Jul 12

Buckminster Fuller — Futurist.

“Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies.”

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The quote above is from the 1969 book titled, Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects of Humanity, a book that by early 21st Century standards would likely be rather dull. However there are some little gems of wisdom within. I suspect, even forward thinking members of society, like “Bucky” Fuller, would be surprised at some of the recent advances in modern technology.

Buckminster Fuller, a 20th Century American architect, author of more than 30 books, inventor, futurist and philosopher. Perhaps best remembered for popularization of the term “Spaceship Earth” and the Geodesic dome. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he developed the intrinsic mathematics of the dome, thereby allowing prevalence of the idea — for which he received U.S. patent 2,682,235 — in June of 1954.

Futurists are scientists whose specialty is to attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular, or of life on earth in general.

Fuller had some interesting things to say on a wide selection of topics. For example, in a letter responding to a 10 year old lad who posed the question of whether Fuller was a doer or a thinker; The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then, you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.”

In the final interview prior to his passing in 1983, Fuller shared this very insightful bit of basic common sense; “The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet’s surface at that time. Everything else will follow.”

That makes sense to me…but what do I know?

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Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/buckminster-fuller-futurist/

2 comments

    • Vicky Zheng on July 12, 2014 at 11:14 am
    • Reply

    It’s a very good article which arose my interest to get to know Fuller himself and his stories.
    “The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet’s surface at that time. Everything else will follow.” -I think what he said is absolutely right! It’s very important and useful to teanch children the basic common sense. I am a person who has no sense of direction, sometimes I felt it’s so bad, so I will certainly teach them to my son. Thank you for show us the insightful basic common sense.

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed this article, Vicky. Fuller was a man ahead of his time, but nit lacking in common sense.

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