Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bucky Fuller. Expelled from Harvard. Contemplated Suicide. Chose To Serve Humanity.

Buckminster Fuller Wikiquotes

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

Paul Schulte first brought Bucky Fuller to my attention.

Lately, I've been thinking about Bucky and am sorely tempted to re-read his short, brilliant book, "Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth." 

Excerpt: "To take advantage of the fabulous magnitudes of real wealth waiting to be employed intelligently by humans and unblock automation’s postponement by organized labor we must give each human who is or becomes unemployed a life fellowship in research and development or in just simple thinking. Man must be able to dare to think truthfully and to act accordingly without fear of losing his franchise to live. The use of mind fellowships will permit humans comprehensively to expand and accelerate scientific exploration and experimental prototype development. For every 100,OOO employed in research and development, or just plain thinking, one probably will make a breakthrough that will more than pay for the other 99,999 fellowships. Thus, production will no longer be impeded by humans trying to do what machines can do better. Contrariwise, omni-automated and inanimately powered production will unleash humanity’s unique capability-its metaphysical capability." ("Operating Manual," Chapter 8.

Fuller predicted that the great office buildings would soon be turned into residences and that all the work that had been done in them will be done in the basements of a few buildings. 

Half a century ago, Bucky observed that we "must operate exclusively on our vast daily energy income from the powers of wind, tide, water, and the direct Sun radiation energy."


Years after Paul's intro, he recounted his one-and-only meeting with Fuller who was sitting in an airport, waiting for a plane. 

Paul approached and launched the conversation by saying, "I've been meaning to talk to you Bucky..."

I only remember one other thing about Paul's encounter. Because Bucky's shirt was grotesquely puffed up with something, Paul asked about this oddity. 

Fuller replied: "It's always cold on planes and the simplest, best insulation is to stuff your shirt with crumpled newspaper."

I have another memory of Bucky which I think is true. (I just now verified it.) 

As a young man, Bucky found himselof sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come...

"(At) 32, Buckminster Fuller's life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, Buckminster Fuller contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Fuller embarked "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity... Fuller spent the next half century searching for "ways of doing more with less" -- his self-denominated "dymaxion" approach -- so that all people could be fed and sheltered." (Alan: As I recall, Bucky actually waded into the sea intending to drown himself when the epiphany described above came over him.

Pax tecum


PS Here is a free online link to "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth." 
Another excellent Fuller source (from Brain Pickings):

Alan: I fully understand that unbearable pain can drive people to suicide. I relay the following information only to praise Bucky who, as far as I know, was not experiencing unbearable, unhinging pain. It is not my intention to impugn anyone who commits suicide when their anguish seems to leave them no other way.

Bucky said - and I quote from memory - "The most idealistic is the realistically most practical."

On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 8:43 PM, Fred Owens <> wrote:

Farm labor shortage cannot be resolved by either left-wing or right-wing thinking.
Hillary Clinton can't fix it. Marco Rubio can't fix it.

Gonna have to transcend to a higher level....... Calling Buckminster Fuller...... Calling Buckminster Fuller......... Calling Buckminster Fuller ...

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My blog is Fred Owens

send mail to:

Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001


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