TagBuckminster Fuller

Did Buckminster Fuller Predict Graphene Computers?

synergeticsfigure2201c1997

Above: Fuller’s diagrams. Below, a diagram of graphen molecules.

Graphen

My friend Trevor, who maintains the largest known archive of R. Buckminster Fuller’s work has uncovered an unpublished manuscript in which Fuller seems to predict graphene computers:

Fuller’s computer is a layered cuboctahedrons, each layer made of spheres. Fuller describes the spheres as glass coated with gold, silver, copper or
aluminum depending on their location in the array. But Fuller also speaks of individual atoms of these materials, predicting by decades the nanocomputers under development today.

These layers of cuboctahedrons would have arrays of hexagons on their equators, and the nanocomputers of today are made of layers of hexagons. The fifth layer of a layered cuboctahedron of spheres would have the potential for a new nucleus sphere.

Full Story: Syncrhonofile: R. Buckminster Fuller’s Ultra-Micro Computer

I can’t say that I fully understand the material at hand. Fuller’s work seems to be focused on memory and storage, while today’s graphene computation research is focusing on the creation of more efficient transistors for processing. But there does seem to be at least some overlap. The fact that he was even thinking about computing at all in 1968 puts him well ahead of the curve.

See also:

Buckminster Fuller

Graphene

Portland’s Synchronofile Is Now Largest Archive Of Buckminster Fuller’s Work

synchronofile

Trevor Blake’s Buckminister Fuller archive, synchronofile, is now the largest in the world. This is a private archive, though, for better or worse so you’ll need to make an appointment if you want to visit:

In March 2013, Joe Moore of the Buckminster Fuller Virtual Institute donated his collection of Fuller papers to the synchronofile. Combined with the papers already owned by Trevor Blake, the synchronofile is now measured in tons of literature by and about R. Buckminster Fuller. An archive is rightly measured for its content as much as its volume, but access to this amount of material is significant.

Full Story: synchronofile: How Much Does Your Archive Weigh?

Charlie Stross on Buckminster Fuller: “Why are your houses so heavy?”

Dymaxian House

The story of why we aren’t all living in Dymaxion houses today is a convoluted epic of business failure (for one thing, starting up a production line for houses using cutting-edge aerospace technology was something that had never been done before; for another, Bucky’s business sense was not, sadly, as good as his design sense) that has been recounted in numerous biographies. What interests me about it is that it’s a far more humane approach to the problem of providing housing for the masses than his Brutalist contemporaries, whose designs tended to be fixed, immovable, made cheaply out of low-end materials, and built with high density mass housing in mind rather than low impact customizability. It was also way ahead of the field in terms of awareness of environmental constraints; while we could design better today, we’d be making incremental tweaks, whereas Bucky came up with the original idea of modular, lightweight, mobile low-impact housing ab initio.

Charlie Stross: “Why are your houses so heavy?”

Green Cities and the Urban Operating System

PlanIT

PlanIT is building a city in Portugal as a test of its “Urban OS” concept, hoping to sell “instant cities” in China and Inida in the future.

“It’s a bit of a bloodbath really,” says Lewis, who began studying it while still at Microsoft. “They’re using techniques older than God. All of the technology is being used on the design end. No one can look into the future and ask ‘If I put better glass into this building, what does that do for energy efficiency down the road?’ You have developers building to do a quick flip, and eventually the building becomes so inefficient and so expensive to fix they have to knock it down. There’s no process and no lifecycle management. The industry is fragmented and the consolidation that’s happened everywhere else hasn’t happened here.”

A Harvard Business School case study (pdf) published earlier this year echoed this view. Despite being a $4.6 trillion global industry, construction firms have had little incentive to integrate, consolidate, or otherwise become more productive. While non-farming industries have made productivity gains averaging 80% since the 1960s, the construction industry has become 20% less productive over that span. “Studies suggested that up to 75% of construction activities typically added no value,” the authors noted.

A City in the Cloud: Living PlanIT Redefines Cities as Software

PlanIT plans to make constructing buildings, and cities, as efficient as manufacturing automobiles.

Buckminster Fuller, thou art avenged.

