R. Buckminster Fuller, Education Automation (1961):
I am quite certain that we are soon going to begin to do the following: At our universities we will take the men who are the faculty leaders in research or in teaching. We are not going to ask them to give the same lectures over and over each year from their curriculum cards, finding themselves confronted with another roomful of people and asking themselves, “What was it I said last year?” This is a routine which deadens the faculty member. We are going to select, instead, the people who are authorities on various subjects - the men who are most respected by other men within their respective departments and fields. They will give their basic lecture course just once to a group of human beings, including both the experts in their own subject and bright children and adults without special training in their field. This lecture will be recorded as Southern Illinois University did my last lecture series of fifty-two hours in October 1960. They will make moving picutre footage of the lecture as well as hi-fi tape recording. Then the professor and his faculty associate will listen to this recording time and again. “What you say is very good,” his associates may comment, “but we have heard you say it a little better at other times.” The professor then clubs in a better statement. Thus begins complete reworking of the tape, cleaned up, and cleaned up some more, as in the moving picture cutting, and new illustrative “footage” will be added on. The whole of a university department will work on improving the message and conceptioning of a picture for many months, sometimes for years. The graduate students who want to be present in the university and who also qualify to be with the men who have great powers and intellectual capability together with the faculty may spend a year getting a documentary ready. They will not depend upon diction of the original lecturer because the diction of that person may be inadequate his really fundamental conceptioning and information, which should be superb. His knowledge may be very great, but he may be a poor lecturer because of poor speaking habits or false teeth. Another voice will take over the task of getting his words across. Others will gradually process the tape and moving picture footage, using communications specialists, psychologists, etc. […]
The documentaries will be distributed by various means. One of the ways by which I am sure they will be distributed eventually has very much to do with an important evolution in communications history which will take a little describing. […] With two-way TV we will develop selecting dials for the children which will not be primarily an alphabetical but a visual species and chronological category selecting device with secondary alphabetical subdivisions. The child will be able to call up any kind of information he wants about any subject and get his latest authoritative TV documentary, the production of which I have already described to you.
You are invited to use your two-way TV to dial-in your superb fundamental conceptioning and information. Join 4D Syndicate, the first Google Wave for Buckminster Fuller. Real-time communication occurs at various times on the second day of each month. Synchronofile has a limited number of invitations to Google Wave available for the first few who request them.
[Update March 2011: Google has discontinued Google Wave.]
- Trevor Blake
Trevor Blake is the author of the Buckminster Fuller Bibliography, available at synchronofile.com