Buckminster Fuller and the Troy Model
GeoNotes News / May 1, 2010
Christopher Rudy, Editor
Many people have difficulty seeing the future even when it is right in front of them. A good analogy is the early account of native peoples when the tall sailing ships of Columbus first appeared off their coast. It was like viewing a UFO to them -- entirely alien to their mindset tinged with superstitious fears of the unknown. And so it was with The Troy Model – a community application of the whole systems design science pioneered by Buckminster Fuller.
I self-published The Troy Model as a 40 page booklet back in 1972, inspired by the concepts of Buckminster Fuller as were published in the Whole Earth Catalog. That extraordinary catalog of books, tools and resources for self-reliant living was itself a breakthrough model of whole systems thinking inspired by Buckminster Fuller. Or as Apple Computer’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs said in his June 2005 Stanford University commencement speech:
"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation... It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along. It was idealistic and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."
My pure intention with The Troy Model was to apply Fuller’s whole systems design science to the resources of my home town, Troy Ohio, as could represent all communities with an optimistic vision of the future. Or as Buckminster Fuller said in his book, “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”:
From the beginning, the heart of The Troy Model was application of emerging communication breakthroughs as could redefine the prevailing paradigm of one-way broadcast programming with a two-way interactive “nervous system” (communications infrastructure) for the whole community. In other words, a healthy community is an interactive whole system like every living cell.
Buckminster Fuller taught that biologists and anthropologists discovered how all species and nations which became extinct did so because of overspecialization and inability to self-correct with whole system adjustments in their total environment. We shape our whole systems and that environment than shapes us, whether that is the total-holistic environment of a single cell in the body or an entire community as a single cell in the world body -- The Troy Model.
The purpose of design science is to anticipate the trends into the future, utilizing available resources to optimize that future. This is the process that Fuller called, in brief, “comprehensive, anticipatory design science”. To be more specific, in his own words:
“In the concept of constant inexorable change, the most valuable assets of man are his utterly abstract, weightless ‘ideas’, which permit his swift recognition and adjustment to the every-changing pattern. The most valuable ideas are those which not only comprehend the change but also the trendings of the change in order to anticipate the next important change events -- as does the good driver of a car, pilot of a plane or captain of a ship – thereby enabling the safe and satisfactory dynamic, forward, transformative processing of man in evolutionary universe.”
If you look at the communications infrastructure of global humanity in this way, and consider the transformative evolution of human intelligence with the trendings of change, you will recognize the pattern of change with the computer/Internet revolution.
Back in 1972, the
emphasis was huge expensive mainframe computer
which evolved to
smaller desktop computers with an emphasis on
to the global network of computers with emphasis on
This process of “ephemeralization”, as Bucky called it, is doing more with less, the fruit of good design science. A good example is the new breed of cell phones with more computing power than a 1972 mainframe computer, plus the ability to access the worldwide web with thousands of software applications that can be customized for personal use. Consider where this is going:
We are now about to
witness a global
The application of heartware for mass-to-mass interaction will transform our new instant-everywhere Net reality by defining and refining social Conscience at the heart of our new social networks. This abstract, weightless ‘idea’, as Bucky would say, will permit swift recognition and adjustment to the every-changing pattern … a wholly new conscious awareness of HOW we are conscious... culturing conscientious common sense at the heart of Conscience.
What netware has done
for navigating cyberspace, heartware will now do for navigating
I realize that such prognostications are like trying to explain the Internet BEFORE the Internet, but familiarity with heartware as cultural DNA will provide extraordinary opportunity for those who would catch and ride the 4th Wave of the computer/Internet revolution.
Buckminster Fuller was one of the most amazing people I've ever met and studied under. Of course his ultimate vision for humanity -- a design science revolution of, by and for higher Conscience -- will only occur if enough good people do enough to make it so. As you connect the dots in this following article, consider how the real legacy of Buckminster Fuller -- and The Troy Model -- is the best ideas that optimism and innovation bring to fruition.
--------- Article follows:
One of the most fascinating and original minds of the 20th Century, Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller (July 12, 1895 July 1, 1983) was an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist who pioneered the concept of design science whereby society could be redesigned to be comprehensively successful for everyone on earth. Underpinning all of his work was an optimistic view of human potential.
Studying 19th-century philosophers like Malthus, Fuller concluded that they had gotten it wrong; mankind wasn't an “inherent failure", but in his view was becoming an inherent success. He believed we could use human ingenuity and existing resources to solve global problems, as long as we committed "egocide". "Selfishness", he declared, "is unnecessary and unrationalizable”. From his perspective, we could utilize design science to create such extraordinary abundance as to make the oxymoronic “value of scarcity” (economics of scarcity) obsolete.
taught that “livingry” (local/global win/win abundance)
(1) Why all social, political and economic problems are, at heart, communication problems;
(2) How community is defined by interactive "come-into-unity (communication) processes;
(3) Why communities of the future will utilize
interactive mass-to-mass communication that involves and evolves our individual and
change things by fighting the existing reality.
