Bucky and Rusty

March 1, 2021 - fieldnotes, popular

Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)
Rustum Roy (July 3, 1924 – August 26, 2010)

The Geoship Founding Fathers

Bioceramic domes combine the geometry/math of Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller with the material science of Rustum (Rusty) Roy.

Bucky was a legendary American polymath and future architect. He invented Synergetic Mathematics and introduced the geodesic dome into mass awareness. Bucky’s gravestone simply says “CALL ME TRIMTAB, BUCKY” exactly as he instructed.

“Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary — the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.
It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab.
Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to turn.
So I said, call me ‘Trim Tab.’”

—Bucky

Bucky’s personal mission statement was: “To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” He devoted a great part of his life to designing a people’s home for mass production that he called the Dymaxion House (Dynamic Maximum Tension). He then patented the geodesic dome.

Fuller believed that “The gravitational field will ultimately be disclosed as ultra high-frequency tensegrity geodesic spheres. Nothing else.” A well supported theory published decades later in Nature magazine suggests he was likely correct. Bucky called the geodesic domes built in the 60’s and 70’s “wooden spaceships”. People close to him say he predicted it would be 50-100 years before suitable materials would be available for geodesic construction.

Right on que, in 1987, Rusty defined a new family of materials he called Chemically Bonded Ceramics. Argonne National Labs subsequently began a 12 year R&D project to advance and commercialize the new family of materials. Dr. Arun S. Wagh, another extraordinary material scientist, lead this project and authored the seminal publication on the new materials titled: Chemically Bonded Phosphate Ceramics: Twenty-First Century Materials with Diverse Applications.

Rusty was a legendary professor of material science with a focus on crystal chemistry. He often reminded his students that technology precedes scientific theory. The steam engine came first and the laws of thermodynamics only came around 80 years later to explain what the technology was doing. He suggested technology is the world’s most powerful religion, because it delivers experience not theory. The problem today, he contended, is that science has become a theology that’s stealing the belief out of technology. He urged his research students to forget the science and just “sit before the facts”.

Rusty devoted a large portion of his career to defining what he called the “Science of Whole Person Healing”. He was studying how the practices of Reiki and Qigong can change the molecular structure of water and produce healing effects in the body. Rusty was a bridge between science and healing. He believed the healing arts should be advanced by the scientific method, not dismissed by scientific theology.

“Love is metaphysical gravity.”

—Bucky