On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM, frank zubek <email@example.com> wrote:
> I'm just amazed, how you go around and promoting synergetics, and > following the debates, well it is all the same, no one really believes in > Fuller's so called geometry of thinking, when actually it is all wrong, > incorrect, have the physical models, have the numbers, and I can model all > what Fuller claims to invented, it is all wrong, and most folks on this > list have doubth that synergetics even makes a moderate sense. If there is > anyone from these teachers, well I would love to talk, love to demonstrate, > and love to confirm with numbers, models, spheres, or whatever method > required. I'm not following you I'm following the debate, and this group is > about debate and NOT ABOUT YOU, or Fuller. > > frank >
You're welcome to be as coherent as you are capable of being Mr. Zubek. Insofar as there's a debate to be had, I think you've seen I'm not shy about presenting my side in its particulars.
I haven't myself been able to grok all of Fuller's stuff though I'm appreciative of its intent: to pioneer a multidisciplinary language that parses as prose so the humanities-trained can read it -- but haven't bothered in most cases -- whereas those happy with symbolic notations will have new ways of bridging the gap (the C.P. Show gap, twixt STEM and not-STEM).
One of Fuller's pet topics is the dissection of polyhedrons into a small number (the smaller the better) of tetrahedral components. He has two, called the A & B, same volume, that between them assemble a tetrahedron, octahedron, rhombic dodecahedron, cuboctahedron and cube, with volumes 1, 4, 6, 20, 3 respectively. They also assemble intermediate shapes, including tetrahedral and other space-fillers (not left or right handed, whereas the As and Bs themselves *are* left and right handed).
That particular content I'm very clear about and have no doubts about. I also consider the topic highly STEM-worthy because Fuller was right about the CPP / FCC / isomatrix (Bell's "kites") being uber-important, both in architecture (where it's called the "octet truss" by some -- a space frame), and in chemistry. These are not Fuller's inventions (except for the patent on the octet truss, now expired). The advantage of the whole number volumes (above) is that it opens doors into this thinking, including among those who mostly only read prose, and among children.
Frank here is also interested in dissecting polyhedrons, the cube in particular, and came up with a different set of modules (more numerous, less parsimonious) than Fuller's A & B, all of which may be assembled by Fuller's A & B. Zubek's anxiety over the fact that his "puzzle" (he was hoping to commercially market the thing as a toy) could be reduced to A and B modules has led him to take the offensive, hoping to expose Fuller's dissections as somehow fraudulent. Insisting on a relative scale between his cube and Fuller's is his way of trying to frustrate the dissection of his own modules to Fuller's. I get to be the object of his anxiety, as one of the lead expositors of the Bucky Fuller approach.
The cuboctahedron of volume 20 is likewise a shape you can get by packing 12 unit-radius spheres around a nuclear unit sphere and connecting adjacent centers. Fuller's next move was to spin this creature around its face-center, vertex and mid-edges to generate 7 + 6 + 12 = 25 great circles. He gives the icosahedron (volume ~18.51) the same treatment (spinning to get 31 great circles) and superimposes the two great circle networks. It's this kind of thinking that fed into the geodesic sphere and dome studies that made him famous and led to other patents.
Edward Popko's 'Divided Spheres' picks up this story, and includes the great circle networks discussion. That book also helps contextualize Fuller's work (aka "synergetics"), as does 'The King of Infinite Space'. These are two of the key tomes on my "core syllabus" these days, along with a discrete math / Python programming book. These books boldly foray into spatial geometry, which is more experiential than purely flat stuff. In the computer age, we can afford to think spatially right from the get go, even if scientific calculators have a hard time keeping up.
OK, I think that's enough background and context, given we're hearing a lot from Zubek. My hypothesis is he's uncomfortable with the prospect of defending his work as derivative and wants to counter with a sharp offense. Our debate itself is only valuable (at least to me) if it helps readers clarify for themselves the concepts under discussion. Sometimes debate can do that. Philosophies in the past were often presented as dialogues, as were new scientific theories. Galileo made effective use of this technique, as did Plato. I have no problem with there being dialog, as long as it's not just venting, other gaseous phenomena.