The next fifty years; Context of the Future...Youth, Tech
If one judges the success of a product by. Such as housing a product off of official government effort by that the ratio between the investment made on the part of the government agency is part of the public sector in relation to the investment made in private sector then. An economic economically speaking one has to admit that the vast majority of Orthodox debt cost housing projects designed to solve the problems that we're referring to the fact it couldn't possibly be carried out on a scale large enough to make a significant impact on the housing problem in the developing countries. But on the other hand the other side to it is that people the common people themselves. I'm talking about the blue collar class the urban workers the
major and in this rapidly growing cities throughout most of Latin America and a very large sector of the developing world have built an odd building a phenomenal number of houses many of them white so it has a brick and concrete. In other words their productivity is considerably greater than the productivity of the government and the agency is designed to solve their problems. I give some facts and figures on that in my paper. Well to me this is evidence of my conclusion and my hypothesis that techniques technology at best the technical aspect and institutional the organizational aspect cannot be divorced from a cultural context. I think in some ways this is old hat. Margaret Mead has written very authoritative papers on this. 15:20 yes again and I think
most of her points stand very well stand up to experience. Seems. To me the overly optimistic view of the possibilities of direct introduction of technology and modern organization into typically developing situations implies a failure to understand that change as a human process motivated by testimony arising out of personal experience. To me it diverts attention from what I understand is the real problem and I think as I have gathered the general consensus of this conference that the real problem which is institutional problem base is the relationship of the person to the organization to
the institution. I think to conclude I'm just going to read the last two pages which summarizes in part I would like to raise tentatively and as you suggested I do. The fact that the very large and economically vital sectors of urban ashing populations are demonstrably willing to make immense efforts and considerable material sacrifice to invest in urban infrastructure and perhaps here I should say that in the figures that I quote It is very common indeed for the urban working class populations in rapidly urbanizing cities where the common people are free to invest
that only resources in the way that they will and in their own time it's very common indeed for these families to invest over a period of 15 or 20 years the equivalent of five or six years total income in building a house which is two to two and a half times as much as is normally considered possible. It is when the institution provide us with the land to build our house calculator I think can say about two years our income is about as much as we can handle. People do this out of that week by week sadly not through a land they can't afford to have loans in general interest rates which have to be charged in order to be able to make credit possible by large scale and con but continue this anyway. This fact this enormous sacrifice of the people you know in infrastructure is just an
alternative development resource in the past industrial revolution development was achieved through sacrifice of man by man. The sacrificed choice short of quite unwilling to be so brutally exploited in the short run of contemporary generations in the long run. There's an enormous human advantage in the political identity of the developing countries has greatly reduced the possibility of overt exploitation. Thanks to the advanced state of political awareness and the power of the masses in relation to the stage of economic development in developing countries are far better treated then where their counterparts in England in the nineteenth century or even in the United States in the earlier part of this century cruel conditions are common. Of course you know poor countries but the West and rural when other areas from the modernizing influence of the cities
where incidentally fewer and fewer people live. In general the West and reckon the carrier progress today cannot be run from the bodies of women and little children slaving in mines and sweat shops. It is increasingly difficult to bring it from men working in far better conditions if they are unsatisfied with their share of the product. This did it just gratitude. The operative work within the developing countries is of course paralleled by the collective attitude of the poor nations to the rich to supply the bulk of the fuel fibers so that development can no longer be founded on the exploitation of poor my just majority as by rich minorities. And if the technological cut cannot be placed before the institutional horse then what can it be best. Extraordinary productivity of the Peruvian squatters. And of course there isn't any other Nation suggests that much can be produced by man or rather
by families and communities while internally exploiting themselves. If a man cannot buy that meager income so many times through building their own hands why can't this be generalized. If a full third of the Ebonite advising nations or building their own hands as I calculate they would if they could just not be a tremendous fit to economic and social as well as physical development. Couldn't this principle be extended perhaps to public utilities and facilities as it already has been in some areas. Is it unreasonable to suppose the same principle might be extended to primary and secondary production to mining agriculture and manufacturing. Was it ridiculous to think in terms of small scale cooperatives and local democracy. In this age of sophisticated technology and the vast organizations that it brings
