Monday, July 12, 2010

"Call Me Trimtab"

Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)

"Technologically we now have [six billion billionaires] on Spaceship Earth who are entirely unaware of their good fortune. Unbeknownst to [us our] legacy is being held in probate by general ignorance, fear, selfishness, and a myriad of paralyzing professional, licensing, zoning, building laws and the like, as bureaucratically maintained by the incumbent power structures.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path

“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty........ but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong”

“You can never learn less, you can only learn more.”

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.”

“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”

“Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.”

“Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.”

“If you are the master be sometimes blind, if you are the servant be sometimes deaf.”

“I just invent, then wait until man comes around to needing what I've invented.”

“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”

“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking.”


He took a vow of silence for over a year and this is why: “I must really from this point on just stop talking 'til I learn what the meaning of meaning is -- what do I think and which words do I really wish to use? “

His headstone bears the cryptic epitaph "Call Me Trimtab." The word refers to a tiny protuberance on a ship's rudder that, when moved even slightly, can change the course of a gigantic vessel.

After his death the full collection of his diary and notes weighs 45 tons, making Fuller's life "the most documented human life in history," according to Michael John Gorman, associate curator of Stanford's Buckminster Fuller Collection.

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