R. Buckminster Fuller is a man who has a lot of words used to describe his career. Author, engineer, architect, professor. He was a visionary, and a man of very concise wording.
His book Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth is certainly a book I would recommend any engineer to read. To me the most interesting part is that it was written in 1969, 50 years ago, and yet Fuller’s observations are still as true today as they were then. Briefly, he even mentions people worrying about automation taking their jobs, a modern day concern getting a lot of press in the right circles!
This book is not an easy read. Fuller certainly doesn’t “dumb it down.” It’s one of those books that is so dense in it’s conveyance of information that it probably requires a couple reads to understand all the depth of what is contained.
The book starts with the premise that while the world works towards specialization in jobs, it’s generalization that allows for the most success. Fuller states the premise, with a reference to a story about Great Pirates that ruled the world. From there he follows it up with many different distinct lessons about man, society, and the ability to work together since we only have one spaceship, Earth. It’s also the book that I believe popularized the term “synergy.”
This book is quite possibly one of the hardest books to describe I’ve ever read, and yet, I would still recommend it to anyone who has the fortitude to continue reading after the first chapter (simply because the writing is difficult for some to read). Take a peak at it online, and buy the book if it interests you. Personally, I’m going to reread this one multiple times in the future, to further integrate the ideas and concepts into my own work.