Buckminster Fuller, what a guy. Take a few minutes to read his wikipedia page if you're unacquianted, he's an interesting guy. ANyways, my Dad bought this book to give to me over Easter, unfortunately or fortunately, I found it snooping around before he had the chance to give it to me and started reading it! :)

There is a lot in this book that I enjoy. He notes that the world resources are finite and points out that for a long time previous to industrialization no one really noticed this because there was always more world to explore, subdue and use/exploit/harvest. But as industrialization has come into full swing we've turned a corner where it seems that we're able to use resources up faster than they regenerate. At this point the book has effectively defined Earth as a spaceship which we are the actors upon. And have the choice to act in the interest of reaching a place where we are living sustain-ably (although he doesn't use that word) during this finite period of time where we have the benefit of relatively easily accessible resources.

He takes a few shots at people who resist automation, which is something I have thought about numerous times as well. The thought that always comes to my mind is that if automation is possible that frees the worker up to do more interesting work. The one trouble is that automation and capitalism is that putting people out of work definitely through automation rneeds to require some aspect of training for those people, so that they can continue to work at a job that is more interesting. ( I should think about that for a future post, I'm sure there are a ton of considerations I'm missing), but Fuller points out that this is a lack of faith in the creativity of humanity to find a way to survive and earn a living.

It is interesting to read predictions for what is going to be going on in 1985. Hint his predictions are certainly not all correct. But the admonition to do more with less and work towards a society and system of living that doesn't require us to use the resources faster than the accumulate is still a VERY worthy goal.

I do have to say that the book uses quite an academic style of language to convey it's points. And frankly I could do without that. I like plain language. Maybe it's my vocation and training to not be terribly interested in complicating things with heavy language.

I haven't read a lot of Fullers books but I have a hunch that there might be one that is out there that is a little more succinct but still captures his hey-everybody-get-out-there-and-do-more-with-less-while-we-have-the-benefit-of-our-current-resources attitude.