Friday, November 22, 2019

More from Less (Andrew McAfee)

More from Less is a rather optimistic view of the 21st Century globally. Author Andrew McAfee chronicles how, despite challenges from climate change, environmental pollution and other man-influenced and man-made causes, parts of the world are showing signs of producing more by using less of the world’s resources. It’s a fair take and a reasonable argument to make, and McAfee provides a lot of charts and data to back up his assertions. 

McAfee’s message is both incredibly optimistic and also a bit muddled. Optimistic in the sense that he is a bit of a progress champion, saying technology and capitalism will continue to push us forward provided there’s reasonable government regulation in place. The message becomes muddled when he wanders into the weeds of some of the negative sides of globalization. While it makes sense to touch on these, some of his suggestions to address problems that are the side effect of globalization run counter to earlier arguments made within his book. Even within that inconsistency in message, however, his points on social capital are certainly worth further discussion. That, perhaps, could have been its own book.

More from Less on the whole makes a number of good points about how technology will help us use less of our natural resources in the coming decades. What could have been a stronger argument for innovation and progress, however, gets muddled in some inconsistency in message.