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. Bucky wanted to: "Make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone." He did not see that goal reached during his lifetime.
Now is the time to achieve a world that works. For World Working it’s not “now or never” and it’s not “now or whenever” it’s “now, forever.” How surprised everyone would be if the world started working. We can decide, e.g.: we decided to go to war; we decided to make peace; we decided to split the atom; we decided to go to the moon.
Now, we can decide to make the world 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.
This is a website, not an organization. It is my hope that we, as the people of the earth, will take it upon ourselves to self-organize in order to make the world work. We are the organization.
This website has seven sections: Homepage, About, Actions, Working, Resources, Contact & Credits. Here are brief summaries of those sections.
• Learning and communicating – What would it mean if the world worked? For many, this will be a difficult concept to comprehend, in light of all the world’s current problems. The transition from scarcity to having enough would be an extraordinary change in the lives of the majority of people now living on the planet.
What would happen to people’s jobs? What could happen to people’s identity? These ideas seem a distant future, now. How will it be best to communicate world working ideas for consideration and actions?
• Work toward working - Doing the research, extending Bucky’s work, to determine what needs to be done for the world to work. Determining what expenditures and personnel will be required. How much will it cost to make the world work? How much will it cost to find out how much world working will cost?
• Giving and gifts - Regular, often annual, even weekly or daily charitable and philanthropic giving, as a model for partial financing of making the world work. At the high end, this includes the billionaire’s pledge and, for others, tithing and the like. The gift, as a cultural way of living.
• The Noosphere - Connecting the world and creating the noosphere of Teilhard de Chardin. How do we create the noosphere, the sphere of mind and consciousness? Connecting everyone to everyone. 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 - In light of current discussions and experiments with UBI = universal basic income, I want to propose providing UBN = universal basic needs: e.g., air, water, food, sanitation, shelter, clothing, healthcare, communication, transportation, learning, entertainment, expenses and more. Who needs these most, deserve to get these needs met first.
• Military – The world’s military can provide the world’s best existing infrastructure for logistics and distribution. A global military alliance for World Working will be essential.
• Ecological endangerment.
• Cyber & Bio: weaponry /warfare/social control.
• Capitalism: shareholders value & business models
Examples that demonstrate attributes reflecting the fact that, in these areas, the world can work.
• The Free Store, originated by the Diggers in the late 1960s, was a place where people brought in things and other people took out things. "What goes around comes around." World working in action!
• The World Central Kitchen of Chef Jose Andres that has been feeding people millions of meals in crisis areas, e.g., three million served in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, virtually without government assistance.
• The Food for the Soul refettorios, that use discarded food as an opportunity for feeding the food deprived, was founded by Chef Massimo Bottura, of Osteria Francescana, and his wife, Lara Gilmore, in Italy. Three refettorios are now operating in Italy with others in London, Paris and Rio.
• Water bottles you can eat by Ooho.
• The ways in which the Netherlands deals with existing below sea level without flooding.
• The ways Dig Deep brings water to American Indian reservations.
• The Billion Oyster Project to restore oyster reefs to the waters surrounding New York City.
• The tree plantings accomplished by Plant-for-the-Planet and Felix Finkbeiner, along with the United Nations Billion Tree campaign: 14 billion trees planted so far, in over 130 countries, worldwide.
Featured here are:
•People, with brief biographical sketches; Books; Articles; Documents, Videos, Websites (URLs), ideas, speculations, thoughts, talks, etc., and other resources.
• How to connect and communicate with those of us at www.worldworking.net/.
• WW website creations and operations.
• Website imagery credits.
World Working BACK STORY
How I came to know about and to embrace the concept that the world could work. How I came to put this website together.
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.)
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 was born in New York City on Thursday, the 26th of August 1943.
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 is 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, co-edited by Paul Krassner and Ken Kesey, pages 8 - 9, in 1971.
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/
I’m going to devote the rest of my life to making the world work. For those of you familiar with the bodhisattva vow in Buddhism, i.e., “to liberate all sentient beings,” this is my version of that vow: to make the world work.