Buckminster Fuller

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pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

“That is why we must, to use them at all, serve these objects, these extensions of ourselves, as gods or minor religions” (46). 25. And in that sense, Fuller’s public persona fit well within what Peter Braunstein has called a “culture of rejuvenation” in the 1960s. See Braunstein, “Forever Young.” [ 270 ] N o t e s t o Pa g e s 5 5 _ 7 2 26. Fuller quoted in Fuller and Snyder, R. Buckminster Fuller, 12. 27. Emerson quoted in Kenner, Bucky, 149 –50. 28. Fuller, Ideas and Integrities, 35 – 43. 29. Ibid., 173. 30. Ibid., 176. 31. Ibid., 63. 32. Brand, “Buckminster Fuller,” 3, 249. 33. Fuller quoted in Fuller and Snyder, R. Buckminster Fuller, 38. By the early 1960s, Fuller was traveling more than two-thirds of every year. Kenner, Bucky, 290. 34. Brand, “Notebooks,” April 21, 1963, quotation in October 9, 1964 entry. For a rich analysis of the role played by Native American symbolism in the counterculture, see Deloria, Playing Indian. 35.

All quotations from materials in the Whole Earth Catalog Records appear courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries. “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, © 1968 by Richard Brautigan, has been reprinted with the permission of Sarah Lazin Books. Portions of chapter 2 have been adapted from “Buckminster Fuller: A Technocrat for the Counterculture,” in New Views on R. Buckminster Fuller, edited by Hsiao-Yun Chu and Roberto Trujillo, © 2006 Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Jr. University, forthcoming from Stanford University Press, used by permission. Parts of chapters 4 and 8 have been drawn from “How Digital Technology Found Utopian Ideology: Lessons from the First Hackers’ Conference,” in Critical Cyberculture Studies: Current Terrains, Future Directions, edited by David Silver and Adrienne Massanari (New York University Press, forthcoming), and are used by permission.

Finally, if the bureaucracies of industry and government demanded that men and women become psychologically fragmented specialists, the technology-induced experience of togetherness would allow them to become both self-sufficient and whole once again. For this wing of the counterculture, the technological and intellectual output of American research culture held enormous appeal. Although they rejected the military-industrial complex as a whole, as well as the political process that brought it into being, hippies from Manhattan to HaightAshbury read Norbert Wiener, Buckminster Fuller, and Marshall McLuhan. Introduction [ 5 ] Through their writings, young Americans encountered a cybernetic vision of the world, one in which material reality could be imagined as an information system. To a generation that had grown up in a world beset by massive armies and by the threat of nuclear holocaust, the cybernetic notion of the globe as a single, interlinked pattern of information was deeply comforting: in the invisible play of information, many thought they could see the possibility of global harmony.


pages: 299 words: 19,560

Utopias: A Brief History From Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities by Howard P. Segal

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1960s counterculture, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, complexity theory, David Brooks, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, deskilling, energy security, European colonialism, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Nicholas Carr, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban planning, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

See my review in Technology and Culture, 28 (July 1987), 697–698 of R. Buckminster Fuller, Inventions: The Patented Works of Buckminster Fuller (New York: St. Martin’s, 1983) and James Ward, ed., The Artifacts of Buckminster Fuller: A Comprehensive Collection of His Designs and Drawings, 4 vols. (New York: Garland, 1985). Both were posthumous publications. The large literature on Buckminster Fuller includes Amy C. Edmondson, A Fuller Explanation: The Synergetic Geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller (Boston: Birkh€auser, 1987); Martin Pawley, Buckminster Fuller (New York: Taplinger, 1990); Robert R. Potter, Buckminster Fuller (Englewood Cliffs: Silver Burdett, 1990); J. Baldwin, Bucky Works: Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today (New York: John Wiley, 1996); Lloyd Steven Sieden, Buckminster Fuller’s Universe (Cambridge: Perseus, 2000); Thomas T.

Baldwin, Bucky Works: Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today (New York: John Wiley, 1996); Lloyd Steven Sieden, Buckminster Fuller’s Universe (Cambridge: Perseus, 2000); Thomas T. K. Zung, ed., Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millennium (New York: St. Martin’s, 2001); and Michael John Gorman, Buckminster Fuller: Designing for Mobility (New York: Rizzoli, 2005). See Lyman Tower Sargent, Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 81–85, for a good summary of these recent developments. The foremost history of the kibbutz is Henry Near, The Kibbutz Movement: A History, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992; London: Vallentine Mitchell, 1997). The first volume is subtitled Origins and Growth, 1909–1939; the second, Crisis and Achievement, 1939–1995. Daniel Gavron, The Kibbutz: Awakening From Utopia (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), 4. This is a very good introduction to the topic. Further studies of the kibbutzim include Yonina Talmon, Family and Community in the Kibbutz (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972); Melford E.

In 2008 and 2009 two major museums, New York’s Whitney and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, successively exhibited “Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe.” This was the first major retrospective on Fuller since his death in 1983 and, like the New York Public Library exhibit, bespoke a more mature acknowledgment of the continued importance of utopianism, which, in this case, combined utopian writings, structures, and communities.20 In 1968 architectural critic Allan Temko published a provocative essay in Horizon magazine entitled “Which Guide to the Promised Land? Fuller or Mumford?” Without taking sides, Temko insightfully compared the differing visions of contemporaries Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) and Lewis Mumford (1895–1990), both then at the height of their power and influence. Despite their vastly differing viewpoints, each had become a hero to younger audiences: Mumford because of his increasingly hostile analyses of modern technological advance gone awry, as in the Vietnam War; Fuller because of his steadily more optimistic views of contemporary technology’s potential to transform the world and to create new communities.21 The exhibit provided a remarkably rich perspective.


From Satori to Silicon Valley: San Francisco and the American Counterculture by Theodore Roszak

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Buckminster Fuller, germ theory of disease, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet Archive, Marshall McLuhan, megastructure, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, Silicon Valley, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog

for Hackers by Steven Levy, copyright 1984. PRAEGER PUBLISHERS Society, edited for quote by Bill Voyd from Shelter and by Paul Oliver, copyright 1969. SAN FRANCISCO FOCUS MAGAZINE view with Stewart Brand in the for quotes from an inter- February 1985 issue. SAN FRANCISCO ORACLE for quotes from issues #6, 1967, and #12, 1967. Reprinted with permission of Allan Cohen, Editor. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS for Buckminster Fuller, An Autobiographical Monologue!Scenario by Robert Snyder, copyright 1970. ST. MARTIN'S PRESS copyright 1978. for Children of Prosperity by Hugh Gardner, The Times They Are A-Changing A shortened version of this essay was presented at San Francisco State University Alvin Fine Lecture. 1985 as the in April A few weeks before the event, student in the Public Affairs Office called arrange some campus publicity.

It 17 seemed to be saying that ingenuity deserved to be celebrated - from the stone axe and American Indian medicine to all human modern Clearly, electronics. so in saying, the Catalog spoke for an audience that wanted to see things that way. Or rather, the voices that could do that job. which it Catalog found the And of all the voices to gave a forum, none was to become more prominent than Buckminster Fuller, the formed a generation that it spaceship called Planet Earth, and write its who presumed to "operating manual" Now, Buckminster career. man who in- was already on board a Fuller had a long, long His prefabricated Dymaxion House of the late twenties (also called "the four dimensional liv- ing machine") dates back to the grandparents of the countercultural ward, his generation. story life From that point went through many ups and downs; but there can be no question (when Fuller was in his seventies) Not only did he make the magazine (in that the sixties were his zenith.

for- Thanks to that 18 him to the at San Bay Area appearance and subse- him quently to the prominence Stewart Brand gave in the Whole Earth Catalog, was launched on and most spectacular phase of the final On Fuller his career. the first page of the Catalog, the full corpus of Fuller's works was generously presented under the inscription: "the insights of itiated this catalog." became From Buckminster Fuller in- that point forward, Fuller the necessary presence at New Age confer- ences, symposia, and workshops: a sort of peripatetic global wizard audience down who might tie his awe-inspired for four or five hours at a stretch while he recited the history of the universe. What was it that made this odd figure so remarkably influential in countercultural circles? In part, it may have been which appealed elders had to young people and finding so to do with his grandfatherly persona, his in search of few.


pages: 394 words: 108,215

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Combining his Midwestern roots with a Merry Prankster sense of cosmic adventure, Brand would create in 1968 an irresistible format in the first Whole Earth Catalog. A compendium of stuff patterned after the Sears and L. L. Bean mail-order catalogs crossed with Consumer Reports, the catalog struck a deep nerve that transcended the counterculture. Brand had come upon the idea of a “Whole Earth” two years earlier, after hearing a lecture by Buckminster Fuller. One day in North Beach, he had been sitting huddled in a blanket on the roof of his three-story apartment building looking out over the city. Having taken “a few mikes of LSD,”2 Brand was suddenly struck by the fact that the city’s buildings were not laid out in perfect parallel lines. It seemed to him that, since the surface of the earth was curved, they actually must diverge just slightly.

Although it resembled mainstream catalogs in many respects, it differed in a manner that struck right at a dualism that Brand himself would coin years later: that strange quality about information that was both easy and freely shareable and immensely valuable. “Information wants to be free,” he said, and then he added in typical Brandian fashion, “and it wants to be very expensive.” The first Whole Earth Catalog was a full-on tour of the counterculture, a hodgepodge of product descriptions, advice, commentary, and quirky features laid out in a seemingly haphazard fashion, beginning with Buckminster Fuller and ending with the I Ching; it became an instant bible and a serendipitous tool for finding interesting stuff. In doing so, it also helped a scattered community that was in the process of defining itself find an identity. “We are as gods and we might as well get used to it.” Brand’s introduction began with a phrase borrowed from British anthropologist Edmund Leach that is often remembered and quoted.

Evans decided that he would become the interface between the super-straight world of information technology, SRI, and the wild and free world of the embryonic alternative society that was blossoming on the Peninsula.11 He felt that a lot of the ideas about community that Brand was exploring and the ideas that Engelbart had about a “bootstrapped community” were on the same continuum, and so he started to actively encourage a dialogue between the two worlds. Engelbart, he believed, had a receptive mind. In 1969, at Evans’s urging, Engelbart took a small group of Augment researchers to visit a commune known as Lama that had been started by Steve Durkee and Steve Baer in the mountains north of Taos, New Mexico. Baer was a disciple of Buckminster Fuller and the creator of a novel type of domelike building called a “zome.” Durkee was an artist who was Brand’s former roommate and mentor/guru. As hard as Evans tried to bridge the gap, he ended up increasing the stress on Engelbart, who in principle was open to new ideas but who was increasingly obsessing over losing control of his group. Evans continued in his quest and in doing so became one of the main players in organizing the Paradam Conference, an event held on a farm near Santa Barbara the weekend after the Woodstock music festival.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

There has long been a split in the literature on gaming between narratologists, who emphasize the “stories” that video games generate, and the ludologists, who concentrate on game play as primary. See Ian Bogost, Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), 68. 26 . The sixth chapter of R. Buckminster Fuller’s Critical Path (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981) is devoted to the world game, and the Buckminster Fuller Institute maintains a page on its cite with numerous resources, available at <http://www.bfi.org/our_programs/who_is_buckminster_fuller/design_science/ world_game>. CHAPTER 4: WEB n.0 1. See <http://flickr.com>; <http://www.del.icio.us>. The term was coined by Thomas Vander Wal. See Daniel H. Pink, “Folksonomy,” New York Times Sunday Magazine, December 11, 2005, available at <http://www.nytimes. com/2005/12/11/magazine/11ideas1-21.html?

In the context of the assertions offered in the rest of this book, however, I would say that the pressing issue is whether individual games or games as systems can accrete in such a way as to create 72 UNIMODERNISM what one could call ludic stickiness. One game that was indeed sticky involved players running around a huge and unconventional map of the world, working together to deploy resources and innovative technology to make not just their team but rather the whole globe a better place. More than a generation ago, the polymath futurist and designer R. Buckminster Fuller (of geodesic dome fame) proposed this multiplayer “design science process for arriving at economic, technological and social insights pertinent to humanity’s future envolvement [sic, a signature Fuller neologism] aboard our planet Earth.” Originally called the “great logistics game” and then the “world peace game,” it was best known simply as the “World Game.” Inspired in part by the war gaming that planners engaged in to prepare for the hot battlefields of World War II and the colder, yet protracted conflicts with the Soviet Union that followed, the World Game was a revamping of these strategies to think about how best to use resources to ensure planetary happiness.


The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

However, advancements in computing and visualization technologies over the past five decades have made it possible to realize the original purpose of the Expo ’67 pavilion. The nonprofit Buckminster Fuller Institute, which is dedicated to finding innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems, wants to use the fiftieth anniversary of Expo ’67 as an impetus to finally fully realize Fuller’s dream of creating a control room for Spaceship Earth. By renovating and incorporating modern technology into the fifty-year-old geodesic dome, which is currently the Biosphère Environmental Museum, it hopes to create a global hub for collaborative international problem solving. This tool would be made completely open to all, so that it can be of value to society as a whole. As a result, according to Elizabeth Thompson, executive director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, “planetary planning could be truly democratized, and changing the course of Spaceship Earth can become a cooperative human effort, rather than a task relegated to policy makers.”

