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Sjef van Gaalen (M)
Amsterdam, NL
Immortal since Dec 11, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 2

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    The Buckminster Fuller Reader
    Project: The Total Library

    If you haven't read any Buckminster Fuller, you need to get on it. I don't think you necessarily need to get your hands on this book in particular, although it does provide a good cross-section of his ideas. It would be a good idea if you're not familiar with him to sample a compilation of his writings, as the topics he attacks are quite broad, and any single paper or specialized book may give you a narrow view of his scope.

    His writing can be long-winded, complicated and tedious, but that comes with the territory as the concepts he has articulated during his lifetime are nothing short of world changing. It will take quite a bit of effort to get your head around what's going on at times but it's worth it.

    Apparently known mostly in architectural circles, Buckminster Fullers concept of 'comprehensive anticipatory design science' as aided through the exercise of 'total thinking' really should be spread to anyone who cares about our future as a species. The material discussed in this particular book includes but is not limited to;

    • The industrial equation, the tenets of its currently flawed implementation, and a direction for its optimal implementation. Primarily shifting the focus of industry from weaponry to 'livingry' as mans highest developed capability, providing an environment conducive to an enlightened world view in which advancement is accepted as inevitable.

    • Educational reform, the changes in thought processes that will need to be spread as common knowledge in order to enable to collectively envision our new direction.

    • Historical accounts, explanations of key developments in 20th century history that provide important insights as to how we got into the mess we're in now.

    • New systems of wealth, based on dynamic redirection of energy and knowledge, as opposed to the traditional stockpiling of static goods or a system underwritten by debt.

    All in all, what is proposed is a system for creating "An Energy Borne Commonwealth of Humanity". A way to break out of the 'them or us till death' mentality that currently still controls the motives of most of the earths inhabitants, a mindset that can be made history through education and technological reform applied through comprehensive design.

    Buckminster Fuller understood the problems caused by increasing speeds of communication and how traditional political and social structures (in particular the democratic process) were inadequately tooled to deal with this reality. While his ideas will need some polishing in order to be applied in our age, they are nonetheless as relevant now as they were at the time of their inception.

    Here are a few quotes from sections I highlighted while reading, which while weakened by being removed from their original content, and completely inadequate in illustrating his eloquence & vocabulary will hopefully still convey a taste of what more his work holds.

    "I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe."
    "Man creates naught. If he comprehends in principle, he rearranges locally in universe by realization of the interactions of priciples."
    "The most successful exploiters of the invention man, to date, are those who have bet on the supremacy of his ignorance and have, therefore, stressed the negative probabilities."
    "Science is obsucure only to cultivated momentum of ignorance."
    "It is indeed a comprehensive educational problem."

    Mon, Mar 17, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    rene     Tue, Mar 18, 2008  Permanent link
    Buckminster Fuller was a great maverick thinker and, like many architects, a rampant generalist whose inquiries were all over the map. An interesting way to get acquainted with Fuller is to watch his lecture series called Everything I Know, during which he spoke for 42 hours about the astonishing range of subjects that preoccupied his mind in the course of his life. Assuming the videos will load you can find his rambles here or search for other links. There are also transcripts and a different video session.

    Incidentally, it was Bucky who inspired SpaceCollective's ramble project (Epiphanies), which I hope will continue to attract more participants in the future. Anyone who just talks for a longer period in front of a camera, thinking out loud, is liable to stumble upon something interesting t say. If you run out of time or don't know how to edit your tape just send it to us the and we'll do it for you.
    Rourke     Tue, Mar 18, 2008  Permanent link
    Great post, thanks for the project submission!
         Tue, Mar 18, 2008  Permanent link
    I think that I might have found this page linked from this site but here's his "operating manual for spaceship earth" which is a very good read: 
    Michael Gaio     Thu, Sep 11, 2008  Permanent link
    Check out the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

    On topic, here is an interactive map I designed and developed with BFI and Harvard that uses the unique "Fuller Projection" (or "Dymaxion map") of the geographic globe to represent key information on the global environment in relation to human health.

    folkert     Thu, Sep 11, 2008  Permanent link
    Michael — enjoyed browsing that earthscope piece, well done. The Dymaxion map is great to bring up again as well.