Book Review- Ideas & Integrities

18 Oct 2015

Topic: Ideas & Integrities

Fuller’s book is a densely populated novel on his musings. It is both an autobiography and discussion on his philosophy. His concern revolves largely around the the military industrial complex as well as housing and living for the world’s population. He is deeply connected to the progress that science provides as he has witnessed it firsthand.

He starts of the book with a synopsis of his life as a whole. He was born in Maine and worked closely with nature. He went to Harvard where he was kicked out. From there he worked at a factory in Canada. The factory would receive machinery from Europe. These machines would often break along their arrival. It was his responsibility to figure out what was broken with these machines so as to salvage them and make them usable. The success he encountered in working withing the Industrial process led him back to Harvard University. Unless I’m mistaken, he again quit in the middle of his curriculum. The structured memorization of schooling was not where he belonged.

It is around this point he became involved in the military as an engineer. He helped to design things that could be used to increase the advantage of our military. I remember him discussing how he created the contraption that allowed pilots to be ejected out when the plane malfunctioned. Whatever it was, it increased the potentiality of saving pilots from drowning.

Fuller talks about his experience working in the Navy as pivotal. He learned how to increase pound per square inch the efficiency of the designs he created. He noticed that this was done phenomenally within the the military complex. He then points out that the advantages created in this niche are then applied as a second thought to the world of living. This is the problem of course. Living itself has never faced this sort of race to the future. Because, it has never been pushed in this manner it lags behind using archaic tools and contraptions that are riddled with inefficiency.

He concentrates heavily on the problems with housing. We continue to use our understanding of housing from back when stone apparatuses where our highest technological feats. He says that this sort ‘walking backwards into the future’ is also a potential reason why we continue to indulge in wars. He suggests the usefulness of dome-like structures. He articulates their pound per square inch advantage and how they are both energy efficient and material efficient. He gives examples on how we have become more efficient as a species. He gives the example of copper and population growth. As population has grown steadily our copper suuplies have not grown proportionately. What has actually happened is that our usage of copper has become more efficient so that we may do more with less. He argues that we must do the same with all aspects of livingry. It is interesting because the first more than half of his book he details the problem that the world is currently dealing with. He does not quickly provide a solution. I have not finished the book but as I near the end I notice he provides several potential options that could eventually create solutions. These, along with other ideas he mentions will be discussed in part two.

Published on 18 Oct 2015