Buckminster Fuller and the Troy Model

GeoNotes News / May 1, 2010
Christopher Rudy, Editor

Preface Note:

Many people have difficulty seeing the future even when it is right in front of them.  A good analogy is the early account of native peoples when the tall sailing ships of Columbus first appeared off their coast.  It was like viewing a UFO to them -- entirely alien to their mindset tinged with superstitious fears of the unknown. And so it was with The Troy Model – a community application of the whole systems design science pioneered by Buckminster Fuller.

I self-published The Troy Model as a 40 page booklet back in 1972, inspired by the concepts of Buckminster Fuller as were published in the Whole Earth Catalog.  That extraordinary catalog of books, tools and resources for self-reliant living was itself a breakthrough model of whole systems thinking inspired by Buckminster Fuller.  Or as Apple Computer’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs said in his June 2005 Stanford University commencement speech:

"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation... It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.  It was idealistic and overflowing with neat tools and great notions."

My pure intention with The Troy Model was to apply Fuller’s whole systems design science to the resources of my home town, Troy Ohio, as could represent all communities with an optimistic vision of the future.  Or as Buckminster Fuller said in his book, “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”: 

“A new physically uncompromised metaphysical initiative
of unbiased integrity could unify the world.”

From the beginning, the heart of The Troy Model was application of emerging communication breakthroughs as could redefine the prevailing paradigm of one-way broadcast programming with a two-way interactive “nervous system” (communications infrastructure) for the whole community.  In other words, a healthy community is an interactive whole system like every living cell. 

Buckminster Fuller taught that biologists and anthropologists discovered how all species and nations which became extinct did so because of overspecialization and inability to self-correct with whole system adjustments in their total environment.  We shape our whole systems and that environment than shapes us, whether that is the total-holistic environment of a single cell in the body or an entire community as a single cell in the world body -- The Troy Model.

The purpose of design science is to anticipate the trends into the future, utilizing available resources to optimize that future.  This is the process that Fuller called, in brief, “comprehensive, anticipatory design science”.  To be more specific, in his own words:

“In the concept of constant inexorable change, the most valuable assets of man are his utterly abstract, weightless ‘ideas’, which permit his swift recognition and adjustment to the every-changing pattern. The most valuable ideas are those which not only comprehend the change but also the trendings of the change in order to anticipate the next important change events -- as does the good driver of a car, pilot of a plane or captain of a ship – thereby enabling the safe and satisfactory dynamic, forward, transformative processing of man in evolutionary universe.”

If you look at the communications infrastructure of global humanity in this way, and consider the transformative evolution of human intelligence with the trendings of change, you will recognize the pattern of change with the computer/Internet revolution. 

Back in 1972, the emphasis was huge expensive mainframe computer
hardware (IBM),

which evolved to smaller desktop computers with an emphasis on
software (Microsoft),

  which evolved to the global network of computers with emphasis on
netware (Netscape).

Following this trend (see Web 3.0 CyberEthics), you’ll discover
heartware (Heartcom.org),
    an interactive interface for mass-to-mass TeLeComm
as was introduced with The Troy Model.

This process of “ephemeralization”, as Bucky called it, is doing more with less, the fruit of good design science. A good example is the new breed of cell phones with more computing power than a 1972 mainframe computer, plus the ability to access the worldwide web with thousands of software applications that can be customized for personal use.  Consider where this is going:

We are now about to witness a global rEVOLUTION in consciousness
with the natural evolution of social
Conscience in our social networks.
This Conscience rEVOLUTION  will define CHANGE
From: the computer as a network of computers (the Internet as a global brain)
     TO: the network as a conscious organism (heartware for
culturing Conscience).

The application of heartware for mass-to-mass interaction will transform our new instant-everywhere Net reality by defining and refining social Conscience at the heart of our new social networks.  This abstract, weightless ‘idea’, as Bucky would say, will permit swift recognition and adjustment to the every-changing pattern … a wholly new conscious awareness of HOW we are conscious... culturing conscientious common sense at the heart of Conscience.

What netware has done for navigating cyberspace, heartware will now do for navigating
the vast frontier of inner space, our virtually untapped currency of conscience.
Net worth at the HEART of the Next Economy will thus be based on
a new Net reality that links the light of a Higher Power in 
our God-given gifts, talents and resources for the
transformative evolution of Conscience;
connection that transcends the
sense of separation in
our new global


I realize that such prognostications are like trying to explain the Internet BEFORE the Internet, but familiarity with heartware as cultural DNA will provide extraordinary opportunity for those who would catch and ride the 4th Wave of the computer/Internet revolution.


Buckminster Fuller was one of the most amazing people I've ever met and studied under.  Of course his ultimate vision for humanity -- a design science revolution of, by and for higher Conscience -- will only occur if enough good people do enough to make it so.  As you connect the dots in this following article, consider how the real legacy of Buckminster Fuller -- and The Troy Model -- is the best ideas that optimism and innovation bring to fruition.

