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You Belong to the Universe


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Table of Contents

GUINEA PIG B The Buckminster Fuller Myth HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD WORK Six Visions I. Mobility: The Dymaxion Car II. Shelter: The Dymaxion House III. Education: Two-Way TV IV. Planning: The Geoscope V. Environment: The Dome Over Manhattan VI. Peace: The World Game THE RANDOM ELEMENT The Buckminster Fuller Legacy

About the Author

Jonathon Keats is a writer, artist and experimental philosopher. He is recently the author of the story collection The Book of the Unknown (Random House), winner of the American Library Association's 2010 Sophie Brody Medal, as well as Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology (2010) and Forged: Why Fakes are the Great Art of Our Age (2013), both published by OUP.


"A wonderfully written and highly necessary book about one of the 20th century's most enigmatic outliers." -- Douglas Coupland, author and artist "Brilliantly challenging Buckminster Fuller's self-mythologizing by putting Fuller's life and ideas in their historical context, Jonathon Keats is all the more able to identify the ways of thinking that were truly original in Fuller's own time, and the concepts that can address today's environmental and technological dilemmas. Keats's sympathetic but firm critique of Fuller, and his own suggestions for the human future, make this book a must for Fuller enthusiasts and skeptics alike - in fact, for everyone aspiring to think outside the dome." -- Edward Tenner, author of Why Things Bite Back and Our Own Devices "Jonathon Keats audaciously tackles the grandiose Buckminster Fuller, debunking Fuller's legend while extending his inventive thinking for our present day. Sometimes it takes a real visionary to know one." -- Bruce Sterling, author of Tomorrow Now and Holy Fire "I loved reading Jonathon Keats's fascinating book on one of my favorite thinkers and optimists, Buckminster Fuller. Keats illuminates how Fuller's daring mind predicted the Internet, MOOCs, Netflix, and much more. Even if some of his ideas didn't work out, it's so refreshing to inhabit Fuller's insatiably curious mind that truly believed we could design ourselves into a better future." -- Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, creator of the show "The Future Starts Here" "R. Buckminster Fuller was born in privilege, educated by experience and his own intuition, and created his own myth. Along the way he enriched human existence with inventions such as the geodesic dome and revolutionary concepts about peace and our place in the environment. Jonathon Keats has done a superb job of distinguishing fact from legend and refocusing our attention on Fuller's thoughts and perceptions. The work of a remarkable man has yielded a remarkable book." -- Michael Hiltzik, author of Big Science "Keats' excellent book on Buckminster Fuller recalls a remarkable life in engineering and beyond, an underestimated and underappreciated life. Fuller's tale reminds us that the future is best predicted by those who invent it." -- Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist "Was Buckminster Fuller a dreamer, a genius, or a deluded crackpot? In his fascinating book Jonathon Keats shows that Fuller was all three--and that his vision of a design-driven global ecosystem in which humans live harmoniously with nature is more pertinent now than ever before. More than just a biography of the man and his ideas, Keats's book is an inspiring call to action." -- Laura J. Snyder, author of Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing "Buckminster Fuller is perhaps one of the most unrecognized visionaries of the 20th Century. In You Belong to the Universe, Jonathon Keats unpacks the many eccentric details of Fuller's life, and explores the implications of Fuller's designs and blueprints for a better society.... Keats presents an interesting look at the way innovation has transformed from Fuller's day into the energy and cost-saving practices that are being explored today." -- The Manhattan Book Review "Like his formidable intellect, Fuller's self-mythology was an elastic tool he stretched to suit the audience and the occasion at hand. In vivid prose that details all of Fuller's eccentricities and achievements, Keats strips away the icon's layers to reveal a truer, even more fascinating portrait of the 20th century genius." -- Discover Magazine "If Fuller is better known for objects than ideas, that's partly because of the complexity of how he thought.... It's a reflectiveness that's present in the book, which is a fascinating read." -- Fast Company "It's become cliche for people in tech to say they want to make the world better. But Fuller meant it. In You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future, Keats explores Fuller's life and work with an eye toward what companies like Google and Tesla Motors owe a man who (for real) wanted to change the world." -- Wired "In You Belong to the Universe, Keats offers a new perspective on the legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller and suggests that his timeless approach to design could affect global change." -- Discovery News "Keats emphasizes [Buckminster Fuller's] ideas without ignoring his often controversial accomplishments in a biography that manages to be enthusiastic without descending into hagiography.... Keats's insightful account of this impressive American innovator reveals a man who managed to be 'both corporate and antiestablishment,' more pragmatic than concerned with resolving contradictions." -- Publishers Weekly

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