There’s something jarring about hearing old interviews of legendary futurist Buckminster Fuller. He speaks at a rapid pace, like each word is racing to get out before the next. But both Fuller’s style and his self-assuredness make it hard not to get swept up in his unbridled optimism about the future of technology — especially in this new animated video created from audio interviews conducted by Studs Terkel in 1965 and 1970.
Yes, the short film appears to be sponsored by Squarespace, but even if it’s a thinly veiled ad for building your own website (which I guess it kind of is) it’s still worth six minutes of your time.
Fuller talks about everything from seeing the world through his child’s eyes to how we might achieve weather control one day. And it all has an air of optimism that’s downright infectious, even for dyed in the wool cynics like myself.
Fuller: I recall in Chicago wheeling my little child in her baby carriage in Lincoln Park. I was amazed, because a little biplane went over Lincoln Park. Aeroplanes were not very common in those days. I said, “Isn’t it amazing. Here’s my child looking up at that aeroplane and that aeroplane in the sky is as natural to her as a bird.” Because when I was born, the aeroplane did not exist. It was really the start of the beginning of impossible things happening.
Fuller was an incredibly complex man, filled with contradictions. But there really is something transfixing in his voice; something that in the moment makes you want to believe that technology is fundamentally a force for good in the world. And then he stop talking, and you realise that Fuller himself is an advertisement — a man who’s trying to sell you on a world that doesn’t yet (and may never) exist. [Mental Floss]