Fuller claimed that humanity is in its "final examination." The man died in 1983, well before the Soviet collapse, so his preoccupation was nuclear war. One of his books was titled Utopia or Oblivion. Oblivion of course being nuclear holocaust, because wars are fought over resources the combatants believe to be scare. (Fuller believed they are mistaken.) Utopia amounted to opening a valve that would let human ingenuity solve the problem of scarcity. Fuller called us "four billion billionaires, as yet unaware of their good fortune." Here are some Fuller quotes that fit. They come from the first chapter, "The Dawn of Einstein's Universe," of Cosmography: A Posthumous Scenario for the Future of Humanity. "[Fuller's invention, the geodesic dome] is the only structure we know of that gets stronger as it gets larger and has no limit to its span." "When we double the diameter of a geodesic dome, we increase the volume by a factor of 8 and the surface by a factor of 4." (This lowers the heating bill.) "My intuition seemed to describe an evolution that is intent upon developing humans to the point where they can achieve total physical success." (Writing about what we call military spin-off technology) "For example, electric refrigeration., first used in battleships, is adopted a generation later for use in the domestic environment on dry land." "Of course, acting with conscious direction is the next stage of human evolution. I call this discipline anticipatory design science." "[Politics could never] produce so much high-standard life support with so little material and energy investment as now, for the first time in history, to be able to sustain all humanity at ever higher standards of living than we have ever before experienced or dreamed of." "[Acquiring useful technology by developing it to wage war] inadvertently also produces life-supporting technology, but it tkes a quarter of a century longer than it would if humanity first recognized the public longing to attain sustainable peace for all humanity and directly used the same high-technology production for livingry rather than for armaments." I blogged a week or two ago about Fuller's assertion, in this same book, that the Mayans built their pyramids' foundations tangent to the Earth's spherical surface. I said I would track down Fuller's adjuvant for Cosmography, Kiyosh Kuromiya. Unfortunately, we lost Kiyoshi-san to AIDS in 2000. He was born in an internment camp in Wyoming in 1943, and was a witty and energetic human rights activist. Apparently, his parents named him Steven and, as a kid, he went by the name Steve. Kiyoshi Kuromiya was active in ACT UP, and founded the Critical Path Project, an organization that continues to supply AIDS sufferers with internet access. I also exchanged e-mails about Mayan engineering with someone at the Buckminster Fuller Institute with no progress toward an answer. I'd be obliged for any suggestions.
I'm interested in practical solutions for an empire and a world that face declining fossil-fuel wealth. Peace and justice may become more elusive as oil becomes dearer. Stability, and what E. F. Schumacher called "a becoming life," will require an economy that operates on its solar income.
At age sixty, I'm beginning to learn how.