in its train. What are these a romantic dreams. All Politics and potential realities. The relationship between technical levels and social institutional development levels or stages is poorly understood. Important to us often Western useless and foreign technicians impotent because we know so little about the most important things. Collectively we have not yet learned that tools are no substitute for or are useless without human will and organization. The monstrous and ludicrous spectacles of technological impotence in Vietnam and in the Middle East the result of our childish face and our own glittering products. Until we understand ourselves basis of our own growth far better than we do until the following speak entrained. If it recommends and I quote from that paper can we listen to
this in the developing countries who know and understand in environments and who do indeed have a great deal to say to us. We're short to go on battering our heads against the wall of reality. The danger is that I have and I so think that we may destroy that reality and so destroy ourselves if we are really disgusted by and like streams of men and women with heavy lives swarming up and down scaffolding than it is by all means send in the bulldozers. But the first drop they should do is dig a mass grave for the people they will displace. But in the awareness that maybe not I. That was architect John Turner with a message to planners working in underdeveloped
countries. Mr. Turner says it's important the introduction of new tools and methods be within the cultural grasp of the people so that people may build with their own hands. This week we've been listening to the recommendations of some of the planning feels youngest members concluding remarks come from a man who has been challenging imaginations since the early 1930s Buckminster Fuller Buckminster Fuller is also a man of many titles among them. Editor lecturer a professor a mathematician and an inventor. He is perhaps most widely known as the designer of the geodesic dome including the US but villian at Expo 67. At one point in Mr. Fuller's remarks his concern with the study of big problems in planning led him to challenge his audience with a question concerning Man's View of wealth. Here's Buckminster Fuller. I don't think man has a slice idea really what Routh is
I would like to do something with you as an audience just to give you a sensation about the way in which you can operate in studying big problems because I'm going to say something to you and anybody in this audience this is agrees with what I'm saying. I want to see that hands right away. I'm going to start off with that. You're not what you think routes may be. I think you'll all agree with me that no matter how much you have I'll bet you can't offer one iota of yesterday. And in disagreement no hat. So what do you want to happen you know how to alter yesterday. You think you're really good. So you think about yesterday. About I'll put it this waythe and I'm going to do it and I'm going to make it physical instead of metaphysical So that out of sight.
No matter how well or how much you have out of nowhere you could alter the the physical events of yesterday. I think the routes whatever it is irreversible or something and then we can alter now and all to follow it live and not all tobacco is out resort to childish with malice or we'd have an agreement that the whole room was as rapidly as that so we now know that all of yesterday is irrelevant. We learn some lessons. Now I'm going to have a man and shipwrecked. He's a very rich man. He's taken within all his stocks and bonds and has to place a good product a lot of gold along with it got all the deeds all his property. The ship is going down and then there are no boats laughter so far.
And I'd say that it with if he holds on to his gold is going to sink a little faster now this time so that he won't have much tomorrow either. So that but of that wealth isn't I going to do very much good about him. I would I would really feel that the NSA that already had those stocks and bonds are not wealthy either. That we have all been using this as a method of accounting. But I would now speculate that I think that what we mean by out is our self our all denies capability to cope with Forward days of our regeneration our life for a generation. How many days or how many people can we carry on at it at a satisfactory level of regeneration and I would say then it is much we can learn about that spaceship president and we're not going to have any life at all except by impoundment of energy and it has all the metabolic regenerating pattern of Dr
David right. I'm interested then in the fact that the wealth which represents this ability then to deal with it. Breaks down into two main box the physical energy and physical energy as associative ass matter and the physical energy dissociate and radiation most of which are interchangeable which the physicists have discovered experimentally. Can either be exhausted now or originated that energy is conserved. This it contradicts what had been thought up to the time of the measure the speed of light to turn of the century. As I came to Howard University in a tentative beginning of the century it was still the general way of thinking that the universe is a system and there's entropy in every local system loses energy that follow the universe as a system is losing energy.
