Category Archives: synergetics

R. Buckminster Fuller: Excerpt from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem. Our brains deal exclusively with special-case experiences. Only our minds are able to discover the generalized principles operating without exception in each and every special-experience case which if detected and mastered will give knowledgeable advantage in all instances. Because our spontaneous initiative has been frustrated, too often inadvertently, in earliest childhood we do not tend, customarily, to dare to think competently regarding our potentials. We find it socially easier to go on with our narrow, shortsighted specialization’s and leave it to others – primarily to the politicians – to find some way of resolving our common dilemmas. Countering that spontaneous grownup trend to narrowness I will do my, hopefully “childish,” best to confront as many of our problems as possible by employing the longest-distance thinking of which I am capable – though that may not take us very far into the future.

[See also: Buckminster Fuller Institute, Wikipedia, Buckminster Fuller Virtual Institute, Synergetics On the Web]

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