SPACESHIP EARTH


This is Fuller's conception of local universe. Earth is to be properly understood as part of the solar system. In this way, the conception we have of our planet will be dynamic, not static.

Earth is about 8000 miles wide and orbits the sun at 60 000 mph, at a distance of about 93 million miles, while spinning 365.25 times during each orbit. Hence, contrary to any static, flat-earth view, a "stationary" person at the Equator moves at 1000 mph due to spin and orbits the sun at 1000 miles/min.

Fuller provided neologisms to help us to situate ourselves in a heliocentric (rather than geocentric) solar system. Earth-spin gives us sight of the sun at dawn, so "sunsight" replaces "sunrise". "Sunset" is replaced by "sunclipse".

In Utopia Or Oblivion, p.29, Fuller describes a motoring thought-experiment intended to help overturn the conventional view (see Phototaxy).

In terms of a planetary conception, the words "up" and "down" should also be supplanted, in most cases, by "out" and "in". This is because they are geometrically meaningless. (See Reader, p.317.)

Fuller coined the phrase "Spaceship Earth" for its metaphorical value in provoking thoughts about energy supply, maintenance requirements, and so on. He remarked that, unlike ordinary spaceships, Spaceship Earth is not supplied with an instruction manual, so that its operating principles have to be derived by generalization from experience.

Spaceship Earth is equipped with 2 engines: internal and external heat engines (see Gould 1980, p.193).

We can find many examples of synergy at these levels. The orbital patternings of the solar system are the synergetic product of gravitation. On Spaceship Earth itself, solar energy and lunar tides produce conditions enabling the generation of that highly synergetic phenomenon: life.



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THE FULLER MAP



Paul Taylor 2001