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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  2,823 ratings  ·  361 reviews
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, whe...more
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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    33rd out of 71 books — 214 voters
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    3rd out of 21 books — 5 voters


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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    Todd Martin
    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...more
    Lena
    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...more
    Andy
    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...more
    Jud Barry
    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...more
    Shirley Freeman
    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
    Greg
    Still reading so I can only comment on what I've read thus far which is slightly more than half. Many other reviewers have provided a synopsis of the books premise more than adequately so I won't repeat that, but I would like to add one point. I would ask that anyone reading this open your mind to possibilities that exist outside your awareness and they are just that.....possibilities. Of course no one can predict the future (as some reviews suggest this is attempting to do), but I don't get tha...more
    Adam Ford
    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...more
    Tara Litzenberger
    The whole point of this book was to be challenging and though-provoking, which it was. But my tactical mind kept getting annoyed at the HUGE concerns that he swept over. For example, talking about medical data being used to track outbreaks without any mention of data privacy issues.

    I also caught a few places where his data wasn't wrong, exactly, but it wasn't really right, exactly, either. Just over-simplified and over-generalized in ways that really made me question how feasible his big ideas...more
    Glenn Capuano
    Jun 02, 2012 Glenn Capuano rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
    Loraine
    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...more
    Kater Cheek
    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...more
    Jonathan
    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...more
    Marti
    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
    Andy
    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...more
    Joe
    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.
    David
    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
    Mal Warwick
    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...more
    Colene Hardy
    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
    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...more
    Aaron Thibeault
    *A full executive summary of this book is available here: http://newbooksinbrief.com/2012/03/03...

    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...more
    George Shubin
    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...more
    Kevin O'Brien
    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...more
    Heather
    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
    Rosa
    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...more
    Carye Bye
    disclaimer I did not finish this book.

    I found early on that this book fundamentally disagreed with my beliefs and I really couldn't stomach the rest. I'm not able to write a witty review thus far but will say I can't back ideas involve partnerships with coca-cola or creating test tube meat. I guess I'm not ready for this version of the future. I'm kind of interested in more organic, nature, cooperation, and use of technology as a means for communication, not for creating new chemicals and produc...more
    Lori
    Best book i've read all year (and i've read hundreds). very hopeful about the future. i've read so many books about what's wrong and whose fault it is that it was a nice change to read about what's working and how much better the future could be. loved the story about the man who embedded a computer in a wall in India and let the poor kids figure out for themselves how to use it. Using X Prizes as incentives to cure illnesses is a great idea. some of this stuff has been written about in many oth...more
    Ellis Traub
    Peter Diamandis and Steve Kotler are "co-Messiahs" in my book! This is the definitive navigation manual for today's required attitude adjustment. Provides a credible rationale for Polyanna's wisdom and hope for all of us pessimists who have been ready to write off the world and search for Galt's Gulch.

    I've always felt that the solution to our global problems would be found in technology; but never have had a clear view of how it might be mobilized and applied. This combination of vision to aim...more
    Josh Patrick
    If you have any concern about the future, this book is a must read. Instead of reading about gloom and doom and how we're about to run out of (you get to fill in the blank) we get to learn about technologies that could come to fruition in the next twenty years. If only 25% of the author's predictions turn out true, we'll have a pretty cool world. Issues that are real will be solved. The cost of medical care will dramatically decrease. We'll have moved to a renewable energy grid. We could even ha...more
    Radix Hidayat
    A vivid and thoughtful writing by Diamandis & Kotler how a bright and abundance future is still a possibility, even with bleak news repeatedly come to us on daily basis. Abundance is possible, with people, technology, and capital as its enabler and there are amazing people from around the world that are working on it. There are people who tirelessly working to solve various problems and shortages that are preying on us: food, water, energy, education, information, etc.

    My favorite chapters ar...more
    Greg
    I had the good fortune to read Abundance with a group of people who enjoy in-depth discussion, and that made this book all the better. The authors have collected on what is going right in the world and shared it in an engaging and understandable way. I was inspired to do further research, looking up inventions and discussions mentioned in the book.

    Of course the future is unknown, and technology can be used for ill just as easily as for good, but Abundance highlights the possibilities and how th...more
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    Share This Book

    “Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.” 4 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.” 1 likes
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