“Revolution by design and invention is the only revolution tolerable
to all men, societies, and all political systems anywhere.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller, 1965

--------- Article follows:

One of the most fascinating and original minds of the 20th Century, Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller (July 12, 1895 July 1, 1983) was an American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist who pioneered the concept of design science whereby society could be redesigned to be comprehensively successful for everyone on earth.  Underpinning all of his work was an optimistic view of human potential.

Studying 19th-century philosophers like Malthus, Fuller concluded that they had gotten it wrong; mankind wasn't an “inherent failure", but in his view was becoming an inherent success. He believed we could use human ingenuity and existing resources to solve global problems, as long as we committed "egocide".  "Selfishness", he declared, "is unnecessary and unrationalizable”.  From his perspective, we could utilize design science to create such extraordinary abundance as to make the oxymoronic “value of scarcity” (economics of scarcity) obsolete.


Buckminster Fuller taught that “livingry” (local/global win/win abundance)
  could eventually overcome “killingry” (the win/lose rationale for war).

Fuller coined the term "doing more with less", introducing synergetics, an encompassing term which he used broadly as a metaphoric language for communicating experiences using geometric concepts and, more specifically, to reference the empirical study of systems in transformation, with an emphasis on total system behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components. Fuller coined this term long before the term synergy became popular.

I met Bucky, as we affectionately called him, at his month long "World Game Studies Workshop" at the University of Pennsylvania, the summer of 1974.  I gave a lecture to the World Game participants, explaining how pure geometry archetypes in the
 Model represent natural laws framing the order of the universe and the language of consciousness.  I explained:

(1) Why all social, political and economic problems are, at heart, communication problems;

(2) How community is defined by interactive "come-into-unity (communication) processes;

(3) Why communities of the future will utilize interactive mass-to-mass communication that involves and evolves our individual and collective Conscience;
(4) How the technology of language, geometrized with "The
 Model" (heartware) will naturally culture social Conscience at the heart of global communication networks.

One response to that lecture was an invitation to speak to ten agencies of the Federal government several months later, which I did, as you can read at "Speaking Truth to Power".  The response was a revelation for me.  I learned first-hand that federal government is not interested in making our core social institutions accountable to the public's best interests.  Surprise, surprise
J  The fix was in, even back then, and the inordinate love of power behind the scenes of Washington DC has created great instability... just as Thomas Edison's invention of Direct Current (power generation) was extremely unstable compared to Nichola Tesla's invention of "AC" (Alternating Current) that made Edison's DC current obsolete.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model
  that makes the existing model obsolete
~ Buckminster Fuller

Consider this analogy of "power generation", from the physical to the political and the potential for enlightened social Conscience.  Once engineers learned how to conduct and distribute electricity in the 19th Century, we transformed the entire earth in a blink of evolutionary time.  When we discover reliable means to culture, network and utilize "higher power" (full-spectrum Conscience), we will likewise participate in an extremely rapid evolution of consciousness and society; the global rEVOLUTION in higher Conscience.

 If you realize how electric power transformed the world in
a blink of evolutionary time, just consider how the power
of unleashed social
Conscience will transform the world!

This analogy is appropriate when you consider that an electronic Space Age upgrade of our horse-and-buggy legislative systems could update decentralized public representation of our five core Constitutional freedoms in the way that makes centralized "DC current" obsolete.  Indeed, when centralized power in Washington DC represents the inordinate love of power -- giant corporate monopolies in collusion with powerful government agencies -- what suffers is the decentralized currency of Conscience.  Conversely, when the decentralized power of love frames the design of our new instant-everywhere and interactive Internet infrastructure, global community and the commonwealth will reboot with a golden age.

"Man can harness the winds, the waves and the tides,
 but when he can harness the
power of love,
 then for the second time in the history of the world,
 man will have discovered fire."
- Teihard de Chardin

The Troy Model was an attempt to bring global drama to an uncompromised vision of humanity's possible future.  Outwardly, this model featured a geodesic dome over Troy Ohio's downtown square, a spherical dome that symbolized the "global" geometries of nature applied to a virtually transparent enclosed community center.  Inwardly, The Troy Model featured the most compelling artifact of the human intellect, the language of consciousness applied to the first system of interactive mass-to-mass TeLeComm, emphasizing the TLC with heartware.

"Our greatest human creation is not the tool but the word, not the technology that we so treasure and depend on but the language that has allowed us to talk about it. Language, not technology, is the most compelling artifact of the human intellect." ~ Dale Peterson

The Troy Model was (and is) an archetype of the biological model of nature
in both its pure geometry design and the process of human evolution.