There is no reason a citizens’ group, nongovernment organization, or social enterprise should go it alone. The establishment of this Unity Node would allow us to create “dashboards of Earth,” or a control room for Spaceship Earth, where critical data affecting our global society could be presented in an actionable way. The idea of creating this type of information system is not new. In the 1960s, renowned inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller popularized the term “Spaceship Earth,” and he devoted his life to identifying and communicating the interconnections between economic, social, and environmental systems to improve life on our planet. Long before environmental stewardship was prevalent in society, Fuller addressed the reality of our interconnectedness and the synergy that could be produced by working together to find ways to stop wasting the planet’s natural resources.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

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3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

He died in 1996 at the age of 83 having published 1,475 academic papers, of which many were monumental and all substantial Tellingly, when people stopped doing mathematics he said they “had died”. When they died he said they “had left”. This unusual use of language reveals something about the way he approached the world and its problems. Of them all, by far the most telling is: “My brain is open”. Buckminster Fuller was one of the great creative forces of his time. He invented the geodesic dome, the term Spaceship Earth, and was President of Mensa He urged people to be more precise in the way they spoke about things so that they could think more effectively. “I suggest to audiences that they say, ‘I’m going “outstairs” and “instairs”.’ At first that sounds strange to them; they all laugh about it. But if they try saying in and out for a few days in fun, they find themselves beginning to realise that they are indeed going inward and outward in respect to the center of Earth, which is our Spaceship Earth.

But if they try saying in and out for a few days in fun, they find themselves beginning to realise that they are indeed going inward and outward in respect to the center of Earth, which is our Spaceship Earth. And for the first time they begin to feel real ‘reality’.” As you know, it didn’t catch on. But it demonstrates the fierce independence of thought that gave him the ability to see and think differently. Paul Erdos and Buckminster Fuller perceived the world differently and so they used different words to label everyday activities and this in turn helped them approach problems and opportunity differently. Now, if you apply such different thinking to the fast-growing entrepreneurial business in the world we live in right now you might get “The Offer”. Zappos, the disruptive, fast-growing online shoe company doesn’t conform to much.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

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Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

“A Conversation with Daniel Pink,” Information Outlook (November 2001), www.conversationagent.com/2008/04/conversation-wi.html. 19. Christophe Aguiton and Dominique Cardon, “The Strength of Weak Cooperation: An Attempt to Understand the Meaning of Web 2.0,” International Journal of Digital Economics 65 (2007): 51–65. 20. Stephanie Smith, “Good Guide: R. Buckminster Fuller,” GOOD (August 14, 2007), www.good.is/post/good-guide-r-buckminster-fuller/. 21. Jennifer Sharpe, “A Social Experiment: Communes in Cul-De-Sacs,” NPR radio interview (April 2, 2009), www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102651496. 22. Wikipedia definition of a Commune posted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commune_(intentional_community). 23. Ariel Schwartz, “WeCommune: Social Networking Communes,” Fast Company (June 2009), http://origin-www.fastcompany.com/blog/ariel-schwartz/sustainability/wecommune-social-networking-communes?

The worlds of architecture, design, and culture have identified Smith as one to watch with her ideas on low-impact design, mass production, and alternative forms of community. She talks passionately but with authority about archetype typologies, connected lifestyles, and tribal solutions. Smith proudly admits that she is heavily influenced by the thinking of the legendary designer and pioneer of sustainability Buckminster Fuller, sharing his passion to figure out the question: “How we can make the world work for 100 percent of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?”20 Smith was sitting in her offices at Ecoshack, a Los Angeles–based experimental design studio, when she realized that she could no longer afford to be green. It was early in the economic crash of 2008.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, means of production, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks

For permission to reproduce images we would like to thank the following in particular: David Coulthard’s car on the Burj Al Arab’s helipad, courtesy of the Jumeirah Group (p. xii); ‘City of Volume’ image, courtesy of Pierre Bélanger (p. xvi); the flat map courtesy of Neil Brenner, from Brenner’s ‘Introducing the Urban Theory Lab’ (p. 8); Lightful by Buckminster Fuller, from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (2008), courtesy of the Buckminster Fuller Institute (p. 24); Menwith Hill NSA Base photograph courtesy of Steve Rowell (p. 35); São Paulan executive’s helipad illustration, courtesy of Eduardo Martino (p. 101); designs for Cairo skyscrapers, courtesy of Reese Campbell and Demetrios Comodromos at Method Design (p. 128); Kingdom Tower image, courtesy of Malec (p. 150); London skyscrapers image, courtesy of Darjole (p. 165); Sky Tower billboard in Mumbai, courtesy of Andrew Harris (p. 207); Skybridge in Minneapolis, courtesy of Thunerchild5 (p. 226); Bangkok’s Skytrain, courtesy of Moaksey (p. 231); Fake skyline in Hong Kong, courtesy of Drew; Underneath New York by Harry Granick, book cover (1991), courtesy of Fordham University (p. 280); ‘Sacrifice Zone’, courtesy of Kaitlin Donnally (p. 290); Awaaz Foundation poster, courtesy of the Awaaz Foundation (p. 299); Photograph of Devi Lal, courtesy of Beena Sarwar (p. 338); ‘Palestinian tunneller’, courtesy of Getty Images (p. 351); ‘urban cave’ project, courtesy of Andrea Star Reese (p. 353); ‘Urban Explorer’, courtesy of Bradley Garrett (p. 361) All rights reserved The moral rights of the author have been asserted 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Verso UK: 6 Meard Street, London W1F 0EG US: 20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn, NY 11201 versobooks.com Verso is the imprint of New Left Books ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-793-2 ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-996-7 (US EBK) ISBN-13: 978-1-78168-995-0 (UK EBK) British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Graham, Stephen, 1965– author.

The motivating idea of the book is that it is only through such fully three-dimensional and critical perspectives that the political, social and urban struggles of our rapidly urbanizing world can possibly be understood. Strap yourself in, then, for a wild and startling ride through the three-dimensional geographies of our world. Part One: Above Social scientists need to raise their eyes from the ground Martin Parker A 1928 drawing by visionary designer, architect and polymath Buckminster Fuller, emphasizing the global, spiritual, practical and vertical challenges facing engineering, architecture and human life inherent within his idea of ‘Spaceship Earth’. (Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1968). 1. Satellite: Enigmatic Presence We live in a satellite enabled age. The satellites flying above us are not abstract agents of science but part of the critical life support system we all depend on, every day

Residents in the zones just outside the city’s business district wondered if they could benefit from an extended project or even of a second dome was possible.71 Designers in Beijing are meanwhile looking to upscale the International School’s ideas to a much larger dome enclosing a major new privatised urban park in the city.72 Architects have also suggested burying copper coils under parks to create electrostatic fields which attract smog particles from the immediate atmosphere.73 These examples of the growing interiorisation of ‘nature’ powerfully echo Buckminster Fuller’s influential ruminations between the 1940s and 1960s on the possibilities of dome-like constructions at various scales within which urban air could be precisely controlled. Famously, in 1960 Fuller suggested a giant, 400-tonne glass geodesic dome encompassing Midtown Manhattan which would permanently sustain what he called a ‘Garden of Eden’ climate’.74 Fuller claimed that ‘the cost of snow removal in New York City would pay for the dome in 10 years.’75 Today’s ‘bubbles’ for the precise manipulation of urban air contrast sharply, however, with Fuller’s urban planning ideas in one crucial respect.


pages: 544 words: 168,076

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, John von Neumann, linear programming, market clearing, New Journalism, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, RAND corporation, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method

See Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945–1961 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1997). 2 American girls in polkadotted knee-length dresses: for photographs of the American exhibition in Sokolniki Park, and of the Muscovite visitors to it, see Life Magazine, vol. 47 no. 6, 10 August 1959, pp. 28–35, with little plastic beakers on p. 31; for descriptions of the exhibits, see Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain; for a reading of the design politics of Buckminster Fuller’s dome, see Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, ‘Dome Days: Buckminster Fuller in the Cold War’ in Jenny Uglow and Francis Spufford, eds, Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention (London: Faber & Faber, 1996), pp. 167–92; for press reaction in the US, see New York Times, vol. CVIII no. 37,072, 25 July 1959, pp. 1–4. 3 She had added a green leather belt bought at the flea market: that is to say, at one of the legal bazaars or car-boot sales (without car boots) where Soviet citizens could sell their possessions second-hand.

See Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945–1961 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1997). 2 American girls in polkadotted knee-length dresses: for photographs of the American exhibition in Sokolniki Park, and of the Muscovite visitors to it, see Life Magazine, vol. 47 no. 6, 10 August 1959, pp. 28–35, with little plastic beakers on p. 31; for descriptions of the exhibits, see Walter Hixson, Parting the Curtain; for a reading of the design politics of Buckminster Fuller’s dome, see Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, ‘Dome Days: Buckminster Fuller in the Cold War’ in Jenny Uglow and Francis Spufford, eds, Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention (London: Faber & Faber, 1996), pp. 167–92; for press reaction in the US, see New York Times, vol. CVIII no. 37,072, 25 July 1959, pp. 1–4. 3 She had added a green leather belt bought at the flea market: that is to say, at one of the legal bazaars or car-boot sales (without car boots) where Soviet citizens could sell their possessions second-hand.

Inside, the dome was all one huge room, with no ceiling, just the same crisply flimsy skin, which you could see from here was organised into six-pointed stars or flowers, repeating over and over. Now the result seemed halfway between an organism and a mechanism. It puzzled her a bit that the Americans would pick such a thing as the centrepiece of their exhibition. It was certainly impressive, in its way, but you could tell that it sat lightly on the earth, and would soon be gone. It looked strangely casual. ‘Mm-hmm,’ said Fyodor. ‘… designed by a famous American architect, Buckminster Fuller,’ one of the girls was saying. Right across the big floor of the dome, the same speech was being made to close-packed circles of listeners as more and more people poured in. White-gloved hands pointed to exhibits around the base of the walls, and to the cluster of seven giant white screens overhead, which filled most of the span of the golden wall in front of them. She tried to see the computer they had been told about with the answers to four thousand supposedly comprehensive questions about the United States.


pages: 286 words: 94,017

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler

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Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, East Village, global village, Haight Ashbury, information retrieval, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, the market place, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

Comments on FUTURE SHOCK C. P. Snow: "Remarkable ... No one ought to have the nerve to pontificate on our present worries without reading it." R. Buckminster Fuller: "Cogent ... brilliant ... I hope vast numbers will read Toffler's book." Betty Friedan: "Brilliant and true ... Should be read by anyone with the responsibility of leading or participating in movements for change in America today." Marshall McLuhan: "FUTURE SHOCK ... is 'where it's at.'" Robert Rimmer, author of The Harrad Experiment: "A magnificent job ... Must reading." John Diebold: "For those who want to understand the social and psychological implications of the technological revolution, this is an incomparable book." WALL STREET JOURNAL: "Explosive ... Brilliantly formulated." LONDON DAILY EXPRESS: "Alvin Toffler has sent something of a shock-wave through Western society."

Less patrician New Yorkers, whose ancestors landed in America more recently, arriving there from the barrios of Puerto Rico, the villages of Eastern Europe or the plantations of the South, might voice their feelings quite differently. Yet the "Vanishing past" is a real phenomenon, and it is likely to become far more widespread, engulfing even many of the history-drenched cities of Europe. Buckminster Fuller, the designer-philosopher, once described New York as a "continual evolutionary process of evacuations, demolitions, removals, temporarily vacant lots, new installations and repeat. This process is identical in principle to the annual rotation of crops in farm acreage—plowing, planting the new seed, harvesting, plowing under, and putting in another type of crop ... Most people look upon the building operations blocking New York's streets ... as temporary annoyances, soon to disappear in a static peace.

Throughout the advanced technological societies, and particularly among those I have characterized as "the people of the future," commuting, traveling, and regularly relocating one's family have become second nature. Figuratively, we "use up" places and dispose of them in much the same that we dispose of Kleenex or beer cans. We are witnessing a historic decline in the significance of place to human life. We are breeding a new race of nomads, and few suspect quite how massive, widespread and significant their migrations are. THE 3,000,000-MILE CLUB In 1914, according to Buckminster Fuller, the typical American averaged about 1,640 miles per year of total travel, counting some 1,300 miles of just plain everyday walking to and fro. This meant that he traveled only about 340 miles per year with the aid of horse or mechanical means. Using this 1,640 figure as a base, it is possible to estimate that the average American of that period moved a total of 88,560 miles in his lifetime.* Today, by contrast, the average American car owner drives 10,000 miles per year—and he lives longer than his father or grandfather.


pages: 335 words: 104,850

Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George

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Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, income per capita, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, women in the workforce

Such leaders have learned the secret of the “helpers’ high:” we feel good when we make other people happy. It creates value for the giver and the recipient, as well as for the larger community. Servant leaders cultivate the noble virtue of generosity. They embrace transpersonal values—such as goodness, justice, truth, love, the alleviation of suffering, the salvation or enlightenment of others—that lift them to higher levels of consciousness.8 The story of Buckminster Fuller provides a great illustration of the power of servant leadership. At age thirty-two, Fuller was living in low-income public housing in Chicago. His daughter had recently died from polio and spinal meningitis. Fuller was drinking heavily, chronically depressed, and seriously considering committing suicide. One night, while standing on a bridge and trying to decide whether to jump to his death, he asked himself questions about the meaning of life.

He would begin “an experiment, to determine how much a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humankind.”9 The answer, it turns out, is “quite a lot.” Over the next fifty-five years until his death, he patented over two thousand inventions, wrote twenty-five books, and went down in history as one of the greatest thinkers, inventors, and servant leaders who ever lived. The Buckminster Fuller game of doing as much good as possible to benefit the world is a game we can all play. Servant leaders show us how to do exactly this.10 Integrity: The Synthesis of the Virtues Perhaps the most important virtue of conscious leaders is integrity. Honesty is often used as a synonym for integrity, but integrity is a more comprehensive virtue because, while it is partly about honesty, it goes beyond just telling the truth.

Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2004), 3. 5. John A. Byrne, World Changers: 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2011), 52. 6. We first heard this articulated by Debashis Chatterjee. 7. Liu, Conversations on Leadership. 8. Zohar and Marshall, Spiritual Capital, 55. 9. Wikipedia, s.v. “Buckminster Fuller,” last modified June 18, 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminister_Fuller. 10. The best book we are aware of on servant leadership is still the one that identified it originally: Robert K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (New York: Paulist Press, 1977). 11. Robert C. Solomon, A Better Way to Think About Business: How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 40–43. 12.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The importance of purpose We must also keep in mind that it is not only about talent and skills. Technology enables greater efficiency, which most people want. Yet they also wish to feel that they are not merely part of a process but of something bigger than themselves. Karl Marx expressed his concern that the process of specialization would reduce the sense of purpose that we all seek from work, while Buckminster Fuller cautioned that the risks of over-specialization tend “to shut off the wide-band tuning searches and thus to preclude further discovery of the all-powerful generalized principles.”30 Now, faced with a combination of increased complexity and hyper-specialization, we are at a point where the desire for purposeful engagement is becoming a major issue. This is particularly the case for the younger generation who often feel that corporate jobs constrain their ability to find meaning and purpose in life.

_r=0 25 Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots, Basic Books, 2015. 26 Daniel Pink, Free Agent Nation – The Future of Working for Yourself, Grand Central Publishing, 2001. 27 Quoted in: Farhad Manjoo, “Uber’s business model could change your work”, The New York Times, 28 January 2015. 28 Quoted in: Sarah O’Connor, “The human cloud: A new world of work”, The Financial Times, 8 October 2015. 29 Lynda Gratton, The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here, Collins, 2011. 30 R. Buckminster Fuller and E.J. Applewhite, Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, Macmillan, 1975. 31 Eric Knight, “The Art of Corporate Endurance”, Harvard Business Review, April 2, 2014 https://hbr.org/2014/04/the-art-of-corporate-endurance 32 VentureBeat, “WhatsApp now has 700M users, sending 30B messages per day”, January 6 2015 http://venturebeat.com/2015/01/06/whatsapp-now-has-700m-users-sending-30b-messages-per-day/ 33 Mitek and Zogby Analytics, Millennial Study 2014 , September 2014 https://www.miteksystems.com/sites/default/files/Documents/zogby_final_embargo_14_9_25.pdf 34 Gillian Wong, “Alibaba Tops Singles’ Day Sales Record Despite Slowing China Economy”, The Wall Street Journal, 11 November 2015, http://www.wsj.com/articles/alibaba-smashes-singles-day-sales-record-1447234536 35 “The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2014”, GSM Association, 2014.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

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air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

So Efrem drifted to California, then back East again, then back to California. It took a while for him to see how computers could be used for social good, and each time he glimpsed the possibilities he suspected betrayal. One interesting project he’d been involved with was the World game. A group of California programmers, philosophers, and engineers constructed a simulation of the world. It was based on an idea by Buckminster Fuller, where you could try out all sorts of changes and see their effect on the world. For days, people ran around suggesting things and running the game on the computer. Not much came of it in terms of suggestions on how to run the world, but a lot of people met others with similar views. Not long afterward, Efrem stumbled upon Resource One, with Lee mired in its bowels. He thought it was a crock.

Albrecht was involved in starting the loosely run “computer education division” of the nonprofit foundation called the Portola Institute, which later spawned the Whole Earth Catalog. He met a teacher from Woodside High School on the peninsula, named LeRoy Finkel, who shared his enthusiasm about teaching kids computers; with Finkel he began a computer-book publishing company named Dymax, in honor of Buckminster Fuller’s trademarked word “dymaxion,” combining dynamism and maximum. The for-profit company was funded by Albrecht’s substantial stock holdings (he had been lucky enough to get into DEC’s first stock offering), and soon the company had a contract to write a series of instructional books on BASIC. Albrecht and the Dymax crowd got hold of a DEC PDP-8 minicomputer. To house this marvelous machine, they moved the company to new headquarters in Menlo Park.

He took a few extra chips along with him, and traded the chips with others, eventually winding up with a keyboard and a few RAM chips. “We’re talking outright thievery,” he later explained; but in Homebrew terms, Sokol was liberating a neat hack from the proprietary oppressors. Pong was neat, and should belong to the world. And in Homebrew, exchanges like that were free and easy. Years earlier, Buckminster Fuller had developed the concept of synergy—the collective power, more than the sum of the parts, that comes of people and/or phenomena working together in a system—and Homebrew was a textbook example of the concept at work. One person’s idea would spark another person into embarking on a large project, and perhaps beginning a company to make a product based on that idea. Or, if someone came up with a clever hack to produce a random number generator on the Altair, he would give out the code so everyone could do it, and by the next meeting someone else would have devised a game that utilized the routine.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

While it names the organization of a planetary-scale computing infrastructure, my purpose is to leverage it toward a broader program for platform design. In the depiction of this incipient megastructure, we can see not just new machines but also still-embryonic geopolitical institutions and social systems as well. For these, The Stack is powerful and dangerous, both remedy and poison, a utopian and dystopian machine at once (it can go either way, and as Buckminster Fuller said, it will be touch and go until the last instant). As a model, The Stack is simultaneously a portrait of the system we have but perhaps do not recognize, and an antecedent of a future territory, and with both at hand, we hope to prototype the alien cosmopolitanisms these engender for us and suggest to us. Planetary-scale computation both distorts and reforms modern jurisdiction and political geography and produces new forms of these in its own image.

He used the example of Google and said it was a pity that although Google had retreated from China, its service was still accessible in China: “It's like the relationship between riverbed and water. Water has no nationality, but riverbeds are sovereign territories, we cannot allow polluted water from other nation-states to enter our country.”13 This is an amazingly succinct rehearsal of the older European nomos's juridical separation of land and sea, fixed and liquid, made into parable.14 While Fang likely was not familiar with Buckminster Fuller's admonition that “the fearful sovereign nation politicos will find that trying to arrest networking is like trying to arrest the waves of the ocean,” Fuller, it is more certain, was never given the assignment, as Fang was, of building a glass dome for a billion Internet users.15 Shifting the figure of water from a metaphor to geography, consider that for Schmitt's history of the nomos (that is, Carl Schmitt, not Eric Schmidt), the territorial domain of nations was always defended by the naval capacity over the omnidirectional glacis of the ocean in light of Google's filed patent on water-based data centers.16 This floating cyberinfrastructure would, in principle, greatly reduce the energy and cooling costs of hosting and serving the peta- and exabytes of data that will constitute an eventual planetary cloud computing platform.

John Battelle's Search Blog, November 4, 2011, http://battellemedia.com/archives/2011/11/what-role-government.php. 13.  See Jin Ge, “The Father of China's Great Firewall Re-defines Internet Sovereignty,” http://www.88-bar.com/tag/sovereign-internet/. Thanks to Tricia Wang for alerting me to this quote. 14.  See Xu Wu, Chinese Cyber Nationalism: Evolution, Characteristics, and Implications (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007). 15.  R. Buckminster Fuller, Grunch of Giants (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983). 16.  Katie Fehrenbacher, “Google Floats Idea of Wave Powered Data Center,” Gigaom, September 8, 2008, https://gigaom.com/2008/09/08/google-floats-idea-of-wave-powered-data-center/, and “Google to Switch on Seawater-Cooled Data Center This Fall,” Gigaom, May 24, 2011, https://gigaom.com/2011/05/24/google-to-switch-on-worlds-first-seawater-cooled-data-center-this-fall/.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

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Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy

And third, though recycled rent requires government action to get started, it has the political virtue of avoiding the bigger/smaller government tug-of-war that paralyzes Washington today. It is, after all, property income that doesn’t enlarge government. It could therefore appeal to, or at least not offend, voters and politicians in the center, left, and right. A TRIM TAB IS A TINY FLAP ON A SHIP or airplane’s rudder. The designer Buckminster Fuller often noted that moving a trim tab slightly turns a ship or a plane dramatically. If we think of our economy as a moving vessel, the same metaphor can be applied to rent. Depending on how much of it is collected and whether it flows to a few or to many, rent can steer an economy toward extreme inequality or a large middle class. It can also guide an economy toward excessive use of nature or a safe level of use.


pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, c2.com, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

Genetics, 180 (1). http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/abstract/180/1/431. 127 “all outcomes would be different”: Sean Carroll. (2008) The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution. New York: W. W. Norton. 128 precisely, but elegantly, backward: Stephen Jay Gould. (1989) Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and Nature of History. New York: W. W. Norton, p. 320. 128 Buckminster Fuller once said: Richard Buckminster Fuller, Jerome Agel, et al. (1970) I Seem to Be a Verb. New York: Bantam Books. 7. Convergence 132 strung across our countryside: Christopher A. Voss. (1984) “Multiple Independent Invention and the Process of Technological Innovation.” Technovation, 2 p. 172. 132 “claimed by more than one person”: William F. Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas. (1975) “Are Inventions Inevitable?

Every living organism is on its way to becoming. And the human organism even more so, because among all living beings (that we know about) we are the most open-ended. We have just started our evolution as Homo sapiens. As both parent and child of the technium—evolution accelerated—we are nothing more and nothing less than an evolutionary ordained becoming. “I seem to be a verb,” the inventor/philosopher Buckminster Fuller once said. We can likewise say: The technium is a tendency, not an entity. The technium and its constituent technologies are more like a grand process than a grand artifact. Nothing is complete, all is in flux, and the only thing that counts is the direction of movement. So if the technium has a direction, where is it pointed? If the greater forms of technologies are inevitable, what is next?


pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet

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augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Duvall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, game design, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, linked data, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, publish or perish, semantic web, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons

These notes describe Nelson’s vision in detail. They cover the ELF design, Xanadu, StretchText and Nelson’s screen-based graph display idea. Nelson didn’t want to hover around in the background watching the team build a part of his vision; he wanted the design to be produced as faithfully as possible. ‘Let’s put it this way: I feel that van Dam should have treated me the way he would have treated Buckminster Fuller if he’d asked Buckminster Fuller to come in’ (Nelson 2011). That didn’t happen. As observed previously, van Dam and his team wanted to explore the hypertext concept, but they also had their own plans (which Nelson strenuously opposed). The team set out to design a dual-purpose system for authoring, editing and printing text documents, which could also be used to browse and query written materials nonsequentially.


pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris

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back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

” — Neva Goodwin Co-director, Global Development And Environment Institute, Tufts University “ It’s hard to overstate the impact of Hurricane Katrina and the public response.” — Nancy Jack Todd Editor, Annals of Earth newsletter “ Hurricane Katrina will be remembered as the most important turning point in the world's awareness and reaction to global warming.” — Jeffrey Hollender President & Chief Inspired Protagonist, Seventh Generation “ We can thank Herman Daly for the concept of full cost accounting, Buckminster Fuller for the power and possibility of thinking differently, and E.F. Schumacher as the father of the act locally/think globally movement.” — Jeffrey Hollender 96 chapter 4 : The End of Nature “ I’ve heard lots of criticism of Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, from inside the green movement, but we’re already converted. The mainstream media coverage and my conversations with non-movement people have convinced me that it has done so much to bring them on board

Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, by Lester Brown. W.W. Norton & Co., 2006. Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, by Al Gore. Plume, 1993. The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late, by Thom Hartmann. Three Rivers Press, 1998. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development, by Herman Daly. Beacon Press, 1992. Critical Path, by Buckminster Fuller. St. Martin’s Press, 1981. The Home Energy Diet: How to Save Money by Making Your House Energy Smart, by Paul Scheckel. New Society Publishers, 2005. The Company We Keep: Reinventing Small Business for People, Community, and Place, by John Abrams. Chelsea Green, 2005. The NEW VILLAGE GREEN 99 5 ONE-STRAW REVOLUTION “ If we throw mother nature out the window, she comes back in the door with a pitchfork.” — Masanobu Fukuoka 100 T he most profound learning experience of my college career was reading Robert Ardrey’s African Genesis: A Personal Investigation into the Animal Origins and Nature of Man, long since out of print, but available, used, on Amazon.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

The dreams of elevator operators looked like they couldn’t be realized with conventional materials.16 Then nanotechnology burst on the scene in the 1990s. The ability to manipulate matter at the level of atoms or molecules opened up new technologies and a dizzying array of potential new applications. Some of the most exciting materials were made of pure carbon. Fullerenes are carbon molecules in the form of spheres, tubes, and other shapes. The name is a nod to the architect and designer Buckminster Fuller, since the first of the new molecules to be created was a tiny spherical cage made of sixty carbon atoms, resembling one of Fuller’s geodesic domes. Soon after buckyballs were isolated, scientists learned how to create carbon nanotubes, interlinked carbon atoms rolled in a cylinder a millionth of a meter across. Carbon nanotubes are stable and they conduct heat and electricity extremely well.

