Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features wide-ranging, thought-provoking articles in English on any subject under the sun. Its objective is to present new, mind-changing ideas as well as to show to serious students of English how the various tools of the language can be felicitously harnessed to report a momentous or life-changing finding or event, to espouse or oppose an idea, or to express a deeply felt view about the world around us.

The outstanding English-language expositions to be featured here will mostly be presented through links to the websites that carry them. To put a particular work in better context, links to critiques, biographical sketches, and various other material about the author and his or her works will usually be also provided.

Hopeful antidote to the world’s increasingly dark pessimism

In a hopeful antidote to the world’s increasingly dark pessimism, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis has come up with Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think (Free Press, 386 pages), a book that persuasively argues that humanity will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet.


Co-written by award-winning science writer Steven Kotler, Abundance provides exhaustive and convincing documentation of how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other new technologies will enable humankind to make greater gains in the next two decades than it had in the previous two hundred years.

“We are not so naïve as to think that there won’t be bumps along the way,” Diamandis and Kotler explain in an interview about Abundance. “Some of those will be big bumps: economic melt-downs, natural disasters, terrorist attacks. During these times, the concept of abundance will seem far-off, alien, even nonsensical, but if history is our guide then progress continues through the good times and the bad… [T]here are likely to be plenty of rude, heartbreaking interruptions between here and there, [but] we do feel that with the proper application of resources and capital, global living standards can continue to improve regardless of the horrors that dominate the headlines.”

Says Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington in a review of the book: “At a moment when our world faces multiple crises and is awash in pessimism, Abundance redirects the conversation, spotlighting scientific innovators working to improve people’s lives around the world. The result is more than a portrait of brilliant minds—it’s a reminder of the infinite possibilities for doing good when we tap into our own empathy and wisdom.”

Read an interview of authors Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler about Abundance now!

Read Jon Gertner’s “Plenty to Go Around,” a review of Abundance, in The New York Times now!

Dr. Peter Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, which leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. He is also an international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the leading entrepreneurial companies in this sector including Zero Gravity Corporation, the Rocket Racing League and Space Adventures. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering, as well as Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D.

Steven Kotler is a bestselling author of nonfiction and an award-winning journalist. His articles have appeared in over 60 publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Discover, Popular Science, GQ, and National Geographic. He has a BA in English/creative writing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MA in creative writing from the John Hopkins University.

In “On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women,” an essay that came out in the March 30, 2012 issue of The New York Times, literary writer Meg Wolitzer bewails the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where books mostly written by men are prominently displayed and admired. “The truth is,” Wolitzer says, “women who write literary fiction frequently find themselves in an unjust world, even as young single women are outearning men in major American cities and higher education in the United States is skewing female.”

Read Meg Wolitzer’s “On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women” in The New York Times now!

In “Should Writers Reply to Reviewers?”, an essay that came out in the March 18, 2012 issue of The Chronicle Review, writer and book reviewer Arthur Crystal argues that authors shouldn’t take unfair reviews of their books lying down. He suggests that they should address the offending critic’s objections to their work intelligently and dispassionately. “[It] wouldn’t hurt to sound slightly unhinged, just to make the perp wary of running into you at a party or book signing,” he says. “Maybe if more reviewers felt they were dealing with a human being and not a bound galley, their own words might be a bit less brazen, a touch less supercilious next time out.”

Read Arthur Crystal’s “Should Writers Reply to Reviewers?” in The Chronicle Review now!

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