Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler is an interesting look at the future brought to us by the founder of the 'X Prize.' It does provide some reasons for some optimism, though some of the stuff these guys think of as a future of abundance seems pretty scary to me. No worries about costly elder care - soon robots costing no more than a thousand dollars will be able to do it.
There are some matters of abundance that are here and now and we are not always tuned in to this kind of integration of abundance into our culture as it unfolds. Here is an interesting quote:
"Twenty years ago, most well-off US citizens owned a camera, a video camera, a CD player, a stereo, a video game console, a cell phone, a watch, an alarm clock, a set of encyclopedias, a world atlas, a street guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $10,000. All of which come standard on today's smart phones, or are available for puchase at the app store for less than a cup of coffee. In this, our exponentially enabled world, that's how quickly $10,000 of expenses can vanish."
There are certainly a lot of things that no longer need to take up space in our lives. What will you do with the extra 10k? What will you do with the extra space? I got rid of my albums 25 years ago and my CDs 5 years ago. I refuse to give up books. We never replaced our broken vcr and dvd players. No need.
There is a lot more implied by this. Research from Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman indicates that Americans have increasing levels of happiness with increasing incomes up to 75k/year and then additional money has no impact on a sense of well-being.
What makes a life well-balanced?
It is the art of construction.