[PDF / Epub] ☆ Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth Author R. Buckminster Fuller – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 128 pages
  • Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
  • R. Buckminster Fuller
  • English
  • 04 September 2019
  • 089190235X

10 thoughts on “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

  1. says:

    It s not a perfect book, but it is a necessary one Essentially it s a compact antithesis to the specious philosophy of pseudo individualism that overwhelmingly prevails today Fuller definitely overextended and exaggerated a few generalizations about world history and specialization to make his theory about synergyunified, but I think part of the exaggeration also has to do with him having to present a very urgent and complex thesis in a short space of paper For example, I don t think Fu It s not a perfect book, but it is a necessary one Essentially it s a compact antithesis to the specious philosophy of pseudo individualism that overwhelmingly prevails today Fuller definitely overextended and exaggerated a few generalizations about world history and specialization to make his theory about synergyunified, but I think part of the exaggeration also has to do with him having to present a very urgent and complex thesis in a short space of paper For example, I don t think Fuller wants to throw specialization out the window completely I think he just wants to avoid us veering toward this absolutism where we re so nearsighted that we can t see the integrated effects of what we re doing What Fuller proposes rings faintly of Marxism but is actually the ultimate liberation ideology Selfish economy results in constrained, lose lose modes of achievement like empowerment, but consciousness of the interconnectedness of the universe results in win win liberation for everyone and extension of our productivity I don t agree with Fuller that resources are unlimited, but I do think this kind of structure would definitely increase what we re able to produce and how effectively it s distributed


  2. says:

