100.022 Children can learn from their successive observations of the rotational progression of angles that the hour and minute hands of a clock have moved; that the tree and the vine have grown; and that the pond’s top has frozen into ice that surprisingly floats – getting colder usually means getting denser and heavier per given volume, which erroneously suggests that ice should sink to the pond’s bottom. But the crystallization of water forms a “space frame” whose members do not fill allspace. This vacated space embraces and incorporates oxygen from the atmosphere – which makes ice lighter than water. The crystallization of water takes up more room than does the water in its liquid non form condition. Crystallization is structurally and vectorially linear: it is not allspace- filling. Crystalline structurings are interspersed by additional atmospheric molecules occupying more volume (ergo, having less mass); the process of crystallization cracks open its closed containers. If ice did not float, if ice sank to the bottom, life would have long since disappeared from planet Earth. (Buckminster-Fuller 1997 :36)
184.00 When they are aggressive – or even worse, when they panic – both humans and animals demonstrate a subconscious drive only for self-survival. For instance, when a great theater fire disaster occurs and the flames quickly exhaust all the oxygen, people suffocate within two minutes. When the fire is over and many of the human dead are found inside unscorched, their deaths having been caused by suffocation, we discover that the otherwise loving fathers lost personal consciousness and stampeded over their own children and crushed them to death – the children for whom the conscious fathers would gladly have given their lives a hundred times over. (Buckminster-Fuller 1997 :80)
185.00 This frustratedly insecure or panicked animal survival drive is not a primary human behavior; it is only a secondary, subordinate, “fail-safe” behavior that occurs only when the very broad limits of physical tolerance are exceeded. When supplies are available, humans daily consume about two dry pounds of food as well as five pounds of water and seven pounds of oxygen, which their blood extracts from the 50 pounds of atmosphere that they inhale every day. Humans can go 30 days without food, seven days without water, but only two minutes without air. With 30 days’ tolerance, humans have plenty of time to decide how to cope with vital food problems; with a week’s waterless tolerance, they have to think and act with some expedition; with only one-and-a-half minutes’ oxygenless tolerance, they rarely have time to think and cope successfully. Because the substances that humans require the least can be gone without for 30 days, nature has for millions of years used humans’ hunger and the fertility potentials to force them to learn by trial and error how most competently to solve problems. But because the absence for more than a minute or so of oxygen (the substance humans use the most) could not be tolerated, nature provided the air everywhere around the world – in effect, “socialized” it. (Buckminster-Fuller 1997 :80)
BUCKMINSTER-FULLER, Richard. 1997 . Synergetics: exploration in the geometry of thinking. New York: Macmillan Publishing/Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller.