Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Wild Hair Pluck'd From Buckminster Fuller's Ass

So I'm starting to figure out that when you pitch something, it's a good idea to start with a long drawn out description of something that either you might not want to do, or sounds clever but is ultimately flawed, and then throw in your actual good idea as an aside, looking tossed-off, because that seems to be the worm that catches the publishing fish. Like if I said "...or, you could put me and my family up in Iceland for the month of August and I could hang around with Björk, sample the hot springs, maybe spend a day with a lady whose job is to check potential road paths for fairies and elves. Just a thought."

One of these very ideas got a nibble, and it preposterously involves creating a pattern for a geodesic dome that theoretically, the reader can cut out and glue together, and once assembled will see the piece in its greater poetic vision. I'm shocked they gave it the time of day, but since they did, I've spent much of the day crafting a relatively user friendly geodesic dome pattern, and succeeded! so my structural proof of concept is down, now to get the rest of it in order.

What I was shocked by is that there is no quick and dirty origami-stylee geodesic dome pattern on the web, or that I could find. Uhh isn't origami the other reason besides porn, that the Web even exists? Has knitting pushed the swan-makers from their eLympian vantage?

I found a site that showed how you could make a tarp for your dome, and that gave me the magic ratios required. Plus, this push-started my math brain into high gear today and I folded paper and messed with glue sticks like a lunatic. I was also informed that one of my coffee-shop people, unbeknownst to me, is considered somewhat of an expert on geodesic domes and might possibly be able to show me how to make the perfect one.

I read a shitload of Buckminster Fuller back around the time equal shitloads of Alan Watts and Marshall McLuhan made the bulk of the cinder block bookshelves in my apartment days. McLuhan was the king communicator of the pop-philosopher set, especially War and Peace in the Global Village and the deliciously designed The Medium is the Massage. These books looked so cool, groovy paperbacks full of soft bullets to the brain. I think everything they said was generally self-evident, but he said it so well.

The book that really tickled my metaphysical fancy was R. Buckminster Fuller's Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth where he took Nietzsche's concept of the last man and gave it a duty now for the future, positivist spin. He talked at length about pirates, how they were the last true fully-actualized humans: having to master navigation, human relations, morale, discipline, personal presevation, organizational tension, poilitics - everything. Plus, what an awesome title, and he totally justified it in his dry humor without the slightest twinge of hubris. Fuller was a man of brilliant ideas, ones that even today most would agree that their adoption with drastically improve the lives of us all, yet we never will take them on, a realization that possesses the most deafening irony, considering how eager we generally seem to be when a half-baked idea rears its head.

No comments:

Post a Comment