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R. Buckminster Fuller
author, scientist, artist, inventor, architect, engineer, philosopher, mathematician, metaphysician, cartographer, visionary, social historian, creator of dymaxion engineering, geodesics, synergy, synergetics, World Game & world resources inventory, arguably the first modern futurist. www.bfi.org

The devastating megathrust earthquake of December 26th, 2004 Highlights the Urgent Need for Applied Design-Science in High-Risk Areas.

The Earth's population is greater than ever, now at over 6 billion. This means more people than ever are living in disaster-prone regions that will experience a certain frequency of natural disasters including Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Tornados, Fires and Volcanoes.

The 2004 Tsunami disaster highlights the very exposed situation that large populations are unknowingly living with. Local officials and National governments are usually too wrapped up in financial issues, territorial fights, political issues or other stuff to think about some of the large scale natural or environmental problems they are not prepared for. When these emergencies do arise the response is insanely ineffective for the cost & the thought/science put into the rebuilding does NOTHING to prevent the same problems from happening over and over andover and over ....
The Survival of a good portion of Earth's population now depends on the application of design-science technology to shelter people from inevitable natural disasters, as well as the human caused disasters, including the changing climate, that are just as destructive. Because of the warming of the earth's oceans and atmosphere, tornados and hurricanes are on the rise, droughts in other areas have caused record damage from forest fires and flash floods in normally dry locations are becoming more common. The cost in terms of human life and destroyed property has reached new record totals almost every year for the last decade!

The main keys to not simply responding to emergencies like the 2004 Tsunami -
but preventing the massive loss of life and property are:

Preventative Generalized Design-science planning & implementation
Ephemeralized* Emergency Shelters & Housing
(*increased structural loadbearing, self-stabilizing, decreased materials use),
increased use of Space-Frame, Geodesic & Tension structures in housing, offices and shelters,
High efficiency/Low Energy machines & appliances,
Always Re-building at a higher level of design safety after a disaster,
De-centralized local Solar-powered backup electrical grids,
New semi-flexable road-building materials,
and new high-strength composites made from recycled materials.
Comprehensively effective response also requires strategically coordinated emergency planning between National, Regional & local governments, Local Fire & Police, and Relief/Aid organizations, NGO's or humanitarian organizations .

EARTHSCOPE, formerly Dashboard Earth
NEW from the EARTHscope v2.1 website
Inspired by Bucky Fuller's world game:
The EARTHscope (ES) is a new tool for displaying the profound, yet often invisible trends affecting global and local communities. It allows partner organizations to publish their information as engaging geo-stories: downloadable presentations that combine dynamic maps with supporting graphics, imagery, sound, and text. ES is a project of the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) and an extension of Fuller's lifelong commitment to promoting world literacy about global problems, trends, and needs.
Key Objectives * Provide a digital publishing framework that facilitates learning, research, and public outreach
* Advance a much-needed standard for online "geo-storytelling"
* Allow anyone, anywhere with low-speed, dial-up access to the Internet to browse the
* EARTHscope Library and view the planetary situation using the EARTHscope interface.
* provide "geo-stories" of the past, present, and future through dynamic, map-based presentations featuring:
* Interactive maps with GIS-style layers
* Text, graphs, slideshows, video, and other rich media support
* Animations and scenarios to show change over time

In the long-term, we envision the EARTHscope as a full-fledged application
"the power-point of sustainability," as advisor Hardin Tibbs calls it -- with an authoring suite that allows users build their own ES presentations.

The ES player will feature scenario modeling and game tools that would enable users to:
* Make on-the-fly queries to online databases
* Build and test run critical path scenarios
* Build animated maps and graphs to support their own scenario models
* Replay, save, and post scenarios

An online ES community would let individuals and organizations share information, build education networks, and use the ES for strategic planning. Early features could include:
* Exchange successful or failed scenarios along with working assumptions
* Access shared online white boards and discussion forums for collaboration
* Poll users, track responses to discover the importance that users ascribe to various issues, parameters and milestone events
* Build scenarios in an online collaborative environment

With these few direct questions, Buckminster Fuller defines Design-Science:

"What are the resources?
What are the tasks necessary to make 100% of humanity a success?
How can we ever do so without ever advantaging one human at the expense of another?
How may we render all the world and all its treasures enjoyable available to all men without having one interfering with or trespassing upon the other?

How may we reform the environment so that the integrity of all society is not violated by the free initiatives of the individual nor the integrity of the individual violated by the developing welfaring advantage and happiness of the many?"

- Buckminster Fuller - NASA Speech 1966

Read that last highlighted quote above at least 5 to 10 times!!!
Really, it takes a moment to see it, but he is adressing the Root cause of nearly all human squabbling, waste and social disharmony. Very perceptive and we need to think this broadly about our super-inter-connected world.

Look into his works and you'll find Fuller was:
an artist, geometer, numerologist, humanist, ecologist, economist, cartogrpher,
math whiz, obsessive geometrical origami maker, MENSA president poet, meta-mystic, social visionary and inventor, invented or discovered the word/concept so commonly used today "Synergy" which is the behavior of the 'extra wholeness' which is not predicted by analysis of the seperate parts of a system. it's also the net energy/time/effciency gain of co-operation.

and Bucky tried desperately for 50+ years to prepare us very gently
and lovingly for the chaotic and uncertain future
we pushed ourselves into inhabiting
at this very moment,
and we need
the tools he left us (on an increasing basis) ....
to simply Survive as a species

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