Bucky is so much in the air that we thought this might be the right moment to republish the foreword he wrote to The Networking Book, our 1986 book, originally published in the UK by Routledge, then in the US by Viking Penguin, and later translated into Portuguese for the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.
We asked Bucky if he'd write this for our first book, Networking, but it came too late for that press run. So we saved it and were thrilled to have a place for it in this book.
by R. Buckminster Fuller
The world-integrating networking self-multiplies and accelerates. Never ever traveling as a tourist, I myself have been induced into forty eight complete encirclements of our planet and everywhere I go I meet more and more people whom I had met elsewhere. Ever more widely traveling, literate, well-informed individuals discover that they, and an ever-faster; increasing number of other humans, are becoming intuitively aware that life is breaking them out of the ages-long anonymous life patterning of the beehive drone.
They experience newborn hope that humans have indeed a destiny of individual significance complementary to the integrity of other individuals. The networking accelerates as does light in Einstein’s equation E=mc2. The lower case c is the symbol for the linear speed of light, 186,000 miles per second. When not reflectively focused, light expands omniradially as a sphere growing in any one direction at
186,000 miles per second. The rate of surface growth of a spherical wave system is always the second power of the linear growth. That is why it is c2 in Einstein’s equation, which means 186,000 x 186,000 miles of surface growth per second. So it is with thought which travels outwardly in all directions to internet-work the people of our 8,000-mile-diameter spherical space home.
As the networking accelerates humanity into a spherically embracing, spontaneous union, yesterday’s locally autonomous, self-preoccupied governments will find that trying to arrest networking is like trying to arrest the waves of the ocean.
Spaceship Earth now has 150 admirals. The five admirals in the staterooms immediately above the ship’s fuel tanks claim that they “own” the oil. The admirals with staterooms surrounding the ship’s kitchen, dining rooms and food refrigerators claim they own all the food. Those with a stateroom next to a lifeboat claim that they own the lifeboat and so forth. They then have a ship’s game called balance of
trade. Very soon the majority of admirals have a deficit balance. All the while, the starboard-side admirals are secretly planning to list the boat to port so far as to drown the portside admirals, while the portside admirals are secretly trying to list the boat to starboard so badly as to drown the starboard-side admirals. Nobody is paying any attention to operating the ship or steering it to some port. They run out of food and fuel. They discover that they can no longer reach a port of supply.
Humanity is now experiencing history’s most difficult evolutionary transformation. We are changing from a 95 percent illiterate and rooted lifestyle. We are almost unconsciously drifting away from self-identity with our for-ages-long-physically-remote-from-one-another existence as 150 separate, sovereign nations. Now the uprooted humans of all nations are spontaneously deploying into their physically integrated highways-airways, satellite-relayed world-around telephone speakways
and big-city way-stationed world living system.
We may soon be atom-bombed into extinction by the preemptive folly of the exclusively for money-making supranational corporations’ weaponry industry’s political puppet administrators of the now hopelessly bankrupt greatest weapons-manufacturing nations. If not bomb -terminated we are on our ever-swifter way to becoming an omni-integrated, majorly literate, unified Spaceship Earth society.
The new human networks emergence represents the natural evolutionary
expansion into the just completed, thirty-years-in-its building, world-embracing, physical communications network. The new reorienting of human “networking” constitutes the heart and mind pumped flow of life and intellect into the world arteries.