But they hadn't and in knowledge and of the speed of light when the sun is God it took eight minutes for the sun light to get to us from the sun and many years. Forget the other stuff out of some styling out have been there for a million is then leaning side to side. We're going to have to reassess this matter and the universe is an aggregate of non-simultaneous an overlapping events and they said we must discover the New see new life farming. So it could be that when energy disassociates here and maybe associating there and that is what proved to be the case experimentally. We then see that they pop out which is physical energy which is conserved but energy cannot be created nor lost that they have that part of our wealth is something that does not wear out. We find that there is something else framed Pradhan I spoke about then the man discovering the 11th when man later on. Then having used levers for
centuries and centuries millenniums thought as a man thought of putting a series of levers and setting that one end onto a shaft having one after another like spokes around a wheel and mounted that shaft and bearings and how they put buckets on those on the levers and put it under a lot of fog and let the gravity pulling that water and toss out the pole logs levels around and connected up with pulleys and belts to other police and shout. Then man began for the first time to really employ his intellect in that most of the new I have discovering then how to use the energy as a matter of the forms of the Leveson trains of gears and how to use the energy which is radiation which are pushing up this that that and that water and allowing prevent the flow back towards the center of that. So that from this point on magic really important function was using his intellect to intercept the energy patterns of universe to make it to reorganize and saw that they would do the work of
taking care of it forward metabolic regeneration. But we learned also then damn powerfully is that we every time man makes an experiment he always ruins Mars maybe one that has none by much splash landing on us. We find that then the intellectual thing we call the know how every time we employed we always will learn all the know how can only increase but interesting to basic constituents arouse the physical pot cannot decrease and the metaphysical can only increase. Which is to say that when we compound them that that our route every time we use it it simply increases. That's what's been going on is completely surprising ro society that we have gone from in this country nineteen hundred and to die from growing from less than 1 percent of humanity to be able to survive in any important kind of level going up to 44 percent of humanity surviving at a standard living by any king in any century before this
century. Yes and this only happened in two thirds of a century without any premeditation where we're dealing in national incomes and have perfectly preposterous in the terms and they were taught I was actually accountable wealth. So I just simply say that we have not really known what our routes really yet it is perfectly logical and this would be in the sky with unmanaged internal metabolic regeneration rediscover man's gradual gradual use of his intellect to discover the prince was an operative in universe and instead of then trying to have his own integral functioning having his hands to cup the water he then invents a cup so that you can use it hash of berry picking also. And and I found all the tours externalisation is original integral function what's really unique about man is a magnitude to which he is decentralized and the function so he doesn't have to have a large tail they have the Denisov becoming extinct has simply had it one time but you had to poke around and not bananas and tame them and they didn't get Coming up bananas to pay
off. But man what man has done is to decentralize it functions into a whole complex of tools and industrialization is fantastic way that we have built up our total metabolic regeneration. And these tools involving the whole of the earth and all of it resources are out all the 92 chemical elements are completely involved in that completely and evenly distributed and we are involved in total and in total planet at all times present on the grid in this stupid condition of having the Russians in and running the the airport there in the cockpit handling the instruments and we are running the the engines out here on the wing and there and the Chinese have a fuselage. We're getting nowhere. I just can't fit a POS or a set of conditions of the poor little little struggling man who would have been just getting it up in groups to try to make his name in the local area. The successful one is done and done modest wouldn't be the point where you have to graduate and graduate faster.
Now then I'd say that we're coming in from from the big to cause a particular let me point out too that one part of this enormous tool of development the most important poverty in the area of industrialization vs. a craft to craft to make the tools and makes the tools of industrialization and your man making you a man using his hands. Today is it is easy using his hand but he is using it to make the tools the father industrialization goes extraordinarily ingenious and that tool makes then the end product. And in this development then of the industrialization the mechanical advantage a man is going up very very rapidly. But we can actually develop that mass production you can't have mass production if you have mass consumption. So we have then the great struggle social struggles of labor to get their wages increase in and spend and spread the benefits they got it absolutely essential to the success of mass production adoption zation
because they made possible land mass purchasing because you can't have mass production mass purchasing capability. We have I will society then I populate afraid again as it always has been that this phenomena automation technology M.A. going to take away those jobs and won't be able to do this extraordinary thing we call earning a living. Winning the right to live. But you're not the nominee is that your spouse had died and it's abnormal to be able to earn a return living. Now you have to be very special and then as you take it you've earned your right now I say than that. Present moment then we find labor work tremendously right about automation leaving none very easy to demonstrate us as we go into routers I've talked to about it and asked that as we were that automation. Oh get drawing it was going to be able to generate the output very much more rapidly than we've been able to before our south and Labor
