Tag Archives: Scarcity

Our Future of Great Abundance

Abundance Peter Diamandis

In the TED video below, Abundance is Our Future, techno-philanthropist, billionaire Peter Diamandis explains how much technological progress has already improved our lives and offers compelling evidence for an optimistic future. I’ve written a summary of that video at the end of the post, but before that I’d like to discuss some of misconceptions about what abundance means and offer some of my predictions for the future.

What Abundance is Not

The word ‘abundance’ often conjures images of luxury and excess. Abundance in my definition, and that of Peter Diamondis, is not the Wall Street investment banker stereotype of wealth.

It’s not about everyone on the planet having 5000 square foot houses, with luxury sports cars, access to private jets, yachts and $1000 hookers on lunch breaks.

Clearly that idea of wealth is environmentally and morally bankrupt.

Abundance is not about stuffing our faces with processed food while we watch 4 or 5 hours of television a day. It’s not about disposable lifestyles needlessly wasting food, water and other precious resources while we fill up our over-sized houses and storage garages with useless junk.

We only have one planet. If everyone consumed like a European, we would need 3 …

The End of Work as We Know It

You Think Your Job is Bad?

In my recent Leisure Society post, I explored John Maynard Keynes idea of 15 hour workweeks and why we haven’t managed to cut back our work hours over the last century.  The fundamental question is whether or not having a job is still a necessary part of the human condition. The idea of employment is only a few centuries old, and I believe it’s outliving it’s usefulness. We are already seeing a shift to higher levels of permanent, structural unemployment and this is only the beginning. Are we still going to have jobs in the future?

What is Work?

One of the key issues is how the word ‘work’ is defined. If you follow Tim Ferris of the Four Hour Workweek you might be tempted to believe that if your occupation is fun, then it’s not work anymore. This definition is brilliant marketing that made Tim Ferris famous, however, judging by all that he accomplishes, it’s clear that puts in a lot more than 4 hours per week. That’s work no matter how much he enjoys it.

At the other extreme is the idea that any directed effort is work.This would include cleaning your house, raising children, washing your car …