About World Working

This World Working website is devoted to an idea I first learned about from Buckminster Fuller.

Bucky said: there is enough to go around for everybody on spaceship Earth: the world could work.

Below and throughout this website are and will be ideas and information about things we can do to move toward making the world work. More ideas, more information, more solutions to problems, and more suggestions will be needed as we go forward in this World Working endeavor.

Executive summary

World Working actions

Costs? – How much will it cost to make the world work? Determining what expenditures and personnel will be required.

Education – What would it mean if the world worked? What would happen to people’s jobs? What could happen to people’s identity? The transition from scarcity to enough.

Tithing – There already exists the tradition of giving a portion of income and/or wealth to worthy causes, e. g., making the world work.

The Noosphere – Connecting everyone to everyone: how much will it cost? The noosphere instantiated: the “New-o” –  Connect up as many people as possible all around the world. Smart phones, along with Internet connectivity, are currently the best instruments for this action. How much will this cost? Probably single digit billions, based on contemporary technology.

UBN = universal basic needs: e.g., water and sanitation, food, shelter, healthcare, communication, transportation, education, expenses and more. Who needs these most deserve to get it first.

Military – The world’s best existing infrastructure for logistics and distribution. A global military alliance for World Working will be essential.

World Working – ideas

World Working – BACK STORY.

How I came to put this website together. How I came to know about and to embrace the concept that the world could work.

World Working back story

I first met the late Richard Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s, through my friend, the late Brendan O’Reagan. Brendan was working for Bucky at that time and urged me to come meet him and hear Bucky give talks. (Brendan went on to work with Edgar Mitchell, the astronaut, at Mitchell’s Institute of Noetic Sciences.)

I had already read several of Fuller’s books, including: read Earth, Inc. and No More Second Hand God. I was aware of his work on the geodesic domes that were girding the Earth as well as his Dymaxion World Map that shows the one island of planet Earth.

Meeting Bucky, and hearing him give talks and lectures, I was impressed by how many ideas he had. Bucky sure could talk. Most people who asked him questions heard answers stretching from 5 to twenty minutes for each query response, sometimes even longer.

During that time, on several occasions, I heard Bucky refer to the fact that, as he put it: Malthus was wrong: we do not live in a world of scarcity.

According to Bucky there is plenty, and there’s enough to go around for everyone on our planet: Spaceship Earth. Bucky believed that the world could work.

When I had the opportunity, I asked him about how the world could work, since there was still so much scarcity and so many people around the globe in real need. His answer to me was simple, he said something on the order of this: “Oh, those are only distribution problems and political issues. Those problems can be solved: the world can work.”

That idea blew my mind: the world could work? I wondered, at that time, how it might be accomplished. And I thought about it quite a bit over the years.

In 1967 for the summer of love and also in 1968 I was living in San Francisco, in the Haight-Ashbury section, on Frederick Street. What made me think about Bucky’s idea of the world working, again, was an effort by the Diggers. This group of adventurous and forward thinkers started something down the block from where I was living: the free store. Their aim for the free store was to provide everything for everybody, on a local basis.

Everything in the free store was free. But the free store worked because it was based on an originating conception that people would not only take things for free, but that others, or perhaps the same people, might bring things in that other people could take.

What a concept! In that little space, I saw a demonstration of world working. I was fascinated.

I didn’t encounter Bucky Fuller again until I was working in the office of Jerome Agel. Jerry and the designer Quentin Fiore had done two books I very much admired by Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage – An Inventory of Effects, and War and Peace in the Global Village. When I started working in Jerry’s office, Quentin, Jerry and I worked with Bucky on his book: I Seem To Be a Verb.

A decade later, while I was a senior editor at Omni magazine, I commissioned and edited and had published several articles on artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation. Before Omni, I had read a lot, in science, cybernetics, and in science fiction, about the fascinating changes that were taking place, and that might take place, as computers revolutionized everyday life.

After leaving Omni, I decided to create a newsletter publication focusing on those issues – AI, robotics, automation and other related technologies. I happened in the very first issue of my newsletter, INTELLIGENCE – The Future of Computing, in May 1984, to write up a neuroscience-based approach to artificial intelligence by Leon Cooper, a Nobel laureate for his discoveries in superconductivity.

That summer of 1984, I attended my first AI conference. As my friend, the artist Isaac Abrams observed upon my return to New York: “Oh, OK, now I know what artificial intelligence means; it means holding a conference in Austin, Texas, in August!”

What I saw in Austin, and heard in the papers presented there as well as in the exhibits of software and hardware in the AI field, was that this was a very brittle technology. AI was based on inculcating reasoning and logic into machines and into software sequences.

These instantiations were called expert and knowledge-based systems and they attempted to transfer knowledge into software code. I intuited, quite quickly, that the lack of adaptability of these AI systems, and their inability to transfer all knowledge into software code, would not work. Or, if it did work, it would only work in very limited circumstances. The world is messy, no getting around it.

As a result of these insights I decided to focus my newsletter on the development of what were then called self-organizing and adaptive systems. Eventually, the name neural networks came to be applied to this subsection of AI. The traditional AI community rejected these neuroscience-inspired approaches to computing. It was my belief, however, that these biologically-inspired computing systems, in both software and hardware, would possibly lead to greater intelligence, which would help humankind.

Three decades later I realized that neural networks were fully acknowledged in the culture and in the technical community and were being embraced enthusiastically by corporations, governments and other entities, and being put to good use, especially for recognizing patterns: things like image and speech recognition.

As the very demonstrable developments and ubiquitous applications of neural nets took hold on a global basis, with rapid advances in the US, China and other countries, my work on neural nets changed. And, in 2014, I changed the subtitle of my INTELLIGENCE newsletter from – The Future of Computing to Making the World Work. At that time, I realized that computing alone was not going to effect the changes that would enable the world to work, though they would be important components in efforts toward making the world work.

