jay baldwin

jay baldwin

intro’d to Jay here.. thinking out loud – on Buckminster – 1.5 hr video from 1996 – via Chris:



Nov 1994 Air date You Tube Compression

Bucky as actual beginnings/inspirations of whole earth

4 min – he saw it was necessary for designers to be comprehensive… designers manage the interface between people and tech… so designers manage the application of technology… if you’re not a comprehensive thinker – you are likely to do more damage than good.

comprehensive thought – looking for the patterns that connect (gregory bateson)… there’s no course for connecting… but nature doesn’t have these departments.. there’s no formal courses in colleges that let you examine the connections…

what’s really needed is an omni disciplinary.. any tech has a good side and a bad side…

Fuller never said the universe. he said universe… always evolving…

10 min – showing video on whole earth catalog

13 min – think as widely as i can

ephemeralization – doing less with more

24 min – by not specializing.. but paying attention to what’s in front of you

competition as not boding us well – dis balance – we waste (energy & resources)- and that’s why there’s dis balance, scarcity

Bucky as guinea pig in ongoing experiment

everything as experiment 

30 min – everything in universe seemed to be balanced… entropy didn’t seem to have a balance.. the balance of entropy would be knowledge… hubris at its most hubristic…

he told me when i was 18 i didn’t have to look for work.. and i never did. if you are doing what you are made to do… you’ll live a good life..

earn a living ness

what human beings should do is act in an anti entropic way.. ie: increase knowledge.. everyone act as teacher… whole earth catalog – as a big fat teacher

cybernetics.. hyper space.. Brand – you should be able to find out anything about anything with one phone call

33 min – when he worked for the good of the many – his life went well…

the more universal band.. the better.. there’s a message in this..

34 min – runs counter to what so many of our institutions tell us to do – specialize/compete et al

not altruistic.. it’s a perfectly practical matter… it’s something we have to do.

36 min – people act their worst when they’re afraid

37 min – science has shown… this can be done right now.. only reason it’s not – people don’t have the will or they are afraid

39 min – thinking for yourself.. does not hurt others… grabbing for yourself does.. but not thinking for yourself…

talk to self..

being punished for what you are designed to do – think for yourself..

42 min – captain of football team.. he is modeling perfectly the game the system perpetuates

43 min – Bucky’s world game – there is sufficiency in the world – (looking at have and have nots)

49 min – for each bushel of wheat – losing 3 bushels of topsoil

53 min – on uni’s working as society works…

55 min – what really gets (the whole) people involved – changes people’s psychology – is to engage themselves in the quest..

57 min – so we did make a solar powered green house.. why aren’t they seen all over the place?… takes a while for ideas to sink in.. Bucky said takes 50 yrs..


find Jay:

wikipedia small

James Tennant Baldwin (born 1933) (whose books and articles have been published under the names J. Baldwin, Jay Baldwin, and James T. Baldwin) is an American industrial designer and writer. Baldwin was a student of Buckminster Fuller; Baldwin’s work has been inspired by Fuller’s principles and (in the case of some of Baldwin’s published writing) has popularized and interpreted Fuller’s ideas and achievements. In his own right, Baldwin has been a figure in American designers’ efforts to incorporate solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy. In his career, being a fabricator has been as important as being a designer. Baldwin is noted as the inventor of the “Pillow Dome,” a design that combines Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome with panels of inflated ETFE plastic panels.


In the 1990s, Baldwin wrote a book about Buckminster Fuller, his ideas, experiments, and influence, Bucky Works: Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today.

In the late 1990s, he worked with the Rocky Mountain Institute (Snowmass, Colorado) in the research, design, and development of the ultralight, ultra-efficient “Hypercar” — a prototype by way of which independent designers hope to show the way for the world’s auto manufacturers. With conceptual development having begun in 1991, the current version of the Hypercar uses a small generator to power an electric motor in each wheel.

Given his long-term role as a “technology” editor, something should be mentioned about the scope of Baldwin’s focus on technology. His interests remained broader than that represented in the shifting media and popular focus of the mid 1980s and later, which inclined to highlight the micro chip and electronic devices based on it. Baldwin has continued to point out the value of (and need for evaluation of) technologies within a larger perimeter. …. Baldwin has always wanted to empower individuals and small teams of people to accomplish something.

Baldwin, as one of the notable designer technologists whose cross-disciplinary approaches have opened new territory, was featured in the 1994 documentary film Ecological Design: Inventing the Future. The film viewed these designers as “outlaws” whose careers have necessarily developed “outside the box” of their time, largely unsupported by mainstream industry and often beyond the pale of mainstream academia, as well.



In terms of how he lived, J. Baldwin was Mr. Whole Earth Catalog, far more than the founder. I miss him already. https://t.co/1XUDPFlpVF

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/kevin2kelly/status/970074348378767360

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 came to the Whole Earth crew at Gate 5 Road more than 20 years after the first Whole Earth Catalog. When Kevin asked me to take over as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, I knew that the editor was really the impresario of a network of networks, a community of communities, which was really Stewart Brand’s genius — a “network entrepreneur,” Fred Turner called him in “From Counterculture to Cyberculture.” I had two strong mentors to guide me in Whole Earth values (which I would summarize as “think for yourself, question your assumptions, look at whole systems“): the late Richard Nielsen, and “JB” — Jay Baldwin — the “tools guy,” student of Bucky Fuller, and much more. Whenever anyone said the word “progress,” he would thunder “progress toward WHAT?” I just heard that he died. You did good, JB. And thank you.