Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Buckminster Fuller was a verb?

I think I am a verb.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
Just happened across this by accident, here. Nobody identifies more closely with verbs than me, but what the hell does this actually mean?

Various people seem to have become verbs in recent years in ways they probably didn't want, like Robert Bork and Larry "Wide Stance" Craig.

15 comments:

oscar madison said...

I think it means he was pretty fuller himself.

Mr. Verb said...

That's great. See, the comments are always better than the posts here.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Well, he started by saying "God is a verb, not a noun proper or improper" so perhaps he meant that he was God? God-like? "As a god"?

With him, who knows?

Gez said...

Loretta Bobbit is a verb. OJ Simpson is a verb. Verbed celebrities of the future? I'm betting on Britney.

Anonymous said...

As in "you really speared last night, dude"???

Anonymous said...

And Keith Olbermann's regular "Bushed!" segment!!!!

JD said...

Britney has already made it into British rhyming slang, as in 'a couple of Britneys please landlord' (Britney = Britney Spears = beers).

As for Buckminster Fuller, I know he gave his name to buckminsterfullerene but I'm not sure how to get a verb from that...

Mr. Verb said...

Yeah, I can't quite get out that word smoothly, let alone manipulate it morphologically!

Anonymous said...

I believe that he (Bucky) was trying to provoke thought. Clearly he has failed; a one-line dismissive put-down is much more hip. Way to go!

I won't say what I think he meant - I might be wrong. Think for yourselves, dammit. (Hint - he said more than was quoted here.)

Mr. Verb said...

Sorry that you misunderstood, but there wasn't a 'dismissive put-down' in there. (See also the following post.)

- said...

i stumbled on your blog in pursuit of this concept (which i think bucky is alluding to)...

"All 'things' are impermanent, and so all things are in reality processes. Things do not stay the same from one millisecond to the next. Anything composed of atoms is composed of parts in a constant state of flux. Existence is merely impermanence viewed in slow-motion." - http://www.aboutulverston.co.uk/metaphysics/existence.htm

mr. matinee said...

what it means is, he is not a thing, he is a series of actions. He felt the same way about everything (ie. "God"). Essentially saying you are what you do. Are you all dense?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fuller was merely saying that he was not a static thing, but a process, a becoming. It's called "nominalization" when you change a verb into a noun. The result of doing that usually creates a non-object, something you can't put in a bucket, or even define without referring back to the verb process.

David Dawneway said...

Bucky Fuller was suggesting that self is a dynamic phenomenon over space and time. As some yogis or mystics might suggest a process of constant being and becoming, in constant dynamic change. Not the label. As on a bottle of wine, but more like the wine itself, a living entitty, in a subtle process of dynamic change. There are no solids strictly speaking, and no strict hard limits between self and non self. All are in constant dynamic equilibrium and dynamic change. Self is a verb in this context. Not a static noun. From dust to dust, from seed to tree to seed. Nouns are labels for what we identify as seemingly static, as if in a stop frame film, but everything is in constant change, including the language for the labeling of things. I think this is what Fuller was partially alluding to.

John Harvey said...

I found your blog because I was searching for "I think I am a verb" which happens to be the title of a book of considerable interest to me. It is the fourth in Thomas A. Sebeok's series, "Contributons to the Doctrine of Signs." Certainly one of the quickest way to learn about Sebeok is to read the Linguist List's review of a recent book "Semiotics Continues to Astonish: Thomas A. Sebeok and the Doctrine of Signs" at http://linguistlist.org/issues/23/23-733.html

His title, "I Think I Am a Verb," is an excerpt from a note written by Ulysses Grant to his doctor a few days before his painful death from throat cancer. "I do not sleep though I sometimes doze a little. If up I am talked to and in my efforts to answer cause pain. The fact is I think am a verb instead of a personal pronoun. A verb is anything that signifies to be; to do; or to suffer. I signify all three."

John Harvey, Wizened Web Wizard Wannabe

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." — Albert Einstein