Book Review: ‘Abundance’ a brilliant book
By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
Well, the election is finally over. Unfortunately, the waves of negativity that we’ve been exposed to will continue because we have a “tendency to give more weight to negative information and experiences than positive ones.”
This “negativity bias” prevents us from recognizing the way in which technology is transforming our world and offering “abundance” versus scarcity. So argue Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler in their brilliant 2012 book, “Abundance.”
The media certainly understands the negativity bias. This is what sells papers and puts eyeballs on the evening news.
It also limits the coverage of news that might be more optimistic.
So much of what you will discover in this fine read is brand spanking new in terms of technological innovation.
The authors argue compellingly that “the current rate of technological progress is moving more than fast enough to meet the challenges we now face.”
These include improved water quality even in remote African regions; accessible medical care to improve quality of life and lifespans globally; evolution of the “smart grid” and storage technologies to combat global warming; and the transformation of our education systems.
As the book moves through each of these transforming innovations, their argument gains credibility. It seems a preposterous claim, but the book’s foundational premise is that we have the resources to meet the future needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Now, when was the last time you read or heard that?
How this all gets paid for is a bit unclear. For the most part, free enterprise and legions of new and existing entrepreneurs lead the charge.
The authors also note the new philanthropic initiatives of the billionaire class. What distinguishes these recent efforts are the size of the financial commitments and their very targeted strategies.
The book portends successful outcomes from the efforts of these “technophilanthropists” (think Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skloll, etc.).
So if the depressing day-to-day news is getting you down and you feel the need for a post-election uplift, grab this book and explore the vision of a very different and “abundant” future.
Book review by guest reader, Chris Diamond, president of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.; Middlebury, BS, and University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA in English Literature — Milton scholar.
This book is available at the Bud Werner Memorial Library and at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore; e-books can be found at http://www.steamboatbooks.com.
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