The Man Who Predicted Bitcoin
Born in 1895, R. Buckminster Fuller was an inventor, architect, engineer, systems thinker, futurist, and self-proclaimed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist” who worked tirelessly over the course of his career to build the systems necessary to relieve human suffering and provide for the basic survival needs of everyone in the world. Wicked problems, indeed. His hope was to set in motion a globally coordinated effort to make the world work for everyone in it within a new technological paradigm which he called a “design science revolution.”
In 1967, my classmate Andy and I hitchhiked to Montreal, Canada for Expo ‘67 we weren’t only going to see R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome, we wanted to better understand why Fuller often said, “God wanted all humans to be rich.”
We could not wait to visit the U.S. Pavilion and stand inside Fuller’s massive dome. The feeling inside the dome was magical, a surreal environment of peace and possibilities. I never dreamed that one day I would actually study with the “Grandfather of the Future.”
Later, In 1981, I was invited to spend a week studying with Dr. Fuller at a lodge outside of Lake Tahoe, California. The title of the conference was “The Future of Business.” It was a week that forever changed the direction of my life.
I wish I could say I attended the lecture series to learn more about world peace, math, science, design, generalized principles, or philosophy. I can’t. My primary reason for attending the conference was to learn how Fuller could predict the future. I was motivated by pure greed, not world peace. I wanted to learn how to predict the future so I could use that knowledge to make more money.
On the last day of the event something happened to me. I wish I could explain it, but my limited vocabulary makes it hard for me to describe the experience.
I was standing behind the video camera and tripod, working as a volunteer and taping the entire event. I volunteered to stand behind the camera because I was falling asleep as a participant in the audience. Fuller was not an especially dynamic speaker. In fact, I would say he was boring—he mumbled and used words I didn’t understand.
Just as the event was coming to a close, I looked up from the eyepiece of the camera, directly at Bucky, and a gentle a wave of energy went through me. I could feel my heart open and I began to cry.
They weren’t tears of sadness or pain, but tears of gratitude for this man’s courage to do what he had been doing for years: guiding and teaching and looking into the future.
GRUNCH of Giants
In his 1981 book Critical Path, “Technologically we now have four billion billionaires on Spaceship Earthwho are entirely unaware of their good fortune. Unbeknownst to them their legacy is being held in probate by general ignorance, fear, selfishness, and a myriad of paralyzing professional, licensing, zoning, building laws and the like, as bureaucratically maintained by the incumbent power structures.” Fuller used this to explain global concerns and sustainable energy supply.
For three summers—’81, ‘82, ‘83—I had the pleasuer of studying with Fuller before died in July of 1983. Following his death, his book Grunch of Giants was published.
The word “GRUNCH” is an acronym for Gross Universe Cash Heist. Fuller was considered one of the greatest geniuses of our time. He has had a tremendous impact upon my life, as he has on many other people who have read his works or studied with him. Harvard University considers him one of its most significant alumni, and the American Institute of Architects recognizes him as one of the greatest designers of our time.
Grunch of Giants is a book about the super-rich and uber-powerful and how they have been stealing from and exploiting people for centuries. It is a book about a conspiracy of the rich.
Grunch of Giants moves from kings and queens of thousands of years ago to modern times. It explains how the rich and powerful have always dominated the masses. It also explains that modern-day bank robbers do not wear masks. Rather, they wear suits and ties, sport college degrees, and rob banks from the inside, not the outside.
After reading the book so many years prior, I could see our current financial crisis coming—I just did not know exactly when it would arrive. One reason why my investments and business ventures do well, in spite of this economic crisis, is because I read his book. The book gave me time to prepare for this crisis.
The American Institute of Architects honors Fuller as one of the country’s greatest architects and designers. He is considered to be among the most accomplished Americans in history, having a substantial number of patents to his name. He was a respected futurist and inspiration for John Denver’s lyrics about “grandfather of the future” in his song “What One Man Can Do.”
Fuller was an environmentalist before most people knew what the word meant. But most of all, he is respected because he used his genius to work for a world that benefited everyone—not just himself or the rich and powerful.
Fuller’s generalized principles—a principle that is true in all cases, no exceptions—were a driving force when Kim and I created The Rich Dad Company.
The reason Fuller sought to identify the Generalized Principles is because they are the invisible forces that run the universe. In other words, the Generalized Principles were the operating principles of the Great Spirit, and the Great Spirit wanted all humans and all life on planet earth to thrive. Fuller believed there were 200 to 300 Generalized Principles. At the time of his death he had discovered about 50.
One of the generalized principles we followed was: “the more people I serve, the more effective I become.” Rather than just work to make ourselves richer, we began to condition ourselves to think about how to enrich others while we were enriching ourselves.
The Generalized Principle of the rich is the principle of ephemeralization. In the simplest of terms it means, “to do more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing.”
The kings of the Agrarian Age became rich by doing more with less. Rather than move from place to place in search of food, they stopped moving in search of food and began producing food. By caring and cultivating the land, they could produce far more food from the land, feeding more and more people.
Did Fuller predict the Internet?
In 1969, Fuller proposed a “great logistics game” he called the World Game. It was intended to be a tool that would facilitate a comprehensve, anticipatory, design science approach to the problems of the world.The mission statement was a question: “How do we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?”
In his book, Critical Path, Fuller predicted that the design science revolution to make the world work for everyone in it would be in full effect by 1989 and placed the threshold for effective implementation of planetary accounting at the year 2000.
I believe what Fuller predicted was what we know as the Internet. i
Did Fuller predict Bitcoin?
Decades before Bitcoin, Fuller envisioned a “complete reengineering of the global economy facilitated by a synchronized accounting system integrated with a global energy network.” He predicted that the US dollar would be replaced with a new money—a money made of energy by energy.
In Critical Path, Fuller wrote, “Computers make it practical to electronify wealth distribution games that accomplish the movement of goods in services in more channeled, designed structures. Not big brother though, since no central planning authority—just lots of dial-in” games” with costs and rewards, likely to attract those with a self-interest in playing.”
I believe that what Fuller predicted was the blockchain technology upon which cryptocurrencies are built.
This is the reality and purpose of crypto, to make the illegal, existing model obsolete.
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
— Buckminster Fuller
What I find incredible is the fact that Bucky saw this happening. He was the first to see this future.
Just look at what Garrison Breckenridge wrote last year:
Decades before the discovery of public-key cryptography and earliest experiments in digital cash, Fuller envisioned a complete reengineering of the global economy facilitated by a synchronized accounting system integrated with a global energy network… Every individual in the world would be able to see his or her share of planetary equity through the use of “pocket-computer credit cards.”
Fuller made it clear that such a system would need to exist outside the constraints of existing power structures. As he writes in Critical Path:
There can be no planetary equity until all the sovereign nations are abolished and we have but one accounting system — that of the one family of humans aboard Spaceship Earth.
Both Fuller’s movement and (arguably) the crypto industry has so far failed to gain significant traction. Why?
For the most part, any proposed system of world-change built with eschatological overtones such as that posited by Fuller … will be met by severe resistance by not only the powers-that-be but also the very people these movements are trying to save.
One accounting system. What does that sound exactly like?
How could he have possibly seen this? One thing he said is that when he saw his first video game and its scoring, he knew the path money would take. I do not know how he saw this future… but he did.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily