. So this is a perfect book for me. I want to hear the message that this book presents and I got what I was looking for. Lots of it. No wasted words here and never over my head.
Some examples: "We used to think that healthy and wealthy meant you had to be fat. We don't think that anymore. Today, we think that to be healthy and wealthy we need a ton of things, but maybe that too will become old thinking. Technology can replace much
Kater Cheek
Nov 05, 2012 Kater Cheek rated it liked it
The cover of this book, which you can't really see from the snapshot, has been done to look like it's wrapped in aluminum foil. Aluminum was once the most precious metal on earth, and now technology has made it so cheap it's ubiquitous.

That's basically the premise of the book; technology brings about abundance. Diamandis has oodles of examples, and he backs them up with a thick selection of charts and graphs in the back. For every doom-and-gloom prophecy that journalists have brought up to frig
Nov 02, 2013 Marti rated it it was amazing
Possibly the most fascinating nonfiction book I have read in a decade: a reader-friendly overview from the originator of the X Prize, this book covers advances and reasons for optimism in areas of food, water, shelter, energy, commerce, healthcare, education and more. While realistically laying out causes for concern (over-population, climate change, poverty), the author counters each of these with a solid reason for optimism. Many of these causes for hope come from advances in technology, but t ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It holds an excellent analysis of what the future holds. It changed my opinion about a lot of technologies (solar and medical) for the better. The section on the future of power collection was very interesting. I do hope their predictions about robots come true... imagine finally having a robot that would clean your house.
My favorite part of the book dealt with people who are attempting to reform the educational process throughout the worl
Nicole Anderson
Dec 01, 2015 Nicole Anderson rated it it was amazing
Authors Peter H. Diamandis and Steve Kotler have created just about the perfect handbook when it comes to envisioning a technically advanced, democratic and thriving society. Written in 2012, this book is still an important read for anyone who’s interested in a technical future where humanity finally rises above the mire it has been tethered to for millennia.

Much can be said about the book, but there are two aspects that put Abundance at the top of my recommended reading list. First, Diamandis s
William Handel
Feb 03, 2015 William Handel rated it liked it
Reading Abundance is an experience I imagine to be quite similar to being restrained by gurney and specula and forced to absorb a ceaseless parade of BuzzFeed listicles, TED talks, and conversations led by that ‘innovation guy’ you went to school with who had just seen The Social Network and was convinced he was going to be the next big thing in Silicon Valley. I’m not sure if I’ve been conditioned by the Ludovico technique or capture-bonding or something, but towards the end of the book I kind ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
I want to believe the hype, but the authors seem too entrenched in the establishment and faithful in the market system and "technology" to solve all the world's problems. I don't see their dreams coming to fruition anytime soon, but I hope they prove me wrong. I don't think they give enough space to counterarguments and the possibility of things going exponentially wrong rather than getting exponentially better.
Barbara Kerastas
May 08, 2015 Barbara Kerastas rated it really liked it
A very good read in a world where the nightly news makes it seem that all is lost, and cynicism, hopelessness and pessimism are the prevailing sentiments.
Exciting things are happening, and as the title says, the future is not only more promising than we might have imagined, but coming sooner than we would believe possible. This book made me hopeful and happy.
Stuart Berman
Jul 05, 2015 Stuart Berman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to understand the progress we have made and dispel the myths of how bad things are. Lots of good examples of how the global challenges we face will be solved.
Mal Warwick
Aug 27, 2012 Mal Warwick rated it it was amazing
A Technology Maven's Vision of Humanity's Bright Future

Peter Diamandis envisions a world in which humanity triumphs against all its challenges, from climate change, overpopulation, and poverty to the planetary deficits in energy and water.

This is not science fiction. It’s an eye-opening survey of what one celebrated technology visionary perceives as a feasible future for our species.

As Diamandis writes, “Abundance is a tale of good news. At its core, this book examines the hard facts, the scienc
Colene Hardy
Aug 16, 2013 Colene Hardy rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
What I really loved about this book was how it was reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Toynbee Convector". In Bradbury's tale, a man comes back from the future and tells everyone, "We did it! We solved all of the problems. We ended world hunger and homelessness and war." And then all of the hopeful and optimisitc people of the world work hard and fulfill his prophecy. Little do they know that he never actually traveled through time; it was their belief that make his predictions true. ...more
Alon Gutman
Nov 16, 2012 Alon Gutman rated it it was amazing
Its like the entire good part of Ted talks squeeze into one book.

Its inspirational, educational, and eye opening.
(and contain many good references. and stories that are worth knowing about.)

If you want an overview of the past, present and future of technology and changes in the world,
This is an amazing book for that.( and its up to date, came out in 2012!)

The autor beside been engineer and physician
is famous for founding the X-prize! (So he know how to inspire)
and Singularity University! (So he
Aaron Thibeault
Dec 01, 2012 Aaron Thibeault rated it it was amazing
*A full executive summary of this book is available here:

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, global warming, and a population explosion that threatens to confound [and in some cases already does confound] our advances in agricultural production and medicine), we needn't discard our tech
George Shubin
Jun 08, 2012 George Shubin rated it really liked it
Author Peter Diamandis, X PRIZE founder, and co-author Steven Kotler, science writer, have written a book that is as optimistic on a global scale that Ray Kurzweil's and Terry Grossman's "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever" was on an individual, personal scale. In many ways, it's the materialist's version of the Christian's realized vision of postmillennial eschatology.

In "Abundance: The Future Is Better than You Think" the authors explain four main factors that are contributing
Kevin O'Brien
Oct 10, 2012 Kevin O'Brien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology, future
The global climate is changing and the ice caps are melting. Civil liberties are eroding. Romney is rising in the polls.

There are a lot of reasons to be pessimistic about the state of the world. If you are inclined that way, this book is a useful corrective.

I can't say that a whole lot of this book was new to me, since I follow many of these topics already. He brings in the exponential growth curves that Ray Kurzweil has popularized (think Moore's Law, but applied to a lot more than just transis
This is an interesting book about the importance of working together globally and collaboratively to solve some of the biggest challenges we face. Instead of worrying about what we don't have or being worried about seemingly inevitable disasters we can think, we can work, we can find solutions. This is a positive book and a call to action to work together and think and solve problems. There are some exciting things going on today. Highlighted here are some innovations and work going on to create ...more
This book delivers as the title promises: If you are sick and tired of all the negativity in the news, turn off those mainstream media channels and read this instead. "The news" is about ratings, and does not cover the information that will truly empower you, and expand your thinking.

I'm sure cynics will find ways to discount the advances the authors share in their optimism about the future - even though they are very forthright about the pros and cons, including questions of morality - but I'm
David Pennington
Jan 09, 2013 David Pennington rated it it was amazing
Evening news got you down? Feeling like things keep getting worse? Here's the antidote. In Abundance, Diamandis and Kotler provide plenty of evidence to support the book's subtitle: the future is better than you think.

As somewhat of a pessimist by nature, but an optimist in aspiration, this book is so much more than a book to me. It's hope; it's inspiration; it's an awakening. It's a real, evidence-based examination of human history, education, evolution, and much more--all pointing to an unden
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“Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.” 12 likes
“Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury—rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility.” 9 likes
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