“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe.” – R. Buckminster Fuller – I Seem to Be a Verb
I’ve been a R. Buckminster Fuller fan since college. One of my art professors was a huge “Bucky” fan and brought the entire spectrum of Fuller’s genius to our budding awareness.
In class we made mock-up, walk-in domes and read many of his books. I Seem to Be a Verb was even required reading for our Art Aesthetics class. It was my first realization of Fuller’s intellectual scope and cultural affectation at the height of his career fame.
After all these years, and long after his death in 1983, I’m still a fan. He is one of my all-time heroes for many reasons.
Another great quote, was the “trim-tab” comment:
“Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trimtab.
It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trimtab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.
So I said, call me Trimtab.”
In fact, there are so many excellent Bucky Fuller quotes, I’ll just list a few for this post.
“You cannot change how someone thinks, but you can give them a tool to use which will lead them to think differently.” Buckminster Fuller
“You do not belong to you. You belong to the universe. The significance of you will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume you are fulfilling your significance if you apply yourself to converting all you experience to highest advantage to others. Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Buckminster Fuller
“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.“ Buckminster Fuller
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.” Buckminster Fuller
“Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate spontaneous social behaviors that will avoid extinction.” Buckminster Fuller
“We are now synergetically forced to conclude that all phenomena are metaphysical; wherefore, as many have long suspected — like it or not — “life is but a dream.” Buckminster Fuller
And if you are really into a challenge, read Fuller’s two tomes on Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (Vol. 1 & 2).
His overall theory is that LIFE is proven to be well-designed. but by whom and for whom, he doesn’t say.