I picked up Buckminster Fuller's Cosmography, the book he was working on when he died, and which was published in 1992. Thumbing through it for inspiration, I found the diagram on page 160 startling.
Imagine a circle standing for the globe. At nine o'clock there is drawn a Mayan step pyramid, at twelve, a Greek temple, at three, an Asian building with curved peak-ridge and eaves. The Greek steps are drawn with sloppy curves, more or less concentric with the circle representing the Earth. The Mayan steps are crisply drawn with a straight edge, ninety-degree t-bars for a line radiating from the circle's center.
This is the caption:
FIG. 6.31 Earth surface considerations around the world. Greek temple builders used plumb bobs, and their temple steps, if longitudinally sighted, will be found to be inadvertently following the curvature of the Earth. Mayan foundations were correctly engineered to be tangent to Earth and were conscious of the planet's spherical surface curvature. Many buildings in Asia were derived from ships drawn up on land; thus, their lines are reflection patterns of a ship's lines.
Let's ignore the Asian building. This is typical Fuller speculation. We'll say, "Sure. Whatever."
Of course we agree that the Greeks built the way Fuller says. It's the way we would. It's hard to imagine a different way of laying broad stone slabs on the ground. I haven't done it yet.
But the Mayans! How did they do that? How did Fuller know they did? Where can I find out more?
It's tempting to write the notion of the Mayans building tangents to the Earth's spherical surface as an eighty-nine year old's delusion, especially within two weeks of December 21, 2012. I read enough Fuller in my thirties, though, to say that I think I can recognize Bucky's bullshit, and this ain't it. That substance smells more like the Asian-boat thing.
You don't skim Fuller. Anyway, I can't, and I haven't found any exposition in the text that references FIG. 6.31. The Mayans don't pop up in the index at all.
I wonder if "Kiyoshi Kuromiya Adjuvant" remains alive. I'll google him and send him a snail mail.