Buckminster Fuller & the Generalised Principles
Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an architect, author, poet, philosopher, inventor and mathematician among many other things. He had a deep understanding of the laws of nature, which are essentially the laws of physics and chemistry, and recognised that these laws were not limited to explaining the behaviour of matter, but also explained human behaviour and how we think. He renamed these laws Generalised Principles and was able to see life and how it interfaces with the environment in terms of principle. He lived and worked as an individual, not belonging to any organisation so he could operate on behalf of humanity, his endeavour always to invent artifacts to raise humanity’s standard of living.
To see the world in terms of principle was Fuller’s key to the truth and gave him the authority to challenge conventional thinking. “The words up and down have absolutely no meaning; there is no up and down in Universe.” He was the disruptor of the 20th Century whose genius has not been fully realised and is as relevant today as ever. As well as challenging science he provided solutions. He invented a system of mathematics called synergetics, based on the close packing of spheres, which produced another invention, the octet truss, widely used in construction around the world to span large areas without the need for pillars.
He believed that despite all the conflict on our ‘spaceship earth’, if there were enough people who were willing to tell the truth and be comprehensively considerate, then humanity had a chance to make it!