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Kirby Urner
9 min readOct 26, 2018


Written at a time when I was steeped in Synergetics (a work in the humanities, a philosophy). This listserv (Geodesic) was discontinued by the University of Buffalo after awhile, and was sold.

Date:         Tue, 2 Sep 1997 06:16:53 GMT
Reply-To: List for the discussion of Buckminster Fuller's works
Sender: List for the discussion of Buckminster Fuller's works
From: Kirby Urner <pdx4d@TELEPORT.COM>
Organization: 4D Solutions
Subject: Some Commentary re Synergetics
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by Kirby Urner
Posted to bit.listserv.geodesic
September 1, 1997

What I see in Synergetics is a lot of "film frames" with "holes" in
them. By bouncing around within the text at high frequency, you get the holes, the "novents" to start gravitating together -- a sense of
convergence. But the eternal generalization remains a "between the lines" aspect (hence "semi-metaphorical verities") simply because time is linear, vectorial, special case, and the principles are omnispherical, eternally permeating, and therefore outside of conceptuality in some prefrequency sense -- but we still have a sense of "zooming in" and "getting close" and "fine tuning" vis-a-vis this zeropoint aconceptual anchorpoint (the apex sphere of the pyramid -- see below).

An analogy Fuller used early on was punched cards, like we used to feed to computers. Each card is an experience. If you get a whole stack together and hold the stack up to the light, maybe you see straight through the stack in a few positions, because every card has a hole in the same place -- a picture of "exceptionless".

After you've seen a few hundred science fiction movies, you have a feel for the standard characters and plots -- you start to get good at anticipating what's next, because you know the formulae (which you might diagram in some book about movie-making). No single frame of film "is" a generalized principle -- the principles "come through" in the relationships and your degree of comprehension (vs. apprehension) is likewise your level of access to the "prefrequency logical space" of the "generic story".

Synergetics centers around a central distinction: subfrequency-primitive versus plural-potential. The latter includes a doubling or repetition, both circumferentially and in an outward direction -- because the VE is modularized in both ways at once (edge and radial subdivision are conceptually part of the same model).

There's a Russian Dolls picture here, with the one doll having the same shape (angular definition) as the other, and the plurality of dolls suggesting self-containment, a sense of "I'm a viewpoint inside a viewpoint" or "I'm high enough frequency to fit inside" ("high" going with "small" in this case, as when energy is changing angular direction quickly enough to follow the contours of an atomic circuit -- the job of an electron in some contexts).

In 935.10, Fuller is talking about energy flow and discontinuity.
Appropriately, he converges two threads: the discovery that light has a top speed, and how slowly the implications of this discovery filtered outward from the point of this discovery, to eventually transform our cosmology. Ole Roemer (1644-1710), the "notable exception" who got it about light, was an early star, and only centuries later did the relevance of his discovery begin to dawn in either esoteric or popular consciousness, most notably being received, and fused with several other threads, in the stellar mind of Albert Einstein.

In my book at least, plural-potential links to the concept of "animated from within" -- if you can get inside of Synergetics, and grow through it, that's different from puzzling over a lot of subfrequency blueprints, wondering what the time-activatived version might be like (I'm thinking of the film version of Carl Sagan's 'Contact' starring Jodie Foster, which I just recently viewed). This is not to confine the distinction to Synergetics of course -- any thoughtful, systematic outlook has its flip-side divergent aspect, which creates onlooker or outsider viewpoints, some identifying as candidates proposing to inside-out converge (others
high-tailing it out of there, in no way wishing to get "abducted" or
"Shanghaied" by any crew of alien-minded insiders).

Synergetics shock-absorbs by activating hyperlinks, opening and closing circuitry gaps circumferentially. An omni-triangulated surface consists entirely of 3-vector zigzags (as I inductively proved at my website) and the fact of light having a top speed means 180 degree "equal and opposite" is "too instantaneous" a picture -- rather it's the complementarity of interstabilizing open triangles that keeps our thinking systematic, e.g. the intertransformability of protons and neutrons via 3-vector half-quantum teams -- and not some rigidly dogmatic, Newton Era idealization around actions devoid of side-effects.