said we're going to suffer. But we're going to have to do obviously is to site as fast as anybody comes and provide me automatically going to give him a fellowship the Light Life Fellowship and reception about just not using the same for every 100000 song provide one to make a breakthrough that will pay for everybody. That's right and that's why as Ray is going nuts over the ratios. So we're going to have to do some driving part of the things I got in that is that is a predicament we're in we're going to have to do this really very shortly. Speaking of staggered out of that a valid happen within the next decade. No question about it. We're going to stop now and moving all of humanity out of being a muscle and reflex machine already using the thing that really has really give it a chance to do it gives everybody a chance to go back to school. All the people who felt really tremendously frustrated they're young maybe feel very much as best like going fishing for a moment but after out there fishing as a great place to south thinking all we want to do so I think this is it. Now then I would just say that we'll
begin to generate wealth so rapidly we can do great and I just like you to think what this does to house it when you begin to talk about planning and housing. When we would then cite you are not going to have to stay where you have you're not going to have to fight try hard to hold on to that job. Also many valuable and important phases of the accelerations a man going around the world are going to take place. They will stop saying then it's going to be logical to have three days off a week of four days off a week and then just go a few miles you know immobile and come back to the job. We're going to compound out of sight out of sass. How many days you could have offered less. Multiply that by 50 and then you take it 200 days away and then come in and do it fairly concentrated and working. It will start going that way but then I myself will begin to travel around the world to such an extent I've got to really impact if I possibly can. A feeling I've come to expect after a clear press bias.
I've went through only automobiles like everybody else because I'm older than many here. It's not surprising I have had 54 automobiles. But I stopped only on OBL for Adam because I mean I'm leaving them at Pasha never going back to the. Beginning. Now. I just I just find that whether I like it or not it's becoming impractical to own it. I don't have to have little mementos or Egypt because I got Egypt and I see just what I want to see and Elda Meadows I much rather just send them over to the museum and that is why it's going to go these are typical things that are going to take place with you as people then begin to get in these different kinds of patterns I want to think about what that really means when you talk about going on mass and so forth but that's not going to do that. I would I would say then that because I've actually run my time out.
I'm like I can't go into into spelling out the kind of significance that I point out to Francis as I've traveled. Tonight I have a dozen winters and summers I'm continually going from north to south over there over the equator. I continue growing from this shadow and into the light. I really begin to feel my space ship as I begin to discover that and the concepts of weeks and years and we've known this season. I just really not there. I was all right. I would try the little ways of adjusting to the fact that we were so stationary Not really feeling the whole thing found Philip C then when the mobilization of man in the United States in the last three censuses three censuses ago we found that an average American family moved out of town every five years and the last census American magazine moving out of town every four years it's accelerating very rapidly. Time of the last national election. Some of the estimates as high as
30 years since any million who are unable to do it evokes and been where and at the registration point long enough tend to qualify the way the expressmen basic salary movement moves around. Presumably we'll have a national election for the Senate. I just and I'm showering a little better here but I'm going to talk about 10 years we've got millions of years ahead of we're going to have anything. And it's about time we begin to think about our grandchildren our great great grandchildren and great and not have any generation on how to pay off our stupidity and this is where you're going to have to think these are I'm going to talk to you in the sense you laugh when you want to laugh really because it's so true and I try to touch touch on a guy few other very important route if you're about to face I want you to realize that you know in your planning just off a lot actually and not if you can't talk about anything I should think about the whole world and how we really begin to find out what it is we have to do it with things with and what we do need to do we're going to find that we can only afford to
be a success. In Atl. Urging man to apply more of his intellect to planning for the future. That was mathematician and designer. Buckminster Fuller. Mr Fuller statement brings to one man this eve 11th program in the series the next 50 years. We hope you'll be with us again next week for a program number 12. W am u f l m Washington and the national educational radio network are pleased to bring you the stimulating programme of ideas of the experts in planning for the next 50 years this is NPR public affairs director Bill Greenwood reporting from Washington.
- The next fifty years
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- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- For series info, see Item 3455. This prog.: Context of the Future...Youth, Technology, and the World. Buckminster Fuller, Renato Sevarino, John Turner, Ann Schrand
- Social Issues
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Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-26-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- APA: The next fifty years; Context of the Future...Youth, Tech. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-b27pst3m