Their mission was to live in a self-sustaining environment for two years, as a prototype of how humans might one day live on Mars, or in space.1 Texas billionaire Ed Bass sank $150 million into the project, and it was variously characterized in the press as a utopian dream or a rich man’s folly. The occupants wore jumpsuits out of Star Trek—which, depending on your point of view, made them look like either consummate professionals or inmates at a county jail. Few had serious scientific credentials. The soaring architecture was inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes, but there was also a darker backstory associated with founder John Allen, who ran a commune in New Mexico that had the trappings of a cult. Allen was a metallurgist and Harvard MBA who experimented with peyote and spent the late 1960s lecturing in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. In 1974, when young Yale dropout Ed Bass arrived at Allen’s Synergia Ranch, the two men instantly hit it off, based on their shared interest in the environment.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

There is no charge to volunteer, but get your dibs in early. More than 800 people are already on the volunteer list. HOW TO GET IN TOUCH Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, P.O. Box 198, 301 Fifth Street, Medora, ND 58645, 800-633-6721 or 701-623-4444, www.medora.com. CHAPTER 3 brain retreats I always say to myself, what is the most important thing we can think about in this extraordinary moment? —R. Buckminster Fuller, American visionary, architect, and inventor When you were five, you wanted the answers to everything. You wanted to know where rain came from, why some people were bald, how music came out of that little box called a radio. Back then, it was okay not to know everything. It was perfectly acceptable to ask questions, wonder why, want to know more. But at some point, you figured out it wasn’t “cool” to admit you didn’t know something.

Although these days you can find a yoga studio and a Gestalt center on every corner, the two retreat centers listed below are the veritable godfathers of the human potential movement. They both have incredibly beautiful campuses, workshop leaders that are a veritable who’s who, and a long list of enlightening workshops. Esalen Institute. Perched on a rocky ledge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this 140-acre institute in Big Sur is where Gestalt therapy guru Frederick “Fritz” Perls coached Rita Hayworth and where Ida Rolf pioneered Rolfing. Joseph Campbell, Buckminster Fuller, and Linus Pauling have all given workshops here. The weathered redwood buildings and geodesic domes sprinkled about the grounds go back to the early 1960s, when Stanford graduate students Michael Murphy and Richard Price gave life to their vision of a sanctuary where thinkers of all stripes—philosophers, psychologists, artists, academics, spiritual leaders—could come together to pursue the “exploration of unrealized human capacities.”


pages: 323 words: 95,939

Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff

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algorithmic trading, Andrew Keen, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cashless society, citizen journalism, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, disintermediation, Donald Trump, double helix, East Village, Elliott wave, European colonialism, Extropian, facts on the ground, Flash crash, game design, global supply chain, global village, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, Inbox Zero, invention of agriculture, invention of hypertext, invisible hand, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, Law of Accelerating Returns, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Milgram experiment, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, passive investing, pattern recognition, peak oil, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Most of this work is unpublished, but for more on his approach, see David Alan Goodman, “Declare Your Independence,” Scientist 17 (12), June 16, 2003, p. 13. 27. Joel C. Robertson, Natural Prozac: Learning to Release Your Body’s Own Anti-Depressants (New York: HarperOne, 1998). 28. All quotes from Mark Filippi are from interviews I conducted with him in February and March 2012. 29. “Tensegrity” is a term used most famously by Buckminster Fuller to describe the structural integrity of various systems. See R. Buckminster Fuller, “Tensegrity,” 1961, at www.rwgrayprojects.com/rbfnotes/fpapers/tensegrity/tenseg01.html. 30. See http://Lifewaves.com or http://somaspace.org. 31. Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From (New York: Riverhead, 2010). 32. Kutcher Tweeted in defense of a fired college football coach, only learning later that the coach had covered up a child molestation.


pages: 350 words: 100,822

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jörgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows

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agricultural Revolution, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, financial independence, game design, income per capita, informal economy, means of production, new economy, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

They are put forth to manipulate, lull, or entice, to postpone action, to justify self-serving action, to gain or preserve power, or to deny an uncomfortable reality. Lies distort the information stream. A system cannot function well if its information streams are corrupted by lies. One of the most important tenets of systems theory, for reasons we hope we have made clear in this book, is that information should not be distorted, delayed, or sequestered. `All of humanity is in peril," said Buckminster Fuller, "if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth and all the truth, and to do so promptly-right now"5 Whenever you speak to anyone, on the street, at work, to a crowd, and especially to a child, you can endeavor to counter a lie or affirm a truth. You can deny the idea that having more things makes one a better person. You can question the notion that more for the rich will help the poor.

Examples of networks known to the authors and in their field of interest are the Balaton Group (www.unh.edu/ipssr/Balaton.html), Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Center for a New American Dream (CNAD; wwwnewdream.org), Greenlist (www.peacestore.us/Public/Greenlist), Greenclips (wwwgreenclips.com), Northern Forest Alliance (wwwnorthernforestalliance.org), Land Trust Alliance (wwwlta.org), International Simulation and Gaming Association (ISAGA; wwwisaga.info), and Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD). 4. Such an intermediate step is illustrated by ICLEI, an international association of (currently 450) local governments implementing sustainable development. See www.iclei.org. 5. R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981). 6. Abraham Maslow, The Farthest Reaches of Human Nature (New York: Viking Press, 1971). 7. J. M. Keynes, foreword to Essays in Persuasion (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1932). 8. Aurelio Peccei, One Hundred Pages for the Future (New York: Pergamon Press, 1981), 184-185. Appendix 1. Changes from World3 to World3-03 1. Dennis L. Meadows et al., Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World (Cambridge, MA: WrightAllen Press, 1974). 2.


pages: 194 words: 49,310

Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand

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Albert Einstein, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Eratosthenes, Extropian, fault tolerance, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

(3) Technology can be good for the environment. My old biology teacher, Paul Ehrlich, has a formula declaring that environmental degradation is proportional to “population times affluence times technology.” It now appears that the coming of information technology is reversing that formula, so that better technology and more affluence leads to less environmental harm—if that is one of the goals of the society. “Doing more with less”—Buckminster Fuller’s “ephemeralization”—is creating vastly more efficient industrial and agricultural processes, with proportionately less impact on natural systems. It is also moving ever more of human activity into an infosphere less harmfully entwined with the biosphere. Given its roots, the Packard Foundation is particularly well suited to evaluate and foster what a Buddhist engineer might call right technology.


pages: 98 words: 29,610

From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe

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Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, Plutocrats, plutocrats, The Chicago School, urban renewal

Because it was written, in the scriptures, by Gropius himself: “The fundamental pedagogical mistake of the academy arose from its preoccupation with the idea of individual genius.” Gropius’ and Mies’ byword was “team” effort. Gropius’ own firm in Cambridge was not called Walter Gropius & Associates, Inc., or anything close to it. It was called “The Architects Collaborative.” At Yale the students insisted on a group project, a collaborative design, to replace the obscene scramble for individual glory. NOW, IN THE LATE 1940s AND EARLY 1950s , BUCKMINSTER Fuller came into his own. Fuller was an American designer with an endless stock of ingenious notions, one of which was his geodesic dome, a dome created of thousands of short, thin metal struts arranged in tetrahedra. Fuller’s dome fit in nicely with the modern principle of creating large structures with light surfaces out of machine-made materials and using tensions and stresses to do the work that massive supports had done for the old (bourgeois) order.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, Zipcar

How do we build systems that truly make us free in cities? Sometimes it takes a radical shift in the urban imagination to point the way. 9. Mobilicities II Freedom Automobiles are in no way responsible for our traffic problems. The entire responsibility lies in the faulty roads, which are behind the times. —Norman Bel Geddes, 1940 Possession is becoming progressively burdensome and wasteful and therefore obsolete. —Buckminster Fuller, 1969 In 1969 a consortium of European industrial interests charged a young American economist with figuring out how people would move through cities in the future. There was a lot of money to be made by whoever could divine the single technology most likely to capture the market in the coming decades. It was the era of James Bond gadgets and Apollo 11. Everyone was sure that some fabulous new machine would emerge to change everything.

British trains: Clark, Andrew, “Want to Feel Less Stress? Become a Fighter Pilot, Not a Commuter,” The Guardian, November 30, 2004, www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/nov/30/research.transport (accessed October 06, 2012). “freaks and weirdos”: See http://www.boingboing.net/2003/04/15/gm-apologizes-for-fr.html for correspondence. 9. Mobilicities II: Freedom Norman Bel Geddes: Bel Geddes, Norman, Magic Motorways (New York: Random House, 1940). Buckminster Fuller: Fuller, R. Buckminster, Operation Manual for Spaceship Earth (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969). also its limitations: Evans, Gary, Richard Wener, and Donald Phillips, “The Morning Rush Hour: Predictability and Commuter Stress,” Environment and Behavior, 2002: 521–30. anxiety of waiting: Evans, John E., “Transit Scheduling and Frequency,” in Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes,” TCRP Report 95 (Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, National Academy Press, 2004.)


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

New York: Houghton Mifflin. 2 Aesthetics Bringing the Arts & Design into the Discussion of Transhumanism Natasha Vita-More “Transhumans want to elevate and extend life … let us choose to be transhumanist not only in our bodies, but also in our values … toward diversity, multiplicity … toward a more humane transhumanity …”1 Imagine a future designed by Frank Gehry that models elements of a “great logistic game” as conceived by Buckminster Fuller, within a monumental Christo installation, kinetically lit by James Turrell, scored by Philip Glass, and sung by Adele. Introduction The emergent course of technology is at once explicable and baffling. It has precipitated questions about a shifting human paradigm that remain unanswered by postmodernism. Considering the climate, discussions about speculative and emerging technologies need to include scientific realism and cosmic chance – a unity and plurality.

The most referred to methods for enhancement include regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, and brain preservation. 4 Primarily as suggested by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in “Cyborgs and Space” (1960) and tangentially as suggested by Donna Haraway in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Haraway 1990). 5 As suggested in The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future (Smith and Morra 2007). 6 Primarily as understood by transhumanists as a stage of human transformation, succeeding transhuman, and tangentially as suggested in How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (Hayles 1999). 7 As understood by Randal Koene as “whole brain emulation” and more recently “substrate-independent minds.” http://www.kurzweilai.net/pattern-survival-versus-gene-survival. 8 Life expansion means increasing the length of time a person is alive and diversifying the matter in which a person exists (Vita-More 1997 [revised 2011]). 9 “Transcentury UPdate,” a cable public TV show aired in Los Angeles and Telluride, Colorado, from 1986 through 1993, and broadcast numerous segments on the political and ethical issues of technology and segments on building scenarios for the global distribution of technology (green energy etc.), the latter largely based on Buckminster Fuller’s distribution plan (Fuller 1982). References Ascott, Roy (1989) Aspects of Gaia: Digital Pathways Across the Whole Earth. Paper presented at annual Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. Broderick, Damien (1997) The White Abacus. New York: Avon Books. Burgess, Lowry (2008) Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.cmu.edu/studio/fellowships/index.html. Chislenko, Alexander “Sasha” (1996) “Intelligent Information Filters and Enhanced Reality.” http://penta.ufrgs.br/edu/telelab/10/enhanced.htm.