Most people don't realize that we all were a geodesic sphere, the geometry of a single fertilized cell that -- in the process of cellular mitosis -- divides first in two parts, then four, than eight, etc. until the zygote resembles a geodesic sphere -- the same nature-based geometry in a geodesic dome. 

Every living cell has a two-way interactive nervous system and the pure intention of The Troy Model was to represent the first living community cell in the world body.  Every cell has a "brain", the DNA coding of its operating system, and The Troy Model featured a model of cultural DNA with the  language of pure geometry (
Model) framing a universal "light language" as the language of consciousness at the quintessential foundation of self-governance. 

That language provides an exquisite metaphor for enlightenment, a process that incorporates light's control and mastery through the interactive input/feedback cycles defining and refining the origination and real-time (instant) evaluation of community programming.

That was the heart of  The Troy Model -- the interactive
heartware dynamics of information's ecology that organizes community information IN FORMATION, framing "more light" (Conscience) with self-correcting feedback systems as will naturally culture Conscience, raising the standard of communications and community worthy of the title, 7th Wonder of America, if not the world. 

The divine destiny of human evolution has brought us to this point -- mass awakening to an enlightened whole systems vision for navigating the vast unchartered realms of "Inner Space", the virtually untapped potential of our God-given gifts and talents as could be cultured and networked with

Despite the systemic dysfunction and inertia in the current geopolitical status quo, we have the capacity to restore the natural systems we have corrupted, and create a new planetary culture based on the conscientious common sense -- communality of interest -- that cultures the worldwide web with the natural law and language of
Conscience.  With heartware as the gold standard for this process, the higher power of love rules.

Buckminster Fuller gave humanity the tools for rebuilding the world with whole systems design integrity.  May the uncompromised virtue in his profound visionary integrity champion the victory that transforms the world into a web of light and love.

"This we know.  The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth ...
Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
~ Chief Seattle


See also: 

The Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Founded in 1983, The Buckminster Fuller Institute serves a global network of design innovators.

Reading List:
"Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth" (1969) by Buckminster Fuller, 156 pages

Related 2010 quotable on the
global operating system directive:

"The possibility for a rapid regeneration of human culture is predicated on a great awakening happening quickly before ecological meltdown leads to systemic breakdown. People need to awaken spiritually, to realize the many dimensions of psychic life beyond those accepted by modern society, and at the same time, bring those realizations down into their daily lives and social practices. Spiritual realization needs to be integrated with social commitment and direct action. Since the biosphere is now directly threatened by our post-industrial civilization, retreat from society is no longer possible or desirable. No matter whether we like it or not, each of us is, inevitably, a social and political agent whose smallest actions have a direct influence on other people and the world around us. Our current culture enshrines irresponsibility, greed, and waste. If the human species wants to survive, the civilization that replaces this one is going to have a different set of values and a revamped operating system." ~ DANIEL PINCHBECK, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head. He is the editorial director of the web magazine Reality Sandwich (www.realitysandwich.com) and co-founder of the social network Evolver.net (www.evolver.net).


Back in 1975, I sent Bucky a glass-framed five color photo-silkscreen print of this rendition of my “LOVE Model” and received a letter back that it was proudly hanging in his office.



As with the article above, my pure intention has been to geometrize the law of the angles framing the language of the angels - our better nature.

Modern psychology (Jung) tells us that the universal language of archetypes has always been the quintessential foundation of mental constructs for our individual and collective self-governance.  Now heartware  provides an exquisite metaphor for this archetypal “Law of the Angles of G.O.D.” (Geometry Oredered Divinity) that frames the “Language of the Angels of LOVE” ()… the Constitution of Cosmic Law/Language coordinates which correlate the most valued archetypal principles in a simple yet profound “pure geometry” frame of reference.   

I've been at this for many years and still have Bucky's optimism, believing that the power of " language" will someday involve and evolve the worldwide web of Conscience.  It naturally follows that the most powerful tool for culturing the Net reality of civility will ultimately frame the language of consciousness for "Conscience Convergence" -- a global rEVOLUTION in higher Conscience -- as the rate of change accelerates on the 2010-2012 timeline.  The Great Purification that the world is about to experience has this pure intention -- to transcend systemic corruption with a New Earth -- and in the process, transform our limited sense of connection with the "holy whole".  The "whole systems integrity" that Bucky championed will provide real eyes (new eyes) to realize (conceive, believe and achieve) the emerging blueprint for a golden age

"If the doors of perception were cleansed
every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite."
    ~ "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," Plate 14, William Blake, 1791

The whole world is waking up to the fact that the whole world is waking up.
As humanity becomes more conscious of HOW we are conscious,
all perception becomes relative to the role of
A new awareness of self-correcting potential will
translate our new web of consciousness
 with the power of love
for the whole-holy spirit
of mass LOVE-


~ Christopher


The Emerging Blueprint for a Golden Age 
(2010 version)

[2016 version HERE ~CR, added 2017]


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