    I came to this 1969 cult classic in the fervent hope that it might allow me, finally, to get modern environmentalism for which this is a seminal text.Part of my subsequent lack of enthusiasm is down to style There is no doubt that Buckminster Fuller was a genius of sorts at least as an engineer, planner and technologist but he writes like a speak your weight machine with a propensity for creating neologistic compound words that would put German philosophy to shame.Far from inspiring, I came to this 1969 cult classic in the fervent hope that it might allow me, finally, to get modern environmentalism for which this is a seminal text.Part of my subsequent lack of enthusiasm is down to style There is no doubt that Buckminster Fuller was a genius of sorts at least as an engineer, planner and technologist but he writes like a speak your weight machine with a propensity for creating neologistic compound words that would put German philosophy to shame.Far from inspiring, the man just cannot write imaginative prose and yet his subject cries out for imagination I am sure that he says precisely what he means but it is next to impossible to sustain an interest while being hectored by a person, no doubt kindly in intention in his way, who is egotistical to the nth degree a speech talker , as my daughter would term such types.Still, great thoughts are only made easier, no , by great language skills There are many prose poets whose ideas can be distilled down to mere mystical garbage when the beauty of the formulation has passed from one ear and out of the other Sadly, his are not such great thoughts either instead we get a self assured, somewhat egotistical, reasoning that patronises the reader in a step by step and apparently logical approach that blinds us with pseudo science If persons were just units of existence with blank slates for minds, he might conceivably have a point But we are not and so he does not.Buckminster Fuller is a sort of monster despite all his fine aspirations for humanity He is so, in part, because he sees us all not truly as intrinsically flawed individuals which we are and which makes us who we are at our best but as units of existence who can be made nobler by planners He is a planner and we are the crooked timber that must be used to fulfil the plan for our own good.Where have we heard such sentiments before Why, from pretty well every great Western ideologue and thinker whose ego has extended itself to encompass the known human universe.Far from being ready to consider deep globalist environmentalism as opposed to human centred localist environmentalism as a reasonable possibility for humanity, Buckminster Fuller has converted me into its sworn enemy I now know, if there are others like him within the contemporary environmentalist movement for we can see his influence in the Zeitgeist Movement and in the eco hysteria surrounding the circle of Al Gore , that, when we ordinary humans fail to meet the needs of the Plan, whatever his personal benignity, his heirs will make old Joe Stalin look like a pussy cat as they enforce their will on a global scale always in the interests of us and of humanity, of course.If you are the sort of personality who would have loved dear old Karl Marx before 36, then you ll just love Buckminster Fuller today This philosophical primitivism is a shame because there is a great deal of merit in his analysis of capitalism even if he seems loathe to be direct about his primary enemy lest he get accused of being a fellow traveller with the equally flawed communist alternative that had divided up the world with Washington while he wrote.He gets close to a truth in his myth of the Great Pirates the one entertaining and worthwhile section of what is otherwise a monument to the turgid but it is still not the truth The tale of the Great Pirates is a sound enough mythic critique of what we have inherited as of 1969 but it is about as historically plausible as pretty well every other evangelical motivating myth that has come out of the Anglo Saxon imperium, from those of the Mormons and Madame Blavatsky to those of Margaret Murray and L Ron Hubbbard The history in this book is mostly just simplistic nonsense that seems to depend on the reading of a few geostrategists and very little experience of practical politics, the sort of simplistic populism, mixed with technocracy, that is standard fare when a certain type of engineer tries to make sense of human complexity and builds societies as he might build bridges Old political activists will know that the heart sinks when an engineer or scientist tries to apply engineering or scientific principles to knotty political problems He does make us think, to his credit, about excessive cultural specialisation and about what wealth actually means to humanity On the latter, he adopts an American populist approach that is analytically correct even if it may not be pragmatically meaningful, given where we are today He has also done us a service in suggesting that we are going to besocially productive and creative if we are givenfreedom to think at leisure The science of daydreaming suggests that our mind does benefit from idling.And he did the West a great service by joining those who pointed out the effects of pollution within the capitalist world long before it was forced to the notice of Soviet planners by their bullied dissidents Failure to consider polluting effects was undoubtedly a major contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union and the discrediting of its Communist model Buckminster Fuller s dissident voice helped the West adjusteffectively to the threat of environmental degradation.Finally, the analysis of the way that wealth is easily created in war but not in peace is a criticism that stands today of how sovereign piratical states have served the interests of their historically continuous institutions faroften than they have of their peoples.Buckminster Fuller s somewhat stylistically suppressed righteous anger at global inequity, imperialism, elite corruption, planetary dispoliation and inefficiency leads him to some wise analytical conclusions but not to equally wise solutions.The Spaceship Earth concept is, of course, seductive, like those of Gaia or the Clash of Civilisations or the End of History, but such book selling catch phrases are either so general as to have no meaning for humanity unless you remove humanity from the equation altogether or are grossly simplistic when it comes to trying to decide what humanity which really means individual persons in societies and not some essentialist reified thing with one hive mind is to do next.The truism in Spaceship Earth which we must accept is that, as a species, we sink or swim with the planet If it dies, we die end of story But there is one heck of a leap from that simple and true proposition to the determination for a planned world government of happy free people living in leisure guided by philosopher kings like our dear Buckminster Fuller.Self appointed Platonic Guardians have not had a great record in the humanity stakes The Buckmister Fullerenes are unlikely to be much better if they actually get their hands on any directive power I am, for example, not an Earthian but a person who happens to live on Earth So are you As for his faith in computers and automation, this is a belief and nothingA sort of instinctive scientific progressivism that over estimates what computers can do to model our universe and underestimates the logic of an AI displacing us as soon as it can model it better than us In the end, one fears that this brave new world and we are reminded of Huxley here requires the behavioural normalisation of humanity on a mass scale in order to ensure that the computers can cope with the variables His advocacy of synergy and general systems theory reminds one of nothing less than the contemporaneous Rand Corporation, the cold calculations of Hermann Kahn and the vicious number crunching of the latterly contrite Robert McNamara as he judged the success of a war by the body bags This is the world of American technocrats at the height of the Cold War and it is salutary to remember that the US lost the Vietnam War and that central planning ruined the Soviet Union just as it would no doubt eventually ruin the planet.On top of this, there is in the introduction to the book by his grandson all the barely concealed hysteria that drives an environmental enthusiasm that seems to owe as much to a peculiarly charismatic frame of mind in American small town populism as it does to genuine scientific endeavour This is a text that believers may love but that the rest of us should questioncritically and ask how or why an engineer, who experimented with sleep patterns for himself and then was puzzled that his colleagues could not keep up, can or should have anything to say about the workings of the human soul.Buckminster Fuller s genius lay in the observation, management and manipulation of matter and he should not have strayed from that territory


  3. says:

    I d be lying if I said I understood much of this book a lot of it simply went over my head, a fault of either the writing style or my own ignorance I ll have to re read it one of these days.What I did understand, though, I agreeoften than not.


