Buckminster Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller

American Systems Theorist, Engineer, Architect, Futurist, Visionary, Designer and Author

Author Quotes

There’s a built-in resistance to letting humanity be a success. Each one claims that their system is the best one for coping with inadequacy. The systems running things claim that theirs is the right way to fix human inadequacy. So, if you claim that humans are adequate, you’re also saying that those systems aren’t necessary.

I decided man was operating on a fundamental fallacy: that he was supposed to be a failure. I decided that man was, in fact, designed to be an extraordinary success. His characteristics were magnificent.

We can now take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than anybody has ever known. It does not have to be “you or me,” so selfishness is unnecessary and war is obsolete. This has never been done before.

Very frequently I hear or read of my artifacts adjudged by critics as being "failures," because I did not get them into mass-production and "make money with them." Such money-making-as-criteria-of-success critics do not realize that money-making was never my goal. I learned very early and painfully that you have to decide at the outset whether you are trying to make money or to make sense, as they are mutually exclusive. I saw that nature has various categories of unique gestation lags between conception of something and its birth. In humans, conception to birth is nine months. In electronics, it is two years between inventive conception and industrialized production. In aeronautics, it is five years between invention and operating use. In automobiles, it is ten years between conception and mass-production. In railroading, the gestation is fifteen years. In big-city skyscraper construction, the gestational lag is twenty-five years. For instance, it was twenty-five years between the accidental falling of a steel bar into fresh cement and the practical use of steel-reinforced concrete in major buildings. Dependent on the size and situation, the period of gestation in the single-family residences varies between fifty and seventy-five years. Because of these lags, the earlier I could introduce the conception model, the earlier its birth could take place. I assumed that the birth into everyday life of the livingry artifacts whose working conceptual prototypes I was producing would be governed by those respective-category gestation lags. I assumed my livingry inventions' progressive adoptions by society would occur only in emergencies. I called this "emergence through emergency." For all of humanity to begin to break away from its conditioned reflexes regarding living facilities (home customs and styles), allowing them to be advantaged by my livingry artifacts, would take at minimum a half century to get underway. Since this was clearly a half-to-three-quarters of-a-century undertaking, I saw at the outset that I best not attempt it if I was not content to go along with nature's laws.

We have now scientifically and incontrovertibly found that there is ample to support all humanity. But humanity and its leaders have not yet learned so in sufficiently convincing degree to reorient world affairs in such a manner as to realize a sustainable high standard of living for all. There are three powerful obstacles to humanity's realization of its omni-physical success: 1. The technical means of its accomplishment exist altogether in the invisible realms of technology. 2. The experts are all too narrowly specialized in developing the invisible advance to envision the synergetic significance of integrating their own field's advances with other fields' invisible advances. 3. The utterly different, successful ways of metabolic accounting, dwelling, self-employing, cooperating, and enjoying life are unfamiliar and nonobvious.

What I hoped I had made clear in Critical Path is that the inherently half-century-long design science revolution phase of attainment of universal economic success has been successfully completed and now needs only the bloodless socioeconomic reorientation instead of the political revolution to exercise humanity's option to "make it" for all.

Who runs GRUNCH? Nobody knows. It controls all the world's banks. Even the muted Swiss banks. It does what its lawyers tell it to. It maintains technical legality, and is prepared to prove it. Its law firm is named Machiavelli, Machiavelli, Atoms & Oil. Some think the second Mach is a cover for Mafia.

With control of the "Free World" media, the colossus hopes to postpone world realization of the fact of U.S. bankruptcy for ten years. Those ten years constitute the time needed to complete their program of rearmament procurement through U.S. government machinery.

World Game: A grand-strategy program developing the design science of solving all problems with artifacts, invented by self or others, which take advantage of all scientific and technological development through studies of their effects on the total world's social and economic affairs as ascertainable from the Dymaxion SkyOcean World Map. A means of assessing the feasibility of realizing various initiatives in solving world problems. Invented, 1927; applied, 1928.

Synergetics: Exploration and publishing of the fourdimensional geometrical coordinate system employed by nature. (See Synergetics and Synergetics II [New York: Macmillan, 1975, 1979].) Discovered, 1927; published, 1944.