Avatars point out to us that enhancement is not merely a matter of increasing the ­effectiveness of a person in taking action, but also can mean an altered form of consciousness that expands opportunities for experiences, and escape from the conventional system of moral constraints. Especially noteworthy is the fact that one individual may have many different ­avatars, thereby becoming a multiplex or protean personality. Decades ago, psychiatrists described this as multiple personality neurosis or some form of split personality (Thigpen and Cleckley 1957; Lifton 1971), but in future we may decide that the most effective mode of being is ­pluralism. Buckminster Fuller (1970) used to say, “I seem to be a verb.” Perhaps today we should say, “I am a plural verb in future tense.” Avatars and Simulation Under the right conditions an avatar in a virtual world can substantially enhance the abilities of the user – the person who owns and operates it. Since ancient times, philosophers have debated the meaning of reality. Transhumanist philosophers have suggested varied viewpoints of ­simulation, consciousness, and existence, and notably argued whether humans could or do reside within a simulation (Moravec 1998; Bostrom 2003).


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

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Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

Other projects hope to harness the regular molecular structure of crystals as actual computing elements. The Nanotube: A Variation of Buckyballs Three professors—Richard Smalley and Robert Curl of Rice University, and Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex—shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their 1985 discovery of soccer-ball-shaped molecules formed of a large number of carbon atoms. Organized in hexagonal and pentagonal patterns like R. Buckminster Fuller’s building designs, they were dubbed “buckyballs.” These unusual molecules, which form naturally in the hot fumes of a furnace, are extremely strong—ahundred times stronger than steel—a property they share with Fuller’s architectural innovations.12 More recently, Dr. Sumio lijima of Nippon Electric Company showed that in addition to the spherical buckyballs, the vapor from carbon arc lamps also contained elongated carbon molecules that looked like long tubes.13 Called nanotubes because of their extremely small size—fifty thousand of them side by side would equal the thickness of one human hair—they are formed of the same pentagonal patterns of carbon atoms as buckyballs and share the buckyball’s unusual strength.

BRUTUS.1 A computer program that creates fictional stories with a theme of betrayal; invented by Selmer Bringsjord, Dave Ferucci, and a team of software engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Buckyball A soccer-ball-shaped molecule formed of a large number of carbon atoms. Because of their hexagonal and pentagonal shape, the molecules were dubbed “buckyballs” in reference to R. Buckminster Fuller’s building designs. Busy beaver One example of a class of noncomputational functions; an unsolvable problem in mathematics. Being a “Turing machine unsolvable problem,” the busy beaver function cannot be computed by a Turing machine. To compute busy beaver of n, one creates all the n-state Turing machines that do not write an infinite number of Is on their tape. The largest number of Is written by the Turing machine in this set that writes the largest number of Is is busy beaver of n.


pages: 390 words: 125,082

Years of the City by Frederik Pohl

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, Maui Hawaii, medical malpractice, pattern recognition

City planners—and the common run of human beings, for that matter—had thought of cities in that way for years. They hadn’t always realized the implications of that thought, of course; that was why so many cityscapes from about 1920 showed tall, skinny skyscrapers dominating the scene—that was so everyone could have an outside window, or something like it, and so the city could breathe. But that was before air-conditioning. That was before Buckminster Fuller, reasoning from energy considerations, declared the skyscraper a disaster. If you wanted, said Fuller, to design a nearly perfect radiator—which was to say, a system that would waste as much energy as it possibly could—you would come up with something very like the skyline of almost any city in the world. Especially New York, for it had started the fashion; but everywhere else, too, as rapidly as the others could catch up.

What does a bear do to keep from being frozen or boiled? The bear has two strategies. Clothe itself in fur; dig into a cave in winter. The same strategies were open to City-Bear, and Brandon knew where to find out about them. He pulled out the Feigerman & Tisdale report and studied it. Yes. His memory had been correct; the strategies were there. City-Bear could enclose itself, like the fur of an animal, in a thermally opaque coat—as Buckminster Fuller proposed, a great dome over the city. Or City-Bear could bury itself in a deep cave, where the worst winter winds could not follow. Below the ground the temperature is steady and bearable all year round—thus the art of “terratecture,” to take advantage of this free gift. Not entirely free, Brandon discovered. Cities do not need only to be protected from outside heat. They generate heat of their own—from industry, from home heating, from their vehicles—and that was why New York City was generally a degree or two warmer than its neighbors in winter, and why landlocked interior cities like Saint Louis left the “footprint” of that extra warmth in altered precipitation patterns that could be measured for many miles downwind.


pages: 212 words: 49,544

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency by Micah L. Sifry

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1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Network effects, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Skype, social web, Stewart Brand, web application, WikiLeaks

What was emerging was a greatly expanded notion of the role of citizen not just as a passive consumer of political information and occasional voter, but as an active player, monitoring what government and politicians were doing, demanding a seat at the table and a view of the proceedings, sharing self-generated news of what was important, and participating in problem solving. The back-channel was coming to the foreground. The modern transparency movement was about to take off. 48 MICAH L. SIFRY 3 From Scarcity to Abundance You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ––R. Buckminster Fuller The fundamental change powering the networked age of politics is the shift from scarcity to abundance. Thanks to the rapid evolution of computer processing power, all kinds of goods that were once expensive to produce have become cheap. Beyond the declining price of a personal computer or a backup drive, elemental changes in the economics of information, connectivity, and time have occurred: y Information: The cost of making an electronic copy of any kind of data and sharing it with others has dropped to almost zero.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell

., Harold Kroto, and Richard Smalley … Who fought each other … And the world … To discover and build … New molecules … Out of the world’s most studied element … Carbon.4 Before 1985, no one knew … That you could lattice carbon … To build geodesic molecules (which look like soccer balls)… On a nano scale. The structure of these compounds resembles the domes that a famous architect … Named R. Buckminster Fuller … Used to design … So they are called fullerenes … And may be the key to building nano scale … Medicine transporters … Super-strong tubes … Transistors.5 In February 2000, IBM scientists announced that they were starting to think about designing a computer on a molecular scale … A computer that could float through the air. A seemingly crazy idea until you realize that ENIAC … The first all-electronic digital computer (1946) … Weighed thirty tons and was 100 feet long … But was far less powerful than the chip in your PC, which can fit on your fingertip.


pages: 181 words: 62,775

Half Empty by David Rakoff

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airport security, Buckminster Fuller, dark matter, double helix, Google Earth, phenotype, RFID, urban planning, urban renewal, wage slave, Wall-E, Y2K

The Dream Home follows in the steps of Tomorrowland’s original utopian domicile, the Monsanto House of the Future, sponsored by that corporation’s division of plastics, before the very word became an ironic joke. Opened in 1957, it was meant to represent a home in 1986. The Monsanto House featured such theretofore unheard-of marvels as a microwave, an ultrasonic dishwasher that rose from beneath the counter, closed-circuit-TV intercoms, and an electric razor. Old footage shows that it really was a wonder. A gorgeous building with walls of plastic windows, perched atop a central post, echoing Buckminster Fuller’s visionary Dymaxion House. The House of the Future was simultaneously sleek and voluptuous; imagine a gigantic futuristic cold-water faucet: a lovely white plus sign of a building with the mid-century grace of Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal, gently inflated like a water wing. Contemporary accounts of the advent of electricity on the domestic front almost always make mention of a horrified realization of the kinds of filth people lived with before they could see it properly illuminated.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

The outsized volume was divided into several sections: “Whole Earth Systems” stood out at the front, followed by “Shelter and Land Use”, “Industry and Craft”, “Communications”, “Community”, “Nomadics” and “Learning”. Interspersed throughout the catalogue, but particularly in the front section, lie texts about computer science, informatics, brain research and cybernetics. A two-page spread is given over to the works of Buckminster Fuller. The September 1966 edition of Scientific American, subtitled simply “Information”, is touted as “the best introduction we’ve seen to computer science”. Opposite it sits a gushing review of the HP 9100A Calculator, “the best of the new tabletop number-crunchers”. On the previous page sits a review of The Human Biocomputer, an exploration into psychedelics and sensory deprivation by the neuroscientist John Lily, inventor of the flotation tank.


pages: 223 words: 52,808

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson (History of Computing) by Douglas R. Dechow

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3D printing, Apple II, Bill Duvall, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, game design, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, linked data, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, pre–internet, RAND corporation, semantic web, Silicon Valley, software studies, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

(We lived in a very sophisticated part of Manhattan, so we saw more foreign movies than American.) I avidly studied the details of my comic books, from the language and visual angles to the dots of the color. And I listened to radio programs with every fiber of my brain. I had four main media heroes in my first 10 years, and they are my heroes now: Walt Disney, Leonardo da Vinci, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Buckminster Fuller. They worked in different media, but in much the same way. Each was independent, visionary and original. All these years I have tried to be like them: independent, able to see what others could not, and creating new designs others could not imagine. I also learned a lot about show business; I happened to have inside connections. I rarely saw my parents, who were divorced when I was born, but I learned a lot when I saw them.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

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23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

The robot uses smart software to tell what’s edible and what’s not and uses a laser-guided robotic arm to grab the biomass and put it in a hopper that connects with an internal combustion engine, which in turn powers an onboard battery. Why do this? The answer is partly that wars depend on energy (soldiers increasingly rely on battery-powered devices) and partly that wars are often fought in remote regions where supply chains can be easily disrupted. “Either war is obsolete or men are.” Buckminster Fuller, author, inventor and futurist Friend or foe? When it comes to drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), these are principally surveillance tools not weapons at present. Payloads are generally small and they’re vulnerable to ground defense because of their slow speed. But give it a few decades and things will change. For example, how about networked drones small enough and responsive enough to enter a house through an open window and transmit information as they travel from room to room?


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

Some think it could be less than a decade, others are convinced it is centuries away. One thing that is clear, though, is that the belief that AGI could arrive within a few decades is not the preserve of a few crackpots. Sober and very experienced scientists think so too. It is a possibility we should take seriously. Creating an AGI is very hard. But serious consideration of exponential growth makes very hard problems seem more tractable. Buckminster Fuller estimated that at the start of the twentieth century the sum of human knowledge was doubling every century, and that by the end of the second world war that had reduced to twenty-five years. (40) Now it takes 13 months and in 2006 IBM estimated that when the internet of things becomes a reality the rate would be every 12 hours. (41) The football stadium thought experiment illustrates how progress at exponential rate can take you by surprise – even when you are looking for it.


pages: 378 words: 94,468

Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power

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air freight, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, double helix, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, frictionless, Haight Ashbury, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Satoshi Nakamoto, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, Zimmermann PGP

The Shulgins wrote the preface to Stolaroff’s book Thanatos to Eros (1994) detailing his experiences with LSD, MDMA, mescaline and a number of Shulgin’s creations.2 Author Stewart Brand, who coined the phrase ‘Information wants to be free’ in 1984, was responsible for filming the Mother of All Demos, and that same year he launched the Whole Earth Catalog, the ad-free samizdat techno-hippy bible. Its esoteric and wide-ranging content, from poetry to construction plans for geodesic domes by physicist Buckminster Fuller, from car repair tips to trout-fishing guides and the fundamentals of yoga and the I-ching, was hacked together using Polaroid cameras, Letraset and the highest of low-tech. It now reads much like a printed blog; it was a paper website, in the words of blogger and author Kevin Kelly, that was sprinting before the web even took its first shaky steps.3 Its statement of intent in its launch issue reads like a manifesto that has been realized by today’s web users: ‘A realm of intimate personal power is developing – the power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

“Within ten years after initiating space migration,” Leary wrote, “a group of a thousand people will be able to get together cooperatively and build a new mini-world cheaper than they could buy individual homes down here. When you’ve got new ideas you can’t hang around the old hive.” During the seventies, Leary had plenty of company in calling for the establishment of elite experimental colonies beyond the bounds of established society. Buckminster Fuller, Gerard O’Neill, and Jerry Brown, among others, argued for the necessity of expanding the American frontier to create zones of technological and social experimentation where innovation could proceed unhampered by outdated laws and traditions. The migration of the self-selecting elite would eventually help the more timid who chose to stay behind, Leary argued, as it “allows for new experiments—technological, political, and social—in a new ecological niche far from the home hive.”


pages: 222 words: 70,559

The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself-and Profit-from the Coming Energy Crisis by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb

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Buckminster Fuller, diversified portfolio, fixed income, hydrogen economy, income per capita, index fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit motive, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Vanguard fund, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond

The sooner we make a real commitment, the better, because there will be no deus ex machina to bail us out. Token funding of alternative energies won’t be enough. Our whole national mindset has to change. It would have been nice, of course, if the big push to develop alternative energies had been made before we reached this pass. Even before the first Arab oil embargo it was clear to some people that it made no sense to rely so heavily on fossil fuels. Buckminster Fuller was an early visionary in this area, as in many others. In 1969 he wrote in his book Utopia or Oblivion: “There are gargantuan energy-income sources available which do not stay the processes of nature’s own conservation of energy within the earth crust ‘against a rainy day.’ These are in water, tidal, wind, and desert-impinging sun radiation power. The exploiters of fossil fuels, coal and oil, say it costs less to produce and burn the savings account.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

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3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

