Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's dark in here......

Hmmm....Last Sunday (August 31st 2008) at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, during our Bucky Gp session I was sharing and explaining Buckminster Fuller's definition of Wealth.

Interestingly immediately one of the participants attacked point-blank the explanation, saying it was WRONG. Unless we can show this person evidence of this wealth having trickled down to the have-nots of our world, this Wealth thing by Buckminster Fuller is WRONG.

I felt that this was a challenge,....... to be put on the spot, to defend the definition of Wealth, as the Know-how capability to take care of all of humanity, without ecological offense and disadvantage to anyone.

Immediately some fellow veteran members were seemingly coming to my defense. Put on the defensive, they seemed to be pleading to the person to be "reasonable."

However, instead of countering the attack, with trying to explain, even with the best of logic, one could not possibly convince the person otherwise. I took a different tack. I pointed out that the thinking processes which we work with though useful, has it's limitations.

It will only arrive at the YOU ARE WRONG, which mean of course that I'm right. This logic, derived from the Greek philosophers of Socrates and Plato, unfortunately cannot help us in our discussion.

The attacker pointed out. Human Nature is such, greedy, selfish, fearful and hoarding, uncaring for the plight of others. There are billions of people who are Have-nots.

I agreed with the attacker. We can't change human nature.

Like a flash the story about Human Nature came to mind.
"What kind of people are you likely to find?"

A young man was studying about Human Nature. And one day he thought to himself, perhaps he should go and ask the wise old man, who spends his days sitting by the city gate allowing people to come and consult him on any matters.

As this young man approached the old man at the city gate, he observed a traveller going up to the wise old man, and asked him: "Excused me sir, what kind of people live in this city?"
The old man replied him with a question: "What kind of people live in the city where you came from?"
The traveller said: Oh, they are kind, loving, generous people.
The old man answered: "That's the kind of people who live in this city"
Thanking him the traveller smiled and moved on.

Before the young man could approach the old man, another traveller came up to the old man. He ask the same question. "Sir what kind of people live in this city?"

Again the old man responded: "What kind of people live in the city where you came from?" Oh they are wicked, thieving, cheating type."
The Wise old man replied: "That's the kind of people living in this city"

Suddenly the young observer of the conversations had his "lights' turned on. He realized that human nature is neither good nor bad. However whatever what one looks for one will find it. Whatever we look for in others, we will find it, "good" or "bad". Afterall end of the day, all are but reflections of ourselves.

Hmmm.....reminds me of the song "Reflections" by Christina Aguilera. (from the movie Mu-lan.)

As I reflected on the episode that morning at MacRitchie, I realized that most of the time humanity is in darkness, like living in a gargantuan dark cave. Somebody comes along with a light, and somebody else will try to blow out the light and say, see I told you it is DARK IN HERE. you try to light up again, and this person will try to blow out the light, and say See I told you, It's dark here.

Do they want to see the light?
No I'm not sure about it. They may want to complain about the DARK, but they don't really want to see the light.
"However there may be some who comes along and say: Ah, I see you have some light here, that's good, let's make it brighter, so that we can see better, clearer."

So the logic of the Greek Philosophers, the thinking processes they conceived is but only a shaft of light which can help us see a little better in our huge "Dark Cave." But I'm sure there are others who have opened up new shafts of light to help us see better in our "Dark Cave," like Buckminster Fuller and Einstein. But could we be ignoring the new "lights" coming through? could I make this into a little story to tell? Just like the story of the Traveller and the old man!

Perhaps you can help.......Thanks


jupilier said...

People likes to believe in what they want to believe until they have enough. So there will be a time when all of us will get more enlightened than what we are now.

More specifically, Bucky's wealth plans for humankind is quite obvious. His vision for a global electricity grid, his designs for mass housing, the dymaxian car, the geodesic dome...etc. He also logic it out that in time to come, there will be more and more new alloys and chemicals that will perform better for new life supporting wealth.

To combat human greed, we have to replace the system with a better system that greed will become irrelevant. Bucky's World Game illustrates that there is a way forward.

Have we moved forward from where Bucky left?
I think so. Look at the number of prosumer groups, like open source software, blogs, voluntary paramedics,...etc that seeks to serve communities. Also, there are more and moe social enterprises emerging. But all these are possible because of the advent of technology, and that is why I think Bucky developed his artifacts as an impetus to developing more technological know-how that serves humanity.

cjfsyntropy said...

I think we need to embrace controversy: "Yes, Bucky's ideas are very controversial. They may be true. They may not be true. We may be misinterpreting them. How do you think we could try to assess what is the truth?"

Then we move into a scientific discussion about the subject instead of letting people get away with perpetuating their wrong (or maybe our wrong) perceptions.

WestGirl said...

...hey, very very "cheeem" in hokkien meaning 'deep'...good to hv ppl differing views, it enlighten our thinking - then makes our learning much deeper...not necessary to agree though!!!....mmmmm...I like!!!... thnxs.