Life Extension Magazine June 2012
By Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler
“This brilliant, must-read book provides the key to the upcoming era of abundance replacing eons of scarcity. Abundance is a powerful antidote to today’s malaise and pessimism.” – Ray Kurzweil
With endorsements from longevity enthusiast Ray Kurzweil, mega-entrepeneur Sir Richard Branson, and Jeff Skol, the co-founder of eBay, the book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, appeals to some of the most forward thinking individuals of our time. As people who embrace the future and are doing everything at our disposal to live as far into it as we can, members of Life Extension® should count themselves among the people passing along this book’s message. That message is the same one that Life Extension Magazine® founder William Faloon has been touting since the inception of Life Extension. It’s a message of optimism about solving nearly all of today’s common health problems and eradicating nearly all natural causes of death through cutting edge research, thinking, and innovation.
Abundance is written by Peter H. Diamandis, the chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, the co-founder of Singularity University and co-founder of International Space University. With degrees in molecular biology and aerospace engineering from MIT, and an MD from Harvard Medical School, Diamandis has the background and the first-hand knowledge to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.
While Abundance isn’t exclusively about health care or even longevity, nearly all of the chapters in the book have the same theme: If we improve quality of life, decrease incidence of disease, and educate people about how to live smart and healthy lives, everyone will live longer and science will be able to devote even more time to curing the diseases that aren’t caused by human ignorance or lack of resources.
To that end, one of the premises of the book is something called the Abundance Pyramid. It is a modern day version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In this updated model, food, water, and shelter form the foundation of the pyramid, with energy, education and ICTs (information and communications technologies) in the middle layer. The top of the pyramid is health and freedom.
One of the health innovations discussed in this book is Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC). In Diamandis’ own words: “Packaged into a portable, cell-phone-sized device, LOC will allow doctors, nurses, and even patients themselves to take a sample of bodily fluid (such as urine, sputum, or a single drop of blood) and run dozens, if not hundreds, of diagnostic tests on the spot in a matter of minutes.”
Diamandis interviews John T. McDevitt, a Rice University professor of bioengineering and chemistry about this new technology and what he says is striking. “It’s a game changing technology,” he says. “In the developing world, it will bring reliable health care to billions who don’t currently have it. In the developed world, like here in the US—where medical costs go up another 8% every year and 16.5% of the economy goes to health care—if personalized medical technologies like lab-on-a-chip aren’t brought to bear on the situation, we’re going to bankrupt the country.”
And that is just one example. In the chapter segment titled Life Span, there are several jaw-dropping technologies that are discussed that may end up bailing us out of our medical spending quagmire.
One of the main issues contributing to high fatality numbers when it comes to disease is often the time it takes to form a proper diagnosis of the ailment. Weeks or even months are sometimes lost running tests on a person while the nefarious disease spreads throughout the body. How can this time be shortened, or even eliminated completely? Enter: Watson.
For Jeopardy! fans, Watson is the name of IBM’s super computer that defeated the show’s most intelligent human champions. Today, Watson takes up enough space to fill a medium-sized room. However, just as computers of fifty years ago took up entire buildings, in no time at all, a computer of Watson’s power (an end product that can handle 500 gigabytes of data power per second, or the equivalent of 3.6 billion books per hour) will be the size of a modern-day laptop.
“Watson has the potential to help doctors reduce the time needed to evaluate and determine the correct diagnosis for a patient,” says Dr. Herbert Chase, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia, in an interview for the book.
Watson will also have the ability to develop personalized treatment options for every patient based on an individual’s DNA, medical history, blood type, etc. Dr. Eliot Siegel, professor and vice chair at Maryland’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology, explains it this way in the book, “Imagine a supercomputer that can not only store and collate patient data but also interpret records in a matter of seconds, analyze additional information and research from medical journals, and deliver possible diagnoses and treatments, with the probability of each outcome.”
And that’s just one future breakthrough. Abundance talks about dozens more, from robotic surgeons that never make mistakes, to robotic nurses, to harnessing the power of the mighty stem cell, there are so many new medical breakthroughs on the horizon that even the most pessimistic among us has to acknowledge that the future for humans, and longevity, looks very, very bright. Buy this book today to read about them all.
To order Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, call 1-800-544-4440 or order online Item # 33844, Retail price $26.99, Member price $20.24