The underlying philosophy was that technology could be our friend. Brand wrote on the first page of the first edition, “A realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by The Whole Earth Catalog.” Buckminster Fuller followed with a poem that began, “I see God in the instruments and mechanisms that work reliably.”13 The Homebrew Computer Club, where Jobs and Wozniak brain-stormed the first Apple computer, was founded on these principles. Today it carries on in hundreds of makerspaces, each using twenty-first-century tools to try to effect the same sort of revolutionary social and economic change. Real countries make stuff Any country, if it wants to stay strong, must have a manufacturing base.


pages: 287 words: 81,970

The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Coming Currency Crisis With Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments by Charles Goyette

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bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Elliott wave, fiat currency, fixed income, Fractional reserve banking, housing crisis, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, index fund, Lao Tzu, margin call, market bubble, McMansion, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, oil shock, peak oil, pushing on a string, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, short selling, Silicon Valley, transaction costs

Deserving Mention Canadian Royalty Trusts, oil and gas income trusts, can experience a major rally as energy prices recover. In the meantime the yields remain attractive for the time being. Baytex Energy Trust, BTE; Enerplus Resources Fund Trust, ERF; Penn West Energy Trust, PWE. CHAPTER FOURTEEN Real Things Can’t Live Without ’Em One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever. —Ecclesiastes 1:4 Wealth is the progressive mastery of matter by mind. —Buckminster Fuller Agriculture When investment legend and commodities bull Jim Rogers says that ten years from now instead of twenty-nine-year-old stockbrokers driving Maseratis, it will be twenty-nine-year-old farmers, he’s making an important point about the shifting economy. People’s spending hierarchies experience dynamic changes in lean economic times. People can live without the excesses of Wall Street.


pages: 208 words: 67,288

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, false memory syndrome, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Isaac Newton, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, the scientific method

For example, molecules of naphthalene (the substance that mothballs are made of) are also made of carbon with hydrogen attached, this time in two loops. Carbon chemistry is rather like the toy construction kit called Tinkertoy. In the laboratory, chemists have succeeded in making carbon atoms join up with each other, not just in simple loops but in wonderfully shaped Tinkertoy-like molecules nicknamed Buckyballs and Buckytubes. ‘Bucky’ was the nickname of Buckminster Fuller, the great American architect who invented the geodesic dome. The Buckyballs and Buckytubes scientists have made are artificial molecules. But they show the Tinkertoyish way in which carbon atoms can be joined together into scaffolding-like structures that can be indefinitely large. (Just recently the exciting news was announced that Buckyballs have been detected in outer space, in the dust drifting near to a distant star.)


Toast by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

We know the gateways link to at least three other planets. There may be many that we don’t know of. We don’t know how to create them or close them; all we can do is send people through, or pile bricks in the opening.” He nearly bites his tongue, because there are more than three worlds out there, and he’s been to at least one of them: the bolt-hole on XK-Masada, built by the NRO from their secret budget. He’s seen the mile-high dome Buckminster Fuller spent his last decade designing for them, the rings of Patriot air defense missiles. A squadron of black diamond-shaped fighters from the Skunk Works, said to be invisible to radar, patrols the empty skies of XK-Masada. Hydroponic farms and empty barracks and apartment blocks await the senators and congressmen and their families and thousands of support personnel. In event of war they’ll be evacuated through the small gate that has been moved to the Executive Office Building basement, in a room beneath the swimming pool where Jack used to go skinny-dipping with Marilyn.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

In this sense our world becomes one, where everything is information, where knowledge is converted into actual objects and where the internet crosses the chasm from the virtual into the physical. A virtual physical reality While technology has already been used extensively in the fields of dentistry, medicine, automobiles and aviation, it’s now entering our homes for the first time. Famed designer, inventor and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller spoke of a future where technology would advance to a point where we could do ‘more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing’. Fuller spoke of this phenomenon in 1938 and coined the term ‘ephermalization’ to describe it. Fuller’s vision was that ephermalization would result in ever-increasing standards of living for an ever-growing population despite finite resources.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review

Stay Humble— Stay a Learner Systems thinking has taught me to trust my intuition more and my figuring- out rationality less, to lean on both as much as I can, but still to be prepared for surprises. Working with systems, on the computer, in nature, among people, in organizations, constantly reminds me of how incomplete my mental models are, how complex the world is, and how much I don’t know. The thing to do, when you don’t know, is not to bluff and not to freeze, but to learn. The way you learn is by experiment—or, as Buckminster Fuller put it, by trial and error, error, error. In a world of complex systems, it is not appropriate to charge forward with rigid, undeviating directives. “Stay the course” is only a good idea if you’re sure you’re on course. Pretending you’re in control even when you aren’t is a recipe not only for mistakes, but for not learning from mistakes. What’s appropriate when you’re learning is small steps, constant monitoring, and a willingness to change course as you find out more about where it’s leading.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

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Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

He introduced me to Total Immersion swimming by Terry Laughlin, and in less than 10 days of solo training, I went from a 2-length maximum (of a 25-yard pool) to swimming more than 40 lengths per workout in sets of 2 and 4. It blew my mind, and now I swim for fun. Chris is one of the people who generously mentored me in the startup investing game. The other majors include Naval Ravikant (page 546), Kevin Rose (page 340), and Mike Maples, who got me started (see the Real-World MBA on page 250). Chris mentioned several books when he appeared on my podcast, including I Seem to Be a Verb by Buckminster Fuller. 48 hours later, used copies were selling for $999 on Amazon. Are You Playing Offense or Defense? Despite the fact that people refer to Chris as a “Silicon Valley investor,” he hasn’t lived in San Francisco since 2007. Instead, he bought a cabin in rural Truckee, Tahoe’s less-expensive neighbor, and moved to prime skiing and hiking country. It is no tech hotbed. Back then, Chris hadn’t yet made real money in the investing game, but he had a rationale for buying the getaway: “I wanted to go on offense.

MacDonald), At Home: A Short History of Private Life; The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America (Bill Bryson), A Curious Discovery: An Entrepreneur’s Story (John Hendricks) Rubin, Rick: Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu, translation by Stephen Mitchell), Wherever You Go, There You Are (Jon Kabat-Zinn) Sacca, Chris: Not Fade Away: A Short Life Well Lived (Laurence Shames and Peter Barton), The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All; The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert (Richard Betts), How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel (Mohsin Hamid), I Seem to Be a Verb (R. Buckminster Fuller) Schwarzenegger, Arnold: The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History (Boris Johnson), Free to Choose (Milton Friedman), California (Kevin Starr) Sethi, Ramit: Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion (Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson), The Social Animal (Elliot Aronson), Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got (Jay Abraham), Mindless Eating (Brian Wansink), The Robert Collier Letter Book (Robert Collier), Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (Keith Ferrazzi), What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (Mark H.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

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banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

To make this pirate revolution work, experts (“technical freaks”) would be needed, and Hoffman recommended that readers find them in the world of amateur radio. He also directed them to Radical Software, a periodical emanating from a New York group of artists in the brandnew homeproduction medium of videotape. Operating oxymoronically as the Center for Decentralized Television, Radical Software was heavily influenced by Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller, and also by Norbert Wiener’s antiproprietorial vision of information. The magazine proclaimed in the first lines of its first issue the imperative to universalize access to information, not least by abjuring copyright. It included what it called a “pirated” interview with Fuller, and invented a symbol to represent the “antithesis” of ©. The symbol was a circle containing an X (for Xerox).

It occurred at a range of extramural and sometimes transient social settings, including various homes, Kepler’s bookstore (a place reminiscent of the bookshops and coffeehouses of Restoration London), and a Free University that offered courses on “How to End the IBM Monopoly.” In print, there was of course Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a guide to “tools” useful for readers impatient with the conformities of American consumerism. Launched in 1969, the catalogue touched on an extraordinary range of topics, from cybernetics and communication theories to agriculture and medicine, with an eclectic individualism purportedly inspired by Buckminster Fuller. It grew with successive editions until by 1971 it was almost 450 pages long. Its influence was demonstrated by the People’s Computer Company, a project overseen by Brand and Robert Albrecht (whom Ted Nelson hailed as the “caliph of counterculture computerdom”). The PCC was both a publication and an institution. As a publication, it was produced on the same printing equipment as the Whole Earth Catalog, using similar pagecraft to proselytize for a cognate message.


pages: 538 words: 141,822

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

In 1978, Daniel Boorstin, one of the most famous American historians of the twentieth century, lauded television’s power to “disband armies, to cashier presidents, to create a whole new democratic world—democratic in ways never before imagined, even in America.” Boorstin wrote these words when many political scientists and policymakers were still awaiting the triumph of “teledemocracy,” in which citizens would use television to not only observe but also directly participate in politics. (The hope that new technology could enable more public participation in politics predates television; back in 1940 Buckminster Fuller, the controversial American inventor and architect, was already lauding the virtues of “telephone democracy,” which could enable “voting by telephone on all prominent questions before Congress.”) In hindsight, the science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury was closer to the truth in 1953 than Boorstin ever was in 1978. “The television,” wrote Bradbury, “is that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.”


pages: 423 words: 118,002

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, American energy revolution, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate governance, energy security, energy transition, hydraulic fracturing, margin call, market fundamentalism, Mason jar, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Project Plowshare, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

His days of deal making on the ground floor of the Esperson Building were over. Mitchell Energy was a substantial company—not a giant like Mobil or Amoco, but a respectably sized independent oil and gas explorer. Having pulled himself up from poverty to wealth, Mitchell’s focus began to meander. In the early 1970s, he attended a think-tank retreat in the Rocky Mountains, where he met and fell under the sway of Buckminster Fuller, the futurist and inventor. Fuller, an iconic figure at the time, popularized the term “Spaceship Earth.” The Earth’s resources, he argued, were limited and needed to be used wisely, not frittered away. Fuller first spurred Mitchell’s interest in growth and depletion. At the end of a few days spent with Fuller talking about global overpopulation and environmental catastrophes, the futurist asked the oilman, “What are you going to do about it?”


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Brand is best known for founding the famous Whole Earth Catalog, a publication that itself became an emblem and icon of California’s late 1960s counterculture and back-to-the-land movement. One afternoon, probably in March 1966 in the hills of San Francisco, Brand dropped a bit of LSD and went up on a roof overlooking the city. It was a form of escape. He sat in a blanket, shivering in the cold spring air, overlooking the hills, lost in enhanced thought: And so I’m watching the buildings, looking out at San Francisco, thinking of Buckminster Fuller’s notion that people think of the earth’s resources as unlimited because they think of the earth as flat. I’m looking at San Francisco from 300 feet and 200 micrograms up and thinking that I can see from here that the earth is curved. I had the idea that the higher you go the more you can see earth as round.29 Yet no photograph of the whole Earth was publicly available at the time, Brand thought, despite nearly ten years of US space exploration in a Cold War arms race that extended even beyond the planet.


pages: 426 words: 115,150

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, Monique Tilford

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asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, buy low sell high, credit crunch, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, fiat currency, financial independence, fudge factor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index card, index fund, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, Parkinson's law, passive income, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, strikebreaker, Thorstein Veblen, Vanguard fund, zero-coupon bond

The “nine to five till you’re sixty-five” pattern, so recent in human history but so pervasive today, seems like the only choice for someone who is neither a sports nor entertainment superstar nor an eccentric. After all, there are bills to pay and an identity to maintain, and besides, what would I do with my life if I didn’t have a job? Is More Better? And many of us are out there “making a dying” because we’ve bought the pervasive consumer myth that more is better. Even though Buck-minster Fuller likened the earth to a spaceship, we cling to the silver-screen images of the Frontier, where “there’s always more where that came from.” We build our working lives on this myth of more. Our expectation is to make more money as the years go on. We will get more responsibility and more perks as we move up in our field. Eventually, we hope, we will have more possessions, more prestige and more respect from our community.