There is no historical record of religion founders who have been so bold as to assert that God had deeded land to anyone. History shows that religious leaders have, however, frequently complied with their king's instructions to plant a cross or other symbol of God's approval of their king's sword-accomplished vast lands seizure and ownership-claiming.

Tensegrity: The continuous-tension/discontinuous-compression structuring principle of Universe (i.e., stars not touching planets, electrons not touching their atomic nuclei) introduced to planet Earth to replace the continuously compressioned, secondarily tensioned structuring in present world-around engineering theory. Designed, 1929; prototyped, 1929.

Trends and Transformation Charts: These depict the total history of all the metallurgical, chemical, electromagnetic, structural, and mechanical trendings to greater performance per given amounts of given materials, time, and energy. A compendium of all the scenarios of science and technology's evoluting advances. Chronological chart of total history of scientific discoveries and technical inventions. Chronological chart of the mining of all metals and recirculation of the scrap of those metals. Chronological charts of all major industries' performances assessed in terms of per capita human use. These charts, begun in 1928; first published, 1937, at Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.; published in Nine Chains to the Moon, 1938; published in Fortune magazine's tenth anniversary issue, 1940. This issue of Fortune went into three printings and took Fortune from red- to black-ink status. It changed U.S.A. and world economic health assessment from a tonnage criteria to one based on energy consumption.

The awareness of the emergence of a new world society has been only intuitive, because it is actualized only by a superficial knowledge of the overall integrated effects of an almost entirely nonsensorially contacted invisible reality of electronics, chemistry, metallurgy, atomics, and astrophysics. The epochal events of humans landing on the Moon, satellite-relayed "instant" around-the-world information, and an exclusively direct Sun-powered, Paris-to London flight are altogether reorienting world-around humanity's intuitive thinking into the realization that we can now do so much with so little that we can indeed take care of everybody.

Triangular geodesic framing of ocean-sailing hulls: Invented, 1948; successfully demonstrated, I.O.R. racing sloop Imp, 1979.

The burgeoning growth of corporate America has outpaced all the antitrust efforts.

Twin-hull rowing and sailing devices: Invented, 1938; prototyped, 1954.

The Dymaxion House: The autonomous, mass-producible, air-deliverable dwelling machine weighing only 3 percent of its equivolumed and equipped, conventional counterpart, single-family dwelling. Designed, 1927; modeled, 1928; helicopter-delivered, 1954.

The Dymaxion Omnitransport (for land, air, water-surface, and submarine travel): The first full-scale working prototype stage of which was the Dymaxion car, produced to test the crosswind ground-taxiing behaviors of an omni-streamlined, ultimately to be twin-orientablejet-stilts-flown, wingless flying device, which would take off and land like an eagle or duck, without any prepared landing fields (similar in principle to the forty-yearslater descent and takeoff, multijet system of the Apollo Moon Landing craft). Designed, 1927; prototyped, 1933.

The financial-market world is now assuming that the U.S. government will soon reach a crisis point beyond which it will no longer be able to pay off either its short- or long-term obligations.

The Fog Gun: The pneumatic means of cleaning human body, dishes, clothing, etc., without plumbing's piped in water supply. Designed, 1927; prototyped, 1949.

The grunch of giants consists of the corporately interlocked owners of a vast invisible empire, which includes airwaves and satellites; plus a vast visible empire, which includes all the only eighteen-year-old and younger skyscraper cluster cities around the world, as well as the factories and research laboratories remotely ringing the old cities and all the Oriental industrial deployment, such as in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It controls the financial credit system of the noncommunist world together with all the financial means of initiating any world magnitude mass-production and -distribution ventures. By making pregraduation employment contracts with almost all promising university science students, it monopolizes all the special theoretical know-how to exploit its vast inventory of already acquired invisible know-how technology.

It is now far more risky to buy U.S. government securities than it is to buy shares in what once was risk capital's economic venture corporation shares.

The one-piece, 250-pound bathroom: Designed, 1928; prototyped, 1936; mass-produced in polyester fiberglass in West Germany, 1970.

Land "ownership" and its omni-dependent comprehensive thing-ownership involvements and their legaldocuments-perpetuations constitute the largest socioeconomic custom error presently being maintained by a large world affairs-affecting segment of humanity.

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Fuller, fully Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller
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American Systems Theorist, Engineer, Architect, Futurist, Visionary, Designer and Author