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Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth [Illustrated] [Paperback]

R.Buckminster Fuller , Jaime Snyder
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Jun 2008
Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was an architect, engineer, geometrician, cartographer, philosopher, futurist, inventor of the famous geodesic dome, and one of the most brilliant thinkers of his time. For more than five decades, he set forth his comprehensive perspective on the world's problems in numerous essays, which offer an illuminating insight into the intellectual universe of this renaissance man. These texts remain surprisingly topical even today, decades after their initial publication.While Fuller wrote the works in the 1960's and 1970's, they could not be more timely: like desperately needed time-capsules of wisdom for the critical moment he foresaw, and in which we find ourselves. Long out of print, they are now being published again, together with commentary by Jaime Snyder, the grandson of Buckminster Fuller. Designed for a new generation of readers, Snyder prepared these editions with supplementary material providing background on the texts, factual updates, and interpretation of his visionary ideas.Initially published in 1969, and one of Fuller's most popular works, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth is a brilliant synthesis of his world view. In this very accessible volume, Fuller investigates the great challenges facing humanity, and the principles for avoiding extinction and "exercising our option to make it." How will humanity survive? How does automation influence individualization? How can we utilize our resources more effectively to realize our potential to end poverty in this generation? He questions the concept of specialization, calls for a design revolution of innovation, and offers advice on how to guide "spaceship earth" toward a sustainable future.And it Came to Pass - Not to Stay brings together Buckminster Fuller's lyrical and philosophical best, including seven "essays" in a form he called his "ventilated prose," and as always addressing the current global crisis and his predictions for the future. These essays, including "How Little I Know," "What I am Trying to Do," "Soft Revolution," and "Ethics," put the task of ushering in a new era of humanity in the context of "always starting with the universe." In rare form, Fuller elegantly weaves the personal, the playful, the simple, and the profound.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Lars Muller Publishers (20 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3037781262
  • ISBN-13: 978-3037781265
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 12.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will set you thinking 14 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was drawn to this book by its wonderful title and the recognition that I'd collected a number of quotations by its author without really knowing anything about him.

I found this book to be something of a curate's egg. In places it uses language to develop ideas in a really clear way. In other parts the language and structure of the description seems to make the ideas rather impenetrable. On balance, however, the ideas win through.

(Having found out a little more about R. Buckminster Fuller I have learned both that this is one of his more accessible volumes, and that his other books may well be worth the challenge.)

It is a book with some wonderful ideas, not least the one captured in the title, that the Earth is a spaceship travelling through space escorted by the Moon and following its mother ship, the Sun. Though written in the 1970 this metaphor, or perhaps its simply a realisation, provides a framework which encompasses many of the problems of sustainable living we are currently grappling with.

Equally the book has some very vivid and enlightening imagery with which to entice the reader to see and begin to challenge their current paradigm. It for example begins with a story of Global Pirates which is used to describe the recent history of western civilisation, its creation of empires and the division of the world into those that have and those that have not. In a dozen pages or so it describes our current paradigm for how the world works and some of the key characteristics of our environment and the thinking this has created.

For example our understanding of need and scarcity, the role of nationality, the use of knowledge.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The world needs more Bucky's 15 Feb 2011
Buckminster Fuller was so far ahead of his time that he was akin to a 20th century Da Vinci. If Buckminster's inventions, thoughts and beliefs were taught as part of the National Curriculum, school children and their teachers and lectureres would be left with no alternative but to change their currently held views and beliefs. They would realise that we need to make massive changes to the ways in which we think and act in order for us all to continue as a viable species riding aboard 'Spaceship Earth'. This book needs to be read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clairvoyant Work 15 May 2010
Buckminster Fuller was a remarkable genius whose works are absolutely unique.

This book is a good introduction to his transcendent way of thinking. It describes for the first time, the concept that our little planet has finite resources, and since it was written, we have seen that he sensed very well the direction that society was taking.

Though his thoughts may seem outdated now in certain ways, this book, and his other works, continue to provide inspired reading within the framework of the quest to understand human life on this planet, and related philosophical ideas.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I expected more from the book 5 May 2014
By Andrea
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
R. Buckminster Fuller had some very good ideas, but this book oversimplifies everything too much and doesn't give evidence of most of what it claims to be true.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 19 Aug 2014
By Barbara
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this is a book for our time
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