Here, where the two half-quanta meet, Fuller suggests Synergetics has restored conceptuality to science-minded quantum mechanics, such that now the humanities-trained might follow along, seeing the 3-tetra arc as a kind of bridge over C.P. Snow's troubling cultural divide, or perhaps a twisting corkscrew, able to uncork the scientist's most opaque-seeming bottles and make their contents palatable to thirsty philosophers.

Our curriculum is load-bearing after all, with lots of compartmentalizing departments able to absorb the shock from many different angles, and to set up useful feedback loops among the various faculties such that Synergetics can safely filter through our university systems by a process of osmosis, thereby giving us sufficient time to work through all the implications.

Boltzmann's regenerativity model is another theme here, which links
precessionally to the Scenario of the Child: "Einstein must have noted that on Earth children do not disintegrate entropically but multiply their hydrocarbon molecules in an orderly fashion; little saplings grow in an orderly way to become big trees" writes Bucky.

The octahedron enters as the prime mediator of quantum transfer in this Boltzmann-Roemer-Einstein informed scenario. Other key concepts are crystal (octahedron as most common crystalline formation) and doubling (octahedron as double vectored). Then we get a model of stress in system A causing precessional arcing effects, which are tuned in by system B, reversing the energy "loss" -- which was only locally experienced by stressed and/or disintegrateing system A after all.

Universe, eternally regenerative in this picture, loses neither energy nor integrity when it all starts "coming apart at the seams" (that's from A's point of view) -- somewhere else, there's an influx of new investments, new energy receipts.

By wrapping itself around dense-packed spheres and bringing a lot of
concepts into tightly knit, and interattractively memorable
relationships, Synergetics has carved out a secure niche for itself -- is here to stay in other words. Which doesn't mean we can't take steps to counter (or at least control) its further growth. On the contrary, we should enlist some of our most talented and sensitive people, scientists included, to keep this Synergetics business from getting completely out of hand -- so we can keep whatever curriculum phase-in relatively smooth, even if chaotic in some dimensions.

Bucky talks about the pluri-potential viewpoint in 1033.180, wherein the subfrequency rhombic dodeca is the single unit-radius sphere
circumbscribing one, of volume six. But when you pack 12 spheres around one to give a 20-volumed VE, you've set the stage for 8-folding volumes, with both the insphere VE of 2.5 and the circumsphere rhombic dodeca of 6 blowing up to volumes of 8x2.5=20 and 8x6=48 respectively. This outward step in turn sets the stage for ongoing "frequency zooming" since once the potential of moving in this direction has been realized, the ellipitical '...' enters the picture, signifying omnidirectional frequency growth from a nucleus (1, 2 -> many).

To the "saplings becoming trees" (Scenario of the Child) I hyperlink
Tree Structures (793.00) wherein we read "What nature ships in the
seeds are the DNA-RNA coded instructions on how to utilize the resourcesof the locally occurring water, gases, and chemical elements at the planting site." I circle "nature ships", noting the precessed octa 3-tet helix looks somewhat boat-like -- a fact which it helps to remember when thinking of "arc transport" (e.g. of that invisible fourth quantum). Also recall that DNA-RNA is memetically hyperlinked to the tetrahelix in Synergetics.

Note the "load bearing" thread here -- using pneumatics to distribute strains in ways that permit continued, tapered growth. And note the related communications thread: "Forces being applied telegraph throughout the whole system" and "wirelessly beamed or wired-beam transmissions" -- the beamed message traffic as cone-shaped again, with concentric rings, like trees. This is the convergence/divergence meme again -- a fractal tree-like pattern of progressive and structurally tetrahedral offshoots, aimed at maximizing efficiency while meeting severe compressional challenges (landing a jumbo jet for example).