  4. says:

    This is a classic, published in 1969, first read by me back in 1970 or 1971, when we thought we would soon experience either the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius or, alternately, the Eve of Destruction Definitely Utopian, still visionary, and in some ways quite wrong, Fuller makes interesting reading even now, 40 years later and 26 years after his death in 1983 One important area in which Fuller has turned out to have been wrong was his prediction that global population would stabilize at the th This is a classic, published in 1969, first read by me back in 1970 or 1971, when we thought we would soon experience either the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius or, alternately, the Eve of Destruction Definitely Utopian, still visionary, and in some ways quite wrong, Fuller makes interesting reading even now, 40 years later and 26 years after his death in 1983 One important area in which Fuller has turned out to have been wrong was his prediction that global population would stabilize at the then current 4 billion thanks to world wide industrialization, which he expected to be complete by 1985 Now almost 7 billion, world population has nearly doubled since he wrote this book and has not yet even peaked.Another issue that Fuller wasn t exactly wrong about, but that he didn t take fully into account, is that of waste for example, what to do with all the plastic, such as the Texas sized mat now floating out in the middle of the Pacific ocean, or nuclear waste though it must be said that he categorized atoms similarly to fossil fuels as non renewable capital, to be used only sparingly and then only for start up purposes He doesn t mention climate change or global warming except by implication i.e., if we don t smarten up soon, we will use up or destroy our life support and enhancement system on this planet However, Fuller placed great faith in human evolution proceeding in such a way as to result in a favorable outcome for humans on this planet What has saved us in the past, he said, is our built in by evolution trial and error approach in conjunction with a bank account of energy resources Meaning, we have evolved in such a way as to enjoy enough breathing space to be able to make errors and then adjust our behavior accordingly and progress Some of his prognostications seem uncannily prescient considering the world s current economic crises, for example The constantly put off or undermet costs and society s official bumbling of them clearly prove that man does not know at present what wealth is nor how much of whatever it may be is progressively available to him, and The wisest humans recognized in 1810 only one three hundredth of 1 per cent of the immediately thereafter proven value of the United States share of the world s wealth generating potentials Of course, those wisest of men of the times would have seen little they could afford to do R Buckminster Fuller is still well worth reading, if only to ponder his definitions of democracy and wealth Semi democracy accepts the dictatorship of a majority in establishing its arbitrary, ergo, unnatural, laws True democracy discovers by patient experiment and unanimous acknowledgment what the laws of nature or universe may be for the physical support and metaphysical satisfaction of the human intellect s function in universe .Wealth is our organized capability to cope effectively with the environment in sustaining our healthy regeneration and decreasing both the physical and metaphysical restrictions of the forward days of our lives


  5. says:

    One of Cambridge Sustainability s Top 50 Books for Sustainability, as voted for by our alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world To find out , click here.Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a fascinating combination of Fuller s deep scientific grounding and his philosophical and metaphysical way of looking at the world The main thesis of the book is that humanity has been too shortsighted and siloed in its thinking and, as a result, we have lost the ability to s One of Cambridge Sustainability s Top 50 Books for Sustainability, as voted for by our alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world To find out , click here.Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a fascinating combination of Fuller s deep scientific grounding and his philosophical and metaphysical way of looking at the world The main thesis of the book is that humanity has been too shortsighted and siloed in its thinking and, as a result, we have lost the ability to see the whole system, the big picture He argues that this is the main cause of our impending ecological crisis


  6. says:

    World economics have been based on false values as all the gold in the world cannot possibly help to sustain life on our planet Acclaimed author inventor architect Buckminster Fuller reviews the irreducible facts of physics, the fallacy of governments, and an introduction to systems theory.


  7. says:

    A regret of youth which may be remediated is that I read so little of Buckminster Fuller Indeed, this is likely the only complete book of his I finished as a kid and it wasn t even my copy A friend loaned it to me one night at the Cogswell Dance Studio in Park Ridge which, for a while, served as an informal youth center for the disaffected youth of our community.


  8. says:

    I really wanted to like this book But I found that Bucky s arguments were let down by his style of writing He has lots of clever, relevant points but they re drowned out in his weird, comprehensive perspective where he keeps going on about universe in a way that seems completely irrelevant to the operating issues at hand.It is a fascinating document, considering it was written in 1968 and doesn t seem that dated I would have liked a little less background and a lotfocus on the actual I really wanted to like this book But I found that Bucky s arguments were let down by his style of writing He has lots of clever, relevant points but they re drowned out in his weird, comprehensive perspective where he keeps going on about universe in a way that seems completely irrelevant to the operating issues at hand.It is a fascinating document, considering it was written in 1968 and doesn t seem that dated I would have liked a little less background and a lotfocus on the actual operating manual aspect, which he only touches upon in the last chapter with a whole lot of hand waving I guess he was better at lecturing in person


  9. says:

    Although it s not a manual it points to the real manual yourself The book is clearly a manifest of world centric perspective showing the need to not exploit the planet but rather value it and play By valuing the planet we also value ourselves The books reminds us that our biggest strength is to understand and therefore find a adequate response instead of reacting compulsively to events.


