The Accelerating World: Speed vs Control

 

The Accelerating World: Speed vs. Control is a 2016 book by French entrepreneur and author Emmanuel Cassimatis. It is composed of discussions and examples of the phenomenal hypergrowths that has been taking place in the world over the past five decades; with anecdotes and graphs, on seven fields: demography, economy, technology, data, environment, freedoms and health.

The book will take you through captivating anecdotes and data analysis in seven areas: Population, Economy, Technology, Data, Environment, Freedoms, and Health. From the implications of a world adding a billion more people every 12 years, to global GDP explosion [X10 in a century!], exponential computing capabilities, environmental use or what it means to live in a world of data and individual freedoms, The Accelerating World: Speed vs. Control will take you through some 100 graphical analysis with anecdotes on where the world is and where the acceleration is leading.

With a constructive mindset, various proposals are explored including global governance mechanisms to enable the world to cope and regain control of this acceleration.

SUMMARY:

In the twenty-first century, several seemingly unrelated mysterious events started to take place: sand is becoming rare; species are disappearing at unprecedented rates; palm oil consumption and diabetes are booming; people’s personal data are being repeatedly stolen and used; and urbanization and waste productions seemed to be growing exponentially. What is happening?

This book studies the exponential hypergrowth humans have been experiencing over the past five decades and the relationship between speed and control. It is indeed universally recognized that speed has benefits until to a point where control is lost. There are numerous examples, for instance, in physics, sports, biology, sociology, etc. Through anecdotes and data-oriented analysis, this book takes the reader through the study of surprising and seemingly unrelated events and then analyzes and asks questions about the recent superfast human development in seven areas: population, economy, technology, data & knowledge, environment, freedom & society, and finally health. Finally, directions for thoughts are suggested to ensure this hypergrowth is channeled in the right way and can further support future human developments.

Seven Areas:

The book is designed to be entertaining through anecdotes – as a book needs to be enjoyable; and filled with data – to offer interesting insights. Beyond surprising stories on why sand may be becoming rare, how fast urbanization sprawls, why and how digital data gets stolen or why diabetes is booming, this book addresses seven key areas:

1] Population: Population Hypergrowth vs. Growing Out of Control in a Confined Space

2] Economy: Free Market and Consumer Society vs. Wealth Inequalities and Overconcentration, Unreasoned Capitalism and the Cult of Cheap, Disposable Products

3] Technology: Mobile and Robotic Revolution vs. Uncontrolled Connectivity and Artificial Intelligence

4] Data: Digital Data Explosion and Just-in-Time Knowledge vs. Information Saturation, Loss of Security and Privacy and Specialization of Education and Job Markets

5] Environment: Ecosystem Use vs. Exhaustion of Resources, Energy Addiction and Waste

6] Freedoms: Hyperdemocracy and Faster Society vs. Individualism, Disinterest and Isolation

7] Health: Medtech Advances vs. Unequal Access, Drug Dependence and Identity Search

RECEPTION:

The book currently has a 5-star rating on Amazon coming from 6 reviewers.

Alex Bordoli said “This is a must-read from an up and coming author and technology enthusiast. Things are going so fast in the world today, and it takes a real expert narrator and technologist to make sense of things. Cassimatis does just that and more. He spins a fascinating narrative that ties together so many aspects of our world today and helps us interpret the results. The book is thorough, comprehensive, and full of non-stop analysis told in a fun and interesting way. I think everyone needs to read this.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Emmanuel Cassimatis is a technology enthusiast who has been an investor and an entrepreneur; and graduated with an MBA from Harvard. He co-founded an energy company called Egg-Energy and an Internet startup called Eglued both of which are acquired by other companies.

He currently works at an investment tech company and is the Founder and Chairman of an education NGO called Paper for All. He is also a visiting professor at several business schools such as Edhec and Essca business schools in France.

He was the main coordinator and the co-author for an Investment book in French [Tout Savoir Sur le Capital Investissement] published in France by the Gualino Editions.

We sat down with Emmanuel and talked about his book and his other projects. Here’s the transcript of the interview:

CP: How would you describe your book in one sentence?

Emmanuel: The book describes the exponential growth our world is experiencing and asks about its limits, what growth is a good growth, and if mechanisms can or need to be put in place to control this growth.

CP: Can you give us a brief background on why and how you came up with this book?

Emmanuel: Much research, book reading and exchanges, as well as what is in the news triggered the writing of this book.  From population growth, to inequalities, environmental use, politics or technology advances, our world seems to have a thirst for growth.  But towards what end – short term achievement?   How can the world create mechanims towards long term sustainability?  In the book is a proposal for a World Safeguard Organization, for thoughts and debates with global citizens.

CP: Is the book available in other languages too aside from English?

Emmanuel: No only in English

CP: Who or what are your influences to write this book?

Emmanuel: A lot of research / quantitative and qualitative (the book has over
100 graphs), and books read

CP: Which popular book is your book similar to?

Emmanuel: The style wants to anecdote oriented, like The Tipping Point from Malcolm Gladwell.  The analysis and figures gets it closer to books on the environment, geopolitics or economy.

CP: Can you tell us about the production of the book? The people you considered to work with, the planning that goes with it, challenges, interesting things that happened while writing, etc.

Emmanuel: Many people contributed to the writing of this book and I want to express my gratitude. Among them is a select group of 10 contributors. Many thanks to them above all.  Many discussions led to the writing of this book and I suggest to anybody to suggest the topic of the acceleration of the world in a colleague, friend or family reunion. The subject over and over draws strong reactions. It means that it needs to be discussed.

CP: Why will people enjoy reading the book?

Emmanuel: Anybody with an interest in the acceleration of our world and its implications. This is intended for a very large audience, from students to anybody wanting to thing about the implications of our growth and interested in population, economy, technology, data, health, politics, the environment.

CP: What other things do you wish to share to people who might be interested to read the book?

Emmanuel: The purpose of the book is to get ideas and go towards more debates on what our world is facing.  It seems it is time that much needed reflection and stronger leadership takes place at global level, for the good of our world.

CP: Do you have plans to write another book? If yes, can you share something about it?

Emmanuel: Writing this book took a year. At best, there could be a sequel but the hope is that other people will want to write books, exchange and give idea on these topics. In the book is a proposal for a Global Safeguard Organization.  It is hoped that select leaders will get together to talk about these topics.  Many organizations and groups exist around the topic but not in the simple yet effective form of a board for world safeguard, enlightened and able to make recommendations, with support from funding and the global population.

CP: Are you open to future book collaborations or other business opportunities? If yes, how can you be reached?

Emmanuel: Absolutely.  The world needs many people to come together towards the best proposals and outcomes.  The best way to reach me is on acceleratingworld [at] gmail [dot] com

*End of interview*

Support Emmanuel’s cause. Order the book here.

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