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In this essay on man Mr. Fuller expresses what may well be his penultimate view of the human condition. Here, in a mood at once philosophical and involved, Mr. Fuller traces man's intellectual evolution and weighs his capability for survival on this magnificent craft, this Spaceship Earth, this superbly designed sphere of almost negligible dimension in the great vastness of space.
Mr. Fuller is optimistic that man will survive and, through research and development and increased industrialization, generate wealth so rapidly that he can do very great things. But, he notes, there must be an enormous educational task successfully accomplished right now to convert man's tendency toward oblivion into a realization of his potential, to a universe-exploring advantage from this Spaceship Earth.
It has been noted that Mr. Fuller spins ideas in clusters, and clusters of his ideas generate still other clusters. The concept spaceship earth is Mr. Fuller's, and though used by Barbara Ward as the title of a work of her own the idea was acknowledged by her there as deriving from Mr. Fuller. The brilliant syntheses of some fundamental Fuller principles given here makes of this book a microcosm of the Fuller system.
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Buckminster Fuller was a Research Professor at Southern Illinois University beginning in 1959. In 1968 the Board of Trustees appointed him University Professor, the second faculty member so honored in the University's history.
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