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Education Automation: Comprehensive Learning for Emergent Humanity Paperback – October 29, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), architect and philosopher
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lars Müller Publishers; 1 edition (October 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3037781998
  • ISBN-13: 978-3037781999
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,628,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This volume actually packages the short 1962 core work "Education Automation" with a number of other lesser-known writings. "Education Automation" was a 1961 address delivered by Fuller at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he was assistant professor. The text was long available online in various places, including the Buckminster Fuller Institute, which this volume's editor, Fuller's grandson, co-founded. It has apparently been removed from there and most places online, perhaps related to the creation of this print edition, but it seems still findable with a bit of effort by Googling "Buckminster Fuller" "education automation" and looking for result at "preterhuman."

I would have to give this volume low marks on ethical/educational grounds, because a) it unhelpfully confuses the identity of the key work "Education Automation" with later ancillary works, rather than, say, choosing a helpful title like "R. Buckminster Fuller on Education" as University of Massachusetts Press did with its very similar 1979 collection; and b) it may have helped convert a once freely available work, produced for a public university by a public employee 50 years ago, into a much less accessible, commercial print edition. Call me idealistic, but I'd rather see publishing and editorial work widening, not enclosing knowledge.

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Tim McCormick @tmccormick
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Format: Paperback
There's a terrific book of a lecture by Buckminster Fuller called Education Automation. He was invited to speak to the trustees of a college building a new campus in, I think, Ohio. It's 1962 and he goes on this whirlwind about nautical history and you can tell they're rolling their eyes. About 20 minutes into a history of western civilization he basically says: white people are mutts. They're the mix of all humans who have had boats and have traveled from Africa to Scandinavia to India to Europe and finally to the US. And having made that point, he says: so don't plan to have a white-only school. Don't build segregated bathrooms in the campus you are building from scratch, but maybe be prescient enough to build bathrooms for ladies of the same number as mens rooms. 1962. Not far-future stuff, but definitely heading off some architectural details that would quickly need refactoring.

And having explained they should have bathrooms for people of many colors and sexes, he goes on to suggest they not spend their entire budget on the big football field the generic local politician will be pressuring them to build, but instead to consider that lectures from the greatest institutions around the world will soon be arriving via "two-way television" and that the shape of a new campus for modern education would be one of small seminar-friendly classrooms, libraries for studies, media centers for watching these lectures alone, and lecture-size theaters for watching them with tutors and peers.
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