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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  8,228 ratings  ·  827 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, where exponentially growing technologies a
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Free Press
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Udvarias Ur This is a bug-a-boo that those who kept ALL their resources to themselves have been touting since, at least, the industrial revolution.


This is a bug-a-boo that those who kept ALL their resources to themselves have been touting since, at least, the industrial revolution.


The historical facts are that EVERY time technology has rendered 1 or more classes of employment obsolete, that same technology created an equal number of NEW employment opportunities. Albeit it resulted in the financial returns to shift to a new, and different, group of people.

Ergo, 1. the current financial beneficiaries, at any given time, always predict catastrophe when faced with new technology; and 2. those who refuse to adopt the new technology will no long be able to increase their wealth, either by rendering entrepreneurs (and I use the term loosely) incapable of accumulating more wealth or making employees unable to get work. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,228 ratings  ·  827 reviews

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Todd Martin
Jul 10, 2012 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
Dec 11, 2012 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
Feb 20, 2012 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
David Sasaki
Mar 13, 2014 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 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
Alex Givant
Excellent book about why our future is better than you think. Have you seen bunch of depressing news today on TV? Just switch it off and use this time to read more books like this one.
Shirley Freeman
Mar 30, 2012 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
David Buccola
Feb 03, 2015 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
Jud Barry
May 02, 2012 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
Adam Ford
Mar 07, 2014 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
May 31, 2012 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
Kater Cheek
Nov 05, 2012 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
Apr 12, 2013 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
Nov 13, 2012 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
J.F. Penn
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stop reading the papers and listening to the negative media. Read this book and marvel at the amazing things happening in the world!
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
In her book This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein stated how much she disliked scientists who focused on innovation over conservation. For this reason, Klein would absolutely hate Peter Diamandis. He began his book with example after example of why we worry too much about depleting Earth's resources. He even went so far as to Kahneman shame his reader. (I have decided that Khaneman shame should be an actual term). I usually enjoy being Kahneman shamed because I know that even the most logical ind ...more
Nov 02, 2013 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
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, nonfiction
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
Nicole Anderson
Dec 01, 2015 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
Douglas Green
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read, gives a great perspective in an easily pessimistic world.
Mal Warwick
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jan 03, 2016 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
Dec 31, 2013 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.
J.E. Thompson
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in technological progress or conversely for anyone feeling as if the world today is not as good as the world of our parents and grandparents time. An exciting, optimistic and well grounded view of possibilities that are just around the corner
Abby  Smith
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not at all what I thought it would be. Seems like a lot of hype for a lot of theories. There are a lot of problems in the world but science --> technological advances will fix EVERYTHING. Change is hard.
Maria Lasprilla
The best and most useful book I have read in a while. I am extremely happy with having chosen to read it during a long vacation as it required my mind being rested and focused to absorb all the goodness in it.

The book first reinforced my distaste for reading newspaper. Traditional media is full of useless negativity. But that was just the beginning. What it did best was filled me in a very compressed way with all the technological advancements we are making in this time of human history that, co
Yvo Hunink
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
What this book taught me most is that we as humans have a hard time to think exponentially. IT is developing at such an enormous rate and touches upon so many different aspects of our life, that many of our biggest problems will soon be gone, but that our current model might not be ready for an abundance based system. Truly, the book is a piece of the big puzzle in my head, where moving away from scarcity based models towards abundance based models, could help society move forward in the 21st ce ...more
Stephen Heiner
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What I appreciate about Peter Diamandis' vision, which we can catch a large part of in this book, is his ability to be optimistic while being realistic. While he, like Kevin Kelly, doesn't ask the "should we" question but rather focuses on all the ways we can, he does so from a cohesive and coherent worldview, and one that we can very much appreciate.

Taking a cue from Maslow, Diamandis has a basis for his vision. He wants everyone to have access to clean water, nutritious food, affordable housin
Lone Wong
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: economic, non-fiction
A book full of hypothesis and speculation.

I'm not pessimistic nor optimistic about the future. But we human are really bad at predicting the future.

The book starts with an introduction about the scarcity of resources. "History littered with tales of once-rate resources made plentiful by innovation." Peter believe that technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.

He believes the world can be abundant in the future with technology by building the "
Nestor Leal
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It reads like a supercharged overloaded Wired magazine tome. The book paints an ugly world with many problems but with an abundance of possibilities! With many examples by regular collaborators of Wired mag. and stories of rockstar like inventors, I got inspired to create viable business solutions to the many opportunities all around. Made me take some notes and work on ideas.

The many entrepreneurs, technology and futurist authors referenced in the book include Marvin Misnky, Nathan Myhrvold, N
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  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves
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  • This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
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Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. In 2014 he was named one of "The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders" – by Fortune Magazine.

In the field of Innovation, Diamandis is Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, best known for its $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight.

Diamandis is also the Co
“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.” 22 likes
“Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.” 19 likes
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