Education Automation


Freeing the Scholar to Return to his Studies

Buckminster Fuller

Illinois, 1962.

This book is based on a talk Fuller gave before the planning committee for the new Edwardsville campus of the University of Southern Illinois. He reflects, in typically wide-ranging terms, on his own educational background and on what the prevailing technological trends imply for education in general.

Along the way are remarks about town planning and roads that exemplify his synergetic approach.

"Planning as taught is a target-town discipline. . . [T]his is no longer and adequate way of looking at the planning problem. We will have to find out first what is happening to humanity in the big world pattern - where it is going - find out what the world's probable and comprehensive changes are in order to understand what you've got to plan for any particular city." (p.21)
"Automobiling is schematically like a monkey wrench - the ratchet half is the "highway", and the thumb-screw-adjustable traveling jaw is the "automobile." The automobile is literally geared by its tire-treads to the road." (p.53)

In his account of the growth of road transport, Fuller summarizes the story thus:

"What the auto executive did was to excite the people into demanding highways for cars." (p.54)

See Road Transport for what he also did.

Fuller ends his talk with this prescient recommendation:

"Get the most comprehensive generalized computer setup with network connections to process the documentaries that your faculty and graduate-student teams will manufacture objectively from the subjective gleanings of your vast new world- and universe-ranging student probers." (p.85)




Paul Taylor 2006