“There are two coherent twilight zones of ‘tantalizingly almost-relevant recollections’ spontaneously fed back in contiguous frequency bands – the macro twilight and the microtwilight.” Buckminster Fuller, Omnidirectional Halo
"Bucky's Zone of Lucidity" Artwork by Tony & Bonnie DeVarco
Deep in space a brilliant discovery has just been made. Probing with Planck in the all-sky survey, about 6,500 light years away in the barely visible nebula, TC-1. The largest molecules known to exist in space have been found. Buckminsterfullerene!
We already know these 60-atom molecules – buckyballs – the third form of carbon discovered in 1985. Considered the most beautiful molecule for its perfect symmetry. Called by the late Nobel Laureate Rick Smalley, the “Rosetta Stone of Nanoscale Architecture.” Molecules that oscillate like jello, or like... tensegrity spheres. Geodesic shaped molecules named after the world’s friendly genius, Buckminster Fuller.
Buckminsterfullerene in the farthest reaches of space. Just about the same time, another amazing discovery has come from the tiniest regions of the quantum scale – the only macro scale structure to exhibit quantum behavior is -buckminsterfullerene! According to physicist Anton Zeilinger, buckyballs exhibit particle-wave behavior. This molecule knows no bounds. Neither did Buckminster Fuller.
Over a half-century ago, Fuller offered a new way of understanding the micro and macroworlds. He suggested humans could eventually become macroinclusive and micro-incisive at the same time.
In his piece, "Omnidirectional Halo," Fuller talked about sine waves as circuits – and looked at coincidence patterns in concentric wave systems. In both temporal and spatial terms, humans have a unique ability he called “tunability.” Tunability allows us to prognosticate the future, to "tune out" irrelevancies of the very small and tune in to patterns that matter and to focus on the most relevant events. We are pattern identifiers, local problem solvers in Universe.
Fuller looks at the key interrelationships between the macro and microscale – the macro that is too large and infrequent and the micro that is too miniscule and too frequent – in order to recognize the sweetspot of comprehension: the relevance between the micro and the macro which Fuller called the "zone of lucidity".
In a scientific yet mythopoetic way, perhaps that perfectly spherical, 60-atom ancient, beautiful molecule - buckminsterfullerene will become our lens to this zone.