Re: Re(3): Chinese statuary (was: Re: thoughts on domes and markets)
On Mon, 11 Jan 1999 08:37:14 -0600, you wrote:
>> I've partially traced over a blow-up to show you
>> what I think I'm seeing.
>Y'know, the irony is that, in their early efforts to trace out patterns of
>triangles and hexagons to tile a spherical surface, those folks probably
>thought they were "cheating" by sticking a pentagon in there every so
>often "to make it come out right...."
It's an interesting avenue for exploration, where the hexapent tiling
comes from. Standard practice in scholarship to search eastward for
the roots of anything European, given the westward progression of
so many memes. Where the "soccer ball" first enters the picture I
couldn't tell you (but maybe someone else has better ideas). The
3-way weave pattern is found in Pacific cultures no? And, as already
pointed out, the trully ancient geodesic spheres are not human-
engineered at all -- fullerenes (C60 = "soccerene") and such.
When a geodesic dome appeared in Kabul for an Expo, the Afghans found
a lot of resonance to their indigenous yurt. Likely Chinese culture
will embrace geodesics with relevant indigenous concepts, as will
Europeans play up the soccer ball connection, and Leonardo da Vinci's
drawings of the truncated icosahedron (tie-back to Plato and Archimedes).
As a curriculum writer myself, specializing in synergetics, I've done
at least some research into cultural roots (not enough apparently).
Given Fuller himself was Balinese (according to some Balinese), or
shall we say "extremely cosmopolitan", it's pretty easy to derive
a curriculum which doesn't come across as "Eurocentric" in the sense
of forcing non-Europeans to worship at the feet of any unfamiliar
We can drop synergetics into a curriculum pretty much anywhere without
rippling the waters with protests against imperialism or whatever the
hell. This is because the network of scholars growing up around
Fuller's pioneering is itself from all walks of life and many many
>I see what you've done, there, Kirby... and it looks pretty convincing.
>They still don't look like great circles to me, but that may be due to the
>flattening of the sphere.
Keep in mind that a "geodesic sphere" is simply a spherical icosahedron
with its 20 triangles cross-hatched in a 3-way weave pattern. That's
the Class I design in any case, the most classic. The density of the
cross-hatching is referred to as the "frequency" of the sphere, with
domes being parts of spheres. We have free software for generating
ray-tracable geodesic spheres of various frequency (VRML files too)
thanks to Rick Bono (who is also preparing a PDF version of "Geodesic
Math and How to Use It", long out of print, by Hugh Kenner, the
famous James Joyce scholar and columnist for BYTE magazine. Hugh
also wrote an early bio of Bucky Fuller, and 'The Pound Era'.
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