I completed publication of the INTELLIGENCE newsletter at the end of 2017. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life devoted to making the world work. At that time, I started to work on constructing this website and reaching out to and talking with people who might be able to help make the world work.

Ed Rosenfeld BIOGRAPHY

Post Office Box 20008
New York, NY 10025-1510

I founded, edited and wrote the one-issue Ecstasy Review, a poetry and essay publication in 1963.

I founded the Natural Church in 1964, a religious institution that sought to legalize psychedelics as religious sacraments. A great deal of my history with psychedelics and the Church are covered in “A Conversation with Ed Rosenfeld,” conducted by Chris Elcock, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2015, ISSN 1930-1189, © 2015 Michigan State University.

I worked as a writer and researcher in the office of the late Jerome Agel from 1969 to 1971. While there I worked on many projects including Buckminster Fuller’s book, I Seem To Be a Verb (Bantam), with Agel and designed by Quentin Fiore and The Making of Kubrick’s 2001, by Agel (Signet).

My essay, “Planetary People,” appeared in The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog, edited by Ken Kesey and Paul Krassner, in 1971.

I had three books published in 1973: The Book of Highs: 252 Ways to Alter Consciousness Without Drugs (Quadrangle/New York Times Book Publishing Co.); and, with John Brockman, Real Time 1 & 2: Catalogs of Ideas and Information (Anchor Press/Doubleday).

I taught courses at The New school for Social Research in New York City, from 1974 to 1978, including “Models of Mind,” “Meditation” and “Transpersonal Psychology”.

I was one of the founding editors of Omni magazine in 1978, and, in addition to being a senior editor, I helped select and direct the use of fine arts in the magazine’s editorial well.

I published The Gestalt Bibliography in 1980. In 1982, I founded and edited the first peer reviewed scholarly journal in Gestalt Therapy: The Gestalt Journal, a quarterly. That same year I published An Oral History of Gestalt Therapy.

I served on the Board of Editors of Psychology Today magazine from 1981 to 1984.

I wrote the “Joystick” column, about new technology, for Oui magazine from 1981 to 1983.

I packaged Computer Images: The State of the Art, (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), an art book about computer created arts, that was published in 1983.

I started editing and publishing my monthly newsletter, INTELLIGENCE – The Future of Computing in May, 1984; starting in 2014, it appeared under the new subtitle: Making the World Work until publication was completed in 2017. (www.eintelligence.com/)

MIT Press published my three books on neural networks. The first, Neurocomputing 1: Foundations of Research, appeared in 1988; Neurocomputing 2: Directions for Research, was published in 1990. Talking Nets: An Oral History of Neural Networks, was published 1998.

Neal Goldsmith and I started www.BusinessTech.com/, a weekly online business strategy publication in 1994; it was published each week through 1999.

Neal and I co-founded the monthly Carriage House Talks salon in 2001; now, still monthly, it is called Poetry Science Talks. Since 2008, I founded Poetry Science Talks – North, it, too, runs monthly, near Woodstock, NY.

I have had a number of consulting clients over my career, including:

Alex. Brown & Sons, American Express, AOL, AT&T, BancTec, R. R. Bowker, CBS (“The CBS Morning News,” “Walter Cronkite’s Universe”), Citicorp, CNET, Columbia University, The Concours Group, Deutsche Bank, Disney (Discover magazine), Fairfield Venture Partners, Fidelity, Fonix, Josephthal, Lehman Brothers, Lynch, Jones & Ryan, NASA, Nestor, Nokia, Playboy, Prudential, Scholastic, Shearson, Siemens, Teleprompter, Time Warner and Time (Time-Life Books, Life magazine, etc.), TV Ontario, Viacom, VPI, Westinghouse Cable, Ziff-Davis, etc.

One of these, my time as a consultant and then executive at Columbia University deserves some detail:

I worked as a consultant to, and then Associate Director of Science and Technology Ventures (S&TV), the intellectual property (IP) operation at Columbia U., from 1999 to 2004. I started as a consultant to the University’s technology transfer office, working specifically with the faculties and graduate students of computer science (CS) and nanotechnology related University departments (CS, physics, chemistry, materials science, etc.). Columbia’s IP group was then the most successful in the world, with licensing and research revenues averaging greater than $150 million each year. My consultancy there (1999-2001) was converted into a full-time position: Associate Director (2001 – 2003) of S&TV. Another consultancy continued through 2004.

While at S&TV, I licensed as intellectual property, inventions and discoveries in computer science, nanotechnology, mathematics, network theory and other sciences to industry and government (military, intelligence, etc.). I developed the S&TV website. I wrote the S&TV Annual Reports and other literature. I also composed speeches for the Executive Director of S&TV as well as other high-ranking University officials.

I completed my MKULTRA screenplay in 2003.

Based on the MKULTRA screenplay, Gerd Stern and I researched, worked on and completed the libretto for Psyche and Delia, the opera, from 2005 to today. That opera, with a new composer and co-librettist, Anne LeBaron, was first retitled LSD – The Opera, and is now being prepared for production under the new title: Huxley’s Last Trip (www.huxleyslasttrip.com/).

Works-in-progress: based on the MKULTRA screenplay I’ve been working on MKULTRA – The Novel as well as MKULTRA Comix; these comics serve as the basis for the creation of MKULTRA – The Graphic Novel.

A new, revised and expanded version of my 1973 book, The Book of Highs: 255 Ways to Alter Your Consciousness Without Drugs, was published in 2018 by Workman (www.bookofhighs.com)

My newest website and my life’s work is at: www.worldworking.net/