Why The Future Is Better Than You Think | Peter Diamandis
“We’re going from evolution by natural selection (which is Darwinism) to evolution by intelligent direction”
Peter Diamandis is the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, which offers big cash prizes “to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.” Reason’s Tim Cavanaugh sat down to talk with Peter about his new book Abundance and why he think we live in an “incredible time”, but no one realizes it. Peter thinks that there are some powerful human forces combined with technological advancements that are transforming the world for the better.
“The challenge is that the rate of innovation is so fast…” Peter says, “the government can’t keep up with it.” If the government tries to play “catch up” with regulations and policy, the technology will just go overseas. Certain inovations in “food, water, housing, health, education are getting better and better.” Peter “hopes we are not going to be in a situation where, entrenched interests are preventing the consumer from having better health care.”
Filmed by Sharif Matar and Tracy Oppenheimer. Edited by Sharif Matar
Abundance—the Future is Better Than You Think—is a new book by Dr. Peter Diamandis (Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation) and Steven Kotler (bestselling author and science journalist), launching February 21, 2012. It is a thrilling antidote to today’s dark pessimism.The authors rely on exhaustive research and extensive interviews with top scientists, innovators, and captains of industry to explore how four emerging forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems.
Diamandis and Kotler examine the stunning impact these forces are having on categories of critical importance while establishing hard targets for change, laying out a strategic road map for governments, industry, and entrepreneurs, and giving us plenty of reason for optimism.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.
In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous two hundred years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp.
Breaking down human needs by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce us to dozens (and dozens) of innovators and industry captains making tremendous strides in each area: Dean Kamen’s “Slingshot,” a technology which can transform polluted water, salt water or even raw sewage into incredibly high-quality drinking water for less than one cent a liter; the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE which promises a low-cost, handheld medical device that allows anyone to diagnose themselves better than a board certified doctor; Dickson Despommier’s “vertical farms,” which replaces traditional agriculture with a system that uses 80 percent less land, 90 percent less water, 100 percent fewer pesticides and zero transportation costs.
As a bonus, the authors provide a detailed reference section filled with ninety graphs, charts and graphics offering much of the source data underpinning their conclusions.Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it.
Peter Diamandis | Taking The Next Giant Leap in Space (TED)