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Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work Paperback – August 11, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Inventor of the geodesic dome and the phrase "spaceship earth," Fuller reportedly once had an out-of-body experience in which a voice told him: "You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe." The cocky, self-assured architect-engineer-poet-futurist, expelled twice from Harvard, who went on to shake the world with his technological innovations and vision of global unity, is brought down to earth in this absorbing biographical study. A lecturer-consultant specializing in Fuller's philosophy, Sieden here attempts to translate Fuller's ideas from the tech-guru's convoluted, jargon-laden style into accessible language. Though many of Fuller's major projects were commercial failures, Sieden succeeds in demonstrating how his search for Nature's underlying rules of harmony and efficiency is relevant to fields ranging from aviation and manufacturing technology to environmentalism, housing, parapsychology and extraterrestrial anthropology. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Buckminster Fuller's Universe is a vivid, personal and revealing work which brings Fuller home to todays people." -- Barbara Marx Hubbard, futurist & author
"Everybody concerned about the planet should read this book. It fully illustrates that a great man walked among us." -- Larry King, talk show host & author
"Sieden probes beyond Fuller's famous inventions to offer a unique psychological perspective on the roots of his successes and failures." -- Amory B. Lovins, Director of Research, Rocky Mountain Institute
"Sieden's biography is a tribute to a great man." -- Marilyn Ferguson, author The Aquarian Conspiracy
"This is a very necessary and useful book. It is not written in Fuller's language. You will understand it." -- John Cage
...lays out the saga of one of the great minds of the 20th century... his complicated ideas come into focus. -- Timothy Willard, Former Editor, The Futurist
Fuller is brought down to earth in this absorbing biographical study. -- Publisher's Weekly
Sieden has done a magnificent job of simplifying and restating Fullers comprehensive view. -- Rev. Peggy Bassett, D.D., Former President United Church of Religious Science Worldwide
Sieden has succeeded in bringing Fuller back as vibrant and thought provoking as ever, in a way we can understand. -- Allan Ray Putnam, Former Director, American Society for Metals
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However, on the negative side, there is a bit too much pro-Bucky "cheerleading" in this book for my taste. Although, I have zero desire to hear any "dirty laundry" or negative personal anecdotes about Bucky, I really would have liked to have learned just a bit about what Bucky's intellectual critics thought as well. There are always other resources for that though. This book is unabashedly about Bucky "worship", and considering that Bucky was probably indeed a genius, perhaps it's excusable.
Another complaint I have about this book is that it doesn't give as complete a picture of Bucky's life as it pertains to his intellectual development, as I'd like. For instance it almost seems from this book that Bucky quits his job in his early 30's and becomes a genius based on a bit of naval experience and personal studying and little more. I can't help think that there is much much more to the intellectual development of Buckminster Fuller than we are shown in this book.
Still this is a good introduction to Buckminster Fuller. It doesn't delve deeply into Bucky's views on math, but I suspect that is because even the author of this book doesn't understand them! There are still a few parts of Bucky's philosophy as explained in this book, that I don't understand at all, but I suspect they may be very difficult concepts to explain and grasp, and that I'd probably have to pick up a much more difficult book than this one to understand them, assuming they are indeed understandable.
Bucky Fuller's life is a lesson in and of itself. Physically challenged, he made it to Harvard University only to be ejected. So, a frail dropout from college who had problems with higher math somehow ended up creating engineering concepts that made an impact on the world and will do so far into the future. Dymaxion became a noun and adjective. What he should be remembered for is intelligence in design and engineering. In other words, he felt that proper design could conquer anything, whether it was creating a durable, mass producible home for mankind, an economical aerodynamic car, a geodesic dome to economically create a large meeting area, or something really grand. It's attributed to him that he once stated that, if he was alotted the proper resources, he could comfortably house the whole of humanity on the Japanese islands, leaving the rest of the world for agriculture, recreational parks, and untouched habitat. Of course, it should never be on tectonically challenged Japan, but you get the general theory.
This book gives us just a glimpse into most, but not all, of Bucky's great ideas, and as such is a must-have for someone wanting to get a first look at the somewhat forgotten genius futurist and conceptualist...
Part biography, part scientific dissertation, the author enlightens us on the wonderful and extraordinary life of R. Buckminster Fuller, a true renaissance man.
Many people have never even heard of Buckminster Fuller... but his ideas, inventions and philosophy have touched the lives of everyone on here on 'Spaceship Earth' as he liked to call it.
Just take a trip down to Epcot in Orlando, FL and see a geodesic sphere in real life, one that engineers and construction types said would not stand... its been standing there for almost 20 years now. Or, look down the street to the Contemporary Resort at the Magic Kingdom. Built entirely with modular construction and finished in record time.. a la "Bucky" Fuller.
Certainly this man was a great innovator... but what I was most impressed with was his 'comprensivist' point of view. He always strove to see the big picture of what is happening on Earth as well as the entire Universe around us.
Get this book if you want to open you mind to new ideas and paradigms. It has changed the way I look at many different things now.