Consider this analogy of "power generation", from the physical to the political and the potential for enlightened social Conscience. Once engineers learned how to conduct and distribute electricity in the 19th Century, we transformed the entire earth in a blink of evolutionary time. When we discover reliable means to culture, network and utilize "higher power" (full-spectrum Conscience), we will likewise participate in an extremely rapid evolution of consciousness and society; the global rEVOLUTION in higher Conscience.
If you realize how
electric power transformed the world in
This analogy is appropriate when you consider that an electronic Space Age upgrade of our horse-and-buggy legislative systems could update decentralized public representation of our five core Constitutional freedoms in the way that makes centralized "DC current" obsolete. Indeed, when centralized power in Washington DC represents the inordinate love of power -- giant corporate monopolies in collusion with powerful government agencies -- what suffers is the decentralized currency of Conscience. Conversely, when the decentralized power of love frames the design of our new instant-everywhere and interactive Internet infrastructure, global community and the commonwealth will reboot with a golden age.
harness the winds, the waves and the tides,
The Troy Model was an attempt to bring global drama to an uncompromised
vision of humanity's possible future. Outwardly, this model featured a geodesic
dome over Troy Ohio's downtown square, a spherical dome that symbolized the
"global" geometries of nature applied to a virtually transparent enclosed
community center. Inwardly, The Troy Model featured the most compelling
artifact of the human intellect, the language of consciousness applied
to the first system of interactive
mass-to-mass TeLeComm, emphasizing the TLC with
The Troy Model was (and is) an archetype of the biological model of nature
Most people don't realize that we all were a
geodesic sphere, the geometry of a single fertilized cell that -- in the process
of cellular mitosis -- divides first in two parts, then four, than eight, etc.
until the zygote resembles a geodesic sphere -- the same nature-based geometry
in a geodesic dome.
know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth ...
Founded in 1983,
The Buckminster Fuller Institute serves a global network of design
"Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth" (1969) by Buckminster Fuller, 156 pages
Related 2010 quotable on the global operating system directive:
"The possibility for a rapid regeneration of human culture is predicated on a great awakening happening quickly before ecological meltdown leads to systemic breakdown. People need to awaken spiritually, to realize the many dimensions of psychic life beyond those accepted by modern society, and at the same time, bring those realizations down into their daily lives and social practices. Spiritual realization needs to be integrated with social commitment and direct action. Since the biosphere is now directly threatened by our post-industrial civilization, retreat from society is no longer possible or desirable. No matter whether we like it or not, each of us is, inevitably, a social and political agent whose smallest actions have a direct influence on other people and the world around us. Our current culture enshrines irresponsibility, greed, and waste. If the human species wants to survive, the civilization that replaces this one is going to have a different set of values and a revamped operating system." ~ DANIEL PINCHBECK, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head. He is the editorial director of the web magazine Reality Sandwich (www.realitysandwich.com) and co-founder of the social network Evolver.net (www.evolver.net).
Back in 1975, I sent Bucky a glass-framed five color photo-silkscreen print of this rendition of my “LOVE Model” and received a letter back that it was proudly hanging in his office.
As with the article above, my pure intention has been to geometrize the law of the angles framing the language of the angels - our better nature.
Modern psychology (Jung) tells us that the universal language of archetypes
been the quintessential foundation of mental constructs for our individual and
collective self-governance. Now
exquisite metaphor for this archetypal “Law
of the Angles of G.O.D.” (Geometry Oredered Divinity)
that frames the “Language
of the Angels of LOVE” ()…
the Constitution of Cosmic Law/Language coordinates which correlate the most
valued archetypal principles in a simple yet profound “pure geometry”
frame of reference.
I've been at this
for many years and still have Bucky's optimism, believing that the power of " language" will someday involve and evolve the
worldwide web of
Conscience. It naturally follows that the most powerful tool for culturing
the Net reality of civility will ultimately frame the language of consciousness
Convergence" -- a global rEVOLUTION in higher
Conscience -- as the rate of change accelerates on the
2010-2012 timeline. The Great Purification that the world is about to
experience has this pure intention -- to transcend systemic corruption with a
New Earth -- and in the process, transform our limited sense of connection with
the "holy whole". The "whole systems integrity" that Bucky championed will
provide real eyes (new eyes) to realize (conceive,
believe and achieve) the
emerging blueprint for a golden age.
"If the doors of
perception were cleansed
every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite."
~ "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," Plate 14, William Blake, 1791
The whole world is waking up to the fact that the whole world is waking up.
As humanity becomes more conscious of HOW we are conscious,
all perception becomes relative to the role of Conscience.
A new awareness of self-correcting potential will
translate our new web of consciousness
with the power of love heartware,
for the whole-holy spirit
of mass LOVE-
The Emerging Blueprint for a Golden Age
[2016 version HERE ~CR, added 2017]
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