by R. Buckminster with E. J. Applewhite Fuller ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 22, 1979
Synergetics 2 is a further flowering, no mere gloss over the earlier Synergetics, we are told. Each chapter in the original has been expanded and the paragraphs numbered to correspond, a procedure which endows the volume with Bible-like dignity and a not dissimilar quality of being a revealed if not a miraculous creation. For synergetics is uniquely Fuller's epistemology, physics, metaphysics, geometry; his world-view complete with coined words, Pythagorean-like numerologies, and--at the core--the concrete geometric unit of his architecture--the tetrahedron (triangular-based pyramid). ""Synergetics shows how we may measure our experiences geometrically and topologically and how we may employ geometry and topology to coordinate all information regarding our experiences, both metaphysical and physical."" Sounds reasonable--except for Fuller's broad concepts of physical and metaphysical. They are charged with special meanings elaborated in chapters dealing with time and space, growth and decay, self and otherness, and other classic polarities. This kind of oppositional thinking is a constant refrain as Fuller introduces other notions such as ""syntropy""--orderliness--versus entropy (whose meaning conforms to the physicists' concept of disorder). Another theme, echoed by other contemporary thinkers, is the feeling that mankind has been limited in creative thinking by the Newtonian and Euclidean models as opposed to relativity; for Fuller in particular there has been a failure to realize the boundless potential of the triangular, tetrahedral, and polyhedral structures symbolizing the natural dynamism of time and space. Only disciples will be able to plumb the depths and extract the meaning from some of the more idiosyncratic pronouncements with their trains of adjectives, hyphenated nouns, energy and event states, but the more intelligent reader may find unexpected charm or at least bemusement in the Fullerian imaginative flights--which proceed in one case, from steel ""cigars"" to grasshopper legs to oil-tanker shapes and volumes.
Pub Date: Oct. 22, 1979
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1979
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