Buckminster Fuller at the Whole Earth Festival, UC Davis


“We now find that our sun star is 1 of a 100 billion stars in our galaxy. We now discovered a billion of such galaxies. When you get to that kind of a scheme, where you really think about—We are approximately on an invisible planet and you & I are 1/10,000 of invisible on an invisible planet of a very mediocre star amongst a billion times a 100 billion stars… Then we get to say, obviously, that kind of a Universe is not very interested in whether Republicans or Democrats are elected.

You get to realizing the Universe doesn’t say we can’t afford another galaxy. let alone lunch for the kids. So, I find the way we’ve looking at things, the way we’ve been interpreting having been born naked, helpless, ignorant—we’re in a great morass of very, very small, very irrelevant kind of preoccupations. All of which we get very upset about here. I realize we might be able to transcend very rapidly if we get into a bigger scheme.”

A Lifetime of Systems Thinking / Russell Ackoff

A Lifetime of Systems Thinking

“… here has never been an amount of money that makes it worth doing something that is not fun.”

“… derive understanding of parts from the behavior and properties of wholes…”

“The whole can be understood only by viewing it from all the perspectives simultaneously.”

“The best thing that can be done to a problem is to dissolve it, to redesign the entity that has it or its environment so as to eliminate the problem.”

The most valuable and least replaceable resource is time. Without the time of employees, money can produce nothing.”

Identifying and defining the hierarchy of mental content, which, in order of increasing value, are: data, information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.”

All learning ultimately derives from mistakes. When we do something right, we already know how to do it; the most we get out of it is confirmation of our rightness. Mistakes are of two types: commission (doing what should not have been done) and omission (not doing what should have been done). Errors of omission are generally much more serious than errors of commission, but errors of commission are the only ones picked up by most accounting systems. Since mistakes are a no-no in most corporations, and the only mistakes identified and measured are ones involving doing something that should not have been done, the best strategy for managers is to do as little as possible. No wonder managerial paralysis prevails in American organizations.”

The best thing that can be done to a problem is not to solve it but to dissolve it.”

“the responsiveness of a good driver of an automobile who gets where he wants to go without forecasts of what he will encounter but with the ability to cope with whatever occurs.”

“Those at the top feel obliged to pretend to omniscience, and therefore refuse to learn anything new even if the cost of doing so is success.”

What is the ultimate goal of teaching?

Atisha replied, “The highest skill lies in the realization of selflessness. The highest nobility lies in taming your own mind. The highest excellence lies in having the attitude that seeks to help others. The highest precept is continual mindfulness. The highest remedy lies in understanding the intrinsic transcendence of everything. The highest activity lies in not  conforming with worldly concerns. The highest mystic realization lies in lessening and transmuting the passions. The highest charity lies in nonattachment. The highest morality lies in having a peaceful mind. The highest tolerance lies in humility. The highest effort lies in abandoning attachment to works. The highest meditation lies in the mind without claims. The highest wisdom lies in not grasping anything as being what it appears to be.” 

“And what is the ultimate goal of the teaching?” 

“The ultimate goal of the teaching is that emptiness whose essence is compassion.”