Rather than climbing a career ladder, you will be following the promptings of your heart and mind—and may find yourself on some side roads that are more interesting and enjoyable than any “job” you could have ever imagined. Life After the Crossover Point The essence of FI is choice. Once you’ve passed the Crossover Point you have choice about how you fill the hours of your day and the days of your productive life. There is no formula for how you live after the Crossover Point. And that’s the point. You are free to invent your life. You are free to explore what Buck-minster Fuller meant when he said, “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” You have a choice. SUMMARY OF STEP 8 Each month apply the following equation to your total accumulated capital and post the monthly investment income as a separate line on your Wall Chart: When you begin investing your money according to the guidelines offered in the next chapter, start entering your actual interest income for your monthly investment income on your Wall Chart (while still applying the formula to your further savings).


pages: 469 words: 97,582

QI: The Second Book of General Ignorance by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

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Ada Lovelace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, clean water, double helix, Etonian, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, out of africa, the built environment, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman

It’s long been known that one form of pure carbon (graphite) can be turned into another (diamond) by heat and pressure. But the Bayreuth team used neither. They used a third form of pure carbon, fullerite, also known as buckminsterfullerene or ‘buckyballs’. Its sixty carbon atoms form a molecule shaped like a soccer ball, or like one of the geodesic domes invented by the American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983). The carbon atoms in diamond are arranged in cubes stacked in pyramids; the new substance is made of tiny, interlocking rods. These are called ‘nanorods’ because they are so small – nanos is Greek for ‘dwarf’. Each is 1 micron (one millionth of a metre) long and 20 nanometres (20 billionths of a metre) wide – about 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair. Subjecting fullerite to extremes of heat (2,220 °C) and compression (200,000 times normal atmospheric pressure) created not only the hardest, but also the stiffest and densest substance known to science.


pages: 460 words: 107,712

A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings by Richard Dawkins

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Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Desert Island Discs, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, Necker cube, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method

The football is, therefore, theoretically a pattern into which carbon atoms might spontaneously fall. Mirabile dictu, exactly this pattern has been discovered among carbon atoms. The team responsible, including Sir Harry Kroto of Sussex University, won the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Called Buckminsterfullerene, it is an elegant sphere of 60 carbon atoms, linked up as 20 hexagons interspersed with 12 pentagons. The name honours the visionary American architect Buckminster Fuller (whom I was privileged to meet when he was a very old man2) and the spheres are affectionately known as buckyballs. They can combine together to make larger crystals. Like graphite sheets, buckyballs make good lubricants, probably because of their spherical shape: they presumably work like tiny ball bearings. Since the buckyball’s discovery, chemists have realized that it is just a special case of a large family of ‘buckytubes’ and other ‘fullerenes’.


pages: 309 words: 101,190

Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

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Buckminster Fuller, computer age, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, industrial robot, invention of radio, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, phenotype, Robert X Cringely, stem cell, trade route

For me, the champions of all microscopic kaleidoscopes are the Radiolaria, another planktonic group to which Haeckel paid special attention (Figure 7.5). They too illustrate beautiful symmetries of various orders, equivalent to kaleidoscopes with two, three, four, five, six and more mirrors. They have tiny skeletons made of chalk with a beauty and elegance that has kaleidoscopic embryology written all over it. The kaleidoscopic masterpiece in Figure 7.6 might have been designed by the visionary architect Buckminster Fuller (whom I was once privileged to hear, in his nineties, lecturing for a mesmerizing three hours without respite). Like his geodesic domes it relies for its strength on the structurally robust geometric form of the triangle. It is clearly the product of a kaleidoscopic embryology of a high order. Any given mutation will be reflected a very large number of times. The exact number cannot be determined from this picture.


pages: 307 words: 97,677

The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski

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Buckminster Fuller, card file, industrial robot, Menlo Park, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traveling salesman

While the wheelbarrow clearly had an advantage over the hod in requiring only one person to transport it, the hod retained an advantage over the wheelbarrow when it came to being emptied onto an elevated work space. Such relative advantages and disadvantages among artifacts lead to diversity rather than extinction. (photo credit 13.4) Streamlining American automobiles began with some subtle changes introduced in the 1920s, but the solidly established squarish Fords set the aesthetic standard. Radical streamlining, such as introduced by Buckminster Fuller in his Dymaxion car exhibited in 1935 at the Chicago World’s Fair, was clearly “futuristic,” and hence not taken as seriously as cars of the present. The sensibly streamlined 1934 Chrysler Airflow rounded and tapered the boxy profile, fenders, and windows of contemporary designs, but it was not a commercial success. The immediate postwar period, which the atomic bomb, if nothing else, defined as the future realized, saw the arrival of truly streamlined cars in the 1947 Studebaker.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

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Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce

In the span of a few years, his mad-hatter effusions drew followers to him from a wide array of disciplines and professions. As the recipient of a prestigious Albert Schweitzer fellowship at New York’s Fordham University, he entered the American mainstream, where he alienated, befriended, or otherwise unsettled an impressive assortment of American cultural leaders, from Woody Allen, John Cage, Joseph Campbell, Buckminster Fuller, Abbie Hoffman, and William Jovanovich to Alan Kay, Stanley Kubrick, Timothy Leary, Victor Papanek, Ezra Pound, Carl Sagan, Tom Wolfe, and Andy Warhol. By mid-century, McLuhan had become a recognized critic of advertising, like Vance Packard before him. McLuhan also had a ready explanation for Packard’s popularity in criticizing the excesses of advertising. He felt that Packard as a social phenomenon had been made possible by the leveling effect of television, which allowed Packard to “hoot at the old salesmen . . . just as MAD [magazine] does.”66 The lively prose of a passage that slams General Motors and its ad agencies because they did not “know, or even suspect, anything about the effect of the TV image on the users of motorcars” is probably the best clue we still have to McLuhan’s charismatic attraction.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

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A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city

Residents desiring views of the surrounding countryside would be able to opt for (presumably costlier) dwellings situated along the perimeter, facing out. Stores, schools, factories, and other nonresidential uses would be concentrated, mall-style, in the central core. Individual heating and air-conditioning units would be unnecessary because the city itself would be climate-controlled. The domed roof would be made of triangular glass panels and would owe a design debt to R. Buckminster Fuller. “Most houses in Compact City would have two floors in order to conserve base area,” the authors wrote, with the self-assurance of professionally logical men who are certain they have thought of everything (Dantzig was an inventor of linear programming). “Design of both the interior and exterior of these houses would vary according to the preferences of the residents. The ringway would provide access to the rear of the upper floor of a house.


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other. Brand’s own information wanted to be expensive, and he made a small fortune in the publishing business. A bohemian intellectual who befriended both Buckminster Fuller and Ken Kesey, Brand appeared as a character in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and campaigned for NASA to release a picture of Earth from space. As living off the land became part of the post-hippie zeitgeist, he created the Whole Earth Catalog, an influential compendium of advice that Steve Jobs once referred to as “sort of like Google in paperback form.”19 He started out peddling an early version from the back of his truck and went on to sell more than a million copies of a later edition.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, Y2K

Another comes from the French fox Voltaire: “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” Every interview with a public figure should include the question “What have you been wrong about, and how did that change your views?” The answer will tell us if the person is intellectually honest or a tale spinner with delusions of infallibility. Let me quickly furnish a partial list of things I’ve been wrong about in public. In the 1960s, I pushed communes as a path to the future, Buckminster Fuller domes as habitable, and cocaine as harmless. In the 1970s, I was sure the 1973 oil crisis would lead to police in the streets of the United States, that nuclear power was bad, and that small was always beautiful, villages especially. I was totally wrong about the Y2K bug in 2000. In 2003 I was so sure that a Democrat would win the 2004 presidential election that I made a public bet about it.


pages: 334 words: 103,508

Icehenge by Kim Stanley Robinson

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Buckminster Fuller, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, double helix, gravity well

In the tapestry gallery, among the complicated wall hangings, there was a bulletin screen filled with messages and games and jokes. I stopped before it, and a sentence struck my eye. “Only under the stresses of total social emergencies do the effectively adequate alternative technical strategies synergetically emerge.” Jeez, I thought, what prose artist penned that? I looked down — the ascription was to one Buckminster Fuller. The quote continued: “Here we witness mind over matter and humanity’s escape from the limitations of his identity with some circumscribed geographical locality.” That was for sure. Part of the bulletin screen was reserved for suggestions for the name of the starship. Anyone could pick his color and typeface, and tap a name onto the space on the screen. It was getting crowded. Most of them were dull: First, One, The Starship.


pages: 404 words: 113,514

Atrocity Archives by Stross, Charles

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airport security, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, defense in depth, disintermediation, experimental subject, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, hypertext link, Khyber Pass, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, NP-complete, the medium is the message, Y2K, yield curve

I can just peep over the ridge, which falls away abruptly in front of me. More dead tree stumps; the ground beneath me, the crunching--now I can see that it's grass, freeze-dried and mummified beneath a layer of carbon dioxide frost. Hills or low mounds of some kind rise in the near distance, and then- "Disneyland?" I hear myself saying. Alan laughs quietly. "Not Disneyland. Think Mad King Ludwig's last commission, as executed by Buckminster Fuller." Cheesecake crenellations, battlements with machicolations, moat and drawbridge and turrets. Spiky pointed roofs on the towers--like the police stations in West Belfast, designed to deflect incoming mortar fire. Arrow slots filled with mirror glass half a metre thick. Radomes and antenna masts in the courtyard where you'd expect armoured knights to mount up. "I didn't know the RUC were Cthulhu-worshippers."


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Landlord's Game, lone genius, megacity, Minecraft, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

The tragic contradictions of Gruen’s life run through the plan for EPCOT as well: watching Disney’s film, you catch a fleeting glimpse of an alternate version of the recent past, where the pedestrian mall—“more like downtown than downtown itself”—inspires a new vision of urban life that rejects the tyranny of the automobile and ushers in a new era of mass-transit innovation. (Just imagine the impact on climate change if we’d had thirty years of using our automobiles only for weekend pleasure trips.) But, of course, that alternate past didn’t happen. Instead, the mall triggered decades of suburban ascendancy, and the Walt Disney Corporation turned EPCOT into yet another theme park, with its bizarre and sad hybrid of Buckminster Fuller futurism and It’s-a-Small-World globalism. Why weren’t progress cities built? The easiest way to dismiss the Gruen/EPCOT vision is to focus on the centrality of the mall itself. Now that mall culture is in decline—in the United States and Europe at least—we understand that the overly programmed nature of the mall environment ended up being its fatal flaw. As always, play is driven by surprise and novelty, just as it was when those London ladies first encountered the lavish shopfronts of Ludgate Hill, or when the Parisian kleptomaniacs first wandered into the wonderland of Le Bon Marché.


Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina

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Buckminster Fuller, fear of failure, financial independence, placebo effect, side project, unbiased observer

Contents Introduction "When I'm working on a problem, about beauty. I never think I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." — R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER 1 • Do y o u remember the exact m o m e n t you first became interested in personal development? I certainly do. It happened in January 1991 while I was sitting in a jail cell. I'd just been arrested for felony grand theft. This wasn't my first run-in with the law, so I knew was in trouble. I was 19 years old. I began stealing shortly after moving to Berkeley, California, during my first semester at UC Berkeley. I didn't steal for money or to build a reputation—I stole for the thrill. I was addicted to the surge of adrenaline. The compulsion to steal was so strong that shoplifting was part of my routine, nothing more than my daily espresso.


pages: 341 words: 116,854

The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square by James Traub

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Anton Chekhov, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Jane Jacobs, jitney, megastructure, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

Unlike Alexander Parker’s pastoralized plaza, Cityscape offered an extremely inventive and even playful rendition of 42nd Street’s character, adapting its identity as a rialto of popular entertainment to a new culture and new technology. Weinstein hired the artists and designers who had created the celebrated Czech pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, including Milos For-man, as well as the design firm of Chermayeff & Geismar, which was responsible for the American pavilion—the one with Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome—and the accompanying exhibit at Osaka in 1970. Cityscape was not a preservation project: its premise was that 42nd Street needed to be projected forward rather than backward. The design firm produced a cutaway aerial view of the project which today has about it a Flash Gordon sense of the fantastical. A monorail runs all around the perimeter on an upper floor—the orientation ride.


pages: 224 words: 91,918

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

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Bonfire of the Vanities, Buckminster Fuller, edge city, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Menlo Park, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen

Lights, movies, video tapes, video tapes of themselves, flashing and swirling over the dome from the beams of searchlights rising from the floor from between their bodies. The sounds roiling around in the globe like a typhoon. Movies and tapes of the past, tapes and video tapes, broadcasts and pictures of the present, tapes and humanoid sounds of the future—but all brought together now—here and now— Kairos—into the dilated cerebral cortex ... The geodesic dome, of course, was Buckminster Fuller's inspiration. The light projections were chiefly Gerd Stern's, Gerd Stern of the USCO group, although Roy Seburn had already done a lot with them and Page Browning showed a talent that surprised everybody. But the magic dome, the new planet, was Kesey and the Pranksters. The idea went beyond what would later be known as mixed-media entertainment, now a standard practice in "psychedelic discotheques" and so forth.


pages: 391 words: 22,799

To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration

President Jack Shewmaker, a major force in pushing the digital revolution in Bentonville, even attended the same church as Holder.33 These creative collusions between business, technology, and belief shed new light on the supposed “paradox” of Wal-Mart: how the hightech rednecks mastered cybernetics and corporate culture without losing Christ or country music. Despite its gleam of pure sciÂ�enÂ�tific rationality, developing and deploying high technology has been in part a 132 MAKING CHRISTIAN BUSIN E S S M EN spiritual exercise from the beginning, no matter the political context. The countercultural devotees of Buckminster Fuller, Ken Kesey, and the Whole Earth Catalog brought their dreams of antiauthoritarian, transcendent elitism into the cyber revolution in California. Blending their privileged vision as “comprehensive designers” with the decentralized technologies they developed, this loose fraternity marked an entire wing of the postindustrial economy with their conviction that their new tools made them “as gods.”


pages: 436 words: 124,373

Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds

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back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, hive mind, information retrieval, risk/return, stem cell, trade route

He knew what hyperdiamond was: a topologically complex interweave of tubular fullerene; structurally similar to cellulose or bulk chitin but thousands of times stronger; its rigidity artificially maintained by some piezo-electric trick which Gilgamesh lacked. "Interesting," Vargovic said. "But unfortunately not interesting enough." She ordered another mocha and downed it replying. "Use your imagination. Only the Demarchy knows how to synthesise it." "It's also useless as a weapon." "Depends. There's an application you should know about." "What?" "Keeping this city afloat - and I'm not talking about economic solvency. Do you know about Buckminster Fuller? He lived about four hundred years ago; believed absolute democracy could be achieved through technological means." "The fool." "Maybe. But Fuller also invented the geodesic lattice which determines the structure of the buckyball; the closed allotrope of tubular fullerene. The city owes him on two counts." "Save the lecture. How does the hyperdiamond come into it?" "Flotation bubbles," she said.


