How We Do It

I sometimes enjoy  ‘Food Factory’ on Discovery Channel because I enjoy food, and it’s not  a bad format, although it’s a bit repetitive.  “How Do  They  Do  It?” is another one, even though I  don’t really care, and have  never, in fact, even wondered how  bowling balls  are manufactured.
It’s very like Food Factory,  and repetitive in the very  same way, but there’s something to  be  learned just from that  fact: the manufacturing process, whatever the final product, follows a pattern.

First, the idea.  They have to tell the story of who had the idea first, the history of  the idea.  That takes about a minute and  also puts a  bit of a human spin  on it.  Then the process begins, and  it begins with  raw materials.  They are assembled, perhaps mixed, and then placed into the machine, where they are either refined (rollers flatten,, choppers chop, ovens heat) or combined, then packaged  and  sent out for distribution.  Trucks with raw materials coming in, trucks with  finished products  rolling out.

This brings me to a couple of  Buckminster  Fuller’s greatest ideas.  First,

W=R x E x T, or something like that, he might have  had P for  power  instead of E for  energy, or perhaps even L for labor, because labor, in this equation, is counted as energy.
Resources are more or less finite, but the availability of energy is increasing dramatically with  improvements in solar and wind generation, and improved battery storage.  And technology, represented by T, is through  the roof.
Fuller’s other great idea is that we could all be living lives of luxury, all of Earth’s billions, if we just arranged our society a bit more sensibly.

Just like on Food Factory, we need to channel the natural resources into the highly powered, constantly moving, brand new world building machine, keep it  moving, and all the houses, schools, canals, high speed rail lines, and luxury homes that we  could ever  want will  come pouring out the other end.

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