Sunday, March 30, 2014


By Peter H. Diamanis and Steven Kotler

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 and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. An antidote to pessimism by tech entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler. 

Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. The authors document how four forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Steven Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, among many, many others. 

This book also held my attention for the entire drive home from JAX in March 2014.  I liked it and was never enticed to turn it off and "listen to the music".  Some of my favorite ideas:  The photo above reminds one of the story that the authors told about aluminum.  Once more precious than it is "throw away".  Abundance.  

I also liked the story about the fact that if everyone gave up TV for one weekend and did something to make the planet better, the new ideas and progress made would be stupendous in scope.

Another story I liked was about the two shoe salesmen who fly into a undeveloped part of the world.  One looks around and says:  "No one wears shoes here.  I am out of here!  This is not a place I am likely to be successful"  The other one sends message home:  "No one wears shoes here.   This is an amazing market opportunity!  I may never come home!"

Some of the farming ideas made me think that perhaps I am too old to change some of my habits, but many of the ideas were amazing.  Can I really eat cultured meat?  Hmmmmmm.....we'll see.  

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