Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
|Author||Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler|
|Audio read by||Arthur Morey (Audible)|
|Publisher||Free Press, Tantor Audio|
|February 21, 2012; March 28, 2012 (Audible)|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), Audiobook (Audible)|
|Pages||386 pp. (first edition), 10 hrs and 22 mins (Audible)|
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think is a book by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler that was published in 2012. The writers refer to the book's title as being a future where nine billion people have access to clean water, food, energy, health care, education, and everything else that is necessary for a first world standard of living, thanks to technological innovation.
The book's four main points are:
- Technologies in computing, energy, medicine and many other areas are improving at an exponential rate and will soon enable breakthroughs that today seem impossible.
- These technologies have allowed independent innovators to achieve startling advances in many areas of technology with little money or manpower. This is primarily achieved through incentive prize competitions.
- Technology has created a generation of "techno-philanthropists" (such as Bill Gates) who are using their billions to try to solve seemingly unsolvable problems such as hunger and disease.
- The lives of the world's poorest people are being improved substantially because of technology.
The book is divided into six parts: Perspective, Exponential Technologies, Building the Base of the Pyramid, The Forces of Abundance, Peak of the Pyramid, and Steering Faster. It contains 19 chapters, a reference section with raw data, an appendix titled "Dangers of the Exponentials", and a Notes section for further reading.
Table of contents
- Ch. 1: Our Grandest Challenge
- Ch. 2: Building the Pyramid
- Ch. 3: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees
- Ch. 4: It's Not as Bad as You Think
- Ch. 5: Ray Kurzweil and the Go-Fast Button
- Ch. 6: The Singularity is Nearer
- Ch. 7: The Tools of Cooperation
- Ch. 8: Water
- Ch. 9: Feeding Nine Billion
- Ch. 10: The DIY Innovator
- Ch. 11: The Technophilanthropists
- Ch. 12: The Rising Billion
- Ch. 13: Energy
- Ch. 14: Education
- Ch. 15: Health Care
- Ch. 16: Freedom
- Ch. 17: Driving Innovation and Breakthroughs
- Ch. 18: Risk and Failure
- Ch. 19: Which Way Next?
- Afterword: Next Step - Join the Abundance Hub
- Reference Section Raw Data
- Appendix: Dangers of the Exponentials
- About the Authors
The book was largely well received by critics. Abundance was profiled in Time magazine, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Wall Street Journal. It debuted at #1 on both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble's bestseller lists, and at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. It remained on the NYT bestseller list for nine weeks.
Time wrote of its message, "The future is going to be better than you think. That might be hard to believe given the constant stream of dread that is the daily news -- and the endless well of fear that seems to be the future -- but a close look at the numbers indicates that things are better than we believe."
The Washington Post added that the book is "a heavy dose of optimism... The authors make a persuasive case that mankind's future may not be as bleak as we fear."
The San Francisco Chronicle said that the book's authors "argue forcefully against two prevailing notions: that the world's resources are being depleted too rapidly, and that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening beyond repair. They cite the rise of do-it-yourself innovation, fabulously rich 'technophilanthropists' who intend to use their deep pockets to change the world, and what they've termed the 'rising billion': the world's poor, who, thanks to modern communication technology, now have a voice."
The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Diamandis and Kotler think that individual innovators can and will make huge differences to human living standards... Take Iqbal Quadir, who quit his job as a venture capitalist in New York to start a cellphone company in his native Bangladesh, at a time when cellphones cost nearly twice the annual income of the average Bangladeshi. He had the foresight to bet on falling costs and the usefulness of the new technology for the long-isolated rural poor."
One notable negative review came from Timothy Ogden from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, who described the book as "techno-utopianism at its worst," decrying its emphasis on "technological fixes to social problems."
- "New book by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance, debuts #1 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble". KurzweilAI. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Walsh, Bryan (9 March 2012). "TED Talks: Peter Diamandis on Why Things Are Getting Better All the Time". TIME. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Schoppa, Christopher (4 March 2012). "BOOK WORLD bestsellers — March 4, 2012". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Plenty to Go Around, The New York Times, March 30, 2012
- "Best Sellers". The New York Times. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "Best Sellers". The New York Times. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Mayo, Keenan (18 March 2012). "Diamandis and Kotler recommend business books". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Ridley, Matt (25 February 2012). "The Future Is So Bright, it's Dematerializing". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "Techno-Optimists Beware", Stanford Social Innovation Review