Talk:Buckminster Fuller

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In this page I placed Bucky's undated motto at top, further verified quotes including the 2 that were already there in chronological order, followed with an extensive number of quotes from some of Bucky's major works below them also in chronological order, and then finally a few unverified quotes I had collected that I do not immediately know the source of, but which seem authentic. —Kalki 2003·08·19 23:59

Why are some parts of some quotes in bold? Is that they way they are in the book, or has the emphasis been added to make those parts of the quotes stand out from the rest? If so, I think we need to discuss whether this is good practice generally or whether we should discourage it and let readers make up their own minds about which parts are somehow more important than others. Nanobug 12:25, 21 Aug 2003 (UTC)

See : Wikiquote:Village_pump_archive_3#Emphasis for further discussion on this topic.

Where´s "only integrity is going to count"?

I have just added it, and intend to do a bit more work here. Thanks for the suggestion. ~ Achilles 11:27, 26 October 2005 (UTC)Reply



Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Buckminster Fuller. --Antiquary 11:46, 14 March 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking -- Attributed to Buckminster Fuller through Stewart Brand, who attended his lectures. In DOI:10.1145/3530988 Communications of the ACM. A suitable source for such a widely quoted quote? -- Yoderj (talk) 14:42, 26 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
  • All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainably, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less.
  • If the success or failure of this planet, and of human beings, depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?
  • It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?
  • It is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on Earth at a ‘higher standard of living than any have ever known.’ It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. (from Critical Path, 1981, page xxv)
  • People have feet. Trees have roots.
    • When asked why so many of his housing designs were portable.
  • "Reality" should always be in quotes.
  • There are over 2 million cars standing in front of red lights with their engines going. Then we have over 2 million times approximately 100 horsepower being generated as they are idling there, so that we have something like 200 million horses jumping up and down and going nowhere. Now, we have to count that in our economy when we begin to get down to what is the efficiency of the economy.
  • There is something patently insane about all the typewriters sleeping with all the beautiful plumbing in the beautiful office buildings — and all the people sleeping in the slums.
  • We are on a spaceship; a beautiful one. It took billions of years to develop. We're not going to get another. Now, how do we make this spaceship work?
  • When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
  • You either make sense or you make money.
  • You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. I found this quote in: L. Steven Sieden, „A Fuller View - Buckminster Fuller´s Vision of Hope and Abundance for all“, p. 358), Divine Arts Media (2011)
  • on first priority / in design consideration / is the full realization / of individual potential / in order to reach the second derivative-- / full realization for all individuals
  • Love is omni-inclusive, progressively exquisite, understanding and compassionately attuned to other than self.
  • Humanity has the option to become successful on our planet if we reorient world production away from weaponry-- from killingry to livingry. Can we convince humanity in time?
  • We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking.
  • Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering.
Really nobody knows the source of: "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete. That, in essence, is the higher service to which we are all being called."?! --Fixuture (talk) 18:42, 5 June 2015 (UTC)Reply
Okay so I traced the quote down (mainly using Google's custom time-range feature) and I found this: - it's the book Extreme Democracy (by Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe ) and here's the free, full version of it:
On page 101 it says this:
As Buckminster Fuller said: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”78
With the 78 footnote being: Fuller, R. Buckminster (St. Martin's Griffin, 1982).
However googling it I find multiple books by Buckminster that were published in 1982 at St. martin Griffin. Does anybody of you know which one is meant or do you have access to one of those books to look it up?
--Fixuture (talk) 13:24, 14 June 2015 (UTC)Reply

In his book'Critical Path' on page 283 I found this: "What makes obsolete any of the major categories of metals in use is the rate at which the new technologies occur that make obsolete the older technologies." Hope it helps:

"Islands of compression in an ocean of tension"


There are many variations and uses, some may be mangled. For example "We (humanity) are islands of compression in an ocean of tension" seems incorrect, while applied to tensegrity seems more apropiate. ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 18:26, 24 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

"Waste materials"


Years ago I saw a documentary that attributed a quote to Bucky that stuck with me, though I've looked several times for it and failed. I don't know if it was even a real quote by anyone. It went something like, "Waste materials are simply a resource we haven't found a use for." ~ JasonCarswell (talk) 18:29, 24 September 2018 (UTC)Reply

The quote I found for this was “Pollution is nothing but resources we're not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value.” — Buckminster Fuller source

Images removed


I removed many unrelated images. Please discuss here if you would like to add them back in as per Wikiquote:Image_use_policy#Dispute_resolution. Thanks! Doctormatt (talk) 04:05, 13 May 2021 (UTC)Reply