Wireless by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, back-to-the-land, Benoit Mandelbrot, Buckminster Fuller, Cepheid variable, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, cosmic microwave background, epigenetics, finite state, Georg Cantor, gravity well, hive mind, jitney, Khyber Pass, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, peak oil, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, security theater, sensible shoes, Turing machine

We know the gateways link to at least three other planets. There may be many that we don’t know of. We don’t know how to create them or close them; all we can do is send people through, or pile bricks in the opening.” He nearly bites his tongue, because there are more than three worlds out there, and he’s been to at least one of them: the bolt-hole on XK-Masada, built by the NRO from their secret budget. He’s seen the mile-high dome Buckminster Fuller spent his last decade designing for them, the rings of Patriot air-defense missiles. A squadron of black diamond-shaped fighters from the Skunk Works, said to be invisible to radar, patrols the empty skies of XK-Masada. Hydroponic farms and empty barracks and apartment blocks await the senators and congressmen and their families and thousands of support personnel. In event of war they’ll be evacuated through the small gate that has been moved to the Executive Office Building basement, in a room beneath the swimming pool where Jack used to go skinny-dipping with Marilyn.


pages: 436 words: 141,321

Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber

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Albert Einstein, augmented reality, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, failed state, future of work, hiring and firing, index card, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, the market place, the scientific method, Tony Hsieh

May it help many readers gather inspiration to create businesses, schools, hospitals, or nonprofits inspired by this emerging new wave of consciousness that is starting to transform the world. Ken Wilber Denver, Colorado Fall 2013 Introduction THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW ORGANIZATIONAL MODEL You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Richard Buckminster Fuller Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher and scientist, proclaimed in a treatise written in 350 BC that women have fewer teeth than men.1 Today we know this is nonsense. But for almost 2,000 years, it was accepted wisdom in the Western World. Then one day, someone had the most revolutionary of ideas: let’s count! The scientific method—formulating a hypothesis and then testing it—is so deeply ingrained in our thinking that we find it hard to conceive that intelligent people would blindly trust authority and not put assumptions to the test.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

For Oakeshott, the cookbook was the end (or an output), not the start (or an input), of that tradition. An argument against rationalists who refused to acknowledge the importance of practices and traditions, rather than a celebration of cookery books, it’s a surprisingly upbeat moment in Oakeshott’s thought. However, one can only wonder if Oakeshott would need to revise his judgment today, now that cooking books have been replaced with the kinds of sophisticated gadgetry that would have Buckminster Fuller, the archsolutionist who never stopped fantasizing about the perfect kitchen, brimming with envy. Paradoxically, as technologies get smarter, the maneuvering space for interpretation—what Oakeshott thought would bring cooks in touch with the world of practices and traditions—begins to shrink and potentially disappear entirely. New, smarter technologies make it possible to finally position, as it were, the cookery book’s instructions outside the tradition; almost no knowledge is required to cook with their help.


pages: 483 words: 143,123

The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters by Gregory Zuckerman

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American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, LNG terminal, margin call, Maui Hawaii, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, reshoring, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, urban decay

Mitchell favored checkered pants and jackets that reminded some of the attire of a used-car salesman. He managed his company with an informality and dedication that inspired employees. “George avoided all publicity,” says Clark, the senior executive. “He was just work, tennis, work, tennis, work, tennis.”7 Mitchell evolved into an unusual energy baron. A few years earlier, he had met R. Buckminster Fuller, a futurist and an early environmental activist. Fuller believed human sustainability was in jeopardy and that societies needed to turn to renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power. Mitchell became convinced of the need to pursue alternative energy options in addition to fossil fuels. “It took me three or four days to understand what he was talking about,” recalls Mitchell, who hosted Fuller at various conferences.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

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Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Instead, most individuals who viewed computers as tools for liberation were politically agnostic, more focused on forming alternative communities, and inclined to embrace new technology as a means to better achieve personal liberty and human happiness—what one scholar has labeled as the “New Communalists.” Stewart Brand, Stanford University biology graduate turned publishing entrepreneur, became a leading voice for the New Communalists through creating The Whole Earth Catalog. Deeply influenced by cybernetics visionary Norbert Wiener, electronics media theorist Marshall McLuhan, and architect and designer Buckminster Fuller, Brand pressed NASA to publicly release a satellite photo of the Earth in 1966. Two years later the photo adorned the cover of the first edition of The Whole Earth Catalog. Publishing regularly between 1968 and 1971, Brand’s catalog identified and promoted key products or tools for communal living and, in doing so, sought to help “transform the individual into a capable, creative person.” The only “catalog” to ever win a National Book Award, the publication was inspirational to many personal-computer pioneers including Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who later reminisced: “The Whole Earth Catalog . . . was one the bibles of my generation. . . .


pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

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Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” Carter Center, May 12, 2009, http://www.cartercenter.org/news/editorials_speeches/BostonGlobe-energy-security-hearings.html. decentralized power options: Carter also did a great deal to strengthen America’s reliance on fossil fuels, by encouraging more coal use and the exploitation of domestic oil. His problem was energy security and he was very catholic in his approach to solving it. Williams (1997), 325. commitment to fundamental change: This process might have been inevitable, for as Buckminster Fuller famously pointed out, “All the technical curves rise in tonnage and volumetric size to reach a giant peak after which miniaturization sets in. After that a more economic art takes over which also goes through the same cycle of doing progressively more with less.” Critical Path (1981). the project and opted out: Hirsh (1999), 82. any given billing cycle: The most standard “promotional rate” structure was to charge less the more electricity was used.


pages: 409 words: 138,088

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

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British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, cuban missile crisis, full employment, game design, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, Ronald Reagan, V2 rocket

And as abruptly as Young started, he stops. He’s done. I realize that I’ve been holding my breath for some time: we both exhale and sit in silence for a moment, like a pair of strangers who’ve just had reckless sex and now don’t know what to say to each other. Later research reveals “buckyballs” to be a recently discovered form of molecule, named after the brilliant thinker/ inventor/engineer/cosmologist Buckminster Fuller. And if I can’t quite remember what the question was by this point, I have managed to grasp that I’m being asked to contemplate the near-certain extinction of my species through something other than boredom or stupidity, possibly in my own lifetime, or even next Tuesday. And now my mind reels back to the previous evening and a fund-raising dinner for Buzz Aldrin’s National Space Society.


pages: 509 words: 137,315

Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling

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back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, industrial robot, Malacca Straits, offshore financial centre, South China Sea, wage slave

“Rita made planter’s punch.” “Well, pour me some.” He vanished with the baby and brought her back freshly changed, with her bottle. Laura sighed. “You had a good time, David, didn’t you?” “You wouldn’t believe what they have out there,” David said, sprawling onto the couch with the baby in his lap. “I met another one of the Andreis. I mean his name’s not Andrei, but he acted just like him. Korean guy. Big Buckminster Fuller fan. They’re making massive arcologies out of nothing! For nothing! Concretized sand and seastone. They sink these iron grates into the ocean, run some voltage through, and get this: solids begin to accrete … calcium carbonate, right? Like seashells! They’re growing buildings offshore. Out of this ‘seastone.’ And no building permits … no impact statements … nothing.” He gulped three inches of cloudy rum and lime, then shuddered.


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

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23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, wage slave, William of Occam

Snyder (www.fourhourbody.com/surgery) The pre-surgery shoulder dislocation while I’m sedated is disgusting. Fun watching if you enjoy YouTube videos of folks face-planting off of Swiss balls, etc. Biopuncture: Common Questions and Answers (www.chiromedicalgroup.com/biopuncture) Overview of Biotensegrity (www.fourhourbody.com/biotensegrity) This explains the fascinating functions of fascia. Steven Levin, an orthopedic surgeon, explains how the principles of tensegrity seen in R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes apply in the human body, with bones acting as the compressive elements and the soft tissues as the tension elements. If you are at all geek-inclined, read “The Importance of Soft Tissues for Structural Support of the Body.” It’s outstanding. Egoscue (www.egoscue.com) Egoscue is a postural therapy program with 24 clinic locations worldwide. The program is designed to treat musculoskeletal pain without drugs, surgery, or manipulation.


pages: 593 words: 189,857

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises by Timothy F. Geithner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Doomsday Book, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Flash crash, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, implied volatility, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, Northern Rock, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pets.com, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tobin tax, too big to fail, working poor

He’s also a lifelong Republican, although he came of age in the Eisenhower era, before much of his party veered to the far right. He devoted his professional life to global development, not a typically conservative cause, and he voted for President Obama in 2008. But he supported Mitt Romney in 2012, even though I was still working for the President. My mother is from a New England family dating back to the Mayflower, with relatives including the architect Buckminster Fuller, the journalist Margaret Fuller, and the novelist John Marquand. Her father, Charles F. Moore, Jr., was, among other things, a newspaperman, vice president of Ford Motor Company, and an adviser to President Eisenhower. Later in life, he served as a town selectman in Orleans, the small town on the Cape where my parents now live. My mother’s older brother, Jonathan, spent his whole career in public service, helping to preserve the Cape Cod National Seashore as a Republican congressional aide, holding influential jobs at the U.S.


Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, centre right, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, double helix, East Village, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, horn antenna, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index card, Jacques de Vaucanson, Kowloon Walled City, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Tunguska event, urban sprawl, Vesna Vulović, wikimedia commons, working poor

The spillway is best seen during the rainy season when the lake is full. 38.512201 122.104748 Lake Berryessa’s massive overflow drain is known affectionately as the “glory hole.” Also in California Winchester Mystery House San Jose · The former home of Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester gun fortune, contains doors to nowhere, stairs that stop suddenly, and secret passages. Dymaxion Chronofile Stanford · From journals to blueprints to dry-cleaning bills, Buckminster Fuller documented his life in staggering detail. The full archive is stored at Stanford University Library. Methuselah Tree White Mountains · Germinated circa 2833 BCE, this gnarled bristlecone pine is one of the oldest trees in the world. OREGON Arborsmith Studios WILLIAMS Arborsculpture is the craft of shaping living trees into works of art and architecture. The term was coined by Richard Reames, one of its pioneering practitioners and the owner of Arborsmith Studios—a combination nursery, design studio, and al fresco art gallery.


pages: 1,758 words: 342,766

Code Complete (Developer Best Practices) by Steve McConnell

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Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, choice architecture, continuous integration, data acquisition, database schema, fault tolerance, Grace Hopper, haute cuisine, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, inventory management, iterative process, late fees, loose coupling, Menlo Park, place-making, premature optimization, revision control, slashdot, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine, web application

Some goals contradict other goals, but that's the challenge of design—creating a good set of tradeoffs from competing objectives. Some characteristics of design quality are also characteristics of a good program: reliability, performance, and so on. Others are internal characteristics of the design. When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. —R. Buckminster Fuller Here's a list of internal design characteristics: Cross-Reference These characteristics are related to general software-quality attributes. For details on general attributes, see Section 20.1, "Characteristics of Software Quality." Minimal complexity The primary goal of design should be to minimize complexity for all the reasons just described. Avoid making "clever" designs. Clever designs are usually hard to understand.


pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF by Gardner Dozois

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back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K

“I haven’t been in an accident,” he said. “It was deliberate.” “Jesus, they beat you to keep secrets?” “You don’t understand me, Edward. Look at the images again. I’m not damaged.” “Look, there’s thickening here” – I indicated the ankles – “and your ribs – that crazy zigzag pattern of interlocks. Broken sometime, obviously. And – ” “Look at my spine,” he said. I rotated the image in the video frame. Buckminster Fuller, I thought. It was fantastic. A cage of triangular projections, all interlocking in ways I couldn’t begin to follow, much less understand. I reached around and tried to feel his spine with my fingers. He lifted his arms and looked off at the ceiling. “I can’t find it,” I said. “It’s all smooth back there.” I let go of him and looked at his chest, then prodded his ribs. They were sheathed in something tough and flexible.