PlanIT will have competition from open_sailing‘s open source SwarmOS, which open_sailing co-founder Cesar Harrada considers a spiritual successor to The Walking City.

See also:

Cybersyn

Dymaxion Car Reproduced

Norman Foster and his Dymaxion Car

The Dymaxion car reconstruction project mentioned here previously has been completed. For better or worse, it was just rebuilt as a one-off art project. Until the end of the month, you’ll be able to see it at the Ivorypress Art+Books gallery in Madrid.

Guardian: Norman Foster’s back-to-front car

(Thanks Bill!)

21C Magazine is back with Apocalypse Noir

21C

21C is back with new material, plus archival material by or about Hakim Bey, William S. Burroughs, Erik Davis, Philip K. Dick, Ashley Crawford, Mark Dery, Verner Vinge, William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, Jack Parsons, Richard Metzger, Genesis P. Orridge, Kath Acker, JG Ballard, John Shirley, Robert Anton Wilson, Iain Sinclair, Terrence McKenna, Buckminster Fuller, R.U. Sirius, Timothy Leary, Bruce Sterling and more.

Sadly, in 1999, the company went bust, somewhat ironic given that 21•C in that form never made it into the Century after which it was named – the 21st. 21•C stalwart Mark Dery and I made some attempt to resuscitate the title early in the new millennium to no avail.

Yet many of the ideas and issues raised in the original magazine continued to arise, and with them perpetual queries as to how to get copies of the original articles, a nigh impossible task. With the prompting of two other 21•C stalwarts, Darren Tofts and Murray McKeich, it was decided to resurrect a core selection of articles in an archival on-line format. With Mick Stylianou’s wizard like help this was fairly painless. It didn’t take long to decide to add new material and it is hoped that new issues will be posted at semi-regular intervals.

This inaugural on-line issue takes as its theme Apocalypse Noir – the trend toward the apocalyptic, or at the least extremely dark – in contemporary writing. If earlier 21•C’s tended toward the darker aspects of cyberpunk, then the newer crop of writers have given up any pretense of a happy ending. Good luck!

21C Magazine

(via Alex Burns)

Geodesic domes and LOST

The television program LOST (first broadcast on the United States channel ABC between 2004-2010) includes geodesic domes. I do not intend to say much here about the show other than I have enjoyed it tremendously. The sixth and final season of LOST begins in February 2010. This essay will discuss the geodesic domes appearing in LOST.

To date the dome has been seen in three forms. The first version of the dome is the dome itself, seen in the episode ‘Man of Science, Man of Faith’ on 21 September 2005. This dome is a full-sized set, while the other two are models. It is implied that this dome is a 5/8th-sphere made up of panels with one or more entryways. The second version of the dome is a model of the completed dome, seen in the episode ‘Orientation’ on 5 October 2005. This dome is a cutaway model made of panels of a 5/8th-sphere. The second version of the dome is a model of the dome under construction, seen in the episode ‘Namaste’ on 18 March 2009. This dome is an in-progress 5/8th-sphere made of struts. The ‘Man of Science’ dome and another dome appear in the computer game LOST: Via Domus. All of the geodesic domes appearing in LOST are class one, four-frequency, 5/8ths truncated spheres. [...]

The narrative of LOST places the construction of these geodesic domes in the mid-1970s. In the mid-1970s Buckminster Fuller was at the height of his popularity and influence. The use of domes in LOST helps establish when the story is taking place and the sympathies of the characters that constructed them.

Learn more about geodesic doms: Synchronofile: LOST Domes

Buckminster Fuller Stamp

Buckminster Fuller stamp

I can’t believe this is real.

The Register: Buckminster Fuller on stamp duty

(via American Samizdat)

osGames: An Alternative to War Games

R. Buckminster Fuller foresaw a need for a world peace game as an antidote for war games, and it’s eventually lead to osGame’s “Global Simulation Workshop.” Twenty teams, representing geopolitical regions, multinational corporations, and non-profit organizations, work together or in competition to manage the earth’s resources.

o.s. Earth: The Global Simulation

See also: Buckminster Fuller’s World Game

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