Abundance: Why the Future Will Be Much Better Than You Think

Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kolter. Free Press, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4516-1421-3
Diamandis, a tech-entrepreneur turned philanthropist, and journalist Kolter (The Angle Quickest for Flight) contend that widespread pessimism about the future is due in part to our cognitive biases and the effects of mass media. Bad news sells newspapers, while good news escapes our attention or remains hidden in statistics. This engaging book is a needed corrective, a whirlwind tour of the latest developments in health care, agriculture, energy, and other fields as well as an introduction to thinkers and innovators such as Daniel Kahneman, Ray Kurzweil, and Craig Ventor. Augmented by the power of exponentially growing technologies, small groups of motivated individuals are accomplishing what used to require the resources of government or large corporations. Other forces driving innovation are infusions of money from techno-billionaires turned philanthropists and the integration of the poorest third of humanity into the global economy. Not every development will be appreciated; steak lovers may not take readily to in-vitro beef. New technologies contain novel risks, including the disquieting fact that robots will soon make up the majority of the blue-collar workforce. Nonetheless, the authors make a compelling case for optimism over dread as we face the exhilarating unknown. Agent: John Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 02/21/2012
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