  10. says:

    Buckminster Fuller is one of those people up there with Nikola Tesla who fascinate me a technical visionary with an interest in reframing big world systems who is famous despite not fitting cleaning into the current system or the elite s political interests.I ve tried to read a few books of his but never finished any before this shorter one I d highly recommend reading this one if you feel similar to me as it is easier to get through and shorter at 115 smaller pages.The takeaways for me from Buckminster Fuller is one of those people up there with Nikola Tesla who fascinate me a technical visionary with an interest in reframing big world systems who is famous despite not fitting cleaning into the current system or the elite s political interests.I ve tried to read a few books of his but never finished any before this shorter one I d highly recommend reading this one if you feel similar to me as it is easier to get through and shorter at 115 smaller pages.The takeaways for me from this book are the following Fuller believes national sovereignty is antithetical to the type of progress we need and a global system or a World Man mentality is needed Fuller makes an interesting but strange argument that seafaring great pirates actually controlled many countries in the past, and that their corruption and development of specialization led to their downfall He makes an interesting argument overall about specialization and how biologically several researchers shows it leads to extinction He wrote this book in 1969, claiming that the next 25 years were a critical time to stop a series of identity specialization beliefs like what nationality am I What religion He writes By the 21st century it will either have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti evolutionary or men will no longer be living on Earth He believed in 1969 we could solve poverty easily without nationalism Science now finds there can be amble for all, but only if the sovereign fences are completely removed The basic you or me not enough for both ergo, someone must die tenants of the class warfaring are extinct He has some interesting ideas on how with computers we should all be free from needing to specialize, calling them superspecializers or something like this.The book gets a little weird in the middle section and I could see a case to be made to skip to chapter 8 if you get bored in there There he has a really fun metaphor about us being a spaceship as a planet and nations being different parts Paradoxically, at the present moment our Spaceship Earth is in the perilous condition of having the Russians sitting at one set of the co pilot s flying controls while the Americans sit at the other France controls the starboard engines, and the Chinese control the port engines, while the United Nations controls the passenger operation The result is an increasing number of U.F.O hallucinations of sovereign states darting backwards and forwards and around in circles, getting nowhere, at an incredibly accelerating rate of speed Whether or not you buy this, the parallels to today with US China is interesting and the metaphor is fun.Maybe my favorite quote of all from the entire book is on page 107 He talks about how if someone is fired they should be given a life long research scholarship and the fear of automation Our labor world and all salaried workers are now at least subsconsiously if not consiously, afraid that automation will take away their jobs They are afraid they won t be able to do what is called earning a living, which is short for earning the right to live Wow They are afraid they won t be able to do what is called earning a living, which is short for earning a right to live This quote really hits home with me as being true today and very sad.There s a lotin the book, and as I mentioned Fuller is a little hard to read sometimes so if you enjoy this book skip parts and get to some of the interesting ideas he posits that still seem true today


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Operating Manual for Spaceship EarthIn This Essay On Man Mr Fuller Expresses What May Well Be His Penultimate View Of The Human Condition Here, In A Mood At Once Philosophical And Involved, Mr Fuller Traces Man S Intellectual Evolution And Weighs His Capability For Survival On This Magnificent Craft, This Spaceship Earth, This Superbly Designed Sphere Of Almost Negligible Dimension In The Great Vastness Of SpaceMr Fuller Is Optimistic That Man Will Survive And, Through Research And Development And Increased Industrialization, Generate Wealth So Rapidly That He Can Do Very Great Things But, He Notes, There Must Be An Enormous Educational Task Successfully Accomplished Right Now To Convert Man S Tendency Toward Oblivion Into A Realization Of His Potential, To A Universe Exploring Advantage From This Spaceship EarthIt Has Been Noted That Mr Fuller Spins Ideas In Clusters, And Clusters Of His Ideas Generate Still Other Clusters The Concept Spaceship Earth Is Mr Fuller S, And Though Used By Barbara Ward As The Title Of A Work Of Her Own The Idea Was Acknowledged By Her There As Deriving From Mr Fuller The Brilliant Syntheses Of Some Fundamental Fuller Principles Given Here Makes Of This Book A Microcosm Of The Fuller System


About the Author: R. Buckminster Fuller

Richard Buckminster Bucky Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor.Fuller publishedthan 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as Spaceship Earth , ephemeralization, and synergetic He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their structural and mathematical resemblance to geodesic spheres.Buckminster Fuller was the second president of Mensa from 1974 to 1983.