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Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  10,136 ratings  ·  974 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)

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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
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
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
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
Oleksandr Zholud
This is an optimistic non-fic from 2012, written mainly in 2010, that is a great alternative to doom and gloom of todays and even earlier near-future prediction literature. I read is as a part of monthly reading for August 2020 at Non Fiction Book Club group.

The book starts with an attempt to understand why most of the near-future prediction literature, starting roughly from 1972’s The Limits to Growth and continuing since is mostly saying: “we are on the bring (or just passed it) and there is
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
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
You should probably read this in tandem with Robert Gordon's "The Rise and Fall of American Growth" because they come to exact opposite conclusions. I hope these guys are right, but since their claim is based on a few cool tricks and the other one is based on rigorous data, I doubt it. Still, this is worth reading because I think half the premise is sound: technological answers to intractable problems are in the wings. The future will not be as anticipated. However, there are several broad econo ...more
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you live in a rich abundant area and avoid the poor hungry and desolate then you might buy into this one but in the real world these guys are out of touch with the real world.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
In certain very limited ways, this book is really exciting and full of great news. The incredible technologies that have the potential to virtually eliminate problems of water scarcity, food scarcity, energy scarcity, healthcare scarcity, and education scarcity will make your jaw drop. But I found myself having a lot of, “Yes, but...” questions along the way, like:

If the planned petroleum-free, carbon-neutral, “one planet living” city of Masdar outside Abu Dhabi is so great, did it ever get buil
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 the ...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
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book trivializes the magnitude of some of our greatest existential challenges as humans. The authors use simplistic analogies and argue that technology fixes all of our problems. From climate change to war. Some of the problems that they enumerate have nothing to with technology and that is my primary problem with this book. For instance, take the problem of excess green house gases in the atmosphere, this has become a political and policy challenge rather than a technology challenge. One c ...more
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
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
There are enough resources in the world for everyone , the world is better and quality of life is higher than any other time in history , we can solve modern day problems like we have solved other problems in the past to ensure more prosperity. These are the main themes in the book demonstrated with stories from different domains.
Very informative, it’s refreshing to listen to an optimistic scientist for a change even if he hyped it up a bit.
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.
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!
Despite the authors getting lost on rabbit trails in a couple of chapters, this was a rather memorable and enjoyable read by the founders of the X Prize. An invaluable dose of rational optimism in the face of our daily barrage of irrational doom and gloom.

The premise is that humanity's evolutionary adaptations for surviving in the Pleistocene are holding most of us back from realizing scarcity is entirely contextual. Instead of responding to scarcity by slicing our pie thinner or redistributing
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
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. ...more
Hưng Đặng
Sep 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I dropped it because each time I tried to read, it feels like something eats up my soul. I would rather read Factfulness or Enlightenment now!
Mar 16, 2015 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 sa
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
Nov 28, 2020 rated it liked it
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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

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60 likes · 5 comments
“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.” 28 likes
“Technology is a resource-liberating mechanism. It can make the once scarce the now abundant.” 21 likes
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