Nature never “fails.”

Nature never “fails.” Nature complies with its own laws. Nature is the law. When Man lacks understanding of Nature’s laws and a Man-contrived structure buckles unexpectedly, it does not fail. It only demonstrates that Man did not understand Nature’s laws and behaviors. Nothing failed. Man’s knowledge or estimating was inadequate.

-Buckminster Fuller

Fuller didn’t invent the idea of Spaceship Earth, but if you put aside the literal Disneyfication of the term, he is the modern popularizer of it. I’ve always found it to be a really useful metaphor.

I started digging into the transcendentalists when I began this project in earnest, and I discovered that Fuller was the distant relative of Margaret Fuller. This gave me the motivation to dig into some of B’s writings. A lot of the material has been good about thinking about how to approach making the project. For example, this is almost definitely going to into the notes I’ll be giving to performers:

It is one of our most exciting discoveries that local discovery leads to a complex of further discoveries.

He doesn’t comment too much on the weather itself, but it kept coming to mind when when he went off into metaphor land in Manual for Spaceship Earth.

If the planet is a spaceship, then what is the weather? To me its a cross between its life support system, defenses, and tool for monitoring critical functions. Of course, it only works as a monitoring device if anyone’s paying attention.

Since I’ve been reading a lot of Fuller lately, this jumped out at me so hard it almost nicked me in the nose:

Either man is obsolete or war is.

To avoid ending on such a pessimistic note, I’ll end with this:

The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow.


Since you’re here reading this, why not check out the stream below?

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