Synergetics is not a system so much as a context for systems, with the concentric hierarchy and the definition of systematic and omni-
triangulated vertexial polynets ala 2PF^2+2 providing etymological
content for omnisymmetric and spherically growth-patterned considerations.
But systems have a local time-and-place origin many times -- you tune in what you need to get the job done here and now (that might include knowing some Unix or other computer-related gizmickry). Synergetics is about "blowing bubbles" and seeing both the generic and special case attributes of these. The artifacts, e.g. the time/size realized domes and spheres, are spin-off, utilitarian applications of the generalized principles, as are giraffes and alligators (which designs embody many more principles than human beings have been able to fully comprehend -- we still get apprehensive around animals, even as we treasure them and manage to breed-groom-domesticate a few).

I think of the Pyramid of Generalizations. Reality is a lot of special case events stored and retrieved in connection with whatever real time experiences you're having right now -- considered in various systematic ways, with an eye towards discerning pattern integrities -- which get saved as more special case events (maybe with Aha! or Eureka! scribbled nearby). Prefrequency is atemporal, and you get closer to it in time by flipping through lots of special cases really quickly, in ways that evidence "general principles at work".

The "slow grow" bubble is the template one, since billions of special cases might blow by with nary a new principle to register, once we've got lots of them down. Not that we lose our sense of "knowing that we don't know" -- a large and intuitive "reserved space" is set aside in advance, in the awareness that we're still operating a draft template, in many ways rough and unrefined. But the special cases many not sort into comprehensible generalities, or only into ones we already feel we previously got, leaving the template bubble in a status quo state, no longer growing, for whatever reasons.

In a sense, such "no growth" is akin to "death" -- if I know so much I have no further growth potential, I must be dead to the world. On the other hand, this frustrating sense of not getting it may likewise be the hallmark of my whole template having fatal flaws, with the buildup of inexplicable special cases reflecting the obsolescence of my mirror, my crystal ball, in which case BANG! (painful) and I'm back to a single tetrahedron to start over with, omnitriangulating towards a new paradigm that, this time I hope, will be better able to keep up with what I sense is going on around me.

So I'm saying everything you think, feel, experience is special case (has a beginning, middle, end -- duration in time) but that you can "grow into" a more centered viewpoint from which stuff takes on a "sense making" aspect -- because you have a sense of the rules. A chemist watching a bunch of lab happenings can think about the chemical principles being demonstrated, and get some quiet satisfaction from their exceptionless flavor, and from having some kind of mental access to the prefrequency domain, such that ascent to higher levels within the Pyramid of Generalizations -- is what we might retrospectively consider a rewarding career path.

If a test tube starts floating for no apparent reason, we're back to
apprehension (vs. comprehension) and maybe it's back to the drawing board re the principles (upsetting, but that's life -- full of opportunities to rethink and revisit).

Synergetics is a toolkit of stuff Bucky found useful, and we have every reason to think might remain relevant, given that he never stopped growing thoughout a long and productive lifetime, even if his metaphysical growth pattern was tapered by definition, slowing in contrast to the acceleration of special cases accommodated by his
increasing appreciation for the sense-making aspects of Universe.

But is Synergetics justified in promoting this notion that it's a
sense-making, growing body of scientific principles-informed thinking, versus a hodgepodge of hyperinflated metaphorics, a hot air balloon doomed to burst, leaving its adherents looking foolish? The concentric hierarchy seems a useful enough blueprint -- so the temptation is to cut that beating heart out of its surrounding circuitry and plant it elsewhere, because the rest of the body seems too alien in a lot of ways. The alternative is maybe to keep pumping it up as a purely literary work while keeping it segregated from the "real" sciences.

My view is that Synergetics is self-contained enough to be worth keeping around and using. It will change its shape in the hands of future generation developers of course, but it already has secure enough moorings by now to keep it broadcasting a steady signal, conveying a sense of its powerfully gyroscopic inertial dynamism.

As you can see, this is more a reading in the philosophy department than one which physicists or chemists would consider native language -- but I think the "Pyramid of Generalizations" meme and the "apprehension vs. comprehension" distinction has applicability in these fields as well. Hence the generic, interdisciplinary nature of the Synergetics-informed approach.

Kirby Urner "ALL realities are 'virtual'" -- KU



Kirby Urner