Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Bucky

Bucky Fuller was born on July 12, 1895. His ideas and inventions inspired the creation of this blog back in 2006. I am taking advantage of the anniversary of his birth to re-post that first blog as a reminder of that and as a tribute to all the others whom he has touched and empowered over the years. (GW)

Buckminster Fuller's insights inspired the creation of the Whole Earth Catalog
and an approach to technological development based on an understanding of Nature's design strategies . He is responsible for introducing concepts such as "whole systems," "comprehensive anticipatory design" and "synergy" into our vocabulary.

Hindsight will surely acknowledge him as the discoverer of no less than the elegant geometrical principles by which the Universe expands, DNA twists, snowflakes form and thoughts take shape.

Bucky's major work, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, was published in 1975. In his June 29th review of this astonishing book in the New York Times
G.B Hardison Jr., writes: "You grope for analogies. The Notebooks of Leonardo. The Opera of Paracelsus. Pascal's "Pensees."

Bucky's discovery of Nature's way of doing "more with less" was the result of a fifty-six year commitment he made to himself to "dare to speak and live and love the Truth." His passionate and selfless pursuit of the eternal verities of Universe were driven by feelings similar to those expressed by renowned biologist C.H. Waddington:

"Most people are beginning to feel that they must be thinking in some wrong way about how the world works. The ways of looking at things that we in the past have come to accept as common sense do not work under all circumstances, and it is very likely that we are reaching a period of history when they do not match the type of processes which are going on in the world at large."

"Evolution" Bucky reminded us, "is bound and determined to make humanity a success." He was convinced that collectively the human species possesses the know-how and resources to support all of humanity for generations to come at higher standards of living and individual freedom than any humans have thus far experienced without endangering or undermining the ecological integrity of Earth.

He also knew that this can not be achieved without fundamental changes in how we relate to one another and to the planet. In other words, nothing short of a revolution. His hope was that we would opt for the bloodless variety:

"The world teeters on the threshold of revolution." he warned. "If it is a bloody revolution, it is all over. The alternative is a design science revolution." Design science is capable of producing so much life support per unit of resource invested as to take care of all human needs in harmony with natural systems.

This is the basis upon which I,
an African American male,
could commit myself to the environmental movement. Bucky offered a perspective that underscored the point that environmental quality and economic equality were equally important goals that must be pursued in tandem.

The good news is that the design revolution as envisioned by Bucky is well underway. Less encouraging is the fact that it is not really being reported on or acknowledged by the mainstream media in ways that can inspire those who are interested to pursue peaceful change.

This blog will offer my perspective on how the revolution is unfolding and my attempts to convey the hope its progress represents for Spaceship Earth and all its passengers.

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Buckminster Fuller Estate or the Buckminster Fuller Institute. (GW)

The official site of the
Buckminster Fuller Institute can be found here.


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